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karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:08 PM
I'm too busy to finish these anytime soon so screw it, I'll post them anyway. A couple years ago I decided to write and record all the songs I was afraid to write. You know the ones, those that are too predictable, too simple, not clever enough - the tunes anyone can write, the ones those with any real creative genius run from like the plague.

I simply got tired of them bouncing around in my skull all the time and figured what the hell, if I don't do something I'm doomed with them staying where they are. So, everything is here, bare and naked. All the flaws, the out of tune spots, the flubs, the mistakes, no auto tune (obviously) and the juvenile musical decisions along the "you know you really should have done this" issues. No use in my being the only one suffering when I can punish you guys/gals just as easily ;) You'll even hear some lyrics repeated in different songs because they really are unfinished.

The first I posted not long after starting this unfinished project, it was an exercise to see if I could make a hook stick in someone's head even if they didn't want it to. The second was a improv one Saturday afternoon and was written and recorded in full in less than 1 hour and I kept it as is; simple and honest about the fact that answers and peace are on the inside, not the outside. The first was crafted the second was mostly all single takes.

Hopefully my home server isn't too slow, they should stream OK once buffered...

She

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/she.mp3


Nothing's Forever

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/nothingsforever.mp3

About 4 or 5 more to come....

Peace

Lawrence
11-13-2014, 06:13 PM
Nice. Is that you singing?

karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:23 PM
Nice. Is that you singing?

Oh that's me, all of it except two guest drum traks, that's back when I was smoking 3 packs a day (quit sept 2013). I'm sitting here wondering what it's like to sing not smoking lol.

karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:24 PM
Everyone should make their own choices, I support that. When I made mine, I wrote about some of them. Some hidden some pretty explicitly depending on the mood at the time.

Believers

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/believers.mp3

A now former friend of mine suddenly became a drunk and alienated every supportive friend she had. I always imagined what it was like for her to sit alone late at night in a stupor reflecting and trying to justify to herself all the damage she had done earlier in the day. Has some tuning issues, if I pull up the mix to fix that, I'll be there for hours dorking with stuff so I'm not fixing it right now.

I Know I'm Right

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/iknowimright.mp3

Garrick
11-13-2014, 06:30 PM
Nice one karbo, I'll have good listen over the week.

And don't worry about flaws, listen to mine, that should make you feel better :D

karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:36 PM
I always wanted to finish the lyrics but never got it together because I never had a good way to tell the story. One of these days maybe when it finally hits me. Me and my drummer ran out of gas on the way to rehearsal at the same spot on the same country road three times in a row over the course of a summer. We were incredibly broke, we were musicians what else could we be. The guy who lived about 50 yards away took us to get some gas every time, he'd always give us some of his moonshine and tell us there really isn't nothing to worry about. I miss that guy, he made an impression.

BYE

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/bye.mp3

The original idea was the kid who never has the guts to speak to the girl who knocks his socks off, he passes up his last chance as she unknowingly walks in front of a moving vehicle and is killed instantly (the "no" just before the solo is that moment). Had he just said anything, it would have delayed her just long enough, but he didn't. Least that was the idea...

Pictures of Flowers

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/picturesofflowers.mp3

karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:37 PM
Nice one karbo, I'll have good listen over the week.

And don't worry about flaws, listen to mine, that should make you feel better :D

Thanks Garrick, you're a good man. I for some reason have this condition that prevents me from actually being able to hear other peoples flaws. I keep meaning to get that looked at. :D

karbomusic
11-13-2014, 06:45 PM
I almost didn't post because it is literally the initial one take scratch tracks, the end is what the end is because I was improving and never went back to finish it properly as in literally "burning tape" till I thought of a proper outro. We play it in my band now so no need really. We fixed most of issues in the rehearsal room and sounds much better than these initial test tracks. I can tell I still smoked, running out of breath as I sing.

