Author Topic: Are there any vocalists in this forum?  (Read 988 times)

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Offline plexus

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Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« on: January 07, 2017, 03:55:09 AM »
Hi all.  I've written a song and I'm after a male vocalist to sing the lyrics. I've had a go at it myself but I'm no songbird and even after pitch-correcting and running a few filters, well, it just ain't gonna work. I'm on a couple of musician/band sites but the reason I'm asking here rather than there is that it's a sure bet that most people on those sites will be offended by the lyrics as it sends up woo-woo (the title of the song is "Stupid Things") and it'll probably bend a few noses out of joint, so I figure it's better to ask some skeptics with musical talent instead.

All you need is a good voice, a decent microphone, an audio interface, and a good enough Internet connection to run VST Connect Performer (which is a free download from Steinberg) so I can hook you up directly into the studio DAW and run a live studio session remotely. If you're a muso you'll almost certainly have the mic and audio interface. I'll put the finished piece up on Sound Cloud.

So is anybody willing to collaborate on this with me for fame and fort.... err.... fame?

Offline drproximo

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 07:41:51 PM »
I don't meet most of your "requirements", but depending on your setup that might not be a problem. here's a cover I did in GarageBand on my iPod Touch... as in, I arranged all the music in GarageBand, and I recorded the vocals directly into GarageBand with the iPod Touch's built-in microphone. the producer who posted this to his soundcloud did minimal mastering and pitch correction. I'm currently homeless so my internet access is limited to wifi while I'm at Starbucks or other places, there's no way I'd be able to do that VST thing, but I find places and times to record vocals here and there, when it's not in GarageBand I listen to the backing track with earbuds on my phone and record my vocals as a Voice Memo. if you think you can work with my recordings under those conditions, I'd be willing to give it a shot.
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Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 08:34:44 PM »
Bass, tenor?  Looking for a raspy voice or clean?  Little more details might help.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 02:02:37 AM »
Im not very good but enthusiastic...
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline plexus

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 05:01:16 AM »
Hi guys, thanks for responding. It's a send-up song, and there are literally only a few notes in the lyrics, spanning an interval of only a fifth, so it's not demanding like an opera  :)

It's a really basic, really really simple melody with a catchy hook (well at least I think it's kinda catchy, although it's driven my partner mad as she's been listening to it for eons as I've been developing it. She calls it an ear worm, so I guess I'm flattered.)

My preferred method of working is with someone who can log into my studio and do a live remote session, as you've got webcam happening with talkback, it makes it easier to work on and nut ideas out in real time. However having said that, if it came down to your listening to a playback and recording a separate vocal file which you can Dropbox up so I can include that into a track, that could also work, but it's a lot harder and I'd rather not go that way if I can avoid it. In either case you'll need a decent microphone and audio interface so we can get a quality result. So if you've already got those, the remote session software is only a tiny extra bit to add on top.

As for vocal range, I think alto or tenor would work out best, as the backing is heavy on the brass and might muddle a bass vocalist. Still wouldn't quite rule out bass though, as I can most probably EQ out the interference. Style of voice could also be anything, it's an experiment to see what works. I've done the demo vocals using a "telephone" EQ, but only because I'm trying to cover up the fact that I can't sing.

What I'll do is PM you all with a SoundCloud link (lyrics are included on the page), and you can let me know what you think. Keep in mind it's a raw mix, and my vocal timing is off and all over the place, which is why I'm looking for someone who can actually sing!

Thanks in advance.

Offline plexus

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 08:05:53 AM »
Any takers?

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 09:39:26 AM »
Sorry, I haven't had a chance to look at it!
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 06:31:12 PM »
I am not too bad a singer, but my range has dropped an octave as I have gotten older.  Do you need a high tenor?
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 07:21:00 PM »
If you wanted it an octave up, that's... a bit out of my range, sorry. I think you'd need a guy hitting high As and Bs from the sound of it. If you wanted a woman I think you'd even want to go with more of a mezzo than a straight up alto.

