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Final Fantasy 9 'You're Not Alone Vocal Mix'


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I'm on my second year on this mix, and I swear it's never going to be finished, but I'm going to try. I wrote lyrics to You're Not Alone from Final Fantasy 9 some time ago for a friend going through tough times, and sadly since I've gotten an arrangement of it I've never been able to finish it to my liking.

Sadly, I know my voice isn't really suited for something like this (and yes, I'm almost certain everyone who posts here is going to say that), but it's my mix and I want to get it done as best as I can.

What I have hear is the first 'finalized' set of the main vocals here. There is harmony, and if you want to hear the old version, you can check out my website (signature) to see where this is going. No vocal effects have been added, because I'm asking peoples opinions on intonation and other tips on the vocals in general.

4-20 Update

Take My Hopes and Dreams

Download here

3-30-07 Update Download

4-5 Recording Up

Please, constructive criticism, and anything that might help me out here! Thanks!

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Lyrics, for those who want them.

"I am so afraid,

Everyone I know runs away,

Walking into darkness and turning away from me.

I reach out for them,

Calling to them, wishing they'd come,

They don't even look back, they keep on walking away.

I'll turn my back too,

Reject those who've rejected me.

Take my hopes and dreams, turn them into my nightmares.

I'll walk to the dark,

Find my way out all by myself.

Forget all the rest, just have faith in no one but me.

And you're not alone! There's someone waiting there for you,

Right out before your eyes.

Put your trust in them, just as they put their trust in you,

Strengthening your resolve.

And you're not alone! You've got friends there to pull you through,

Fighting your demons strong.

Show them all your hopes, hold your dreams out for them to see,

Let them know who you are.

And you're not alone! There's someone waiting there for you,

Calling your name out loud.

Never turn your back, keep your arms open wide for them,

Keep them right at your side.

And you're not alone! You've got friends there to pull you through,

Standing right by your side.

Realize your hopes, bring your dreams to reality.

Always know who you are."

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`I `am so afraid,

Everyone I know runs away,

Walking into darkness and turning away from me.

`I reach out to them,

Calling to them, wishing they'd come,

They don't even look back, they keep on walking away.

`I'll turn my back too,

Reject those who've rejected `me.

Take my hopes `and dreams, turn them into my nightmares.

`I'll walk to the dark,

Find my way out all by myself.

Forget` all the rest, just have faith in no one but me.

And you're not `alone! There's someone waiting there for you,

Right out before your` eyes.

Put your trust in them, just as they put their trust in you,

Strengthening your res?olve.

And you're not alone! You've got friends there to pull you through,

Fighting your demons strong.

Show them all your hopes, hold your dreams out for them to see,

Let them know who you are.

And you're not alone! There's someone waiting there for you,

Calling your name out loud.

Never turn your back, keep your arms open wide for them,

Keep them right at your side.

And you're not alone! You've got friends there to pull you through,

Fighting your demons strong.

Realize your hopes, bring your dreams to reality.

Always know who you are.

Bold - Unnecessary Scooping

Italics - A little quiet. Either too quiet for the section, or the consonants don't come through clearly enough.

Underline - Sharp

` - Too much emphasis on the consonant or too much of a voiced vowel.

? - Something funny about the pronunciation at this point.

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Well damn Escariot hit all the points on the vocals.

I just have something to add in general. This song really pushes the limits in terms of the octaves your voice can reach. Why don't you sing a full octave lower, and then take a copy of the vocals and transpose them up an octave. Then have both of them goin, you can automate between the two and apply different FX to get to some really cool variations. I don't if doubling the vocals with the higher vocals transposed up an octave will sound good or not but it's just an idea.

Another way would be to sing a lower octave then have a synth playing an octave higher. EFields might have to switch up some of the octaves where the instruments but overall this might make for a more well balanced song.

Overall I def like the lyrics the the embelishments and flow you put on them in different places.

