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Star_Song_Age_Less View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2016 at 01:28
^Phew, you are more philosophical than I am.  If I even try to think about how I should write a song, it immediately sabotages my songwriting process, which appears to be entirely subconscious.  I am a bit jealous that you are able to deconstruct it.

Seventh Arrow, that's interesting what you say about the melody - and it probably is true for most people.  It isn't what I take from music, though.  I tend to get stuck on whole forms (for lack of a better way to describe it).

I came on here because I finished putting together a "sampler" today of what will hopefully at some point soon be an album.  I wasn't sure where to put it - I put it up in the "Get the Word Out" section already but figured I'd point you all toward it, because I'd really like some feedback.  You won't be hearing whole songs, I'm way beyond the editing of song structure stage anyway.  But I am wondering what you think of the overall sound, and whether the video I put together helps it or hurts it.

Here's the link to the post I already put up in "Get the Word Out":
http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=106865

Also, N-sz - Sharks on a Plane!  Woah!  The style is not the type of music I usually enjoy but you pull it off well.
https://www.facebook.com/JamieKernMusic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2016 at 14:54
It's hard to give feedback on just a medley, but I thought you had a pretty professional sound, you could maybe add a little more sounds/instruments to make it more intersting to listen to. A good thing I heard wasthat it was pretty diverse/eclectic altogether.

--

On another note, is anyone willing to give me helpful feedback? Try to be as harsh as you can! Tongue
But mainly what I want to know:
-if the sound is ok
-if it sounds a little progressive/refreshing or just "copying the 70's"
-is the singing an acquired taste or a bad choice?
-if the composition is ok
-if the execution (timing, played with care, etc.) is ok

That's maybe almost everything, but it'd really help me to see where I can work on most. Listen here

oh yeah, a little background info:
The title is a wordplay with aria, in that form it is written (very freely). The part after the intro till the solos start 03:11 is a kind of experiment of me trying to make "compact music", no idea if it works out or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2016 at 17:16
Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

^Phew, you are more philosophical than I am.  If I even try to think about how I should write a song, ...
I'm going to stop you right there. Don't think so much about how you should  write a song. Whenever you do something, you have a goal. When I write a song, my goals are: 

1. To please the listener with the aural/musical experience. 
  a) But does it matter to me whom I please? 
  b) And how many people am I aiming for? 
2. To communicate with the listener, deliver my thoughts (through the lyrics); and 
3. Make a living off of it. After all, I am planning on becoming a professional music artist. 

This may strike you as a cold, calculated strategy, but, as I said in (3), "I am planning on becoming a professional music artist." Of all the music listeners on this planet most of them want to hear melodies. (At least that's the way I reckoned.) The rest of them don't care and/or don't even want to hear melodies. I'm just trying to think like a businessman. (Addendum: I enjoy a number of musical styles, mainstream and underground, but, once again, "I am planning on becoming a professional music artist." I guess I'm trying to hit the middle or something. We'll see.)

What I'm saying here is that before you start making music, you might want to revise your motives/priorities. 

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

If I even try to think about how I should  write a song, it immediately sabotages my songwriting process, which appears to be entirely subconscious.
Then it sounds more like a hobby of yours, which I can understand. But remember that things like theory and writing techniques are nothing but tools to aid you in writing what some of us understand as coherent pieces of music. Coherence may be deemed as something subjective, though some might disagree with that. I as a songwriter try to understand coherence from the popular point of view (and by "popular" I mean the majority of people that value things like melody and organization, not Taylor Swift-kind of "popular"). 

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

I am a bit jealous that you are able to deconstruct it.
Why be jealous if you feel that things like studying order in music would hurt the results of your creative instinct?

 
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2016 at 20:50
Originally posted by DDPascalDD DDPascalDD wrote:

It's hard to give feedback on just a medley, but I thought you had a pretty professional sound, you could maybe add a little more sounds/instruments to make it more intersting to listen to. A good thing I heard wasthat it was pretty diverse/eclectic altogether.

--

On another note, is anyone willing to give me helpful feedback? Try to be as harsh as you can! Tongue
But mainly what I want to know:
-if the sound is ok
-if it sounds a little progressive/refreshing or just "copying the 70's"
-is the singing an acquired taste or a bad choice?
-if the composition is ok
-if the execution (timing, played with care, etc.) is ok

That's maybe almost everything, but it'd really help me to see where I can work on most. Listen here

oh yeah, a little background info:
The title is a wordplay with aria, in that form it is written (very freely). The part after the intro till the solos start 03:11 is a kind of experiment of me trying to make "compact music", no idea if it works out or not.


