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Author Topic: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
Posts: 224
Post SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 14, 2012, 10:29

"Chupacabra" Rough Mix

Hi folks — here's a very rough version of a track I'm working on with my guitar + drums duo band, Mental 99. It from our second album, which is still pretty far from completion.

I'm posting this as an sample submission for the forums new "Work in Progress" group, which you can read about in this post. But it's not just an example — I really would value your feedback. 🙂

I'd love feedback on several issues. The biggest one is has to do with the fact that, while our first album was recorded live to disk in the studio without overdubs, this time around, we tracked all the drums with non-keeper rough guitar tracks, and now I'm trying to flesh them out in my home studio. (You can hear some examples from the first disc here.)

Obviously, there are infinitely more sonic possibilities available via overdubbing, as opposed to the live looping I used before. But the looping limited my choices in a good way — the tracks seem to have a nice, dyed-in-the-wool quality. Now there are almost too many options, and I fear the new stuff could just sound like a bunch of disjointed overdubs. There are some cool sounds here — but do they merge into a whole?

Also, I really wanted to keep the main melody simple and repetitious, like a dance track, and make it evolve via subtle scoring changes, rather than via solos or melodic variation. But it is too monotonous? Should I cut some of the sections?

Other notes: The percussion overdubs aren't keepers, and the mix is really rough. There's so much cowbell on the percussion breakdown that even Chris Walken would ask me to turn it down!


Posts: 47
Post Re: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 14, 2012, 11:28


As usual, I am impressed with your work. (I've gotta get the Mental99 album from Amazon soon).

I like the song, it track seems to be something like minimalist post-modern gypsy music. The rhythmic elements make me want to move - tap a foot or even dance - and the staccato breaks add some needed tension. Also, the melodic theme does keep me involved through its evolution - I don't think the track needs to be cut.

I think you've done a good job of keeping the parts in their own sonic space, and it doesn't seem too muddy to me. However, the choice of instruments (or instrumental sounds) doesn't seem quite "cohesive". The breaks don't seem to quite fit with the main theme.

I think you're headed in the right direction, just maybe a few tweaks.

Keep it up!


Posts: 7
Post Re: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 14, 2012, 18:51

I think the melody, bassline and drums are too similar in their rhythmic approach. It makes it sound very stiff and mechanical. I'm picturing the musicians all having giant wind up keys on their backs:)

If it was me, I'd leave the melody alone and try working on the bass. It seems the least interesting. Maybe it's a matter of tweaking the rhythms to get more of a groove going. Or maybe one more element needs to be added to weave it all together.

Over all I like the concept. I like mixing different music genres together as well.


Posts: 236
Post Re: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 15, 2012, 05:07

I have decided that I only want to do recordings live because I think feel is much more important then the so-called pro tools perfection deal.With that in mind will you be able patch those really different sounds together while playing live ? Those breaks scream for a bunch of incoherent notes but that is just my reckless inability to contain my fingers.All in all it sounds like you are on the right track for what you are trying to do. Does not sound like disjointed overdubbing to me and has the effect of a whole set of phrases merged together pretty cleanly.


Posts: 192
Post Re: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 15, 2012, 16:42

I keep expecting some Esquivel-type "zoo-zoo-zoo" or "doink!" vocals to come in. And/or a steel guitar gliss to the stratosphere.


Posts: 105
Post Re: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 17, 2012, 13:41

You've definitely got that dance groove down. It makes me want to get up and move while wearing clothes that violate every rule of modern fashion.

The breaks are iffy to me, though. Which are you aiming for, the sense of surrealism that the breaks bring or the groove of the song. If the groove is more important, I would suggest keeping something in the breaks to maintain the melody. If the mismatched genres and strangeness of the song are what you want to focus on, then, by all means, keep calm and carry on.


Posts: 23
Post Re: SAMPLE POST: Mental 99, "Chupacabra" [ROUGH MIX]
on: August 18, 2012, 07:57

i don't think the overdubs are distracting, they have their own space but i think they blend with the track just fine. The percussion overdubs during the breakdown might actually be too polite -- maybe consider going all out Luny Tunes latin-dance track style. I was hoping for some solo playing across the pause at 2:43, a response to the drama of expectation, but that might seem too cheesy. The problem when you embrace the dance floor is you risk embracing the "cheese factor." Ignore the risk -- mas queso, mas flow!

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