Doug's "1958" CD Project

"AUTUMN IN THE CITY"

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2002

This is mix: “Autumn In The City 11-19-22.mp3”

  1. I changed the intro.
  2. I tweaked the bass.
  3. I tweaked the strings.
  4. I added a piano interlude between the two choruses at the end.
  5. I added a piano & string “outro” at the end.
  6. I re-recorded the vocal on the last chorus.

This mix: “Autumn In The City sans vocal.mp3” is the same as above but without a vocal track.

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

This is mix: “Autumn In The City 11-17-22.mp3”

  1. I redid piano part—getting away from the eighth-note, right-hand pattern and transitioning to an Alberti bass pattern.
  2. I added an acoustic bass part from KeyRig’s GM voices.
  3. Added Cakewalk SI strings.
  4. Did a scratch vocal.
  5. Used one of the presets in Ozone 10 (a little too blistering with the compression!)

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022

This is mix: “Autumn In The City – frozen.mp3”

  1. Simply the structure of the song with piano and bass.
  2. Two measure intro
  3. Just a final chord at the end of the 2nd chorus.
  4. No spaces between verses, chorus, etc.
  5. The descending melodic line appears at the end of each verse. This line will not be in the final mix—just a vocal guide.
  6. Kevin’s tempo is 68 bpm which is what this is.

Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

This is “Autumn in the City 2nd verse.mp3”

  1. This is a suggested melody/harmony for that 2nd section of the verse.
  2. First chord is G, then G first inversion, then C,  Amin, Dsus4 > D, then C and finally G.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022

This is “Autumn In The City edited.mp3”

If we think of your verses as 1+2 being verse ONE, and 3+4 being verse THREE, then in this edit, we have:
INTRO
1+2 (verse 1)
1+2 (verse 2)
Chorus 1
Ins.
3+4 (verse 3)
Chorus
Chorus
Ending

Of course, I’m not suggesting that you repeat VERSE 1, but I’m using the 2nd instance of VERSE 1 as a “placeholder” for an eventual VERSE 2— the point being is that the melody and harmony should be consistent for the first 2 verses.

"THIS ISN'T A TEST"

writer: Dennis Van Hove
vocal: Kevin Conner
background vocals: Kevin Conner / Doug Koempel
guitar: Kevin Conner
keyboard: Doug Koempel

Recorded 1986 / Bird-On-Fire Recording Studio

"ENDLESS SLEEP"

Tuesday – 10/18/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 10-18-22D.mp3”

  1. This mix is from project “Endless Sleep 2” in Cakewalk.
  2. On the lead vocal, I switched from the Sonitus Compressor to the new, PC-2A compressor.
  3. I had used the previous mix (“Endless Sleep 2C 10-16-22.WAV”) for the YouTube video and felt that the vocal was disembodied from the backing tracks, i.e., vocal was too loud. So, hopefully this mix will work better.

Sunday – 10/16/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 2C 10-16-22.mp3”

  1. While editing the “Endless Sleep YouTube” video, I’d noticed a sibilance on the lead vocal; and I’d always felt the lead vocal sounded a little “hot.” So, I revisited the “Endless Sleep” mix and noted quite a bit of compression on the vocal as well as EQ that had a bump in the highs and quite a cut in the lows. I tried different de-essor settings on both the VX-64 and the LISP plug-ins, but none seemed to fix the sibilance. And I’d noticed that the lead vocal track was very hot, and all attempts to lower the volume just resulted in the vocal being lost in the mix. So, I took off the VX-64’s compressor (and de-essor) and substituted the Sonitus compressor using the vintage LA-2A preset. And I turned down the overall volume of the lead vocal track. Then I lowered the volume of all the other tracks to balance this lead vocal reduction.
  2. I changed the snare to a lower-sounded snare and added the double hits on “2” (just like the record.)
  3. I added a pick-up shake on the tambourine just leading into the choruses (just like the record.) 

Sunday – 10/9/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep sans vocal.mp3”

Tuesday – 10/4/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 10-4-22.mp3”

  1. I redid the first phrases of each of the three verses.
  2. I removed the Pro-channel vocal compression.
  3. I dialed back the vocal compression to a 4:1 ratio on the VX-64 vocal strip.
  4. I added the default level of de-essing on the VX-64 for my vocal.
  5. I boosted the acoustic guitar just a tad (are you satisfied, Kevin?)
  6. I dialed back the delay feedback on the delay settings in VX-64.
  7. All the work I did on the 10/3/22 mix (that I took down yesterday) is still in effect except for the changes noted above.

Monday – 10/3/22

I TOOK DOWN TODAY’S MIX, ‘cuz the vocal had way too much compression on it. This will be corrected tomorrow (10/4/22.)

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 10-3-22B.mp3”

  1. I continued to tweak the vocal.
  2. I lowered the acoustic guitar slightly
  3. I lowered the velocity of the China crash cymbal from 127 to 115.
  4. I added a fadeout to the end – lowering the lead vocal on each of the tags while raising the effects level of the vocal delay.
  5. I removed the doubling on the vocal track.
  6. I boosted the vocal track slightly.

Saturday – 10/1/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 10-1-22C.mp3”

  1. I added three more guitar tracks using the Gretsch: a) a tremolo track consisting of strummed and held chords; b) a detuned (ala Marty Stuart) guitar where the 6th string is lowered from E to Db and the 5th string is lowered from A to Ab, so that fretting the 5th & 6th strings across the “G” fret will yield the power chord E > B. So, I will be able to slide up a whole step from a D > A power chord to the E > B. and c) a percussive rhythm track, stabbing the 2 & 4.
  2. I added a walkdown on the muted walkup guitar part that serves a pickup to the chorus. On subsequent listenings to the original guitar part, I noticed that Al Casey also did a “walkdown” on that muted guitar part.
  3. I added a slidedown on the lead guitar track leading into the final verse [plus I added a china cymbal crash at that point.]
  4. I added an acoustic guitar track playing just on the 1, 2, 3, 4 for the verses.
  5. I tweaked the delay and compression settings on the vocal track—trying to get it closer to the original vocal processing.
  6. I cleaned up a wrong chord in the tremolo guitar track—just before the first chorus.
  7. I worked a little more on the lead vocal—seems good while I’m singing, but on playback, not so much.
  8. I’m debating whether or not to leave the ending as is, or do a fadeout like the original.

Wednesday – 9/28/22

This is mix: “Endless Sleep 9-28-22.mp3”

  1. I started with a sequence that I’d used for live performance. So, the structure was pretty accurate, but the parts weren’t exact.
  2. The piano part consists of just triplets during the chorus. Even though this isn’t in the Jody Reynolds’ original, I like it and I’ll keep it. The piano is the GM piano #1 from my NP-V80 keyboard.
  3. I’ve recorded three tracks of Gretsch guitar: Track #1 consists of the signature E octave figure where the D slurs into the upper E. This held chord figure alternates between the octave Es and a B chord. Then when the chorus starts, this track becomes a single note walk-up to A where a walking-style bass lick parallels the string bass track -more of less. And this is palm muted as per the original. Track #2 consists of just the staccato stabs on 2 & 4 (using the bridge pickup and running through my Fender Mustang amp – using Fender Clean preset.) and finally Track #3 is also using the Mustang amp on Vintage Tremolo setting and the neck pickup. I’m playing just held chords.
  4. For the string bass, I’m using Key Rig’s GM acoustic bass.
  5. The tambourine is one from the VI.ONE’s essential percussion library. 
  6. I’m using EZDrummer (Nashville kit) for the drums with just kick (felt beater) and snare (brush.)
  7. I put on a scratch vocal with delay from Sonitus Delay. I’ll check out some other delay options.
  8. After tagging “Endless sleep” a couple times at the end, I do a hard stop—but I’ll investigate possibly doing a fade (like the original.)
  9. I need to clean up guitar track #3 as there’s a wrong chord in there.

