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Lee Shapiro

"Finding The Rhythm In Life" [Revised]

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Posted (edited)

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
 

Edited by Lee Shapiro
added info
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Makes me think of Tom Petty and I can't tell you why; just popped in my head.
Some very good guitar tones, especially that pedal steel.

👍

t

two little crits:
1) needs a moment of silence on the start, kind of abrupt.
2) its bass heavy here on my DT990's (not on the Bose cans today, they are always bass heavy).
If that's the way you mixed/wanted it, good to go.

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6 minutes ago, DeeringAmps said:

Makes me think of Tom Petty and I can't tell you why; just popped in my head.
Some very good guitar tones, especially that pedal steel.

two little crits:
1) needs a moment of silence on the start, kind of abrupt.
2) its bass heavy here on my DT990's (not on the Bose cans today, they are always bass heavy).
If that's the way you mixed/wanted it, good to go.

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.

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>>screw it, I'm just going to call it done <<
This is how I finish most of my songs.

The pedal steel was a really good choice
I like the upbeat lyrics which are clear and distinct in the mix.  
The bass seemed a bit "rumbly" in headphones and I thought the drums could use some fattening.
Good job on the song. I enjoyed listening to it.

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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.


 

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Yeah I thought Dylan, in the cadences and style, but it's your own thing.

FWIW I listened on earbuds from my phone, and I thought the bass was perfect! That can't help you much but I was happy.

You might cut the intro down? I found it a tad long but glad I waited for the main groove to get there.

Maybe Buffett is a writing influence as well? Jimmy, not Warren. 😅

Cool tune!

Cheers,

Tom

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1 hour ago, emeraldsoul said:

Yeah I thought Dylan, in the cadences and style, but it's your own thing.

FWIW I listened on earbuds from my phone, and I thought the bass was perfect! That can't help you much but I was happy.

You might cut the intro down? I found it a tad long but glad I waited for the main groove to get there.

Maybe Buffett is a writing influence as well? Jimmy, not Warren. 😅

Cool tune!

Cheers,

Tom

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.

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Hi Lee.  I haven't seen you on the form for a while.  This is a bit different for you.  BTW, Dylan it is.  I love the optimistic lyrics (the title is cool also).  I am certainly not one to comment on mixes but to me it sounded good -- although, on my cheap h-phone the vocals (which were well done) could come up just a wee bit.  BTW #2, the bass sounded good to me. 

Nice on Lee.  I enjoyed the listen.

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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!

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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)

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This is gonna sound really knaf. . . .I think you have a really great story here, the listener relates to it because it is life observation, we ARE trying and sometimes finding answers to life problems ' The Rhythm In Life'... BUT the sounds / mixing to these old ears is reaching for a ' feel ' that you can't hear in your head and so the song doesn't work ...Frustrating .. but for my pennyworth ( and a penny ain't worth nuffing  ) on a piece of work like this I'd take a break, do something different and then come back to it, cause I feel your in too close ... just MO and it is a bloody good song ;)

S

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This is the first thing I heard this morning, and I love it!  The mix sounds balanced and polished on my system, and I love the vocal and lyrics.  Good songwriting, Lee!  Hope to hear more from you.

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12 hours ago, Sabby Brown said:

This is gonna sound really knaf. . . .I think you have a really great story here, the listener relates to it because it is life observation, we ARE trying and sometimes finding answers to life problems ' The Rhythm In Life'... BUT the sounds / mixing to these old ears is reaching for a ' feel ' that you can't hear in your head and so the song doesn't work ...Frustrating .. but for my pennyworth ( and a penny ain't worth nuffing  ) on a piece of work like this I'd take a break, do something different and then come back to it, cause I feel your in too close ... just MO and it is a bloody good song ;)

S

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.

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12 hours ago, Lynn said:

This is the first thing I heard this morning, and I love it!  The mix sounds balanced and polished on my system, and I love the vocal and lyrics.  Good songwriting, Lee!  Hope to hear more from you.

Thanks Lynn.  I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you listening to it!

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On 8/19/2020 at 4:31 AM, Lee Shapiro said:

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.

Sorry Pal, that's a typo... should have said ... reaching for feel that you can hear in your head, but can't achieve. I have to say the revisited version is so much clearer and I still think this is a top notch story that suits your vocal, I think it would work great in a live set ... good on you 👍

S

 

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8 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

Much improved I think!

t

still EZB on this, or did you revert to the Scarbee?

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.

 

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