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My band's first demo

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Oric
 Oric
(@oric)
Posts: 87
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Hey all, on Saturday, my band recorded four songs for a demo. It was recorded live, and all went really well. Pay special attention to our lead guitarist, he's only been playing for a year! Please listen and tell me what you think.
(I'm the bassist)

www.myspace.com/thegeats

 
Posted : 14/04/2008 1:59 am
fleaaaaaa
(@fleaaaaaa)
Posts: 680
Prominent Member
 

Okay, time to put my neck on the line :P

I have listened to the demos - I don't know which are the new ones

By the way all these songs would have benefited from being recorded in a different way, so each instrument was clearer generally stuff is recorded one by one unless you get a really pro studio where everyone's in seperate boths. But whats done is done so...... You can do so much more with the sound, re-record to prevent mistakes, add reverb to the vocals so they don't sound as dry.. etc.

Vampire loving blues is probably the best one but the singer sounds like he needs to sing more out..... pronouncing words adding a bit more feeling so forth, generally can be improved with confidence.

The guitar player needs to back off on the distortion to allow his guitar to breathe a little more, he doesn't seem like a bad player in fact you say he's only been playing a year - I can still hear he's finding his way on the fretboard and confidence with getting the right notes but again experience and practice will play the biggest part in that. Of course I don't know what amp or guitar he's using either, but it sounds a bit muddy really, I don't know how to describe it but I feel if he pulled back on the distortion he'd be more successful in getting that scream that it needs. Less amp overdrive and a bit of a boost for the solo, again I don't know exactly what he's using.

Yellow love - instrumental - the guitar playing is good and the sound is much better this time, but like I said I can tell he's still finding his way on the fretboard on certain phrases.

Ballad of Jorge is alright..... the vocalist could have added more effort and feeling into it, he sounds like he is just saying the words not much emotion to it.

Rain is an acoustic instrumental sounds fine though when the strumming starts the microphone is distorting.

Sway me on down - The biggest problem here is the vocals, to me they sound flat, again I think this could be partly to do with singing the words, pronouncing them singing out. Sometimes also the vocalist seems to back off the microphone and then at times come straight up to it and sing loudly i.e. when he gets to the beginning of the first chorus.

Anyway sorry if it's all a bit negative but I do think there's a LOT of potential here but also room for improvement.

together we stand, divided we fall..........

 
Posted : 14/04/2008 10:04 am
Ignar Hillström
(@ignar-hillstrom)
Posts: 5349
Illustrious Member
 

To be brutally awfully bloody honest: I feel the production seriously lets the band down here. Heck, just record the band and then dub the vocals in. Two minutes will correct the dynamics so it sits better, EQs it and corrects some of the pitch issues. Really, if you somehow can do that and send me the vocal track I'll show you what I mean for free.

As for the music: I like that last one most, it had a nice deep undertow to it. It somewhat seems if the singer didn't hear him self at the right volume while singing, I had that idea through most of the tracks actually. In general the guitarists comes along very well, just the occassional bend and some tendencies to overplay but that means nothing if he keeps it up. It's very hard to hear exactly what the drummer is doing but it is tight, some fills don't fit perfectly but that's nitpicking. As to you, your playing fits the songs well and is overall well locked-in with the bassdrum.

All in all it's really hard for me to say much, but it does seem you people are on the right track, as negative as all the above might sound!

 
Posted : 14/04/2008 10:45 am
Oric
 Oric
(@oric)
Posts: 87
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Thank you both very much, I posted this also on the TalkBass forums, and they were rather unhelpful. Both of your posts were extremely helpful, and I'm going to bring up some of these points with my band.
Anyway sorry if it's all a bit negative but I do think there's a LOT of potential here but also room for improvement. Don't be sorry, I like any opinion as long as it's helpful.

Firstly- we kind of had to rush with these recordings. We didn't have a whole lot of time, so we had to go with what was best. Also, the drummer and keyboardist joined less than a week before we recorded- I think they did very well learning the songs in a short amount of time. The keyboardist especially is a very experienced musician, and she caught on like it was nothing. I think our recording and performance quality will go up the more we play with them. Since this recording was done live, you can't really go back and mix it as well- some of these songs took several takes. I myself was for multitrack recording- it cost less and would be easier for all of us including the engineer, but the lead guitarist wasn't comfortable with it.
Of course I don't know what amp or guitar he's using either
Strat and a Behringer V-amp
Yellow love - instrumental
Actually, I accidentally reversed the titles of My Yellow Love and The Ballad of Jorge. :P I'll have to fix that.
Rain is an acoustic instrumental sounds fine though when the strumming starts the microphone is distorting.
You're right. That was the only one that we tried at home, we're going to redo that one with percussion tracks and some other stuff the next time we record.
To be brutally awfully bloody honest: I feel the production seriously lets the band down here.
I can understand that. The person who did it is not a professional, and this is the first time he has done studio work like this- he's recorded live shows, and also does soundboard duties for live shows. But I think he did do as good as he could for our limited time and the fact that he recorded live.
Heck, just record the band and then dub the vocals in.
We've decided to do this the next time we record.
As for the music: I like that last one most, it had a nice deep undertow to it. It somewhat seems if the singer didn't hear him self at the right volume while singing, I had that idea through most of the tracks actually.
That song was actually pulled together very quickly- we had words and a general chord sketch and that was about it- we got it all together the night before the recording. But we all think that song could be a lot better sounding, so we're going to rerecord it the next chance we get.
As to you, your playing fits the songs well and is overall well locked-in with the bassdrum.
Thanks. There are some nitpicky things in my head as far as that goes, like it's not clear enough in some songs, but I'll try to fix that with the next recording session.

