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Lee Shapiro

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Everything posted by Lee Shapiro

  1. Hey, I haven't check this forum for a couple of days, so sorry for the delay in replying to all the new posts. Thanks again for listening and for posting your thoughts and suggestions. Yes, I always prefer a live sound, whether it's music I'm listening to or creating myself. To me, some great songs are done a great disservice by the cold, sterile feeling created by studio recordings, where they are recorded one track at a time, losing that energy and emotion of playing together live. (In the old days of buying vinyl records, I'd always start with a band's live album, if there was any, then work my way through their studio albums) But for me, even though I am recording everything myself, one track at a time, I still try to create that "live band" feel. Also, I appreciate the mixing suggestions. I did have a little trouble with the final mix, having my vocals and solo instruments not quite loud enough. I'll eventually get around to remixing it. Thanks again for all the positive feedback, as always it's most appreciated.
  2. Thanks for listening guys, I appreciate it.
  3. After a long period of writer's block, I'm finally finished with a new song for the new year. An unusually uptempo song for me, it's a mixture of optimism for the future and trying to rid myself of feeling down. Even though I fell back on some old writing techniques, I think this one is interesting all the way through and I'm really happy with how it turned out. BUT, I'm always open for comments and suggestions. Thanks for listening! (Lyrics are on the song page) Better Weather
  4. Thanks Fred. I also think the harmonies at the beginning of the chorus turned out well. I actually was surprised at the unintended complexity of the harmonies (in the transition between the pre-chorus and chorus) It's usually a hit or miss endeavor, using both Melodyne and actual backing tracks. But I'm slowly learning what works and what doesn't, along with the mixing levels of the lead and backing vocals. Thanks again, for listening and commenting. I greatly appreciate it.
  5. Thanks S, I usually get quite a few Dylan comparisons for my songs (or for my vocals) I got that east coast nasally accent thing going for me. I've gotten a few Tom Petty comparisons on some songs as well. It's all good, I guess it's better than being compared to Yoko. (A nice woman, but her singing.....not so much)
  6. Tom, I just posted a revised version taking some of your suggestions into account. Let me know if you think it sounds less muddy. For me, there's a sweet spot where the kick drum and bass guitar sound perfect together, sonically locked together like one instrument. So I think I got a little closer on this pass. (Revision is on the same link from above)
  7. Thanks for your feedback Tom, I appreciate it. I like my mixes with a strong bottom end but as you know, that could be one step away from being too muddy. I mixed it with headphones, I mastered with my studio monitors, and played it back in my car and on my laptop. But I'll try your suggestion of adjusting the EQ. I've been trying to make my investment of EZBass worthwhile, although I still haven't found a decent bass sound that I like (one that mixes well with the kick drum) I like the EZBass patterns and other features, but after 3 sound packs, I still haven't found one that sounds as good as my Go-To bass: Scarbee's Rickenbacker Bass.
  8. Thanks Bjorn. If it's a vocal glitch, there was a couple of those that I need to fix. But if it's just a general audio glitch, I believe that might be due to an ongoing unsolvable problem I've been having between Cakewalk and my computer. You can see my specs below, and I've spent a couple of years trying to track down the problem, especially when I add in Ozone to master the final version. I get a lot of clicks and pops. And believe me, I've read almost everything about this issue and have tried almost every option and tweak. I think maybe I just need a beefier computer and/or faster hard drives.
  9. Thanks, I appreciate the feedback and compliments. I figured I wrote so many sad, angry songs about you-know-who, it was time for an uplifting, faster tempo song. And as for channeling my inner Springsteen, that's possible. When I sing, I never know what style is going to come out of my mouth. Many times I get a country sounding vocal, but this time (during parts of the song) it was definitely a punk/new wave style of singing. Kind of strange but I just go with the flow.
  10. Lee Shapiro

    "Welcome Out"

