Spoiler: Yes, the song is finished, hehehe.
I am so overjoyed that it is completed! It took me about two months to get it done, just because I was so busy with other things and procrastinating!
One day I knew the LORD wanted me to work on it, my excuse was to sweep the house, hehehe. It's not because I resented or didn't want to work on it, but there is always the enemy there telling you all manner of nonsense about how it will or will not turn out, about how much people care, or shall I say, don't care about what you have to offer and so on.
It was so bad at one point during the arrangement that I was absolutely terrified that it would just be the worst thing ever made... It got a smidge worse when I had recorded all the individual instrument tracks (I use VST's) and copied my mix from the MIDI file. Yikes!!! Was that bad or what...!
I had the funniest moment. I can't say it was the LORD, because it didn't sound like HIM, but it was hilarious all the same. I went for a quick walk after hearing that awful mix and I just asked that the LORD will help me make it awesome! And I heard: "but then you'll win..." hahaha!!! I guess mostly because of the "winning" claim part, I can't say it was the LORD, but the scared reaction (GOD doesn't get scared) of a strong possibility of winning, was hilarious to me. It was like knowing that someone would succeed if you gave them a dollar and you didn't want to give it up, lest they be successful, hahaha. It's extreme level of ridiculousness made it so funny I guess. Btw, I absolutely think it can win.
What I can say was the LORD was after that reaction, I did get led to redo the whole mix. Starting at 0db gain for everything and start layering it from the piano vocal down to the drums.
My drum track was soooooooooooooo awful first time around! After I listened to it on the mix, I knew it was just too busy. It was so bad, it was like it tried to cheer the seriousness of the song. I basically kept a few parts I did like and rewrote the rest based on those snippets.
With the new drum track and the mix ready, I had to record - PROCRASTINATION! Hahaha!
This time insecurity was the problem. All my life, I was told by a certain family member that I can't sing and should just shut up. At the time, it was true, but that's not how you motivate someone to improve. When I heard myself for the first time in high school, I was stunned! I had the reaction that everyone has to hearing themselves, plus the realisation that I couldn't hold a tune properly to save my life. My pitch was fine, but everything else was horrible, hahaha. Fast forward, I still have those insecurities, despite having learned MUCH better technique - still with all those insecurities about my voice.
My dad went to the store one day, so I had the house all to myself. This was my chance to record it without someone actively listening! I finished it with that, but when my dad asked to hear it, I was immediately like: "Eeeww... I have to re-record this...". He loved it, but to me my compression was weak, I sounded muffled, I swallowed my words, etc. All the insecurities about recording was audible - no joke! I played it for my mom later and she confirmed it. She also thought my mustache muffled my voice! hahaha, NOPE! At best it's a partial pop filter.
She didn't say I needed to re-record it, but just that the music was too loud in comparison and that she couldn't make out what I was saying. Getting that kind of honest feedback these days is rare! Everyone is so scared of hurting someone's feelings, that they just go: "It's wonderful!! Best song I've ever heard! It's flawless!" hahaha.
So, with my own valuation confirmed, I re-recorded the next day and out of that session the final version was done!
Now, let's talk about the unspoken elephant in the room - Tuning, or as some call it broadly, Autotune (actually a program, but has come to be the verb too, hehe).
I do have a tuning plugin. It does do a fine job of tuning my voice overall, but I don't like the sound of it. It's like it makes my voice sound too perfect and somewhat metallic - even if it's set quite low. I guess you could say that it sounds tuned. I did a whole version that was mixed with tuned vocals, but I opted not to go with it...
I did however use some tuning on the final one. I wanted very soft vocals to widen the overall sound of the lead vocal (this would usually be done by backing vocals with the same voice range), so I tuned two soft duplicates of the original and used the time offset panning technique to create a slightly wider sound. That 60's/70's group sound at the start is because of those tuned vocals not sounding exactly the same as the lead, which was the goal. The main vocal, aka the one you hear, has not been tuned, but you'll probably be able to tell that, hehehe.
Let me just say that I don't have a problem with people using tuning on their vocals, I just prefer not to - I do love that harsh tuning sound though, especially when it's not the focus.
"So where is this song?" I hear you ask! Well, I can't share it yet. Because I want to submit it for the competition. It has to be an unreleased original song, which means I can share the link for you guys to listen to the countdown and/or share it afterwards. Haven't submitted it yet though... Deadline is the end of May and I don't have the money yet (thankfully still a month). I'm awaiting payment from a client, then I can submit it! :D
So yeah, FINALLY! After years of feeling like GOD wants me to write songs, the first of hopefully and prayerfully thousands, has been written and produced!
Now the movie needs finishing too, hehe.
Have a super day!
GOD bless you!
Posted by Marius Oberholster. Posted In : News