"STOOD UP"

Tuesday – 9/27/22

This is mix: “Stood Up 9-27-22D.mp3”

  1. I redid the first half of the guitar solo due to sloppy timing.
  2. I redid the lead vocal.
  3. When posting the mixdown to this page, I’d noticed a “click” in the last verse right after “stood up.” I went back to Cakewalk expecting to find a click on the vocal track—no click. In fact there was no click anywhere on the multitrack—so, nothing to fix there. So, I went back to the mixdown in ACL and isolated a small section of the WAV file where the click occurred and cut it out. Then I found the corresponding spot in the first verse and copied & pasted into the offending section. After some very careful editing, voila, you can’t hear the edit (and no more click!)

Monday – 9/26/22

This is mix: “Stood Up 9-25-22C.mp3”

  1. I redid the Gretsch guitar solo – this time with the tone control turned all the way up. The TH3 preset I used had a Tweed Deluxe amp w/bright setting + CHR-2 + the generic digital delay. I re-saved the Stood-Up preset to Stood-Up 2 involving these additions.
  2. I increased the Pro Channel compression slightly on the Gretsch (solo) track.
  3. I reduced the master bus by -2.8 dB for rendering.
  4.  I used the CD MASTER preset in ACL.
  5. I boosted the piano solo to +5.0.

Sunday – 9/25/22

This is mix “Stood Up 9-25-22.mp3”

  1. I added a guitar solo to the first half of the instrumental section. I used the Gretsch with the TH3 plug-in.
  2. I removed the right hand of the piano in the first half of the instrumental section (to get out of the way of the lead guitar) and then cleaned up the pick-up notes for the piano solo in the 2nd half of the instrumental section.
  3. I added two 9 chords with the Gretsch at the very end and lined up the final string bass E with the final chord.
  4. I cleaned up a couple claps on the handclap tracks.
  5. I brought up the volume of the handclaps on all three handclap tracks just a tad.
  6. I removed the countoff at the beginning for the mixdown.
  7. I lowered the volume of the main output bus a couple dB, ‘cuz the levels on the main bus were a little hot.
  8. I copied a “stood up” from the vocal track and pasted it onto the “stood up” tags at the very end, ‘cuz the ones I recorded yesterday (on the tag) were missing the “sss” at the beginning—almost sounding like “tood up” instead of “stood up.”
  9. I removed the piano glissando preceding the final chorus as I already have two piano glissandi in the song—let’s not wear it out!

Saturday – 9/24/22

This is mix “Stood Up 9-24-22.mp3”

  1. I recorded a scratch vocal.
  2. I added three tracks of handclaps.
  3. I added piano “punctuation” in the upper register to the “stood ups.”
  4. I recorded 4-part background vocals on the chorus.
  5. I raised the volume of the piano solo and panned it to the center.

Sunday – 9/18/22

This is mix: “Stood Up 9-18-22B.mp3”

  1. I’d worked up a MIDI sequence for “Stood Up” for the NP-V80 several years ago for Memory Brothers’ performances. So, I opened that sequence in Cakewalk by BandLab and replaced the NP-V80’s sounds as follows: bass > KeyRig’s Acoustic Bass from its GM soundbank; drums > EZDrummer and strat > VI.ONE Strat.
  2. I then experimented recording my Gretsch through TH3, but my DAW was acting up as a result of having downloaded an ASIO4ALL driver yesterday to enable USB recording with my Spark MINI amp. That turned into mess as it turns out the ASIO4ALL driver is known to cause instability in Cakewalk. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday trying to resolve this issue by uninstalling all remnants of the ASIO4ALL driver. Today there were still issues, and I found another snippet of the driver hidden in a file. I removed it, and that seemed to resolve my issues with Cakewalk. However, having lost a whole day of recording, I opted to use a rhythm guitar from Nashville sessions instead of recording the Gretsch.
  3. I recorded a piano part using a studio piano patch from VI.ONE. I’d auditioned a couple of the the spinet/upright pianos from the VI.ONE collection, and this seemed like a good choice for a 50s piano – slightly honky-tonk but not so detuned that it stuck out like a sore thumb.

"I ALMOST LOST MY MIND"

Wednesday – 9/21/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-21-22.mp3”

  1. I redid several parts of the lead vocal including the very first phrase.
  2. I removed the sax at the very end during the “boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo.” This strips this part down to just the vocal and the harmony vocals holding out the C major chord.
  3. I replaced the Ample guitar with RealGuitar. It sounds much mellower now—much more natural. The Ample guitar was a bit strident – especially noticeable during the piano instrumental – sounded like a General MIDI patch.
  4. Late last night I’d noticed a lack of headroom (distorted peaks on the lead vocal) when I listened back to the YouTube audio. So, today I checked the levels of the lead vocal track and the main bus. The vocal track looked good, and the main bus didn’t look too bad; but I placed a -1.0 limiter on the Sonitus Multiband compressor. And then when I trimmed the WAV file in ACL, I normalized it to 65% instead of the usual 86%.
  5. In ACL I used the CD Master preset in Ozone (instead of the CD Master with Exciter & Widening) to take some of the “edge” off the final mix.
  6. I backed off the reverb on both the lead vocal and the background vocal tracks.
  7. I cleaned up the timing of a couple notes on the Wurlitzer track during the piano solo.

Monday – 9/19/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-19-22.mp3”

  1. I re-recorded several portions of the lead vocal.
  2. I trimmed off a bit of ambient noise preceding the entrance of the lead vocal.
  3. I removed the string bass line (E-F-E-D-C) at the very of the song during the “boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hooooo”, because the root movement of the bass was conflicting with the held C major chord by the harmony vocals.
  4. I changed the Breverb 2 reverb to the “He says” preset on the Reverb Bus—this not only affects the lead vocal reverb but also the background vocals reverb.

Sunday – 9/18/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-18-22.mp3”

  1. I’d re-listened to Pat Boone’s recordings of this song and realized I was missing some intervals at the beginning of verse 2 (maj 6th upwards) and at the beginning of verse 3 (min 3rd downwards.) While I was at it, I touched up several other spots including the very beginning.
  2. I put a volume envelope on the sax solo and tried to “articulate” it a bit more. Then I lowered its overall volume.
  3. I tightened up the vocals harmonies at the beginning of verse 3. 

Friday – 9/16/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-16-22C.mp3”

  1. I removed the “pick-up” at the beginning on the Wurlitzer track, so the vocal starts immediately.
  2. On lead vocal, I redid: a) the first and fourth lines of the first verse and b) the first through fourth lines of the second verse.
  3. I moved the “displaced” string bass (audio) part for the end “boo hoo hoo” back to where it should be and aligned the last note. Then I deleted the KeyRig bass track I made yesterday.
  4. I added an alto sax part at the end of the first verse (and deleted the right-hand piano at that part so they don’t conflict.)
  5. I put the volume envelope back on the piano track that somehow disappeared (raised the piano solo to +3.0 – along with its pickup notes.)
  6. I decided not to add real acoustic guitar, because IT’S TOO HARD TO PLAY ACOUSTIC GUITAR CLEANLY AT THAT SLOW OF A TEMPO!
  7. I decided to not use an electric guitar lick at the end of verse 2, ‘cuz I like the piano lick that’s already there.

Thursday – 9/15/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-15-22.mp3”

  1. I redid the scratch vocal.
  2. I added background vocals.
  3. I realized I needed to add an a capella ending, four-voice “Gone for good”, so I had to move the “boo hoo hoo hoo” part at the end out of the way. Then I recorded the a capella part.
  4. Somewhere along the line, I lost the string bass a the very end “boo hoo” part, so recorded it again and later discovered I had moved it out of the way and forgot to put it back. It’s all good now.
  5. I converted the Ample guitar to an audio track, so I could put a volume envelope on it.
  6. I brought up the piano solo.

Wednesday – 9/14/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-14-22.mp3”

  1. I recorded a scratch vocal with ProChannel’s 8:1 compression and a healthy dose of reverb using Breverb 2.
  2. After the vocal was put on, I made a copy of the piano track and archived the original. On the copy, I deleted the high melody notes of verses 1, 2 and 3 which occur right before the end of each verse so that the piano doesn’t conflict with the vocal.
  3. I added an alto sax (VI.ONE) a third under the lead vocal.

