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#2947247 - 09/08/18 05:14 PM Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement)
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Okay, I've been working on this ballad for the last few months.

I did not play a single note on this recording. The organ and wurli were played by brother Steve Nathan, the guitars were played by LA session god Tim Pierce, the bass was played by Matt Bissonette (currently plays with Elton John), the drums were played by John Ferraro (currently plays woth Burt Bacharach)...and the vocals were done by my good friend the fabulous Will Russ, with backing vox by Susan Lowery.

What I did do was produce and mix the tune, and I wrote the music and lyrics...but I cannot take credit for the arrangement.

I have to give deepest thanks and mad props to The Prez - the mighty (and ridiculously talented) Steve Nathan - who took this tune that I asked him to play B3 on and kicked it back to me with the most awesome Muscle Shoals style arrangement (both of us work in Digital Performer, so he had the whole project). Frankly, I had no idea my tune could sound like this...I still have to pinch myself every time I hear it.

Anyway, if this isn't the final mix, I think it's pretty close. I need to live with it for a week or so...bounce it off a few other ears. Could use a touch of mastering...but I figure y'all will get the idea.

Your Blue Eyes

Comments are welcome. smile

dB
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#2947262 - 09/08/18 07:26 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
MAJUSCULE Online   happy
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Man. Phenomenal. That organ solo is magic. Great job on the mix, too.
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#2947265 - 09/08/18 07:28 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: MAJUSCULE]
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If I were to offer any constructive criticism (while listening on my laptop speakers) is that maybe the guitar has a bit too much reverb on the first verse? Around the stabs and such. YMMV.
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#2947272 - 09/08/18 08:27 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: MAJUSCULE]
MoodyBluesKeys Online   content
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Wow.
Simply - wow!
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#2947273 - 09/08/18 08:34 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: MAJUSCULE]
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: MAJUSCULE
Man. Phenomenal. That organ solo is magic. Great job on the mix, too.

Originally Posted By: MoodyBluesKeys
Wow.
Simply - wow!
Thank you, gents! wave


Originally Posted By: MAJUSCULE
If I were to offer any constructive criticism (while listening on my laptop speakers) is that maybe the guitar has a bit too much reverb on the first verse? Around the stabs and such. YMMV.

Appreciate the feedback! I really like that, though. There's a gorgeous tempo-synced delay on that part as well. Would be curious if you still feel that way if you get a chance to hear it off-laptop...

Besides EQ (top to bottom) and pan (left to right), reverb and delay are major keys to control over the front to back "Z plane". I love that stuff.

Tim Pierce gave me eight (!) guitar parts, all designed to work together as an intricately woven almost orchestral sonic tapestry. Most of it was recorded with his effects...for example, the ethereal doubled and panned chorused slow clean arps under the organ solo - he did those effects, not me. With Tim, you just sit there quietly and listen in wonder as he writes his parts. Never seen anything like it - the man is a magician. Dr. Nathan's tracks came back with killer effects as well - integral part of the tracks for sure.

Tim also loves to fill spaces - Steve holds a note to open his solo, Tim hears it and gets excited that he gets to "take the wheel" and puts a tasty fill in there...that totally works. Those wonderfully simple little licks poke out here and there all over the track.

dB
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#2947298 - 09/09/18 05:12 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
Al Quinn Offline
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Great tune, great performance, great production! Mr. Nathan kills it!

I struggled to find any sort of constructive feedback. The only thing I can offer, and I know it's just a matter of preference, is that that the balance of the organ solo and rhythm guitar from 1:25-1:34 could favor the organ a bit more. On first pass, I think I'd try turning down the guitar fill at 1:30 rather than turn up the organ in order to preserve the dynamics of the organ solo. But perhaps after doing that a slight kick to the organ volume might help as well.
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#2947299 - 09/09/18 05:44 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Al Quinn]
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Hot damn. shocked

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#2947303 - 09/09/18 06:36 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Al Quinn]
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
the balance of the organ solo and rhythm guitar from 1:25-1:34 could favor the organ a bit more. On first pass, I think I'd try turning down the guitar fill at 1:30 rather than turn up the organ in order to preserve the dynamics of the organ solo. But perhaps after doing that a slight kick to the organ volume might help as well.

Thanks, Al!

I spent a ton of time on that section - it was really challenging after Tim Pierce got done laying down parts. I automated volume and panning of those, and hand rode the organ solo during the mix (because it was fun!!!). It was really difficult to make all of Tim's parts pop the way I wanted/he intended without overdoing it and having them get in the way of the solo (on on hand), or having them be buried (on the other hand). Panning placement andvolume were obviously key. I think this may be the best I can do with it.

Originally Posted By: Joe Muscara
Hot damn. shocked

twothumbs

Thank you, brother Joe! wave

dB
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#2947325 - 09/09/18 09:59 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
DarkyLord Offline
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Beautiful song and production! The musicianship caliber is top tier. From a technical aspect the thing that wowed me was the separation of instruments in the denser passages. Nice. Going to listen a few more times for my own listening education.

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#2947327 - 09/09/18 10:05 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: DarkyLord]
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
From a technical aspect the thing that wowed me was the separation of instruments in the denser passages.

