I told Jeremy that when I like a song, I’m always tempted to do a cover version. I guess I must like “At My Window” very much, ‘cos here’s a second cover that has a rock feel to it (at least that was the intent).
Variations from Jeremy’s original:
- Jeremy’s original chords were “[G/C/G/D] x3 + [G/Am/C/D/G] x1”. I added a “G/C/Em/D” to his third line, i.e. “”[G/C/G/D] x2 + [G/C/Em/D] x1 + [G/Am/C/D/G] x1”.
- His original was all verses and didn’t have a chorus. For this rock cover, I used his first stanza as the chorus; the second and third as my main stanzas.
- I added a break using “Em/C/D + Am/G/Bm/Em”; for the lyrics I used the first line of his original fourth stanza.
The vocal melody is drastically from Jeremy’s original. From a folksy tune, it now sounds more like… I don’t know… Lazy Rock? LOL. Anyway I hope it’s “good-different” and not “bad”!
- To get the “rock” feel, I used the “80s Pop Rock” drum loop from GarageBand. I used the distortion effect for the guitar, and also added a Acoustic picking (both recorded direct into GarageBand).
- Additional instruments/ arrangements were: a Bass rift; thunder and rain sound effects; Orchestral Strings; Piano
Some learning points about Vocals recording and editing
To make up for what I lack in singing talent, I rely on over-dubbing/ layering, and Flanger + Chorus effects. Usually I’d set one track to have the Chorus effect, and a Flanger effect for the duplicated track. I discovered that this added volume to the vocals.
One problem with too many layers/ over-dubbing was that it over-boosted the overall volume, causing the volume to “red-line” (i.e. create an unwanted buzz). One obvious way was to lower the volume setting for each track (sometimes for a particular segment of the track). The other way to was to split some tracks to a left and right pan, like so:
Another problem with vocals — mine tended to sound muffled (like the first cover version). It could be due to too many effects, or the quality of the recording equipment, or most likely the quality of the singer! So what I did this time was to use the built-in Graphic Equalizer effect. I lowered the bass frequencies and upped the treble frequencies ever so slightly. There was a noticeable improvement, in that vocals were less muffled.
[Jeremy’s first stanza became the chorus]
Rain falls gently as it comes to my window
Reflect the warmest haze of the lazy summer day
The pitter patter falls as it echoes and the winds blow
All is dark and gloomy on this quiet month of May
[I used his second and third stanzas as the first and second verses]
She calls silently as I watch from my window
Her face so warm and tender, soft is her hair
Wait now lonely heart, now gently as we go
We give no words but then a glance is all we share
The lonely memories linger on at my window
Tell all the stories of the days that have gone by
Oh bring, oh bring me back to the place only we know
That very place that I could never say goodbye
[This was the break; I used only the first line from Jeremy’s fourth stanza]
Clouds roll gently by/ as the sun shines through my window