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 VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)

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JLE3

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PostSubject: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:12 pm

Preview of the song Afterlife which will be on our new album 'Valley Of The Kings' due this December 31, 2017. We have made some changes in our mixing process and I think we are getting it a little more refined from our first album. Hope you enjoy it. Welcoming any comments, especially on the mix.

Yours truly at the beginning and then we used clips from the video game Assassin's Creed Origins for the rest. They seem to fit so well with our concept. I actually got some of these video game clips from a royalty free website. Others from fan made trailers for the game, etc. Then I edited them heavily to fit with our song, you know...to have some of the scene transitions hit just right on a snare hit or guitar chord. I think it turned out pretty well.

Thanks for listening!

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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:23 pm

Digging the flange sound on the guitar (is it a stereo flange effect or just straight flange....or am I all wet).  
The track sounds cool...but Jenny sounds a little low in the mix (at least in the beginning...of course it could just be these cheap headphones I'm using)

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JLE3

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:32 pm

I assume you're referring to the acoustic guitar. Funny I will actually have to check. I run my acoustic guitar through a BASS GUITAR pedal. It's a used pedal I purchased some time ago with tons of pre-programmed effects. All I know is that it's effect A5. Lol!

I have tried a lot of stuff to get my acoustic guitar to sound good within a mix. Oh I have tried a lot of stuff, and never could get it quite right. Either sounding too flat, too bright, to muddy, or whatever. Then I tried it through this Bass pedal and viola! I found the tone I was looking for!

Regarding the vocals, might be the headphones. Curious for others to weigh in. 

Thanks Staybrite!
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messiaen77

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:00 am

Staybrite wrote:
Digging the flange sound on the guitar (is it a stereo flange effect or just straight flange....or am I all wet).  
The track sounds cool...but Jenny sounds a little low in the mix (at least in the beginning...of course it could just be these cheap headphones I'm using)
Eh, I've got pretty good headphones and it still sounds like I'd like to hear her come a bit more forward in the mix.

Other than that (minor) thing, it sounds really good!  I love those times she and you match your pitch bends (I assume she lays down the vocal line and then you add the lead, but I'm willing to admit I could be wrong)!
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JLE3

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:32 am

messiaen77 wrote:
Staybrite wrote:
Digging the flange sound on the guitar (is it a stereo flange effect or just straight flange....or am I all wet).  
The track sounds cool...but Jenny sounds a little low in the mix (at least in the beginning...of course it could just be these cheap headphones I'm using)
Eh, I've got pretty good headphones and it still sounds like I'd like to hear her come a bit more forward in the mix.

Other than that (minor) thing, it sounds really good!  I love those times she and you match your pitch bends (I assume she lays down the vocal line and then you add the lead, but I'm willing to admit I could be wrong)!


OK So that's two votes for bringing the vocals up a tad in the mix. Thanks guys.

As to your second point..yes I am afraid you are wrong on that one. We do do that sometimes but in this case and more often than not, I will lay down the music with several of those lead guitar parts throughout. It's almost like I can hear a vocal melody in my head. Then Jen will write the lyrics and sing over it. Sometimes it sounds good to leave it in under her singing, other times I will remove it and leave the vocals to stand alone. It's an interesting process we have and more a result of being on opposite sides of the planet. I often wonder what would happen if Jen and I were in the same room trying to write these songs. We will never know!
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Xid

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:04 pm

I wouldn't classify this song as a ballad.  It's a Hard Rock song.  I'll agree with the vocals coming up just a titch.

Good song!
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:08 pm

JLE3 wrote:


.... I often wonder what would happen if Jen and I were in the same room trying to write these songs. We will never know!

You would probably both fight like cats and dog, and never speak to each other again!
lol!

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:44 pm

Ha, never! I love my John. Actually, I don't fight with anyone. I'd annoy him I'm sure, but he'd get over it.   Smile
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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:59 pm

Surprisingly, I'm not bothered too much by her levels, but still wish her voice wasn't processed so much.  geek

Overall, really like the song. The whole album is going to be out Dec 31?  Shocked

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:09 pm

Wouldn't that be great! We're releasing Afterlife as a single. The album will follow in the new year. We've written all but one of the songs and that final song is so close to being done that I might be able to call it finished by end of the day. After that it's just getting the vocal recordings and mixing done.

The story we're telling is a really interesting one. I wish we had the resources to tell it visually as well as musically. It'd be so cool to have a short film made to match.
D-R-E-A-M-I-N-G   farao
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:40 am

Quote :
I have tried a lot of stuff to get my acoustic guitar to sound good within a mix. Oh I have tried a lot of stuff, and never could get it quite right. Either sounding too flat, too bright, to muddy, or whatever. Then I tried it through this Bass pedal and viola! I found the tone I was looking for!

I recommend doing TWO acoustic tracks.  One can go through that bass processor or just run the acoustic directly into the mixer via the output jack.  You can EQ it to sound however you like.  The 2nd track should be miked up.  You can EQ it however you like.  But, i would recommend focusing on the lower end sounds of the guitar on one track and the higher on the other.  Both will sound somewhat crappy individually but should blend well.  It will make your guitar sound fuller as well.  I am doing a song called "Completely Flexible" for my next CD and this is what I had to do to get the cigar box guitar I am using to sound right.

