#1
Greetings,

Recently did 2 songs adding drum tracks with a program called rhythm rascal, and looking for some feedback on the songs and how I could improve them. I'm more and more comfortable with how to record so I want to go back and visit all 7 of the songs I've written so far and do whatever I can to try and make them better and more polished (which could be adding drum tracks).

Any comments on either of my 2 most recent ones - esp how to improve the drum tracks (if you've used rhythmrascal this is esp helpful!) appreciated and I will C4C.

You can hear dragons and The Shallow End on my purevolume page: http://www.purevolume.com/darcyhartwick
My Gear
Epi Les Paul
Roland Microcube
Boss DS-1 pedal
Shure SM57
M-Audio Fasttrack
#2
Dragons: Drums were simple at the beginning i thought maybe adding an extra half beat to it might sound better (i dont know how to say it in drum terms) lol, However i think the drums made the song i cant imagine it without the drums, im assuming the drums made it sound a lot more complete! great work

The Shallow End: I wasnt a fan of this song as much in general, i didnt like the brass (or whatever it is) in it. i dont know if that was added with the program or was always there but i dont think it would take anything away from the song to lose it. The drums fit really well here too i think i enjoyed the talking part at the end of this song. reminds me of the 90's

Just talking about your drums i think you did a great job. They definately fit in well with the song great job!
"Through every dark night there is a bright day after that so no matter how hard it gets, stick your chest out, keep your head up, and handle it."
#3
yea that's an alto sax that I tacked on at the end, played and recorded through a mic. I was iffy on it but haven't had anyone else to comment and say if it felt lame or not. Will probably remove it when I fix up the song.

Hard to know what you mean about the half beat... the basic drum pattern (used for the first half of the song or more) is (if i recall) a 16 bar pattern that repeats... so I think what you mean is after the cymbal crash in the 16th bar at the end of the pattern, add something to lead into the pattern beginning again? I'll give it a whirl if that's what you mean
My Gear
Epi Les Paul
Roland Microcube
Boss DS-1 pedal
Shure SM57
M-Audio Fasttrack
#4
I agree that the drums are lacking in drive. The kinda bring the songs back a bit. Your guitar tone and vocals sound really strange on the recording. The Alto Sax seems uneccessary. I like the song overall, a better recording would be awesome. Another guitar part instead of the sax perhaps?

C4C? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=968991

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#5
i thought dragons was pretty good man. something about 13 seconds sounds off to me tohugh, almost as if you skipped a little bit so you could sync the drum track. i think it could use some bass to tie it all together. the guitar tone was alright. i personally don't listen to much songs of this particular style though so i don't know if this is how it should be.

after listening to the shallow end, the slight dirt on the guitar isnt really doing it for me. im also for replacing the sax with guitar leads. the sax didnt really sit right for me.

overall good job man, cheers.
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Pearl Forum Series Drums
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#7
Since I started using reaper one thing I'm constantly struggling with is getting a guitar sound I like... I currently have to rig it through my practice amp just to get enough gain for decent volume, then I have a very limited # of effects I can apply once it's recorded most of which sound like complete shit. I have nothing that gives a clean/acoustic type sound at all so I'm stuck with always adding some distortion whether I want it or not

Will probably make a thread on here or read around to see what people suggest. Guitar rig comes up a lot but the full versions of that seem to run like $300! Pretty pricey for doing amateur recordings of stuff.

Was hoping the 13 second thing with the drums wasn't that noticeable... I basically chopped off 2 beats of the bar because it sounded like total ass if it came in with the vocals, this improved it a lot but I agree it's still weird to have drums start 2 beats after they logically should have. I spent about an hour or so trying to make a different pattern for the intro and everything I tried sounded ****ed so eventually I just tossed in the towel and did that instead. Being a total drum noob doesn't help much heh... I know when something sounds wrong but not how to make it sound better :p

Thanks for the comments everyone! so far ive got

- cut the sax part, maybe replace with a lead guitar part on shallow end
- change the tone/distortion of guitar on shallow end
- try to find a beefier drum pattern for shallow end
- fix drum intro on dragons somehow :p

The drum software I have is kind of limited (it only cost $20 :P)... I'm sure I have a lot of room for improvement though on the user end. One frustration is I can make up a drum pattern in my head but its impossible to then make it happen with the software most of the time ><
My Gear
Epi Les Paul
Roland Microcube
Boss DS-1 pedal
Shure SM57
M-Audio Fasttrack
#8
Dragons - I liked the flow of it, the drums do nothing for it tho! Definally has potential to be a great song with appropriate drums behind it. You have a nice voice aswell. Which is a big plus!

The Shallow End - I liked this more, tho wasnt too fond of the sax. I thought the drums kinda went with this. Once again loved the vocals. Over-all definally was my favourite song, through out the song it seemed like it had a dark feeling with the vocals and chord pattern which I liked!

#9
Hey there.
DRAGONS: Not bad of a tune, but I am not too big on the vocals.

SHADOWS END: The Sax I actually think sets the song back. It did nothing for me. When you are talking at 2:26, the whistling is too much - change mics or move your Pop-Shield as that makes a Big difference!

Over all, pretty damn fine, keep it up!!!!



? CRIT MINE ?
GEAR:
SCHECTER "Diamond Series" REVENGER Guitar
VOX AD30VT Amp
ZOOM HD16CD Digital Mulit-Track Recorder
1 SHURE SM-57,1 Audio-Technica AT2035, 1 APEX 435 Mic. & 2 APEX 180 Condencer Mics
Edited with Audacity & Adobe Audition 3
#10
Quote by starverse
SHADOWS END: The Sax I actually think sets the song back. It did nothing for me. When you are talking at 2:26, the whistling is too much - change mics or move your Pop-Shield as that makes a Big difference!


