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I'm providing a bit of help toward the goal of understanding how to play this song on piano, and after listening to it being played on a real piano quite a few times, I decided to transcribe it, hence the first version which is mostly the song as written, except for pedal marks and some Latin stuff that I have not looked-up in Wikipedia, hence have no idea what it means or does . . .

I changed or deleted a few other types of marks, since they didn't appear to do anything useful . . .

My perspective is that it's chords and a bass line, with a bit of leading in the bass line, hence if I were learning how to play the song on piano, I would learn the chords and bass line separately, and then focus on doing them at the same time . . .

I can write music notation, and I can sight-sing just about anything on soprano treble clef (although not as a soprano), but actually playing an instrument by reading sheet music is another matter, which currently makes not sense to me, strange as it might be . . .

The mind mapping is not there for instruments, but so what . . .

[NOTE: This song was composed in 1861 by William F. Bradbury for lyrics written by William W. Walford circa 1842, so I think it's public domain . . . ]

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After listening to the first version for a while, I decided to add bass guitar and a harp . . .

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And then I decided to add a celesta and glockenspiel, which included doing a bit more arranging, producing, and mixing . . .

In this new version, I adjusted the dynamics and added a few notes here and there, which included changing two half notes to quarter notes with something called "tenuto" in measures 12 and 38, where the goal is to make the notes sound a bit like the bass notes on the piano in one of my favorite Elvis Presley songs--the syncopated staccato bass piano notes at the start of "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear", which is very logical here in the sound isolation studio after consuming huge quantities of very strong coffee . . .

Why "tenuto"?

There are 12 choices, and it's the only one that sounds good for the two pairs of notes . . .

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It does something, but it's subtle . . .

And I changed most of the "quarter note plus quarter rest" pairs in the electric bass line to half notes, so the song flows more smoothly and is not so "choppy", since the half notes fade naturally and fill the otherwise empty spaces in the bass line . . .

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THOUGHTS

I'm starting to discern the actual melody or something, and this suggests strings . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Mon May 29, 2017 6:05 pm
I added a SampleTank 3 (IK Multimedia) violin section (23 violins) and did a bit more arranging, producing, and mixing . . .

[NOTE: As with the previous versions, this is done entirely within NOTION 6; and it's a headphone mix. Later I will move everything to Digital Performer 9, but for now it's fine to do it solely in NOTION 6 . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. I made a mistake in the first post on the original music composer's middle initial. The correct full name is "William B. Bradbury" . . .

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue May 30, 2017 5:50 pm
I wasn't happy with the violin section phrasing, which was a trajectory type of thing involving the geometry, which is something that I learned from studying Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (SoMC) . . .

If you diagram the notes on graph paper where the x-axis is time and the y-axis is pitch, then you can draw high-level curves to get a sense of the way a phrase is moving . . .

It's a bit like the way acts in a Shakespearean play start and build but then drop a bit before rising to the inevitable big ending, and in this respect it's a mood mapping activity . . .

Since I am working from the simple piano sketch--which is all I have heard--there was no violin section and no notes and phrases for one, which makes the arranging work interesting . . .

The piano is playing three-note and four-note chords, so to compose the violin section notes and phrases I selected single notes from the piano chords but occasionally made a few revisions based on the "by ear" strategy, which was working nicely except that after listening to the previous version ("V4"), the violin section phrases were ending in a downward way rather than in an upward way, so I worked on it for a few hours and eventually discovered the solution . . .

Another perspective is that the violin section represents the sky and sunlight--which is a mood type of thing--and in the previous version ("V4"), the key phrases were not so airy and bright, which conceptually was a problem . . .

It's fine for the first relevant violin section phrase to wander downward, but the piano chords are doing a dissonant thing, hence it makes sense for the violin section phrase to track the dissonance . . .

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[NOTE: This is a headphone mix, and in the first "bells" section it sounds like there is a bit of violin counterpoint beginning in the fifth measure and continuing through the ninth measure, but it's only the interactions of the textures, which is what provides the clue for the strings that appear afterward and might suggest something with reeds or horns . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

I don't have the type of synesthesia that causes one to perceive music and sounds as colors, but I have a different type of perception for music and sounds, which is what I call "by ear" . . .

Regarding the color perception phenomenon, until I read a book about synesthesia I thought that the musical genre "Blues" was named because the songs were about people feeling "blue", but not in the sense of a color . . .

Instead, I thought it was a colloquial type of thing that had nothing to do with the actual color blue . . .

Later, I realized that it probably was a matter of the color blue, even though that made no intuitive sense to me . . .

Then I started developing a mapping of colors to pitches and tones, and it makes a bit of sense now, but only in an arbitrary way . . .

On the other hand, mapping colors to psychological moods makes sense, but it's a psychological thing rather than a color thing; and this also probably is arbitrary, except that I realized it much earlier, so it's more intuitive . . .

Mostly, I think it's more of something like a "stupid pet trick", where I created an arbitrary mapping of notes, textures, and sounds to colors so that if I was around folks who actually perceive music and sounds as colors, then I could say something "intelligent" toward the goal of not being stupid . . .

"Absolutely! The bass is totally blue and a bit purply. It sounds like a rubber band . . . "

Surf. Whammy's Cool Musical Tip of the Day

For the most part, I think I have a good understanding of quarks, atoms, and molecules, but I can't see them, hence it's basically the same idea . . .

And for the record, in the late-1970s I realized that "nothing" (which I call "Nowhere") is real, and it's not actually nothing . . .

"There's a lot of stuff constantly happening in Nowhere . . . "

Surf.Whammy's Modern Physics Tip of the Day

In retrospect, I probably got the idea from "Strawberry Fields" (Beatles) and then mapped it to physics, but regardless, (a) it's something that makes sense to me and (b) it's been verified experimentally . . .

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by michaelmyers1 on Tue May 30, 2017 11:33 pm
Surf, I've been following your project. It's very compelling, a nice arrangement/orchestration exercise. A few comments:

In the latest version, it might be nice to introduce more rhythmic variety in the middle section with the marimba/glock. Some tuplets, perhaps, or double time passages. It seems to be rather predictable there, with just the change in instrumentation.

