Indie/Emo-Electro

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 07 Mar 2015

Thought I'd share this. Nothing too fancy as far as the production goes. Just a bit of styling on the vocoder. Mixed completely with reason stock devices. (not my strong suit) Lyrics below. Song is supposed to be about alienation of bullying and finding refuge in other realities like video games.




SHADOW OF A DOUBT
Last week’s blood on the bathroom wall/ Decoding footsteps from a bathroom stall./ Bruises on my thickened skin./ They ripped my shirt again.
Wrong shoes. Wrong face. Wrong look./ A dead bird smashed into my English book./ I cried- everyone saw./ Trembling lip. Clenching jaw.
Chorus: The princess only has eyes for me./ She’s as real as I want to be./ Cause I’m a hero, lurking in the shadow of a doubt./ And if I save my stars, I can knock Mike Tyson out.
Lunch time, eat alone./ Study hall, Read alone./ School bus, still alone./ Sticks and stones, broken bones.
Chorus x2:



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Digitus
Posts: 96
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 09 Mar 2015

Interesting track. You really know how to phrase lyrics and I love the raspy vocoder effect. The only small nit pick I have is with the last line. I thought it would work better if it was: Lunch time, eat alone./ Study hall, Read alone./ School bus, Sitting alone./ Sticks and stones, broken bones. Something about using the word "still" felt out of place to my ears. I don't know how to explain why it seemed out of place. It's just one of those instant impressions you get when you first hear a song. Just my 2 cents..

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 10 Mar 2015

Thanks man. Glad you dig the writing style. As for the phrasing of the last verse, I think I might have actually had it initially with an extra syllable in there as you suggested but something about the finality of that verse made me shift the lyrical expression towards the most spartan form possible. I don't feel strongly but I think I just like the way the last verse seems so spare. Also, if I'm putting on my English teacher hat, I'd also suggest that while pretty passive, sitting is still a verb while still obviously has less agency, not to mention the connotations of solitude, portent, etc. (I don't generally take myself quite THAT seriously.) Anyways, thanks for listening. 

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Digitus
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Post 10 Mar 2015

JNeffLind wrote:Also, if I'm putting on my English teacher hat, I'd also suggest that while pretty passive, sitting is still a verb while still obviously has less agency, not to mention the connotations of solitude, portent, etc. (I don't generally take myself quite THAT seriously.) Anyways, thanks for listening. 
Actually, you may have touched on the reason the word still seemed out of place. Consider this: Eat-Verb. Study-Verb, Still-Adverb. or Eat-Verb. Study-Verb, Sitting-Verb. Maybe some part of me wanted to hear the series completed with a verb. Mind you, I wasn't thinking about English grammar in a conscious way. I think it's that kind of thing that happens when listening to a song that gives you a repeating pattern. It sets up an expectation in the listener and if that pattern is interrupted or changed before the series is completed, it throws the listener off. Still, I understand your point about connotations of solitude, portent, etc. Ultimately, it's your song so whatever floats your boat... 

;)

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selig
RE Developer
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Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 10 Mar 2015

Digitus wrote:Interesting track. You really know how to phrase lyrics and I love the raspy vocoder effect. The only small nit pick I have is with the last line. I thought it would work better if it was: Lunch time, eat alone./ Study hall, Read alone./ School bus, Sitting alone./ Sticks and stones, broken bones. Something about using the word "still" felt out of place to my ears. I don't know how to explain why it seemed out of place. It's just one of those instant impressions you get when you first hear a song. Just my 2 cents..
Wouldn't "Sit Alone" be more consistent with the previous lines (if that's important)? Eat, read, sit… OR Eating, reading, sitting -  but not Eat, Read, Sitting. Between us we almost have a nickel! ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

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JNeffLind
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Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 10 Mar 2015

selig wrote:
Wouldn't "Sit Alone" be more consistent with the previous lines (if that's important)? Eat, read, sit… OR Eating, reading, sitting -  but not Eat, Read, Sitting. Between us we almost have a nickel! ;)
Sit would be more consistent. But still has that air of imminence. Plus, there's something about me that doesn't like juxtaposing sit when he's about to be sitting playing video games.

All cents are welcome. I'll look into setting up a kickstarter. 

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Digitus
Posts: 96
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Post 10 Mar 2015

Digitus wrote:Interesting track. You really know how to phrase lyrics and I love the raspy vocoder effect. The only small nit pick I have is with the last line. I thought it would work better if it was: Lunch time, eat alone./ Study hall, Read alone./ School bus, Sitting alone./ Sticks and stones, broken bones. Something about using the word "still" felt out of place to my ears. I don't know how to explain why it seemed out of place. It's just one of those instant impressions you get when you first hear a song. Just my 2 cents..
selig wrote:
Wouldn't "Sit Alone" be more consistent with the previous lines (if that's important)? Eat, read, sit… OR Eating, reading, sitting -  but not Eat, Read, Sitting. Between us we almost have a nickel! ;)
Yes, from a purely grammatical standpoint I guess it would follow: I eat alone, I study alone, I sit alone, but in the context of this song, just saying Sit Alone seems awkward since it's not actually a full sentence. Also, I don't think this is purely about grammar as lyric writing is way more flexible in that respect. I think it has more to do with the idea of setting up an expectation by means of a repetitive pattern and then not following through. For example, I heard eat as an action, study as an action, and still as indicating a state of being.

