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Lee Shapiro

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Everything posted by Lee Shapiro

  1. Thanks for your responses guys, I appreciate them. I'm trying to come up with songs that sound like those bands, but I can't do a straight cover of one of their songs. As I mentioned I think I can get away with using either an isolated drum track or a MIDI drum track from their songs, and just build on it with something new. The Stones, The Who, and Zeppelin will probably be relatively easy because they have distinct sounds (like the drums or guitars) The Beatles, I think, will be the biggest challenge because they are primarily a vocal group (and I'm trying to write an instrumental). So if you take away The Beatles' harmony singing, it's hard to find a sound that would be identifiable and separate them from other 60's groups (that copied their instrumental styles).
  2. I'm currently working on a project for a client where I need to create four short (around 2 minutes each) pieces of music that sound like typical songs from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and The Who. This is something new for me to try, as I've always written songs that basically sound like MY music. So this is a little outside my wheelhouse. I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or advice in how to even begin. (We can't use actual music from these groups due to copyright issues) One thing I was thinking was finding isolated drum tracks (or MIDI files) for these bands and then just taking it from there. I have a lot of various VSTi plugins of guitars, drums, bass, and keyboards. So I have the software needed to recreate the sounds. But I'm not a guitar player, I rely on software like Music Lab's Real Guitar series (along with Overloud simulated amp rigs), but creating the guitar parts (rhythm and lead) that emulate the style the guitarists from these bands would play is my main concern. So any advice would be much appreciated.
  3. This is a song I actually wrote 7 years ago, but it could have easily been written today. The saddest thing about it is that absolutely nothing has changed in those years, in fact things have gotten worse and even more divided. Divided (We All Fall)
  4. Although slightly better lyrics than my hysterically gruesome "TMI (Gotta Take A Dump)" song. 😲
  5. Not sure how this conversation turned from musical instruments to food but.... As a keyboard player that used to play in bands, I can tell you it wasn't much fun. I had a giant Polymoog, two other keyboards and two sound modules using MIDI connections. Plus the amp and mic/mic stand. I quit a band once because I was tired of disassembling and reassembling all that equipment and cables. My friend asked my why I was quitting. I said each keyboard and MIDI module had 3 sets of cables: Electric, Audio and MIDI Besides the lugging around of all that equipment (it took two people to carry the Polymoog in it's giant road case), disconnecting and reconnecting all those cables was as much a a hassle as anything else. I'd get to the rehearsal or gig and it'd take me close to 1/2 hour to set everything up. Then bring it back home again and re-set everything up. As my grandma would say "What a shlep!"
  6. Thanks, I appreciate it. And yes, music (whether writing or listening) can be very uplifting and fulfilling.
  7. Hey Tim, yeah I know what you mean. I discovered recently that the majority of Facebook users access it via their cellphones. So whenever I post a song on there, I put the disclaimer: "Best heard through decent speakers or headphones". Also, I know part of the job of mastering is to make the song sound good through a variety of systems. So I'll listen to my song in my car, on my laptop, and on my Fire Tablet. But I don't think any amount of decent mixing or mastering is going to make it sound decent on cell phone speaker.
  8. I haven't read all the replies, so I'm sorry if there are some repeated responses. I can only tell you my story, and maybe it just might make you feel better about songwriting and making music in general. I just turned 60 last week (I posted a song about it called "Turning 60" here in the songs forum). It was a particularly depressing birthday as you might imagine. But I can honestly say writing that song was very cathartic and actually made me feel better about turning 60. As far as my songwriting, I have over 100 songs posted in Soundclick from over a span of 40+ years. I hate the way I sing, I'm not a singer, but often get compared to Dylan, Tom Petty, and sometimes Lou Reed. Which I take as a compliment. And I heavily depend on Melodyne because I'm so pitchy. But what I want to say is that even at 60, my songs continue to improve even now. I listen to songs I wrote even just 2 years ago, and I can hear the vast improvements that have come due to learning new skills and getting better software plugins. I just got IK's Hammond B-3X and I'm really having a lot of fun with it. What you said about posting songs and getting only a couple of friends that "like" it. I had that happen for a very long time. The same two friends would say "nice job" on Facebook, and I'm not even sure if they actually listened to the songs. It got very depressing. Even my best friend since childhood never ONCE commented on any of the songs I posted. That really hurt. But lately, over the past two years, (as I said) my songs have been greatly improving. And I now post to Facebook and also to Songs forum here on this website. And I started getting a lot of genuinely positive feedback (both here and on Facebook). I can't tell you after years of being virtually ignored how much it means to me to have talented musicians here tell me that my latest songs are really good. One friend on Facebook said I should seriously consider selling my songs. I live alone, my wife passed away in 2014 and my son has moved out and got his own place. I don't have any friends in this town since I had to stop working because of my bad back. (All my old friends are still back east) So my music is basically all I have to look forward to. And the more I improve, and the better feedback I get, inspires me to keep going. Two years ago, I was like you and ready to give it up. I still haven't written "my masterpiece" but I feel like I'm getting closer with each new song. I love the process of jamming until I find a riff that will turn into a song (I only play keyboards with software emulation for all of my instruments, including a ton of various virtual guitars, basses, keys and drums.) And I also love the process of putting a song together, mixing and mastering it until it sounds good. I'm also getting better at doing all of that as well. So please don't give up. You need to find the joy again you once had. I've been listening to a lot of Tom Petty lately, and have found his music to be very inspirational to my song writing. Also when I watch a documentary about songwriters or music production, that also inspires me to get back on my DAW and write something good. I hope some of this helps you. And I hope you find happiness again in whatever you decide to do.