At the end, it might be good to really slow the piece down with a significant ritardando, to a much slower tempo than you have. The piece ends too soon, stretch it out!

Also where the harp is playing, it would be nice to hear more tempo change there. You've slowed it down some, but it could be greater...

The bass gliss, to my ears, sounds very artificial. Maybe a slide instead. In fact, I think that the bass would be better as an acoustic upright rather than an electric. It seems foreign to the overall sound. I can (just) buy the electric piano, because I know you're into that Elvis sound, but even the King might have had an upright bass player to help him out on this one, and he probably might have played an acoustic grand himself...

Overall, the piece seems very loud to me. It seems to be recorded very hot, with all the instruments pushed to their limit. I crank the Youtube volume control down to about 1/4 and it sounds ok in my headphones. I played it on my calibrated monitors the first time and I was afraid it was going to pop the cone on my sub. The windows were literally rattling!

Maybe it's my classical approach showing, but there seems to be something at odds in this piece (volume-wise and feeling-wise as well): It's essentially an acoustic hymn that has been amped way too much. For example, at the beginning, where the chimes strike the Westminster tune, perhaps you just use glock alone or introduce actual tubular bells, rather than duplicating the same notes with every instrument?

Philosophically speaking, I'm not sure how you overcome this and maybe it doesn't matter, but somehow the arrangement seems to be fighting the piece itself. If this is a "sweet" hour of prayer, then I'd hate to hear what desperate supplication sounds like!

:)

Nice work! Looking forward to further developments!

Michael

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by Surf.Whammy on Wed May 31, 2017 11:10 am
michaelmyers1 wroteSurf, I've been following your project. It's very compelling, a nice arrangement/orchestration exercise. A few comments . . .


With one exception, I think all your observations are right . . .


The exception is that the piano is a Grand Piano from Addictive Keys (XLN Audio), but I recently changed it to the bright version . . .

It's not an electric piano . . .

For reference, my observation about the piano on early Elvis Presley recordings was specific to a few bass notes; and in the sheet music these are the notes for which I use the tenuto articulation; but overall the general concept is that the bass notes and chords on the piano are equally important . . .

In other words, if you are learning how to play the piano part, then there are two pretty much separate things happening:

(1) chords, usually three-note but occasionally four-note . . .

(2) single-note bass lines . . .

There are a few instances where the left hand (bass) is shown playing two notes, but the higher note actually is the fourth note for a four-note chord--and it's usually an octave--so ideally one can play the four-note chord with the right hand, although it depends . . .

[NOTE: I don't like to play two bass notes at the same time, since I think it's confusing; so if two notes are needed, then I play them separately but rapidly . . . ]

The largest four-note chord spans one octave, and this can be be played with one hand, depending on the two middle notes, of course . . .

[NOTE: Paul McCartney does the emphasized piano bass note thing on the "A" at the end of the verse phrase for "Lady Madonna" (Beatles), similar to the way it's done on some of the early Elvis Presley songs, as you can hear in this YouTube video tutorial . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

Until I get the MOTU 828mk3 repaired, all I can do is headphone mixes . . .

Headphone mixing doesn't work so well, but at present there's nothing I can do about it for another week or so . . .

All the instruments are "hot", but that's the way it is for a while longer . . .

Controlling the tempo in NOTION 6 is easy for some aspects, but without using NTempo it's still a bit arbitrary . . .

Controlling the volume levels of the instruments is not easy in NOTION 6--perhaps being even more difficult when using VSTi virtual instruments--but this also is confounded by having to work with headphone mixing . . .

There already as some "pops" and "clicks" in the audio, which is one of the clues that everything needs to be moved to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application, which for me will be Digital Performer 9 (MOTU) . . .

Once in Digital Performer 9, I can do very precise controlling of the levels, panning, and tempo, all of which can be automated if necessary using geometry . . .

Even something so simple as a gradual fade at the end is easy in Digital Performer 9 but not possible in NOTION 6 . . .

At present, I have the SONY MDR-7506 headphones connected to the Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio; and I listen most of the time at 1/3 to 1/2 volume, but I check it at full volume every once in a while, which for this song is loud . . .

Not much I can do about it, though . . .

This is why I always stress the vast importance of having a calibrated full-range studio monitor system, since it's the only verified way to get good levels and all that stuff . . .

Yet another problem is that without the MOTU 828mk3, I can't do Sound Pressure Level (SPL) checks and use the various meters on both the MOTU 828mk3 and the Behringer DEC2496 mastering processor that I use as an equalizer and output source for the studio monitors . . .

CONCEPTS

Since I have not heard a version of the song with a melody and someone singing the lyrics, all I can do is guess--except that I have the lyrics William W. Walford wrote in 1845 or thereabout . . .

I'm not hearing a melody that is any match to the lyrics; and at present I'm not so certain which part of the song is the verse, although intuitively it's probably not the part with the "bells" . . .

I was thinking about this last night, and the "obvious" solution is to use the end of the current piece as a surreal transition to a Melodic Death Metal rhythm section in one chord and then to scream the lyrics with the screaming run through an effects rig that makes it sound like it's being recorded through a metal pipe, similar to the way Moby does the singing on "Extreme Ways", but more compressed and tinny with a lot of echoes . . .

[NOTE: This song has an electric piano, and I am reasonably certain it's a Wurlitzer Electric Piano--the one with the metal "reeds". If not, then it's a sampled sound library of a Wurlitzer Electric Piano but played on a keyboard synthesizer. I don't see a Wurlitzer Electric Piano in the official music video, but it's a mimed music video and the instruments you see are not the ones used for the recording, as is the case with the singing. It might be a Fender Rhodes electric piano, but it I think it's a Wurlitzer Electric Piano, because the metal "reed" tone is there. I found a video that has better sound and a better stereo image, so I replaced the first one I linked in this post . . . ]

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"Drive Me Faster" (John Schooley) is another example of the screaming vocal sound I like . . .

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Coincidentally, I already have a Melodic Death Metal basic rhythm section with a surreal transition featuring a pipe organ from Sweden, so I can swap the "bells" section for the Swedish pipe organ transition, and after doing this it's possible something will appear for the piano chords section . . .

