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Need some opinions - New Demo


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Hey, we (my band Cursed Eternity) just put together a rough track of our newest demo, and I'm looking for a little imput of the keyboarding variety. The demo is pretty sound I think. This was recorded in our practice room, and we intend to rerecord it in a studio for the CD release, this is just for the purpose of getting all the tracks down solid so that when we record it in studio, there's less dicking around.

 

Between 3:50 and about 4:25 there is a solo section, but the solos have not been put in yet. So, forgive that :P

 

 

http://www.cursedeternity.com/joes/xevkaistudios/pain-roughdemo.mp3

 

I'm interested to see what a majority of not metal listening keyboardists have to add, you always have great takes!

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Yeah brother, we need a link. Is it on your Myspace page? If so, which song? Also, do you play your keyboard tilted forward down (away from you) like that in the picture, or was that just done for the photo?

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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Link us up!

 

Stepay, That is a pretty common way for prog/metal keyboardists to play now. The theory is that you can play standing up and keep your wrists straight. I personally think it is for showing off ;) .

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/81/SherinianNord-1.jpg/260px-SherinianNord-1.jpg

 

Photo of Derek Sherinian - keys player of Billy Idol - ex Keys player of Dream Theater.

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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Originally posted by Phred:

Link us up!

 

Stepay, That is a pretty common way for prog/metal keyboardists to play now. The theory is that you can play standing up and keep your wrists straight. I personally think it is for showing off ;) .

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/81/SherinianNord-1.jpg/260px-SherinianNord-1.jpg

 

Photo of Derek Sherinian - keys player of Billy Idol - ex Keys player of Dream Theater.

Man, you learn something new every day. Thanks for the info. I'd guess it's for showing off too, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

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I wonder how you see the LCD screens. It would look pretty funny to be leaning over it to see your patches.

 

Also, (not that I use one now...) using a D-Beam would be difficult.

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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Dear god, don't I always do this? Link added here and in the initial posts.

 

I prefer the tilt for my wrists and for showing off. It hurts to play standing and handbanging with wrists at 90 degrees! As far as the patches, I have them in set order before we play, so I either use a foot switch or just tap the up button on the keyboard, never really have to worry about changing too much :D

 

http://www.cursedeternity.com/joes/xevkaistudios/pain-roughdemo.mp3

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Sounds quite professional to me.

 

To me the drummer is seriously 'overplaying,' but maybe that's OK in this style. (Although IMO in some styles drummers often tend to overplay... inappropriately.) I'd check the balance/tightness of the bass drum on different monitors... it's really producing a long thud which is eating up space on the Shure E5's I'm using right now. Toms also suffer from that.

 

Also, again I don't know if it's appropriate to this style, but to me a song should have a song sense of structure and direction and not mess around too much... you know, a strong strength of 'song form' and get going long before the first minute is up. For example, is the section between about 4:00 and 4:22 necessary?

 

No harmony vocals? Lead also could probably be double tracked if it isn't already, but it doesn't sound like it to me. Then again as it is I can't understand a word sung. :D

 

Anyway, well done, you guys have obviously been hard at work! :thu:

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ok, my turn to add my .02

 

Its a bit to 'head-banging' for me personally. Though obvously head banging is what your going for, and Id say your right on. Gangsu put that well :)

 

Digging deeper, I mostly agree with soundscape, especially about the song structure and direction.

 

I barely remember a scene in one of the Eddie and the Cruisers movies when Eddie was trying to explain to the band about slowing down just a bit to 'feel' the music, explaining sometimes its what you dont play thats important. I asume this wasnt supposed to be a how high can we get the bpm project.....

 

I almost thoght I was listening to a 33 (album) acdidently switched over to 45 speed.

 

Anyways, ya, maybe a tiny bit too long for vocals coming in, which could still work, but I would put a rest or two in right before the vocals to make the vocal entry to the song more signifacnt. Your brain is going a hundred miles an hr trying to process the music and then the vocals are there and your like 'where did they come from. With that tempo I would give the brain a 1/2 sec or so to catch its breath before the vocals come in.

