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#1August 28th, 2011 · 11:38 PM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
Let Go (Frou Frou cover)

This song is not in a battle

I'm a long-time fan of Imogen Heap. I particularly love the way she layers her vocals- harmonies and interlocking bits. I love trying to do the same in my music, but she owns it.

Anyway, I've been wanting to cover her for a while now but have been too intimidated to actually do it. Finally just.. did it, though it took me a solid week of spending my free time in the studio recording and re-recording parts I didn't like. It's a pretty busy mix for me (strings, keyboards, guitar and bass, drums, layered vocals) so it was hard to get things to sit nicely and play together.

Hoping you guys will like it. As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated.

- Bri

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#2August 29th, 2011 · 06:39 AM
117 threads / 27 songs
1,057 posts
A wonderful song again , Brian -while I´m not such a big fan of cover songs than in own creativity- .
There´s nothing to "niggle" about the playing, singing or arrangement.
But I noticed in relation to the loudness of the instruments that the vox is a very small bit too low and the drums (bassdrum) a bit too loud to my ears.
I guess, when you raise the vox by 0,5-1 dB and lower the kick by the same value it might be perfectly balanced and vox may cut through better. Or some compressor adjustments on vox and drum-channels can effect also an adequate result.
I know, I´m lamenting on a highest level    . But your music has deserved to reach the best result you can achieve. Thisone is 99% close to perfection and should be lifted up to 100%.

I visited ya website (gear) and must say : respect, ya gear is also the finest of the finest. Wow.
So I don´t wonder about ya production quality. You really know what you´re doing.

Awaiting the next song (from yaself) 

#3August 29th, 2011 · 06:58 AM
371 threads / 187 songs
3,384 posts
United Kingdom
Great performance and production.

Yeah, as ULI said perhaps lower the Bass drum so that you can hear more of the bass instrument, it should be slightly louder than the bass drum, I anticipate if you lower the Bass drum and raise the Bass instrument it will be near as dam it a perfect master.
One other thing, I'd try to experiment where the bass drum is on every beat, try just one beat per bar, it will give the song more space, may be keep it where the song in more dynamic parts.

Keep 'em coming 
#4August 29th, 2011 · 09:16 AM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
Thank you both for the kind, encouraging words.

You're both spot-on about the kick being too loud. I switched kicks at the last minute and I didn't notice that the new one was louder. It's super obvious now that I listen for it though. I'll fix that this evening!
#5August 29th, 2011 · 02:18 PM
15 threads / 14 songs
91 posts
I just saw your videos. And the studio you have (in your house?).. Wow -- that must be some job at Rosetta Stone!

I enjoyed the vocals more this time, meaning the melodies played a part for why I didn't really like My American Guilt. But still, I guess you have sort of a generic young American's voice (generic for me since America is half a day away in terms of time zones), which also contributed to the "popiness". I know you can't do anything about that though.

Are the drums connected to the computer to be recorded?
#6August 29th, 2011 · 02:23 PM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
I am very fortunate to have the job I have, yes. (I've been putting together my home studio for 10 years now.)

I'd like to think I'm not a "generic young American" but yeah, if I have the voice of one I suppose I'm stuck with it lol 

Yes, the drumset is hooked up to one of my Firewire's MIDI inputs so it can be used to record drum parts.
#7August 29th, 2011 · 05:21 PM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
All said above about the mix and the loudness of the kick.
Superbly covered song... fabulous vocals... really impressed.
The only criticism I have is that it sounds a little too sterile.  You've got everything so spot on that, while it has the "wow" factor initially because of the polished sound, it's also lacking a little life and so doesn't leave a lasting impact.
#8August 29th, 2011 · 11:34 PM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
@Jiminuk Thanks for the compliment. I'm not sure I know how to act on your feedback. Seems kind of tricky. I know what you mean about a mix sounding too sterile, just... not how to address it exactly. At this point it could be a pretty major undertaking, what with all of the parts mixed and the automation in place, etc... lol

As far as the mix goes, I've made a few tweaks based on feedback. Namely... lowered the kick volume a bit, boosted the bass a hair. Also tweaked the ending vocal harmonies and echos a bit, and raised the overall volume a little by adding a limiter on the drums.