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The structure of the piano sheet music is {"bells"|piano chords|"bells"|piano chords|"big ending"}, and at present this doesn't map to four verses of lyrics, so by design it's a bit of a puzzle . . .

I could make it "easy" by listening to some of the popular recordings or by looking at hymnal sheet music that has the lyrics and a melody, but I don't want to do that . . .

The primary purpose is to make it easier for someone to play the piano part, so from this perspective there is a bit of logic to making everything loud and clearly discerned; but it has already accomplished that goal, so now I want to do something more with the song . . .

Having only the piano sketch makes it a puzzle, and I like puzzles . . .

The chords are interesting--nearly all white keys--and I like the bass lines . . .

After listening to parts of the song a few times played at a very slow tempo, my initial thought was that there are enough chords for perhaps 100 different songs, which is one of the reasons I am devoting so much time to the project . . .

One of my first suggestions was to get a metronome, since the sheet music specifies the tempo . . .

Soon thereafter I suggested listening to the song, which is how the project started; and the first version is done from the original sheet music as closely as possible . . .

Later, I changed some of the tempos, because I thought the second "bells" section was too fast; and I changed some of the quarter notes to half-notes in the bass line to make it less choppy or syncopated . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:25 pm
It took a while (about 12 hours), but I combined "Sweet Hour of Prayer" with "KTMLCR", which is the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal song I composed for one of my pretend musical groups (KnightKocK) . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix, so be careful with listening levels, even though I ran it through a brickwall limiter to keep it mostly within bounds. If you observe the top pair of level meters, you can see that the brickwall limiter never lets the levels go higher then -0.1 dB, hence the "brickwall" part of the name. Phase correlation fluctuates in the middle between 0 and +1. which is where it needs to be for a good stereo image, where -1 is completely out of phase and +1 is monaural. When the phase moves between 0 and +1 but mostly stays in the middle of this range, it indicates motion, although this is a different type of motion from the motion created by what I call "sparkling" an instrument, which is the technique where the notes of a single instrument appear in different but distinct panning locations. The producer for K-Pop musical group T-ARA has a lot of FUN with "sparkling" and synthesizers (a personal favorite) . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

One of the things I discovered is that Digital Performer 9 (MOTU) doesn't recognize any of the ritardando, fermata, or much of anything relating to time and tempo; so I removed all that stuff and will deal with it later, if at all . . .

The dynamic marks are recognized, but I removed a lot of them, as well, since now that the NOTION 6 generated audio is in Digital Performer 9, I can control everything with more precision . . .

Even though there are not many instruments in the "Sweet Hour of Prayer" NOTION 6 score, I had to split into three separate synchronized scores to get it recorded correctly, and I removed all the VST effects plug-ins from the NOTION 6 synchronized scores . . .

The Addictive Keys studio grand piano is heavy (my terminology for "resource intensive"), and so are the various Kontakt 5 hosted instruments (harp and assorted chimes), which also is the case for the SampleTank 3 Jazz Bass . . .

I added a FabFilter Software Instruments Twin 2 synthesizer and used its "String Bass" preset to add depth to the bass, since this worked better than using an upright string bass (too noisy); and I rant both of these bass instruments through the MOTU Subkick effects processor to add deep bass . . .

I thought I would need to do a similar amount of score-splitting for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal section, but this was not necessary, although I did remove some but not all of the VST effects from the NOTION 6 score . . .

This is the first time I have combined two very different scores in Digital Performer 9, so there was a bit of learning the rules--mostly that it's important to match the time signature in Digital Performer 9 to the time signature of the NOTION 6 scores, since this is central to keeping everything synchronized . . .

I had to insert a bunch of empty measures at the start of the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal score to get it aligned with the "Sweet Hour of Prayer" score, and I had to match the time signatures--so this was part of the learning experience . . .

Since I didn't want to insert approximately 400 empty measures in the "Sweet Hour of Prayer" score, I just copied the audio clips and pasted them into the sequence at the desired location after the end of the middle section "interlude" . . .

The "Sweet Hour of Prayer" score has four distinct parts, but none of them are sufficiently long for much melody and singing; and the middle section "interlude" is too long for the melody and singing I hear in my mind (which actually is more like screaming through a metal pipe with a lot of cascading echoes), so I need to listen to this version for a while to get a sense of how to do the next level of arranging and orchestrating, which I think will be very interesting . . .

And I need to do a bit more experimenting with "Blue" (Realivox), but after watching a few videos I think I can transform her into a K-pop vocalist . . .

Phrases are loaded into keyswitches (low bass notes) and the syllables follow the soprano melody you create . . .

I verified this works in NOTION 6 . . .

On a related note, the MOTU folks repaired my 828mk3, and it's supposed to arrive tomorrow afternoon . . .

This maps to being able to use the calibrated full-range studio monitor system, which for me really is the only way to do accurate producing and mixing . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:45 am
The repaired MOTU 828m3 external digital audio and MIDI interface arrived yesterday (Friday June 9, 2017), and I did a new mix in Digital Performer 9 (MOTU) . . .

I changed the grand piano to the MachFive 3 (MOTU) Fazioli Grand 278, and I think it sounds better than the other grand pianos I tried . . .

The grand piano is enhanced with two flavors of Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments), one of which is a custom stereo widener . . .

This version doesn't repeat the classic section at the end of the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal section, and at present I think this makes more sense, at least for a while . . .

A vocal melody is beginning to appear for the "normal" section at the first, and I already have the "screaming through a metal tube with a lot of cascading echoes" vocal melody . . .

The K-pop vocal gyrations for "Blue" (Realivox) also are starting to appear, so it depends mostly on how extreme, surreal, or otherwise I want to make it . . .

I added three measures of violins at the end of the classic section as a transition to the next section . . .

There is a second rhythm guitar (NOTION 6 Electric Guitar run the an IK Multimedia AmpliTube 4 Heavy Metal preset) that adds some texture to the primary rhythm guitar, and both are heard at far-right, while the electric bass in the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal section is heard at far-left . . .