Wednesday – 9/7/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost My Mind 9-7-22B.mp3”

  1. I redid the bass as per the original Pat Boone recording.
  2. I left the bass on the piano instrumental as I’d done it initially with a little more “rock” arpeggiation.
  3. I added the piano instrumental after verse 2: so it’s now: V1, V2, Ins., V3.
  4. I simplified the piano part on V1 (the piano melody parts are simply placeholders—they will be removed when the vocals are recorded.)
  5. I added the Ample acoustic guitar. (I might replace it with the Storia later.)

Monday – 9/5/22

This is mix: “I Almost Lost my Mind 9-5-22.mp3”

  1. I’ve returned to working on my 1958 project after the broken window has been repaired and having finished Kevin’s My Songs project.
  2. This is just a “skeleton” mix in the key of “C” at 60 bpm with acoustic bass (M-Audio Key Rig,) Wurly (Key Rig) and simple brush on the snare (EZ Drummer – Nashville set.) 
  3. I’ve added a melody track played by piano from VI.one. It gave me an idea to use the 2nd verse of this piano instrumental and insert it as an instrumental in place of the 3rd verse (vocal) and then move that 3rd verse to the end (4th verse.)

"SHE'S THE ONE FOR ME"

Monday – 10/17/22

This is mix: “Shes The One For Me 3 10-17-22.mp3”

  1. I redid several parts of the lead vocal that I felt were pitchy and/or rhythmically weak.
  2. I raised the volume of the drum roll in the intro.
  3. I lowered the background vocals in the intro.
  4. I lowered the volume of the piano in the intro.
  5. I lowered the volume of the piano triplets and took them out during certain portions of the guitar solo.
  6. I panned the piano triplets to the center—they were panned about 28% to the right.
  7. I touched up the intonation on the guitar solo by inserting the Auto-tune plug-in — set on “instrument” and Eb chromatic pitch correction. It was the last held note that bothered me, and I think this reined it in (it always sounded sharp to me.)
  8. I renamed the project “She’s The One For Me 3” in case I should want to go back to the original or version “2” sometime in the future.
  9. I changed the TH3 preset for the lead guitar. I tweaked the “What’cha Gotta Lose” preset a bit.
  10. I lowered the level on the main bus to -2.8dB, ‘cuz the mix was pretty hot.

Monday – 4/18/22

This is mix: “She’s The One – new.mp3”

  1. After listening to the preceding mix, I felt that the lead vocal was too dry, too far in front of the mix and “blistering.” So, I took all the ProChannel processing off the lead vocal and replaced the Sonitus compressor with the LA-2A limiter.
  2. I added more reverb and delay to both the lead and intro vocals (as well as the background vocals.)
  3. I panned the background vocals to 72% left, 20% left and 72% right.
  4. I trimmed the “releases” of the piano, bass and guitar at the beginning during the vocal intro, so that those instruments weren’t “hanging over.”
  5. I filled in a couple piano triplets that were missing.
  6. I delayed the entrance of the background vocals until the lead vocal comes in.
  7. I changed the TH3 preset for the lead guitar.
  8. Instead of Elephant2, I used Ozone for the mastering plug-in—using the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” preset.
  9. Since I made substantial changes to the mix, I renamed the project “You’re The One For Me 2” in case I want to go back to the previous settings.

Monday – 4/18/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-18-22.mp3”

  1. I shortened the word “So” at the end of the vocal intro.
  2. In ProChannel I set up and applied a specific EQ preset for all the vocals. It has two bands of cuts in the lower Mids.
  3. I soloed both the intro vocal and lead vocal tracks with Auto-tune off and then compared with Auto-tune on. There were no artifacts with it on and it did nudge a few pitchy notes back to pitch. So, I turned Auto-tune back on for both the intro and lead vocal tracks.
  4. In ACL I applied Elephant2 with preset Ultra Smooth 3.0 and also used ACL’s EQ to scoop out some of the low mids at around 170 hertz and boosted a couple bands very slightly at around 6K.
  5. I did both an mp3 and WAV mix—the former for this page and the latter for the YouTube video (and possible the final mix.)

Sunday – 4/17/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-17-22.mp3”

  1. I re-recorded several phrases of the lead vocal, ‘cuz I felt it could sound a little more “lively.”
  2. I took Auto-tune off the lead vocal and vocal intro tracks—they just had an odd warbling sound to them.
  3. I re-recorded a word in both bridges due to some sibilance that couldn’t be contained with LISP.
  4. I added a reverb bus—using the Breverb plug-in and added Aux sends to all vocal tracks.
  5. I backed off the delay on the lead vocal track.
  6. I added the Overloud vocal strip to the lead vocal track, so I could use its doubler.
  7. I added a Sonitus compressor to the lead vocal track and used the Vocal Soft preset.
  8. I added a tad more bass for the lead vocal bass roll-off in the ProChannel as I thought yesterday’s vocal sounded a little thin.
  9. I lowered the level of the piano triplets during the lead guitar part.
  10. I backed off the guitar delay in the TH3 for the instrumental—the delay imparted an incongruous largeness to the soundscape.
  11. For mastering in ACL, I used Elephant2 with the “Ultra Smooth 3.0” preset.
  12. I did both a WAV and mp3 mixdown—the WAV for the YouTube video and the mp3 for this site.

Saturday – 4/16/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-16-22.mp3”

  1. I finished up the harmony vocals today—starting with the bridges. I also redid the response harmonies on the third and fourth verses, e.g. “She can be” and “misery.”
  2. I reworked part of the harmonies in the instrumental section including an “Ahhhh” leading directly into Bridge 2.
  3. I re-recorded the 3rd phrase on the vocal intro: “And I . . . love her . . . so”
  4. I recorded the first two phrases of the lead vocal.
  5. I put the LISP de-essor on the lead vocal track.
  6. I put a Pro Channel EQ preset “Vocal with Dynamic mic” on the vocal intro and also the lead vocal tracks.
  7. I mastered in ACL using Ozone plug-in with “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” preset and changed the Loudness Maximizer to -2.0 dB.

Friday – 4/15/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-15-22.mp3”

  1. Fine tuned the intro: a) Re-recorded the first phrase (“She’s my baby”); b) shortened the length of the held chords in intro accompaniment; (c) shifted position of kick drum at end of phrases and (d) adjusted the spacing between phrases.
  2. Continued with the harmony vocals and redid a couple of earlier harmony spots—usually pitch issues.
  3. Added vocal harmonies to guitar instrumental section.
  4. Reduced the delay on the intro vocal.
  5. Mastered to mp3 in ACL. Used Ozone plug-in with preset “CD Mastering with Widener and Exciter.”

Thursday – 4/14/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-14-22.mp3”

  1. Added snare roll to first 3 chords of the intro. I used one of the banks of General MIDI drums in the Piaggero for the roll—it was pre-programmed to roll—a definite timesaver.
  2. I worked up the 3-part vocal harmony for the intro laid over the chords and drum rolls.
  3. I began working up the vocal harmonies starting on the first verse. This is very tedious work as there are lots of vocal parts in this song. It takes a long time for just a small amount of progress.
  4. I used the Ozone plug-in in ACL for mastering to MP3. And as usual, used the “CD Master with Widener and Exciter” preset. I set the Volume Maximizer to -4.1 dB.

Wednesday – 4/13/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-13-22.mp3”

  1. I redid the intro vocal: a) the melody wasn’t right in the 2nd phrase and b) the timing wasn’t right (i.e. the spacing between phrases).
  2. I cut out two of the Tags at the end and used the hard ending as opposed to doing a fade.
  3. I fixed a missing triplet in the high-piano triplet part.
  4. I got rid of a cymbal crash in the middle of both Bridges 1 and 2.
  5. I punched in several parts on the lead vocal track.
  6. I redid the first part of the lead guitar solo and also the very last double-stop.
  7. I used Ozone for mastering and used the “Master CD with Widener and Exciter” preset—leaving all the default settings.

