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Tags : | Dance | 6.62 MB | Has Lyrics

Description : So, NapoleonicEmperor posted in the forums that he was interested in collaborating with producers who could produce 80's style tracks. I have never attempted that, so decided it was a worthy challenge. I have no idea if this draft track actually does sound like 80's. Definitely does not sound like SAW. I need work up to that level, but I'm trying.

This track uses mostly VST emulations of 80's instruments including Linndrum, Juno 60, Vox Continental, Prophet 5, and Jupiter 8.

This version of the track is incomplete, but I thought I'd see if I could get some feedback at this stage. I have written only one verse, which I've had to just repeat in this version. The track should really have three verses. Much more work required on fine-tuning the mix. Too much reverb on the vocals?

I can't believe that I've actually posted another track with my vocals. NapoleonicEmperor probably could do a better job on them, but I must admit I did have fun trying out different vocal styles. Anyway, please give me some suggestions/advice.

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  1. BlancFroid
    BlancFroid on Tue 27th Feb 2018 - 3 years ago

    I can't sing at all, but when I'm doing tracks I'm always envisioning vocals. And for some reason I often picture a Lou Reed style deadpan sing/speak. Like the singer is bored. I always think that works with almost any style of 80's music - although I'm still too chicken to try it myself.

    Anyway, this track totally rocks an 80's groove. Very catchy and spazzy.

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    I LOVE Lou Reed! You and I are clearly in the same situation vis a vis vocals. My advice is to just give it a try. My best results (which are still pretty bad) have been when I've taken more of an "acting" approach, putting on a particular character or "sound". Not sure if that makes sense. Like an actor putting on an accent. Nothing like my real speaking voice or even my real singing voice. Takes a bit of practice and experimentation. Also, I do a lot of comping of the vocals. Record multiple takes of short passages in Logic, which is really easy to do. Then comp the takes selecting the best parts (also very easy in logic). Trying to do a complete front to back vocal performance is hopeless for me and even the pros don't attempt that when recording, I think. Comping is very common.

    Then processing. Obviously EQ and reverb and compression. I typically use double-tracking as well. Sometimes the Waves ADT plugin. Sometimes just copy parts of the audio track and offset the second track by couple of milliseconds.

    My biggest challenge is pitch correction. I really haven't mastered that, although I have the tools to do it.

    So, my advice is to give it ago. Your tracks are really good and it would be great to hear some vocals on top of them. Especially if you can do a Lou Reed thing.

    Eric

  2. smallpaul
    smallpaul on Wed 25th Oct 2017 - 3 years ago

    Ha ha nice work here my friend, I think it sounds like a cross between super mario and I think someone mentioned Devo? Anyway if that was what you were aiming for you nailed it! I love the 80's, Where I did most of my growing up! I have a massive collection on my ipod, the 80s was really diverse with everything from 2tone to new wave/ nu romantics and indie 80s hair metal and later on rave and dance culture! Love them all!!!!

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks, Paul. Definitely some Devo in there I think. Not so sure about Super Mario! :) Was kind of fun to create this track, testing out different "characters" for the vocals. I can't sing worth a damn, unlike you. But, I keep thinking that there must be some character voice that will be passable. I've been playing around with combining a vocoder track doubled with a heavily processed straight vocal track, plus auto-tune to mitigate the worst instances of my inability to keep any note on pitch. Still trying to find the magic combination. Would be better I think to just find some good vocalists to collab with. :).

  3. larrybarrow31
    larrybarrow31 on Wed 25th Oct 2017 - 3 years ago

    Very funky track my friend, for sure it's 80's. nice work! Larry

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks, Larry. Sorry for the very very late response to your comment. I've been not so good about getting back into Looperman, I'm afraid. Life tends to get in the way. :)

  4. jamieh
    jamieh on Tue 21st Mar 2017 - 4 years ago

    man, u r awsome. i could give a finger to workwith u.

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks for the comment, Jamieh. I apologize for not responding sooner. Just discovered that I had a bunch of comments that I'd missed somehow. Definitely interested in trying a collab some time.

