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Thanks for the 5's for "Maybe It's Love". A pro reviewer kicked me in the rear and got me to do a remix of "Maybe" and this is what happened. Looks like it'll be pitched in Nashville....
Been listening to some of your latest and am really impressed with your guitar work in so many different styles and the recordings are flawless! Good stuff and fun.
Thanks so much Bill! Good luck with your music pitch in Nashville!
Jim, the album you're putting together is outstanding. Once you release it, I'll be sure to include it in my news. I don't have a great deal of visitors but those I know really should take a listen to what you've been doing. John
Thanks so much John, I really appreciate the feedback! I've been putting a lot of work into this album, trying to give each track all the attention to detail to make them as good as I can. For this one I'd spent a lot of time trying various things that didn't work (even bought a banjo), and editing out parts that I'd spent hours on earlier, in order to make it flow better, etc. Its very encouraging to get some positive feedback on this stuff. As you know, sometimes you slave away on your tracks and feel as if nobody is listening. Thanks so much!
You're much welcome, Jim. It is a delightful listen and I could really hear each instrument very well. I know what you mean with trying to perfect it. I think I remixed, refined, and uploaded "Raindrop Soul" about four times before it seemed just about right. I just remixed "Equal!" and upon listening, I like Jenny's powerful vocals but I'm getting a bit of a screech in the higher notes so I think I may have to go back in and do some slight cutting with the equalizer...it could be the frequencies that aren't heard that could even be causing it. But the good thing is that I've got those tracks where I'm the pickiest one over them. I'm going back and fixing several others, too.
Yes, we're often the most picky people over our own tracks. I've been involved with an online group of composers where we submit tracks to a team of professional composers and get them reviewed by those guys. Just when I thought I knew what to listen for, and get picky about, those guys are teaching me new things to check for in my tracks that I'd not been aware of before. A lot of it comes down to selectively cutting various frequencies in some tracks to leave room for other tracks that take up the same areas of the audio spectrum, along with careful panning of tracks to separate them in the stereo field. If you ever want a summary of what I've learned, I'd be happy to give you a brain dump, if that would be helpful for things you're working on .
If you have a brain dump ready, I'd like to read it! I practice panning, cutting, limiting, limiting. I have found a lot of online articles and tips, but some are written much better than others. I think the values to compress and where to cut are the trickiest. I have some urls I can send, and just listened to a frequency test last night. Interesting stuff as I tend to have the geeky mind. I'm taking a guess you may be familiar with things as writing markup, code, operating systems, and building computers? That made the entire thing of mixing/mastering an interesting thing to try.
I don't have anything written up specifically that I can share. Its mostly a collection of things that I've learned from taking Bobby Owsinky's Mixing Tips course, mixing tips from an Orchestral Composing course, and mixing tips from Sync Academy ... that all say the same kinds of things. Its also not a one-size-fits all approach that can apply to all music, but a way to approach your tracks to get them working well together. It would probably work better via screenshare. The problem areas for my tracks (due to the instrumentation) are always the drums, upright bass, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars. I have to find the nasty frequencies in each of these and tame them, use saturation (really helps acoustic instruments especially), and compression as needed.
This is really turning out to be a great series you're working on. "Signs Along the Lonesome Highway" is a particularly good piece. I like long stretches of open road as well. I think I've traveled nearly all of them in the Mojave, Colorado, and Great Basin deserts of California and Nevada. Favorites are CA 62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy...also my inspiration for "Far From Home"), CA 78 to Blythe, Amboy Road, Kelbaker Road, Morning Star Mine Road (I took my little pickup at 80 mph over the waves in the road with no one around for miles), US 95, and some roads in the middle of Nevada. All of them were peaceful.
Thanks so much John! I've lived in the Southwest for most of my life. I've spent a lot of time driving on roads with wide vistas where you see long lonely stretches of road, mountains in the distance, miles of open terrain with only a few small abandoned buildings on them. This kind of thing has always felt spiritual to me. I've often thought about musicians and songwriters that grew up in this kind of landscape and thought that it shaped their writing style also. Its amazing to think of all the great songwriters that came from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansans, ... (Roy Orbison, Jimmy Webb, Leon Russel, ... Pat Metheny ...) I can recall when I lived in New Mexico, driving home from college on a dark road where I didn't see another car for 200 miles. I even turned off my headlights and drove by moonlight on that road one time. Thanks for your kind words on this self-imposed album project I'm working on. I decided to go all in and try to write an entire album of music that I really enjoy. Its been really fun, and a lot of work. Hopefully I'll have some luck in finding a library to take my tracks, that's going to be my next task after I complete the album.