Tuesday – 4/12/22

This is mix: “She’s The One For Me 4-12-22.mp3”

  1. Today I worked up the intro which involves a minor section with a free rhythm (no beat). I recorded the vocal and piano in real time at the very end of this track. I noted how many measures long it was (8) and then inserted eight measures at the beginning of the project. Then I copy and pasted the intro section at the beginning and moved it towards the regular beginning. Then I added bass and electric guitar.
  2. I added a scratch vocal track to kind of establish a frame of reference.
  3. I recorded a lead guitar track using the Gretsch and running through TH3 using [put name of preset].
  4. I added the [put name of plug-in] reverb on an effects bus and ran the lead vocal and intro vocal through that.
  5. I mastered the track in ACL and used the “Master CD with Widener and Exciter” preset leaving the Loudness Maximizer at default, -1.0 dB.

Monday – 4/11/22

This is mix “She’s The One For Me 4-11-22.mp3”

  1.  I set up the basic structure yesterday starting with Piaggero piano, SI Bass and SI Drums for a guide track in Cakewalk based on the original arrangement by the Aquatones.
  2. Today, I lowered the track from “F” to “Eb” and set the tempo at 166 BPM.
  3. I substituted DOD drums for the SI drums—leaving in the SI drum during the bridge breaks.
  4. I recorded a rhythm guitar part using the Gretsch and TH3.
  5. I recorded a high-piano triplet part using the Cakewalk TTS-1 plug-in.
  6. I converted the Shuffle guide track to an audio track and archived & hid the original MIDI Shuffle guide track.
  7. I put the Sonitus Multiband limiter on the master bus using the Smooth preset.
  8. Mastered in ACL with Ozone using “Master CD with Widener and Exciter” preset—Loudness Maximizer left on default -1.0 dB.

"PETER GUNN"

Tuesday – 4/5/22

This is mix “Peter Gunn 4-5-22.mp3”

  1. I added a drum fill during the fade out.
  2. I redid the timing on the first entrance of the organ on measure 6 and changed those six notes to quarter-note triplets. That’s the what original feel was but the third note was rushed.
  3. I reduced the reverb on the Master bus.
  4. I aligned one of the guitar riffs on the Gretsch track—it was slightly premature.
  5. I lowered the octave on the “Bs” during the break—and then put them back to where they were after I listened and didn’t like the change in register.
  6. I did a WAV mix for the YouTube video of “Peter Gunn.”
  7. I raised the level of a couple riffs on the Gretsch guitar track.
  8. I panned the Gretsch track to 15% left and the Gretsch 2 track to 15% right.
  9. In ACL I used the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” and left the Maximize Loudness at -1.0 dB.

Monday – 4/4/22

This is mix: “Peter Gunn 4-4-22B.mp3”

  1. I laid out the structure as per Duane Eddy’s original “Peter Gunn” – substituting organ and lead guitar for sax.
  2. I played the ostinato figure along with the “wobble” bar intro and interludes using Johnny Dessel’s Ibanez Gio GRX70QA electric guitar through the Cakewalk TH3 plugin. I used the M-Audio KeyRig M-3 organ module to play the Hammond part.
  3. I put a second guitar track on using my Gretsch G2655—also playing through the TH3 plugin.
  4. The drum part was originally constructed using Cakewalk drums. I kept the Cakewalk drums for the break but substituted Drums on Demand loops from volume 1 for the majority of the drum parts.
  5. The bass is Cakewalk bass.
  6. I used the Sonitus multiband limiter on the Master bus with the Smooth preset and inputting -3 dB limiting because the mix was quite hot.
  7. In ACL I used Ozone with the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” preset with Loudness Maximizer set to -4.5 dB for this MP3 posted on this site.
  8. I put reverb on the master bus—a little more than what I’d normally put on just trying to capture that ’50s vibe that Duane Eddy had.

"YOU"

Saturday – 10/22/22

This is mix: “You 10-22-22C.mp3”

  1. In listening to the test CDs and especially on the car’s CD player, “You” seemed to have the lead vocal disproportionately loud in the mix. Also, I’d detected some sibilance on the lead vocal. So, I lessened the compression on the lead vocal in the Sonitus compressor and slightly lowered the compressor’s output. I also took the LISP plug-in off the lead vocal as, with less compression, the sibilance had abated—so no need for a de-essor.
  2. I added a compressor to the bass to even out its dynamics, and I added some EQ to the bass from the ProChannel strip—something like “tight low end” and rolled off the lows below about 100 Hz.
  3. I’d been hearing a subtle “blip” right at the end while “you” is being held out. I couldn’t locate any noise or artifacts on the project’s tracks—until I looked at the “tempo track”. The blip was coming right at a steep tempo change. So, I made the curve more gradual and that got rid of this mysterious “blip.”
  4. I lowered the master bus from 0 to -2.8, because the level seemed a little hot.
  5. In ACL, I first used the “CD Master” preset; but comparing this mix with the previous (which had “Master CD with Exciter and Widener”), this mix sounded a tad dull. So, I re-rendered this mix (as version ‘C’) in ACL using the latter preset.
  6. I brought up the line “I believe the sweet things” at the beginning of the 2nd verse.

Tuesday – 10/11/22

This is mix: “You 10-11-22B.mp3”

  1. I corrected two spots in the first and last verses with the backing vocals. The 3rd was flat in a couple spots—changing the respective chords from major to minor.
  2. I re-recording the very last note in the lead vocal “You” and held it out a bit longer than it had been.
  3. In the bridge there was a spot in the lead vocal that I had a bit of slurring “I live just for you” (on the word “just”.) So, I re-recorded that phrase.
  4. I redid the line, “I believed the sweet things . . .” My first version has “I believe” (instead of “I believed”) and I’d run the words together, e.g., “Ibelieve . . .”

Friday – 3/25/22

This is mix “You 3-25-22C.mp3”

  1. I got a good start on the background vocals for the first and third verses. I’m thinking of leaving background harmonies off the 2nd verse.
  2. I recorded acoustic guitar—used the Yamaha Storia.
  3. Put the Lisp de-esser on the lead vocal track.
  4. Set up the Breverb 2 reverb on an effects’ bus and removed it as a single plug-in on the lead vocal track (since I’ll be using that reverb on not only the lead vocal but on the harmony vocal tracks and the acoustic guitar.)
  5. Put some processing on the piano (guide) track.
  6. I posted “You 3-25-22.mp3”, but the drums and bass were buried. So, I remixed it—bringing the vocals and acoustic guitar down. And mastered it in ACL with Elephant2 > Ultrasmooth 4.5 preset.

Wednesday – 3/23/22

This is mix “You 3-23-22.mp3”

  1. I put the 3-part vocal intro on at the beginning.
  2. I put a scratch, lead vocal on using the Breverb 2 reverb plug-in—I set up a preset called “You.”
  3. I studied the original recording quite a bit today along with listening to Gale Storm’s cover of “You.” On the original, I was paying close attention to Lynne Nixon’s phrasing and also the doo-wop background vocals. There was a YouTube video of the group performing at a deck party—very informal but good for listening to what the background singers were originally singing.
  4. I changed the snare to a lower-pitched one.

Tuesday – 3/22/22

This is mix “You 3-22-22.mp3”

  1. For the past couple of days, I’ve listened to the original tune by the Aquatones quite a bit and written out the lyrics.
  2. Today, I laid down a guide track using the Piaggero GM piano as a voice on “Guide” track in Cakewalk – this is in the key of Bb and 80 bpm.
  3. Since the vocal intro has kind of a free-flowing rhythm, I played it AFTER, I’d recorded the main track for the body of the song. Then I “abutted” the intro to the body by sliding the tracks next to each other. I did key off the metronome in Record mode to do the intro to keep a semblance of a rhythmic structure. I then went into the staff view and tweaked some of the rhythms, so the intro would tie into the body without any odd pauses or rhythmic jumps.
  4. I added drums after recording the guide track, because I wanted to be sure to put in count-offs for the intro—as there will be doo-wop harmonies starting cold at the beginning. These count-offs will be removed after the harmony vocals are recorded.
  5. I did some fine tuning on the guide track especially in the bridge section.  Then I bounced the guide track to an audio track, so I could export today’s work to post on this site.
  6. In ACL I used the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” preset and set Loudness Maximizer to -4.5 dB. Then exported as an MP3 at 224 kBits/sec for posting on this page.
  7. I practiced singing the lead vocal—using this mix. It’s in the same key as the original recording, so I’m singing it an octave lower. Two things to note about Lynne Nixon’s lead vocal on the original is that: a) she has exceptional breath control and holds out the notes til the very end of the phrases and b) her vocal is drenched in reverb which gives this song its signature sound.

