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John Bradley

One of Our Submarines - Thomas Dolby cover

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Yeah, I know, who covers a Dolby song that isn't "Blinded Me With Science"?

Well, I did that one already, and Submarines has always been my favorite TD track. And I figure if anyone's going to know the original, it's going to be a bunch of old synth guys. We are a bunch of old synth guys, right?

One of Our Submarines cover

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Anyway. Technical data for anyone who might be interested:

Drums: Session Drummer 3 + doubling with 2getheraudio's K1CK and SN4RE vsts

Synths: Arturia's Mini (basses and various fx), Jupiter 8 (lead strings), Solina (more strings), CMI (old school 'pitch shift sample by changing playback speed' thing), and Prophet, as well as OP-X PRO II (brass and the delayed syn in the 2nd chorus), Spitfire's Epic Strings, iZotope Iris 2 (fx), and several TX16Wx's to trigger various samples.

Guitars: The instrument I actually play (everything else is 'typed in'). Recorded direct, processed with Blue Cat Audio's Axiom (which I love!).

Effects: standard ProChannel modules, BREVERB, Valhalla's Supermassive, FreqEcho, and Delay plugins, iZotope's Vocal Doubler, Nectar 2, and Ozone 8. Also a touch of GW MixCentric Stereo on the master bus, prior to Ozone. Adds a nice bit of 'secret sauce' in small amounts.

And much Melodyne Studio 4 on the vox. I'm well aware that I'm not a singer, but I do it anyway. I'm what I have available.

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This is the first time I've posted anything to this 'Songs' subforum. If I've committed some grave faux pas, let me know.

 

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I don't know what I appreciated most - your "tools used" breakdown, the choice of this excellent song, your awesomely faithful-to-the-original mix, the freshness of your update . . .or the fact that it was 1982 for a brief moment in my studio . . .

 

awesome on all of it!

 

cheers,

-Tom

p.s. let me know when you get around to "Airhead" or "Budapest by Blimp" . . .   :)

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Hey, TD is Tangerine Dream! Well never mind.   😀

So I'm not familiar with this other TD you mentioned, but I'm hugely impressed with your take on the song. It sounds like it came out of a professional studio IMO. Great job on the vocal track too.

Hope to hear more of your stuff.

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Howard the Duck -- something George Lucas can look back upon and say, "Y'know, my Star Wars Holiday Special wasn't so bad after all!"

The kids today think they know 'cringe' -- they didn't live through the '70s and '80s. We were there at cringe-zero!

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This is terrific!  I had to go to Youtube to hear the original after hearing your version, and I'm very impressed how closely you came to the original.  A+

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Wow that was a really great cover! I can't believe how close you are to the original.

Max Arwood

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This is an impressive production - it was a lot of fun to listen to. Like somebody above mentioned, it was like being back in the '80s.

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Good job, took me right back to the eighties - I think the less said about Howard the Duck the better!!!

Nigel

 

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Thanks for the kind word, guys!

I've been doing nothing but covers on-and-off in CW since the mid-'90s, mostly as an intellectual "try to figure out all the bits that make up the song" exercise. Other than my wife (who wishes I'd wear headphones while I'm looping two bars of a song over and over again — she has a point), and a handful of friends that I send them to (where they're probably deleted, unlistened) nobody's ever heard my stuff.

It's nice to think that the end result isn't wretched, and that I'm not necessarily living in some delusion bubble. We all knew that one guy who sings and plays guitar and was determined to 'make it' in the (now deceased) music business, despite having no talent for either. Don't be that guy.

And while it's lovely of you to compliment my singing, I can assure you it's entirely a function of the Power of Computing. "The computer sees the off-pitch warblings as a series of 1s and 0s..."

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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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Thanks!

I only do covers, because I'm an engineer at heart; gotta tear everything apart and see how it works!

I typically don't do guitar/bass/drums songs (unless they have a lot of guitar parts). I can just do those in my band without involving Cakewalk. What I really like doing is sound design - making my own synth patches and/or fx chains to approximate the sounds on the original, using things I've literally got lying around the house.

But yeah, Submarines was on a whole different level. Has around 20 tracks of just synths and samplers, way more than anything else I've assembled. Lots of one-shot sounds that play for maybe 5 seconds over the course of a 5 minute song.

As for the singing... thanks. I've believe I've been blessed with a reasonably pleasant-sounding tone; it just doesn't reliably hit, or stay on, the desired notes. Useless for live work (not that it stops me) but something that can be fixed with modern technology.

 

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Pretty freakin' great cover, and a very, very polished mix. Hang in there, kid, I just know you've got what it takes to make it in this biz. :)

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