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epii

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epii last won the day on January 24

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About epii

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    Starving Musician
  • Birthday 11/26/1956

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  1. Luis Hernandez, Tonskald, and Sepharite, Wow! Thanks you guys. I don't like today's popular music either. All the great timeless music from Bach to The Beatles seems lost to an entire generation. I miss simple melodies. Ahhh, the good old days indeed! Thanks again. :) -Rick (AKA epii)
  2. This is a popish sort of tune I made up in Sonar 8.5. I know, I know, it would have fit in back in the late 60’s or early 70’s. But that’s the pop music I love. I’m interested to hear opinions on composition, arrangement, melody, and how everything comes through in the mix. It badly needs a vocal. I have the lyrics written, I just don’t have a singer. I tried to get that awesome bari sax sound on The Beatles “Savoy Truffle”, it’s no where close, but it’s the best I could do with the sample libraries I have. First person to say “It needs more cowbell” wins a brand new shiny car. EDIT: There are two mp3's, one is without the horns and synths just so the melody is clearer. That, and I'm not really too thrilled with my horn arrangement.
  3. Guillem82, The flute-y thing I use is actually the “classic flute” patch of the FM8 virtual synth. And being that it’s a synth flute as opposed to a sampled flute, the range of the notes have no bounds. I don’t have a working knowledge of flutes to know when I’ve dipped down into alto flute range, so thanks for pointing that out. I’ve been working on this piece since you posted your last comments and I think I’ve isolated that reverb you mentioned. This mix in Sonar is a real mess. I forgot that I used another FM8 synth patch called “tronflute” modeled after the mellotron. It’s that patch that is real heavy on the reverb. As the arrangement was developing the classic flute patch was getting covered up by the other instruments and the plugins volume was maxed out as was Sonars volume for that midi channel. So I started more instances of those patches and layered them on in unison to get more volume. In addition to getting more volume, I also got some unison phasing and more hiss and more reverb. I’m in the process of cleaning up the mix and dumping the hissy reverb heavy tronflute entirely. It’s tedious work but I think it’s sounding much better. I found an effects plugin that boosts volume so I can now get the volume I need from the FM8 classic flute patch. I’m sure that’s way too much information, but I’m just typing to lull myself to sleep in the wee hours of the morning after a long day in Sonar land. Sonar long ago burned a ghost image into my TV screen. Good, because maybe I’ll talk myself into getting a 4K TV, hehehe. I think I’m getting sleepy now. -Rick
  4. Guillem82, Thanks for your helpful comments. Yes, you are right about the lower register in the melody getting lost in the mix. I’ve been working on this trying to increase it’s volume without muddying up everything. And as for the bass, I appreciate your pointing out it being too loud. I always have trouble getting bass levels at just the right balance. I mix in my flat response studio headphones, I know it’s not good to do that, but I have no monitors other than the built-in speakers on my TV. After posting this piece initially, I’ve been making changes to it trying to address these very issues you’ve mentioned, but I’m glad that you’ve confirmed them nonetheless. As far as a score, unfortunately I don’t read music so I’m kind of at a loss there. I really appreciate your feedback! Thanks again. -Rick
  5. Guillem82, Thank you for your kind words. I do realize most of the music people post here is more orchestral but being I have no vocals I consider my stuff as “incidental”. Glad you like it. 🙂 -Rick
  6. Here’s another piece I wrote on piano. Yes, it needs a vocal, but you’ll have to settle for the flute-y thing. There’s a lot going on in places and I’m not good at measuring dB levels, clashing frequencies, and all that sort of mind numbing stuff. I just like focusing on musical elements like melodies, harmonies, dynamics and stuff. I hope you at least get the flavor of the piece. It’s in F# minor, one of my favorite melancholic keys. I would appreciate feedback on everything from overall composition, arrangement, instrumentation, dynamics, and... *gulp*, the technical stuff like “boost the mid-range at around 20dB” (I actually just made that up and haven’t got a clue what it even means). I NEED AN ENGINEER DAMN IT! hehehe. But really, I do. Enjoy. -Rick