"STREET SCENE '58"

Saturday – 10/22/22

This is mix: “Street Scene 58 refined 10-22-22.mp3”

  1. After repeated listenings to “Street Scene” on the various test CDs, I felt there was a hole/emptiness in the mix immediately preceding the brass solo section. So, today I added a trumpet section starting with the second half of the piano solo preceding the brass section. The trumpets continue with a triplet figure leading into the brass section.
  2. I used the “CD Master” preset in ACL as the “CD Master with Exciter and Widener” always seems to add extra brightness, and this mix is already plenty bright.

Saturday – 10/8/22

This is mix “Street Scene 58 refined 10-8-22D.mp3”

  1. I backed off the piano triplets and dropped them out in certain sections, ‘cuz they seemed a bit “grating” at times.
  2. I switched drum kits from Rock to Nashville and added a touch of reverb from the Breverb plugin.
  3. I fixed a timing issue in the brass instrumental section – there was a horn entry that seemed rushed—I slipped it back on the beat.
  4. The solo piano part seemed too loud in certain sections, so I remixed quite a bit of it.
  5. The solo guitar level dropped at the very end for some reason, so I readjusted its volume envelope.
  6. I tweaked the velocities of the snare drum as it seemed a bit anemic at times.
  7. I boosted the guide track (electric piano) during sections that seemed a bit empty.
  8. I put a 4:1 compressor on the solo piano.
  9. I panned the triplet piano to the right 31% (so that it was in the same spot as the solo piano.)
  10. I backed off the master bus from 0 to -2.8.
  11. I added about 3 drag ruffs on the snare in strategic spots to give the drum track a tad more “human” feel.
  12. I put a volume envelope on the piano buildup at the very beginning to create kind of crescendo.
  13. I switched to a sidestick on the snare towards the end during a short electric piano section.

Monday – 3/21/22

This is mix “Street Scene ’58 3-21-22.mp3”

  1.  I replaced the Piaggero piano part with a VI.One piano. I first tried the “black grand” and then decided to replace it with something a little brighter, ‘cuz the black grand lacked a little definition in the orchestral mix, and certain single-note lines got swallowed up. So, I used the [insert patch name] instead.
  2. I added AmpTrem plug-in to the piano part after the brass section as the piano kind of lacked a “piano” quality due to the unison octaves (2 octaves apart.)
  3. I added length to the piano note at the very end just prior to the final guitar 9-chord.
  4. I added a phase plug-in to the brass section to kind of get it out of the middle of the mix.
  5. I lengthened the 2nd note of the tremolo’ed piano phrase (right after the brass section.) This phrase occurs twice – so there were two notes that were lengthened.
  6. Instead of using Ozone during the ACL mastering, I used Elephant > UltraSmooth 3.0 preset.
  7. I lowered the portions of the solo guitar as it seemed too prominent in the mix.
  8. I lowered the piano triplets as they seemed way too much—they should be felt more than heard.

Sunday – 3/13/22

This is mix: “Street Scene ’58 3-13-22.mp3”

  1. The horn part seemed to be interfering with the rest of the mix – kind of cluttering it up. I re-listened to the original, and the horns aren’t holding their notes. So, I went in and got rid of any note values longer than a quarter note. I did retain a couple quarter notes—at the beginning of measures. But most values were trimmed to eighth notes.
  2. On the drums: a) I added some snare triplets to the intro leading into verse 1. b) I added a snare fill leading into the chorus.
  3. I reduced the lengths of the first two held notes in the brass at the very end (which the piano is playing over) from 8 counts to 7 counts. And I added a fade envelope to all three held notes in the brass.
  4. There was a slight delay in one of the guitar entrances (2nd phrase in the lead with the repeating “C”s) that I shifted forward slightly so it would come right on the beat. (That happened in two places – as the clip had been copied and pasted.)
  5. I mixed a WAV track of this mix (to be used in the final project & YouTube video) and also an mp3 for posting on this webpage. In ACL, I used an Ozone preset “CD Master with Exciter and Widening” and set the Volume Maximizer at -5.0 dB. 
  6. I evened out the velocity values in the horn section. They were uneven ranging from the 50s to the maximum 127 value. I had to do it manually, ‘cuz the MIDI filter plug-in where you limit the velocity range kept adding notes to the part – it must be a glitch in the program.
  7. I added a piano buildup (corresponding to the horn buildup on the Lou Busch recording) in the intro leading up to the first “verse.”

Saturday – 3/12/22

This is mix: “Street Scene ’58 3-12-22.mp3”

  1. Today I addressed intonation issues with the lead guitar part. I put Auto-tune on the track and set it to “Instrument” and “chromatic.” The processing was forgiving in that it allowed slides and bends. However, in a couple spots the pitch was still off enough that auto-tune “warbled” between “E” and “F”. So, I copied ‘n pasted similar passages into the questionable spots. And at the beginning of the melody phrase (where the theme is repeated,) I just went ahead and re-recorded those 2nd phrases. (For some reason, the guitar part recorded noticeably softer than yesterday—so, instead of taking time to figure out what had changed, I just took today’s recording, normalized it, added a volume envelope and boosted it a few dB. The volume & tone sound pretty close to yesterday’s guitar takes.
  2. I changed the timing on the 2nd horn stab. The last “triplet” of the stab was actually a 16th value, and I changed it to a triplet. So, the timing sounds much better.
  3. I converted the two MIDI tracks (horns and guide track) to audio. They used patches in the Piaggero—now as audio tracks I’ve routed them to the Master bus.
  4. I added the Sonitus FX Multiband limiter to the Master bus in Cakewalk with the Smooth preset and set the limit at -1.0 dB.
  5. Exported the mix from Cakewalk and converted it to a 224 Kbit/s mp3 in ACL for posting on this webpage. I used the “CD Master with Exciter and Widener” preset in Ozone and set the Loudness Maximizer at -8.0 dB.
  6. After converting the Horn and Guide tracks to audio, I panned them off center to “decongest” the busyness in the center of the soundscape.
  7. I Archived and Hid the Horn and Guide tracks to simplify the layout of the track view.
  8. I fixed a clunker note in the left hand at the very beginning of the solo piano track (G# > A in a D major chord.)
  9. Before converting it to an audio track, I changed the patch for the guide track from Acoustic Piano to Electric Grand.

Friday – 3/11/22

This is mix: “Street Scene ’58 3-11-22.mp3”

  1. I added guitar “bluesy” ending with final 9-chord.
  2. I removed the Sonitus compression on guitar and went with a preset in Cakewalk’s Pro-channel strip. The preset is for guitar and includes EQ plus a 4:1 compressor. I’ll look up the exact preset and post here.
  3. I restructured the ending to let the guitar finish instead of piano. I still might put a drum + bass punctuation at the end.
  4. I did some adjusting on the piano levels throughout the song.
  5. Lowered the level of the drum track and added a volume envelope, so I could raise the drum fill in the chorus.
  6. Modified the Sonitux FX delay on guitar, so there is a less-pronounced repetition of delay.
  7. Mixdown in ACL added Ozone preset “CD Master plus Exciter and Widening” and then set Volume Maximizer to -8.0 dB with Smoothing checked.

Thursday – 3/10/22

This is mix: “Street Scene ’58 3-10-22.mp3”

  1. Added Gretsch guitar part melody – and alternated parts with piano that I put on last night.
  2. I changed the timing on the 2nd horn stab in the “chorus” section.
  3. I wanted a deeper-sounding snare than what the Cakewalk drums had, so I listened to some of the Drums on Demand loops. None of them sounded appropriate. So, I fired up EZdrummer and used the Slingerland snare—which was what I was looking for.
  4. I redid the piano improv at the end—and re-positioned the final two chords at the end to correspond to the end of the piano part.
  5. When mixing to ACL, I used the preset “CD Master with widening & exciter” in Ozone and set the Loudness Maximizer to -8 dB.

