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song MARIA by Daniele Nasuti

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Daniele Nasuti, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Hi, this is my last single which I uploaded online yesterday. I wrote all by myself, both music and lyrics and I have arranged and recorded also all the instruments.
    There are also some orchestral...

    Let me know if you like it and if you have some advice. I know that it's not perfect but at some point I had only to upload...

  2. Did you sing the vocals mate?
  3. Yes, I did all by myself, written, arranged and played. I know that there are several little imperfections, specially in time and mixing, but I needed this song to be published yesterday so I hadn't time to make it better.
    It also lacks of electric guitar...

    (The whole lyrics are in the description of the video, in italian so if you want to know what it says you can copy on gogle translate ;)
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  4. #4 Alexander Schiborr, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    I like the song and the music. But I am afraid your vocal intonation and pitch and pretty much everything with that performance ruins or even worse crapatizes the song for me. :( I know I hate to say that, but either re-record your vocals after some much more practise or hire some decent singer for it. I am doing actually clean vocals on my own album also and I know: that is not easy. I don´t want to break your enthuasism really not, I think the music is fine the intention definitely. I hope you don´t hate me for saying that because this things are always a bit delicate to say as I can feel that you put some work into that song.
    Daniele Nasuti likes this.
  5. I agree with the pith intonation, I personally found 6 or 7 points in the vocal to re-record.
    (I actually have already re-recorded but I hadn'time to do comping so for this video I left as it was, because I neede to publish it yesterday.)

    However the rest of the vocal seems to be ok to me, exluding some volume automation and mix tweaks to do.
    I want to understand if you hadn't like the whole performance of vocal or if it is only for that pitch problems (which I gree with) and volume/mix of the vocal..
    Alexander Schiborr likes this.
  6. I would say (just my ears):

    1. Pitch (mandatory)
    2. Intonation (give it a bit more spice and expression, a bit more mofongo my friend)

    try really to take your time and even if you record several takes..take your time..the result is important in the end and that matters.
    Daniele Nasuti likes this.
  7. aren't pitch and intonation the same thing?? (However I can re-record those parts... think that at the beginning was even worst, in some points I did literally 20 takes before doing it right!! ahahahah :D )

    ok about expression, I can understand but I don't if I can improve that.

    Thank you for your advices!!! (however I'm not a singer but I really wanted to sing this song myself, too important for me)

    Sorry, another question: are the brass sounds bad??
  8. A few things I noticed:

    Rhythm: There are a handful of chords that don't match the rhythm and it doesn't quite feel intentional. As the arrangement gets denser (i.e. around 1:04), the bass, guitar and brass is out of sync too. Consistent rhythm is really, really important. Record it in short snippets if you need to. Record band parts to a click. Drums and bass have to be in time together. If you don't nail this, nothing will feel right. Rhythm is IMO one of the big instantaneous, subconscious markers for "hobby recording" vs. "professional recording".

    I also think making sure the instruments sound like they're in a believable space would be helpful. The brass sounds extremely synthy because it's almost completely dry and upfront. If brass was that close to the mic, it would overpower vocals, guitar and quiet-ish drums pretty substantially.
    Daniele Nasuti likes this.
  9. I didn't understand the part about chords that you say...

    However about rhytm I know that in some points there are little problems between expecially bass and drums but I hadn't time to fix it before publish it.
    Instead for the click I preferred to record without it, so the time of the whole song is what I could bring myself as playing: it will feel all more natural as were recorded albums many many years ago...

    On the mix side I'm not able yet to do it well because in those years I studied mainly composition, arrangements, orchestration... and also for this project I couldn't do a lot of mixing for reasons of time. But thanks a lot for the advice about brass, I didn't thought about it !!
    ... so in your opinion drums here are too much quiet?
  10. #10 Rohann van Rensburg, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    It's mostly an issue of consistent rhythm within the arrangement. The chord parts I was referring to was guitar being out of sync with drums.

    Respectfully, the albums that were recorded years ago had tight, highly experienced rhythm sections that recorded together (at least) after which guitar and vocals were added, or the band played and recorded together. That doesn't mean their rhythm was perfect, but it was consistently in time together. If you're recording everything by yourself, you either need to record to a click, or record the foundation of your song and play everything else on top of that.

    Example: Even though there is a tempo change here, and the band didn't play to a click, the music feels tight because they're playing tightly together:

    I don't want to discourage you, but the lack of consistency is distracting enough that I didn't think to comment on the writing. This is likely how an audience will react as well, because "togetherness" is how bands play.

    In terms of drums, it's not that I think your overall volume levels are an issue, it's that the drum dynamics aren't very "hard" or fortissimo, and neither is the guitar or vocals, but brass sounds like it's going full blast and yet is the same volume as the rest of the track. Do you have Mike's "Template Balancing" video? It's extremely helpful with this sort of thing and easy to follow. It goes into why reverb/depth is vital to creating a believable space.
  11. #11 Doug Gibson, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    Thanks for sharing your piece.

    I think you have 2 options, and it's not either/or. You can choose both if you wish. Hopefully it will be clear what I mean.

    1. Just leave the piece as it is:

    You published it already, and maybe it's best to just write the next song you want to write.
    My honest professional opinion has both good and bad news (only if taken personally)

    Technically it sounds like a demo. I don't think any of the cosmetic change advice above (while accurate) is going to move the needle much.
    It is what it is.

