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Heaven on their Minds - Stone brothers' collaberation

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ronws
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This is a collaberation between my brother and me. Of the stuff I have recorded, he liked my voice best on this song and thought I am best suited for this type of music. That could be blues-based 70's era rock (considering that Led Zep, Deep Purple, and Uriah Heep were important to me) or theatrical music, where the story is important, requiring interpretation of what is essentially a libretto.

He played all the instruments in this recording, provided the pre-mix bed track. Made really good editing decisions, requiring me to re-record the track and then excise some bits that, while fun for me, were a little pitchy and just didn't fit this song. So, if you like this, it's mostly him. All I did was warble into a mic. Basically, he is wearing several hats. Musician, arranger, producer, recording and mixing engineer. So, this is a case of me singing with a band, rather than a karoake track, as it were. The only way it could have been better is if I was there in person. (Logistically not possible. He lives in Maine, I live in Texas.) But email and mp3 encoding formats make things possible. In addition, he is a husband, father, and has a day job.

I used the Sennheiser e835 mic on this. He asked if I petered out on the last. It was on purpose. The sub-text is that I was Judas, growing exasperated and frustrated and worn down that my warnings against things possibly going way wrong would not be heeded. I follow the Geoff Tate school of sing. Sing the what the song means to you.

And now, this recording is the perfect compliment to Bob's (videohere) performance of "Gethsemane."

Enough rambling, I'll think of more, later.

"Heaven on their Minds" by Slstone, featuring ronws (vocals.)

http://dl2.dropbox.com/u/8750209/HeavenOnTheirMinds.mp3

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Well, Scott's mixing tricks are his own and are a closely guarded secret, so, I have no idea what he had to do. My part was easy. Just sing the song. From what I know about mixing, the trick is to be more subtle than over the top.

Anyway, thanks guys.

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I like this quite a bit Ronsw. This is the first time I've heard you sing a song with this kind of mobility over your range, and I really love hearing it. There are a couple places that could be polished in pitch which is understandable considering the length of track (might have been intentional for effect too), but for the most part it's fantastic. Passionate, it works well with the backing and mix your brother created and you were in great voice.

My brother and I were recording some music again finally after maybe a year of neither of us seeming to want to. Maybe I'll consider making some backing tracks for people here. Might be good practice, and potentially rewarding since I can't sing anymore to hear someone else on top. I've been considering writing a giveaway song for people to take a shot at here with a backing track and guide melodies, but nothing I have written has been cheerful or impersonal enough to work with. Now that I can't sing them, writing songs is very hard, not that it was ever easy.

Anyway, this is yet another Ronsw inspiration, and thanks to Slstone too. Apparently you have a knack for showing me inspiration when it's hard to come by, but I'll try not to let the pain and bad situation stop me and maybe I can get my own brother to help. He's also better at mixing than I am, I'm more of a live musician and he's better at composition and tech stuff.

Edit:

Came back for a couple more listens. It gets better with every listen man! This is one of those performances that crawls into your consciousness. Catharsis. Keep working on this style of singing. This more 'movement and story' oriented singing is just perfect for you. This backing track is seeping into my blood too. Seriously nice job guys.

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Bravo, Ron, i agree with Keith, this song is your best effort according to me. Did you keep a little more distance to the mic now than before, Ron, or is it a mix thing or perhaps both? I prefer to listen to your belty chest instead of listening to your falsetto ( airy head voice) a´la Darkness. I think you should continue on this track.

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Thanks, again, guys.

Killer, yeah, this song grows on you like a fungus. Good luck getting rid of that. It took me a couple of listens and I would hear something different each time. There are still a few pitchy spots but I had the right feeling when I was doing this. And yes, this song gets into my head and my head gets into this song. For about 3.5 or 4 minutes (whatever length it is,) I am Judas Iscariot. And I think this kind of singing and type of song requires more acting. You have to be the person who is expressing this emotion and prose. As opposed to some pop and rock songs which are more about sounds (nothing wrong with that.) But I have always liked songs that had a story.

And thanks, Olem. My normal singing is like this song more than the Darkness songs, it's just that I can do a falsetto at loud volume and it was so fun to do those songs and I am also glad that they provide inspiration to Killer, for example. But, believe it or not, my high notes in this version are not me singing in chest. It's what some might called mixed, but essentially, my old thought processes come to bear. Imagining the folds are are close together and making a small note that I resonate until my forehead rings. That is, I don't think of them as chest notes. I think of them has head notes that have the right volume and ring.

It was also easy for me to sing this song because I have been singing it a really long time. So, I probably felt more relaxed.

Edited to add:

I meant to address one more question from Olem. I actually kept the mic at a stable distance from me. The rest is letting the mixerman adjust levels as necessary in combining the tracks. Other times, I have moved the mic back and forth and it played hob with levels. So, this time, I kept the mic about 6 inches from me, hand held, no pop filter, using the e835 (a dynamic mic and less prone to overload than the studio condenser mic.)

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