I won't say much but I had a fellow in my Christian school tell his rock and roll you're going to hell if you listen to rock music stories for 2 hours every day for a full week. 20 years later after the invention that is now the internet and I find out little or none of his stories were real; every one appears to have been completely fabricated. Most unfinished of the bunch but as I said in the first post, screw it. :D

All Made Up

http://wallsonic.com/public/music/allmadeup.mp3

Cosmic
11-14-2014, 10:47 AM
Ooh..just seeing this thread.I'm liking "She" so far.Its a great little tune.

I don't know what yer problem is with simple songs..I can't stand complicated ones.

I'm gonna check em all out over the course of this chilly Friday evening.

karbomusic
11-14-2014, 10:52 AM
I don't know what yer problem is with simple songs..I can't stand complicated ones.

I don't really have a problem with 'em as you are about to hear LOL. It was just a reflection of the inspiration for the project at the time. I tend to hear "ditty's" in my head and go "nah that'll be too damn silly" and move on. 90% of these were an experiment to just record them anyway to see what happens; then I got busy and stuck here and there and never got back to them. The newest track is at least 1 year old.

Cosmic
11-14-2014, 10:55 AM
The ones that just pop into your head are the best ones!

msundh
11-14-2014, 11:12 AM
I'm too busy to finish these anytime soon so screw it, I'll post them anyway. A couple years ago I decided to write and record all the songs I was afraid to write. You know the ones, those that are too predictable, too simple, not clever enough - the tunes anyone can write, the ones those with any real creative genius run from like the plague.


You really underestimate simple, That's the hardest ones. All classics are 'simple' (in my book). You can't hide behind any walls of synths, strings or FXs
She - Great song. It is a Little weak in the verse, lack of drive, but still great.
Nothing's Forever - Cozy. No flaws. This is hard to sound nice and you made it.
Believers - Best production so far,really good. The song is ok, but you made it great.
I Know I'm Right - Simple? Absolutely not!! This is Really good, but I found some untuned vocals, otherwise perfect.
Bye - Niel Young Vibes, then Eagles vibes. Great work.
Pictures of Flowers - Vocals a little low in some parts. Great song. Lacks some emotion in the vocals (to laid back), otherwise really great.
All Made Up - link didn't work.
Overal, great job, good songs, great production. I do lack some 'emotion' in the vocals i.e. you just sing it, not more. When you do 'simple' songs you have to work harder on each part.
I do envy you. Do more simple songs, please.

karbomusic
11-14-2014, 11:16 AM
You really underestimate simple, That's the hardest ones. All classics are 'simple' (in my book). You can't hide behind any walls of synths, strings or FXs
She - Great song. It is a Little weak in the verse, lack of drive, but still great.
Nothing's Forever - Cozy. No flaws. This is hard to sound nice and you made it.
Believers - Best production so far,really good. The song is ok, but you made it great.
I Know I'm Right - Simple? Absolutely not!! This is Really good, but I found some untuned vocals, otherwise perfect.
Bye - Niel Young Vibes, then Eagles vibes. Great work.
Pictures of Flowers - Vocals a little low in some parts. Great song. Lacks some emotion in the vocals (to laid back), otherwise really great.
All Made Up - link didn't work.
Overal, great job, good songs, great production. I do lack some 'emotion' in the vocals i.e. you just sing it, not more. When you do 'simple' songs you have to work harder on each part.
I do envy you. Do more simple songs, please.

Thank you, means a lot as I always love hearing your stuff. You might try "all made up" a couple times, I'm working from home (using up bandwidth) and I noticed it is causing the occasional error but it should work if you click a couple extra times (however that one is very raw scratch tracks since I tend to write on the fly sometimes). The webserver is in my home.

Thanks for every single tip, I should dig in more on those vocals next time I have the chance and since I don't smoke anymore it'll be easier.