Anyhoo, to be honest, the grammar aspect was just a curious stab in the dark. I don't think we listen to music from the standpoint of paying attention to grammar rules, but I do think it's in our nature to recognize patterns and therefore expect them once they're initiated. Dance music producers seek to exploit that idea, but the idea itself extends way beyond just dance music.  Nevertheless, the bottom line is I'm just telling you what my musical instinctive gut told me. The rest is just an attempt to understand why. So with that in mind, I'm off to spend my 2.5 cents...

Image





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clone
Posts: 266
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 11 Mar 2015

Really nice drums, are those rex or your own drums? Sounds polished to me.

-Clone

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eusti
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Post 11 Mar 2015

Interesting. Like the phrasing and the rhythm of the vocals... Not a big fan of the vocoded / pitch corrected sound, but definitely worthwhile developing further in my opinion.

D.

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 11 Mar 2015

@clone: Just a couple Rex loops from FSB played at the same time. Don't spend a lot of time on production...

@eusti: Thanks man. Vocoder was just something I was playing with since I don't like my singing voice much. Rock on. 

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 11 Mar 2015

Digitus wrote:Nevertheless, the bottom line is I'm just telling you what my musical instinctive gut told me. The rest is just an attempt to understand why.
This is such a big part of maintaining creative consistency. Not just waiting for lightning to strike, but examining each potential storm. It's always a two pronged approach between instinct and science for me. 

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Nymphomation
Posts: 52
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 12 Mar 2015

Interesting stuff. Ever experimented with the FSB 'Spreaders'  - I think they're in the Combi FX modulation section. There's some great ones in there, Hass effects and even a Roland Dimenion D type. Might sound cool on the vocals and/or piano?

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 13 Mar 2015

Nymphomation wrote:Interesting stuff. Ever experimented with the FSB 'Spreaders'  - I think they're in the Combi FX modulation section. There's some great ones in there, Hass effects and even a Roland Dimenion D type. Might sound cool on the vocals and/or piano?
Never have. And to be honest, I don't even really know what Spreaders do. Is the idea to increase the stereo spread? 

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ambeant
Posts: 180
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2015

JNeffLind wrote:Thought I'd share this. Nothing too fancy as far as the production goes. Just a bit of styling on the vocoder. Mixed completely with reason stock devices. (not my strong suit) Lyrics below. Song is supposed to be about alienation of bullying and finding refuge in other realities like video games.




SHADOW OF A DOUBT
Last week’s blood on the bathroom wall/ Decoding footsteps from a bathroom stall./ Bruises on my thickened skin./ They ripped my shirt again.
Wrong shoes. Wrong face. Wrong look./ A dead bird smashed into my English book./ I cried- everyone saw./ Trembling lip. Clenching jaw.
Chorus: The princess only has eyes for me./ She’s as real as I want to be./ Cause I’m a hero, lurking in the shadow of a doubt./ And if I save my stars, I can knock Mike Tyson out.
Lunch time, eat alone./ Study hall, Read alone./ School bus, still alone./ Sticks and stones, broken bones.
Chorus x2:

Sounds alive  :thumbup:

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 15 Mar 2015

ambeant wrote: Sounds alive  :thumbup:
Thanks man.

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Last Alternative
Posts: 1210
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: the lost desert

Post 16 Mar 2015

I would rather hear your real voice but there's something cool about how it is. I mean look at Crystal Castles. I don't think I've ever heard their real voices. LOL
The vocals might be slightly too loud. The rest of the music is dwarfed by it. But the music is really nice- especially the beat.
https://lastalternative.bandcamp.com
:reason: 11+ | iMac (27" Retina 5K, late 2015): OS Big Sur, i7 Skylake @ 4GHz, 1TB SSD, 32 GB RAM, Radeon M395X | lots of nice gear

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JNeffLind
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 17 Mar 2015

Last Alternative wrote:I would rather hear your real voice but there's something cool about how it is. I mean look at Crystal Castles. I don't think I've ever heard their real voices. LOL
The vocals might be slightly too loud. The rest of the music is dwarfed by it. But the music is really nice- especially the beat.
Thanks for listening man. I've been trying to get up the confidence to post some of my singing online. It's not terrible or anything, just not where I'd like it to be and for whatever reason I'm having trouble being satisfied with what I'm producing, even with lowered expectations. Probably soon I'll post another track.

I agree about the mix being off. I think I mixed this with my headphones running through the preamp on my usb mic which tends to distort levels. Glad you dig the music. Party on...

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jappe
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Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 18 Mar 2015

Nice vocoder work!
A wild guess: did you run a slightly pitch modulated vocoder carrier signal through Scream4?
Also sounds like the carrier may have a little noise added, perhaps to make the consonants shine through!?

Good lyrics, though a bit depressing, but that's the reality for too many people.
There must be a silver bullet solution to stop bullying. Perhaps the world needs cooperation and mirror neuron gene manipulation. The way we are is a threat to ourselves, now bigger than ever.
A world of nice people, I guess a nuclear war couldn't happen then.

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JNeffLind
Posts: 977
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: So. Illinois, USA

Post 19 Mar 2015

Hey man. Thanks for listening. There is actually no Scream in the vocal chain. Just a Subtractor and a BV512. My workflow for that section was just to set up the vocoder in a place I thought the formant fit the feel I was going for, then set the modulator audio to loop and just scroll through about a thousand patches, often switching the octave of my sequenced midi info on a patch that sounded promising until I found one I like. As is often the case, the patch I ended up using doesn't sound great on it's own but has a lot of noise. Sounds basically like a synthesized pitched vaccuum.

As for the lyrics... not much to say. Just trying to lead by example and preach the gospel of kindness when I can.


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