toddlerner

Todd Lerner's new CD of songs...

28 posts in this topic

Thanks for the additional feedback -- valuable info! (I was somehow unsubscribed to this thread and so wasn't notified of your latest posts.) -Todd

You know, I should point out, though, that mixing from the stage can be a bit of a pain.  What you should do, regardless, is to attend a show at the venue you plan on playing at, and see how good the sound people are.  You'd probably want to see a local act, since most touring bands have their own sound people.

If it sounds okay, you might just want to let them mix it--  if the vocals are inaudible, the bass drum sounds like a paper bag, and the guitar feeds back every time it hits a certain note, you might consider trying to take matters into your own hands.  But at least by checking out for yourself what their sound system sounds like, how their sound people like things mixed, and what kind of equipment they have, you can anticipate what aspects of your sound you will need to be aware of.  And then you can meet the sound people and see if they seem cooperative or not, and if they really seem to care about the sound or not.  If you want to check out a couple of shows, you might take notice if they have a specific type of "sound" that they try to force upon anybody who plays there, regardless of style.  Then you can evaluate if you think that's compatible with what you're doing, and if not, you can counter it from the stage like I said.

For me, it's more feasible to mix my own stuff, since I use a lot of drum machines, guitar effects, and synthesizers, etc-- but for just a couple of guitars and vocals it might be easier to let someone control the sound who is actually out in the room.  Just know that you do have some options and you're not necessarily completely at their mercy, the way they sometimes like you to think!

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Hi Todd!

I haven’t completed thinking I’d like to do to summarize my thoughts, but it’s time for a thought, so here goes!

The thing that interests me is: why do I judge this album a 9/10? What could make it a 10/10, given that there are many ways of being a 10?

So far what I’ve come up with is that while I enjoy the music very much as it is playing, I don’t spontaneously think of it when it’s not playing. And I think that the reason I don’t is that the tunes seem more staccato than melodic to me. Does that make sense? It’s as if there are a lot of short bursts of song; they start very well but they don’t reach a powerful, sustained conclusion of any kind.

In contrast, one of the waltzes that I just can’t get enough of and wish I could sing properly is Nocturne from Secret Garden:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001GB...v=glance&n=5174

When I’m dancing to this song with a nice partner, the world is only the music and my response. I really love that feeling. Of course these are completely different, radically different styles.

I wonder if part of the difference between what I’m looking for and what you have done is because of the stories you chose? It seems that the theme of most of the songs is about starting, not finishing things. So the kiss is stolen, but the lady didn’t miss it. The blah blah person didn’t really listen yet. The long look in the eyes is talked about, it seems. The TV is becoming a good recreation, etc.

Does that match with your intent? I get the feeling a lot of what you love is writing a good story. You really do that part well! I confess some of them were complex enough that I didn’t catch them on the first go or so. You could probably add more refrains/etc. to easily fix that.

Because the pure staccato can be done in a way I find more hummable. Dolly Parton is a good example.

I hope you will have many comments on my little ideas. I’d especially like to hear about your goals and what you would like to do in a 2nd album.

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Hi Elizabeth,

I'm honored that you took the time to analyze my music. Thank you :)

> So far what I’ve come up with is that while I enjoy

> the music very much as it is playing, I don’t

> spontaneously think of it when it’s not playing.

Me too! What an excellent observation.

> And I think that the reason I don’t is that the

> tunes seem more staccato than melodic to me.

> Does that make sense?

Yes. I understand what you are saying!

> In contrast, one of the waltzes that I just can’t

> get enough of and wish I could sing

> properly is Nocturne from Secret Garden:

I listened a bit at iTunes, and there are many songs that do similar things to me.

> I wonder if part of the difference between

> what I’m looking for and what you have

> done is because of the stories you chose?

I think I might know what the difference could possibly be, and I'm not sure it's the stories -- I'll give my thoughts in a bit...

> It seems that the theme of most of the songs

> is about starting, not finishing things.

I'm not sure about this...

> So the kiss is stolen, but the lady

> didn’t miss it.

(My intended theme was "mischievous joy.")

> The blah blah person didn’t really listen yet.

(My intended theme was "cutting out irrationality.")

> The long look in the eyes

> is talked about, it seems.

(My intended theme was "reflection through relationship.")

> The TV is becoming a good recreation, etc.

(My intended theme -- though it might be working backwards on this song as a justification for a song I kept because I liked the music and the cleverness of the lyrics -- was "happiness in being alone.")

> ... I confess some of them were complex enough

> that I didn’t catch them on the first go or so.

And now, even though you are talking about the lyrics, I think, you are thinking something similar to what I'm thinking...

> Because the pure staccato can be done in

> a way I find more hummable.

And there it is: I think hummable songs might owe their hummability to good and simple and more "vertical" melodies, with fairly simple arrangements. By vertical melody, I mean a melody which goes up and down the scale, more like a typical Paul McCartney melody, rather than a "horizontal" melody, which stays more in one spot (while the chords/harmonic structure moves around it), which is more like a typical John Lennon melody.

I think that my melodies might be more horizontal simply because my singing range and ability is limited and so I stay within my comfort zone while writing/singing the song. But this is something I must reconsider!

Incidentally, horizontally melodic songs with moving chords/harmonic structures might require that one actually be listening to the song to really appreciate it because simply humming a horizontal melody does not as easily imply the harmonic structure.

As for complexity of arrangement -- the other possible hummability factor -- I think this might involve a balancing act between quickly-catchy songs verses songs which last through many listenings. I often give this axis thought, and I believe I could benefit by continuing to give it thought!

> I’d especially like to hear

> about your goals and what you

> would like to do in a 2nd album.

If and when I record another album, I was thinking of recording it more roughly. Less produced. That would interest me. But I do have other work to do as well. I have non-musical writing to do.

I'm currently thinking over my plans for the next phase of my life :)

Thanks again for your good input.

-Todd

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