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Bob Elliott
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Bob Elliott

10/22/2008 1:05:03 PM

Anyone Want to Comment on Mix of First Song Done for Next Album?
It's called "The Captain's Wife." You might have heard it in a rough as "Supersonic."

My new theory is to mix each thing as it gets finished. I think this may be the mix here. Does it hurt your ears or any other weird frequency stuff?

Here it is:

http://iacmusic.com/songs.aspx?SongID=59201


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Hop On Pop

10/22/2008 2:26:58 PM


Hell, I'm just excited to hear some new stuff from you! You know what a fanboy I am!!!

Anyway, as far as annoying, but well-intentioned criticism:
Seems a little hiss-y (a bit harsh) in the higher frequencies -- in the vocals.
Bongo sound is perfect.
Love the sound of the snare.
I'd like to hear the backing vocals mixed just a tad higher.

And, of course, all of this is on my computer's really crappy built-in speakers.


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Bob Elliott

10/22/2008 2:51:21 PM


Thanks, Todd.


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Steve Ison

10/22/2008 3:29:26 PM


Its a lovely track Bob..I was thinking originally i wanted the lead vox higher-but by the end i like them mixed back like you have as it gives a real 'ghostly' vibe that i think you were after..
Love how it sounds so loose and free-really good..
Would love to see the lyrics printed-thats all..


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Bob Elliott

10/22/2008 4:22:06 PM


Thanks, Steve. Here are those lyrics:

The Captain’s Wife

Well, I wait all the days and the nights
With our child
As you sail to our home
Oh but now, I’ve gone wild

Those we became made the fires
That you see
I heard your songs on the sea
As you cried out for me
But I’ve changed and I live
As the savages live
We have taken what they give
And I’ve gone wild

All your books have been torn
And your pictures and your maps
Have been spoiled with the rain
And the falcons have all flown
And the clothes I have worn
Are no longer what I wear
Find our footprints in the sand
‘cause I
I’ve gone wild



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10/22/2008 4:35:05 PM


this has such a lovely feel to it bob and what a great lyric.


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Art Factory

10/22/2008 9:14:42 PM ---- Updated 10/22/2008 9:29:53 PM


It's interesting how the music for Supersonic was fitting at the time for the video link to sound and vision but upon the direction of the lyrics I found First Contact to be more suiting. I feel there is a balance you achieved in the interplay of guitar and keys in that song and so it works better with that particular video.

With the addition of lyric to Captain's Wife (Supersonic) I sense your vocal as being held back or that you are not connecting as much to the song as you have with previous works but that may be because you are singing from the perspective of someone other than yourself, whereas by contrast in First Contact (which of course is altogether different) maybe based on your direct healt felt experience/s. I like that you are dilligent to sort out new directions and don't want to sound as though I am demoting the song by comparision, but rather make that point of distance in relation to the vocal which I felt upon hearing it.

Thank you for the comment to mystic, that's another one that feels personal in your connection to it lyrically but in this case I did not relate to as well even from a male counterpoint perspective... but that is all very, very subjective. I look forward to hearing more from you and to see how the new song develops.


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Susan Raven

10/23/2008 1:42:01 AM


It's weird - but wonderful - reminds me of the Beachboys??? But maybe that's just the harmonies... Listening on headphones, the vocals are real clear!


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Hugh Hamilton

10/23/2008 8:27:41 AM


Groovy, Bob...I'm challenged by the bass rhythm...but only mildly...very cool indeed...no sonic comments other than a big "sounds good to me"...make that "SOUNDS GOOD TO ME"!
;)
H


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Richard Scotti

10/23/2008 9:31:51 AM ---- Updated 10/23/2008 12:17:16 PM


Love the song. Not crazy about the mix or the arrangement. But there's nothing about the mix or the arrangement that can't be fixed to make them as great as the song. I hope that you won't take offense at anything I'm saying. The singing and the lyrics are great. But the song lacks a cohesive tempo and the arrangement is too cluttered. Less would be more in this haunting etheral song. There is too much jingle-jangle guitar doodling going on and it's intrusive to the mood of the song. Less of it would be better or perhaps it's just too high in the mix but it's distracting from the wonderful vocal which is the heart of the song. I think most people are saying the vocals need to be brought up in the mix but I think it's just that there are too many other tracks competing with it. If they were tamed a bit the vocals could stay as they are, ghostly and magical. The bongos could use a little sofening as far as EQ. Songs can be atmospheric and fluid and still have a tempo that is accessible and holds the song together. "Wooden Ships" by CSNY comes to mind. (Actually I don't remember if Young was with them then but you get the idea)

If the intent of the song is to be very jazzy and free-form, then maybe I'm wrong. But in my subjective opinion I think the song needs to be tighter rythmically regardless of genre. Susan is right about the Beachboys vibe. That's what the song should be built around. I'm trying to adopt a new policy of giving more detailed critiques than I usually do because I have a lot of experience turning other artitst's works in progress into finished works and I think it would be more helpful to you to share my experience than just being a diplomat (who carried on his shoulder a simamese cat) But I will only do this when someone requests it as you did.

I always feel guilty giving criticism but I always keep it constructive because when I hear a great song like this one, my only aim is to try and help make it the best version of the song it can be. And of course in the end, the writer of the song is aways right. But if I'm asked for my opinion, I am happy to give it. It doesn't mean my way is better.


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Bob Elliott

10/23/2008 1:15:49 PM


Thank you all for your input. I should have a done mix by today.

I know it's very odd. I'm quite sure the instruments are playing what we want them to be playing, but I did need some perspective on how the mixing tones are coming through, and I have that now.

Richard, there is no need to explain about giving your opinion. I put the thing up here to find out those things.

The thing is, for me, there is no issue of changing anything that was played. That's out of my hands...I mean the thing poured itself out in the form it wanted, and the very oddness of it's parts are what compels me.

But mixing is another process.

My daughter has been a big fan of the original rough version called "Supersonic." I was very worried when writing that somehow I'd destroy what was magic in the first version that had no lyrics. Apparently I did destroy some of the fabric for Art Factory, but I was real happy to hear my kid felt it had all he same mystery as before and was better for her.

It was a fragile thing. For me, I also liked the first version a lot and I didn't want to destroy it by pinning it down. But it remains open for my mind.

My daughter told me that one of the basses, the one on the right that is done with an old analog keyboard, is not as bassy as it had been, and she wants some of the bass back. She was right that I'd cut that back some. She also says there was a clave in the first one that she can't hear anymore. She'd like to hear it again.

Other than that she was good with the mix. That's cool, because she's generally tough.

I marked Todd's comment about the highs on the vox and have been working on it. Someone elsewhere commented that the panning might be a bit extreme, so I thought they could have a point and I brought things into the middle more, but I kept some stuff panned.

The whole idea of mixing to completion right as I finish a song is really new to me and I like it a lot more. You get to mix it while you're still way in on it.

Usually I pile up a whole cd's worth of songs and then mix them all, but that is very hard.

Anyway, thanks for the help.


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