#1 Edited by Trejik (108 posts) -

The topic title says it all. I'm young (Enough to be Justin Biebers indie and cool counterpart), living in Madrid, and making music. I plan on releasing a demo/mixtape, gain enough verification that I should shell out the money on a Mac actually capable of using and handling some of the things I need. 
 
This is the first track from that demo, "The People who were at the Murder Scene", and I'd really appreciate some opinions, as this is the first time the fruit of my long hours of hard work have left the small room where this was created.
 
http://soundcloud.com/armandofont/polyphony

#2 Posted by supermike6 (3540 posts) -

Your singing is alright, but a lot of the backing track felt kind of messy, like it was a bunch of different songs being played at the same time. I'm no music critic or music creator, so I can't really offer any advice. All I can say is that I didn't like it.

#3 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (1945 posts) -

It sounds like you're missing a few cues where the piano should be and where your vocals should pop in. Until the drums come in, the basic synth backing was fine and it was in time - so you just need to work on vocal timings and that piano placement is just bad, I'm sorry. Without the piano, or less of a polyrythmic sound, it would sound better. I'd say with a much more clean piano track this could be really good (the bridge with the straight quarter notes on the piano was fine, see? But elsewhere, it sounds floppy).  
 
Again, when the chorus comes back in, you seemed to have better vocal cues. It's either a lyrical problem (too many stanzas/syllables) or just a timing issue. Otherwise, it's a fine piece. 

#4 Posted by crusader8463 (14413 posts) -

The loud noise that goes off every few seconds went on for way too long at the start, and when you started singing it over powered everything you said to the point that I couldn't hear anything but that noise. It was also a very annoying sound to hear, let alone repeated through the song. I couldn't really get past that noise to comment on any of the other aspects of it.

#5 Posted by Trejik (108 posts) -
@supermike6
@SirOptimusPrime
 
In reality, the Piano is perfect as of the second verse, I was going for an intentional chaotic vibe during the first verse, and as such, many of the piano notes aren't played exactly at the same time. 
But, you guys aren't the first to point out this doesn't create the compelling sound I was looking for, and simply sounds bad, so I will simply swap out the modified track and see what reaction that gets.
 
This still made for some intereseting findings when showing it to some of my friends. Those who aren't musicians simply pointed out "It just sounds uncomfortable." and passing to a "Heh, this is kind o nice" as of the second verse. But seeing the trend, I'll go ahead and change that up, giving me a chance to see some things in the mix that I'm noticing now. (It's that whole "So many hours working on your stuff that you don't see or hear it clearly anymore" syndrome.)
#6 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (1945 posts) -

Honestly, if you fix those piano lines (sorry, this kind of music does not welcome chaos or polyrhythms at all) you'll still have those vocals to worry about. Your singing is fine, but you should seriously consider re-tracking them.  
 
Vocal tracking is literally the worst thing in music creation, I hate it...oh so much. 50% of the time is in vocals, 30% in production, and the rest in tracking instruments. 

#7 Posted by marlow83 (239 posts) -

I agree with SirOptimusPrime, this sort of music does not lend itself to polyrythms. The background vocals seem off time, and as mentioned, the piano seems out of place. I don't like autotuned vox, but for what they are they're fine. It's been a while since I've tried to record anything, so I'm no expert on any of this, but it kind of sounds like a mess. The thing is, there is a very pleasant song hidden in there somewhere. I would lose the piano in the verses and make the vocals during the chorus louder as well. But that's just me. Keep it up, man. Don't be deterred by criticism. 

#8 Posted by Trejik (108 posts) -
@marlow83:  
@SirOptimusPrime
This is why criticism is absolutley necessary. I, personally, and without criticism, would never think of even touching the piano line, since, ironically, it's what the whole track is built around. But, yes, playing around with a simplified piano does make it sound much more pleasing. 
 
As for the vocals, the backing (which in this case are just two left/right pans with extra delay, are there for flavor and for adding that special depth in a line or two where I spread them out. As for tracking...I'm pretty sure they're just like I wanted them, but I'll look into it.
 
At the risk of turning this into a production forum, Marlow, I personally hate the use of Autotune, and while I have no trouble confessing that I use Melodyne (Sometimes theres that one take where the emotion is perfect, and you just need to fix the pitch), Autotune does produce a very nice robotic feel that I was looking for in the song, and I tuned it right to the point where it could be noticed, but where it also didn't seem to take posession of my track and screw it all up. As much as it's easy to hate, and while there are better pitch correctors out there, Autotune can be used for some of the nicest flare this side of Oxford Dynamics.
#9 Edited by Mr_Skeleton (5137 posts) -

Singing is good but everything else needs work. There is something about the beats and music that sound like they are out of sync with the lyrics.

I would love to hear another version of this song if you ever make one.

#10 Posted by Dylabaloo (1549 posts) -

@Trejik: Just out of interest, what program's do you use?

#11 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1914 posts) -

@Mr_Skeleton said:

Singing is good but everything else needs work. There is something about the beats and music that sound like they are out of sync with the lyrics.

I would love to hear another version of this song if you ever make one.

Ya this sums up my thoughts as well. The different parts of the backing music seems to be off-tempo. Your voice is good though, you sound like the lead singer of Incubus. Maybe tighten up the backing music and record it with real instruments, that would make a hell of a difference.

#12 Posted by Coombs (3449 posts) -

The second verse sounded alright, 
The first was awful,  
And honestly I didn't make it to the Third. 
 
Right off the bat I didn't like it, but the second verse was a lot more.... pleasant, 
Though all and all it's not something I would listen to, but that's just my taste. 
If you're the one singing i think you could do some good songs, 
but you may want to work with someone on the music itself.

#13 Posted by Trejik (108 posts) -
@Dylabaloo: My current budget has me working on reason for basic composing, Cubase for vocals and live tracks, and an old ass copy of Sony ACID 7.0 with a ton of plugins once the tracks are cleaned up in Cubase.
 
Really appreciating all of the comments, and I just wanted to say that I'm re-mixing the backing track today, and going back to a simpler version. As a side note, I've realized that it's never a good idea to release you're most abstract and experimental stuff first, so as soon as this is listenable, I have about 14 more tracks that are much more straightforward that I'll be working on, and hope you guys won't mind doing the same for whichever tracks I end up finishing.
 
And again, you guys have no idea how useful this is after having worked in a bubble for so long, where you get caught up in your own ideas, and you don't hear clearly anymore. Thanks a ton.
#14 Posted by coakroach (2488 posts) -

You've got a decent voice. 
I thought the track was boring as hell though.

#15 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -
@Trejik:  
 
Hated the vocals.
#16 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

what kind of music are you influenced by? that'd make it easier to know what you're trying to do.

#17 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Literally gave me a headache.