Old 10-25-2018, 02:52 AM   #1
endorka
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Default Rustige Rock - instrumental EP 'Ascan'

Hello folks,

When I've posted my music here I've always been unintentionally wrong about the genre. It's so difficult to be objective when describing your own music. This time the genre comes from a review, so hopefully will carry more weight!

'Rustige Rock' is a dutch term meaning 'Laid back Rock'. Examples of the genre might be Mike Oldfield, Camel, Caravan, Steve Hillage, and even some Steely Dan.

The EP is instrumental featuring guitar, key, bass and drums, all recorded in Reaper at my studio. The track 'Ascendant' was on the cover CD of the most recent Prog magazine.



Hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think :-)

https://www.jenclarkmusic.com/composer/ascan

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:48 AM   #2
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Good stuff, but...... (vocals) hint....
All those tracks would make a great bed for some excellent lyrics sung well.
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Old 10-26-2018, 10:07 AM   #3
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Sounds great, picks up the pace once the strings appear. Weird vibe from the guitar though, it sounds perfectly on rails to me in places, like from a sampler. Or someone with a serious dislike for string bending. I like the electric guitar imperfect I guess.
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Good stuff, but...... (vocals) hint....
All those tracks would make a great bed for some excellent lyrics sung well.
Thank you :-)

I'm a big fan of instrumental music, but plan to have vocals on some future compositions. I'm neither singer nor lyricist though, so these contributions will be from others :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-26-2018, 04:14 PM   #5
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Sounds great, picks up the pace once the strings appear. Weird vibe from the guitar though, it sounds perfectly on rails to me in places, like from a sampler. Or someone with a serious dislike for string bending. I like the electric guitar imperfect I guess.
Glad you like it, thanks :-)

Was that Ascendant you were listening to? Well spotted, it has a mixture of real and sampled guitars. The strummy acoustics are real and played by myself & Daren. The electric solo guitar in the first and second sections is real and played by myself. I'm not really a guitarist, so there wouldn't be much in the way of bending going on. I had hoped to get Daren to replace this part (he's a proper guitarist) but we ran out of time.

The doubled melodic guitars in the intro and quiet middle section are Daren on a Strat, and myself on a 6 string bass.

At the end 7/8 section with strings, it's a sampled guitar. It was originally done this way by myself as a demo, with the intention of getting Daren to replace it with a real guitar, but had a synthy quality that really grew on me, so I kept it.

Ascan is all real guitars played by Daren.
ReEntry and Eva are a mixture of real and sampled guitars.
Heliosphere is all real guitars.

Aside from the odd exception here or there, I too prefer real guitars :-)

Cheers!
Jennifer
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Old 10-27-2018, 01:36 AM   #6
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Most of the overdriven guitar parts struck as too perfect, yeah. Every time I pick up an electric everything ends up all bendy and wonky (even where it should be straight), so I'm kinda sensitive I guess
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Old 10-27-2018, 02:21 AM   #7
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Cool. First track reminds me of one of my fav ever odd meter rock grooves, Falling Day by Kaki King. Oddly, as you play bass, the mixes sound light in the bass to me, in music which to me has plenty of room for the bass. When I do hear the bass, I hear strong confident playing and great tone, so hey, let yourself be heard!
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fred garvin View Post
Cool. First track reminds me of one of my fav ever odd meter rock grooves, Falling Day by Kaki King. Oddly, as you play bass, the mixes sound light in the bass to me, in music which to me has plenty of room for the bass. When I do hear the bass, I hear strong confident playing and great tone, so hey, let yourself be heard!
Thanks Fred, glad you like the bass playing. I reckon it's loud enough, but more than happy to have people asking me to turn it up. Better than the other way round :-)

I've never heard Kaki King so look forward to listening to her music. The odd meter groove came from the guitar riff at the start of Ascan, which comes back as the strings at the end of Ascendant. Ascan / Eva / Ascendant is a trilogy... the correct order for the EP as on the CD is;

1. ReEntry
2. Ascan
3. Eva
4. Ascendant
5. Heliosphere

Ascendant is one of the most popular songs, so I temporarily re-ordered it on the website to put it first. I couldn't figure out how to make the player select it as the default track.

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:40 AM   #9
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Here's a photo of Daren Callow recording for the EP, who played many of the real electic and acoustic guitars.

He has some wonderful sounds with that setup! He drove from Brighton to Falkirk for the session. We recorded his parts over two days, both absolutely full of the cold. Whisky in the evenings after the sessions was most welcome, for medicinal purposes only, of course :-)

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Old 10-27-2018, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endorka View Post
Oooh... I'm jealous... he has one of the original Boss blue chorus'! Wish I'd never let that one go...
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:13 AM   #11
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Yes, Daren made quality sounds with that setup. For some of the parts we had the amp really cranked, so much that we'd have to switch it off for a bit every now and then for it to recover.

The sound would change from time to time, despite the settings being the same. As my first time recording a distorted valve amp, this was a bit of a surprise, but a wonderful one. So much more fun than using ampsim plugins.

If we'd had more time I'd have asked him to re-record more of the parts I played.

