Old 04-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
tspring
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Default Funk and Reaper

Spring is here and Funk music is breaking out in my hometown of Easton, Maryland again, and I thought I would pass along a sample for Reaper users to listen to.

http://brookslong.bandcamp.com/track/spring-single-mix

The song ... wait for it ... is titled "Spring". OK, lame attempt at humor.
Anyway this was recorded in my son's Sweetfoot Studios by Brooks Long & The Mad Dog No Good, with horns by Rufus Roundtree, Lionel Lyles and Harold “Shasta” Smith. The whole crowd is from Baltimore, except for our buddy Kentavius Jones who pitches in on background vocals.

All done using Reaper, which supports maximum funkyness. Brooks is a young guy but some of the horn players go all the way back to P-funk. I think the whole bunch is the real deal.

I'm curious about your opinions, as Reaper users tend to be pretty discriminating in terms of quality.

EDIT: The "dirtied" mix that you guys suggested is now online at the above link. Old school reverb was added using a large empty room as a reverb tank. Output from the monitor in the room was picked by a room mic and mixed as the wet signal. The whole mix was passed through tube pre-amps of an old tube-based Akai reel-to-reel tape recorder and then sent back to Reaper to dirty up the pristine digital recording.

T

Last edited by tspring; 06-01-2013 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Update original clean mix with dirty mix
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Ahhh... I loves the funk. I listen to it all the time.

This is a cool, cool tune.

Some subjective opinions...

Vocals feel a little bit too bright (they get a touch harsh and essey - at least here they do) and upfront a bit too much. They could sit back deeper and darker in the mix.

Love where the drums and bass are sitting. They are clearly behind everything else, but still in the same room. Nice.

Great guitar tone.

Great horns.

Yeah, just listened to this again. It's very pristine. Subjective, but it would sound just as good (but in a different way) if the whole thing sounded dirtier/hotter.

The main thing for me is the vocals. If they sat back a bit and were a little less bright, this would be pretty much perfect.

Awesome. Love it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:09 AM   #3
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Yes, great stuff!

Vocals could have a bit of reverb on them for that James Brown feel.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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damn.
hot damn.

my opinion: down the guitar, up the horns.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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Dang, you guys are good. At least I agree with what you are saying, and that must mean you are good, right? I always lobby Shea and the folks that he works with to pay attention to opinions here when we post music that he records. Maybe he will tweak the mix and re-release.

T
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
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Very cool tune dude!!!
Makes you want to get up and groove.

but.... nobody needs to see me doing that tho ;-)
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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Awesome!

I agree that it could stand to be a bit less crispy clean..a bit of skuzz is called for
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:43 AM   #8
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My opinon is that it is f...ing awesome
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:11 AM   #9
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GROOVY!!!! love funky stuff!!

cheers
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #10
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Was great mate
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Shea and I listened to the track together last night with your comments in mind. He was nodding yes as we listened. You all were on the money with your suggestions. He and Brooks are going to release an extended version with more horn, bass, drum, and guitar solos. The extended version is about 7 minutes long, and will incorporate changes to the mix based on your suggestions. This is very helpful stuff.

T
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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Aww Gawd..please make it dirtier!

Its an awesome tune.Just begging to be a bit rougher.

Sexier.

Just a bit grimey.Would make it sexy as fuck
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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Also, some tube saturation, or tape saturation on the lead vocals (heck, maybe on the whole thing), as well as some reverb.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:50 PM   #14
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What he said
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #15
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Finally,in follow up to your suggestions, I wanted to let those of you who responded know that Shea is finally working on "Spring" again, trying out your suggestions. This from a YouTube posting he did today:

"Today I'm trying to rough up my last mix of Brooks Long's "spring" by running stuff through some tube pre amps real hot-like. After about 20 min of listening to Dan Samuels' drum parts by themselves, I was inspired to jam out this attempt at a beat. Who's got the bass line?"

http://youtu.be/PPFZPtoep3k

I think the jam clip was recorded with Shea's i-phone, not using the mics you see.

Back on topic, it appears that a "dirty" and extended version of "Spring" will be ready soon. I'll post a link as soon as Brooks posts on his website. A mill that grinds slow grinds fine.

By the way I think that Brooks (the singer) came to the same conclusion that you all did, and wanted to try dirtying up the track too.

T
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #16
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nice! major kudos for real horns!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:15 AM   #17
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Great song. Man that's well sung (but yes, agree it needs more grind).
Guitars are niiiiice!
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:53 PM   #18
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Default Updated mix

The consensus was that the original mix of Spring was a little too clean. Its been a while since everyone commented, but the dirty mix is now available through the link in the original post. Shea and Brooks worked pretty hard on this. Reverb was done by playing tracks through a monitor in a large empty room and feeding the signal from a room mic back into the mix as the wet signal. The clean digital tracks were then fed through preamps of an old Akai tube-based tape recorder to add tube saturation and other analog distortion, and then sent back to Reaper. Whatever else can be said, the sound is now very much analog.