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hello everybody, its been a while since i posted a review. anyway, some of the lyrics when sung sound out of tune, meaning in those parts it doesnt sound good. you need to work on perfecting the vocals. if you want a good example, listen to pixietrick's songs. also, until a little bit later, it was pretty repetitive, something that even in some of pixietrick's songs is a problem. as for the song other than the vocals, other than the repetitiveness of it in some parts, it was very good. keep on working on it. good job so far!:wink:

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You said you haven't applied any effects to the vocals so I'll assume that something to bring the vocals all to the same volume is included in that. I think a good deal of the issues will disappear once the volume is (relatively) constant. The only thing I can really add to the things that have already been said is that you're delivering the vocals like...staccato. I usually see it happen when people aren't 100% comfortable in front of the microphone, but it could also be because you're trying to be clear with the vocals. At any rate, the bests parts of the song occur when things are flowing together fluidly. A staccato-like delivery typically sounds more forced and tends to throw off the pitch at the beginning of words.

Hmm, and you sound like you're a little too close to the microphone when recording. Might try giving yourself a few extra inches and see how it sounds.

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I agree with the other posts as far as how the vocals sound....they do need a bit of refinement and mastering done. On the plus side though, the instrumental portion of this arrangement is kickin.......and I think u have a great structure to your arrangement.

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Agreed with Avaris and Altus - it sounds both like you're straining outside your range, and the staccato delivery is awkward in many places.

But! The first two chorus sections that start "You're not alone" are much better and sound more natural, with the lower, smoother delivery. It still sounds like you're straining on highs there, so yeah, I think lowering by an octave in most places will help--also restricting the amount of high notes, and being more selective about which ones you keep: those you can hit with power instead of strain.

In general, there is a nasal and tense tone to the singing, which I think comes at least in part from straining outside your range. Try singing from lower in your chest, and perhaps as aforementioned at a lower pitch. That's just generic advice remembered from church choir many years ago, so please take it with a grain of salt. :D

To me, your pitch actually sounds pretty good for the most part--the only parts that stuck out are the very strained highs, and some of the dips towards the end.

Anyway, this has a lot of potential overall imo, but it's resting on your vocals. Find the spot where you can sing in a more relaxed way, which will let more of your strength and expressiveness come through. Right now when I'm listening to this I'm focusing on how tense you sound instead of the whole song itself, which makes listening uncomfortable. But again, there are parts where you seem to be singing more naturally, and those are great!

Keep at it, you definitely have the talent to pull this off. :D

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You have a good voice, but it's sooo hard to get the right tone since this piece varies quite often...heck I'd think that the lead-singer for Evinescense would have to try quite a few times just to get it all on the right key. If you rly try hard then u can probably get it. That coming from a lazy butt who tries to be a writer/music composer, but can't organize himself to do so, is kinda ironic, but hey - I think u got what it takes :D

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The lyrics are great, but like many people have said, were a little off. You can do it, I see you have the talent. If done right, this definately should be put on the site.

Edit: Just thought I should say, I haven't been able to stop listening to it for two hours.

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The lyrics are great, but like many people have said, were a little off. You can do it, I see you have the talent. If done right, this definately should be put on the site.

Edit: Just thought I should say, I haven't been able to stop listening to it for two hours.

That's great that you like it, but wait until it's finished until you listen so much! That way you'll really really enjoy it (hopefully!)

I have a chance to record on Thursday or Friday (or maybe both), but I'm unsure of what direction I should go in. The shorter version I originally did has more power, but the longer one probably sounds a little better. Anyone have suggestions on which I should use, and or if things need to be changed in them? Any comments are greatly appreciated.

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You may remember when I reviewed Summoner's Love, I said that if you try to force lyrics on to a game soundtrack without them origionally, the result won't be too good. Well forget it. The lyrics and your vocals mesh perfectly with the melody. This may even top over(do I dare say it?) DJPretzel's 'Town Life' which I think is the best vocal remix on the site.

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I listened to the original version, but didn't comment on it at the time. Based on what I've heard of your singing (both WIPs here and material from your GooglePages site), here's what I have to say. I'm not a fantastic singer myself, so take my comments with a grain of salt. Also, none of this is meant to criticize in any way, but to help you.