And I moved the cowbell to top-center . . . :+1

This version was mixed with the calibrated full-range studio monitors, but after doing this I made a few tiny adjustments for headphone listening, which is what I usually do . . .

I added a FabFilter Software Instruments Pro-Q low-cut filter to remove the subsonic frequencies--everything below 20-Hz--and you can see what it does in the "Spectrum" FFT Analyzer section of the T-RackS Meter in the YouTube music video . . .

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Pro-Q Low-Cut Filter (FabFilter Software Instruments)

[NOTE: The volume level for this mix is not hot, and it's not "pumped", but this probably will change, because when I listen to one of the T-ARA K-pop songs ("Sexy Love'), it's a lot louder and that won't get it done the way it needs to be done once I add "Blue" (Realivox) . . . :P ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:36 pm
I did some lawn mowing and got a bit of sleep, which is a great way to have ideas . . .

Last night I made a list of things to consider; and "French Horns" and "sparkling" were at the top of the list when I awoke this morning . . .

French Horns

In this new version, I updated the transition from the classic "Sweet Hour of Prayer" to the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal section by adding a French Horn section playing something perhaps disturbingly reminiscent of historical events at the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome--except that nobody studies or remembers history anymore and technically they weren't French Horns at the time, hence so what . . .

I added custom-modded Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) via Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) to the Snare Drum rimshots, which in some respects is subtle, but it works nicely and it's a "producing" thing . . .

Snare Drum Rimshots: Timeless 2 Automatic Double Tracking (ADT)

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The key to understanding the Timeless 2 ADT is the XLFO oscillator section . . .

[NOTE: In Timeless 2, the "XLFO" is a Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) that does some extra stuff ("X"), hence "XLFO" . . . ]

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The XLFO oscillator in this custom mod is set to the tempo specified in Digital Performer 9, which for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal section is 220 BPM (Beats Per Minute), hence is oscillates 220 times per minute; and its granularity is set to "1/4", which in this instance is one-fourth of a measure or more simply a quarter note . . .

The XLFO oscillator is oscillating 220 times per minute, which applying a bit of arithmetic maps as follows:

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[NOTE:  I skipped a few steps, but I think the result is correct . . . ]

220 beats per minute / 60 seconds per minute = 3.67 beats per second

The XLFO oscillator is set to "1/4", which maps to quarter notes.

3.67 / 4 = 0.92 oscillations per quarter note

The Delay Level is set to 1/16th notes synchronized to the temp (220 BPM).

0.92 / 0.0625 = 14.67 milliseconds at full Delay Level.

Using a sine curve, the XLFO oscillator varies the Delay Level from "0 to 1 to 0" every quarter note cycle.

The Delay Level varies from 0 to 14.67 milliseconds following a sine curve, and this is within the lower range of the Haas Effect.

If the Delay Level never varied and was set to 14.67 milliseconds, it would produce a simple Haas Effect, but since the Delay Level varies, it emulates Automatic Double Tracking (ADT), where the idea is based on the fact that no matter how perfect a musician or singing might be, they never will do the same thing in an exactly identical way . . .

There always are variations, and the XLFO oscillator section creates the desired variations . . .

You can hear the ADT effect working on the Snare Drum rimshots in this YouTube video, where at the start the ADT effect is bypassed but then a few seconds later is active. It toggles one more time, and is active (ON) for the latter part of the YouTube video . . .

[NOTE: The reverberation comes from the Timeless 2 reverb unit on the Master stereo output, which applies to everything . . . ]

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One way to explain this is that it makes the snare drum rimshots "fatter" with an effectively lower pitch . . .

Yet another way to describe the effect is that it makes the rimshots "pop" . . .

Colloquially, getting the rimshots right is part of what transforms the drumkit from "good" to "kicks-ass" . . .

The Haas Effect pushes the snare drum rimshots more to the front, but the lower pitch moves them back a bit, so it mostly just makes the rimshots "wider", which primarily is a "textural" thing . . .

[NOTE: Snare Drum rimshots are very important here in the sound isolation studio, and they are a key aspect of what I call "The Sound", borrowing the concept from Glenn Miller . . . ]

"Sparkled" Maracas

And I added some very rapid "sparkled" NOTION 6 Maracas in the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude where everything goes asynchronous . . .

The "sparkled" NOTION 6 Maracas are subtle, and it's a "producing" thing; but it's important because it changes a key aspect of the perception of the basic rhythm section . . .

Specifically, you hear it but it's so rapid that your brain tries to make sense of it with the initial result that the Hi-Hats start making sense; and then when you hear the "sparkled" NOTION 6 Maracas a few more times, your brain is happy with the sonic landscape, because (a) now it makes sense and (b) your brain likes stuff that makes sense . . .

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:47 pm
I had a bit of inspiration this morning and added "Blue" (Realivox) singing the phrase "Yah-weh Yah-weh Surf-away" in the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude where it goes asynchronous . . .

It's not exactly K-pop, but there's more on the way as soon as it appears in my mind . . .

After that I added a second lead guitar in the last verse playing a primarily minor third harmony but with a nice counterpoint hook . . .

[NOTE: When it's just the primary lead guitar, it's panned top-center; but when there are two lead guitars one is panned -0.25 left and the other is panned +0.25 right. This is the way the panning is done in Digital Performer 9, but in NOTION 6 both the lead guitar and harmony guitar are panned top-center with a -0.5 left spread and a +0.5 right spread. "Blue" (Realivox) is panned the same way in NOTION 6, but in Digital Performer 9 is top-center . . . ]

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The cowbell was clashing with the Automatic Double Track (ADT) snare drum rimshots, so I panned the cowbell a tiny bit to the left, which resolved the clashing . . .

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:04 pm
In the new version, I added double-timed dual kick drums (far-left and far-right) to the existing kick drum at top-center and double-timed the snare drum rimshots in the same sections of the last verse . . .

This version is processed with the FabFilter Software Instruments "Saturn" mastering processor using the "VariSaturator" preset. It brightens everything and introduces a bit of clarity, so it's interesting . . .

