- Mastering Engineer / Recording Artist
Brian Hazard is the head mastering engineer and owner of Resonance Mastering in Huntington Beach, California, specializing in electronic music. His Passive Promotion blog emphasizes “set it and forget it” methods of music promotion, along with a healthy dose of mixing advice. Brian is also a recording artist with twenty years of experience promoting his ten Color Theory albums. My hourly rate looks insanely high, but I routinely spend 15-20 minutes per submission. I offer mix consultation through my mastering company at $110/hour, and typically end up making less than that here. No hip hop please, unless you're just looking for mix advice. I've mastered plenty over the years, but I'm no authority, and it's not a good fit for my audience.
- mixing, mix engineer, piano, music production / mastering, music composition
- electronic, pop, synthpop
- Huntington Beach, CA
First off, what a cool idea for a song! I hope your daughter is over that now. Your vocal tone is lovely and expressive, but I'm hearing some yucky mouth smacks and the sibilance is overbearing. The build is very effective and for some reason reminds me of classic Sting. Maybe it's the way you say "hope" without the "h." I wish the second verse weren't quite so loud relative to the heavier section before it, but the build and oohs after are wonderful. The drums feel a little washy and garage-y, and softer than I'd expect, but I do appreciate how they allow the vocal to still feel intimate. I'm not ready for it to be over! Which I suppose is a good thing. Songs these days are so short, but I feel like there's still room to develop this one. All in all, quite a treat! The mouth noises are my #1 complaint. Maybe some people don't notice them, but I personally find them gross (mine too, no offense intended) and I work very hard to clean them up in WaveLab before loading the final vocals into my mixes. I'm not sure my audience is a great fit, but I'm happy to tweet this out! Hope it gets you a few well-deserved listens. EDIT: looks like it's not on your SoundCloud anymore!
Well this is very much a rock song! I love how you paint with so many different colors vocally. The mix is quite satisfying, with the vocal buried enough to really rock but not so low that you can't hear it. Incredible solo section! Then we get a bit... psychedelic? I'm there for it! Typically I provide technical pointers, but I'm not hearing anything here to fix. You've got a fantastic track here! The pacing is spot on and the structure really works. Sounds like a winner to me!
You're a bit of an enigma! No info at all, and nothing on your SoundCloud profile. Vocals are great, if loud, in the intro anyway. Whoa! Love the groove. Vocal bits are still a bit loud for my tastes. Those keyboard licks are magnificent! Ah, I found Hubstcy. That explains the amazing production! Structurally this is a bit hard to follow but I really, really like it! It inspired me to immediately hit play again. It's weird that what feels like the verse is smack dab in the middle of the track, and never comes back. Anyway, hope that kinda sorta helps. I'm not sure what you're looking for. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.
Wow, I feel like I just travelled the world! Some beautiful imagery, and some scary images too. The song has a certain campy charm to it, almost like City Pop. What I mean is that it doesn't sound modern, but it has a sort of old school character to it that I appreciate as a fan of both the 80s and anime. I think my audience might appreciate the novelty of the video and the musical production, since it's predominantly electronic. If not for the captions, I wouldn't understand the lyrics. It probably could've benefitted from being a couple of minutes shorter, but that's okay! I'm happy to share it.
I see this is already on Spotify, so I'll lay off my usual detailed mix critiques. You don't have an Instagram link in your Spotify bio! I highly recommend adding one. You have a lovely voice, and what a fun arrangement! I like the electronic touches, but I'm not sure quite where to place this genre-wise. Ooh, that synth solo! There's obviously some pop jazz going on, but I also get a gospel vibe (musically, not lyrically). The electronic elements make it tough to pin down. For better or worse, I worry you're falling through the cracks genre-wise. It's a bit too sophisticated for pop, but perhaps too lightweight for jazz fans, and not modern sounding enough for electronic genres. Regardless, I enjoyed listening to it! It's not a great fit for my Depeche Mode loving audience, so I don't think it makes sense for me to tweet it out.