 

On to the vocals. Sorry but they are my least favorite part of the song. For one they are too deep in the mix, (though that may be a good thing), Are their TWO singers ??? or just one using a very angry voice and a not as angry voice ???. About half way through the song the voice changes (for the better). If the not so angry voice was used for the whole song I think that would improve the song greatly. That voice is MUCH better, and should be brought up in the mix.

 

I would also somewhere in there throw in a bridge and slow it way down for a moment or two just to give the brain a chance to process, also this would increase the impact of the song as a whole in my opinion.

 

My favorite part of the song would be 3/4 way through after the 'not so angry voice' stops singing up to and including the guitar solo. I liked that part. I was dissapointed that the guitar solo was so short. I think it needs to be longer before it goes into that muted strumming part.

 

The ending: probably trivial but your asking opinions, I believe the last word of the song is 'face' ? I would see how it sounds if that word is emphasized a bit more to climax the ending a bit stronger.

 

Overall, though its not quite my taste, tighten up the structure and vocals a bit and I think it would be a pretty decent head banging song.

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Thanks guys, great feedback.

 

Yeah, the intro is definitely a bit much, and I can see how that drags a bit. I think we may change it up so it's not 4 of one part and then 4 of the other. Maybe add some chord changes to liven things up a bit.

 

The vocals are very scratch, and are buried too far in the mix in my opinion as well. That will be taken care of for sure. I'll check on those bass drums, sound good on my speakers, but I know that doesn't mean a lot, lol.

 

Sounscape, funny you should mention the drummer. He is honestly the most 'in pocket' drummer we've ever had, you should have heard the old one, lol.

 

The muted strumming part after the short guitar solo goes into a guitar solo, keyboard solo, and then back into a guitar solo, but alas, they have not been recorded yet.

 

 

Thanks a lot for the compliments, it's great to hear! I'll keep ya posted if we make some changes, but, um.... no writer royalties guys, sorry :P

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Originally posted by Dick Ward (MP Hall of Fame Wannabe):

I'll check on those bass drums, sound good on my speakers, but I know that doesn't mean a lot, lol.

Yeah, it's tough to get it sounding right on lots of different gear. Here's something that maybe helps you to hear it though--an example of severe low-pass filtering. First a rock track (Guns n' Roses,) then a sequenced track (synth pop,) then the Cursed Eternity track. Notice how tight and punchy the first two are... while the latter... maybe there's a hidden message if we play it backwards? ;)

 

 

http://download.yousendit.com/08091BCC581A6D1D

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Originally posted by Dick Ward (MP Hall of Fame Wannabe):

Sounscape, funny you should mention the drummer. He is honestly the most 'in pocket' drummer we've ever had, you should have heard the old one, lol.

LOL... I thought the basic rhythm section on this was good... but if the drummer can't stop doing fills he should be fired and replaced by a drum machine. :D
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Well Dick, I think its pretty badass.

 

Keys are great throughout, but I couldn't hear anything happening in the first solo section. Overall, nice notes, nice patch.

 

Are we going to get a key solo? Or at least a doubled harmony line? Sweet.

 

If we don't, drop the solo section down to a half-time feel and play some big sweeps in the background. Use Forceman's PEK for this, of course.

 

This is just a scratch form demo so who gives a crap about the bass drum.

 

The only thing that might carry through to the real recording if you're not careful is the vocal pitch on the chorus - a little flat to my ears.

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Originally posted by Dick Ward (MP Hall of Fame Wannabe):

Hey, we (my band Cursed Eternity) just put together a rough track of our newest demo, and I'm looking for a little imput of the keyboarding variety. The demo is pretty sound I think. This was recorded in our practice room, and we intend to rerecord it in a studio for the CD release, this is just for the purpose of getting all the tracks down solid so that when we record it in studio, there's less dicking around.

I think you cats have done a great job in capturing the vibe of the tune in pre-production.

 

I'm sure the band has ideas about what needs to be tweaked between the demo and studio re-record.

