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#1132827 - 11/26/17 01:47 AM Hard Promise  
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Deej56 Offline
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Hi, all,

I've been playing with this one for a bit; and admittedly I'm lost on the mix, I think. I'm beginning to realize more and more I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to production--particularly as I listen to you all--and my limited guitar and music skills don't help any. At any rate, I'm done fiddling with this one for now, without having a better idea of what to do next. And that's where you come in. As always, thanks in advance for your comments and your patience.

Hard Promise

(V) A hard promise is all that Iím asking of youó
a hard promise, clear and true.
Youíre so heartless to leave me here hanging.
Pull me in or, baby, cut me loose.

(C) So, wonít you let me know
just what youíre waiting for.
I donít want an ďI donít knowĒ;
donít want ďIím almost sure.Ē
You canít say you wonít go
when youíve got one hand on the door,
and, darling, you ought to know thatís true.
A hard promise is all that I want from you.

(V) A hard promise, you keep it forever.
A hard promise never bends or breaks.
You be honest, no matter whatever.
Show me now that youíve got what it takes.

(C) Because if you want my heart,
youíve got to tell me soó
Is this a stop or start?
Is this a ďyesĒ or ďnoĒ?
You hide too long in the dark
and your true colors will show,
and, darling, you ought to know that too.
A hard promise is all that I want from you.

(B) A hard promise, itís all that Iím waiting on.
A hard promise, give it or Iíll be goneó
because youíve gotta know
what youíve been putting me through,
Iíve been standing years in the snow,
now only sunshine will do.
You say weíre taking it slow,
but, girl, itís high time we flew.

(V) I promise Iíll love you forever.
I promise Iíll always take your side.
Iíll be honest come whatever, whenever.
Címon, girl, itís time that you decide.

(c) DJ Lekich 2017

#1132856 - 11/26/17 05:17 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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lane1777 Offline
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south of the mason,dixon line
The Title captured me right away here Dee, well written, all though I don`t agree with some of the promises....lol
and you do very nice work on the music, not hard to listen to at all. Lane

Last edited by lane1777; 11/26/17 05:32 PM.

"Grace always pours from a closing wound"
#1132860 - 11/26/17 05:28 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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Virginia
Cool song with a vocal performance that reminds me a bit of Cat Stevens.

The thing I like best about this is the intensity.

The production isn't bad; I thought it was pretty decent.

There are some issues with guitar timing especially when you switch to all down strums in that one part.

Overall, I liked it!

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1132864 - 11/26/17 06:00 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Totally agree with TC about the intensity. Really good vocal performance, catchy tune, some great lines. Nothing not to like here!.

#1132876 - 11/27/17 08:20 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Vicarn Online content
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Sounds pretty good to me.
Just one sugg: Take the guitar down about 3 to 5 db in the vocal parts.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1132877 - 11/27/17 09:09 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Travis david Online content
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Hi Deej
Sounded Celtic to my ears I enjoyed the intro and the vocal was good
I'm not going to comment on technical issues as I'm clueless on them- but as the saying goes, I like what I heard
Travis


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
#1132934 - 11/28/17 01:09 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Lane, TC, Gavin, Vic and Travis: Thanks so much for the gentle feedback. I got a bit frustrated with this one as I just canít seem to make it sound the way I want to despite how much I play with it. So your reserved and supportive comments are much appreciated.

Lane, who would possibly agree with those promises? The singer is clearly overbearing and controlling. smile

TC: Timing issues are my specialty, as Mike Zaneski has correctly pointed out on a couple of my other efforts. I really need to learn how to play along with a click trackójust find it distracting as heck. Actually, it just means (I think) Iím not a disciplined player, which makes sense given my amateur status. But I need to find time to work it more. Thanks for your spot on comments.

Gavin: My vocals can be hit and miss, but Iím glad you liked them here.

Vic: Iíll take your suggestion without hesitation. Consider it done. Thanks much.

Travis: Clearly Iím no more clued in on the tech stuff than you. Just gets discouraging sometimes when I hear song after song on this board so wonderfully put together. Oh, well, glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping in.

Truly, thanks to each of you for taking the time to listen and comment.

Best regards,

Deej

#1132955 - 11/28/17 09:51 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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E Swartz Offline
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Hi Deej,

I really like the vocals, great vocal range, nice and edgy/intense as mentioned. Like the song too!

Getting the acoustic guitar balanced in the mix IMO will improve the song balance and compete less with your vocals. The guitar in this song needs to support, not compete. One thought would be to record one guitar track fairly intense as you have it, then record another separate milder guitar track with an emphasis on accenting key chords. You do not want perfect duplication, but you also don't want key accent points to be different with the two tracks. (Sometimes with milder guitar tracks however, seeking duplication is cool). Your more intense track could also be panned 70% left or right, then your "milder accent track" could be about 90% opposing. This gives you stereo, yet the 30% first track helps balance the volume of the milder side, yet still allows the accent track to still dominate that side. The idea is giving you stereo acoustic guitar, yet with slightly different tones--they do still need to be on time with one another of course--but you are good enough to do that! I'd also take Vic's advice with guitar track volume, come down a bit, and don't be afraid to back off on guitar volume sporadically when you're singing softer areas.