Apologies Mya! I see this was submitted some time ago but I never got a notification. SoundCloud's poor encoding makes it tough to make precise suggestions, but I'll do my best. Until the heavier kick comes in at 1:06, it sounds really solid! It might come down 2-4 dB. The fill at 1:34 and the the quick notes at the end of each bar afterwards feel cluttered. The kick and bass are both competing for the sub bass range. I'm enjoying the new elements around 2:15, the wide-panned arpeggios. It's building nicely! Structurally this may be a tough sell, since there's distinct chorus or even a refrain that could serve as a hook. That said, I really enjoyed it! I suspect my comments are too little too late, but I see it's not on Spotify yet. If I'm ever late in the future feel free to nag me directly at email@example.com! Brian.
Congratulations on your debut release! For my tastes the vocal processing is too heavy-handed, but maybe you want it to sound autotuned. Your accent is noticeable but it mostly doesn't bother me. I can understand all the words. Sometimes "that's" sounds like "dat's" on "that's why." And "need to break da walls." In other words, your "th" sound could use a little work! The mix is mostly okay. I'd like a little less kick, a little more bass, and a little bit less vocal. The drums and vocals play and oversized role in the mix, and I'd like to hear more of the other elements. You could certainly release it as-is and find an audience for it! My advice in general is to just keep making and releasing music, and focus on the processing and improvement over time. You don't want to just keep revising old material until it's perfect, because it'll never be. Of course what's "good enough" is ultimately your decision! If you want to be known as more of a singer than a producer, you might choose to rerecord the vocals and go for a more natural sound. Thanks for sharing this with me! -Brian.
What a production Natalie! This is a huge accomplishment on so many fronts. Your vocals sound smoother and more natural than I've ever heard them, and blend into the instrumentation perfectly. The dancing is captivating, though I won't pretend to have any expertise in that area! I haven't heard the original, but I can't imagine it being better than this. I'd of course be happy to share it! I'm never sure how much it helps, but I can guarantee that at the very least, a lot of people will click over to your profile. Hope you're doing well! Brian.
Interesting sound! That bass sure is out front, at least in my studio. The production touches are really fun - the drum machine programming, the vocal echoes. I really can't place this genre-wise, but then again I'm pretty much just a synthpop guy as I explain in my bio. Ha! Well, I enjoyed the whole thing but I'm really not sure what to say about it. The mix is mostly dialed in though the master feels a bit "closed" - though that's typically what happens when you apply master bus compression to a mix with a sustained bass like that. Though i wouldn't normally consider it a fit for my Depeche Mode loving following, I've got an angle - I'll ask them what genre it is? Maybe that'll get you a few well-deserved listens. EDIT: I didn't read the fine print 😂. Maybe you can remind me on the 5th and send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for sharing it with me! -Brian.
Great to hear from you Henry! I like the electronic/sampled touches to what could've easily been an entirely organic arrangement. Wonderful vocals. I find the tambourine distracting, but honestly, I've got a thing against tambourines. Very cool hook and post-chorus break. Structurally you do a solid job maintaining forward motion. No complaints at all with the production, mix, or mastering. Sometimes those fun touches pop a bit out of the texture but I don't mind if they draw attention to themselves. I'm not sure what to compare this to, Jamiroquai? But it's a little more rock than that. I listen to pretty much all electronic so I don't have a frame of reference. Best of luck with the release, and thanks for sharing it with me! Brian.
I really enjoy the track Nelson! Your voice is the star of the show. I wish I could sing those high notes as effortlessly as you appear to in the video! The backing vocals add a lovely dimension to the chorus and compliment your voice beautifully. I pretty much listen exclusively to electronic music, but this reminds me of a Brian McKnight track I used to love. The "I know you can hear me" breakdown is super powerful, and the guitar solo coming out of it is... wow. The transition is moving. As impressive a song as it is, it's going to be a tough sell to my Depeche Mode loving following. I think the best strategy is to keep the tweet short and invite curiosity. Here goes! -Brian.
I make it pretty clear in my bio that I'm an electronic guy, but I'll do my best! First off, the production is totally on point! The vocals are tastefully tucked back to make the kick, snare, guitars, and bass sound huge. It works! Really virtuosic drumming! I really dig the double kick stuff, though one might argue that it overshadows the vocal, especially in the chorus. The vocals are especially nice in the upper register, particularly in the prechorus. Great harmonies. It's nice to hear a bridge for a change! These days most would cut it down to three minutes and skip it. All in all, I think it's a fantastic song! To my ears, it could've come out 10 years ago, fwiw. Unfortunately I don't know anyone in the right space to share it with, and my Depeche Mode loving followers wouldn't click on it unless I tricked them with the wording, and I don't do that. Best of luck with the release, and thanks for sharing it with me! -Brian.
