Ladybug's Makeover

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swetch
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Ladybug's Makeover

Post by swetch »

I put a song and recording up here for consideration about a year ago called La Procession des Coccinelles (The Procession of Ladybugs in English). A few people like Early 21 and Stephco were kind enough to listen then and offer some nice words about what I'd done, along with a few suggestions.
It was a song that I'd basically worked on for so long between the composition, learning to play it decently, and then executing my idea for the recording, that I just basically gave up on where it was in August, 2019 and posted it on bandcamp and soundcloud.
I'd never been happy with how it came out. The basic problem came from the fact that the quantizing seemed to throw some of the percussion off to the point where it sounded a little sluggish and sloppy. I was never able to sort that out. I'd also stubbornly tried so many times to play the entire thing through on guitar in one take, that there were invariably a few mistakes that I left in the finished recording.
Having returned to it a few months later, I found a better idea for the percussion part. I also much more humbly became willing to punch guitar parts in if and when needed, so the Makeover began, and now, here it is. I'm still not 100% thrilled with it, but I think it's more ready for the light of day than it once had been.
This feature acoustic and electric guitar parts played in a DADGAD tuning, and a 6 string Warwick bass on which I kind of tried to get a McCartney Rickenbacker sound reminiscent of Dear Prudence from the White Album. The guitars and bass were played through the Line 6 Helix Native plug in. Anything else is either Halion or Groove Agent and Cubase Pro 10.5.
As a miscellaneous point, I put another track up in this forum called Seasons Sprial Forth about 2-3 weeks ago that has gotten no comments at all. That made me wonder if somehow bandcamp and the "buy digital track" thing one sees there was now scaring potential listeners off (FWIW, you can always play things "free" there 3 times before there's any prompt to pay anything). That's prompting me to put Ladybug's Makeover here from both soundcloud and bandcamp. I'd always used bandcamp in previous posts because they'd typically allow uploading better quality audio files (flacs and WAV's) than soundcloud did (once upon a time, MP3's), but that now seems to have changed with soundcloud.
As always, thanks for listening, if you do, and for any constructive thoughts about the tune and recording.

https://soundcloud.com/56swetch/ladybugs-makeover

https://jswetch.bandcamp.com/track/ladybugs-makeover

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Chubs
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Re: Ladybug's Makeover

Post by Chubs »

Really enjoyed that, very 60s! 8-)
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hko
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Re: Ladybug's Makeover

Post by hko »

I find the start of the tune problematic as it somehow lacks in focus and nearly all the elements join in at once. The patterns that you play sound intricate and would require very precise playing and clarity. Now, I think the clarity is missing. I wonder if you've used compression quite a bit too. If not, then it seems to that there are too many elements fighting to be heard. Very few of the central elements seem to be mixed in the middle but all of them are located either left of right or played in stereo of some kind.

I do like the hypnotic atmosphere of the tune but I think some more clarity would do the tune good.
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Stephco
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Re: Ladybug's Makeover

Post by Stephco »

Hey Swetch

I'm in line with Hko.
This song needs a better separation, and also probably some EQ work in the Mid. These should help a lot.
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swetch
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Re: Ladybug's Makeover

Post by swetch »

Thanks for the listens, and for the ideas about improving the mix. There's a Halion track mixed to the left that I might get rid of altogether. I'm working now on something else, but I will doubtlessly re-vist this after a break (Ladybug's Makeover Makeover, perhaps?).
I have a tendency to throw in the "kitchen sink" on some of my recordings due to all of the sonic options and possibilities. This certainly is one of those that might gain something, and prove the idea of addition through subtraction. That's one of the perils of doing this all on your own without someone in the Producer's chair. I actually had removed a number of things that were once part of this recording before sharing it, so hko might've really freaked at that version (and perhaps rightly so).
Glad that Chubs and others who've heard it have enjoyed it. That shows how much of all this is subjective to the ears of the listener, and how "one man's meat might be another man's poison".

Early21
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Re: Ladybug's Makeover

Post by Early21 »

Hi Swetch, I think selective subtraction is in order. I like the overall vibe a lot. Reminds me of a lot of bands I really love. So maybe go from dense to sparse and back, from loud to quiet and back, and give it room to breathe. It's sort of all everything all at once right now. Another thing I noticed is that the bass is sometimes piercing. Keep at it! Lovely composition!
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