Jorgen
11-14-2014, 01:21 PM
I just heard the first one, She, it sounds solid, really good.

msundh
11-14-2014, 02:31 PM
All Made Up - Joe Jackson vibe (not bad). it feels like you recorded this according how you start up this thread - just do it and get rid of it.
emphazise more when singing, especially in the verses.
Am I too harsh?
Believe me, when I'm harsh I really like the songs.
And it's friday night:)

karbomusic
11-14-2014, 03:12 PM
All Made Up - Joe Jackson vibe (not bad). it feels like you recorded this according how you start up this thread - just do it and get rid of it.
emphazise more when singing, especially in the verses.
Am I too harsh?
Believe me, when I'm harsh I really like the songs.
And it's friday night:)

No, not too harsh at all and thank you again. I appreciated every comment as they were well thought out and certainly match most things I also thought. I haven't even heard these in quite a while and as I was driving home last night, I just happened to pull them up in the car and realized how long it had been and figured I'd post because waiting until they are perfect appears to never work. As you know, writing and recording everything by yourself can be HARD at times but I enjoy the challenge. And... I'm among talented musical friends here which certainly makes it better. :)

Take care!

EDIT: Joe Jackson. I never thought of that but we now have something new in common. Loved his early stuff and had long forgotten about him... "Is she really going out with him" such a cool tune.

kindafishy
11-15-2014, 08:29 AM
Karbo, man, you are far too modest. Your work here, bare and naked, sounds much better to me than much of what is heard on forums, in terms of writing, performance, capture, and mix.

This is all great as far as I am concerned. No, it's beyond great. I want to be able to produce to this level at some point. This gives me inspiration.

I guess it speaks to your level of talent and craft if you think that these are not representative of what you are capable of because these are fantastic.

Every element is great, but something in particular that keeps jumping out at me is your low end. Your bass is fantastic. Tight, clean, punchy, round, growly. Solid with no wooly, fluffy, loose sense to it.

Tell me your secret to your low end, dammit! This is what I want my low end to sound like. How would you try to teach someone to get it sounding like you have it sounding?

karbomusic
11-15-2014, 09:51 AM
...but something in particular that keeps jumping out at me is your low end. Your bass is fantastic. Tight, clean, punchy, round, growly. Solid with no wooly, fluffy, loose sense to it.

Tell me your secret to your low end, dammit! This is what I want my low end to sound like. How would you try to teach someone to get it sounding like you have it sounding?

We'll I'm certainly humbled. On the bass/low end. Hmmm, that's hard to say. I have this sickness of liking lows so much that I feel it us usually over done but I have gotten it better in the last couple years.

Do you mean low end across the board or just kick/bass gtr? Until I hear back I can share a couple thoughts...

I never gate or over process, over EQ kick or bass guitar ever. I do some stuff but I've come to the conclusion that if I'm not somewhat happy with it as-is, it just never seems to work out for me. For bass it is almost always the following...

UA 4-710D preamp + the built in 1176 compressor and a Jazz or PBass (Stock Mexi). Compression on the way in, it helps with the performance and if it's right, it's right. I don't typically tout preamps on forums because Internet wisdom says don't they make a credible difference, thusly, I stopped saying so publicly. The rest is trying to play it so it "blooms" off the kick drum which is typically the hardest part and... the preamp gives an nice round/fat tone even without the compression - there I said it :) ITB, Density II would be GREAT alternative to the 4-710's compressor FYI.

Kick is really the same but RME preamps (UA is too fat and doesn't have the attack for my style) and no compression on the way in. If real drums I try to get a good recording on the way in but I have at times mixed that with a sampled AD kick depending on conditions. If real drums I also tend to use the recorderman method but only three of the songs above are real drums (She, Believers and Pictures IIRC). Any other drums were AD.

The only other thing I can think of is I adjust things on the way in to fit the song, not the reverse. That means I won't hesitate to change instruments, preamps, technique, pickups, mics or even what/how it is being played so that it fits. I can say with complete confidence that I tend to do that vs. trying fit something into a mix that just doesn't belong. I may even toss a cool line or track simply because it isn't the right one, no matter how much I want it to be. Learned that lesson the hard way!

kindafishy
11-15-2014, 11:14 AM
Thanks Karbo! Yes, this is exactly what I was hoping to see. The low end I struggle with is precisely the bass and kick, yes. Anything that wants to spend time under 200 (so, when they are present, stuff like floor toms and timpani and such also qualify). It is so easy to have a lack of definition or to let things 'get away from you' down there.