Hey Pete, it's nice to hear from someone else with a music degree! I've learned not to mention mine, because people tend to think that trained musicians' music doesn't come from the heart. My son just applied to UCI for Psychology. This is a really nice track! Vocals sound fantastic, though I feel like the guitar and the harmonica compete with it for space. The harmonica I find particularly edgy and almost painful at points. It's hard to tell with YouTube's encoding, but the mastering feels a bit aggressive. I'd prefer a more open sound with this style. It's going to be tough to get any traction with this style. The track is competent but doesn't do anything to set itself apart. What's your hook? Your brand? It's not coming through in your bio. More to the point, why should anybody care? I'd share it with my following on Twitter but it wouldn't get clicks as they're all Depeche Mode lovers. Speaking of which, so am I, so take my comments with a grain of salt. It's definitely outside of my sweet spot. Hope that helps in a "wake up and set some goals for 2021" sort of way! Brian.
Based on the cover art, I thought this might be synthwave! I'm hearing drum n bass and maybe a little Radiohead? I thought you'd submit this as a video based on your description. Alright, and now it's psychedelic! I guess you described it pretty well. I know you're not looking for mix feedback but it sounds pretty solid. I can't understand some of the words from the processing, but the levels are on. This isn't a great fit for my audience, but I checked your Twitter for something to RT and came up empty-handed, since it doesn't release until the 27th. Not that it would do you much good, to be honest. I've got great numbers on Twitter, but it's tough to generate any traffic. Best of luck with the release, and thanks for sharing it with me! Brian.
That intro is hokey but fun. The volume levels are a bit off between the piano, SFX, and the track that follows. You've got a great voice! The song is effective, straight-up pop. The production feels a bit generic and soundtrack-ish / Disney. Not necessarily a bad thing for sync placements! I'm not getting a strong sense of identity but at the same time, the presentation and product potentially appeal to a wide demographic. But tween girls are probably the bullseye. This isn't really a fit at all for my old, Depeche Mode loving audience, so I'm not going to share it - but I appreciate your sharing it with me, and wish you the best in getting it out to the world! Brian.
That bass hook is infectious! Unfortunately it's way too loud in the mix and competes with the vocal. If it had a little less upper presence, it might work. Otherwise I love the production! The offbeat open hi hat drives me a little nuts, but I'm really picky about highs. The mix overall is super smile-curvey. The "when we're together" section is fantastic. Really emotive vocals. The guitar solo section has that nice 90s Cure tone. That's my frame of reference anyway. Yeah! I like it. My following is mostly into synthpop but I'll share it anyway. That said, some fine-tuning of the mix could really take it to the next level! Brian.
I can't believe it's almost October! I suppose trick or treating will be socially distanced this year. Great job with the video. It's a lot of fun and most importantly, keeps my eyes glued to the screen. Nice dancing too! The song is catchy and no-nonsense as well. You get to the chorus and it delivers! I'm happy to share this with my followers on Twitter. Hope it gets you some well-deserved views!
This is fantastic! Both the song and the video. I checked your Spotify and you should easily have 100x the monthly listeners that you do. This is sonically right in my wheelhouse, but no comparisons come to mind. Trance techo ballad works for me... except maybe the ballad part. I'll share the video and ask on Twitter! You may or may not know I have an entire blog dedicated to promotion at https://passivepromotion.com SubmitHub might be a good place for you to start. If it were me and I had a great video like this, I'd run Facebook ads as a "fan finder" (optimized for video views with no call to action or buttons), testing different parts of the video to see what gets the best response, and then continuing to put $5 or so a day behind the winning clip. Hope that kinda sorta helps! I really think you've got a winner on your hands here. Brian.
I like the fluttery chopped up piano bits! The mix is well-balanced and the arrangement is moves along at a perfect pace. Just when it starts to feel repetitive, it changes. The 2:00 section might be a little unbalanced. I'd like more bass and less of the main delayed synth. Still, I love the way it goes from narrow to wide. Really interesting soundstage, and great dynamics! You could probably get away with calling this synthwave! I suggest you submit to my friend's playlist: https://www.submithub.com/blog/oneiri-station Yeah, this keeps developing nicely and even the wind-down doesn't get old. Great work! I'm happy to share it. Hope it gets you a few well-deserved spins! Brian.