Sound - Yes, I think so.  Right in the first few seconds I was worried that it was going to sound "too midi," but another instrument came in and the sound suddenly opened up.  When the singing comes in, it closes back down.  I'm not sure if that is what you were going for or not, it just sounds big and open without singing but small when the voice comes in.
Copying the '70s - Not in my opinion.  I'm happy to hear piano in here rather than synth leads (which I love in old prog, but which so many people have copied at this point I almost dread hearing it).
The Singing - It wouldn't be my choice.  I feel that the effect on the voice hinders the piece - it develops a spaciousness that the voice then removes.  However, if that is what you were going for then you succeeded, and I'd love to hear what you were thinking when you chose it.  As to whether it is an acquired taste, I'd say anything can be with enough time and if this does something you artistically want, keep it.
The composition - Smooth flow, good transitions, nothing awkward, suddenly slides into something very positive at the end - I like the change.  Overall I'd say very good.  And yes, the execution is good, thus the lack of awkwardness.

Is this the first one or are there more?  I don't see more on the channel.

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

^Phew, you are more philosophical than I am.  If I even try to think about how I should write a song, ...
I'm going to stop you right there. Don't think so much about how you should  write a song. Whenever you do something, you have a goal. When I write a song, my goals are...

What I'm saying here is that before you start making music, you might want to revise your motives/priorities.


Yes, that's what I said.  Thinking about how I should write the song ruins the song.  Any song I have ever put too much logical thought into has turned out poor.  I'm not sure what you thought my priorities were, but they appear to be just like your own.  You just seem to follow a linear process (which works for you - great!) whereas I do not, and have found that a linear process dooms my final product.

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

If I even try to think about how I should  write a song, it immediately sabotages my songwriting process, which appears to be entirely subconscious.
Then it sounds more like a hobby of yours, which I can understand. But remember that things like theory and writing techniques are nothing but tools to aid you in writing what some of us understand as coherent pieces of music.


Nope, our processes are just different.  For me, the music must come naturally or the final product suffers.  Thought put into how to write it just kills it for some reason.  So I have learned not to think about it - it works better that way (for me).

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

I am a bit jealous that you are able to deconstruct it.
Why be jealous if you feel that things like studying order in music would hurt the results of your creative instinct?


You're just taking me much too seriously, now.  I typed that with a smile on my face, not with searing jealousy in my soul. Wink 

As for music just being a hobby of mine, I've put in far more than my 10,000 hours in the practice rooms and the studio and spent the money to pay for the recording time for my album.  It would be wonderful if it actually sold and I could start doing that for a living.  But I realistically know that is essentially impossible.
https://www.facebook.com/JamieKernMusic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2016 at 05:06
Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

Sound - Yes, I think so. Right in the first few seconds I was worried that it was going to sound "too midi," but another instrument came in and the sound suddenly opened up. When the singing comes in, it closes back down. I'm not sure if that is what you were going for or not, it just sounds big and open without singing but small when the voice comes in.
Copying the '70s - Not in my opinion. I'm happy to hear piano in here rather than synth leads (which I love in old prog, but which so many people have copied at this point I almost dread hearing it).
The Singing - It wouldn't be my choice. I feel that the effect on the voice hinders the piece - it develops a spaciousness that the voice then removes. However, if that is what you were going for then you succeeded, and I'd love to hear what you were thinking when you chose it. As to whether it is an acquired taste, I'd say anything can be with enough time and if this does something you artistically want, keep it.
The composition - Smooth flow, good transitions, nothing awkward, suddenly slides into something very positive at the end - I like the change. Overall I'd say very good. And yes, the execution is good, thus the lack of awkwardness.

Is this the first one or are there more? I don't see more on the channel.


Thank you so much for your words!
As for the singing, it's indeed kind of a breakdown following the spacious climax, but it does indeed have a meaning, it's the point where the "alien" arrives at earth and then he feels sudden negative emotions (what the lyrics are).
Though I almost loathe my voice as simger and that's why I altered the sound a bit.
Oh and yes there is more, I've released two studio albums, check the link on my signature below if you like ;D

Edited by DDPascalDD - June 01 2016 at 06:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2016 at 18:34
Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by Star_Song_Age_Less Star_Song_Age_Less wrote:

I am a bit jealous that you are able to deconstruct it.
Why be jealous if you feel that things like studying order in music would hurt the results of your creative instinct?


