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Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility - Today


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Hello, all! This is my very first WIP, "Today", a remix of the daytime House theme from Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. I was going for a country kinda vibe but... well, I'll let you make up your own mind.

I will forewarn you that this is a very rough version. It's missing a lot of parts (backup vocals, bass, percussion, solos, etc). Also, it's a little quiet as I'm still working out the levels in Audacity (if you have suggestions of a better free program which I could use, please let me know).

Here's the source:


And the remix:


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Cool how you've made it into a vocal tracks. You wrote the lyrics yourself? If so, nice job. I can hear this is all played in one go, both guitar and vocals right? Sounds very live. The mic quality is not the best. But it's good. You got good rhythm in your playing. Overall good job man! If you plan on submitting it to OCREMIX, you should record every section of the vocals in as perfect pitch as you are able to. It's live sound is very good, but for a recording it's not quite there yet. But I think you'd perfect that fast!

Good job pal!

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Thanks for the feedback, LHH. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, especially in such a positive way. I'm hoping to get a better mic soon.

In the meantime, I've rerecorded at a lower pitch so I don't strain to hit those high notes. On that and all other issues, I'm open for suggestions.

The update:


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I wouldn't call myself an experienced singer by any means (been at it seriously for a couple of years now), but I'll try.

Your pitch is actually quite good for a lot of people I've heard. I think other parts of your singing need work though. From your tone you sound to me like a natural tenor. Those high notes shouldn't be giving you much trouble at all. If they feel uncomfortable it probably means you have a problem with proper breathing.

I think your voice sounds a bit more nasally than it should. You're going to have to open up your voice by using deep breathing techniques as you sing. I'm not sure if you've really practiced breathing for singing; it's very similar to how you breath when you sleep. When you yawn is the perfect time to go for a really high note on the exhale (just try singing opera and see what happens). Anyway, as a practical exercise, keep your shoulders down while you sing; force them to stay down if you have to. We tend to breath from a higher position and force the notes to come out rather than give them the support they really need, which only comes from deep natural breathing. Always stand up while you sing while maintaining good posture. A good singing posture allows a natural flow of air.

Anyway, I liked the first version (the higher one) much better than the second version. You seemed to have much more energy, although I'm sure it probably felt uncomfortable for you. I remember when I first started I would feel very uncomfortable going past a C or D. Now I can sing almost a full octave higher using my full voice (although it takes me tons of energy to hit that Pavorotti high C since I'm a natural baritone).

Once you master deep breathing then it becomes much easier to have complete control over your voice and add emotion. Once you get to the final stages of mastering a song, you need to sing the meaning of the words, rather than try to hit the notes. Only then have you truly mastered it. It sounded too much to me like you were just singing words and not really singing what they mean.

Now as for the actual song, I would recommend singing the introduction in a lower voice (like you did for version 2), then moving it up a full octave higher for the energetic part. Of course it's going to take a lot of practice working on your range, but from what I heard I think you have the talent to make it work. Just keep practicing and especially work on your breathing to get the maximum breath support possible to sustain the high notes (the higher the pitch you sing, the more breath it takes to sustain the note).

As for the guitar part, I'm not crazy about the guitar part in the beginning of the song (although I'm a pianist, so you don't have to take my word for it). I'd recommend some slower strumming or arpeggios to make it more interesting. It would make the song feel more emotional in my opinion. I enjoyed the faster part of the guitar playing, however, so just keep it up what it is you do. Drums and bass and backup vocals may not be necessary; there are plenty of good acoustic songs out there also. At least worry about mastering an acoustic version first.

As for Audacity, it's a decent program for recording (at least as far as free software goes), but really not ideal for mixing and mastering. If it's all you have the budget for, fine, but you may eventually want to invest in some better software. I've used FL Studio for years (since 3.0) and it hasn't let me down (and it's a steal at under $100), although you may have to learn some really advanced mixing techniques if you want to produce quality music using the software. However, it's hard to find a better deal on a complete software package.

