Kitchen consultation: Larry Seger – Think Of Me

This consultation has been published with the kind permission of Larry Seger: http://www.reverbnation.com/larryseger

Download or listen to the song ‘Think Of Me’ here:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8068578/Kitchen/Think%20of%20Me-128.mp3

Composition

Structurally, the song could do with some greater contour definition. At the moment the song is almost five minutes long, but there isn’t’ much dynamic range or shape to the song. There’s the climax section at around 3:10, but aside from that there’s not much give and take throughout the rest of the song. Another way to hear this is to pay attention to the lack of distinction between the sections – most of the song has the same instrumentation and performance throughout.

To address this, I suggest starting by giving each section a bit more of its own character. Just because you’ve got a couple of guitars and a piano doesn’t mean you have to have them playing all the time. Just because you’ve got a basic rock drum kit doesn’t mean you have to have the same basic rock beat throughout the whole song. A really easy way to start is to establish a full instrumentation for the chorus, and pare it back for the verses. Not just by pulling out instruments, but by changing what the existing instruments are playing. Then you can further develop the contour of the song – look at ways to give each chorus a bit more energy than the last, allow the first verse to suggest more than it provides, give the climax even more of ‘soaring’ character, etc.

Another way to improve the contour of the song is to look at the vocal melodies. At the moment, the vocal melody range is quite limited. A greater vocal range would do a lot to give the whole song more shape. If the singer can’t sing much beyond the existing recorded melody, it’s even more important to explore the expressive range of the other instruments. It might also be worth exploring other ranges for the lead vocal – quiet to loud, soft to harsh, etc.
The lyrics can also help to give a song more shape. Repeated words and phrases serve as aural landmarks for the listener. Simplifying the lyrics of the chorus and including more repetition will help give the listener a sense of how the song is progressing. In its current form, the song almost sounds like it should be called “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” instead of “Think Of Me”.

Mix

The mix is functional but it lacks in character. It comes across as a straight acoustic-style mix – almost as bare as an ‘all faders up’ mix.

A mix for this style of song could possibly go in two directions – either a more spacious acoustic sound or a more modern dense sound.

A more spacious sound should focus on increasing the sense of depth. The mix is currently quite shallow and not very ambient. To increase depth, start by bringing the vocals and drums forward and pushing the guitars and other instruments back. Increase the sense of ambience by using more reverb – particularly for the background instruments. A single good hall or large room reverb should work well.

A modern dense sound should focus on a more compact scooped sound. Start by bringing forward the bass guitar and dipping the upper mids in the guitars. Make sure the bass guitar and drums are as compressed as possible (without starting to sound silly). More noticeable mix bus compression will also make a big difference to the overall vibe of the mix. I’d suggest fast attack and release times with a low ratio.

Which direction you take with the mix will depend on the creative direction of the project.

–==–

This is an example of a single Kitchen consultation. If you would find this kind of feedback useful for your own music, get in touch with me.

– $20 will get you one consultation (basically the same as this example, but in private, with your music).

– $50 will get you three consultations or one studio demo (where I do an example edit or mix of your music to better demonstrate how some concepts would apply to your music)

– $100 will get you seven consultations or two studio demos.

The consultations can be for multiple songs or multiple revisions of one song. It’s up to you.

You can read more about the Kitchen here: http://kimlajoie.com/site/kitchen.html

When you’re ready, send me an email to kitchen at kimlajoie dot com.

-Kim.

Advertisements
  1. The intro and outro reminded me to the music of an old comedy show titled California Dreams :D

  2. @Morlac
    Ha, I can hear the similarity!

    -Kim.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: