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View Full Version : Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus. Rearranged by me.


Pilger
08-31-2010, 12:00 PM
I've been trying to record some stuff with Reaper for 2 weeks or so, this is the first result that I actually find worth sharing with others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQDppN9NTzA

Comments will be highly appreciated, as I don't have proper monitoring at home, so I can't really tell whether it sounds right in a general...

Anyway I DO like the sound of it played through my HiFi Equipment, Computer speakers and headphones.

Would be nice if this forum helped me decide whether the reverb on the percussice guitar part sounds too unnatural, it's the only thing I have been doubting about while mixing the song.

Thanks in advance,

Pilger

Tedwood
08-31-2010, 12:24 PM
Hi Pilger

I heard this from the other thread you posted already.

Couldn't comment there, so I just like to say thanks for making me give up recording myself - Joking of course, but this is very good. Very sparse, but very good. In your case less is more

The guitar percussion is I think a little too loud, I'm not bothered either way about the reverb. Did you ever try a foot box to tap on? might be interesting..?

I only wish I could sing like that.

Don't hide your light, but do be critical of your own music. Complacency is not for artists of your calibre

kindafishy
08-31-2010, 12:38 PM
Great cover. Sounds really good.

I checked out some of your other videos on youtube. Sharp dressed man rules.

You've got a great voice and a very smooth, clean playing style.

Impressed...

Pilger
08-31-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks a lot for Your kind words,

I really appreciate others commenting on my work. I like to record stuff in a way that it sounds very similar to my live performance, so if people buy my music they don't get a different thing than they expect.

I've been trying a stomp box, but as I like to record "drums" on stage using a BOSS RC20 XL Loop Station prior to starting the song itself, there's no need to carry such a piece of equipment to the gigs. Also, I like the resonance of the strings while using the guitar body as a bass drum.

What really bothers me at the moment is EQing the music I record, because - as I said - I have no real "monitor" speakers to use. If You have decent monitoring, please let me know what You think about the overall sound of this, so I can maybe adjust the sound a bit due to a comment like maybe "the whole thing lacks of treble" or something like that...

Again,

I feel this forum is going to be very helpful, especially if there's people here that would perhaps record an istrument for me that I can't play - but that might be needed in some other songs that I plan to record.

Thanks guys,
Pilger

stratman
08-31-2010, 02:25 PM
Really impressive. Superb performance.

I'm no expert on the finer points of recording engineering, but it sounds great and I can't fault it.

Pete

Tedwood
08-31-2010, 02:53 PM
Pilger, I think this is your first music post no?

I'll let you into a secret ;) While most people are very polite and helpful around here, if your eq is way out someone is going to tell you without you having to ask, and if it's not and you get varying opinions your going to have to guess who has the best monitors, and ears - trust me :)

I listened to it on half-decent monitoring headphones, because they sound better than my cheap monitors

Pilger
09-01-2010, 12:24 AM
I'll let you into a secret ;) While most people are very polite and helpful around here, if your eq is way out someone is going to tell you without you having to ask, and if it's not and you get varying opinions your going to have to guess who has the best monitors, and ears - trust me :)

Haven't thought about it this way - You may be right.

So I'll just be satisfied with the result as long as nobody complains :-)

Just as I do while playing live...

pixeltarian
09-01-2010, 10:33 AM
I love this song. good choice on the seagull S6. I have a '91 seagull and really like how this tune sounds on it. I run martin silk & steel strings on mine for a real mellow tone.

what I miss most in your cover is the vocal accents that waits does.
EG:
it's 1GOT to be a 2CHOCOlate jes3US 4
1MAKES me feel so 2 good inSI3DE 4
numbers = beats


I like it though. I'm just in love with mega dynamics in music. I miss them when they leave.

also, I've been playing the drums for 11 years and have a recording setup for them. just fyi...

Pilger
09-01-2010, 11:52 AM
I love this song. good choice on the seagull S6. I have a '91 seagull and really like how this tune sounds on it. I run martin silk & steel strings on mine for a real mellow tone.

what I miss most in your cover is the vocal accents that waits does.
EG:
it's 1GOT to be a 2CHOCOlate jes3US 4
1MAKES me feel so 2 good inSI3DE 4
numbers = beats


I like it though. I'm just in love with mega dynamics in music. I miss them when they leave.

also, I've been playing the drums for 11 years and have a recording setup for them. just fyi...