I think my favorite Jimmy Webb composition is "Wichita Lineman." A few others who lived in the desert or visited them frequently were Frank Zappa, Harold Budd, and Dewey Bunnell ("A Horse With No Name"). Jeana Potthoff put two albums on Amazon, Spotify, etc. I don't know how it's working out but she went through the ropes. Her albums are just beautiful. I have a new song up, "Raindrop Soul." Oh, and if you feel nostalgia for the old days when we drove the desert highways, go into the old cafes for burgers and fries; a favorite song is one of Bob Bentley's new ones from last spring, "Back to a Younger Me," which is a wonderfully great song.
Jim, "Tripping in Zambia" is a wonderful piece, full of variations and definitely the psychedelic sound. It's also the best tune the Ventures never recorded!
Thanks so much John!! I really appreciate the comments
Jim, your retro Americana series is going along great. "Bar Room Brawl in Bakersfield" is an entertaining, strong tune that rocks. These days, of course, it would end with gunfire, especially in Phoenix. I have to feel sorry for any poor soul who gets stuck in Amarillo. Your tunes have the feel of the titles you've given them. It's a great sounding series you're working on. John
Thanks so much John, you don't know how encouraging this is for me to hear. I started this album project as a bit of chance, not knowing if I could pull it off. Its great to hear that someone "gets" what I trying to do and understands the vibe that I'm going for. Yes, Bar Room Brawls these days are not fist fights, and yeah, if you've ever been stuck on the side of the road in Amarillo you might understand why I used some of those sounds.
Hi, Jim. Did you ever capture it on "Neon Motel Boogie." That thumping bass is terrific! I like that lap guitar. You like Brian Setzer? I have "Dirty Boogie," an excellent album. John
Thanks so much John! Yes, I love Brian Setzer. I actually have a Brian Setzer 6120 Gretsch that I'm using for this kind of music. It's my absolute favorite guitar. I love his playing because he takes a lot of chances in his playing, borrowing elements from Jazz, Country, Rockabilly, etc. He is a true master.
Here's to the very best composer in all of Arizona! I'm very happy to see you at the top of the Arizona, Unique, and Soundtrack charts! I've been waiting to see that happen. You have great composing skills that I admire. You are able to put across any emotion, any message, in your music, and you do it with care, purpose, and thought, and that's a big difference.
Thanks so much John! I really appreciate the kind words! Its especially helpful right now since I've been somewhat discouraged lately, with several songs rejected for different opportunities. I keep wondering if I need to change my approach or something. I appreciate the encouragement. Good luck with all of your music projects!
You're much welcome, Jim. That's the question for those of us in our group, The Rising Tide (Lifts all Boats) made up of myself, Robert Quigley, Jeana Potthoff, and Warren Hein. We are baffled, too. More on that in a private email. But of all of the tunes on BJ, there are a few songwriters who really know how to compose really terrific tunes and songs (my opinion anyway) and you are among them. I wonder, too, if we're just from a different time when songcraft really meant something. All the very best to you, too. Jim.
John, thanks so much for being so supportive to other songwriters out there. I can see in your latest news that you regularly mention other artists that people should check out. Its nice to see this!
Thank you, Jim! There are several songwriters as yourself who create such good tunes that I enjoy, and the latest news can be updated frequently. It's a good place to introduce others to what you and others are doing. Thank you for noticing. John
Greg, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my arrangement of Oh Christmas Tree. Hope that you have a Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas, Jim!
K Nelson, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my song "Oh Christmas Tree - Gypsy Jazz".
You Are Most Welcome ... Great Job ... May The Spirit And Joy Of The Season Be With You Throughout The New Year!
Thanks so much, you as well!
Thanks so much for the 5 stars on my songs Along the River Bank and Song For Berlin. Very much appreciated!
You're very welcome, Jim, and thank you for the 5 stars on Equal! I admire your compositions and arrangements!
Thanks so much John!
Thanks so much for the 5 stars on Oh Christmas Tree. Good luck with all of your music projects and hope that you have a fantastic Christmas
"Along the Riverbank" is a lovely piece that would please Eric Tingstad. I listened to "Song for Berlin," too, also a beautiful composition with the feel of meandering through the varied streets. You really write both elegant and earthy compositions, all very enjoyable.
Thank you so much for the comments John. I really appreciate it! Good luck with all of your music projects also!
Jim, listening to, "Oh, Christmas Tree" nice arrangement Sir, 5 Stars & Likes!
Thanks so much Corey's, very much appreciated! I just finished this one. I try to do a new Christmas Carol arrangement each year although most of them I don't post on Broadjam, just on my youtube channel for fun. Merry Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday!
Richard, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my song The Forest Much appreciated.
