This Way Up

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msnickybee
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This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:34 am

Hi folks

Here's a new song from me, it's called This Way Up, and comes complete with a cheesy YouTube video here.
(click 720p or 1080p)

All critique massively welcome!!!

I could talk long (for England) about the low-D bassline (will never record a song in D again!), the troubles with 96k, trying to get smooth treble and days and days with a seperate mastering project and pretending I understand Dynamic EQ. I could talk about Reverb swirling everywhere, overuse of double-tracked guitars, my terribly crappy singing (but hey), loudness without dynamic range anyone?, YouTube degrading the audio quality.
All of these things.
But you could not listen to me (a better approach) and just watch the video instead, and remember to laugh at the keyboard playing deliberately out of time bit with the music....(I think that's a "musicians only" joke that non of the viewers so far appreciated..........)

One thing we all need is someone who humbly listens. Someone who has patience, and REALLY listens. Our (ok, mine) music may not be the best, or even the best is yet to come... (or maybe not) but having someone to share that journey with is IMPORTANT. As we all know.

For this, here's a shout out to our Mark Bliss. In one day he listened to 17 different versions of my mastered song. And still kept smiling. I can't thank him enough for his patience, wide knowledge and advice. Thank you, Mark.

Thanks for (possibly) listening and watching!
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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outteh
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Re: This Way Up

Post by outteh » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:59 am

Really enjoyed this song. Orchestrated very well and nicely mixed and recorded. I might have been tempted to put a slight bit of echo on the vocals, just to lend a touch of nostalgia to the overall atmosphere of the song. Well done! :D

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AHornsby
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Re: This Way Up

Post by AHornsby » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:44 am

Great bridge! Thank you. -h

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Mab098157
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Re: This Way Up

Post by Mab098157 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:49 am

Another great tune. Great hooks lyrically and with arraignment. Loved the venture into video more this time. I know the effort and appreciate the risk. May be time to stop with the self-deprecation (although I think it's a UK thing).
msnickybee wrote:with a cheesy YouTube video
msnickybee wrote:remember to laugh at the keyboard playing deliberately out of time bit with the music
why would I be interested in viewing it?

Your work doesn't deserve it. And in many ways this limits your audience and your confidence. Good work, own it, embrace it, don't apologize for it.

Looking forward to more.
Mark Bowie
Illinois

It's all in your mind

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msnickybee
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Re: This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:31 am

outteh wrote:Really enjoyed this song. Orchestrated very well and nicely mixed and recorded. I might have been tempted to put a slight bit of echo on the vocals, just to lend a touch of nostalgia to the overall atmosphere of the song. Well done! :D
Thanks!! Thanks for your kind words and comments, means a lot!
I guess I got a bit lost in Reverb and Delay, found it hard to mix in the end, and retain it through several levels of compression.
AHornsby wrote:Great bridge! Thank you. -h
Thanks so so much!!
Am *so* glad you liked it, was my favourite bit, and the part of the song I was proud of I guess, so it's lovely that was recognised!!
Mab098157 wrote:Another great tune. Great hooks lyrically and with arraignment. Loved the venture into video more this time. I know the effort and appreciate the risk. May be time to stop with the self-deprecation (although I think it's a UK thing).
msnickybee wrote:with a cheesy YouTube video
msnickybee wrote:remember to laugh at the keyboard playing deliberately out of time bit with the music
why would I be interested in viewing it?
Sorry about all the self-deprecation Mark!! I guess it's just my silly sense of humour - yes, I guess it is a bit of a British thing - but, well, I guess I don't take myself too seriously. You're right though, maybe it's not such a good thing.
Re: the piano, sorry that was misinterpreted! I enjoyed my piano playing on the track itself, but when I came to mime piano playing for the video, I deliberately played silly notes just for comedy effect.
Again, my childish humour... you'd think I'd know better at 47!!

But, seriously, thanks for listening, and your kind words, it actually genuinely means a lot
:-)
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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Mark Bliss
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Re: This Way Up

Post by Mark Bliss » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:04 pm

The resulting video is fun, and compliments the song well! Yes the self depreciation is unnecessary, but some comic relief was needed after this effort, I assure you!

There is no way to even imagine the effort and determination Nicky put into creating this song! The time between hearing and discussing a rough demo to reviewing finished versions was a roughly 2 month constant "conversation" fraught with ridiculous obstacles and surprises. I must say I never saw anyone work so hard and learn so much on their own, in such a short time! I seriously feared she was going to "flame out" and "crash and burn"
Most people would have given up 100 times over, but Nicky dug in and figured stuff out! I strongly suspect the end product isn't nearly equivalent to the amount learned!
I hope I am right when I say we will be seeing good things in the future from:

"Upcoming self produced British singer-songwriter Nicky Bee" :wink:
Stay in tune, Mark

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M@rkus
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Re: This Way Up

Post by M@rkus » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:52 am

I took a serious listen to this one (i.e wearing my precious headphones...) and I think it´s a well played, arranged and produced song. Very professional sounding, and nice stereo effects (nice acoustic guitar aswell).

