A New Song with GarageBand: You're Like Beautiful

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ldenman, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. ldenman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #1
  2. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    Okay, I listened, and have a few suggestions. Note that I am not a music recording engineer or anything like that. This is just based on what I heard and how I think it could be improved.

    It sounds incomplete, mainly because it's not mastered? I realize Garageband has limitations, but a lot of the volume issues can be addressed manually by monitoring closely, and adjusting the various tracks so they blend nicely, and don't overpower each other to the point of distraction. I noticed the percussion varied greatly. When you were hitting cymbals, the volume was good, but when you hit the snare it was startling. This made the entire song seem out of rhythm.

    The piano is what remained constant enough to maintain any semblance of rhythm in this song, and had decent volume. The vocals were okay, you have a nice voice. I would try to put more feeling into them, though. At times you sounded like you just woke up, and at other times, you sounded more like you were into your performance. Did you put an effect filter on the vocal track? It sounded a bit like you were singing in a vacuum?

    My suggestion on the vocals is to sing it again when you're feeling rather passionate about the fact that you composed your own song from scratch. That's quite a feat, and it took a lot of courage to post it publicly. After you've recorded the vocals again, copy and paste the vocal track into the mix again. With double tracks for vocals, it will help strengthen your voice and improve the sound.

    I would also record the percussion track again, and instead of hitting the snare full on, I would do rim shots? Then adjust the volume of that track so it's more consistent and softer. This is a love song, so it should be soft and warm. You did a good job enunciating the lyrics. I could understand them easily.

    Don't apply any filters on any tracks at all until you're mastering. Then make sure the filters you use don't detract from the song, but merely tweak it a bit? You can adjust filters in Garageband pretty easily. I'll assume you know how, but if not, let me know and I'll do my best to assist. Also, when you are mastering, try monitoring it through speakers as well as headphones, and tweak so that it sounds decent in both.

    Congrats on composing/performing/recording your song. I can't wait to hear it again after you've had time to work on it a bit more. :)
     
  3. ldenman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #3
    wow. This is the best sort of comment I could have received. I appreciate all that you have said and agree with you. I would love to record a full re-recording of it. I'll definitely post it and take into account all that you have said.

    Thanks,
    Lake.
     
  4. bada$$ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #4
    what did you use to master? i have volum problems too
     
  5. ldenman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #5
    I haven't used anything to master yet. If anyone has mastering advice, I think we could use it.
     
  6. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Here is what I found on mastering.

    Mastering in GB


    Aside from this? There are web training programs (for fee), and training manuals (for fee). If you want, I can list a few web training options. They teach through hands on style using quicktime video lessons. Hope this helped.
     
  7. bada$$ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #7
    the second song is really good.

    the only thing i would suggest, i just started doing this... keep a tuner near your mac... make sure you're always in tune. sounds like the first song might be out of tune. you should also enable the "comments" on your myspace.

    you can have a look at mine at www.myspace.com/zombination666 you'll see that i need help with the mastering too... hehehehe the songs are also work in progress.
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #8
    my very first reaction was: "way too much reverb!"

    but after listening some more, i think i'm getting what you're doing. it's an interesting production and arrangement; it reminded me of Big Star's Kangaroo, in a start/stop/halting/periodic-drum hit way.

    i'm all for the atmosphere, but i think to really be effective, you're going to have to rethink the reverb patch and how much you use. what it sounds like now is that you recorded the song normally, and i'm hearing it through a boombox in a big, empty room. (while the Big Star comparison is a HUGE compliment, the boombox comment isn't so much :)

    the drums need some kind of treatment (they don't have *enough* reverb, actually), but i'm not really bothered by the volume variations -- i think they support the song.

    from a technical perspective, there's lots you can do to the individual instruments and the soundstage as a whole. i'd start by editing out your vocal track during the silent bits: they're not actually that silent, i can hear your lips smacking.

    ...

    i certainly wouldn't worry about mastering at this stage, just work on getting your sounds and the arrangement going the way you like. and don't blame GB for the 'mixing volumes and stuff' -- that's your job to get right! GB does have some kind of automation curves, i believe, so use them to get levels right on each part of the song. no excuses! :)
     

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