    Eric

  5. CitizenMofo
    CitizenMofo on Sun 5th Mar 2017 - 4 years ago

    Very '80s! A great boppy little tune, enjoyed by me on a rainy Sunday morning. I do think you need a better vocalist - you still sound better than me, but this needs some real '80s flavor and pizzazz in the vocals that only a real pro could pull off. The vocals will be key. I think once you have that, you'll know what else needs to be done, if anything. You're well on your way to a really top-notch song.

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks for the comment, CitizenMofo. I'm sorry I didn't respond to your comment much earlier. Didn't mean to be rude. I didn't realize I had these comments on the trackI

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that I need a better vocalist. I keep searching, but seems to be very hard to find anybody that is willing to work with me. But, I live in hope. :)

  6. crucethus
    crucethus on Sat 4th Mar 2017 - 4 years ago

    Yep even better now. Reminds me of RiK singing with Devo as his fronting band.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eglgj77T0rk
    Steve

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Will need to check that out, Steve. I really appreciate all the leads you give me. Very sorry that I didn't respond sooner. We DO need to reconnect and grab a coffee sometime soon, as you suggested. So nice to have a fellow Looperman members here in Ottawa.

  7. Allochtune
    Allochtune on Sat 4th Mar 2017 - 4 years ago

    Man, this is pretty cool! I was swinging the whole song, I was immediatly in love with the first VST that kicked in at 0:12 and the vocals (including reverb!) fit very well with the 80's style and overall feel!
    When the melody in 2:17 started I was like, wow! That's amazing. I, personally, think it is a shame that it wasn't incorporated in other parts of the song.
    If you are going to continue working on this style/song, might I suggest that you look into the free magical8bit VST? (site: http://ymck.net/en/download/magical8bitplug/index.html) It is ideal for 8bit sounds if you experiment with it. I think it would fit perfectly with the style you are trying to achieve!

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks for the positive and detailed comment on this track, Allochtune. It is really helpful to get detailed comments, particularly where improvements or alternative approaches are suggested. I will definitely check out the VST you suggested. I wasn't aware of it. Your comment on the melody at 2:17 was interesting to me. I might just revisit it with your suggestion in mind. '

    Thanks again.

    Eric

  8. crucethus
    crucethus on Sat 18th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    Hey Eric. Yes I would need the stems with no effects as I would add in my own. But I could also use the ones with effects. if you wish to send me all the stems I would love to remix the whole track, that would be fun indeed. In Acid I had to either render the isolated track, or just right click on the track properties to save the stem. Not sure about logic.
    Steve

  9. crucethus
    crucethus on Sat 18th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    Thanks for the props Eric, but it´s only a minor in music, my true major is in Marketing. ;-). Great tune Eric, you took the Rik Ocaesek comment to heart as I see. SAW isd easy in hindsight, but I give great credit to them for innovating a unique sound that was not heard at the time of there Zeitgeist. This song you did, is so awesome. eighties sound, but I love your vocals. I would love to enhance the stem, so let me know if you want that, and I think it needs to be a little louder in the mix. but seriously great job.
    Steve

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks, Steve. I really wasn't sure if this did sound 80's at all. I'm actually a bit surprised at the vocals. Three very different vocal styles in the same song. Not quite sure what to make of that.

    Anyway, yes I'd be very interested in having you enhance the stem. I'd like to see what you can do with it.

    Should I output it entirely without any effects? And, would you want a stem of the instrument tracks all together (i.e., without the vocal) so you can work on the vocals in context?

    There are actually about 5 separate vocal tracks I think, including the "echo" vocals at the end of the verses. I should be able to bounce them all down into one vocal stem, but you might want me to keep them separated if you think that you might be applying different effects to different parts of the vocal.

    Let me know how you want the stems. In the meantime, I'll research how to produce stems in Logic Pro. (Have never done it before.)

  10. Eighteen
    Eighteen on Fri 17th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    Sega sounding bassline there xD awesome, spacefunk right here :D

    I like it!