You are very welcome Jim. Happy to listen.
David, I'm listening to Booty Funk, ... digging it! I love those harmonica swell sounds, and the guitar parts, really cool!
Thanks Jim, you are always generous with positive feedback which always gives me a little boost! To be honest it's full of old samples I've got laying around my computer and a bit of a rush job too (bass could be funkier). I kept thinking it was a bit too repetitive but I also can see this sort of track in the background of one of those late night roulette gambling shows when they are idly chatting while they wait for punters to place bets (ha)
Thanks for the 5 stars for "A Day at the Country Estate". You have so much great music on your page I could spend all day there. I left a couple 5 stars myself.
Much appreciated Richard, nice to meet another real professional out there! Which of course your stuff is!
I'm always happy to see my favorites go to the top of the chart, one of which is "The Forest" at #1 Unique. Wonderful to see it there, Jim!
Thanks so much John, I really appreciate it. I feel lucky to have a song appreciated. Best of luck with all of your music projects!
I'm a big fan of Wes Montgomery, I love your cover of Road Song. Awesome stuff!
Thank you, glad you liked it. There's more in that vein in our song list. We'd appreciate any star ratings you care to give.
Eric and Ray, thanks so much for giving my song Space Age Man Cave a 5-star rating. Much appreciated! Good luck with all of your music projects!
John, thanks so much for the 5 stars for my song Rock'n In Memphis. Its very much appreciated! Good luck with all of your songs and hope you are enjoying this Arizona weather as much as I am!
Jim, you're very much welcome! I always enjoy listening to your tunes. When I saw the new one in the notifications, I had a feeling it was really going to be very good! Yes, we like the cooler temperatures. It's a nice relief!
Hey there Jim Pfeifer, just heard your Killer tune, "Rockin' In Memphis", very impressive playing Sir, and really love the arrangement.......5 Stars & Likes!! You are a real Pro Guitarist & Producer!!! Bravo!
Thanks so much Corey's, this made my day. I really appreciate it. I just finished mixing my track tonight, and I wasn't sure if people would like it. I have a fondness for the retro sounds. :-) Thanks again!
Jim, is that you playing Live/Real Guitar?? If so......it sounds Great, you are a real Pro!!
Thanks so much Margie and Art. Yes, is me playing my Gretsch. I had to take several passes to get a usable take but it was my own playing. Thanks again!
Jim, all I can say is WOWZA............Hot, Hot, Hot!! I hope no on was Hurt in the recording of this song!!!
Well, Jim, you sure touched some old memories with "The Invasion of Mayberry." The Ventures and my favorite "Hawaii Five-O," "Mannix," "Nelson Riddle's "Route 66, "Twilight Zone," "Mission Impossible." I definitely enjoyed what you composed!
Thanks so much John, that was exactly what I was going for on that track. It was a self-imposed writing assignment that I gave to myself, to try to recreate the sound of some of those old TV shows. I've always loved the music from that era. It had so much personality.
Those were composers who really knew the craft. One of my favorites was "The J and M Stomp," the ending theme of the Jack Benny show, by Mahlon Merrick.
I really loved the pieces by Henry Mancini. He was a true master. I've also enjoyed some of the whacky compositions by Juan Garcia Esquivel - they're hilariously odd and really cool.
I also miss the days when most TV shows had a very recognizable theme. There were such great theme songs all over TV (The Odd Couple, The Man from UNCLE, The Munsters, Hawaii 5-0, Dragnet, Green Acres, etc.). I got to meet a famous studio guitar player from The Wrecking Crew (Tommy Tedesco) who played guitar on many of these. He was one of my heroes growing up. I wanted to be a studio guitar player like him.
I have a compilation album of Esquivel. His wacky experiments were among those moments that defined the 60s. Mancini was a genius, and Mercer wrote some wonderful pieces on his own. That is remarkable that you got to meet Tommy Tedesco! All those shows you mentioned are themes I grew up with and enjoyed, and they were so unique. As songwriters go, I met Gerry Beckley of America in Boulder, Colorado. I had drawn a caricature of them and put it on the stage. Gerry stopped playing his part of "A Horse With No Name" so he could reach down and grab it before a fan could. I admired the songwriting of Stephen Stills, David Gates, Richard Carpenter.
Tommy Tedesco, Nancy Wilson, Stephen Stills, are all wizards to me. I could never do that with my poor coordination! I really wanted to write great songs and draw cartoons...odd combo but I immensely enjoy both. My awful playing can be detected in "Sunny Sunday" so I started using other people to play and sing on songs like "Stay Here Now" (Carpenters influence) and "Far From Home" with David Luke (Stills influence).
