Looking for Constructive Criticism

Discussion in 'Home Recording and Studios' started by dbrian66, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Inspired by @fattboyzz ’s thread on posting jam tracks, I decided I would put this up for all of you to critique. I can learn to play other people’s stuff, but I have always struggled creating my own.

    This is something I did pretty quick with only a couple takes and very little editing. Honestly it was more about relearning how to use Reaper than anything else. But the result is very similar to most things I play. It ends up sounding very amateurish. Not sure why?

    The chord progression is A C D. I know that shouldn’t work, but it sounded cool so I went with it.

    So my question to you guys and gals is this. What am I doing wrong? What would make this sound more professional? I have thick skin, and know my skills are limited, so please be honest. I want to learn from this. Both my playing and recording are on the table for discussion! :)

     
  2. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Nut

    717
    Sep 6, 2014
    Va
    Sometimes being one person doing all the instruments just magnifies your style--it all sounds too much like you. Sound like someone else!

    Kidding, but you probably understand what I mean. I noticed that all the guitars viewed the 'A-C'-D' the same way. There was a thing at the end of the progression when you could hear them all sort of restart their individual 'riffs.' That means they all see the structure as 'the same.'

    Maybe have the bass or one of the guitars develop a longer phrasing that stretches longer than one bar?
     
  3. bigtuna

    bigtuna Squier-holic

    Nov 1, 2015
    s.w.mo.
    He'll ya diggin it. Wish I had the ability. To navigate that.
     
  4. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier ‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    You're holding your pick wrong. :)

    The playing is just fine. My critique is with the mix. To my ears - and I find this for a lot of rock tunes - the drums overpower the rhythm and lead. Maybe some more reverb or a little delay would fatten up the sound too. But again, my ears.

    And, of course, more cowbell.

    Thanks for sharing and kudos for putting yourself "out there."
     
  5. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for the kind words. It really does mean a lot.

    I definitely think this is part of my problem. Every part of a song follows the same pattern. I guess I don’t know enough about music to to do something different. I am a mechanic by trade. A 3/8 bolt goes in a 3/8 hole. Period! That’s just the way it is. Very strict rules! That is pretty much how I approach everything in life. That doesn’t always work so good in creating music. :(
     
  6. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Like I had said, there was very little editing on this one. But I do tend to have the drums loud. That’s a good place for me to hide behind! LOL
     
  7. Kinnon09

    Kinnon09 Squier-holic

    Mar 8, 2021
    Scotland
    I feel your pain mate just my bolts are different from yours and I am mostly building engines now, with very high end Japanese performance parts. a lack in detail And consintration will cost the company 1000s and 1000s. I Just try my best. If it's not working out for me I go make a coffee.Than I will try again. I Always got told buy my journeyman you are going to make mistakes it's a part of learning.. Sometimes I think I am trying to hard with the Guitar trying to get it correct.. and messing up. I think simple to start small and work up. I no i could not play with a backing track because it's just all to much when I am trying to listen to what I am playing then get sucked in to listening to the drums and thats it game over and really have to start again. Then I get annoyed with myself and that's really not fun. I Am rambling again Sorry. Keep at it it's not bad at all:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  8. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    I'm not sure you're doing anything wrong. It sounds exactly like you described it. If you said you'd been painstakingly mastering it for days, I'd be more concerned. ;)

    For one thing it's a very small snippet of a song, so not a lot of time to evolve or expand the idea and provide variety. In terms of engineering advice, also tough to provide given it's a video (presumably recorded on your phone) of your computer. If you exported a two track version and uploaded it somewhere we could probably give a bit more of a critical listen.
     
  9. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks! And yes your right, just recorded the computer screen on the phone. I’m not sure, but I think once you render the track in an mp3 format, you can’t go back and edit it anymore. That’s my reasoning for the phone video. I guess I was looking more for advice on recording levels and stuff like that. Just things you might see on the screen.
     
  10. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Supporting Member

    It sounds good to me. I do agree that the drums are too loud, but you're doing great.
     
  11. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    58
    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Great Job Doug, no criticism here. Keep doing what your doing.
     
  12. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    Doing a "mix down" to mp3 (or whatever Reaper calls it) shouldn't do anything to your raw audio tracks.

    I agree drums tend to be the weakest link in terms of making home recordings sound polished. Sometimes you luck into a collection of related patterns that work great but if you don't, there can be a lot of tedious editing involved to get something that sounds convincingly real.
     
    Kenneth Mountain and dbrian66 like this.
  13. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    56
    665
    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
    Better than what I can do, you've got my blessing.

    That said, I wanted more bass and less drum volume.

    As said prior, thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing your musical journey, that takes courage and you have my respect.


    J
     
  14. grizzlewulf

    grizzlewulf Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Dec 11, 2020
    Lucerne, California
    This matches my thoughts.

    FWIW, it's an enjoyable little chunk, I'd listen to more
     
  15. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    51
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Yeah, I haven’t even put any bass guitar in there yet. That was just drums and two guitars. I’m going to try to something different with the bass like @backporchmusic suggested. Not sure what that will be, but I’ll try to figure something out. ;)
     
  16. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    If you sent me your raw audio tracks I would try importing them into Logic and adding some bass for you.
     
    dbrian66 and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  17. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Dr. Squier

    Age:
    55
    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    I can jam to that chord progression ;)
     
  18. Roccobagadonuts

    Roccobagadonuts Dr. Squier

    Sep 8, 2010
    Remulak
    I think Confuscious said it best. You will never hit the ball if you dont swing... Or maybe that was Tommy Lasorda. It was one of those guys... The point being the more times u try the better you are going to get at doing it... So making stuff up just to figure stuff out never hurts... The more you do it the more you will figure out and the better it will get... Gotta do it tho to get better at it...

    I got a collab version with u on this already done with an overdriven Wurlizter, some more guitar added and the Manager of Chuck E Cheese and Calhoun Tubbs on vocals... I can turn it into a vid and upload it at some point if ya wanna hear it...
     
  19. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert



    yup ! we gotta hear it ! please
     
    dbrian66 and Kinnon09 like this.
  20. Roccobagadonuts

    Roccobagadonuts Dr. Squier

    Sep 8, 2010
    Remulak
    Timmy's Birthday...

    Dbrian66 on drums and guitar... I recorded his track into the MPC twice using its audio tracks...Extending the length of it all... I added some wurlitzer with a Yamaha Reface CP being sequenced by the MPC... Extra guitar added with US E9 Squier strat into Kemper Profiler. Kemper recorded direct to MPC using its audio tracks... Manager of Chuck E Cheese and Calhoun Tubbs recorded into MPC using its audio tracks...