Once again, a lot of thanks to you both. We're not very experienced in the way of recording and all that- and have only played one live show. It just seems difficult to find good places to play in Georgetown, Kentucky, and sometimes even neighboring Lexington. I appreciate any advice and criticism, as long as it's helpful or otherwise informative. I will take this all into consideration at next rehearsal. A lot of this music really does sound better live, we improvise everything, and playing in the studio seems kind of restrictive sometimes.

Thanks!

 
Posted : 14/04/2008 8:51 pm
elpantalla
(@elpantalla)
Posts: 271
Honorable Member
 

Hey, I just wanna say It's not too bad at all.

The first thing I thought, though, on Vampire Lovin' Blues, was the guitar is kind of muddy. It is difficult to distinguish between the notes the guitarist is playing. I don't know if thats just the recording (I know recording can do that sometimes), or if its the eq. I would sugggest hitting up the bridge pickup. The guitarist sounds pretty good for playing for only a year. Drums and bass lock in pretty well together. I also like the vocalist, he has a good voice, quite unique. Just needs a little practice. As I believe someone said in a post above mine, try recording the vocals later.

The Ballad of George is quite good. I like the tremolo on the keyboards and the drummer is pretty solid. In this song, I can tell more that the guitarist has only been playing for a year. That's not really a huge problem, though, as he is pretty good. Nice little song.

My Yellow Love is pretty good, but I don't really think the vocals fit terribly well, in the beginning part at least. I think a more defined melody would really improve the song. I like the drum sound on this, and the guitar tone is nice.

Rain is a nice little instrumental, although the guitar does kinda distort, try playing a bit farther from the mic. Too quiet is always better than too loud.

Sway Me On Down is probably my favorite out of all these, it's got a nice melody. I think the guitar could benefit from a little decrease in the echo, it kinda makes the track sound foggy and muddy. The keyboards really make this track, I think. Good job.

I noticed that you have Radiohead under your influences.

Aww yeah. :D

One chord is fine.
Two you're pushing it.
Three and you're into jazz.

 
Posted : 15/04/2008 2:08 am
Oric
 Oric
(@oric)
Posts: 87
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Well, of course. Radiohead is great. It's one of the few bands that all of us like a lot.

 
Posted : 16/04/2008 8:11 pm
smokindog
(@smokindog)
Posts: 5345
Illustrious Member
 

You guys sound great for as long as you have been together :D Your lead guitar player has been playing for one year? He will be really good by this time next year 8) Over all I really like what you are doing. I really like how you are taking on different styles of music. Its a good aproach..It worked for the Beatles :wink: BTW "Sway me on Down" was my fave :D

I can't wait to hear what you will sound like in another year :D Rock on gents :twisted:

My Youtube Page
http://www.youtube.com/user/smokindog
http://www.soundclick.com/smokindogandthebluezers

http://www.soundclick.com/guitarforumjams

 
Posted : 17/04/2008 2:14 am
Oric
 Oric
(@oric)
Posts: 87
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks, smokindog. I knew a guy with an avatar involving a banjo couldn't be too bad. The main reason we go into so many different styles is because of our wide range of influence- especially my own. I listen to everything from Bach to Ricky Skaggs to NWA, and in my own personal playing style, I try to be as versatile as I can. I want to be as comfortable playing in a death metal band as I would a jazz combo. Probably the reason I play a Fender Jazz Bass.

It seems a lot of people are liking Sway Me On Down, which is pretty cool considering we pretty much wrote it the night before the recording, and also the only one we wrote as a full band. The others we did before as a trio (bass, two guitars), and then told our new drummer and keyboardist what to do, basically.

 
Posted : 17/04/2008 1:30 pm
Oric
 Oric
(@oric)
Posts: 87
Estimable Member
Topic starter
 

You guys sound great for as long as you have been together :D Your lead guitar player has been playing for one year? He will be really good by this time next year 8) Over all I really like what you are doing. I really like how you are taking on different styles of music. Its a good aproach..It worked for the Beatles :wink: BTW "Sway me on Down" was my fave :D

I can't wait to hear what you will sound like in another year :D Rock on gents :twisted:

Aaaaalright, it's a year (and a month) later, and we've recorded another disc.
We went with a professional who knew what he was doing this time, and put some time and money into it, and our band has matured quite a bit musically.
You can hear the new stuff on the above link (although the Myspace doesn't seem to be working for everybody) or by downloading this file: http://www.mediafire.com/?1orni3vjyjj
Keep in mind, these tracks are in the process of being mastered, so they sound a little rough, but still sound many many many times better than our first recording attempt.

Hope y'all like it!

 
Posted : 30/05/2009 5:09 am