This is JMO and "one" approach to many with a song with few tracks. Once you get the balance, then you can experiment with any EQ tweaks and panning tweaks, but this will get you a wider sound where everything is less centered. I sometimes also will move lead vox about 10-12% opposing a strong sided music mix, but usually keep centered--no concrete rules when making small adjustments and finding the sweet spots--hope this helps!

steady-eddie

#1133004 - 11/29/17 01:14 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Good song.....love the voice, man!
Has that tougher than nails, street corner sound..........good stuff!
-Tom

#1133031 - 11/29/17 12:40 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Deej, I've got nothing to offer as far as production but it's a cool g/v.
You don't seemed to be asking for suggestions on the lyrics but I'm throwing this out there anyway. I think the first chorus works well so I'd repeat that instead of having two different ones. I'm not even sure what this means?

You hide too long in the dark
and your true colors will show

As for the bridge, it's not really saying anything new and feels way too long. You even repeat your hook twice more. What if you used part of that second chorus as a bridge?

if you want my heart,
youíve got to tell me so
Is this a stop or start
Is this a ďyesĒ or ďnoĒ

Just a few unsolicited ideas. I enjoyed my listen overall.

Ricki

#1133138 - 12/01/17 10:38 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Eddie, IronKnee and Ricki: Thanks for chiming in with the advice and feedback! Wasn't optimistic on how this might be received, but seems like there's something here to work with. Appreciate the support.

#1133140 - 12/01/17 10:47 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: E Swartz]  
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Eddie,

Once again, you are really generous with your time and feedback. It's actually spot on, in that the last couple of tunes that I've posted I've been duplicating the guitar tracks--with different sounds and effects, then panning to accentuate the effect and add richness to the sound. On this one, couldn't get the overall blend and mix that I wanted. Just dialing the guitar back a few dibs as Vic recommended has already helped. Will play around with what you suggest and see if overall I can make this sound more crisp. Thanks so much, Eddie.

Best regards,

Deej

#1133141 - 12/01/17 11:05 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Nelson Offline
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I agree with Vic about taking the guitar down a bit when you're singing.

Love the energy of it all.


A Simple Man making Simple Music~~~ Nelson
#1133142 - 12/01/17 11:05 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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Ricki,

Never feel shy about offering up suggestions--we never get better without them! It's interesting that you called out those two lines--they were the last two I wrote on this one. It's intended to say: If she continues to wait so long to tell him how she feels ("hide too long in the dark"), then she's telling him she doesn't love him by not telling him she does, no matter what else she may say or do ("your true colors will show"). Maybe it doesn't work as intended. I'll give that and your suggestion on the bridge some thought. Thanks so much!!!

Regards,

Deej

#1133156 - 12/02/17 05:50 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Calvin Online content
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Hello Deej,


This is impressive, STRONG HOOK & cool vocals.
You've got some really good advice from Eddie.


Thanks for the entertainment !


Calvin


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/calvinstewart

#1133366 - 12/05/17 05:41 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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TC Perkins Online content
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Originally Posted by Deej56
Lane, TC, Gavin, Vic and Travis: Thanks so much for the gentle feedback. I got a bit frustrated with this one as I just canít seem to make it sound the way I want to despite how much I play with it. So your reserved and supportive comments are much appreciated.

Lane, who would possibly agree with those promises? The singer is clearly overbearing and controlling. smile

TC: Timing issues are my specialty, as Mike Zaneski has correctly pointed out on a couple of my other efforts. I really need to learn how to play along with a click trackójust find it distracting as heck. Actually, it just means (I think) Iím not a disciplined player, which makes sense given my amateur status. But I need to find time to work it more. Thanks for your spot on comments.

Gavin: My vocals can be hit and miss, but Iím glad you liked them here.

Vic: Iíll take your suggestion without hesitation. Consider it done. Thanks much.

Travis: Clearly Iím no more clued in on the tech stuff than you. Just gets discouraging sometimes when I hear song after song on this board so wonderfully put together. Oh, well, glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping in.

Truly, thanks to each of you for taking the time to listen and comment.

Best regards,

Deej


Playing along with a click track is the worst! While I can do it, I find it can really ruin the groove of a tune. I generally try to find a drum pattern that has a feel similiar to what I am looking for to play along to for each part. I find this so much better for the song and way more pleasureable to play along to. A metronome is great for practicing scales or whatnot, but does a disservice to the song writing process in my opinion.