[NOTE: This YouTube video shows the Digital Performer 9 mixing board with all 25 tracks. By the time I do the singing and add a virtual festival of psychoacoustic embellishments and "sparkles", it probably will be 50 to 75 tracks, which is fine with me. I tried to count all the psychoacoustic embellishments and "sparkles" in "Who Owns My Heart" (Miley Cyrus) and it was like trying to count all the French Horns in Miroslav Philharmonic. I stopped counting at 150, so while I actually was a rocket scientist for a while, I think that if folks like psychoacoustic embellishments and "sparkles", then I need to give them a lot of it . . . :P ]

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[NOTE: No matter how skilled a listener you imagine you are, if you listen to this song over and over for 12 hours, you will continue to hear more stuff each time. There's a lot of stuff, and that's a verified fact. There's probably 25 to 50 custom echoes at the ends of various words, and that's just the icing on the sonic cake. There are five custom echoes in the introduction for "R-O-C-K Mafia". The thing for me was mind-boggling is the Pink Floyd style backup singing in the background reverb. I didn't notice it consciously for a few hours; and then there's the swirly background singing . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

As a general rule, I limit the number of VSTi virtual instruments in a NOTION 6 score to perhaps six, at most, so at present there are seven NOTION 6 scores (three for the classic section at the start and four for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude . . .

When I need to add more virtual instruments, I clone one of the NOTION 6 subscores and switch the VSTi virtual instruments, which is an easy way to keep everything synchronized; and considering that the Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio is nearly 10 years old, it avoids overloading the supercomputer . . .

Since the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application--Digital Performer 9 (MOTU)--only needs to work with audio clips recorded via ReWire in sessions with NOTION 6 as the ReWire slave, I can load it with as many effects plug-ins as I need, where the key aspect is "need", since too much of anything is not good . . .

This focuses NOTION 6 on controlling the various VSTi virtual instrument engines; handling the music notation; and coordinating everything, which is plenty for NOTION 6 to be doing and is a lot more computing work than most folks probably realize . . .

Working with "Blue" (Realivox) is easier and more intuitive than I imagined, so she's a nice addition to the musical group . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:24 pm
I did a bit more work, which took about 12 hours . . .

"Sparkled" Synthesizer

The first thing I added was a "sparkled" synthesizer playing haunting notes through a custom echo unit . . .

[NOTE: "FF" is an abbreviation for the "FabFilter Software Instruments Twin 2" synthesizer . . . ]

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The technique I call "sparkling" involves spreading the notes for one instrument over several staves where each staff is panned to a different but very specific location on what I call the "rainbow panning arc" . . .

For the haunting synthesizer, I used three panning locations (far-left, top-center, and far-right), and these generally are the easiest locations, since the respective volume levels are not so logarithmic or whatever . . .

[NOTE: The "in-between" panning locations are more difficult, but there is a "panning rule" that provides a few clues on how to get it right; and for the most part some of this only works effectively when you listen with headphones. In the diagram (see below), the "panning rule" is the dashed line with tiny yellow triangles; and the way it works is that top-center is louder since you hear it with both ears, so the volume level needs to be reduced, while the sides are heard more with one ear (at least when you listen with headphones), so the respective volume levels need to be higher depending on how far to the left or right you want the note(s) to be located. The Haas Effect also plays a key role in this aspect of location perception, but that's another discussion, although for reference this is done with delay and echo units . . . ]

This puts the notes in motion and adds what I suppose is a bit of pizzazz to the sonic landscape . . .

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The notes for the three-note "sparkled" synthesizer phrase before "Blue" are based on the counterpoint hook, and this took a while to realize, even though in retrospect it's the only logical way to do the three note phrase . . .

The "rule" for this comes from Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (SoMC), where the idea is that this type of thing acts as a preview of things to come, but it's also a matter of consistency and developing a theme or sub-theme over spacetime . . .

I did the three-note phrase first, but after thinking about it a while, I decided that since I had three "sparkled" synthesizer staves, I might as well do something else with them, because in the grand scheme of everything you need to have a lot of "sparkles" . . .

[NOTE: Listen to "Billy Jean" (Michael Jackson) with headphones, and start identifying the virtual festival of "sparkles", hiccups, custom echoes, vocal embellishments, and instrumental accents, all of which are arranging, producing, and mixing activities. The basic song can be performed with a quartet, but it wouldn't sound "big" . . . ]

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Adjusting "Blue" (Realivox)

The second thing I did was to adjust the phonetics and musical phrasing for "Blue"; and this took a while, too . . .

Code: Select all
yah weh yah weh suhr fah weh

I started experimenting with ventriloquism quite a few years ago, and one of the things you learn when making sense of ventriloquism is phonetics, so this generally is not so difficult, but it's not just a matter of getting the phonetic syllables correct for "Blue" . . .

The musical phrasing is equally as important, and I think it's better now; but the repeat is a bit too "on-tempo", which I will fix by editing the recorded audio and moving it a tiny bit forward in the timeline--perhaps 100 milliseconds or thereabout--since I like the phrasing but it starts a tiny bit too soon to sound natural . . .

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THOUGHTS

None of these are major enhancements, but they are important . . .

Conceptually, the basic rhythm section and music are there; so what I'm doing now is identifying "empty" spaces in the sonic landscape where more stuff can go, ideally without needing to start "ducking", where for reference "ducking" is a technique that makes space where there was no space, which makes "ducking" most useful (a) to make space for singing and (b) to spotlight lead instruments when necessary . . .

Whether anyone else does this is another matter, but I build a song in layers; and this is the way I do it . . .

It takes a while, but I can do only one thing at a time, hence (a) it's practical and (b) the more I listen to the song, the more ideas I have, which makes it logical . . .

The vocal melody is starting to appear, and if I sing something in the classic part, then it has to be Pretend Elvis, unless I let "Blue" do it . . .

The Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal singing probably will be screaming through a metal tube with a lot of cascading echoes, but I'm keeping an open mind and it will depend on how "The Sound" develops . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:50 am
I added a sparkled bass sawtooth synthesizer to the drumkit section after the verse and before the three-note haunting synthesizer phrase that introduces "Blue" (Realivox) and her phrase "Yah-weh Yah-weh Surf-away" . . .