  9. Thanks Ed, I appreciate the feedback. Actually I thought the drums were a tad too soft, but I guess it comes down to personal preference. I always like a strong beat, and I tend to overdo it on the drums sometimes (levels, fills, etc) And I also like a good solid bass part that syncs well with the beat (with lots of bottom end, without distorting) But as I said I appreciate any feedback, positive or otherwise. I always learn a lot from this group. So thanks again!
  10. Thank you John. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel when I read comments like yours. Thanks for listening and enjoying!
  11. Thanks! And my sense of humor is just a mask. (The best comedians get a lot their material from fear, pain, anger, etc.) But writing music about stuff does keep me going.
  12. Thank you, I appreciate the comments. And if I figure if I made it past 27 (the infamous "27 club") I'm okay. But then again, I'm not a rock star.
  13. It was a tough mix for the background vocals during the chorus. If I turned them up a little louder they would have interfered with the lead vocal. But at the same time, I thought the BGV were too good to waste so I gave them their own solo section in the very last chorus. Someone else mentioned the guitar solo too, so I'll probably do a remix of the song and experiment with the backing vocals. As for the prunes, yeah and some older people probably got insulted about having 7 cats. LOL! Thanks!
  14. I'll be turning sixty next week, and feeling a bit freaked out about it. So I wrote this song as kind of a therapeutic release. (Scroll down on the song page for the lyrics) Turning Sixty
  15. Sounds great, very funky groove. I like the subtle organ part. Can I ask what you used for the organ?
  16. Simply beautiful. As I'm turning 60 in a couple of weeks, the song struck a chord with me (no pun intended). Thanks for sharing this.
  17. I like everything about this song. The production (recording and mixing) is spot on, sounds very professional. I like the synth parts, creative and well written. And the vocals sound great, along with well written lyrics. If I had one thing to critique (and this is just my personal preference in songwriting), I would have added a rhythm guitar with sustained chords to offset the staccato-like instrumentation of the other parts. But during the chorus you do have the sustained synth that kind of does the same job. Great song, very nice work!
  18. Thanks for your very kind comments, I appreciate it. The lyrics were relatively easy for me to write because it's an ongoing conversation with a very difficult therapist. Because of the whole opioid epidemic, this young therapist thinks she knows what's best for me and is trying to take away the one medication that has helped me stay sane for the past 40 years. I'm going to give her this song when I have my next appointment.....whatever good that will do me. But anyway, comments like yours makes me feel a lot better about myself and inspires me to write more. Thanks again!
  19. Thanks! I appreciate it.
  20. Thanks treesha, I sure do appreciate everything you said!
  21. Being a HUGE Tom Petty fan, I had to listen to this. Excellent cover, you did a great job... Tom would've been proud.
  22. Okay, I'm on my DAW computer now and can tell you what I used. It's Indiginus' "The STEEL - Electric Lap Steel Guitar", which apparently I've finally figured out how to make it sound good. Among my other VST plugins in that same category include another Indiginus product called Delta Blues Acoustic Slide Guitar (which I've used on several songs) Impact Soundworks Pedal Steel, Orange Tree Samples' Slide Acoustic, and Slide Lap Steel, and Wavelore Glide II. Some of these produce great sounds, but just like a real pedal steel guitar, they're difficult to master. (All of these are Kontakt controlled plugins)
  23. Thanks Mark, I appreciate it. I'm a bit surprised about pulling off the pedal steel sound as well. I've had a few pedal steel VST plugins for years, and I've never been able to come close to what I achieved in this song. I think I just listened to a lot of Rusty Young in Poco and tried to remember the way he was playing. I'm not in front of my DAW right now, so I can't remember the name of the plugin. But for my own "memory's sake", I do remember the word "STEEL" in the title in all capital letters. So I made a mental note, to find that plugin again when I need it. Thanks again! (I'll let you know what the plugin is when I get to my DAW)
  24. A deeply personal song about mental illness. Written as kind of an open letter to my doctor, who seems to be making things worse for me instead of better. The subject matter is softened up a bit, written as an upbeat country-rock song. Hanging By A Thread
  25. What a beautiful song. And very well produced. It sounds something like I'd hear on the radio....very professional. 👍 And I think your vocals are great as well. Sounds to me like a cross between Tom Petty and John Lennon.
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