    Now, the flip side is: I can easily image people who overlook this and connect with the message. I am going to take a wild guess that this is a song of religious devotion. I don't speak Italian, but the picture of you standing in front of a cross, statue of Mary, and neon colors for Maria......make me pretty sure it is.

    Then just roll with the "Inner Pearl". If the devotion, and message is strong enough....."let it be".
    For example, technically Kurt Cobain what a really shit guitar player. Their first album is full of...... it's just sloppy the whole way thru.

    For the next stage:

    Give it a few months break, and return to it when it no longer feels like your child. You are just too close too it now to really consider this, but

    2. Hire a professional recording service to produce this song: It's something I am kind of interested in myself. There are a number of "upload your song" and let's say for $1,500 dums, bass, guitar, (maybe a brass player ?) and a professional mixer will record it for you.

    Anything between this is a waste of time IMO. There are too many foundational problems (right now, at this time, not forever) with your process to just continue solo and move the final product from 1 to 2.

    I've been on both sides of the coin here. I began by making demos just like this too. I have also been hired by people who, like yourself, are not singers and have a very personal, give back to the world, message that they want to sing.

    Those were very,very, tricky sessions to be the producer on. By bringing in the professional band, and so forth, at least we accomplished putting that message in the best possible frame/presentation.

    good luck with everything

    PS. The other thing I would offer is if what we hear here is what you want to do with your music and life:
    Play live. Get out of the studio/bedroom and play in front of people. I had a teacher who basically learned from the streets: He had daily gigs in Vegas, and he always said if anyone serious (this is like for bands - think Prince/ or MJ or so on) about becoming a pro needs to gig at least 300 times a year.
    Daniele Nasuti likes this.
  12. Doug raises a good point. I think I may have gotten distracted because it sounded like you intended this to be a finished product -- if it were an orchestral piece I likely would have said the same thing. If you intend this to be a demo of sorts then I would have ignored the production and performance aspects.

    I got great advice in this regard from Nick Johnston a while ago -- "nothing will make you realize how much you suck until you start playing live/with other people". Really applied in my case.

    @Daniele Nasuti Joining a church worship team is a great way to do this, as you get to fulfill a number of different musical avenues without the audience being too terribly transfixed on your performance.
  13. #13 Alexander Schiborr, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
    I would concentrate more on the performance aspect..I would say as a macro thing for your piece: The overall performance have to sound more professional. You know..great band playing together is about creating groove, feeling and a sense of tightness and you swim there a lot it sounds at times even unintentionally sloppy and that is not good.
    The production is another point..the drums..are very flat and simply sounding like from practise room session. It doesn´t sit together, you know? Similiar things I can tell about the vocals which are like not coming from the the sound enviroment. You need either to raise your own expactation quite a lot or if that is the best that you can achieve at the moment hand over the stems to someone who mixes that in a way that it sounds more commercial and genre typical in production. And still: Even if you would do it the vocals are the most obvious downside and the center focus of that song so they have to be perfect otherwise they ruin the song regardless if the rest is produced in the right fashion. Watch out for great vocalists and learn from them. Hector Lavoe, Marc Anthony etc.

    A few pointers for you to google or to youtube it:
    1. producting pop or commercial sounding drums
    2. Treating pop or lating vocals mix
    3. How to create groove
    4. Mixing vocals, bass and drums together
    5. Polishing a classic pop production
    6. Using reverbs and delay on vocals effectively
    7. Bassdrum and Bassguitar how they correspond

    My wife introduced me to a lot of latin american music artists during the last 6 years and listen to that. Here is the mofongo what I was talking about. Listen to the Hector how he plays

  14. Ok, all this advices make me think that I did very well to publish this despite all rhytm and mixing problems of which I was consciousness.
    @Doug Gibson you hit the point, this was only a demo, because I need to be published for an important contest, and I couldn't do better for reasons of time.
    I'm a perfectionist, so I wouldn't ever published a thing like that if it wasn't for the contest. I already knew about rhytm problems but I did all in short time.
    Then I have to say that I wrote this song something like 10 years ago and I was bored to keep only for myself so I published also online for send the message in the lyrics to peaople.
    This isn't a religious song but is dedicated to MARIA, mother of God, but not like a prayer... this is like a song dedicated to my mother. You can find the italian lyrics in the description of the video on youtube and translate it by google translate.

    no, but is already on the next class list to buy when I'll have money...
    I haven't working in the last years because I wanted to study well before begin to do this seriously so I have some decent instrumentation but for other things not really (I recorded with a pair of closed phones 10$ and I had to do also the battery with my weighted keys, which is not the best for drums... because the korg triton was having problems with MIDI and I don't have another midi keyboard now.)

    About rythm and concerts I played with groups
    keyboardist in a cover band of bublè, I'm in the top left with grey keyboard
    I played Tuba in a marching band I'm the one in the center:
    but is not my intention to be a live musician, I prefer writing. But I had to sing this song myself becaus it's important for me, very personal.

    However I would adjust all wrong things with the song and maybe add also electric guitars... I'll see if I can, but at least for now people can listen to this and maybe take something good from the music and the lyrics.

    I had already :) many years ago in several choirs and I also partecipated in the CD "Concedimi di lodarti" by Alessandro Pellicciaro in which I only did choirs with other people as volunteer for burkina faso.

    About mixing I didn't even tried to do it, for the time... but I not very good at. Of course Template balancing will be the next clas I'll take.

    If you have also some advice for composition and orchestration I would appreciate

    thank you so far for all advices, you gave me some good ideas!! :) :)
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.

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