You're just taking me much too seriously, now.  I typed that with a smile on my face, not with searing jealousy in my soul. Wink 

As for music just being a hobby of mine, I've put in far more than my 10,000 hours in the practice rooms and the studio and spent the money to pay for the recording time for my album.  It would be wonderful if it actually sold and I could start doing that for a living.  But I realistically know that is essentially impossible.
I would never tell myself that making it in the music business is impossible. Sounds an awful lot like a trap of discouragement. Maybe it doesn't matter how much time and money you put into workshopping your musical self. Why would you not want to keep going?

Edited by Dayvenkirq - June 01 2016 at 18:36
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 01 2016 at 23:24
Originally posted by DDPascalDD DDPascalDD wrote:


As for the singing, it's indeed kind of a breakdown following the spacious climax, but it does indeed have a meaning, it's the point where the "alien" arrives at earth and then he feels sudden negative emotions (what the lyrics are).
Though I almost loathe my voice as simger and that's why I altered the sound a bit.
Oh and yes there is more, I've released two studio albums, check the link on my signature below if you like ;D


Ah-ha!  Then I think you should indeed keep the effect.  I didn't find anything to be lacking in your voice. It is definitely masked by the effect, but if you were going for that alien feel then I bet it is appropriate.
Oh ho.  I didn't notice the link in your signature because, as usual, I am totally blind.  Thanks :)

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

I would never tell myself that making it in the music business is impossible. Sounds an awful lot like a trap of discouragement. Maybe it doesn't matter how much time and money you put into workshopping your musical self. Why would you not want to keep going?


Oh I am indeed continuing regardless of the chances of success.  I have gotten very used to just about everyone around me telling me it is a bad idea to try (waste of money).  It does wear on me a lot.  That's one of the reasons I come on here.  It's great to know there are others who love music as much as I do, and who do in fact think it's totally okay to try.
https://www.facebook.com/JamieKernMusic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2016 at 23:31
Alright, so I put up two new complete songs on my soundcloud, so here you go:  https://soundcloud.com/jamie-kern-5/tracks

Top two tracks.  I still feel that they are firmly seated in "art rock" or "prog-related" so they may not be up everyone's alley here.  But I always appreciate feedback.

DDPascal, I'm clearing time this evening (by not sleeping) to give some more of your stuff a listen. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2016 at 00:31
Holy smokes, DDPascalDD.  Holy.  Smokes.

Alright, I obviously realize you are doing this at least partially with midi which does occasionally affect the sound.  But other than that - I am sitting here shocked.  "On Earth" is pristinely lovely and surprising at many turns.  Most folks who dabble in midi and synth (that I have heard) do so with a very heavy hand.  Not so, here.  There are all sorts of subtle little details and appropriate midi/synth sounds to generate them rather than leads fighting leads.  I absolutely loved this piece.

I like "Rose" as a song generally but feel that it needs a real acoustic guitar rather than the midi sound.  Fake acoustic guitar nearly always sounds weird.  I know you said you don't like your singing voice, but I find what you're doing here to be interesting.  I wasn't able to understand the lyrics, though.

"Not Me" - I liked the beginning but once that off-kilter piano part showed up "like" got upgraded to "love."  I am curious, are you playing the part on the keyboard or do you program it in on a staff in the software?  I play piano so I do have a tendency to latch on to piano parts.   I also feel that "piano" as a separate entity from "keyboard" tends to get a raw deal in the realm of prog (and is underused, and when used is often not used well).  Anyway, it is nice to hear something expressively emotive (as opposed to cliche) coming from a piano part in a prog song.  I like the transition halfway.  I am once again enjoying the overall effect of your mellow singing here.  There do seem to be a few parts that are a strain for you to hit the low notes, that's all.

There are a few parts later in the album where wavering in your voice is more noticeable.  This is usually more an issue of practice than of their being anything intrinsically wrong with someone's voice.  Your vocal "chords" are controlled by tiny muscles, and exercising them helps you to hold tone.  (I don't mean to harp on your singing here, it's just that you had specifically mentioned this earlier in the thread).  I am curious if you have taken voice lessons?

Where you finally do lose me on your (very good) album is the bells in the final track.  But they don't last long.  Smile  And then you come in with this beautiful section of sweetness at about 8 minutes.  And approaching the very end of the album, you embark on this extremely Nobuo Uematsu-esque journey into the land of video games - I loved that.