I can totally understand You in this point.

There's some songs that I get so used to that I can't stand any changes to the parts that I like most about them, e.g. changes in lyrics, rhythm, dynamics or even the overall sound of it.

"Chocolate Jesus" always gave me a "spooky" feeling, to me the original sounded raw, powerful and frightening, mostly because of Waits' voice and pronounciation. I recorded this song on my debut album in 2000 and tried to play and sing in the same way Waits did. In the studio we tried to make it narrow - sounding, and added some distortion to the vocals. In retrospective I don't think this did the song any justice, because you can't just try to copy the sound of a song like this and expect it to come close to the original.

That's why I decided to re-record it in a different way, trying to preserve my view of the piece in arrangement and interpretation rather than staying close to the original.

I really enjoy playing it this way, because it still has this ghostlike feeling to it (at least that's what I feel) but also gives the listener a more relaxed, pop-music-like interpretation, which I prefer on music today.

thanks for your comment, It reminds me of how much I sometimes hate covers just because of one single note that - in my opinion - doesn't fit the song well. Normally it's hard for me to like artists' interpretations of songs that I REALLY love.

By the way, the S6 is by far my favourite acoustic guitar out of those I can afford, this one's from the 80ies and has a much richer sound than the 2 Mini Jumbos that I bought in 2008. I got the S6 for EUR 200 on ebay, it's by far the best buy I have made so for, at least speaking of musical instruments.

spikemullings
09-04-2010, 12:56 AM
It sounds great!
Strange at first to hear a more conventional delivery but I think it works terribly well.

Pilger
09-04-2010, 01:05 PM
It sounds great!
Strange at first to hear a more conventional delivery but I think it works terribly well.

Thank You,

Actually I catch myself listening to this on my iPod over and over again, because I like it so much...

tspring
09-07-2010, 01:30 PM
Very nice, spooky, performance. Listening to the lead guitar in the break, I thought that I could hear the part being doubled a couple of octaves down. Unusual for acoustic guitar but works well here. Did you do the doubling with a Reaper plugin (assuming that I am not suffering from acoustic hallucinations)?

T

Pilger
09-07-2010, 01:38 PM
Very nice, spooky, performance. Listening to the lead guitar in the break, I thought that I could hear the part being doubled a couple of octaves down. Unusual for acoustic guitar but works well here. Did you do the doubling with a Reaper plugin (assuming that I am not suffering from acoustic hallucinations)?

T

No, you don't suffer from any hallucinations :-)

I used the Octaver that came with the guitar rig plugin, you can hear it very clearly using good headphones or anything else than small computer speakers, at least I can. If others can barely hear the effect, I did something wrong in the mix, which, again, leads me to the question whether my monitoring should be upgraded to some decent speakers...

tspring
09-07-2010, 01:55 PM
The doubling is pretty obvious. I'm not listening on the best of systems at the moment but as best I can tell your EQ is fine. You would have to work pretty hard to screw up such a nice performance with EQ. Relax. You're getting the hard part right.

T

Pilger
09-07-2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks a lot for the replies to this thread, I really appreciate Your words on the performance itself, because I really like this song.

Anyone else notice the "crack" sound in the middle of chorus number 2? I get this from time to time while recording, strangely only on the vocal tracks. I have no idea where it comes from, but it happens during the recording itself. I read about others that seem to have similar issues, but noone has a solution that works for me.

As I said, I'm a newbie and can't even seem to get my midi-keyboard to run in reaper, so at the moment I'm stuck with the cracks in the recordings. Sometimes they can be cut out, but I'd really appreciate a solution. Seems to be a driver issue with my MAudio Fasttrack pro, but I'm not even sure about that.

sammydix
09-15-2010, 09:00 AM
Late on this one, but when i was scrolling thru the forum I saw "Tom Waits" and one of my favs "Chocolate Jesus," had to hear it! Completely different than what I imagined, but you well made it your own. Nice rendition.

Pilger
09-15-2010, 09:30 AM
Thanks a lot,

I'm glad you liked it!