Folsom Prison Blues

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rparker
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Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 16th, 2012, 12:41 pm

Here's the latest Folsom Prison Blues cover. As always, I'd like to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

This is the first time for this song using Pro Tools. I also used Band-in-a-Box/RealBand software. I was surfing their patterns (so to speak) for some backing track material and stumbled upon a railroad type drum pattern. I quickly found a suitable bass and quite quickly had a backing track ready. More on it later in detail section.

In all it's glory. http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11947901
brief notes
The solo is at 1:40. Feel free to fast-forward.
My best singing, i think, happens after the solo.
Everything else stinks. :lol:
I wanted a raw, front and center attack.

More detailed Mix Infomation.
The Mix was pretty straight up. The vocals hit you straight on and way up front. A fair amount of Reverb was used. much more than I normally like to use. I think it fits the song, though. No compression. I could not get one to not suqish my voice so badly. I might revisit it in the future.

I know the drums are not an original instrument in the song, but I like to use them. I might have gone over-board. The drums are a kit in stereo and originally panned all the way left and right. They sounded OK, but lacked something. I did copy, pasted and split the drum track into L & R mono tracks, with the volume dropped a bit. I left the original stereo track in place, but brought the whole kit straight down the middle instead of panned way out. The result is a pretty lively kit, epecially for the genre.

Guitars. My Squire Tele was used on most if it. Maybe all of it. I have a basic rhythm track that might have been done on something else. The Lead, Lead-Rhythm and the two book-mark riffs are done with the Tele for sure.

The solo is partly a cop on theirs and partly mine. Some of it will sound familiar. Some will not. Although I've been fiddling with the real version, I don't know it well enough to do yet. Besides, this is actually how I hear the song. If I was any better, I'd call it interpretive and move on to the next song with some smug-ness. But, I ain't, so I won't.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by jwmartin » October 16th, 2012, 7:45 pm

Great mix! I like the drums and the slowed down feel. Great job.

Edit to add: I like everything about it. The way I wrote it sounded like I only liked the drums and feel. Everything sounds great.

My band started doing this one a few weeks ago and I was attempting to record a solo acoustic version of it Saturday night. My intake of Maker's Mark exceeded my ability to do a complete take, so I put it off. I'll have to back burner it a little longer now. :D

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by TRGuitar » October 16th, 2012, 8:08 pm

Roy, the only thing wrong with the solo is it was stiff. You played the notes fine. Relax and it will be just fine! I like it!
Last edited by TRGuitar on October 16th, 2012, 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by TRGuitar » October 16th, 2012, 8:11 pm

jwmartin wrote: My intake of Maker's Mark exceeded my ability to do a complete take, so I put it off. I'll have to back burner it a little longer now. :D
Wicked Fester Style!
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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by Moonrider » October 16th, 2012, 8:44 pm

Johnny Cash was smilin'!

One suggestion on the 'verb. dial it down a LOT, and pop a low volume slapback echo (one repeat) in front of it.

I need to find our vid where we went all cowpunk with this one. We played it at a tempo that would have scared the Ramones, did the first solo straight, then went into a psychobilly freakout on the second solo. Poor Mel (our other guitar player) never knew what hit him.
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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 17th, 2012, 4:21 am

Thanks guys! I appreciatte the feedback and comments. Also glad you liked it. I'm slowly getting there.

Doug, the irony of me putting something out there with this much reverb is probably not lost on some folks, especially after what I've recently said about it's use. I am still torn about the reverb level on this one. Normally I have it much, much, much, much ........ and even much lower still. I just couldn't help myself on this. I can't apply a name for the feel I was going for with it.

TR, thanks for the tip. I've been working on things of that nature, but still have a way to go. It's probably what's got me behind the 8-ball on other techniques, too.

Jeff, just intake a little more and go tears in 'yer beer style. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Doug, that's something I'd like to see. I've had a few slow/traditional tunes turned punk on my motorcycle MP3 playlist in the past. Good fun.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 18th, 2012, 7:56 am

Moonrider wrote:One suggestion on the 'verb. dial it down a LOT, and pop a low volume slapback echo (one repeat) in front of it.
I forgot to ask. I think what you're suggesting is two things. Ease back on the verb everywhere except for vocals. For the vocals, replace the 'verb with the slapback echo. Is this right?
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by s1120 » October 18th, 2012, 1:32 pm

TRGuitar wrote:Roy, the only thing wrong with the solo is it was stiff. You played the notes fine. Relax and it will be just fine! I like it!