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[NOTE: I did a tiny bit of "pumping", but only 1 dB. The IK Multimedia T-RackS Brickwall Limiter was set to boost the Input by 2 dB, so I increased the Input boost to 3 dB, which is not a lot, really. The "brickwall" aspect maps to the limiter never allowing the output signal to go above -0.1dB, and you can see this in the top pair of LED meters on the left side of the Meter section in the YouTube video . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

This took a while over two days--not so many hours but a lot of conceptual contemplating . . .

Adding something to the drumkit-only measures was obvious, but determining the type of synthesizer and phrasing took some experimenting and listening over and over . . .

Twin 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) is the synthesizer, and the sound is a basic sawtooth wave . . .

It's useful to observe that with "sparkles" the motion has directionality, and where a series of "sparkled" notes begins and ends with respect to panning locations becomes important . . .

In this instance, the deep bass sawtooth wave synthesizer sequence ends at far-left, which is where the splash cymbals and electric bass guitar soon appear, so it's spatially logical and directs the listener's focus accordingly . . .

The three-note haunting "sparkled" synthesizer phrase does something similar but ends at far-right, which is where the electric rhythm guitar soon appears, all of which is done intentionally by design . . .

So far, all the "sparkles" are three-position (far-left, top-center, far-right); and in some respects these are more difficult since they tend to be slower with fewer notes; and this includes the "sparkled" maracas and the single-position (top-center) Sugar Bytes Cyclop synthesizer and "Blue" (Realivox) . . .

I want to have some multi-position "sparkles", and these will be playing rapid series of notes that fly from one side to the other at various times . . .

I am contemplating the idea of doing something with a flying lead guitar, mostly to have notes appear "randomly" like subatomic particles popping into and out of Nowhere, the name I use for what in physics is called "nothing", which as we now know is anything but nothing . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:40 am
I added more "sparkles"--this time a rapid synthesizer arpeggio in a few measures before the start of each verse where previously there only was the drumkit . . .

I did a few experiments with multi-panned "sparkles", but the tempo is too fast for anything beyond three-location "sparkles" when the "sparkles" are what one might call "primary" . . .

The rapid synthesizer arpeggios are a series of 1/16th notes, which are as fast as can be heard in a reasonably distinct way, since anything faster becomes a blur . . .

[NOTE: These rapid synthesizer arpeggios are similar to the lead guitar arpeggios at the start of the third verse . . . ]

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I also added some more "sparkled" maracas to the epilogue and increased the volume level of the "sparkled" maracas by 1 dB to make them a tiny bit more prominent, but they're very rapid, so it's a subtle volume level enhancement . . .

[NOTE: This YouTube video shows the Digital Performer 9 mixing board for the 25 or so stereo instrument tracks, 12 of which are for the four sets of "sparkles", and this maps to 9 NOTION 6 synchronized subscores for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, since it's easier to do each set of sparkles in a separate NOTION 6 subscore. There are 10 NOTION 6 subscores for the classic "Sweet Hour of Prayer" section, although a few of them were experiments. So far, there are approximately 20 NOTION 6 subscores, which is fine with me because it works . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

I keep wanting to add some tasty Latin percussion--probably nothing more than some "sparkled" castanets and guiros--so this might be on the horizon . . .

And I have been listening to some early Elvis Presley songs and a few later Elvis songs (early-1960s) to refresh my memory in case I decide to do some Pretend Elvis singing, even though it probably won't sound like Elvis . . .

[NOTE: 1956 Elvis is very different from "Fame and Fortune" and "She's Not You" Elvis, since by the time he recorded the latter songs in the early-1960s, Elvis had realized he actually could sing and knew enough about working a condenser microphone to capture it. The producers also had discovered how to produce his new singing style. Elvis had natural vibrato, as does Lady Gaga, and it's superb. So perhaps "She's Not You" Elvis for the classic part and "Hound Dog" Elvis for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude . . . ]

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Adding "sparkles" is helping to reveal the vocal melodies, which is one of the things "sparkling" does, perhaps because once there is a complete set of primary "sparkles" the song flows naturally and starts becoming mesmerizing . . .

On a related note, I need to do some submixes in the Digital Performer 9 project, since the total number of stereo tracks is getting a bit big . . .

It's also easier to do vocal "ducking" when the instruments are submixed . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:23 am
I added the first set of vocals early this morning . . .

I was thinking about Pretend Elvis when I sang the classic part with the grand piano and violins, but it's mostly me . . .

The effects are similar to something George Martin might have done for John Lennon's singing, and I like the echoes and Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) . . .

In the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, nothing came to mind for a while; but after trying a few melodies, I decided to do the first vocal part in monotone using one of my pretend vocalists, Ferliss Nuberton, who basically is a Country Western singer with a bit of a nasal drawl . . .

It's all "A", literally one note except for one time when I forgot what I was doing and jumped upward a note . . .

[NOTE: I increased the Input Level by +1 dB for the Brickwall Limiter on the Master stereo output, so this version is a tiny bit hotter, which is fine now that there is a vocal melody. It was +3 dB, but now it's +4 dB for the Input Level boost. The Output Level continues to be -0.1 dB, so it never gets louder than -0.1 dB . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

For reference, I have not seen the actual melody for "Sweet Hour of Prayer", if there is one; and I have not listened to any of the recorded versions done by other folks, so everything I'm doing with respect to singing is intuitive by intentional design, including what "Blue" (Realivox) sings . . .

I think the "classic" part is nice, and I like the initial concept for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, which actually has all four verses but in {2,3,4,1} order, since the "classic" part has most of the 1st verse of the lyrics, although I had to drop a few lines to fit it to the music . . .

My current thinking for the fast part is that conceptually it's a Blue Grass type of thing but with what one might call an "Evangelical Gospel Revival" flavor, which definitely would be in a tent with no air-conditioning . . .

As it happens, Ferliss Nuberton has an identical twin cousin (Scooter Nuberton); so I am thinking about having them do a Pretend Everly Brothers duet for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, which makes the monotone "A" singing more logical and a bit like Hillbilly Metal . . .