Do you have a thread in the "unsigned bands" section for this?  I poked around but didn't find one.  I'm realizing that since you already put the album up on bandcamp that feedback may be useless in the Musicians Exchange forum?  But it didn't feel right to enjoy the music and then just not say anything about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2016 at 05:17
^Thank you so much, I'm very glad you liked it! Many of the parts were indeed done with midi, almost all of the piano and guitar solo is recorded. 
Rose contains the message of the album actually, that the love on earth is actually very simple. Good to hear you like the singing a bit.
I haven't taken voice lessons (yet), although I have learned a thing or two in music class on school.
My music was suggested here and I'm already added to these archives!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Star_Song_Age_Less Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2016 at 22:33
^Thanks, didn't think to check the suggestions thread.  I tried to use the search function but it timed out a few times and I gave up.  If you're already in the archives then I should save my blah blah for review unless you're asking for feedback on something new!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2016 at 03:24
Oh no, your words meant a lot! This is enough feedback for now, I'm very grateful Big smile, if you'd do a (short) album review on PA you'd be the first, though.
(Btw, as you liked my piano playing, I've just released a piano solo EP, if you're interested)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2016 at 23:15
Anyone here writes vocal melodies?
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2016 at 23:31
Yep. What about it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 00:56
^ How do you start writing one? Or do you actually start writing a song with a vocal melody? Or does it come to you somewhere in the middle of the process? Does it come in its finished form or do you somehow manage to alter it (but so that it doesn't sound contrived)? 

Edited by Dayvenkirq - June 22 2016 at 00:59
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Polymorphia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 01:33
Depends on what project I'm writing for. For Dream/Window, vocal melodies are usually near the end of the process, once I've hammered out all the parts. I just make a recording and sing over it a few times until I find something I like. Other times I just write it along with the chord progression. 

Some times a full melody comes to me, sometimes I just hear "homing" notes and fill in the blanks until I find something I like (or rather the "right" melody for the song, depending on how picky I need to be). Sometimes I hear a rhythm and general shape and work with that. Sometimes it's not a melody at all that I hear, but a chant or shout or spoken word portion. It depends really. 

I used to write melodies on guitar or piano, which helped, but I don't really do that/need to do that anymore. I've gotten to the point where I can think as clearly harmonically and melodically when I sing as when I play guitar and piano. But back when I wrote like that, I always liked centering my melodies around non-chord tones, which is a good exercise because non-chord tones tend to add color.

But most melodies I write are subconsciously based on 2-4 note phrases or rhythms or shapes from other songs I've heard, maybe reversed or inverted or manipulated somehow, but they're there. That might be a good place to consciously start too, as I honestly think that's how most melodies are created anyway.


Edited by Polymorphia - June 22 2016 at 01:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2016 at 02:05
^ I guess I will have to try some contrapuntal methods on my boring vocal melodies when I get home from work tomorrow. Thanks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2016 at 06:28
I think I can see now why I'm having problems writing vocal melodies. One of these problems is that singing vocal tone I have that I don't like. Can't write for your voice as an instrument if you don't even like its sound. I sound like a mix of Bert Jansch and Peter Hammill (minus the incredible vocal range and the accent). Yes, this should be addressed in this thread of mine but I think it's all connected. I thought I could develop the kind of singing tone that would surprise and satisfy me, but maybe I'm wrong. Can't bring myself to a point where people will say that I have an OK voice or don't have a voice. 

Once I develop a singing tone that I like, I will work around this physical limitation/constant and try to blend it with some experimental music or song-like sketches for piano. I might even put up some of my attempts here. 


Edited by Dayvenkirq - June 25 2016 at 06:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DDPascalDD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2016 at 12:46
Anyone tried this before? 
When I played the Close To The Edge "chorus" on piano I found you can actually play three (or almost four) chords at once. How I play it:
Em              Dm   C(maj7)       F#m    E/A+2+6/B
Close to the edge, down to the  ri        ver;     not right....

About that last chord.... You could break the singing with the lyric "not right away" down to an E major chord/scale (playing an high E chord (possibly with added 2nd or 4th) sounds great). Beneath it is the A major chord. From bottom to top I play it like: A B C# E F#. The bass note is a B.
The middle chord is quite expanded and could be divided in A major and Bsus4 which makes it four chords: E/Bsus4/A/B

Just that already looks proggy! LOL

Now another one I just made for a chord progression is: Bm/Em/D as another example. The only thing which doubts me is if it's just bullsh*t because you  make it/write it down  much more complex than needed, or it already exists without my knowledge of it. 
I really want to use it as 3 chords though - in case you thought different -, power chord beneath and the other two chords played by two other instruments.
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