Don't drum and drive! 😜 Love the anthemic chorus and the spoken word in the post-chorus. Vocal feels a bit too out front, on YouTube anyway. It's hard to trust their encoding. Chorus strings are a little cheesy, disco-y for the rest of the energy IMHO. Other than that, the production is solid with the exception of too much compression in mastering for my taste. But I'm a picky sonofabitch. Solid song, great performance! It's not a perfect fit for my Depeche Mode loving following, but I'll share it anyway. Thanks for sharing it with me! Brian.
Congratulations on the new album Tim! When I was a kid, I had a Swamp Thing vinyl that I'd listen to all the time. It was narrated with people doing the voices way over the top. I daresay this could pass as synthwave! You should submit it to my friend Ben's playlist here: https://www.submithub.com/blog/oneiri-station I really dig the dark and sinister mood! It starts to feel a little repetitive to me around 2:30 fwiw. I'm happy to share it! It's neat to see you exploring this sonic territory.
Lovely piano sample! You've sure got the pedal noises turned way up! Wow, beautiful strings too. It must be really hard to promote this kind of music, at least in the traditional manner of trying to establish a fanbase. It seems like it would need to be in conjunction with video or at least some broader project. But what do I know? Fantastic work! That was short but sweet. It's not really a great fit for my electronic music loving following, but I'm happy to share it anyway. Ah, guess it's private. I don't see it on your profile. Well in that case, I guess the only thing I'd mention critically is that it may be a bit dynamic for casual listening. The swells around the 80% mark in particular. Great for an underscore, but I was tempted to reach for the volume knob.
The press release feels like it says the same thing three different ways. I'm not even sure what the opening line means. Rock has huge shoes to fill, but you guys don't think so, so you said it... why? I mean, I get the attitude, but it doesn't compute. Fwiw. Looks like you guys are having fun in the video! I'm a synthpop guy, so this isn't really in my wheelhouse, but I can appreciate the rock/blues thing. The air keyboard was especially cool. Production is solid and the vocal has the right balance of style and substance. A solid track! Wow, it's over already! I was expecting another minute at least. This isn't really worth sharing with my Depeche Mode loving following, but I wish you the best with it! Thanks for sharing it with me. Brian. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.
Catchy! Stellar vocals most of the time, but the pitch correction is blatant in spots, especially the three note melismas. The chorus really takes it up a notch! Quite anthemic. And the bridge is a nice change in tone and texture. Those high ad libs at the end are tasty! This isn't a great fit for my synth-loving audience, but I'm happy to share it in case it helps. Thanks for sharing it with me! Brian. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.
The opening has a Beatles vibe! I like to keep the pop filter at least six inches from the mic. 😜 What a great idea to just film yourself recording and create a video out of it. You've done a great job assembling the footage into something interesting, that helps draw attention to the song. If I'm being nitpicky, the vocal pitch on some of those long notes is questionable. I wish the drums entered sooner, and I guess what was the chorus didn't really feel like a chorus. Love the lyrics though. That central image is fantastic. I know the feeling! Genre-wise, this isn't a great fit for my #synthfam following, but if I pitch the utility angle of the video, that might get a few views.
Six feet people! It's nice to hear great songwriting. Really interesting chord progression and the arrangement is tastefully sparse. It sounds a touch muddy via YouTube but other than that, no technical complaints. Just so you know, my audience is a bunch of synth-heads and I think my profile even lists electronic genres exclusively, but I'll go ahead and share this. Hopefully it'll get you a few more well-deserved views/spins, but it's not exactly in my wheelhouse. But hey, a great song is a great song!
Beautiful! Your voice is lovely. I hate that this is now a thing, but the intro is probably a little too long for the impatient masses. The strings really take it up a notch, and the piano another. I've got nothing critical to say. Great song, solid performance, no technical issues. This isn't really the sort of thing my Depeche-loving following is into, but I'd be happy to share it. Thanks for sharing it with me! A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world. Brian.