That's probably the thing I spent the most time on - certainly one of them, anyway. Was challenging attempting for it to not feel crowded.

Thanks so much for noticing that! smile

Quote:
Nice. Going to listen a few more times for my own listening education.

You're way too kind...thank you, Marky! thu

dB
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#2947345 - 09/09/18 05:46 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
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Raise your hand if you've listened to this multiple times already as well as played it for others!

wave
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#2947368 - 09/09/18 11:24 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Bone Muskeleton]
MaskOfInsects Offline
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There is something so human about that organ playing, the solo in particular; it's like the short answer to all those "what is soul" threads. Goddamn.

Anyway, great all around. Love the tune and the instrumentation. I need to listen in the day time when I can turn my monitors on, but I will say that as a general arrangement comment I wondered if you might keep some stuff in your pocket to deploy strategically over the course of the song, instead of sort of arriving at all-in by the first chorus. I noticed I sort of found myself chasing sounds after they percolated up (in the first verse, for example, I wanted that Wurly to be the boss, but couldn't quite hold onto its tail through the whole verse). I might hear it differently on the better speakers though, and either way it's a badass, great-sounding song with some ridiculously smoking players on it. Congrats.
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#2947369 - 09/09/18 11:47 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: MaskOfInsects]
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
There is something so human about that organ playing, the solo in particular; it's like the short answer to all those "what is soul" threads. Goddamn.

Dr. Nathan knocked it out of the park - no doubt.

Quote:
Anyway, great all around. Love the tune and the instrumentation. I need to listen in the day time when I can turn my monitors on, but I will say that as a general arrangement comment I wondered if you might keep some stuff in your pocket to deploy strategically over the course of the song, instead of sort of arriving at all-in by the first chorus. I noticed I sort of found myself chasing sounds after they percolated up (in the first verse, for example, I wanted that Wurly to be the boss, but couldn't quite hold onto its tail through the whole verse). I might hear it differently on the better speakers though, and either way it's a badass, great-sounding song with some ridiculously smoking players on it. Congrats.

Thanks, Josh!

Re: the arrangement - Steve Nathan did that, not me. He changed a bunch of what I had done originally with the tune. I was (and still am) completely knocked out with where he went with it, so I tried to stay as faithful to what he did as I could when I mixed it.

My take - it's not linear. It ebbs and flows...starts way low, comes up a decent amount in the back half of verse one...then hits about 85% in chorus one. Back down to about 60% at the beginning of the solo, ramping up to about 80% by the end of the solo...then waaaaay back down for the beginning of verse two, gorgeous buildup to about 75% for the back half of verse two...then 90% for the beginning of chorus two, and pedal to the metal for the back half of chorus two. 65% for the outro start, tailing out at the end.

I do hope you get a chance to listen on different monitors - would love to know if you still feel the same.

dB
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#2947418 - 09/10/18 09:22 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
DanS Offline
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Sweet Dave, really beautiful tune. Love the arrangement, mix is nice and clear.
My only comment would be to bump the drums up a pinch, IMHO.
Listening thru a pair of Etymotic earbuds for ref.
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#2947422 - 09/10/18 09:54 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: DanS]
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Originally Posted By: DanS
Sweet Dave, really beautiful tune. Love the arrangement, mix is nice and clear.
My only comment would be to bump the drums up a pinch, IMHO.
Listening thru a pair of Etymotic earbuds for ref.

Thx, Dan. I'm guessing the drums/rhythm section in general will get a bit of a bump in mastering. It definitely happens when I kick in a buss compressor...but I'm not surgical enough to dial it in the way I know it can sound.

dB
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#2947711 - 09/11/18 04:29 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
DanS Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Originally Posted By: DanS
Sweet Dave, really beautiful tune. Love the arrangement, mix is nice and clear.
My only comment would be to bump the drums up a pinch, IMHO.
Listening thru a pair of Etymotic earbuds for ref.

Thx, Dan. I'm guessing the drums/rhythm section in general will get a bit of a bump in mastering. It definitely happens when I kick in a buss compressor...but I'm not surgical enough to dial it in the way I know it can sound.

dB


Yeah, true dat. Good point.
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#2947796 - 09/12/18 06:48 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: DanS]
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Well that was a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for sharing it with us, Dave.

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#2948545 - 09/15/18 08:56 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
davedoerfler Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
I do hope you get a chance to listen on different monitors


Hadn't commented until now just for this very reason, have listened to this track on 3 different pairs of studio monitors. Although none are as high end as what you (dB) and Markyboard have (I'll never get there), I must say that you and Steve Nathan are a hell of a team. twothumbs
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#2948602 - 09/16/18 10:29 AM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: davedoerfler]
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Thanks so much for all the nice comments, guys - really appreciated! smile

dB
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rockit ==> David Bryce Music • Funky Young Monks <==rawk


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#2949016 - 09/18/18 11:21 PM Re: Your Blue Eyes (Steve Nathan arrangement) [Re: Grave Bryce]
Grave Bryce Administrator Offline
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Now mastered.

Done by my buddy Dirk Ulrich, founder of Brainworx/Plug-in Alliance. cool

dB
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