What you are saying resonates with me and I think I have started on this path as well.

I recently upgraded my mix space and it opened my eyes/ears in a completely brutal way to what my previous mixes sounded like. I am working on a new song now, and I placed much more emphasis on getting the sounds to be good during the recording sessions. In the past, I basically got the performance I was looking for after not spending much time focusing on the sounds coming in, figuring I would 'fix it' later...

Basically, pay attention to signal path, equipment, tone and appropriateness on the way in. Funny that this is the 'secret'... I don't think plugin manufacturers want us to know this.

I'm about to remix a lot of material. I am prepared to re-record things if necessary, despite being happy with performances. I will try to do a quick mix-rescue first, but if it isn't possible... in the bin and begin again.

Thanks man!

NowoTone
11-17-2014, 03:20 AM
Hi Karbomusic,

I'll go through all the songs in the next few days. I started with the first two songs, and I'm really impressed.

A couple years ago I decided to write and record all the songs I was afraid to write. You know the ones, those that are too predictable, too simple, not clever enough - the tunes anyone can write, the ones those with any real creative genius run from like the plague.
Personally, I'm completely unable to write songs that are predictable or simple, never have been. Give me the task to write a 20 minute 15part prog song and I will deliver (although it still might not be clever - or any good). But a 2.5 minute pop song of beautiful simplicity? No chance. In fact I'm still trying to write a perfect pop song but haven't gotten any closer to this in the past 30 years.

All the flaws, the out of tune spots, the flubs, the mistakes, no auto tune (obviously) and the juvenile musical decisions along the "you know you really should have done this" issues. No use in my being the only one suffering when I can punish you guys/gals just as easily ;) You'll even hear some lyrics repeated in different songs because they really are unfinished.
After listening to the first two songs, I wished my unfinished songs were in that state. So I'm going to pretend that they are in fact finished and will tear into the productions, criticising every little bit that is slightly not up to par ... ;)


She:
Love the singing, really nice voice. Overall very interesting instrumentation (e.g. the high stringed instruments - mandolins?). I liked style, tone and execution of the guitar solo. I think this is a really great little pop song. However, I thought something was being really repetitive, which irritated me after a while. I think the culprits are the drums and the bass. Whereas in the rest of the instrumentation there is change, these stay the same.

The other thing is, of course the overall mix, which I think could be improved

Nothingís forever:
Do you know Stephen Duffy? This song reminds me a little of some of his stuff. I really like this song. Re-mix a bit (despite the stereo imagery it sounds a bit flat to me) and then itís done! This is really an example of a simple pop song (which I don't seem to be able to write)

karbomusic
11-17-2014, 08:08 AM
Hi NoWoTone... Thanks for the listen, much appreciated. I also dropped in to say thanks to Sammy for his reply but that one seems to have gone missing. Thanks anyway. :)

NowoTone
11-17-2014, 09:10 AM
Believers
Love the guitar work - really appropriate for the verses & choruses, I also like the sound of the guitars. Vocals too far at the back, but I like your voice (and the background vocals), they just need to be more upfront. Great guitar solo. Have I mentioned the guitar sound yet? ;)
Nice electro sounds right at the end. Apart from mixing, how is that song not finished?

But now for some negative criticism - and this goes with for the other two songs as well - did you program the bass? It just doesn't feel natural. The sound is actually good, quite punchy and nice bottom, but somehow it feels very mechanical, not at all groovy.

I Know I'm Right
Great start. Love the brooding synth pad and then the guitars coming in. The dark percussive elements give the song a nice rhythmic structure, while staying completely in the background. "You know the ones, those that are too predictable" - the chord sequence in the chorus is predictable, but that doesn't take anything away from the the song, as it fits the overall song structure. Again the guitar arrangement and sound is perfect in my opinion. Plus, in this song the bass sounds and feels different, much more natural. So again, a little bit of mixing (I didn't listen out for the tuning issues and didn't notice anything obvious, so it can't be too bad) and the song's done. I'll definitely listen to the song again and if there were tuning issues, you should fix them, as the song itself is great. My favourite so far.

karbomusic
11-17-2014, 09:49 AM
Believers

But now for some negative criticism - and this goes with for the other two songs as well - did you program the bass? It just doesn't feel natural. The sound is actually good, quite punchy and nice bottom, but somehow it feels very mechanical, not at all groovy.


