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Bob Elliott
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IAC Prime Member


Bob Elliott

3/1/2010 11:17:09 PM

Anyone Want to Play Outside Producer on This Remix of "Endless"?
I think I got a better more clear take of what I was trying to do with the song. Kind of feel like I'm getting better at mixing, so I dug it out for a redo.

Anyone want to burst my bubble?

Tell me how it translates on your speakers. Got a feeling I might have against-the-law bass, but it plays well on my systems. Could really be a crime against elephants' hearing....


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Hop On Pop

3/2/2010 7:16:26 AM

I think that it translates (on my headphones) very well. The expanded bass pallatte brings out a lot of the subtleties of your playing; I hear a lot more of the 2-guitar interplay than I did before and the arrangement is really quite excellent.
There is more space between instruments than there was before and it brings out not just that guitar interplay, but some of the more-subtle backing vocal things that you did that faded into the arrangement before.
It's a great song, and this is a really wonderful take on it, Bob.

Thumbs-up from me.

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3/2/2010 7:33:05 AM

Bob - sounds balanced on my system up here in the office (I'll take a listen in the studio later today).

My only suggestion/comment - and take it with all the personal aesthetic bias that it carries (i.e. it may just be me!) but your drum treatment pulls this down - it either sounds like a muffled Dr Rhythm or a badly recorded bongo - either way, your 'snare' hits drag the space. If it were mine, I would go in either direction - i.e. really work a programmed groove to underpin the very organic frontline; OR explore some more ethnic beats - with the lyric, you could probably get away with Morroccan/Middle Eastern drums and bells.

All that said, this is a very fine song, Bob - love the lyrical content too.

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Richard Scotti

3/2/2010 2:32:12 PM

I love the song and the vocals. I don't like the static. There's a technical problem somewhere that needs to be addressed.

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Tao Jones

3/2/2010 2:45:47 PM

Thanks for the mix check. Sounds like it is not overbombing the low bass range on any of you. That is good to know.

Yes, Monkey, it is a weird percussion ensemble. It's some booming kick drums off my keyboard mixed with some hand percussion. I know it is a messed up kind of beat because I've kind of put a low and a high kick as the kick and snare. There is no snare on the 2 beat, but just a higher kick, and sometimes the higher kick is reinforced with a scratching sound. All kind of off, but it is my intent. What I was worried about was whether my tones were mixed well enough to get my whacky intent out to others' speakers.

The same is true of the static you mention, Richard. That is just a sample of the crackle pop from a vinyl record. It is at the start for a few seconds, the middle for a few and the end. I think it soounds appropriate, but I knew it would be kind of strange and some people like it a lot and others just think it's messed up, and it probably is.

But at least the mix is clear, it seems, so people can clearly hear my skewed sound choices.

Thank you for the mix check. It helps a lot. So strange that we can get checks from across the land.

Comments welcome...

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Richard Scotti

3/2/2010 5:05:56 PM

I don't think static is ever "appropriate". Some Hip Hop loops are sampled from records and it may be acceptable there but on this kind of song it just sounds like a mistake. It doesn't fit the genre. Why is a record being used?

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Tao Jones

3/2/2010 5:56:49 PM

I am glad you ask. I like to talk about this kind of thing.

I don't know any straight answers, though. Why is the record crackle pop in there? It just sounds right to me. My ears wait for those parts and feel a sense of satisfaction when the crackle comes down. I like the way it blends with the other sounds. Especially I like it in the first few seconds of the song when the voice breaks and the guitar sounds all scratchy, and then all that static drops out when the beats begin. It sounds very good to my ears, but I admit it is weird, and I expect it sounds off to many.

But I also think it will hit some people the way it hits me. All we can do as artists is follow our own visions, those are the only ones we know anything about. The crackle pop starts the song, then it comes back after all that long mid section with the noise and all, when all that noise kind of drops out there is the crackle at about 3:35, and my ears like that.

And I really love to hear it creep out of the mix as the other instruments exhaust themselves at the end and we're left with that static and a stray echoey clank where the snare would go.

I can't figure why that sound any more than I can figure why the words are so weird, why the various ideas in the words should go together when they are not about one thing...

Or even what the central line : "He calls me endless" is getting at because that line was being played over a stereo in a bookstore in my dream with Sting singing it. I woke up and realized that was not a Sting song or anyone's song, but it had no explanation. And gradually a song grew around that line that kept after me for a couple years.