    ~Eighteen

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thank-you Eighteen. From the response so far, it looks like I'm heading in the right direction on this track. I really must try to write the lyrics for the other two verses. That's going to be the key to getting this one finished. :)

    Eric

  11. sqrtofneg1
    sqrtofneg1 on Fri 17th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    The bass reminded me of the bass from the Dr. Mario Fever theme.

    I think you've captured the 80s theme well.

    The vocals were well mixed with a lot of reverb, but it fit very well in my opinion.

    The fade out was a little long in my opinion.

    Good piece, well done!

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks for the encouragement, square root of minus one! :) (I really need to look that up!) I had to go on Youtube to checkout the bass from Dr. Mario Fever theme. Learning every day here on Looperman! On reflection, I think I could drop 8 bars of the fadeout. I usually only have a total of 8 bars, but for some reason this time I used 12. Will experiment. Easily done. I can just change the automation on the volume and drop it down more quickly.

    Eric

  12. Spivkurl
    Spivkurl on Fri 17th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    I have no idea what "SAW" is referring to in your description or the comments, care to elaborate? I've listened to eighties music pretty obsessively, both pop and underground, but still can not find a reference. It also appears to be one of things things which is "un-googleable," since I keep getting results about band saws. This is a cool work though, so far, and it reminds me a bit of Gary Numan/Tubeway Army stuff. Possibly it is a bit much on the vocal reverb, but that is also a personal preference. I like the synth emulations you've chosen as well. Looking forward to hearing the finished work! Keep at it!

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Hi, Spivkurl. I didn't know what SAW was either until a few days ago when Crucethus mentioned it in the forum. I figured it out. It is short for: Stock Aitken Waterman the songwriting/producing team behind Rick Ashley and probably a lot of others.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_Aitken_Waterman

    Definitely not band saws! :)

    I do think I should tone down the reverb a bit. Better still, get a decent vocalist do I don't have to disguise things with massive amounts of effects. The vocal track has EQ, compression, ADT vocal doubling, and reverb on it. I recorded probably a minimum of 6 takes for each section of the song and then learned how to comp the vocals in Logic Pro. Didn't have to use autotune this time, which is good because I'm not very proficient with it.

    I'm not familiar at all with Tubeway Army. I will check that out immediately.

  13. NapoleonicEmperor
    NapoleonicEmperor on Fri 17th Feb 2017 - 4 years ago

    I like where you are going with this! It's a nice bouncy dance track... SAW is hard but I think you do it! I'm not a producer so I couldn't even attempt it.

    EricMilligan
    Reply by EricMilligan

    Thanks for the encouragement, NE. I have a bad habit of losing interest/patience with tracks before they are properly finished and just moving on to something new. I'll try to stick a bit longer with this one and get it completed. Then, I would like to try my hand at a SAW-type track.

    Crucethus (also from Ottawa, so we can meet in person periodically) says they aren't all that difficult to make, but he's actually got a degree in music and is really knowledgeable about this kind of stuff. What's easy for him is going to be much more of a challenge for me, I think. But, I actually like SAW stuff and attempting to replicate tracks is a really good way to learn how stuff works.

    At least on this track I managed to come up with a structure that included a verse, bridge, chorus, and outro. Also got a lot more experience comping vocal takes in Logic Pro. That's progress for me!

    Thanks for inspiring/challenging me to attempt this. Has been fun so far.

    Eric

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Verse:
We are standing on shifting sands
Everything’s happening according to plan
Lockin’ and loadin’, but it’s OK.
We’re takin em down and clearin the way
Clearin the way, clearin the way.

Everything’s changin’, nothin’s the same
Beggars are choosers,  choosers are lame.
Slippin and sliding with Sammy Kaye
We’re takin the high road and stealin away
Stealin away, stealin away.

Bridge:
It’s the time to shock the system
It’s the time to rock the town
Don’t rely on  words of wisdom
Take a ride on the Merry Go Round

Chorus:

We’re in a gun fight
We’re goin’ all night
It’s almost daylight
Surrender  today.
It’s better that way.

It’s such a strange sight
It doesn’t feel right
It’s lookin’ too bright
I really can’t stay
Got nothing to say

Outro:
Talk to me
Talk to me
Talk to me today

 


 

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