I'm not sure I'm even close to objective at this point, but it's here if any of you would like to A/B it

#9August 30th, 2011 · 04:28 AM
77 threads / 59 songs
920 posts
becoming a fan here :p
love the vocals, harmonies especial! but guitars are neat too
having a 'smashin pumpkins' feel, but like your voice múch better
think the base gets annoying after a few listens, could be the volume, or maybe as ULI said, bit much on every count..
did i hear this right?: "there's beauty in the breakdown" , yes

checking remix now:
better balanced base/vox, love how gentle the keys are mixed in

about sterile(ness) : maybe every (midi)drumbeat(base/snare) sounding just as loud as the next is adding to it, did u played the drums(i guess so when i listen to the hihats) or programmed them? or, and i dont want to start there again; overcompression?
more important might be i do have to search for bass gtr though (both mixes), maybe it could add to more warmth?

just some thoughts, i couldnt do better!
all and all i like it much as it is, its a great job!

btw. listen on monitors(yamaha msp-5), stereo(yamaha AX/klipsch F3) and headphones(DT-770) all via M-audio Audiophile
the stereo gives the best bass and its really sounding much nicer then on my mon's, headphones are second, back on the mon's it does sound a bit sterile
well, it does sound better then most Rush album's to me :p
99   def worth
#10August 30th, 2011 · 04:36 AM
115 threads / 18 songs
1,414 posts
United States of America
I like the added swing to some of the vocal notes.  It's a great rendering of a fantastic song, and you really made it yours

This is one of my favorite albums for when I get stuck working late at night at the computer.
#11August 30th, 2011 · 10:47 AM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
@Max Good suggestion/reiteration on the drum thing. I should add a little more variety into the kick/snare. I'll give it some thought. The drums were actually programmed. I'm getting better at programming realistic parts (I think) but there are still some give-aways, as you mention.

I really appreciate your giving it a listen on a few different speaker/headphone combinations! I've been doing the same, and it's funny how much of a difference that can make on the finished mix.

@TLS Thanks very much man. This is also one of my longer-lasting favorite albums for that sort of thing. I also enjoy her 1st and 2nd Imogen Heap album as well. (Not so much the latest one though...)
#12August 30th, 2011 · 03:58 PM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
Brian, I know what you mean about hard to act on what I've said... and I have no idea how to accomplish it!  You're heaps ahead of me in recording abilty (and equipment!) so if you can't figure it out, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to!
Maybe Max has got it with the drums (a little too perfect in terms of constant attack and quantization), and perhaps there's too much compression too.
But like I said, I relly am impressed with your work on this.
#13August 30th, 2011 · 10:20 PM
32 threads / 28 songs
201 posts
United States of America
Thanks Jim I really appreciate all of the kindness and encouragement from you fellas here.

And thanks for sticking on me about those drums. Tonight, while listening through - I suddenly heard it and you know how that is, once you hear it you can't un-hear it. So I re-did the drums for the choruses, and I think it makes a huge difference. It flows more now, doesn't sound so rigid.

I also re-did the harmonies and echos at the end a bit. That's the kind of thing you can spend hours tweaking and probably be the only one to actually hear a difference at the end, but oh well...

For anyone interesting in hearing yet-another-revision of this tune, here she be:

PS. At the risk of driving myself crazy, I may try to do a similar re-write of the drums for the break-down bit near the end. But not tonight!
#14August 31st, 2011 · 11:20 AM
5 threads / 5 songs
102 posts
Great voice man!!
#15September 4th, 2011 · 03:35 PM
128 threads / 44 songs
2,814 posts
Puerto Rico
Not my cup of tea in music preference but hell yeah this kicks ass...Kudos!!!! You prolly should get a band going..Seems like you have the right ingredients..Awesome production BTW!!!!
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