So that's why there's static...

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Jesse Adams

3/2/2010 8:55:50 PM

It's nice to listen to someone who doesn't suck for once. Good stuff. I think there's a difference between static and vinyl noise... I like the record sound, I think it works. It's such a little thing anyways I can't believe we're even discussing it. In the meantime there's this whole song going on, haha.

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Richard Scotti

3/2/2010 9:40:11 PM ---- Updated 3/2/2010 10:32:15 PM

It's a great song and I stated that I loved it. After listening to it several more times, I understand the concept of the noise being used as creative tool and it works. I regret mentioning what I thought was a little imperfection but now I realize it's an integral part of the song and it totally works. My intention was only to help but I made an honest mistake. I stand corrected. I'm glad we discussed it because it helped me connect with the artist's vision.

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Jesse Adams

3/3/2010 11:04:09 AM ---- Updated 3/3/2010 11:08:50 AM

Richard, is there a rule book somewhere I'm not aware of? You shouldn't feel like you need to apologize and "stand corrected" simply for mentioning your honest opinion about a miniscule sound effect in a song. It's subjective. Besides it makes you look like a pussy.

Why is everyone around here so touchy and afraid to ruffle some feathers? If it's your honest opinion, state it. If someone gets bent out of shape because of it, so what? That's their problem.

We as an indie community, at least around here, need to GROW SOME BALLS! This is why we get ragged on by Vicky and Susie and banana... we're all a bunch of wimpy saps... except for maybe Phlegm and Larree.

Now fuck off.

Oops, my bad... gotta give props to Gremislav and Lyin' Dan as well. They hold their own.

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The Man With No Band

3/3/2010 12:47:45 PM ---- Updated 3/3/2010 1:01:35 PM

Kiss my ass Jesse ... feel better ... :)

BTW ... I always loved this tune ... and I think this mix brings it all the way home Bob ... Love the intricacies and the Vox is timeless ... or is that "endless" ...

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Tao Jones

3/3/2010 4:44:08 PM

Well. I thank you all for your input on the song. It is such a great thing when you don't know if you did what you thought you did. Especially mixing can be pretty unclear as to if you are getting anywhere or no.

I think the song's a trip. I think it should go on Larry's "War Station," because whatever the song is about, war has to be some of what it's about...

Though it's not ending there.

It's endless...

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Jesse Adams

3/3/2010 5:59:55 PM

That's exactly what we need to quit doing Sam... kissing each others asses. That said, I don't think we should be assholes to each other either.

Nice work Bob, you are one of the fine offerings here at IAC. Keep it up.

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The Man With No Band

3/3/2010 6:11:25 PM

I just don't see it ... sigh ... What do you some of you guys NOT read ? ... Every time I see someone ask for opinions ... they get them ... and not ALL of them are good, kissy ass opinions ... I have seen, given and received constructive criticism here ...

Just because I tell people "hey, I really like that" ... does that make me a kiss ass ?
... or anyone else here for that matter ...

should we all just be here to "seek and destroy" ? ...

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Jesse Adams

3/3/2010 6:27:10 PM

Nobody said you were a kiss ass Sam. Why are you defending yourself?

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The Man With No Band

3/3/2010 6:32:55 PM

Naw ... I know that wasn't directed at me Jesse ... I just mean I don't see the same thing you do here ... Just read any post, where someone really asks for an opinion, and I see just as many Knocks as Kadoos ...

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Jesse Adams

3/4/2010 7:36:46 PM

I owe Rich an apology. My response to him was rude, inappropriate and misguided. I was a bit cranky when I posted and I feel like I tainted this thread a bit with my negative bullshit. I'm sorry if I killed the vibe... I'm just a douche sometimes and for that I am sorry.

That said, Bob, I really do think you're a great artist... one of the best with the most potential here at IAC. I sort of get the vibe you don't care for me much... you've always sort of ignored me, which is cool, but I support your tunes and I posted a link for your song "When Louis Armstrong Speaks" on my Facebook page... people need to hear that song man.


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Bob Elliott

3/4/2010 8:09:44 PM

Nah Jesse, I've always got a kick out your snappy posts. I think maybe a lot of people think I'm ignoring, but I don't. I pay pretty close attention. I think you're a wildly able guitarist, the type truly able to fly the frets, and your calls for realness fit in my own philosophies.