Wednesday – 3/9/22

This is mix: “Street Scene ’58 3-9-22.mp3”

  1. I completed the brass counter melody.
  2. I worked on the orchestral section – using the brass section on the Piaggero.
  3. Worked a little on the drums during the orchestral section.
  4. Experimented with different patches from VI.One for the brass section. I think I’d better stick with the Piaggero sounds.
  5. Tried to find a sax patch to use for a reference melody track. I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I used a piano patch from the Cakewalk GM set.
  6. Most (probably all) of this melody piano part will be replaced – but I needed something in there for reference.

Tuesday – 3/8/22

  1. Today I added the piano triplets.
  2. I added the bass part.
  3. I added the drums.
  4. I work some more on the horn counter melody—filling in the part at the end of the verse—right before going to “E.”
  5. I practiced the guitar part.
  6. I experimented with some solo piano—that’s going to work well.
  7.  I lowered the guide track an octave—so it wasn’t competing with the triplets.
  8. I added an ascending chromatic run in the horns and bass at the very end of the intro leading into verse 1.

Monday – 3/7/22

  1. “Street Scene ’58” has a main melody – played by a sax and then a counter melody – played by a horn/brass section. So, today I started out by figuring out most of the counter melody. I called up the original recording on YouTube on my studio computer. I then set up the project in Cakewalk – key of “D,” 88 bpm. Then I blocked out the chords/measure using a piano patch on the Piaggero. Then on a separate track, I started on the counter melody using a brass patch. I’ve got 90% of the part down, but there are parts – especially leading into the E sections, that are virtually impossible to hear due to the part being obscured by the concurrent lead sax melody line, the bass line and the piano triplets. I slowed the part down to .75 speed and even .50 speed to try to hear – but after more than an hour, I gave up and decided to attack it the next day with fresh ears.
  2. With headphones on, I alternately listened to the original and then to my sequence while playing the Gretsch (unplugged – it’s plenty loud acoustically to hear even with headphones on.) I practiced the lead line on guitar for at least an hour while listening to the above tracks.
  3. After thinking about the mix later, I decided I would play piano during the “big band” section which occurs in the latter third of the tune on the original recording. I think some chordal melody lines on keyboard will be more effective in trying to simulate that dense orchestration on the record than trying to play this orchestral section on guitar.

Thursday – 3/3/22

  1. Listened to “Street Scene ’58” by Lou Busch & his Orchestra along with two or three other arrangements of “Street Scene.”
  2. Wrote out the structure and chord changes for the Lou Busch version (which is my favorite.) Several of the chords were a bit hard to discern due to the dense orchestration. But I think I have it down pretty close.
  3. For the actual recording, I decided to do the melody on Gretsch guitar. So today, I rehearsed on the Storia and worked out the melody line – which was challenging due to some tricky chromatic passages. I ended up finding Alfred Newman’s original score – which helped me out considerably. 
  4. Noted Lou Busch tempo: 88 bpm and key: “D”.

"GONNA GET A LITTLE KISSIN' TONIGHT"

Sunday – 10/23/22

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin Tonight 10-23-22.mp3”

  1. I took out the first of two crash cymbals and just left the one on the last verse (and reduced the velocity.)
  2. I checked the rhythm guitar and the TH3 plug-in hadn’t been activated, so I activated it and panned the rhythm guitar to the left at 43%. Then I opposed the rhythm guitar with the guitar piano and panned the 43% to the right.
  3. In ACL, I used the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” to brighten the vocals
  4. After rendering the WAV file in ACL, I transferred it to the ACL master project on my office computer and boosted the intro “Va voom, Va voom, etc.” by 1 dB because I thought the intro seemed lower volume compared to the preceding song (“Big Man”) on the final CD line up.

Tuesday – 10/18/22

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin Tonight 10-18-22C.mp3”

  1. I added a crash cymbal in two places.
  2. I switched the drum track from Cakewalk SI drums to EZDrummer and added compression and just a little bit of room reverb from Breverb.
  3. I tweaked the double-hits on the snares by bringing the velocities down to 94 > 74.
  4. I lowered the sax section just a tad.
  5. I tweaked the spoken “Kiss me baby, hug me baby, etc.” by aligned the words to a specific timing and used the “baby” from the first one (of three) for all three. The other two “babys” sounded more like “Bay-buh.”
  6. I used the “CD Master with Widener & Exciter” plug-in in Ozone.

Monday – 10/17/22

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin Tonight 10-17-22.mp3”

  1. I decided that the drum track needed a little “animation,” so I listened to the original track and picked up a couple things (snare fills) which I implemented into my version.
  2. I backed off both the delay and the compression on the “response” vocal, i.e., “Kiss me baby, Hug me baby, etc.” because it was hard to hear exactly what was being said.
  3. I changed the hi-hat in the verses and choruses from pedal hi-hat to closed but kept the pedal hi-hat during the instrumental.

Sunday – 10/16/22

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin Tonight 10-16-22C.mp3”

  1. On the original recording by Tony & Joe, they have a kind of call & response going on during what might be called the chorus:

    “Oh yeah yeah yeah, ‘Kiss me baby’,
    Oh yeah yeah yeah, ‘Kiss me baby’, etc.”

    The “Kiss me baby” is kind of campy, tongue-in-cheek delivery but apropos for the ’50s era. When I first recorded this, I attempted the “kiss me babys,” but it sounded pretty cheesy; so I deleted them. But the longer I thought about it, I figured I should try to keep some semblance of that call & response. So, I decided to modify it slightly by changing it to:

    “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, ‘Kiss me baby’,
    Oh yeah yeah yeah, ‘Hug me baby’,
    Oh yeah yeah yeah, ‘Squeeze me baby'”

    and doing it ala “Bowzer” of Sha Na Na and just doing it on the 2nd and 4th choruses.
  2. I re-recorded the high harmony on the 2nd phrase of the opening verse as the timing and intonation of that 3rd harmony sounded off.
  3. I lowered the main bus as it was a little hot. I think I lowered it to -2.6 dB.
  4. I rendered the sax section track to a WAV and added it to its own audio track as the sax section was sharing the VI.ONE instance on Kontakt with the solo sax part. There needed to be some volume envelopes put on the solo sax part, and it interfered with the sax section. And I tweaked the timing on the sax section as there were some misaligned notes.
  5. I put some volume envelopes on the solo sax to bring it out in certain sections of the song.

Thursday – 3/3/22

I’m not happy with the vocals or the YouTube video.

     a. The vocals seem to be out of tune in certain sections. I will check those spots and redo whatever needs touching up.

     b. The look of the video is overexposed, and my facial expressions are painful to watch. I’m going to remove this YouTube video and reshoot & edit it with updated soundtrack.

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight 2-24-22B.mp3”

  1. I archived the bass vocal track as I never liked that “Kiss me baby” response on the original recording, and I liked my version even less. So, even though I’m trying to stay as close to the original in arrangement, I’m taking the liberty of deleting that part.
  2. After removing the bass vocal response, I replaced it with a baritone sax part. I used the Baritone Sax from the Pop Horns of the VI.One library. I added a touch of reverb to it from the Kontakt interface.
  3. I re-recorded several parts of the harmony lead vocal as I noticed intonation issues (singing flat.)
  4. I cleaned up some of the vocal harmony parts as far as alignment and trimmed attacks to get rid of some sibilance.
  5. I found and fixed a click on the downbeat of the first chorus. It took a while to isolate it. It turned out to be a hi-hat with the velocity of 97 whereas most of the other hi-hat velocities were in the mid 60s range.
  6. I extended the eight-note right-hand patterns on the piano track to continue up to the first measures of each chorus.
  7. I exported this mix from Cakewalk into ACL where I added the “CD Master with Widening and Exciter” plugin (and set Loudness Maximizer to -4.3 dB.)
  8. I did two mixes: One as a WAV with no fade for the FINAL MIXES folder on my office computer’s G drive. The second mix was to MP3 at 192 Mbits/sec with a fade at around 2 minutes for posting on this site. 