The production is straight ahead mainstream pop, complete with the little vocal samples in the back that I'm hearing so much these days. The bass is the most distinctive part to my ears, with a Rick James flavor. The vocals are solid if standard. No complaints, but I'm not hearing anything that sets this apart from others in the genre. While I like the way the arrangement just sort of grooves along, I was expecting the chorus to take it up another notch. The end came as a surprise, far earlier than I anticipated. I felt like there was a lot more room to explore and expand, but I suppose it makes sense commercially. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.
Cool 80s style video! I'm reminded of INXS, in both the look and sound. Starting with silence like that could be problematic, but I'm over it once the track kicks in. Tell your keyboardist he's doing it wrong. 😜 Wow, what a short song! I guess it works. I really have nothing critical to say about the song, mixing, video, or performance. Great work! I'd be happy to share it on Twitter, which I will right now... Brian.
I listened to the original first, and I like yours better! How many languages do you speak? I'll get it out of the way — too loud. Both the overall track and the vocal level over the backing track. There's just no reason to pursue this volume level, because both YouTube and Spotify are just going to turn it down. Visit loudnesspenalty.com if you don't know what I'm talking about. By the end, the vocal level works. It would've been better to start quiet and build to this point though. It would make for a more satisfying build, instead of the sense that the entire track is gradually getting quieter due to the compression and limiting in mastering. I found the original a little boring, but this arrangement manages to stay interesting enough to hold my attention, again despite the language barrier. Happy to share this too! I'll schedule it to give the first one some time to breathe. Hope you're staying safe and healthy Natalie! Brian.
An important message at an important time! Hey, maybe that'll be my tweet. Solid songwriting with a strong chorus, especially the soaring falsetto. Production-wise, there's some room for improvement, with the exception of the strings. The piano and especially the drums sound unconvincing (the tone/samples, not the performance). The pitch correction on the vocals, especially in the first verse, stood out in a bad way to my ears. Now that I scroll down and see the team behind it, I'm doubting my own ears, but my first impression was that piano and drums had that "General MIDI" programmed character to them. Granted, I'm not on studio monitors at the moment. Hope this one does really well for you, and that I can get you a few well-deserved listens! Brian.
You had me with the title. Even though I don't really understand what it means. 🤔 A good friend of mine is putting together a similar album Inspired by Reznor/Ross, minus the excellent concept. Your guitar work sounds a little heavier and less polished (maybe not the right word) than those references. I guess it's not too far from NIN's Broken, which precedes his soundtrack work. The dynamics are fun and right on the edge of too much. Kudos! As a soundtrack, this totally works, but as a standalone work, I'm not sure I'd be inclined to fire it back up. I suppose that album would need to be taken in as a whole. Really nice job! I'm totally happy to share this. Thanks for making it easy with such a succinct and catchy elevator pitch. Brian.
That opening confused me! Thought it was the track and then it was over. Don't worry, I'm easily confused. 😂 Pretty dark subject matter for the age, but I guess that's the reality. I'm worried about the video and COPPA, since it could be characterized as "for kids." Anyway, I'm sure you've seen all the YouTube drama. I'm not sure the plot came through as clearly as it could've, but there was some dramatic and eye-catching imagery, so kudos for that. As for the track, the mix was okay and the production was pretty stereotypical for the genre. Musically I didn't hear anything fresh or memorable. I can't sing the hook back to you now that it's over. It felt like it ended too soon, but I understand the impulse to create short tracks in the current environment. Then again, hip hop isn't my thing. I even say "no hip hop" on my profile. It's not a good fit for my audience so I never share it. Good luck with the track, and sorry I can't do more to help! Brian
Natalie! Lovely song and video. I love how it eventually resolves to major, but only for a few seconds and we're back to the minor and mysterious. Must have been a fun video to make! The dancing is wonderful, not that I'm in expert in these matters. Cool that you "got your feet wet" too so to speak! 😂 The ending section is really powerful, epic and yet enigmatic. I think this is my favorite thing I've heard from you. Great work! I'm happy to share of course. Happy holidays and all that good stuff! Brian
Lovely! Of course I have no idea what you're singing, but the gentle rising lines have a certain optimism in them that we could all use right around now. Oh, I know "tutti" 😂 This has got to be a tough time #1 to be pregnant, if the image is current, and #2 to be a performer. At least #1 isn't interfering like #2 as it normally might. As usual, I feel like the mastering is a little too aggressive for the semiclassical style, but it gets the job done. Happy to share this! Moving on to your other submission... Brian.
