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Here's another ukulele song with arrangement that I wrote. This time with strumming.

Please comment on anything that stands out as too loud. Luis Hernandez commented that the tambourine and bass were too loud. I've uploaded a re-mix where I've re-adjusted those two volumes. I don't know if it helped so any comments are appreciated. I also re-worked some melodies and harmonies.


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Happy tune! Good to hear 🙂

The melody is suffering in the mix. There's a lot you could do with saturating to bring out some harmonics and turning down the bass or doubling the track. Look up some vocal mixing tricks perhaps from Waves or iZotope for example.

The shaker that comes in (1:25-ish) is a bit to straight for my taste in a song that seems more shuffling.

Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for the excellent comments, they are all very helpful.

I will be looking into this.

Bass is always very hard for me to balance in a mix. I know you're not supposed to mix using headphones, but I do (shame on me). They are studio headphones but still they tend to bring out the bass and I'm always concerned that if I lower the bass volume that it will disappear in the mix. Good to get your feedback on that. I'll bring down the bass and hope it can still be heard.

As for the shaker (in this case maracas), very astute comment on your part. I was on the fence with adding them in the first place, it just seemed to need to pick up some dynamics right at the spot you mentioned. I struggled with getting a shuffle with the maracas and wondered at the time if they were even needed. They were competing with the tambourine anyway... so you have now convinced me to take out the maracas.

I'm rather technically challenged with using fx and such. More to the point.. I don't have a clue how to use "shelves" and the like. Whenever I read about dB levels it makes my head spin... I just don't understand. I just love composing and arranging.

Again, thanks for the helpful comments!

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  • 2 weeks later...

epii, as a ukulele player myself, I was, at least in spirit, playing along with you while listening to the piece. I loved the run-downs, and wondered what they (the chords) were.

I am envious of you getting to play your ukulele with musicians using other instruments: I am limited either to massed ukuleles (who refuse to consider the inclusion of other instruments), or playing at home accompanied by my wife on her flute. The arrangement on here of your piece is post-rebalancing and so sounds perfect.

One question: why did you choose an even strum pattern, rather than choose a strum pattern (or patterns) to bring out some of the off-beats?

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Thanks for the nice comments they mean a lot to me, really, thanks.  :)

Did you really think this was actual instruments?!!! That makes me even happier. It's all virtual instruments that I used in my DAW (Sonar 8.5).

I thought it was a pretty good ukulele sample library and so I used it here. I wrote the tune on the ukulele my sister and her family gave me two Xmas's ago. I tediously inputted every fingering from my uke into Sonars piano roll. It's not as hard as it sounds once you get into it.

You said: "and wondered what they (the chords) were"

Ha, ha, ha... I couldn't tell ya 'cause I haven't got a clue myself. I play guitar and know guitar chords but the ukulele is new to me and I just found chords myself by playing around with it. I kinda like not knowing what I'm doing on it, not knowing what chords I'm playing or what key I'm in, but that's just me.

You asked: "why did you choose an even strum pattern, rather than choose a strum pattern (or patterns) to bring out some of the off-beats?"

I guess I'm not quite sure what you mean by "even strum pattern" but at any rate the following technique is what I did to make the strumming - I don't know if you yourself use virtual instruments and if not then this might not make any sense to you - but here's what I did:
I simply cut down the volume on the upstrokes by lowering the volume bars of those notes (chords) in the piano roll. I was surprised to hear it sound like a kind of convincing strum.

Then I added the rest of the stuff i.e. drums, bass, melody, etc.

It started off as a simple bouncy melody and quickly grew into more complicated overlapping harmonies. That happens a lot with me. I just love working out parts.

The quirky elongated ending (in case you were wondering) was actually the result of my not being happy with any of the outro ideas and so I just let them all happen one after the other... then it turned out being my favorite part.

Thanks again for your nice comments.

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  • 4 months later...

Tune is very catchy..   Take the headphones you mix with; listen to commercial material you like, or in a genre similar to yours. Take careful note of how things sound in them..  If your set-up allows it (using a DAW)..   Copy the commercial song into your project.  solo the commercial song, and your bass. Play around with matching volume, eq.  Do this with each of your tracks. Shut off commercial track, get your mix of your song - listen - fade up the commercial song.  Ignore key, tempo, note differences.  Listen for balance of your instruments, to the commercial song.  

The key is to get to know your particular headphones very well..  so you can compensate when you mix.  Keep up the good work

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