After getting Jason to do a ton of backup vocals, I spent the week doing an initial mix of the song. Sadly, I realized my ears still need more training and I need to hire a mixing and mastering engineer. I’ve prepared all the individual tracks along with extensive notes. Below, you can hear where I was at and read the producing notes I’m sending to my engineer.
I do hate having to use someone else. I want to take a song from start to finish and it cost me nothing. Just the same, it’s about a fifth of what it would be if I booked a producer and recording studio. As hard as this is for people to do – please do not listen from the assumption that you know what it’s going to sound like. Levels are off. Each instrument and vocal will have its own treatment. So much is left to do. But I think you will get a great idea where I’m going with this. And read the notes I am sending the engineer below for more insight as to where this is going.
Written by Levi Kreis
Imagine the opening song of a stadium show of The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons or Nathanial Rateliff. Americana Rock/Pop.
I invite your creative input to make it the best it can be. For instance, I feel like something is missing right in the measure right before the B section (the double time section). I welcome your producing input and if we find we need an additional sample or something, let’s discuss.
All vocals are tuned and cleaned.
I’m including Example mp3s of what my tendency was with the Freedom Vocals mix and the Jason Revelation vocals mix. I also bounced my session just so you can hear the song, not to serve as any mix ref.
Lead – I thought of putting a Decapitator on the hook “I need a revelation” so it sounds distorted and aggressive. He’s frustrated and the vocal needs to sound like he has come for answers. Balance between a great pop sounding vocal and the raw edge of an Americana rock record. Spotify refs below may help.
Lead Dbl – This only doubles the main hook “I need a revelation”
Levi Harm 1 and 2 – The three part harmony vocal riff I do here is akin to minute 1:16 of my song Deeper Love. Same flavor – different color palette of song. The latter vocal part should just lift the last choruses. I had one panned 25 and one panned -25, but do what you think is best.
Jason Bridge Harm – I had my husband give a nice country harmony there. Keep it supportive and not too forward.
Freedom Vocals: These are meant to feel like a group of friends hanging out. They are intentionally not tuned nor polished. The additional talking track in this group just gives an atmosphere at the beginning of friends sitting around making music. I had Freedom Lead 1 of 3 in the center with Freedom Lead 2 of 3 and 3 of 3 panned at 25 and -25. From there, I staggered the panning to spread it out nicely. 35, -35, 45, -45. Again, do what you know is best. I’ll include an mp3 of this substack only so you hear what I gravitated towards.
Jason Revelation Vocals: I had panning at 10, -10, 20 -20, 30, -30, 40, -40 starting with lead and down. Again, pan how you think is best. I’ll include an mp3 of this substack so you hear what I tend towards.
IAO Vocals: I think of Kate Bush with this part as I believe she had something like this in one of her songs. If that reference helps. I love the part. They are more of an effect than an articulate statement. I had these panned at 50 and -50 but do what you think is best.
Piano, space pad, gtr scratch all self explanatory
Underlick – When this lick ends, I sometimes wish it had a tiny tale so it wasn’t abrupt, but not sure how to do that. And you may disagree and like the quick cut off.
E-Muted – Electric muted and muted funk guitar may want to pan each other.
Ac Gtr 1 and 2 – I barely faded between regions as it ate into the sample. Region to region, it sounds seamless. It’s the end of a region exposed that I’m curious for you to look at. You may like the abrupt cut off. I think I do, but wonder.
Picking guitar, banjo, pedal steal, ac bass and bass are all self explanatory.
Boots, Claps, Heys – You know what I’m going for with this. Gang vocal-ish, strong, gritty. The humph and hey are splice samples that I imagine you’ll want to manipulate to sound more gangy and rootsy. Spotify refs will help here.
Here are some Spotify things I found.
This song by Nathaniel Rateliff – I included this because his chorus vocal suddenly sounds distorted. The hand claps and boots sound nice too. And while their song has horns and other colors, it offers a reference for the vocals/boots/claps.
This song by Mumford and Sons – I like their use of banjo and the double time they do reminds me of the flavor of my b section. I also always enjoy hearing the piano in their tracks.
This song by The Lumineers – Their Ho and Heys are nice – Really like his lead vocal. When he gets higher it almost sounds like there’s a tension, slight distortion. The crowd singing along is great – sounds like what I’m going for with my freedom vocals.