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We Are The Music Makers


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Posted by7 days ago
Posted by7 days ago
Posted by12 hours ago

I rarely see this topic on this sub, but it deserves a place. Vocal parts can absolutely make a song. But what should they sing?

Disclaimer: I sing and play instruments and write songs.

There is one tip that helped me immensely, and it came from an interview with band members of Mr. Bungle talking about Mike Patton’s process.

He built his lyrics by singing along to determine the melody and VOWEL SOUNDS that sounded right. Then he used that as template to create words around the vowel sounds so the words he put onto them sounded correct and expressed a meaning.

This really helped me in writing lyrics, much more than scribbling in my notebook, which I did for years. Finding the right vowel sounds makes the song more fun to sing and listen to.

I love Buddy Holly for this reason. They seem so correct and you can really chew on the vocals.

Posted by1 hour ago

Man there's so much to know and to do. Compared to being in a band and heading into the studio with an engineer and/or a producer.

Say you're a singer/songwriter who wants to make some songs, and have backing some virtual instruments:

You've got to know your instrument. Let's say guitar. Gotta make sure you have good technique. Know your chords and at least a little theory. Then you have to get your tone right. Do you DI and then use a digital software amp? Or do you mic you amp? Speaking of which... What's the best set up for this mic, and which mic should it be?

Now how much should I pay for the vocal mic? Which pattern should I use? Where should I put the mic in my limited space? How do I get rid of the hiss and the boxy sound? Is... Is that a ghost in the background of this track? Dad? How does a noise gate work?

Which of the 800 DAWs should I use? Reaper? Sure, looks cool. It's cheap too with tons of features. Okay, so now... Gotta learn countless shortcuts. Hey look, I'm using the Insert key for the first time in my life! Now I don't have a piano or keyboard to play on, so...let's see... Alt + B. Oh cool. But how do I play it on my laptop without the mouse? Oh, so I dock it...then I right click and choose to use all commands anywhere, this turning off all shortcuts I learned.

Okay, now let's get so virtual instruments. I'd love to have some kind of organ sound. Okay, so I can use this one that's free, but there's this super high quality one that's 200 dollars.... Yeah it's an investment. Oh no, the manual is 50 pages of shortcuts and information on each knob. I guess I'll skip that synth I had in mind with the cables. That'll probably come with an encyclopedia. Also I don't know what Attack, Release, and Decay do necessarily.

Oh I need drums now. Hey, Superior Drummer! Awesome. Alright so... Huh that tom sounds weird. I can change it out I guess with this button. And detune it... I'm not a drummer either so I've never thought about toms before. Oh they sell all kinds of other kits too! Huh this beat is great but just slightly off. Well I can go in here and map the notes and velocity. Just gotta figure out what velocity means.

Okay so I have all that. Now. I'd love some echo on my voice. "Reverb" I guess is the name. Man, there's a lot of different sliders. I'm not sure of the right amount of wet or dry here. I don't know how many milliseconds of decay are good.

I'm getting somewhere. I think. And now... Mixing.... Oh. Oh God. There's so much to this.

You know, thinking back on it, I should have probably written a few songs before all this.


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Reddit's home for discussing the music-making process - writing, composing, recording, live performance, mixing, mastering, and more!
Created Sep 9, 2008
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