I don't think you messed up the thread here at all. I never think anyone messes up any of the threads.

I am honored to hear "When Louis Armstrong Speaks" is linked on your facebook. I didn't even know that was doable. I wonder if any of my other things are out in the world that way.

Right now my songs are missing from my page, but they'll be up again in a little bit I am pretty sure.

Anyway, I think we'd have a blast playing together, and I appreciate the support. I think my music has a lot of potential, too, but I get this feeling obscurity will surround me for the most part. It just makes me put more and more into the music. That's my only response. It's going to be a good next album:

When Louis Armstrong Speaks
Silver Hands
Three Boats of Cedar
Gone Wild (used to be called The Captain's Wife)
Stupendose and Ridicular

Those are about done, and I have more. Gonna be a trippy album spanning over something about human nature, a deep album, and for what? Such a silly thing to pour so much into albums that will be the very definition of unknown unheard, but I don't care. I'm making this album, and it's gonna be that kind of good, and I'll remain almost entirely unknown. I know that...

So what...it's art.

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Jesse Adams

3/4/2010 9:05:07 PM

Cool man. Thanks for your kind words as well. I would love to play together... if you ever need any help with anything, production or just want to collaborate, let me know. It would be an honor to work with you. I'm also glad you seem to understand where I'm coming from and don't take take me too seriously. I also think your viewpoint on your album is admirable, and you should put everything into your music, no matter who never hears it. Like you said, it's art, and that's what it's about.

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Richard Scotti

3/5/2010 1:49:20 AM

Apology accepted, Jesse but I think we can review each other's songs without resorting to really demeaning name calling. That just crosses the line (imo) In Brooklyn where I grew up, them is fightin' words! I only changed my mind about the song because it was explained to me. I took back my criticism because I was wrong, not because I was afraid to state it. I'm big enough to admit I made a mistake because I rushed to judgement on a little thing that I thought was a technical glitch. But after hearing the explanation of the song and listening to it several times, I realized the noise made perfect sonic sense and perfect sense in terms of the artist's vision. I was man enough to admit I was wrong, not a pussy who was afraid to state an opinion. I NEVER apologize when I'm right but I have the guts to apologize when I'm wrong. But it's all good. We're friends and we've discussed this privately, so let's move on.

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Tom O'Brien

3/5/2010 12:42:20 PM

This is a really great collage of sounds, Bob - a great arrangement and a great mix. There are so many different things that grab my attention at different times.

About the record crackle: I think it works well at the beginning, but by the time the song's done I've been on a musical journey and I don't want to just end up back where I started. You're probably attached to it, but if I had a vote, I'd say leave it off the ending.

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Jesse Adams

3/5/2010 12:51:49 PM

For the record Rich, I never called you a pussy. I was trying to get the point across that when someone folds on their viewpoint because someone else contradicts it, it makes them look like a pushover. Which I know now is not what you did.

Boobs... boobs for all!

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Jesse Adams

3/5/2010 12:54:02 PM

I would never condone name calling or demeaning posts in what is supposed to be a creative and supportive environment.

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Bob Elliott

3/5/2010 7:00:27 PM

Okay, I imagine everyone is about ready for this thread to drop, but I worked out what I think will be the last mix. I had found by using the ipod phones up loud that my very low lows on my two kick drum sounds were just waaaay overloading for any system that could pick them up, and so I went in there and got them right. Now I find the whole percussion section has more definition like the rest of the instruments have more definition.

I think with this improved clarity that my strange percussion choices will make a lot more sense to outside listeners. THis mix, I think, shows what I was hearing and attempting.

Thanks all you all for a fun thread.

Right here:


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Jesse Adams

3/6/2010 9:23:20 AM

Do you mix using wavs Bob? Not that I think you really need the help, but if you ever want to experiment I think it'd be fun to mix one of your tunes sometime... it's always fun to hear someone elses take on your work.

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Richard Scotti

3/6/2010 11:28:20 AM

Jesse, No problem, my friend. I see the distinction.

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Tao Jones

3/6/2010 1:50:19 PM

Careful, Jesse, you don't know how frustrating my tracks can be...

...but I just might do that some time.

I think I have the final mix on it now.

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