(FP) Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

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(FP) Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:22 am

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Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Maroon 5 - Harder to Breathe (Acapella)
Keats - Heaven Knows (Album Version)

This is intended for The Alan Parsons Mashup Project. We still need (lots of) material if you are interested in contributing.

Keats was a one-album rock band formed by APP regulars and produced by Alan Parsons. I highly recommend this album ... those guys could really play, and the lyrical content is more approachable than typical APP material.

Technical note: Maroon 5 is a bit hot because the Keats vocals were surprisingly hot (imho) and I wanted to try and match them.

Version 3: (MashGyver pella; actual megaphone)

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Version 2: (vocal tweak; final mix tweak)

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Version 1: (vocal processing; rephrase 2nd verse; timing tune-up)

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Version 0:

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Version 3 download link
Last edited by warezio on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:06 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:14 am

:1shocked: Well I knew this when I heard your demo in the Chat Forum: the first 1:20 or so is one of the coolest things I’ve heard in a LONG TIME! Not even familiar with Keats, but you’re right--some serious musicianship there!

I’m not sold on the second verse, timing-wise (or the last 40 seconds.) It’s probably not your fault…Keats doesn’t exactly make it easy there. It seems like the vocals come in a half a beat earlier than they should at 1:20 and stay that way, and then the change at 1:37 seems odd and unnatural. It’s very possible that it sounds worse in its original syncopation, and you’ll probably tell me that--I’m just having a hard time digesting them they way there are currently. :1undecided:

That vocal track also sounds strange and very…digital?…Is this studio-quality or a DIY? Or does the change in pitch and tempo just make it sound worse? Maybe a boost in mid frequencies and some more reverb would help, but I have a feeling there is a better quality version of that acapella that would make this whole thing sound better. By the way, they’re not hot to me…just tinny and DIY-sounding.

Also noteworthily spectacular: @2:37 “Harder and harder and harder and harder to breeeeathe!” [cue sax solo] :1grin:

Really excited about this one. Hope you can find a solution for those tricky spots.

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:22 am

MashGyver wrote::That vocal track also sounds strange and very…digital?…Is this studio-quality or a DIY? Or does the change in pitch and tempo just make it sound worse? Maybe a boost in mid frequencies and some more reverb would help, but I have a feeling there is a better quality version of that acapella that would make this whole thing sound better. By the way, they’re not hot to me…just tinny and DIY-sounding.

Yes the acapella gave me trouble. I started from an ogg-based multitrack (promising), but with extremely dry vocals with little stereo width (huh?); still this was much better than the youtube acapella which was a train wreck. Then I shifted up a semitone using tb voicepitcher v3, which was much better than I could do by hand, but still introduced some "robot". So I did some eq, some reverb, then doubled up the vocal track and then shifted it by different amounts in left and right channel.

I'll hunt around for a better acapella, but if anyone out there has some processing suggestions that'd be appreciated.

MashGyver wrote:I’m not sold on the second verse, timing-wise (or the last 40 seconds.)

I'll play around with phrasing.

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:01 am

warezio wrote:I'll hunt around for a better acapella, but if anyone out there has some processing suggestions that'd be appreciated.


I listened to the original Maroon 5 track again, and it seems they were shooting for a nearly monotone center panned old-radio-esque sound. Thus I think there is no better acapella, I'm just not processing it properly.

So, any processing tips would be much appreciated.

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:59 pm

Hurray for the internet!

https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how- ... n-audacity

I still have to work on the phrasing, but I think you'll like the vocals better in the next version.

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:27 am

Version 1 posted.

I tried to "de-tinnify" the vocals. Hopefully it sounds better. (This is yet another potential application for neural networks in sound processing: one could imagine constructing a training set of (degraded vocal, original vocal) pairs).

I adjusted the phrasing on the 2nd verse, and put some fx on "did" to ease the transition.

For the final 40 seconds, I'm a bit boxed in, but I tried to tune the timings up. Another option is to just let it run only Keats except for the final crucial call-and-response "Is there anyone out there? Heaven knows".

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Re: Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:15 am

The EQ might still use a bit of tweaking (minor) since I too found that even Version 1 still sounded a bit "tinny" and the vocal placements after the big sax solo are less than optimal, but they work.

However, this mashup is simply outstanding, and even without these corrections it would make a proud addition to the Front Page, IMHO.

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Re: (!) Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:49 pm

satis5d wrote:The EQ might still use a bit of tweaking (minor) since I too found that even Version 1 still sounded a bit "tinny"

I'll play around some more. I think I could pump the high end if I can find a way to de-ess. (I spent all last night doing a mashup with the HTB instrumental track not using any of the HTB vocals at all, just to get my frustrations out, so tonight I'll be ready to wrestle with it.)

I feel the vocals at the 2nd verse are a little soft relative to Keats circa 1:37, so anyway I wanted to tweak things a bit.

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Re: (!) Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:57 pm

Nice work Warezio. :1smiley:

Try running your vocals through a limiter. The RMS increase should make it easier to EQ and mix from that point on.

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Re: (!) Warezio - Harder to Heaven (Maroon 5 vs. Keats)

Post Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:10 pm

(Version 2 posted)

Happy Cat Disco wrote:Try running your vocals through a limiter. The RMS increase should make it easier to EQ and mix from that point on.

This was cool in one way: it made the vocals sit much better with the instrumental because the words were coming out at a more consistent level and ended up more intelligible. I could turn down the final compressor settings which led to less artifacts at the beginning. I'll definitely add that to my bag of tricks.

But unfortunately I don't think I reduced the tinnyness of the vocal that much despite additional tweaking. The source acapella has been processed in a way that I'm not sure can be undone.

Anyway I feel the levels circa 1:37 and other places are better.

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