Not that im one to talk.... but ya, I agree. I liked it, but it needs to be a little more... free I guess. Also I would dile in a little.... well... old 50's amp, cranked up and overdriving a bit to be heard over the noise in the early 70's country bar.... Is there a pedal for that??? :mrgreen:

And you know... you hammer yourself about your singing.... But that was very good. And you know... if you tryed to sound a little more like you... and not as much as Johnny.. I think you would have nailed it!!!
Paul B

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 18th, 2012, 4:30 pm

s1120 wrote:if you tryed to sound a little more like you... and not as much as Johnny..
My problems with vocals are when I try to not sound like Johnny Cash. :lol: :lol:
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by Moonrider » October 18th, 2012, 4:33 pm

rparker wrote:
Moonrider wrote:One suggestion on the 'verb. dial it down a LOT, and pop a low volume slapback echo (one repeat) in front of it.
I forgot to ask. I think what you're suggesting is two things. Ease back on the verb everywhere except for vocals. For the vocals, replace the 'verb with the slapback echo. Is this right?
Not replace the verb - have it the same minimal amount after the slapback.. That will give you more of that Sun records feel you were shooting for.

Oh - forgot to add. most tape echos used in the 50's were right around 500ms. That's because most of the decks they used ran at 7.5 ips.
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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 18th, 2012, 4:38 pm

Cool! Thanks for that. I'll give it a whirl and report back. 8) 8)

Thanks!
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 24th, 2012, 5:25 am

I was delayed for a few days due to a system issue, but all is resolved and I'm back at it.

Doug, sorry to pester you with another question. You're talking that slapback echo just on the vocal, right? I know, stupid noob question. I've never used echo on purpose. At least not intentionally. :)
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 24th, 2012, 1:26 pm

Alrighty, here's some echo. :D
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11962603
I lowered the Reverb on the vocal a good bit. I might need to do a bit more reverb reduction.
My echo would only do something like 200ms, but I didn't even get that far. I stopped around 140 or so. It was enough, at least for now. Maybe if I take off some more reverb.
I did the method Jeff was talking about wiht the additional track and throwing a copy via bus to the track with the echo. Wicked easy way to control effect levels. 8) 8)

There's also a secret sauce ingredient thrown in the master track. It's something called "Saturation Knob". It was a freebie for Pro Tools types about a month ago. I've used it a few times now. It sort of livens up the mix a little bit. It's like cayanne pepper. Just a tiny little dab is more than enough. Even so, I'm a bit nervous I still did too much. Hopefully some of you more experienced & trained ear types would compare this with the first version at the beginning og the thread.

TR, I'm still working on that looseness thing. That one might take a while. :oops:

As always, open for thougths and suggestions. Thanks for listening...again. 8)
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by Moonrider » October 24th, 2012, 8:49 pm

rparker wrote:I was delayed for a few days due to a system issue, but all is resolved and I'm back at it.

Doug, sorry to pester you with another question. You're talking that slapback echo just on the vocal, right? I know, stupid noob question. I've never used echo on purpose. At least not intentionally. :)
Yup, slapback on the vocal, 450 to 550ms, one repeat. If you're using reverb on the whole mix, then don't add any to the vocal. If you're putting 'verb on individual tracks then use a touch of "Plate" reverb. The reverb tank was basically a sheet of metal with a speaker at one end, and a mic transducer at the other. make it wet enough to hear, then kick it down 3 to 6 db, so you only notice when it's NOT there.

Edit. You're using reaper. it's got a very nice echo plugin included.
Edit too: OR you can use this one from e=phonic: http://www.e-phonic.com/plugins/tapedelay.php
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Re: Folsom Prison Blues

Post by rparker » October 25th, 2012, 3:56 am

Moonrider wrote:If you're using reverb on the whole mix, then don't add any to the vocal.
I'm using it on most of the mix. The same reverb aux track is getting sends from a lot of other tracks. I am using a plate. I don't recall the settings, but I'm pretty sure I've got room to go down a bit. Especially with the send levels judging by your rule of thumb type suggestion.
Moonrider wrote:Edit. You're using reaper. it's got a very nice echo plugin included.
Edit too: OR you can use this one from e=phonic: http://www.e-phonic.com/plugins/tapedelay.php
I never clarified. I'm using Pro Tools for this project and most others now-a-days. It came "free" with my eleven Rack and I've been hooked since. I'll check out the plug-ins. Worst case scenerio is that I learn how to use the "rewire" or "reawire" (or whtever it's called) and run Reaper within PT. The Native Instrument suite is supposed to run like a scalded dog doing that, so it's on the top of a long list of things to try.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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