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"Blue" (Realivox) is going to be doing a lot of singing, so that's on the horizon . . .

I'm thinking about adding a tambourine in a few places, since Scooter likes tambourine . . .

And I plan to modify the "sparkled" deep bass sawtooth wave synthesizer to make it more consistent with what a string bassist might do, perhaps along the lines of the string bass in "Heartbreak Hotel" (Elvis Presley) but faster like the rapid synthesizer bass at the start of "(Baby You Were) Only Dreaming) (The Surf Whammys) . . .

The current "sparkled" deep bass sawtooth wave synthesizer riff is too whimsical, so it needs to be more serious or whatever . . .

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:04 am
I added a harmony part to the singing in the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, and I changed the "sparkled" deep bass sawtooth wave synthesizer riff to a thundering rumble, which I think works nicely and fits the song better . . .

I adjusted the panning and volume levels for the singing in the interlude so it's more balanced with the lead guitars . . .

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THOUGHTS

At the moment I'm not certain what the interval for the harmony part might be, but (a) it sounds right to me and (b) it's reasonably synchronized with the first part . . .

I panned the first part about a quarter to the right and panned the harmony part about a quarter to the left, which sounds better and makes a bit of room for the lead guitars . . .

Both of the interlude vocal parts are monotone, and I used the Melodyne Editor (Celemony) to ensure this was done accurately, since I don't practice singing a lot and I tend to miss notes by a half-step more frequently than I would if I practiced singing more often, but so what . . .

The lead guitars are playing a lot of melodies, so the combination of monotone harmony singing with the lead guitars creates the illusion of a melody, which is part of the serendipity that occurs when one person does everything . . .

Based on the panning rule, I raised the far-left and far-right volume levels for the chiming "sparkled" synthesizer to -3 dB and kept the top-center level at -6 dB; so it's easier to hear the notes on the far-left and far-right . . .

Digital Performer 9 (MOTU) is at the upper limit of what the Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio can handle, so I need to do some submixes and reduce the total number of tracks, which is easy to do and makes it easier to do "ducking", if I need to "duck" anything . . .

I like the singing, so I'm going to switch focus to "Blue" (Realivox) and see what she can do . . .

And Scooter wants some tambourine . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Surf.Whammy on Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:13 am
The first thing I did yesterday morning was a lot of submixing and freezing, which included bouncing the classic section to disk . . .

Bouncing to disk was not doing what I wanted for the Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal interlude, so after doing some reading in the Digital Performer 9 User Guide, I decided to "freeze" the various tracks, which is similar to doing a bounce to disk, but (a) it replaces the actual tracks with "frozen" surrogates that are exact duplicates but without all the overhead of processing effects plugi-ins and (b) it can be "unfrozen", which puts everything back to working with the actual tracks . . .

Freezing works nicely, and it doesn't change the sound, so this is the best solution for the elaborate interlude . . .

Then I had "Blue" (Realivox) sing a third harmony part, and Scooter got to play a pair of "sparkled" tambourines . . .

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THOUGHTS

Intuitively, (a) bouncing to disk and (b) freezing tracks should be the same, but they aren't . . .

Freezing tracks preserves the settings very precisely, and this is important because I adjust everything very precisely . . .

I'm still pondering the idea of having "Blue" do something akin to K-pop, but before anything like that appeared it seemed logical to add a third harmony part to the phrase "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in the interlude, so this is what I did . . .

"Blue" adds a bit of soprano cathedral smoothness to the harmony and provides some clues to additional enhancements . . .

For reference, the two-part singing in the interlude was a bit harsh, but this is what you need to do when there's going to be a third harmony part that by definition cannot be so crystal clear, which is one of the things I learned with I was in a liturgical boys choir . . .

You need to over enunciate everything if you expect it to be heard clearly in a vast cathedral . . .

It's a rule, and I think it's a good rule . . . :+1

These are the lyrics by William W. Walford:

[NOTE: The "Intro" is the first verse, but it was too long; so I did a bit of editing. The full first verse is the "4th Verse", since it didn't make sense to repeat the first verse back-to-back . . . ]

[Intro]
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.

My soul escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

[1st Verse]
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!

With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

[2nd Verse]
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.

And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

[3rd Verse]
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

[4th Verse]
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne

In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

That's a lot of lyrics to be singing rapidly in reasonably precise synchronization two different times; but I did it, so I'm happy, although it's not so difficult to synchronize with yourself when you only sing it a few times and don't think about it consciously other than to remember to over enuciate . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by Marcato on Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:44 pm
Quite a feat!

Only thing missing as a cherry on this piece of cake that I can think of is a boys' choir with a pipe organ background. For a few atmospheric bars.


Cheers!
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:46 am
Marcato wroteQuite a feat!

Only thing missing as a cherry on this piece of cake that I can think of is a boys' choir with a pipe organ background. For a few atmospheric bars.


Cheers!


Great minds think alike! :+1

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THOUGHTS

The version of the fast instrumental basic rhythm section that I did for my Asynchronous Melodic Death Metal pretend musical group "KnightKocK" had a cathedral pipe organ during what now is the "sparkled" thundering deep bass sawtooth wave synthesizer section, so it was easy to add the cathedral pipe organ; and after doing that it was logical to add a phrase sung by "Blue" (Realivox) . . .

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Kalvträsk Church Organ ~ Sweden

"Blue" isn't a liturgical boys choir, but she's a soprano and a with a bit of shimmering reverberation via Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments), she's similar to a liturgical boys choir . . .

It fits, and I like it . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:44 am
I'm working on a book about digital music production; and I needed an example of the way a vocal track looks in the Melodyne Editor (Celemony), so I opened the Digital Performer 9 (MOTU) project for "Sweet Hour of Prayer" with the plan to do a screen capture of the vocal track in the classical introduction; but I had frozen the tracks, which made it impossible to see any of the effects plug-ins . . .

So, I looked at an earlier version; but there was no Melodyne Editor on the vocal track in that version, which then led me to create one; and during the process I realized that suggesting the singing had at least a few good notes was vastly optimistic; so I did pitch correction and made it better . . .