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight 2-22-22.mp3”

  1. I held off with the handclaps until the guitar instrumental section.
  2. I redid the harmony vocal on the 3rd verse. I had been singing a half-step flat – instead of a “C”, I was starting out singing a “B” throughout that one-note part.
  3. I added a 3rd and 4th part on the vocals for verse 3. I put them down in the mix, ‘cuz I didn’t want an obvious 4-part harmony coming out of nowhere.
  4. I dialed back the delay on all the vocal parts – from 9% down to 2 and 3%.
  5. I added a sax section starting with verse 2. Dropped it out on the first half of the guitar solo and then came back in – continuing it to the end through the fadeout. I used the sax section in the Pop Horns category in the VI.One sound library with Kontakt.
  6. I exported the mix as a WAV and imported it into ACL. There I trimmed the beginning and applied the fadeout. I also used the Ozone preset: “CD Master with widening and exciter” and set the Loudness Maximizer at -4.3 dB. I exported it as an MP3 @ 192 kBit/sec for posting on this site.

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight 2-20-22.mp3”

  1. Today I added the lead vocal and a harmony vocal – two-part close harmony.
  2. I added a bass vocal part with added delay and compression.
  3. I added four tracks of handclaps.
  4. After exporting the WAV mixdown, I mastered it with Ozone (in ACL) with preset “CD Master with widener and exciter” and set Loudness Maximizer at -4.3 dB.

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight 2-19-22.mp3”

  1. Most of the day today was spent on the break at 1:06. This occurs immediately preceding the instrumental break. On the original recording by “Tony & Joe,” a sax comes in on beat 2 after the break with the rest of the rhythm section coming in on the second half of the 1st beat in the following measure. I just couldn’t find a sax sound that I liked for that part, so I decided to use electric guitar for that instrumental break.
  2. I added a bass guitar downward slide immediately preceding the guitar solo – it parallels the piano glissando.
  3. I tidied up the measure counts for the repeating 8th notes in the piano right hand. On my initial recording, the phrases were inconsistent, some longer than others.
  4. I added a piano part consisting of dominant 7ths of C (G7) in 8th notes immediately preceding the guitar solo. The song modulates from Bb to C at this point – so the G7 is used as a pivot chord.)
  5. At this same spot (preceding the guitar solo), I put in a drum fill. The drum fill on the original recording is really hard to decipher, so I worked up something as close to it as I could.
  6. For posting on this webpage, I converted the WAV mixdown into an MP3 (192 Kbits/sec) in ACL using the Ozone plugin with preset “CD Master with widening and exciter.” I set the Loudness Maximizer to -4.3 dB.
  7. In ACL before converting to MP3, I faded the ending at around 2:00 as I think that’s pretty close to where the original starts the fade.

This is mix: “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight 2-18-22.mp3”

  1. On track one, I laid down a guide (piano) track using the Cakewalk TTS-1 Synth plug-in.
  2. Added the kick drum, snare and high hat using Cakewalk SI-Drums.
  3. Added the bass using the Cakewalk SI-bass.
  4. I added acoustic guitar (Yamaha Storia III) and used an amp modeling preset + a compressor plug-in.
  5. Overdubbed the 8th-note piano riffs on track one.
  6. I transcribed the lyrics but decided it was too late in the day to start on the vocals.
  7. Exported WAV from Cakewalk by BandLab and converted it to mp3 in ACL (adding Ozone preset CD Master + widening > set Maximize Loudness to -4.3 dB.)
  8. Re-listened to the original to check out drum fills. 

"WHAT'CHA GOTTA LOSE"

Friday, October 14, 2022

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 10-13-22 10-14-22.mp3”

  1. I removed yesterday’s guitar lead line (which parallels the bass) from the instrumental section (Mark’s guitar and sax) due to timing conflicts.
  2. I filtered more the lows out of the background vocals using the ProChannel EQ.
  3. I panned the background vocals wider to get them out of the way of the lead vocal.
  4. I put 12:1 compression (ProChannel compressor) on the new lead guitar track (paralleling the bass track.)
  5. I panned the new lead line 37% to the left (counter to the guide piano track which is 37% to the right.)
  6. I lowered the volume of the new lead line. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

This is Mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose reboot 10-13-22 10-13-22.mp3”

  1. My concern with this mix is that it seemed a bit ragged in the timing. I felt the major culprit were background vocals as well as lead vocal. But I discovered that the handclaps were off in several spots. So, yesterday, I tightened up the handclaps as well as background vocals.
  2. Just before I was ready to consider this mix a final mix, I noticed on the original track what sounded like a muted guitar paralleling the bass. The more I listened, the more it sounded like maybe just a percussive attack on the string bass. However, I decided that adding a muted electric guitar would give the same effect. So, that’s the first thing I did today—using the Gretsch through the TH3 plug-in using the “Endless Sleep” preset but muting the reverb and adding a delay. I also added some EQ from the ProChannel EQ. It was an acoustic guitar preset, but I liked the way it sounded on the electric as it cut the lows and boosts the mid-highs.
  3. Yesterday, I removed both the Sonitus delay and compression on the lead vocal and substituted the VX-64’s delay as well as it’s sibilance module and compression.
  4. Yesterday, I lowered the background harmonies right after the intro as I felt the background vocals were obscuring the lead vocal. I also boosted the lead vocal just a tad.
  5. Yesterday, I deleted the ride cymbal during Mark’s instrumental and also lowered the volume of the snare drum. The section seemed a bit abrasive with the percussion, and I think the culprit mainly was the ride cymbal frequency build-up. Plus I felt the snare didn’t need to be so loud as in the original, the snare is played with brushes and is very light.
  6. Today, I edited the timing on the lead vocal at “what would you gain if you should refuse, not a thing” as several of the words were late. 
  7. Cakewalk kept shutting down today when I first started it up. So, I re-saved the project under another name (“Watcha Gotta Lose reboot 10-13-22.cwp”), so that’s why this file has such a long name. Re-saving the project seemed to remedy whatever the issue was that caused the spontaneous shutdowns.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 3-31-22.mp3”

  1. Mark redid his “sax” part sans reverb and emailed it to me today. I replaced his previous sax track with this one. (There had been a resonance on the previous track due to the effects processing.)
  2. I tightened up the vocal harmony parts—getting all the envelopes synched up.
  3. I lowered the lead vocal just a tad and put the Lisp de-esser in it.
  4. I boosted the speaking part at the very end of the lead vocal track by about 1 dB.
  5. Processed the mix in ACL and used the “CD Master with Exciter and Widener” preset. I set the Loudness Maximizer at  -4.5 dB.
  6. I ran a WAV and an mp3 (to post here) of this mix. The WAV went into: G > 1982 final mixes.

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 2-15-22.mp3”

  1. The WAV version of this mix is used for the YouTube video.
  2. I reduced the Sonitus delay on all background vocals to 9.
  3. I boosted the lead lead vocal by 1 dB.
  4. I added the narration to the end during the fadeout.

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 2-14-22.mp3”

  1. Added electric guitar (Gretsch G2655 through a Fender LT25 amp using Rockabilly preset) – muted and paralleling the bass guitar part.
  2. Added three-part vocal tags following bass vocal parts: “But my heart”, “But the blues,” etc. and also added the vocal harmony tag “But the blues” at end of instrumental section.
  3. Added the lead vocal bass part “But my heart” along with vocal harmony tags at end – repeating during the fadeout.
  4. Added three-part vocal harmonies to choruses.
  5. Redid the lead vocal on both choruses due to intonation issues.
  6. Found a glitch at measure 75 – all events subsequent to that measure were delayed – shifted by 1/16 note value. That glitch occurred sometime during the mixing on 2/13/22. It manifested itself as a sudden and brief ritard at measure 75. At first I thought an errant tempo had been entered, but a quick check of the tempo map indicated nothing but 208 bpm. It took a while to troubleshoot this glitch as I’m up to 33 tracks on this project. I had to manually shift each track back 1/16 note value to the left to synch it back up and get rid of the momentary ritard.
  7. Exported to ACL and used Ozone preset “CD Mastering with Exciter and Widening” – I turned the exciter off and adjusted the Maximize Loudness threshold to -4.3 dB.

