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AndyB01

Breaking Away

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Posted (edited)

So you might have seen my recent post about an old music folder I found in my attic, dating back to circa 1980. Well, this is the first track to emerge from what has become known as The Lost Attic Tapes project.

This particular song has an interesting back story, I actually wrote it on guitar as an entry for a local (and I mean local) song competition – I’d have been about 17 or 18 I guess at the time (so you’ll forgive the lyrical naivety I hope).

We had to submit a recorded take (on TDK's finest quality cassette tape) as well as lyrics and music, so I had a piano arrangement written by a local semi-pro musician who was a mate of a mate. The bass player from my band played bass and my mate did drums and BGVs. My then guitar teacher played the piano and also composed the guitar solo (after two listens he recorded that in a single take). I then had to learn it and perform it on the day, as well as doing the lead vocal. In the end, we came second to a girl with an acoustic guitar and a song called ‘Suicide Letters’ (I told you it was a low bar). So we all retired to the pub afterwards to drink our £15 prize money – life changing stuff eh.

We used to perform this song in my band, Jetlag, (guitar, bass and drums) and once, the drummer got so bored, he put his sticks down and went to the bar (don’t you just love drummers), I don’t think anyone noticed.

As to the track itself, I started by re-creating the piano arrangement in Notion from the original dots (that’s the track with the higher register notes). I then made a chord track from that arrangement (programmed in PRV and played using a Soft Rhodes), which I then used in EzKeys - using one of the contemporary soul MIDI pack arrangements as a session pianist – this added a lower register to the piano to fill out the sound. The VSTs I used are Pianoteq 7 Stage and Synthogy Ivory II.

I used EzBass to create the bass track and EzDrummer for a drum track. The ‘acoustic’ guitar is actually my T5z, patched through a CLA guitars plugin and the guitar solo - which is the same guitar - is patched through one of the TH-U All packs with a touch of added delay.

I’m not sure this was ever in my vocal range over 40 years ago and it’s even less so now, but I really didn’t want to change the key. I did my best with the vocals and BGVs (give me some credit for attempting a four part harmony on the outro). The lyrics are very simple, but they have an innocent naivety I rather like – the World seemed a far simpler place back then.

Any improvements in my mixing are entirely down to the efforts of Mike @Creative Sauce (do check out his channel on YouTube if you haven’t already). This is the most complicated project I have ever attempted - with more tracks, buses and sends than enough. My projects used to be ever so simple (crap, but simple 😉 ) until I started watching Mike's videos and I now have delusions of capability 😂 - any production howlers are entirely mine, despite Mike's best efforts to make me better at my craft.

Anyway - here it is – the first track off the Lost Attic Tapes:  Breaking Away, circa 1980. I hope you enjoy it, nits and crits welcome as always. I had a lot of fun re-creating this – a real nostalgia trip.

Andy

https://www.bandlab.com/andyb01/new-project-c1538f34?revId=d8a86e40-baa9-ec11-a99b-501ac512ad32

 

Edited by AndyB01
Updated revision
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2 minutes ago, garybrun said:

Great stuff.
Reminds me of Bread  🙂

Great spot Gary, those opening chords might have been ever-so-slightly influenced  from 'Make It With You' - I was quite a fan of David Gates and Bread back in the day.

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@AndyB01

Very cool Andy . . . and I love the back story, an interesting read . . . "delusions of capability" made me laugh, as I totally relate. I think you've got a very smooth sounding mix here, and those harmonies so capture the period, well crooned:) Gary mentioned the band Bread, oh yeah they were the slow dance kings from another age, what was her name anyways ? It also brought to mind The Carpenters, or The Lettermen. I always find it interesting to re-visit projects from the past, and so glad you brought this down from the attic for us to hear, I can hear a lot of work went into this . . . really enjoyed the listen !

(Hope you re-activate some more like this)

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Suh-weet vocals with bgv's. Maybe I'm naïve too but I don't find the lyrics that twee, and the chord progression seems different enough when you go to that minor chord, very nice indeed.

I was hearing the bass guitar come in just a hair earlier than the drums on the beat? Might be worth a check, and the drums of course are super soft in the mix. You might just solo bass and drums, turn the drums up a smidge, how's their timing, is it together? That piano is also plenty busy with the little noodles, nice as they are. Your vocal however never leaves center stage, so nice and up front, I think it's perfect in the mix.

Dude, I think it's a great song, I could hear people doing karaoke on a 70's night to this!

 

cheers,

-Tom

 

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Thanks David, I've been called many things but that's a new one, appreciate your ears as always. 😂

Cheers @noynekker There are a few more I might revisit, one is a cover of a beautiful song I have always loved (See You Around Sometime) by a little-known Welsh folk singer (Neil Lewis) who is sadly no longer with us. I'm just re-learning the slightly tricky guitar part before I commit it to tape so to speak.

Cheers Tom: 1970s karaoke - absolutely - bring it on. You have good ears my friend, I hear that bass timing issue (no idea how that happened, I'll see if I can fix it) and yes maybe bring those drums up a touch. Each drum is on its own track routed to a single drum bus, so I should have enough control in the mix to get them right.

Thanks all for the comments and taking the time out to listen.

Andy

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Mix works here, it does exhibit some level of early writing naivety but then we all suffered. ( or suffer still from that.)

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We used to perform this song in my band, Jetlag, (guitar, bass and drums) and once, the drummer got so bored, he put his sticks down and went to the bar (don’t you just love drummers), I don’t think anyone noticed.

Ha ha, love this, you've just got to love Drummers - that was why I was so pleased when I could afford a drum machine!! Smaller, much lighter than a full set of drums and drunk much less🤪

I like the track - gentle soft rock I suppose you'd call it but very well done

Cool

Nigel

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for listening Wookie and Nigel  - yes drummers are a special breed, but not always special in a good way 😉 

Andy

Edited by AndyB01

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Hi AndyB01....very nice song....brings to mind another Andy....Partridge of XTC....please take that as a compliment as XTC was a great, great musical entity....cheers!!!! 🎶🎵🎸🎷

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Yeah i thought it sounded a bit like bread (david gates) at the beginning , great vocals and backing vocals , loved the chord changes really enjoed this one cheers p

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Thanks @Larry T. @Paul Bush and @Douglas Kirby - appreciate you taking the time to listen and feedback. Those BGVs took a few takes to get  in the can - a mate of mine (who has his own music production company) thought they were auto harmonies (something I never even knew existed); I don't know whether to be flattered or offended... 😂😂

Andy

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On 3/20/2022 at 1:26 PM, AndyB01 said:

once, the drummer got so bored, he put his sticks down

Drummers, not to mention guitarists forced to play bass; geez...

On 3/20/2022 at 1:26 PM, AndyB01 said:

I used EzBass to create the bass track and EzDrummer for a drum track

Its just easier (did I just coin a phrase? 🙃)

Always enjoy a good "blast from the past".

👍's

t

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