  7. Esper, And also composers in need of lyricists. 🙂 Checking out colleges for singers is a great idea. Thanks for your feedback! -Rick
  8. I’m thinking about entering a song writing contest but I can’t decide which of these two pieces to use. I think I’ve posted both of them here in the past for critiques, but now I just want to know which one I should use as an instrumental entry. Also, the titles; “Mental Suicide” and “I Don’t Want to Think” are really only working titles because of words that popped into my head as I was humming out the melodies, they can be changed. I’d like an opinion on that as well. Any feedback would be most appreciated. -Rick
  9. Fantastic!!! Very convincing! This must have taken you a very long time to do. Bet you had many sleepless nights. I’m assuming this was all done with virtual instruments and if so, those are some incredible samples! The mix and arrangement are world class. The reverb is wonderful and really makes it sound like a live performance. Just incredible! I hope you are trying to get the attention of people that could use your talents. This is a level of proficiency that few command. Great work!
  10. Here’s another one with heavy Beatles influence. I’m interested to know how the balance is and if the bass is too loud. Thanks for listening.
  11. jawoodruff, I lowered the volume on the flute-y thing a bit and panned the strings a bit to the left. This made some parts more audible so I fixed a few melodic voicings that weren’t sounding quite right. If you get a chance, I’d be interested in your opinion. Are the strings too loud?
  12. jawoodruff, Thanks for the helpful feedback. Question: By "equalize the strings up in volume", are you just referring volume as opposed to applying EQ? Great to know the melody is clear, and since you had no comment on the bass levels, I'll assume they are fine. I will be checking the things out that you mentioned. Thank you very much for the feedback! -Rick
  13. The new and improved arrangement of a little ukulele tune I made up. I made a few changes (not that anyone would ever notice), but of course, I notice. Any feedback would be most appreciated, especially with regards to the supporting arrangement for the “flute-y” melody. Being as the flute-y thing gets split into 3 part harmonies, I’d be interested to know whether the main melody (the singular line of the first verse), gets lost. And, as with all my stuff, is the bass too loud, too soft, or just fine? Does it work as an instrumental? Maybe for some cheeky video game? The “Kirby” series comes to mind. I love the tunes in “Kirby’s Epic Yarn”. I intended it to have a vocal but my singing voice requires a lot of auto-tune, and besides, I don’t have a great microphone. That and I don’t much care for writing lyrics. Thanks in advance.
  14. mark, Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you like it. Good to know I didn't overdo the percussion (I hope, anyway). I never know if on other systems some percussive aspect will jump out to the front of the mix. That and the bass. I only know what sounds good on my setup. I just get a headache trying to read up on all the technical stuff for recording. I think you gave me a tip a while back to insert a similar type commercial song into the DAW and just try and match levels. I don't think I did that for this particular piece, but I have indeed tried that on other stuff and it works pretty good. Thanks again.
  15. Monarcheon, I changed the double ride cymbals in that section to single rides because after your comment, all I could hear was ride cymbals... hehehe. I might decide to put it back to double rides and maybe change to a different cymbal or something because I still tend to double ride the cymbals in that part when I pretend I’m drumming (air drumming). It’s good to get someone else’s perspective. I thought; hmmm, “yeah, that’s too heavy on the rides”. Sometimes I feel like a painter that never steps back a few feet to see the entire picture, know what I mean? So thanks for the outside perspective. If you could give that section another listen, I would most appreciate your opinion. But if not, that’s okay. UPDATE: After I posted this response I went back and listened to that section again and it sounded kind of bare, so I put the double ride cymbals back in but reduced the volume on it. I’m no Ringo, but I try and think “How would Ringo do it?”. Way better than me and that’s for sure. I just couldn’t live with one ride every beat, and the hi-hat just didn’t seem to work. So it’s the double ride I guess. What are ya gonna do? hehehe. Thanks Monarcheon, I still very much appreciate your feedback, and if you get a chance I’d sure appreciate it if you could give it another listen and let me know what you think. But if not, that’s okay.
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