I started out using clicktracks on my first efforts with my DAW. I have all but abandoned using them. I may practice to a click to keep myself honest once I have the song assembled but I never record with a click anymore; at least nothing I intend to keep. I will generally record the guitar or piano part, then go back and find a drum pattern that tickles the right bone. The timing will drift off over time no matter how good you are but this is not important. Then I just figure out how many bars of each pattern are needed to go under the basic arrangement, and lay down the preliminary drum tracks (which generally get replaced later but it's the feel I want, not the perfect drum part). Once I have this, I re-record the same guitar/piano part (whether I intend to keep drums in the tune or not). Now, it feels better to play along to, keeps my timing solid, and is much more enjoyable to play along with, and, in some cases, actually adds inspiration.

By the way, your timing issues were pretty minor overall.

Anyway, just some things to think about trying out!

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1133382 - 12/05/17 08:49 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Hi Deej,

Late listening to this. It looks like you've gotten some great advice on your guitar work already.

I agree with TC, your timing issues aren't bad on this, and TC's idea of using a drum loop is a great way to trick your brain into grooving with your song. No need to buy drum loops, just use your guitar percussively for two or four bars and loops that. But of course if doing that is frustrating, there's lots of free drum loops on the 'net..join "freesound.org" for one--it's a community of sound creators more bent along the lines of creating sound effects, but there's plenty of cool drum loops to be had as well, and it's all free and legal stuff.

You've got a great vocal here, but it sounds a bit tinny, and piercing in the loudest highest notes. You could try messing with the EQ. It sounds like the mids between 2000-3000 could be dialed back a few dB and a little warmth added in the low mids between 300-600. But you should experiment (yourself) with the EQ on the vocal channel, and loop the loudest parts, and then try various combinations of things 'til you hear something that sounds warm but not dull. Airy but not tinny. I can only guesstimate. It's best to do this after you've rested your ears for a day or two from the song you want to mix. Mixing is tricky when done at the tail end of working on a song, especially if you've gone long and hard at it.

Really good song and your performances are good enough to feel confident playing live. Don't be discouraged with recording art. Like all art, it takes time to mature. You have the desire. You will get there.. smile

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 12/05/17 09:32 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1133467 - 12/07/17 08:30 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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David Snyder Offline
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North Carolina

Hey, this is a really passionate production. I like it!

Good job!


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
#1133482 - 12/07/17 11:51 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
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Nelson, Calvin, TC (again), Mike and David: Thanks for the additional comments. They are encouraging, helpful and supportive--everything I've come to appreciate about JPF.

Nelson: I already dialed it back and it's made a difference already. You and Vic are spot on.

Calvin: I thought I maybe had a good hook here, but was pretty certain it didn't stand out as I hoped--glad to see maybe some of it came through regardless.

TC: Thanks for stopping in again. As I'm pretty sure I won't be able to keep my concentration with a click track going, it's an extra bonus to hear someone say it's not worth the effort. I'm going to look into the drum loops (and actually have a friend that's a good drummer--maybe he can lay something down). I'd have no issues playing along with it I don't think--actually, it may even help. I, unfortunately, when it comes to percussion, have absolutely no sense of rhythm. confused

Mike: Thanks for your support re patience. You nailed the "tinny" sound of the vocal I don't like in this, but as much as I played with it, I just couldn't hit it right or capture the depth I was looking for. (Maybe because my voice is naturally tinny and piercing, particularly on the higher notes!) But your best advice is resting the ears and stepping away from it for a while. I'm going to do just that and take in all the great advice I received on this before going back to it further. Really appreciate the thoughtful input here.

David: I'm glad you liked it. The passion is there--just not the expertise. But I'll keep trying. smile

Best regards and kindest thanks to you all,

Deej

#1133535 - 12/08/17 09:04 PM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 3,997
TamsNumber4 Offline
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TamsNumber4  Offline
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Joined: May 2010
Posts: 3,997
New Hampshire
Great song and catchy, really like your vocal, but the vocal and guitar are fighting for attention, one has to be dialed down, more than likely the guitar, maybe a little reverb on it. Really nice song and strong presentation of it.

Tammy


http://tammyjann.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tamsnumber4
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1038504

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it...
Professor Albus Dumbledore




#1133663 - 12/13/17 12:49 AM Re: Hard Promise [Re: Deej56]  
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 351
Deej56 Offline
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Deej56  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 351
Thanks, Tammy, for stopping in and taking the time to comment. Your feedback is spot on, and right in line with the feedback from others above. You'd think with all the time I spent working on this one it would have become more apparent to me. Actually, I kinda knew it, but had no idea how to make it better.

So to Mike Z's comment, sometimes you just need to step away. And I will from this one for a bit; then maybe give it another try.

Again, really appreciate your thoughts on this. It's really helpful.

Regards,

Deej


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