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:17 AM   #12
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So much more fun than using ampsim plugins.
Yea no doubt. What I've had a chance to listen to sounds great, nice job!
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:29 PM   #13
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I had it on for quite a while yesterday. All sounds great to me! I let them run a few times through. Very nice!
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Old 10-28-2018, 03:44 PM   #14
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So much more fun than using ampsim plugins.
I definitively can live without such kind of fun

-Michael
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jeffsounds View Post
Oooh... I'm jealous... he has one of the original Boss blue chorus'! Wish I'd never let that one go...
Daren reckons he used it on the Nile Rogers style guitar at 0:48 in ReEntry. One of my favourite bits. I had recorded a guide guitar track for it that was a bit rubbish, but when Daren played it was "THAT'S IT"!

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:52 AM   #16
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I definitively can live without such kind of fun

-Michael
There are some things in life more fun than being half deafened by a great guitarist playing through a Vox valve amp up turned up to 11. But not many :-)

In all seriousness though, it really was something to behold. The guitar and amp combination in that context was a bit like a semi wild beast. In the hands of a good player, the unpredictability becomes something magnificent, and the quest to capture the moment is a thing of joy.

I'll definitely be doing more of this sort of thing in the future.

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:53 AM   #17
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I had it on for quite a while yesterday. All sounds great to me! I let them run a few times through. Very nice!
Cheers Jeff!
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Old 10-29-2018, 04:54 AM   #18
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Yea no doubt. What I've had a chance to listen to sounds great, nice job!
Thanks for listening... as you are someone who *really* knows what they are doing, I look forward to hearing your thoughts with some trepidation :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:38 AM   #19
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I totally dig the whole vibe of it and it made me miss Scotland and the whisky.

I guess the "rustige" is also meant to be part of the mix. It's alright. I like the more laid back, not to harsh sound of it but still think there could be some more work to be done to connect the instruments a bit better. I am thinking of Motorpsycho when listening to the tracks. Go and have a listen to their later works and you might get inspired since their mixes are also quite dynamic and more in the "darker" frequency response.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:48 AM   #20
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Thanks for that :-) Are you from Scotland originally?

I completed the EP in April to a pressing deadline, a very intense fortnight of finishing recording and mixing it. The deadline for getting the master to the CD replication plant was a Friday lunchtime. I was still mastering on Friday morning. Good times!

So it's interesting to listen again with the benefit of greater objectivity from the passing of half a year. I too think that some places could benefit with a little more cohesion. ReEntry from start to 0:49 is one, I'd probably employ some gentle buss compression over the master buss now. Also get some compressed drum room mics in there too. Perhaps bring up the crunchy rhythm guitars a bit.

I will check out Motorpsycho, thank you.

Thanks again :-)

Cheers!
Jennifer


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I totally dig the whole vibe of it and it made me miss Scotland and the whisky.

I guess the "rustige" is also meant to be part of the mix. It's alright. I like the more laid back, not to harsh sound of it but still think there could be some more work to be done to connect the instruments a bit better. I am thinking of Motorpsycho when listening to the tracks. Go and have a listen to their later works and you might get inspired since their mixes are also quite dynamic and more in the "darker" frequency response.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by endorka View Post
Thanks for listening... as you are someone who *really* knows what they are doing, I look forward to hearing your thoughts with some trepidation :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
I bookmarked this so I wouldn't forget to give it a full listen. I really like the drums on ReEntry - though I like all types of drum sounds, I still have a soft spot for a bit of the '70s where drums were very dry with a locked-in bass guitar. I also hear a some Alan Parsons Project familiarity in the production but not sure if that was intended but is meant as a compliment.

I also like the 7/4 bit in Ascendant, very nice. I think the mix/elements are well-balanced and carefully thought out, frequency spectrum is great. Stereo and placement treatments are nice too. I don't hear anything to complain about, I was able to close my eye's and take in the soundscape so nice job Jennifer.
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:49 PM   #22
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Cheers Karbo, I too have a soft spot for the 70's drum sound. Since writing the last message I experimented with some drum mic sound on the ReEntry drums. It sounded rubbish, and then I remembered, that's one reason it wasn't there in the first place. Doh! Glad it is the way it is after all :-)

The drum mic setup was pretty simple: stereo ORTF overheads, snare top, kick in, and kick out. There were a couple of room mics, but they were never used. No reverb on any of the drum tracks except EVA.

I take the Alan Parsons Project likeness as a compliment, thank you. Turn of a Friendly Card is one of the most played CDs in my car. Expect some Moody Blues influence on the next CD, they've been getting played a lot too recently :-)

Cheers,
Jennifer
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:11 PM   #23
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Turn of a Friendly Card is one of the most played CDs in my car.
I bought two CDs when I got my first CD player around 1984, Wish You Were Here, and Turn of A Friendly Card.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:10 AM   #24
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Wow, I love Ascan!


If I were to critique, making the cymbals in the first section a little beefier would be great.

I'd also use Ascan as an intro to like, some 12 minute epic, because it's awesomely spacey, and I wanna hear it develop.

You interested in collaborating?
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:34 AM   #25
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Wow, I love Ascan!
If I were to critique, making the cymbals in the first section a little beefier would be great.
You reckon in terms of volume of less low shelf cut?

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I'd also use Ascan as an intro to like, some 12 minute epic, because it's awesomely spacey, and I wanna hear it develop.
Now that would be cool! I'm working on other music at the moment, but might revisit at some point in the future. Cheers! Jennifer
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:36 AM   #26
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I bought two CDs when I got my first CD player around 1984, Wish You Were Here, and Turn of A Friendly Card.
Probably an excellent showcase for the CD technology. These days I try to find original editions of CDs from the 80's to avoid loudness wars casualties.
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