I can't link to the original mix anymore, so can't provide an A/B comparison. So all that I can ask is whether the new mix suits the song well. What do you think?

T

Last edited by tspring; 06-01-2013 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!! !!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!! HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!! !!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!! HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!

THATS IT!!!

THAT IS FUCKING IT MAN!!!

HAHAHA!!!


WHAT A TUNE!!

Its now 100% AWESOME!
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #20
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KUDOS.

That is some fucking banging music
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic View Post
HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!! !!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!! HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!! !!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!! HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HO LYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLY FUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFU CK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!HOLYFUCK !!!!HOLYFUCK!!!!

THATS IT!!!

THAT IS FUCKING IT MAN!!!

HAHAHA!!!


WHAT A TUNE!!

Its now 100% AWESOME!
I guess that means you like it? I hope so, cause we were definitely working with what you said in mind.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:14 PM   #22
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Well, i would love to have the original to compare this new mix to, but all i can say is this current mix sounds GREAT!!!, i can't imagine it could sound any better than this.
Ths bass sounds like the sound i always want to get but never quite get there

This is first class, really, really good sound !!
Top marks to the players also.


Cheers
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #23
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It's funny.

We spend a lot of time tweaking and eq-ing mixes to get shit... to fit. And that may be the case here, but I doubt it. It's about arrangement. With A proper arrangement... all components fit in its place.

This sounds live and real. Love it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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This is, quite simply put, perfect.

The extra work was very much worth the effort. Thanks for re-posting.

Love it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:57 PM   #25
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love that singer man. great voice wo being 'pretty' or trendy. killer song!
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:23 PM   #26
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
Wolfy, I think that the bass sound is the combination of a great player (Ian Trusheim) and really careful recording. Also, I think that passing the signal back through the tube preamps rounded the bass tone quite a bit. Ian is about as good a bass player as I have ever seen in person and he knows how to get tone.

PDK - I am much the same opinion that you are. Arrangement and performance are 90% of the equation. If they aren't good, then who cares about the sound quality anyway? Brooks and the folks working with him can really nail R and B as well as funk.

Sammy, Brooks goes for authentic and natural. He would be highly pleased with your description of his singing. Based on what I've heard of your performances, and your conversations with msore, you and Brooks would click if you ever got a chance to work together. Too bad you are all the way down in Atlanta.

Kindafishy, thanks for contributing detailed suggestions. We listened. Glad you like the result.

T

Last edited by tspring; 06-01-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:17 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tspring View Post
The consensus was that the original mix of Spring was a little too clean. Its been a while since everyone commented, but the dirty mix is now available through the link in the original post. Shea and Brooks worked pretty hard on this. Reverb was done by playing tracks through a monitor in a large empty room and feeding the signal from a room mic back into the mix as the wet signal. The clean digital tracks were then fed through preamps of an old Akai tube-based tape recorder to add tube saturation and other analog distortion, and then sent back to Reaper. Whatever else can be said, the sound is now very much analog.

I can't link to the original mix anymore, so can't provide an A/B comparison. So all that I can ask is whether the new mix suits the song well. What do you think?

T
No way is this a contemporary recording. This is from an LP made in the late 60s or early 70s.


Just kidding.
This definitely has the vibe.
Nice recording work.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Lawler View Post
No way is this a contemporary recording. This is from an LP made in the late 60s or early 70s.


Just kidding.
This definitely has the vibe.
Nice recording work.
Thanks Tim. One of the wonderful things about digital recording is that you can still end up with an analog recording feel if you want it. It sure is nice to feed the recording through the analog gear after you know that you have captured it without problems. Tube based equipment can be pretty dependable, but back in the old (pre-digital)days, recording to tape was a hit and miss venture for me.

T
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #29
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From someone who also like to write funk music: that was great!
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #30
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I'm so glad someone bumped this, hot stuff really like it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:59 AM   #31
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Thanks for the kind comments Henri and Ngarjuna. Brooks and Shea always appreciate hearing from the knowledgeable folks on the Reaper forum. Hopefully Brooks will be back in the studio for some more funk within the next couple of months. I'll try to post some of the new music for funk fans when it is available. In case you missed an earlier posting that I did, here is a link to some more of the stuff he has recorded at Sweetfoot:

http://brookslong.bandcamp.com/album...o-otis-redding

Among the songs on this page, "Playa fantasy" is the funkiest.

T

Last edited by tspring; 07-16-2013 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:42 AM   #32
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Great performance! The mixing style works good for this song.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #33
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I will stay tuned!
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