Congratulations on the feature! Fantastic! Fun performance video too. I can't help but notice the chorus piano line isn't accurately reflected by the keyboardist. Odd that he's wearing headphones too. Whatever — these are things a fellow keyboardist notices! 😂 You've got a catchy song here, as I'm sure you know as it's been out for a couple years! I see it's on your 2016 album on Spotify. Obviously you want to do whatever you can to piggyback the exposure from the film. What if you released it again as a single, titled "Dance With Destiny (from Turnover)"? I'd absolutely positively run YouTube ads for search terms related to the film as well. I'll do my part in tweeting it out, though I'm not sure how much it'll help! Brian
Staring contest — IT'S ON! Kidding aside, this is super cool. Your voice is fantastic, and I love the style of the video. Nice use of synth and piano as well. This may be your first video, but clearly you have experience making great music. Or else you're working with someone who does! I don't have anything critical to say — the mix, mastering, and arrangement are great. I'm no expert in making videos but I like what I'm seeing! A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world. I'm happy to share this on Twitter as well, though I don't know how well it'll do among my Depeche Mode loving following. Keep up the great work! Brian.
You get right down to business! The recording feels a little rough, especially the drums. They are sitting pretty far back in the mix, but maybe that's okay. The snare, and to a greater degree the toms, are muddy. The arrangement leaves little room for the vocal, and in fact I have a hard time making out some of the words, despite the fact that the level is clearly high enough. The alternate sections (like 1:25) are a breath of fresh air. The hard panned guitars leave room for the vocals and everything is so much clearer! Unfortunately they jump up in perceived volume due to too much compression in mastering, which isn't ideal. They should feel smaller so there's a bump into the chorus. I'm not sure how I feel about the strings at 2:09. They feel out of scale, way louder than they would be in a room with the other performers. On the other hand, I can hear it. 😜 The backing vocals don't sound consistently in tune, but there's not much room for them anyway. Fwiw even if the mix were incredible, this isn't a great fit for my Depeche Mode loving following, so I likely wouldn't share it on Twitter. A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along. 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world. Hope that kinda sorta helps! Brian.
You're off to a great start! It reminds me of Beck. I'm not hearing the hip hop, and the only thing "space" or "psychedelic" about it in my mind is the delay on the snare. Mix-wise it's hard to say too much about what is arguably an experimental track, but the shaker in the right channel is way too loud for my tastes. Same with the second verse pad in the left channel. I don't know about getting an all-star group together unless you've either got a lot of money, or you've already established yourself through another project. And premieres are totally overrated. But you could try SubmitHub and see if anyone bites! Overall I like your voice and the vibe, but it feels like half a song. Then again, the trend these days is to keep it short to match our attention spans! A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world. Good luck with the release, and thanks for sharing it with me! Brian.
I like the piano tone and the overall melancholy vibe! The drums seem too loud until the main groove comes in at 1:21, especially the kick. Put another way, the non-drum intro elements could come up to put them in their proper scale. Not a huge fan of the cowbell. SNL jokes aside. The sub bass is a bit much both from the kick and bass. The bass could probably come down a dB or two, but I like a lot of low end so I'm not offended by it. 😄 The little synth lead that comes in after the main piano vamp gets lost. Then you go into Ableton Live 4-bar loop syndrome, where a new part. I guess 8 bars. But it just kinda meanders alone until the outro. Speaking of the outro, there's distortion on piano in right channel at end. Overall it feels pretty raw. It's obviously unmastered, but I'm not hearing a lot of tonal or dynamic control (EQ & compression) on individual channels. Fortunately you picked a solid piano sample so the foundation is strong! Bottom line, feels like a demo — the seed of an idea, but not a fully formed piece.
I guess I'm hearing these out of order. Fluence fed me "Wake Up" first. Bass (detuned 808?) seems a couple dB loud again, but otherwise the mix so far (one minute in) is good. The kick sits out front of the rest of the drums, but that's fine by me. I have a thing for quiet hats/cymbals. The piano feels distant, almost vaporwave-y. I like it! So again, this feels like it's all set up in Ableton session view, and you're just firing off the clips at 4 or 8 bar intervals. There are no chord changes or different sections — it's just one loop with different parts muted at different times. Again, some cool sounds and the seed of what could be an interesting idea, but you haven't taken it anywhere yet.