Thanks, I was surprised about the bass comment, I'm happy to hear it though so no worries. It's a real bass played in real time. I did very much go for "in the pocket", solid very on top of the beat sound in that one so that may be the reason it sounds that way. Maybe I made it too tight since it is pretty much dead on top of the kick. I was trying to make it sound like the kick was actually playing the bass guitar. Thanks for pointing it out though, something to consider.

Thanks for the guitar work comments. I think that was my boogie DC5 with either a CAD E300 or Royer 121 setup. I'd have to check my notes. It could possibly even by the Marshal Class 5 with the E300 LDC about 7 feet away, I just don't remember.


I Know I'm Right
Plus, in this song the bass sounds and feels different, much more natural.

Makes me chuckle... That bass line is the original take, it is actually a complete improvisation with the mistakes left in. I never replayed it because I liked the looseness and unpredictability even though it is likely the worst executed bass track of all the songs. I was just feeling my way through trying to think of what the bass should do and it is actually pretty inconsistent but I kept it due to the fact I knew I wouldn't be able to recreate the better sections consciously. Thanks again or the comments and taking the time to listen.

Jorgen
11-17-2014, 02:30 PM
Karbo, so much to take in! I can not get in to it 100% right now, but I will. So, sigh, another talent... :D

Btw, you (not you karbo) who for some reason frequent other daws' similar departments, what do you say? How do we do over here, hm...? Promise, have no idea. :D

sammydix
11-17-2014, 05:28 PM
Sorry guy, I went to update after listening to the other tunes and, like a dolt, pressed "delete" instead of "save", and didn't want to start over again. my bad. I'm a scatterbrain sometimes, ask Kevin. heh

karbomusic
11-17-2014, 05:37 PM
ask Kevin. heh

LOL, no worries for sure. I spent a certain amount of time thinking I dreamed it then I felt bad that I had not said thank you sooner. So thank you. :) Additionally, I didn't really expect many replies at all because I can't seem to come here, listen and reply as much as I know I should, so for anyone/anytime that I miss, apologies because it's usually a function of not having the time to do so like I wish I could. Then there are times I know it is going to be great and I hesitate listening because I'll likely be embarrassed at how good it is comparatively. I'll work on that because I know it is important. :)

msore
11-18-2014, 10:53 AM
I am listening to the lot here and enjoying all. Very much. Not simple and not complicated. Very much personal, with the simple stuff and more sophisticated stuff actually talking to each other, and working together. Awesome. Yeah the voice too.

karbomusic
11-18-2014, 03:49 PM
I am listening to the lot here and enjoying all. Very much. Not simple and not complicated. Very much personal, with the simple stuff and more sophisticated stuff actually talking to each other, and working together. Awesome. Yeah the voice too.

Thanks. I didn't really expect any of it to be enjoyable by anyone but me so it's been good to hear there are a few things that others like. :)

hamish
11-19-2014, 05:13 PM
Hi, I finally got around to listening.

My first impressions (she) are very much like what kindafishy said. I used to (and still do) love catchy guitar pop stuff like Graham Parker, Joe Jackson, Dave Edmunds, Elvis Costello, The Members. Quite english until the mandolin part.

Of course there's more to it than that, but not what I was expecting, and I did enjoy it. Very nice to hear the sound of the man behind so many great OS/System tweaking tips.


I don't think plugin manufacturers want us to know this.

(suppress giggle)

NowoTone
11-20-2014, 12:36 AM
Found some time to listen to a few more songs

Bye
Again, very nice instrumentation, I really like the guitar sounds. The bass, here again, feels great and also has a good punchy sound. The part at about 2 minutes in is quite unexpected, introducing a more sombre mood to the overall "happy-go-lucky" tone of the song.