I have only one minor remark. At the very beginning of the song, I can hear a few tounge-clicks on the vocals. This is a problem I´ve had many times, especially when I use large diaphragm mics. Sometimes it helpes moving a little farther away from the mic, sometimes I change mics, and sometimes I drink a little water before I start singing. Sometimes I can edit them out if they appear in the space between two words.

I know tounge clicks might not bother everyone, so it might not be an issue for you.

A very well done job, anyway!
M@rkus/
Sweden
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msnickybee
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Re: This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:39 am

A very well done job, anyway![/quote]
Mark Bliss wrote:I must say I never saw anyone work so hard and learn so much on their own, in such a short time! I seriously feared she was going to "flame out" and "crash and burn". Most people would have given up 100 times over
Ha! I must confess to getting a little obsessed lol.... I mean, dynamic EQ, trying to approach mastering a bit more properly this time, all of these things did sap a lot of energy...
Mark Bliss wrote:I hope I am right when I say we will be seeing good things in the future from: "Upcoming self produced British singer-songwriter Nicky Bee" :wink:
Ha ha ha! Perhaps if I win the lottery, and don't have an unfulfilling job in I.T middle management (think Chandler in Friends), then maybe!! Actually, here's the thing, it's the tedious nature of that job that drives me to create.... now there's a thought! Thanks Mark tho' :-) :-)
M@rkus wrote:I took a serious listen to this one (i.e wearing my precious headphones...) and I think it´s a well played, arranged and produced song. Very professional sounding, and nice stereo effects (nice acoustic guitar aswell).
thanks!!!!
thanks for spotting the stereo-ness n all that, and the acoustic guitar sound, I obssessed over those...
To be honest, I don't think I'll record another song in 96/32f, master to 96/24, tweak further to 44/16... again.... I work in a circular manner of write/record/mix/master/listen in the car, and round the loop again... and that's what took all the time...
M@rkus wrote:I have only one minor remark. At the very beginning of the song, I can hear a few tounge-clicks on the vocals. This is a problem I´ve had many times
Hmmmm yes you're right. In my laziness I edited only what was necessary, and then it was a last minute suggestion from Mark, to mute the instruments in the intro section, it made better impact in the video too (black & white -> colour), but this exposed a much more audible vocal... Thanks though, one for me to watch next time!
And thanks so much for taking the time to listen and comment, it means a lot!
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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msnickybee
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Re: This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:47 am

and once again I apologise to you all for the Bass guitar.... that I got too lazy (ran out of time) to fix...
sometimes it's just time to start the next song!!!
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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Mark Bliss
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Re: This Way Up

Post by Mark Bliss » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:34 am

M@rkus wrote:I have only one minor remark. At the very beginning of the song, I can hear a few tounge-clicks on the vocals. This is a problem I´ve had many times
msnickybee wrote: Hmmmm yes you're right. In my laziness I edited only what was necessary, and then it was a last minute suggestion from Mark, to mute the instruments in the intro section, it made better impact in the video too (black & white -> colour), but this exposed a much more audible vocal... Thanks though, one for me to watch next time!
Oh go ahead, blame me! :lol:
I wholeheartedly agree Markus, and to be certain, what you are hearing is likely/primarily the result of a combination of close miced/softly sung vocal tracks, processed and compressed as is common to "push them up front". The sounds aren't overly pronounced or that noticeable until the application of a compressor pulls them right out.......

And not to make excuses, but an explanation/disclosure of events.
I spent a great deal of time micro editing and cleaning up a set of the vocal tracks, and had a set that we both agreed were much cleaner and "smoother" that was finished just before I took off on a two week trip. I was going to work on some ideas for the string tracks on my laptop at that time. My laptop hard drive blew up and I lost all the work. By the time I got back, got a new computer, got some of my software installed, etc, etc, Nicky had imposed a release deadline to force the end of messing with the thing, which I fully supported, accepting that there was no time to re-do that part of my effort.
The bottom line is that yes, it could be better, but they always can. At some point you have to make a decision to call it done.