 

The keyboard work is solid. Nice tune. :thu::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Heya Dick.....Nice job :thu:

 

Although I'm not too much into this type of music, everything sounded extremely good. IMO though, and that's only because this is what my ears hear, I was a bit disappointed with the sound of the snare drum (not the overall drum playing, but the sound of the snare only). Again, maybe it's just me, and that's the sound that you're looking for. How should it be? Don't know, but to me, the snare could have been a bit.....punchier, crisper????

 

All in all, really nice job.

_____________

Erlic

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Dick,

 

Nice work!!! I do "get" this genre, although I don't listen to it much these days. I don't know how old you are, but I suspect that the first time I saw Iron Maiden live, you were wearing diapers. ;)

 

Anyway, I tried to listen focusing on the keyboard parts. I have comments there, but I first have to comment on your drummer. Many of his fills seem to end slightly behind the beat. For this type of music, those fills need to come out precisely in time. He needs to reduce the complexity until he can nail the time. Also, in the solo section, he doesn't really lock in with the guitar part, and he really needs to. I'd ask the guitar(s) and drummer to work on that part by themselves until they really nail the lock-in.

 

On the keyboard parts: really good stuff! Not a lot to fix here, your playing is great. I really like the stringy line that happens in the chorus or whatever. (between 1:48-2:20, 2:56-3:30, 4:45-end). Play it JUST like that on the final recording, dude. :) But again, the drummer isn't quite locked in with what you're doing, and it would rise to the next level if it was locked in.

 

The choral pad stuff is nice too. I would suggest tweaking that patch a little to provide a little "motion", maybe just a hint of a filter-sweep kind of thing going on. Even just running it through a chorus effect might do the trick. Those pads aren't really my playing style, so I can't provide much more specific help than that.

 

Hope we're not beating up your drummer too badly. I realize that this is a scratch recording, and all of this might already be "on the list" to clean up in the final tracking.

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Thanks for the information all, I am Joe the guy who is trying to sing and one of the guitar players for CE. I also engineered the demo as well.

 

Im here to give you a little more infor on how it was recorded (which will clear up a lot of the mix / clarity issues:

 

We recorded the 8 peice kit with 7 Mics. I had a direct output from our Alesis DM5 monitoring the triggered bass drum sound (hence the lack of punch), an SM57 on the snares top, with 3 SM 58's in between the rack toms. For overheads we used two AT-4060 condesers (definitly the only great sounding mics on the entire kit haha).

 

I as well am not too happy with the snare sound, I think the tuning and the mic placement is a big factor in that. Our drummer stands about 5'2" and due to his shortness he's got the kit REALLY compact which makes it hard to get long backed Mics like the 57 in most places. Since it was a pre-production demo I didn't want to bother with re-arranging the drums. The overheads would have done a much better job picking up the snare and adding some warmth and clarity, if the ceiling in the rehearsal space was taller than the 7ft it is haha so all they are picking up are the drummers obnoxiously loud Zildjian Z Custom cymbals.

 

As far as the vocals, they are REALLY ducked. Mainly cause Im unsure of my voice and need to work on what Im going to do with this next CD. Our last CD was rushed out the door with the vocals being the way that they are and I cringe just about everytime I hear them... which sucks, and we plan on fixing that this time with the pre-production demos.

 

Im sure Dick will post new versions of this and other songs. I just wanted to again thank you all for taking the time to download them and check them out. We value everyones opinion highly since it's mainly other people who makle the biggest difference in our music. We do this for fun yes, but we'd also like to take it as far as we can and any information given will help us underdstand what to look for in the writing process.

 

Ok, done babbleing I'll quit mucking up your Keyboard forum with my lame guitar-playerness :D

 

PS. OH! The real deal will be done to a click which will eliminate the timing problems... hopefully.

I am sorry for the spelling errors above.... Im too lazy to correct them :)
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Originally posted by XevKai:

Thanks for the information all, I am Joe the guy who is trying to sing and one of the guitar players for CE. I also engineered the demo as well.