Thanks for the crit, I think its universal that the sax has to go on that tune! It was hastily tacked on to try and add something "more"... will try to maybe work out a lead guitar part instead.

On the whistling thing I have this happen quite a lot and am never sure if it's a) the mic I use or b) just a shitty part of my singing/speaking that I wasn't aware of. Maybe everyone's s's hiss like this and you just need a good mic to control it? Or is it just me and I need to find a way to speak/sing without doing it. I currently just use my headset-mic that I bought for playing video games, but my m-audio device allows me to use an XLR mic if I go buy one... wasn't sure if quality would be noticeably different or not - think that would help with the whistling?

If mic sounds like a good change are dynamic mics fine or do most people use condensors? I know when I bought the fast-track device one thing the guy told me was that it does not have phantom power so if I ever wanted to use condensor I would need yet another device to provide the phantom power? (am a mic noob but this sort of made sense... and he made it sound like dynamics were fine anyways)
My Gear
Epi Les Paul
Roland Microcube
Boss DS-1 pedal
Shure SM57
M-Audio Fasttrack
#11
These are just general observations that I typed up whilst listening. It's good practice for my upcoming music exams.

Dragons

Don’t like the opening drumming. Is it electric? It shows, and kind of effects the rest of the tune. Might just be getting to me, but yeah.

Chords slightly sloppy on occasions. Lyrics are very good! Nice voice.

Chorus is quite catchy. But maybe needs an over-dub to really bring it to life.

Could do with a bass line to add some more depth.

Overall - quite enjoyable!

The Shallow End

Sax/Guitar duo sounds nice. Sax could do with a bit more volume.

Voice entry a little shaky. Again, I reckon it needs to go up.

Electric drums! Again! Somewhat iffy in my opinion.

Did the sax just play something that didn’t quite fit? (A very small phrase)

Voice effects. Pretty effective. But the concept is over-used.

Drums getting very aggravating, the talking fade out might be better without ‘em.

Why can’t the sax do some sustained notes? “Drifting out to sea” - sax could emphasize that via this technique.

I was waiting for a booming, upbeat chorus with a sax solo. It never came.

Overall, this was interesting, generic to an extent, but has lots of potential.
#12
On the whistling thing I have this happen quite a lot and am never sure if it's a) the mic I use or b) just a shitty part of my singing/speaking that I wasn't aware of. Maybe everyone's s's hiss like this and you just need a good mic to control it? Or is it just me and I need to find a way to speak/sing without doing it. I currently just use my headset-mic that I bought for playing video games, but my m-audio device allows me to use an XLR mic if I go buy one... wasn't sure if quality would be noticeably different or not - think that would help with the whistling?


Here's some advice that someone told me when it comes to either cheap PC mics, or Headphone mics that you can't use a Pop Filter with ...

Take a piece of Kleenix, fold it up a few times and wrap it around the end where you talk into - keep it there with tape or an elastic ... I have tried it in the past it actually "sort of" helps with things like whistling!

It is worth a try anyways, and it's cheap, lol!!!
GEAR:
SCHECTER "Diamond Series" REVENGER Guitar
VOX AD30VT Amp
ZOOM HD16CD Digital Mulit-Track Recorder
1 SHURE SM-57,1 Audio-Technica AT2035, 1 APEX 435 Mic. & 2 APEX 180 Condencer Mics
Edited with Audacity & Adobe Audition 3
#13
Quote by Tomaz24
Dragons

Don’t like the opening drumming. Is it electric? It shows, and kind of effects the rest of the tune. Might just be getting to me, but yeah.

Chords slightly sloppy on occasions. Lyrics are very good! Nice voice.

Chorus is quite catchy. But maybe needs an over-dub to really bring it to life.

Could do with a bass line to add some more depth.

Overall - quite enjoyable!


Thanks for this! The drums are a really simple program and it is actually pretty frustrating to try and get any nice kind of sound out of it. I can often think of a beat in my head that would work much better, but when you have to try and create it using the 12 parts of a kit and just shading in boxes where you want them to be... well its almost impossible to do anything beyond the basic Would love to meet someone who is a drummer and play together to do cooler stuff, but for now its just me and this rythmrascal program.

What's an over-dub?

Bass line I could try as reaper has the VST to drop guitar by an octave, but I'm not a bass player so this will be real tricky to do without it sounding brutal :p



The Shallow End

Sax/Guitar duo sounds nice. Sax could do with a bit more volume.

Voice entry a little shaky. Again, I reckon it needs to go up.

Electric drums! Again! Somewhat iffy in my opinion.

Did the sax just play something that didn’t quite fit? (A very small phrase)

Voice effects. Pretty effective. But the concept is over-used.

Drums getting very aggravating, the talking fade out might be better without ‘em.

Why can’t the sax do some sustained notes? “Drifting out to sea” - sax could emphasize that via this technique.

I was waiting for a booming, upbeat chorus with a sax solo. It never came.

Overall, this was interesting, generic to an extent, but has lots of potential.


First person to say the sax/guitar sounds alright - I think you're the minority tho so for this song I'll likely just drop the sax altogether as suggested by others. And yes I know exactly the riff you are talking about that "doesnt quite fit" from the sax. Shortly after I mixed it down I realized I should have just cut that particular riff but overlooked it and figured I'd do it when I revisit the song after comments


Overall getting some mixed messages on the drums, but doesnt seem like anyone uses RR to give specific tips on how to improve.
My Gear
Epi Les Paul
Roland Microcube
Boss DS-1 pedal
Shure SM57
M-Audio Fasttrack