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 2-11-22B.mp3”

  1. Added harmony vocals to the verses.
  2. Added the bass vocal part to the lead vocal track.
  3. Archived and hid the guide (piano) track in the track view.
  4. Added Pro-channel presets to master bus: Compression & EQ.
  5. Experimented with duplicating bass guitar part on electric guitar.
  6. Tried different combinations of compression on background vocals – took all compression off except on the bass vocal track (not lead bass vocal.)
  7. Backed off the SonitusFX delay on lead vocal to 9.
  8. Exported as WAV to ACL and used Elephant2 plug-in, preset “UltraSmooth 4.5 dB”

This is mix: “What’cha Gotta Lose 2-9-22.mp3”

  1. I added a scratch vocal WITHOUT the bass vocal parts. I’ll do those separately.
  2. I put gate envelopes on my lead vocal and Mark’s guitar tracks.
  3. I added ride cymbal plus snare in instrumental section.
  4. Muted piano and sax parts on the stabs – so it’s just guitar and bass.
  5. Added delay to Mark’s guitar stabs and brought volume up 1 dB.
  6. Lowered rhythm parts (on lead guitar track) for the chorus licks (which occur twice in the song.)
  7. Added four tracks of hand clapping.
  8. Used Ozone “CD Master” preset and lowered threshold in Loudness setting to -4.4 dB.
  9. Muted lead guitar and sax during fade-out.
  10. Added compressor to bass guitar.

This snippet “”Whatcha-Gotta-Lose-solos-1.00.mp3” is Mark Stumme’s guitar + sax instrumental break for “What’cha Gotta Lose” done on 2/3/22.

"I'VE HAD IT"

Friday, October 14, 2022

This is mix: “Ive Had It 10-14-22C.mp3”

  1. I changed the word “then” to “when” on the line: “When you say that you love me honey, (then > when) you really need my money”
  2. I touched up a couple other spots on the lead vocal and 3rd harmony.
  3. I lowered the master fader a tad.
  4. I used the CD Master preset in Ozone and saved this MP3 to 320 mbits.

This is mix: “I’ve Had It 2-23-22.mp3”

  1. I boosted verses 1 and 2 by 1 dB.
  2. I added the “cha cha cha” ending with acoustic guitar and electric guitar.
  3. The woodblock part is held off until the first “La la la” begins.
  4. Used Ozone “CD Master” preset with the loudness increased slightly.
  5. This is the final mix and the WAV version of this file will be used for the album. This WAV was also used for the “I’ve Had It” YouTube video.

This is mix: “I’ve Had It 1-25-22.mp3” – done on 1/25/22.

  1. I added the harmony vocals for the chorus: “La la la la . . .” It’s three parts, a melody, a third above and the bass line.
  2. I increased the volume of the lead guitar slide leading into the instrumental.
  3. I add the lead vocal for the four verses plus the harmony vocal a 3rd above.
  4. On the vocal channels, I used the processing modules contained on the Pro-Channel strip, i.e., Tube saturation and compressor. I also inserted the Sonitus-FX delay on each of the vocal channels.
  5. I rendered today’s mix as a WAV file and imported it into Audio Cleaning Lab. I did not use Elephant for mastering – rather I used the Ozone preset: “CD Master.” I then used ACL’s EQ to slightly attenuate the low mids – around 120-140 Hz. 
  6. I saved the ACL file to MP3 at 192 Mbits to post here.

This is mix: “I’ve Had It 1-24-22.mp3” – done on 1/24/22

  1. I tightened up the ending immediately preceding the outro (the reprise of the shaker/guitar intro.) This involved cutting off/fading envelopes of all instruments at the end of the 4th beat preceding the outro.
  2. I aligned the shaker/bongo parts on the outro as they somehow were shifted a 32nd note late.
  3. I added the high E-string part on the lead guitar track for both the intro and outro.
  4. I added a glissando on lead guitar track leading into the guitar solo in the middle of the piece.
  5. I added Pro-Channel EQ and compression to the bass.
  6. I added Pro-Channel EQ to both the electric and acoustic guitar tracks to attenuate the mid-lows.
  7. I tweaked things in Audio Cleaning Lab by adding Elephant Ultra-Smooth 4.5 preset and using ACL’s equalizer to attenuate the lows around 170 Hz.

This is mix: “I’ve Had It 1-23-20 lows rolled off.mp3” – done on 1/23/20

  1. Put the kick drum on 1-2-3-4 throughout the song.
  2. Added the wood block.
  3. changed snare to: 2 & 4-and
  4. Worked up the end – with the cha-cha-cha ending.
  5. Changed bass from Finger Bass to Picked Bass
  6. Converted the: a) guide/piano, b) wood block, and (c) bass tracks from MIDI tracks to audio tracks and archived the MIDI versions.
  7. Added a compressor to the acoustic guitar.
  8. Put a volume envelope on the lead guitar track to boost it a tad when the solo starts.
  9. Ran the MP3 mix through Audio Cleaning Lab to check the low mids and bass. I used the ACL equalizer to dial back the frequencies around 140 Hz. 

This is the first mix of “I’ve Had It” – done on 1/21/22. 

  1. Yesterday I plotted out the structure of the song and recorded a guide (piano) track, added bass and simple drum track.
  2. Today I checked the tempo (150 BPM) and recorded the maracas (had to learn how to shake them – watched a YouTube video.) 
  3. Also recorded bongo (for beginning – and will use it for ending.)
  4. I checked where the low E string bends are and their variations.
  5. Added acoustic guitar (Storia.)
  6. Added electric guitar (Gretsch) direct.
  7. Added lead guitar (Gretsch) direct and used “Clean Randall” plug-in.
  8. I’m noticing the guitars are out of tune – but it’s not a big deal as this entire mix is a reference mix.
  9. I’m not hearing the piano (guide track) in this mix – so it could have gotten muted at some point. Not a big deal as it will be redone anyway.
  10. The ending has not be worked up yet.

This project is being done in Cakewalk by Bandlab.

"BIG MAN"

This file is: “02 Big Man.mp3” 

“Big Man” was originally recorded for the Feelin’ Alright album with Christopher Jon. But I’m also going to include it on this 1958 project, because it was released that year and was probably my favorite of Cousin Sara House’s 45s.

"1958" Mixing notes for test CD

BLACK = needs to be tweaked     /     GREEN = done

1. “I’ve Had It” – E (152 bpm)

[x] “When” instead of “Then” 10/14/22

2. “What’cha Gotta Lose” – F (208 bpm)

[x] Lower background vocals during verses 10/12/22

[x] Tweak drums during instrumental 10/12/22

3. “Gonna Get A Little Kissin’ Tonight” – Bb (192 bpm)

[x] “Kiss me baby, hug me baby, squeeze me baby . . . ” on 2nd and 4th choruses 10/16/22

[x] Swap EZDrummer Nashville for Cakewalk SI drums 10/18/22

[x] Tweaked the “kiss me baby, hug me baby, squeeze me baby” sections.

4. “She’s The One For Me” – Eb (168 bpm)

[x] Lower volume of piano triplets 10/17/22

[x] Correct intonation and timing on parts of lead vocal track 10/17/22

5. “Peter Gunn” – E (124 bpm)

[x] Lower volume in ACL

6. “Big Man” – Eb (128 bpm)

7. “Street Scene ’58” – D (88 bpm)

[x ] Lower volume of piano triplets (10/8/22)

[—] Raise the solo piano parts

8.You” – Bb (84 bpm)

[x] Vocal harmonies – there’s a couple minor chords instead of major (fix the third) (10/11/22)

[x] redo vocal line “I believe . . . ” (10/11/22)

9. “When I Lost My Baby” – C (60 bpm)

10. “Stood Up” – E (184 bpm)

11. “Endless Sleep” – E (100 bpm)

[x] Sibilance on the lead vocal 10/16/22