I know you didn't really ask for a critique so take this one for free!!! It's also *really* long and, um, sounds like less of a send up and more just, you know, angry. I think it's long because you're kind of trying to cover every skeptic issue under the sun. I would also add an actual bridge (i.e. something with different changes) and not just an instrumental break and overall make it look something like this:

(2 4 stanza verses, ideally about one specific thing, not 3 different things at once... detox, perhaps?)

(chorus)

(4 stanza verse about one specific thing, chiropractic for example)

(chorus)

(bridge - total change tonally... more on this later maybe)

(guitar solo if you want one)

(opt. 4 stanza verse, again about one thing - GMOs and Oprah?)

(chorus out)

I think that would probably cut what you're doing at least in half. 8 minute songs have kind of got to be *epic* to keep the audience into them. Think "Stairway to Heaven" or "American Pie" or "Freebird" for the level you need to sustain a song for that long; even something like "Bohemian Rhapsody" keeps you interested by changing styles every minute or so (hence the name).

So... thematically I think that this can have basically the same issue that really, really political songs have, which is that they get too heavy handed. I think signalling it as a send-up is a good idea but as noted... it's not really a send-up at this point. So that brings me to another suggestion... this song has a very 80s feel to it, maybe a bit Depeche Mode in there but maybe even older influences than that, like... "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League for example, or early Duran Duran. When *I* think of this kind of music, I think of simple, new-wave music but often with that tinge of regret or sadness. *My* opinion is that if you want to keep the kind of mad, angsty lyrics but you want to be funny, you should go with something way against type... like burlesque, for instance, or like a 1950s era Broadway musical or 60s surf music or even (if you can pull it off) ragtime. It'd be funny because the audience is expecting happy go lucky lyrics and instead you're hitting them with "Oprah sucks!".

Then in your bridge you could bring the audience back a little bit with something like "hey, I get why you need to feel happy or whatever, and I wish this stuff were true myself, but it kind of isn't so pls stop" or whatever (the general point being, the bridge is where you get to

A couple of examples of the style-busting thing...

A Weird Al classic, "Christmas At Ground Zero". The lyrics are dark as *crap* but it's funny because it's a damn Christmas carol...



Or take the opening song to "Little Shop of Horrors". It sets the stage for this musical *perfectly* but at its core it's a 60s doo wop song about B-movie horror.



If you want to stick with the style, what I think I'd do here is go for satire. Use the new wave style to evoke that image of that aerobics class-attending, Cambridge Diet trying, Jim Fixx book-reading younger brother/sister of the hippie generation that would actually *totally* embrace stuff like anti-GMOism or chiropractic. There you'd use your bridge to say what you *actually* think about the subjects (don't worry; your audience will get the eye-rolling in the verses if you play it right anyway).

A couple examples of *this*:

"I'm Hip" by Dave Frischberg. It's 1950s style jazz instead of 80s pop but you can hear how the singer manages to skewer the "woo" of his time without actually saying that they're stupid (and in fact, the made-up character that's singing it seems kind of sympathetic, if airheady):



Another Weird Al song, "This Is The Life". The 1930s jazz style really fits well with the "I am the greatest person ever" bit, right? And again, the character in the song clearly believes what he's talking about but we in the audience will still laugh at lines like "so if money can't buy happiness I guess I'll have to rent it" or "you can tell I'm a living legend, not some ordinary creep".



Or... finally, my new favorite song ever, "Hasa Diga Eeebowai", which is *completely* "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King, only... well, wait for the reveal. It's also a little bit against type (although I would argue that the subject matter is *exactly* the same as what they discuss in Lion King, just, um, more realistic).



If you're still around... I kind of want to take a pass at the lyrics now. Would that be cool?
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline plexus

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Re: Are there any vocalists in this forum?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 11:06:03 PM »
Thanks - yep no worries if you want to pass. I totally get what you're saying and that it needs to be more "epic" to survive an 8-minute run.

I really do want to keep all the content though, so rather than cut the run length in half, I think I'll redo the piece with changes so that it doesn't feel 8 minutes long.The feel is deliberately retro, with the horns and hand claps etc. so what I might do is keep a few verses of that at the beginning and the end, and change the structure a few times in between.

 

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