Pictures of Flowers
I'm running out of things to say now. I really like your songs and especially the guitar arrangements. But also the overall song structure, is all good :)

All Made Up
This song is quite different in style from the others, although not too different, so it wouldn't be out of place on an album with the rest of the songs, mostly due to the guitar and vocal arrangements. The arrangement is nice and open, someone mentioned a Joe Jackson vibe and I think that's a fair comparison. I really like the quirky synth!

Conclusion
I know these are the bare naked versions of the songs, but still a few personal production notes from me, you and others might completely disagree.
- the overall instrumentation is really good, but I feel that sonically the songs meander along a bit. What I miss is more dynamics in the overall sound.
- I like the voice (and also the b-vox arrangements), but like the instrumentation, it stays a bit flat, the punch is sometimes missing. This might be helped by just mixing it a bit more to the foreground
- Overall I feel that what I miss is some kind of excitement, some punch just below the musical surface, some darkness lurking nearly out of sight ...

Having said that, Karbo, I wish my "all the flaws, the out of tune spots, the flubs, the mistakes, no auto tune (obviously) and the juvenile musical decisions" songs were anywhere where your songs are. I like the songs themselves, the instrumentation, especially the guitars and all is rounded off by interesting lyrics. Well done, Karbo!

karbomusic
11-20-2014, 07:39 AM
Hi, I finally got around to listening.

My first impressions (she) are very much like what kindafishy said. I used to (and still do) love catchy guitar pop stuff like Graham Parker, Joe Jackson, Dave Edmunds, Elvis Costello, The Members. Quite english until the mandolin part.



Thanks Hamish, I remember hearing something quite nice that you posted a few weeks back. Very nice work.



I like the songs themselves, the instrumentation, especially the guitars and all is rounded off by interesting lyrics. Well done, Karbo!

Thanks again for taking such time to really listen, no complaints at all on your findings. :)

msore
11-20-2014, 07:54 AM
Hell, I would love to hear Karbo's songs done by Ham's vocalist!

Garrick
11-20-2014, 05:04 PM
"I know i'm right" is beautiful. I'm not a big fan of long intros but i'll let this one slide :D , i'm a sucker for those chords. Great mood

karbomusic
11-20-2014, 05:32 PM
"I know i'm right" is beautiful. I'm not a big fan of long intros but i'll let this one slide :D , i'm a sucker for those chords. Great mood

Some vegetables inspired the intro but has anyone made it to the very, very, very end? I don't think anyone has because I left in an edit by mistake that should have been taken out. Then it occurred to me to just leave it and see if anyone notices. ;)

Garrick
11-20-2014, 05:46 PM
I got to where the guy was talking but checked again, ah right, the little fiddle on the guitar, leave it karbo it's the best bit of the song, just kidding :D

Hey the end really does put the icing on the cake for me, space oddity feel, wonderful!

karbomusic
11-20-2014, 05:49 PM
I got to where the guy was talking but checked again, ah right, the little fiddle on the guitar, leave it karbo it's the best bit of the song, just kidding :D

Hey the end really does put the icing on the cake for me, space oddity feel, wonderful!

It was the "Well that sounds like donkey balls" statement.. I remember being pissed at the performance of that track as I did it for some reason. Then I forgot to edit it out hehe.

Garrick
11-20-2014, 06:18 PM
I actually like the talking at the end especially if it was in a long playing record context. btw the way sound of the acoustic guitar, I would love to get that sound. I suppose it's a case of first get a really good guitar.

RoboPlankton
11-22-2014, 05:15 PM
"Is she really going out with him" such a cool tune.

It is indeed, perhaps melodically and rhythmically perfect, that one line.

Listening now to your music........She has sucked me in...........

RoboPlankton
11-22-2014, 05:33 PM
She has sucked me in...........

Ahem......:).

In the passive voice...dunno why exactly.....your music is being totally dug.

karbomusic
11-23-2014, 07:32 AM
Thanks Robo. :)