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Thanks for the input, Lee. I appreciate that you put so much time into your post.

I do think the vocals need a lot of work. It's been a long time since I've sung with any sort of technique and your suggestions will definitely be put to use.

Actually, I had been thinking about starting with the lower pitch and then upping it for the rest of the song, and had added arpeggios to the opening (I removed them from the mix as I thought they were too obtrusive, probably just because of volume and rhythm). I'm hoping that the next updates will be created in a different program, using a better mic, with improved lyrics (and emotion), and perhaps adding additional instruments (I agree on keeping it acoustic, though).

Thanks again!

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Okay, I've made quite a few changes:

  • reverted to original key
  • changed intro notes
  • changed final refrain
  • played/sung with emotion and, hopefully, some control
  • recorded with a new mic (though not the better one that's hiding somewhere...)
  • tried to find the right input settings for my computer

It's still quiet, but, personally, I think these have made a world of difference. You be the judge!


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Interesting. I've not heard many remixes with vocals. It's nice.

Now, for the breakdown. (Mind you, I'm no music expert. To each their own.)

The guitar is great rhythmically, and it sounds like it would have a good tone if recorded well and eq-ed right. I'm not an audio engineer, but are you recording the guitar through a room mic, or on the pickup inside the guitar? It sounds more like the latter, but I could be wrong. The melodic lines you play when you let up on the rhythm part are golden. Might I suggest, as mentioned before, that you record the parts separately? You might get more clarity on each part that way.

A touch of reverb on the vocals and guitar would do a lot of good I think.

There's a note in the very beginning on your vocals...it's a lower one, and the pitch isn't quite on. Your pitch overall seems fairly accurate, and a little help from a program like Auto-Tune would help out a lot, though I strongly advise you not rely heavily on it. That would be cheating. :)

Do you plan on adding more parts to this? I think some strings, pads, and especially some bell tones would rock this song out like mad. Though, there is value to the simplicity of two parts.

I hope some of my feedback helps. I'm new to this too. =)

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There's a note in the very beginning on your vocals...it's a lower one, and the pitch isn't quite on.

<heh heh> I know which note you mean... Yeah, I need to re-record that bit. I'm getting back into singing after a long hiatus. On guitars, the rhythm work was recorded under different input conditions than the melody but I hope to fix that soon.

Do you plan on adding more parts to this? I think some strings, pads, and especially some bell tones would rock this song out like mad.

I am definitely going to include a violin for the second melody and some soloing. I hadn't really considered pads or strings but you've got my imagination going now.

Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

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Nice! I like this, its very moving.

I do agree that a violin as a second melody would really add more depth to the song as well as a second solo. Are you recording the guitar and vocals in one shot? Or separately? Either way, it still sounds pretty good.

A little reverb, especially on the vocals, might add some more dimension to them and make them stand a little more.

All in all though, its very good so far!

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Are you recording the guitar and vocals in one shot? Or separately?

Thanks for the comments, (Ninten)Joe!

I'm actually recording the parts separately, which leads to a few timing problems. I hope to find my quality mics and use them to record simultaneously for a somewhat live, unplugged feel.

I've got some modifications up my sleeve and effects like reverb, which you mentioned, are definitely in my plans. Hopefully I'll have some time to work on the song this weekend. It's competing with about twenty other WIP projects I can't wait to start!

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, not my best guitar work or singing, but it's still a WIP, after all.

Known (technical) issues:

- There's a bit of fuzz in certain parts.

- The guitar overpowers the vocals after the opening.

- I'm still tweaking the levels now that I'm recording both at the same time and using a decent mic.

- Some clipping for the source.

- Microphone noise.

Rough as it is, I wanted to get some feedback as there are some changes since last time, particularly at the end (with a little improv).

Still to come: violin! (and better performance overall)


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