    *Updated mix/version 11/30/2020* An optimistic song about a new year, a new president, and the hope for unity and a brighter future. And as always, comments, suggestions and critiques are always welcome. (Scroll down on the song page for lyrics) "Welcome Out"
  11. Still EZB, but I did a lot of tweaking, including EQ, replacing the really low notes an octave higher (less mud), and changed the length of many notes. Several times I had the urge to go back to my old reliable Scarbee Rick Bass, but decided to stick it out with EZB, to see if I could get it to sound better.
  12. Thanks Lynn. I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you listening to it!
  13. Sabby, I thank you for your opinion, and I appreciate both positive and critical responses. But I'm having a hard time understanding what you're trying to say about the "sound/mixing...reaching for a feel that you can't hear in your head." Is the song too busy, because that I would agree with. I think there are one or two many competing instruments vying for your attention. But I did do some work on that while remixing/panning and EQ'ing to try to give each instrument it's own space.
  14. Based on some of the comments and suggestions I received here, I now have a revised version of this song. Some of the changes made were: making it less "rumbly" at the low end vocals are louder in the mix some general remixing and EQ'ing And changes to the bass guitar track Thanks again for your suggestions, I hope you find this version an improvement. (Use the same, original link above)
  15. Thanks Freddy. I really appreciate all the feedback everyone has been giving me. I'm sure you know, the longer you work on a song, the harder it is to be objective. So it's good to get a bunch of "fresh ears" to listen. And I agree with you about the vocal levels. Along with the bass, the vocals is the other thing that I struggled with trying to get it just right in the mix. And somehow I ended up with the vocals being a little to low in the mix (almost drowned out by the snare drum), and the harmony (backing) vocals are even lower. But I'm still working on a remix, so that's one of the things I'm going to correct. Thanks again!
  16. Thanks Tom. Thanks for listening and for the feedback. And I'm glad the mix (bass) sounded good to you. I know the sign of a good producer and good mastering is to make sure the song sounds good on anything that it's played on. I'm still learning how to do that.
  17. Thanks Bjorn, I appreciate the feedback. After your comment (and Tom's) about the rumbly/muddy bottom end, I think I'm going to do another mix and tweak the various EQ settings. And maybe try a different virtual bass.
  18. Thanks for listening Tom. And I often get "sounds like Dylan" or "sounds like Petty". Probably partially due to my east coast and/or nasally tone. But for this song, I actually did have Dylan's singing style in mind when I first started working on the vocal. I didn't quite pull it off, but it's in there somewhere. As for the heavy bass.... I can't tell you how much time I spent on remixing specifically trying to find just the right amount of bottom end. On my M-Audio BX8 speakers, it sounds very bottom heavy. On my mixing headphones (Bayerdynamic DT 770 Pro) it sounded just right. And listening to it on my laptop, of course, not enough bass. I'm working with a new virtual bass (Toontrack's EZBass), so it's not my usual go-to bass (Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass), and it's getting used to working with a new instrument. I generally like my mixes with a solid kick/bass mix, and usually bring it up more than most people. But maybe for this song, a little too much. Thanks again for the notes. And if I decide to remix and re-work it, I'll take your notes into consideration, like adding a bit of silence in between the intro and the start of the song.
  19. One of the first songs I've written in a very long time that has nothing to do with politics or past relationships. It's a generally optimistic song, with a Country-Rock twist. It's also a song that I spent a lot more time re-working and tweaking than I normally do. I never really found THE hook for it, and the pedal steel (slide) guitar was one of the last things I added, trying to do SOMETHING with it to make it more listenable. I finally got to the point where I just said, screw it, I'm just going to call it done and move on to something else. But I did get a few favorable comments on Facebook, so here it is for better or worse.... And as usual, I'd appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions. Thanks for listening! (scroll down on song page for the lyrics) *Revised version (same link) based on the feedback I received. See new comments below. Finding The Rhythm in Life
  20. Really, don't we have enough REAL things to be concerned about. This post is just a useless click-bait article, taking advantage of all the hostility and division in this country. Do we really need to pile on sh!t on top of sh!t? You said you were just "making a fun little post", well judging from the responses, it had the exact opposite effect. DELETE IT!
  21. Thanks David. Yeah, that would be cool if a documentary filmmaker wanted to use my song. Of course they'd probably want a famous musician singing the vocals....maybe Springsteen. LOL!
  22. Thanks for your review. It's music to my ears. (sorry, bad pun) As was mentioned before, many of us seem to be our own worst critics, and when I read something like this, it really gives me a boost of confidence and makes me think, well maybe it's not the worst thing I've ever written. So thank you again. And after decades of songwriting and recording, I'm still having fun learning new techniques, especially when it comes to mixing and mastering.
  23. Hey Tom, thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. My songs usually average between 4 and 7 minutes. (probably a result from being a Deadhead, and into jam songs) I think the problem with this song is not that it is too long, it's that I ran out of ways to keep it interesting at the end. The last parts are just alternating organ and guitar leads. I could have either chopped a couple of those off, or found a different musical part to keep it interesting. I just don't like writing short 3 minute songs with the "verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus" structure. I like to build creative sections that are the opposite of being "radio friendly". I'm sure most listeners of my songs would prefer shorter versions, but it's just not me. (But I try to find a happy medium) Any artistic or creative endeavor I do is always long or busy. (this reply is a good example). When I write, I write long paragraphs. When I paint or draw, the finished work is usually busy. But anyway, I get your point and thank you for the suggestion. Which leads to the last thing about adding an extra word in the bridge. Yes, you're right, "second civil war" would fit better. But again, I'm coming from a place where the original lyrics had TOO MANY words, and I ended up cutting a lot of them out to better fit the melody. So in this case, I might have trimmed off a little too much. Thanks again for listening and for your feedback!
  24. When I wrote "In 2020" (part 1), it was around February, just before all the bad stuff started happening (pandemic, choke holds, BLM, protests, riots, etc). So I figured if I wrote a song with 2020 in the title, it needs to include all that stuff that this year will be remembered for. So I wrote this "Part 2" to include everything since the first part. And just a warning, the song does tend to get political....more specifically, not so nice things about Trump. So if you're a Trump supporter, you might not want to listen to this. The lyrics are included at the bottom of the song page (of the link). Some of the lyrics are kind of hard to understand, which is a combination of me missing a couple of teeth and perhaps the need for better mixing/mastering. So I might take another go at that. Anyway, comments and critiques are always welcome. Thanks for listening. https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=14073335
  25. Wow, I'm blown away. Never heard a cover done so well by a single person. I'm a big Thomas Dolby fan and "One of Our Submarines" is one of my favorites from him. Not only did you produce a great sounding track, but even more impressive is the attention to detail and the ability to figure out all the random sounds in this song. This is a particularly difficult song to cover, it's not like a simple guitar/bass/drums song that can be easily duplicated. This is why I stick to mostly original songs, because I don't have the patience or the talent to reproduce a decent cover. Although Thomas Dolby and Rickie Lee Jones have been among my biggest influences in songwriting. And as far as your vocals, you are better than you think. Pitch correction software can only do so much, believe me I know. I use Melodyne Studio extensively on ALL my vocals and have never come close to how nice your singing sounds. Thanks so much for sharing, and I enjoyed "Blinded me with Science" as well. Keep up the great work and I'd love to hear you do "Radio Silence".
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