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John Bradley

Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meatloaf cover

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Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Got 9 minutes to kill? Here's a mildly exciting adventure from back when songs had sections, pianos, lots of guitars, and told actual stories.

In this case, that would be the story of "getting SOME" and the post-SOME-getting regret, presented in the form of a long argument between me and myself. Which is somewhat awkward, but whatcha gonna do.

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Drums: Session Drummer 3. Running 5 outputs (kick, snare, hat, toms, cymbals). Added a common "drum verb" on each, as well as a "drum comp" send on the kick/snare/toms with a BOZ Manic Compressor sitting on that aux to do the NYC big drum sound thing. An Ozone 8 Vintage Limiter sits on the drum bus to smooth it out.

Bass: IKM's MODO Bass, direct out, running through Blue Cat Axiom for amp/speaker sim

Percussion: A 2getheraudio CL4P clap synth comes in for the disco section.

Synths: Two TruePianos Cakewalk's, (I did the left and right hands as separate tracks, for reasons). An Arturia Solina comes in for some synthetic stringage during the second go around of the "cold and lonely" bit. Arturia Clavinet funks it up during the disco section.

Guitars: Five in total. There's a left-right pair playing more or less the same thing on two different amps throughout most of the song (sans the disco section). Guitar 3 is playing roughtly the same thing on an even cleaner setting, diverges to play the little answering high bits during "our bodies are held so close and tight", and the "let me sleep on it" parts, as well as playing the higher half of the disco riff. Guitar 4 only plays during the disco section, doubling Guitar 3's part only crunchier and down an octave. Guitar 5 provides the power chords that enter in the last third of the song (starting with "Stop right there...")

All guitars recorded direct, run through their own instances of Axiom.

Vocals: The lead male vocal is single tracked, running through Nectar 2 (gate, de-essing, slight unison doubling, bit of saturation, compression, EQ, and some chorus), then into a BOZ T-Bone to roll off the highs a bit and boost the low mids somewhat. There's also a MEqualizer doing a 4.5db cut at 300Hz and 3db boost at 3kHz which I switch in on a few lines that I sang quieter or whatever and weren't as bright as the majority of the vocals. Got them back to a similar timbre. *

The lead 'female' vocal is of course just my wimpy falsetto, running through a Nectar 2 (de-esser, gate, little saturation, compressing, EQ, slight chorus & 1/8th note delay). A Blue Tubes BQ2S-3 does a 3db cut at 800Hz and a 2db cut at 10k and above. A Tokyo Dawn NOVA (free version) is added to do a substantial amount of dynamic cutting at 10.5kHz (wide bell, Q=1.0) to reign in an annoying squeak in my voice on some of the notes. Though I suppose a 50db cut at 20Hz and above would have done that even better. It is what it is.

Phil Rizzuto: (aka, the baseball section) run through an iZotope Trash 2 (modified patch using 'mild excitement' distortion, and 'cheap radio' convolution), with further shaping in the ProChannel channel compressor and eq.

Backing Vocals: Many of them, from 1 up to 7 tracks in places. Each track gated, compressed, and eq'd (cut below 100Hz, roll off starting at 10kHz) in their respective prochannels, with a Blue Cat Chorus and a BREVERB on the bus.

Melodyne Studio 4: Big heaping slabs of it.

Tokyo Dawn Slick EQ (free version) on the master 'Music' bus just to thin out the mix a bit (-2.2db at 600Hz), to give the vox a little more room.

GW MixCentric and Ozone 8 on the master to add a little bit of 'magic' and loud, respectively.

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* About the line "But god only knows what I could do right now." Wound up re-singing that line each time I did a refinement of the final mix. The Loaf sings it at C5 which is solidly in my falsetto range (and his). Sang it there the first couple of times. But I've never worked out how to do a powerful manly screech like the best rock vocalists (e.g. Daltry, etc.), and it came out sounding unsurprisingly identical to the 'female' voice. Lacked the right amount of menace. So I went down an octave (or two, hard to decide). Not what I wanted, but it's an improvement, trust me.

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@John Bradley well done.
I remember buying Bat Out Of Hell when it first came out!!!  Boy Im feel old now!!


I love the way you break down your process of mixing and composition.

Well done!!

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Thanks!

Hey, it was only 43 years ago... we're just getting warmed up!

Didn't buy Bat until much later, but I do remember buying The Wall the day it came out in 1979. Sides 1 and 3 spent the subsequent 2 months on my turntable.

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6 minutes ago, John Bradley said:

Thanks!