Firstly, phrasing. I have a feeling that when you were singing this song, you were focusing on being clean: hitting all the pitches, having the right timing, clear diction, and so on. What you missed out on though is some of the more musical aspects of the melody and lyrics. The most noticeable is the number of interrupted phrases, places where it sounds like you're probably taking a breath when you don't need to or where you're just not singing legato enough (in my opinion anyway). Looking at the opening few lines, you have something like this (| signifies a break)

I | am | so afraid |

Everyone I know runs away |

Walking into dark | ness and turning away from me |

I | reach | out to them |

Calling to them, wishing they'd come, |

They don't even look | back | they keep on walking away. |

In my opinion, it would sound better if the only breaks were at the end of each phrase. Based on what I've heard of your music, you're not a strong, powerful singer; instead, your voice has a soothing, haunting quality to it. I'd think you'd do your best singing on more lyrical pieces; while your lyrics and the melody of this piece suit you, I'm not convinced that the instrumental part suits you as well as it could. It sounds a bit too upbeat and peppy given what you're doing with the melody.

I'd also suggest that you change the line "Calling to them, wishing they'd come" to "Calling to them, I wish they'd come", just because the phrase puts the accent on the second syllable of wishing, making the word wishing sound a bit rushed and unnatural.

Another tiny comment is that there's a buzz when you sing the words "demons strong" on one of the choruses.

Lastly, your dynamics don't vary a lot in most phrases. I've been told a couple times that any good jazz musician who wants to play standards should memorize the lyrics in addition to the chord changes and melody, because putting the right emotion into a tune makes a world of difference. You have some great lyrics here; I'd suggest you record a take focusing most on the lyrics and singing them musically.

I really like your voice. I think this mix has a lot of potential, and I hope some of what I said helps you. Good luck!

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I

I'd also suggest that you change the line "Calling to them, wishing they'd come" to "Calling to them, I wish they'd come", just because the phrase puts the accent on the second syllable of wishing, making the word wishing sound a bit rushed and unnatural.

Is it me, or does it switch from first person to thrid person from time to time? At the beginning, it seemed that you were taking the role of Zidane, hence the, "Everyone I know runs away". But then comming from third person saying "but you're not alone, you've got friends". Just a thought.

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DA - Sorry about that... Didn't realize you'd be up this early to check it...

Analysis:

Well, as it was said before, it's quieter, and while you're paying attention to pitch, you're losing a lot of energy. Also, phrasing was mentioned, which is why the lyrics were hard to hear and write down unless given to me. There's still a minor pronunciation issue that is now more clear in this version.

0:34 - "intO" - Almost sounds like "ew". Almost sounds like two separate vowels the way you separate it. But that's the note change... You can't change sounds as you change pitch or it sounds like another word... At least not here...

0:38 - "mE" - Way too much "E". Try to keep your vowels well-formed. You can hear that your mouth widened when singing that.

1:23 - "I'll" - "All turn"?

2:43 - "Are" - Too much "AHHH"

2:59 - "OUt" - Because of the pitch, it sounds like "Ah oot loud". Again, refer to 0:34

3:10 - "kEEp" - Another "wide" E... Consistency is the key. Again, refer 0:38

Those are my major pronunciation beefs. And now onto pitch.

0:26 - "I" - Takes a while to get to the right pitch.

0:43 - "Calling" - Sounds SLIGHTLY sharp...

0:50 - "on" - Sharp

1:26 - "Reject" - The "ject" sounds a little higher than the rest of the word

1:30 - "Take" - Just sharp in general

1:36 - "Nightmares" - This one was really tough to pick out, but you need to remember to listen to the background music, and not continue in a key of your own. At this point, everything is a little off.

1:43 - "Forget" - Starts sharp

1:58 - "For" - Sharp

2:29 - "Demons Strong" - "mons" goes way sharp, and "strong" follows, not as high, but still sharp for the intended pitch.

2:59 - "Out Loud" - Sounds like your voice was really losing it around this point... No energy there, or even evidence of effort.

3:26 - "Your" - Seems to be the high notes in each of the phrases

3:30 - "Realize" - Again, the "al" of "realize" is not as low as it should be.

3:40 - "Are" - Not talking about the turn this time. But it takes a while for your voice and the background to match on the sustained note.

Oddly enough, you complain about this song being too high, yet your tendency is to sing a little over the pitch. Try to record smaller phrases, but more often... I'm not saying a track for each word, but where you can comfortably pick up, try doing each phrase separately and pick out the best of each. Also, you probably could have used the "OooOoooh" from the last track(s) on the end of this one.

Conclusion: A lot of the previous errors were fixed, but again, you lost a LOT of energy. It may have been the time of day that you were recording, I don't know. Either way, great job cleaning up most of it. Just a little more to go. The pronunciation issues are just consistency in the forming of your vowels.

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