By this time, I had discovered how to "unfreeze" frozen tracks; so I switched to the most current version and did pitch correction on the singing in the classical part there . . .

My singing was so off-kiey that Melodyne thought the key signature was B♭; but the song actually is in C or A Minor; so I set the scale to C Minor and then adjusted the notes without automatic scale snap . . .

[NOTE: Most of the piano notes are white keys, which makes it either C or A Minor; but there are a few sharps (or flats); so I am not certain what key it; except that the fast part with the electric guitars is in C or A Minor; since overall I don't like to mess with sharps and flats, which also is the case with doing everything on soprano treble clef, which is the only clef that makes intuitive sense to me. Here in the sound isolation studio, there are 12 notes and 10 or so octaves, approximately 8 of which humans can hear. This works for me; and it keeps everything as simple as possible mathematically. Why C Minor? I thought it might be better for snapping than C Major, but it wasn't; so I set pitch adjusting to "No Snap" . . . ]

There were a few on-key notes; but a lot of the notes were off by a half-step or whole-step . . .

[NOTE: This is how the second half of the classical part looks after manual pitch correction; and for reference I have not heard whatever the actual melody for the song might be; so this is the melody that I think fits the chords and instruments naturally. The background is in piano key format, so the white keys are white and the black keys are gray. Apparently, it's in C Major or some key that is all white keys on the piano, which is fine with me . . . ]

Image

The frozen tracks were consolidated into one stereo track; so now I had that track, which had the original singing, and a second pitch-corrected vocal track; and I used both of them, but with the pitch-corrected vocal track a bit louder . . .

The result is better; and it's basically an unusual way to do Automatic Double Tracking with pitch correction . . .

I also increased the bass in the range of 10-Hz to 40-Hz; so it has more deep bass--not a lot more, but a tiny bit more . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix; and I listen at high volume levels when I am doing headphone mixing. It's "hot"; but the volume level never goes over -0.01 dB, because I have a brickwall limiter as the last plug-in on the Master stereo output track, as you can see in the Meter section in the YouTube music video . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

The instruments and singing are recorded; so now I am switching to producing, which is an entirely different activity from composing, performing, and recording . . .

Producing includes audio engineering but more with respect to the audio engineering being done to accomplish what the producer wants to happen; so it's a different perspective on the role of the audio engineer when the focus is producing . . .

One of the things I discovered when doing a bit of research on "Be My Baby" (The Ronettes) is that Phil Spector made Ronnie Spector practice her lead vocal part for three weeks before going into the studio; and then she had to practice what she was supposed to sing for another three days, mostly in a bathroom because she was shy and liked the reverberation and echoes in the bathroom.

The impression I have is that once the lead vocal recording started, it was done one phrase at a time; hence three days of doing it over and over with practicing when a phrase or word needed more work . . .

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I need to start doing this myself, since it obviously works better than composing and singing the melody in real-time on the fly once or at most just a few times; but so what . . .

With the Melodyne Editor and a bit of work, you can make Bob Dylan sound like Celine Dion . . .

In some respects, everything involved in digital music production is vastly complex and difficult; although for me, being my own choirmaster is the most difficult role; but I realize this, and I try not to find ways to weasel out of it . . . :P

My current strategy is that I sing stuff once or twice and then spend three weeks and a few days devising ways to make it sound good, which if it does nothing else tends to map to discovering a lot of ways to make singing sound better . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by Surf.Whammy on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:06 am
I did a new version, and the focus is on vocal producing . . .

The Propellerheads sent me an email about a free Waves Audio effects plug-in for registered Reason customers, so I downloaded and installed it; and now I get emails from Waves Audio frequently, most of which I ignore; but I noticed that they have a set of effects plug-ins developed in cooperation with Abbey Road Studios; and this is where I discovered "Reel ADT" (Waves Audio) a few days ago . . .

I watched two of the YouTube videos about "Reel ADT", and I like what it does; so I purchased it earlier this morning and then used it on my singing in "Sweet Hour of Prayer", with the "Factory Default" preset, which is nice and doesn't have obvious phasing and flanging artifacts . . .

[NOTE: I like the visual design of Reel ADT, especially the top part that shows the playback heads of the emulated analog magnetic tape recorders, where the single playback head is the original vocal track and the two playback heads below are the ADT playback heads in their stationary positions, which indicate the Haas Effect delay in milliseconds. The lighter playback heads show the motion as the tape speed is varied . . . ]

Image
Reel ADT (Waves Audio) ~ "Factory Default" Preset

[NOTE: This is the stereo version, and there are two ADT playback heads that vary from approximately -17 milliseconds to -23 milliseconds on the left channel and from approximately +17 milliseconds to +23 milliseconds on the right channel. The left channel ADT audio occurs before the original audio ("SRC"), while the right channel ADT audio occurs after the original audio. Generally, I consider the Haas Effect to range from 5 milliseconds to 75 milliseconds; so this is in the shorter range of the Haas Effect, which makes it more subtle but nevertheless obvious. It's an interesting auditory illusion . . . ]

Image
Tape Heads

I already did pitch-correcting with Melodyne (Celemony); so in this version I removed most of the earlier set of effects plug-ins and simplified the vocal producing, since Reel Adt does what I primarily want to do . . .

I kept the noise gates, which remove the studio sounds when I'm not singing; and I kept the Black 76 Limiting Amplifier (IK Multimedia) . . .

Melodyne is the first effects plug-in in the sequential chain; and the noise gate is done with TrackPlug 5 (Wave Arts), which is the second effect plug-in in the sequential chain . . .

Then it's Reel ADT followed by the Black 76 Limiting Amplifier . . .

These are the effects plug-in chains for the harmony and lead vocals in the fast part of the song; and I used Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments) on the lead vocal track to add some syrupy echoes, mostly in the left channel . . .

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The singing in the Into is produced in a way similar to the lead vocal in the fast part, except that it has Timeless 2 before the Black 76 Limiting Amplifier and the Timeless 2 echoes are a bit different but syrupy . . .

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Later, I will do more vocal producing, but this is a good foundation . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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