Hey, it was only 43 years ago... we're just getting warmed up!

Didn't buy Bat until much later, but I do remember buying The Wall the day it came out in 1979. Sides 1 and 3 spent the subsequent 2 months on my turntable.

If I remember correctly... around this time..
I bought Dare by Human League...
Some Barbra Streisand Album... dont remember what.
Never liked Floyd... or listened to them.
Dire Straights and Chris Rea   (who formed a band together called diarheia)  🙂
Say Hello Wave Good Bye... think it was soft cell??
Michael Jackson Bad??

WOW... memories.!!

My first ever record was "December 63" Four Seasons.
My first album "Bridge over Troubled Waters""

Edited by garybrun

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FWIW, "Bad" was much later (1987), after "Thriller".

You might be thinking "Off the Wall", which was his first solo album, released in 1979.

Suspect you're a few years older than me. First 'new' album I believe I had (that wasn't the Beatles, "Hair" or "Jesus Christ Superstar" albums I swiped from mom) was KISS Alive II in 1977.

Edited by John Bradley
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1 hour ago, John Bradley said:

FWIW, "Bad" was much later (1987), after "Thriller".

You might be thinking "Off the Wall", which was his first solo album, released in 1979.

Suspect you're a few years older than me. First 'new' album I believe I had (that wasn't the Beatles, "Hair" or "Jesus Christ Superstar" albums I swiped from mom) was KISS Alive II in 1977.

I was born in 1964
I remember buying a Jackson album... around the time of bat Out Of hell

 

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Hey John Bradley . . . a brave effort, taking on those classics and all ! I SO appreciate your attention to detail here. I simply had to google and hear the original recording, and yours sounds so very digital, with so much more high end in the snare especially in comparison. (More Pro Channel Console Emulator ?) Acknowledgements, we are in a different recording era . . . I find It really misses that female vocal from a theatrical point of view, but you've covered it nicely, getting the musical idea across. It's got some great energy,  just like the original . . . transported me back, musical time travel is the best !

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9 hours ago, noynekker said:

Hey John Bradley . . . a brave effort, taking on those classics and all ! I SO appreciate your attention to detail here. I simply had to google and hear the original recording, and yours sounds so very digital, with so much more high end in the snare especially in comparison.

Fair enough. I take "very digital" as a complement! Big fan of clarity.

Wasn't especially trying to emulate the sound of the old recording, just the various performances. I love the (admittedly artificial) sound of big crisp drums, and use them on pretty much everything. FWIW, if Mr. Loaf & Co. were to perform (or re-record) the thing live, I suspect the drums would sound closer to what I went with than those on the original recording. Different time, different expectations.

And thanks for listening and giving some feedback - most appreciated!

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Excellent cover (including the wimpy falsetto 🙂 ).

I'm not usually a huge fan of "exact" covers, but this was top drawer effort and the results were truly satisfying.

 

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Cool, a shoutout from actual Cakewalk Forum Royalty!

Thanks, glad me and my femmy alter-ego could make a respectable go at it... even if by the end of the song we want to kill each other. 😄

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John, you do perfect covers, but you put your own stamp on it as well.  I was  big fan of meatloaf growing up.  And, he was in rocky horror so got the creds.  Thanks for doing this.

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Great job on this epic tune.    Besides the song and the singing parts, the Phil Rizzuto part was really good as well.    Cool ideas to create the radio announcer vibe.

 

Regards

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Thanks @David Sprouse and @markno999, and everyone else who gave it a listen.

Glad you guys approve of my efforts at covering songs that don't get covered all that often. You won't be hearing me do a cover of Hard to Handle or What I Like About You, because a) my band can play them just fine, and b) if I never hear those two songs again, that'd be just fine with me.

I'm a frustrated cover band guy. The tracks I produce are meant to properly realize songs that I want to play in my band but can't (lack of players, lack of talent) or they're tracks that I can't get the other guys interested in playing. In the former case, I can reuse these projects to supply additional backing tracks for the band. In the latter, well, at least I get to play the darned song!

 

In real life, I've got a little 3pc (guitar/bass/drums) rockin' teen combo, plus a singer who just sings. But in the bedroom, I can have a band with 5 guitar players, a horn section, as many backup singers as seems necessary, and so on. Without the many problems that having a larger band would entail. Not the least of which is where to put them all. And also to be able to have all those extra musicians only play on the songs that need them, and not every single song you play, because you've got bored guys just standing there, noodling away, even in the ballads.

It's keen. And it gives me something to do without leaving my house; they've all gone mad out there.

Edited by John Bradley

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