Alright, third time's a charm, right? 👍🏻 That open hi-hat on the downbeat reminds me of Rihanna "Umbrella". Love the reverberation around the piano, and the way the drums are pushed to the back. The bass sits nicely in this one. Timmy 😂 This definitely wins for most interesting chord progression. There's no sense of really moving to a new section, because it all stays close to the tonal center, but it feels a lot less repetitive than the other two. I was surprised to hear it cut out so quickly when we were just getting started. I'd say this is the most realized of the three. While it still feels more like a piano doodle than a completed track, there's some sense of forward progression, through the Timmy sample and the arpeggio and then it sits there for a bit, then teeters and falls off a cliff. 😜 The piano chord at 2:25 jumps out of the texture, reminding me that you could definitely use some (more?) compression! Bottom line, your whole SoundCloud page looks like a production diary or musical dream journal. Either you need a story to tie all those bits together, or you need to start doing the hard work of fleshing those ideas into complete tracks. Hope that kinda sorta helps! While I don't think anything is ready for sharing yet, I did enjoy spending some Sunday afternoon time with these. Brian.
I'm not sure what to make of this, but I like it! If you hadn't included the lyrics, I would've understood about 50% of the words. I thought the guitar was a little too present from the beginning, but the vocal is even moreso. The overall effect is a bit edgy and fatiguing. The performance is solid though! Oh hey, it's over 😂. It felt like you were working towards a chorus, but it never arrived. Going for a second listen, yeah, a little more warmth and a little less shaker would go a long way. It feels a bit like a novelty song, which I've had said about my songs before in a rather dismissive way, so I'm not sure that helps. So instead of novelty, it's more like the soundtrack to a movie I haven't seen, with all sorts of specific concrete imagery, which is of course welcome and encouraged — but it leaves me feeling like an outsider who didn't get the joke. Or maybe it's just stream-of-consciousness, and there's nothing to "get." Anyway, there's a lot to like here, and your originality shines through. It's not a great fit for my Depeche-loving audience, though I appreciate your sharing it with me! Brian.
I always have to turn down my speakers for your tracks! As I've mentioned before, the mastering feels way too aggressive for the genre. But now I'm just nagging... 😜 You've got quite a range! And you can roll your r's nicely 💪🏻. Love the way the arrangement builds, and all those vocal touches are spectacular. I'm a little confused though — you say all the vocals are yours, but then it says "live performance"? Clearly this isn't live. Wow, you took it up yet another notch at the end. It sounds positively huge! Happy to share of course. I hope this is the one that catches on! 🤞🏻 Brian.
Love the story intro! Really sets the tone. The piano sounds warm and the sax sultry. And your voice sounds wonderful, as usual! The horns and guitar really fill out the arrangement nicely. Talk about a quality cover! You've made it your own. Sooner or later, one of these videos has to tickle YouTube's algorithm the right way. Maybe this will be the one that gets the attention it deserves! I'm of course happy to share it. I'll queue it up for tomorrow! Brian.
More like Gentleman Ballers, amiright? 😂 ... sorry. I'm hearing 70s funk! Except... now that snare is kinda EDM, which takes me to a different place. The vocal still kind of fits the retro Diana Ross thing. Really digging the vocals. And the cool chord progression! Challenging but not overwhelming. Honestly, I don't listen to music for pleasure much. I blame podcasts. So my references are limited. I'm thinking Jamiroquai meets Daft Punk. It also reminds me of Röyksopp + Robyn. And a little bit of Disney Electrical Parade, Switched on Bach. Hmm... the arrangement came all the way back around and now I feel like I'm hearing the beginning again. And then a weird coda and we're out. Not so sure about the structure. Bottom line, I approve! This is sleek and stylish, and doesn't sound quite like anything else I can put my finger on. I look forward to hearing how it all comes together! A couple suggestions for future Fluence submissions: 1. Include the lyrics so we can follow along (I understood them just fine, but wasn't always focused on them) 2. Include a short, catchy description of the song or act that's easy to copy/paste for social media sharing. That way we don't have to strain our brain coming up with something clever, and you get to choose how you're presented to the world.