And to be clear, make no mistake, this song is Nicky's work. I threw out suggestions, tips, critique and experimented with the project, providing feedback and ideas, but this is all Nicky's. And keep in mind, the best tracks in the song were recorded right there in that living room as seen in the video. See that guitar, headphones and mic stand in the end, by the sofa?
That's it. That's the "recording studio"!
Many deserved props!
Stay in tune, Mark

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M@rkus
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Re: This Way Up

Post by M@rkus » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:20 am

Mark Bliss wrote:
M@rkus wrote:I have only one minor remark. At the very beginning of the song, I can hear a few tounge-clicks on the vocals. This is a problem I´ve had many times
msnickybee wrote: Hmmmm yes you're right. In my laziness I edited only what was necessary, and then it was a last minute suggestion from Mark, to mute the instruments in the intro section, it made better impact in the video too (black & white -> colour), but this exposed a much more audible vocal... Thanks though, one for me to watch next time!
Oh go ahead, blame me! :lol:
I wholeheartedly agree Markus, and to be certain, what you are hearing is likely/primarily the result of a combination of close miced/softly sung vocal tracks, processed and compressed as is common to "push them up front". The sounds aren't overly pronounced or that noticeable until the application of a compressor pulls them right out.......

And not to make excuses, but an explanation/disclosure of events.
I spent a great deal of time micro editing and cleaning up a set of the vocal tracks, and had a set that we both agreed were much cleaner and "smoother" that was finished just before I took off on a two week trip. I was going to work on some ideas for the string tracks on my laptop at that time. My laptop hard drive blew up and I lost all the work. By the time I got back, got a new computer, got some of my software installed, etc, etc, Nicky had imposed a release deadline to force the end of messing with the thing, which I fully supported, accepting that there was no time to re-do that part of my effort.
The bottom line is that yes, it could be better, but they always can. At some point you have to make a decision to call it done.

And to be clear, make no mistake, this song is Nicky's work. I threw out suggestions, tips, critique and experimented with the project, providing feedback and ideas, but this is all Nicky's. And keep in mind, the best tracks in the song were recorded right there in that living room as seen in the video. See that guitar, headphones and mic stand in the end, by the sofa?
That's it. That's the "recording studio"!
Many deserved props!

Thanks a lot for the background info, interesting reading! I didn´t realize that you worked on the song together. Your harddrive blew up! Thats my worst nightmare...brrr.
As for tounge clicks and/or other (unwanted?) mouth/oral sounds, sometimes they seem to be kept there deliberately to enhance the intimacy of the song (I think). Listen to Nick Lowe´s "You Make Me" (preferably with headphones on), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwZkq-LMqcg
or his "Faithless Lover" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1q_e8f1wrs
There are loads of clicks and other noises, so I suppose this isn´t an issue for everyone, perhaps just for me!

So, don´t mind my nitpicking, it´s just that I have fought the battle of tounge clicks for many years, and are a little sensetive to them!
M@rkus/
Sweden
1. HP Pavilion DV6 Notebook PC, AMD A6-3410 MX APU, 1,60 Ghz, 8 gb RAM, Win 7 ultimate 64 bit. Mixcraft 7, Ampliube 3, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
2. Asus AMD FX-4100 Quad core 3.60 Ghz, 16 GB ram, Mixcraft 7, Win 7/64 Ultimate SP 1.

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msnickybee
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Re: This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:35 am

M@rkus wrote:There are loads of clicks and other noises, so I suppose this isn´t an issue for everyone, perhaps just for me!
So, don´t mind my nitpicking, it´s just that I have fought the battle of tounge clicks for many years, and are a little sensetive to them!
You're right though. And I listened to those Nick Lowe songs you suggested, clicks right there in the first line.
Hmmmm.
I guess I just accepted it as a sign of my amateurishness and cheap equipment, but you (and Mark) are right - it's worth persevering more to edit out, if that's the intention.
Wrongly so, I spend maybe 5% of my time on the vocals, often in the wrong key, kinda hoping that eventually at some point someone will come along and offer to sing instead!
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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AHornsby
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Re: This Way Up

Post by AHornsby » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:58 am

msnickybee wrote: Wrongly so, I spend maybe 5% of my time on the vocals, often in the wrong key, kinda hoping that eventually at some point someone will come along and offer to sing instead!
I believe your voice is good enough.

Try and figure our what your money notes are and just wail baby wail. :lol: -h

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msnickybee
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Re: This Way Up

Post by msnickybee » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:13 am

:-)
Yowl more like!!!!
Well, back to it, no rest for the wicked. Back to cooking dinner, and guitar practice, all the songs I've written over the years won't record themselves lol
Thanks!
Nicky
MC8.1 PS user since v5
My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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freightgod
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Re: This Way Up

Post by freightgod » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:34 am

A very pretty song, the arrangement supports without overwhelming the vocal, very nice. I'll never be brave enough for self-video, so kudos all around!

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