 

Im here to give you a little more infor on how it was recorded (which will clear up a lot of the mix / clarity issues:

 

We recorded the 8 peice kit with 7 Mics. I had a direct output from our Alesis DM5 monitoring the triggered bass drum sound (hence the lack of punch), an SM57 on the snares top, with 3 SM 58's in between the rack toms. For overheads we used two AT-4060 condesers (definitly the only great sounding mics on the entire kit haha).

 

I as well am not too happy with the snare sound, I think the tuning and the mic placement is a big factor in that. Our drummer stands about 5'2" and due to his shortness he's got the kit REALLY compact which makes it hard to get long backed Mics like the 57 in most places. Since it was a pre-production demo I didn't want to bother with re-arranging the drums. The overheads would have done a much better job picking up the snare and adding some warmth and clarity, if the ceiling in the rehearsal space was taller than the 7ft it is haha so all they are picking up are the drummers obnoxiously loud Zildjian Z Custom cymbals.

 

As far as the vocals, they are REALLY ducked. Mainly cause Im unsure of my voice and need to work on what Im going to do with this next CD. Our last CD was rushed out the door with the vocals being the way that they are and I cringe just about everytime I hear them... which sucks, and we plan on fixing that this time with the pre-production demos.

 

Im sure Dick will post new versions of this and other songs. I just wanted to again thank you all for taking the time to download them and check them out. We value everyones opinion highly since it's mainly other people who makle the biggest difference in our music. We do this for fun yes, but we'd also like to take it as far as we can and any information given will help us underdstand what to look for in the writing process.

 

Ok, done babbleing I'll quit mucking up your Keyboard forum with my lame guitar-playerness :D

 

PS. OH! The real deal will be done to a click which will eliminate the timing problems... hopefully.

Nice post. You guys seem like a very polite group of Metalheads. Not the kind I grew up with back in High School (ughhh 1984ish). :freak:
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Hey, get out of my forum Joe! :P

 

Thanks for the kind words Force, I can't wait for the next jam!

 

I'm going to play with some sweeps and pads tonight and see if I can't add a bit more motion to the beginning there. Not sure if you can tell or not, but the keyboard does indeed harmonize with the guitar after the first two repetitions of the intro riff. It's mixed a bit lower than I would personally like so I'm not sure it's evident. I use a guitarish sounding lead effect as well so that probably hides it further, lol.

 

As usual, you guys rule!

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly

 

Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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Hi there,

 

Not really my bag but here's my two peneth'

 

Vocals lack clarity - try drastic EQing or re-record with another mic. Similarly do the same for the cymbals they override everything else in the mix and sound way too 'middly'.

 

As for the arrangement, you could perhaps experiment with subduing 1 or 2 instruments (e.g. guitar/keys) during the verses and ramp up again during chorus/bridge parts. This will give you some much needed light and shade and add better dynamics.

 

Also, try playing with the track panning, don't be afraid of hard left or right panning as used to great effect by Led Zep, Deep Purple, The Who and the Doors to mention the ones I'm familiar with. When everything is centred or just off-centre then it looses the stereo image. This works really well if you're playing off a guitar against a keyboard - duelling style!

 

Hope this helps!

Best wishes

Dan.

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Nice tune! I also don't listen to much prog/metal these days, but I do still enjoy it. My take on it.... you can't hear the KEYS! :D Maybe if the guitars were turned down a hair, and then raise the overall mix-volume, the vocals, drums and keys would sound a bit clearer/stronger.

 

The guitar break starting at 3:58 would be a perfect place for a wicked synth solo.

 

Crank it up, dude!

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Great stuff - I am a closet metal head. Been in Metal bands, and understand the genre - though rarely listen to it any more.

 

Good parts in general, I agree that it is a little sloppy at times, but - this is a demo...

 

I think the intro is good - and the length is right in line with the stly of music.

 

I think that the business of the drumming is in line with the style of music, but the drumming needs to be tighter. I liked the double bass stuff though.

 

P.S. I caution playing to a click without practicing it first. If your drummer has never done it before, make sure that he gets used to it first... It is not the 'silver bullet' or magic cure that some believe it to be. It can cause distraction, and create problems that aren't there currently.

I'm just saying', everyone that confuses correlation with causation eventually ends up dead.
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