I also agree that Jenni is too low in the mix.  She needs to come up a bit.  Also, I'd like her to use a little raspier delivery.  While I know you aren't going for that Pat Benetar or Lisa Faxon/Ransom sound, those ladies added some sass to their performance by singing hard and tossing a touch of grit into their singing style.  Doro Pesch does it effectively, too.  All three of these singers are powerhouse singers who push their voice for more power while adding a touch of grit.  All three have different style bands but make their individual bands shine and be memorable.  As Tim the tool man Taylor used to say, "More power!  Ar, ar, ar!"

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:46 pm

Thanks for weighing in, Chris. We really appreciate your input. I go for grit in the next song. As a blues singer, I find that when I go raspy I go bluesy. It drives me nuts because while a blues voice is my natural voice, sometimes you just don't want a blues voice. John jokes about his developing a "Jenny Stokes Bluesy Voice Removal Tool." It's something I'm working on...and enjoying the journey. If you (a blues singer) have any suggestions about parking the blues, I'd love to hear them. I'm all ears  Smile

It seems the consensus is to bring me forward. Done. I'm now in your face.   lol

Thank you all for lending us your ears. Very helpful suggestions all.
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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:12 pm

Quote :
Thanks for weighing in, Chris. We really appreciate your input. I go for grit in the next song. As a blues singer, I find that when I go raspy I go bluesy. It drives me nuts because while a blues voice is my natural voice, sometimes you just don't want a blues voice. John jokes about his developing a "Jenny Stokes Bluesy Voice Removal Tool." It's something I'm working on...and enjoying the journey. If you (a blues singer) have any suggestions about parking the blues, I'd love to hear them. I'm all ears

See, that's what I think is missing from your voice, Jenni.  Evans & Stokes may be going for a more gothic tone and the flatter style does give you a bit more haunting sound.  However, that has been done to death.  It is time to shake up the genre and give them something they aren't expecting.  Some of the best metal singers in the world seem to have that bluesy sound.  Ray Gillian (Badlands), David Coverdale (Whitesnake/Deep Purple), Ken Tamplin, Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen) all have that natural bluesy sound to their voices that come out when they sing despite being in hard rock/metal sounds.  If that is what you do best, then you should be utilizing that to the utmost.  If not, you are shorting yourself as a singer not to be yourself.  To be honest, I'd be more likely to buy your music now if it had that bluesy rasp to it because from a female vocalist it gives you power and a hint of a sultry sound without having to be vulgar at all.  That is part of the magic of Benatar, Faxon, and others.  They just gave us their best of what they were and we loved them for it.

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Jen5

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:12 pm

Hmm. Food for thought there. I know you're right. I love variety and sometimes I try to squeeze into a box that wasn't meant for me. Some of those vocalists you mentioned I've never heard so I'm going to go on a music safari to see what you're referring to. Thanks Chris.
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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:36 pm

Jen5 wrote:
Hmm. Food for thought there. I know you're right. I love variety and sometimes I try to squeeze into a box that wasn't meant for me. Some of those vocalists you mentioned I've never heard so I'm going to go on a music safari to see what you're referring to. Thanks Chris.

If you go hunting for David Coverdale on YouTube you will run into a ton of 80's metal songs with him wailing like a banshee in half of them (and he's very good at it).  When Alldat talks about you going for a bluesier sounds I picture something very much like this track.  Coverdale is still a bit subdued here, but there is more soul in his voice (much like Paul Rogers of Bad Company).  He's not afraid to ramp it up, but he never looses control. Easily one of my favorites with him on vocals.


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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:37 am

Wow a lot of stuff here. Once again...love the feedback and suggestions from everyone. We released the song AFTERLIFE today and it's available through CDBaby now at:

https://store.cdbaby.com/artist/EvansandStokes

It takes a few more days before it will be available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc. so probably Jan 5th for all of those.

I really think we are getting much closer to that great mix (which is very difficult to achieve). And especially on songs like the one I posted in the video preview above. The rock songs that weave between acoustic guitars and then harder hitting choruses are where I think we're nearly there on mixing quality. Love the references to other vocalists for us to review as examples of what you all are looking for too. And 'alldat', I'm going to give that acoustic recording recommendation a try. I've been chasing guitar tones for most of my life and it always seems like I could get better. It's like a goal I will probably never achieve. Just like the perfect mix I'm chasing!

With this album we have some really heavy songs as well and they are much more of a challenge to mix vocals into. Here is a brief snippet of one I was working on today. It's not finished but you can see what I mean by how different this song is from the one posted above, and where we're trying to go with the vocals. But remember...it's not done yet...still working on it.

farao

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PostSubject: Re: VOTK Preview - Afterlife (with vocals)   Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:23 am

alldatndensum wrote:
Some of the best metal singers in the world seem to have that bluesy sound.  Ray Gillian (Badlands), David Coverdale (Whitesnake/Deep Purple), Ken Tamplin, Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen) all have that natural bluesy sound to their voices that come out when they sing despite being in hard rock/metal sounds.
On the Christian front, Robin Kyle Basauri (Die Happy, Red Sea, PK Mitchell) is one of my faves.

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