Thats's a cool story about America. I've always loved their songs. I agree about all of those other songwriters. It seems that this was the era of exceptional songwriting, I think because their was a business that supported it. To think that that within a 15 year period you had Lennon & McCartney, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Carol King, James Taylor, Elton John, Cat Stevens, not to mention Billy Joel and others.
John, thanks so much for the 5-star ratings and playlist adds for my songs. I really appreciate all the support! That's cool that you're also a cartoonist! I wish there were more hours in the day, and that I didn't have to work a 9-5 job. There are so many things I'm interested in spending time to develop, in addition to writing more songs and trying to get better at this whole thing. This is what I love doing though, putting songs together and taking an idea from nothing to a finished song. There's nothing like the thrill of hearing a song come together that started as a simple idea on a guitar.
Jim, I really admire your compositions and arrangements! Also, like you, I wish I didn't have to do the daily workday... mine is at ADOT from 7:30 to 4 as a graphic designer making everything from maps to animations. I've always had several interests. There were a couple of decades where I enjoyed making web pages and that led into building computers, getting into operating systems...Windows and Linux. I liked Apple only up to System 7 and that was a long time ago! I have painted, but songwriting was always more private and my family looked upon it as some silly thing I liked to do. I got back into it a couple of years ago after shyly playing "Far From Home" for my wife, Lora. She was surprised and said the song was very pretty. That was about a year before the pandemic. I got back on Broadjam and began teaching myself how to mix and master tracks to pursue one of the things I've always loved since I was a teenager. As you put it, it is taking a musical idea from my imagination, playing it roughly on my guitar, then arranging it to make it sound like the music I loved while growing up. It really is a thrill! My first catchy song was "Sunny Sunday," which I wrote when I was 21...actually woke from a dream with it in my head. The funny thing is that I recognized the influence a few years later...a song from maybe the 40s or 50s called "The First Time." The quality of your tunes, Jim, sound like the result of listening and learning from the true masters of songcraft. In a way, it does remind me of an 80s song with the chorus, "They just don't write 'em like that anymore." Seems so true. Everything from Mancini/Mercer, the writers for Nat King Cole, Michel Legrand, Lennon/McCartney, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Stephen Stills, Paul Simon, so many more from that time I could name.
Many thanks for the stars and your enjoyment of "Far From Home," Jim. That is a particularly nice compliment as you are a composer that really knows the craft!
I love all of the atmospheric sounds and transitions in this one. Really cool! Digging it.
Thanks Jim for positive comments on "Velvotek" I seem to enjoy playing around with these chilled and slightly off kilter urban vibes. For some reason when writing one of these I always have an image of a dark rainy night looking down on a quiet city or that scene out of Blade Runner where the humanoid/robot is sat in the rain on a roof (in the dark) waiting to die because his time was up. Yes i do like a bit of Sci-fi (I prefer the old Blade Runner to the new one though). Thanks again
Marilyn, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my new Ukulele song. Much appreciated! I hope that everything is going well for you!!
You are very welcome, great track, Jim.
Thanks so much for the 5-stars on my new Ukulele piece :-) I'm already working on a re-write for this from our friend Ben K. I'm hoping that he likes version 2. One can only try.
It sounds great. My only suggestion (to make it perfect) was did you repeat the first 2 sections? I should have had another listen before telling you. It would be perfect if the first 2 sections didn't repeat. Perhaps version 2 you've not repeated so often? which would then be perfect for commercials. But loved it anyway! Great work Jim, there will be no problem getting this placed (I would be proud of it)
Hi David, thanks so much. Yes, there are several repeated sections in the melody. I could go back and try to make the melody less repetitious. I was trying to make it have a Verse-Verse-Bridge-Chorus kind of pattern but that approach may be making it kind of boring, so I could try to re-work that and have another go. Ben's feedback was that he needed the song to be less aggressive and even more laid back :-) so I've tried another version where I dropped the tempo a little and eliminated all but the acoustic guitar and a single Ukulele for melody (it was a little difficult to pull off, since the Uke has very little sustain and so I had to try a few changes in the phrasing to make it work). Thanks again for providing some suggestions to make it better. You're awesome! I hope that things are going well for you in your new studio!
I've just realized you are altering the track for Ben at Epitome (LOL) of course! I always have to change the track 4 or 5 times before he is happy! Can't understand why he doesn't want this as a full track "as is" and then a couple of variations such as sparse mix etc. But he seems to know what he is doing. I am glad Ben is using your talents (you are the only writer I have ever suggested to Ben that he should take a listen to. That's how talented I think you are!). Although Ben can be a little annoying requesting alterations to an already great track, I admit, he has guided me so that several of my tracks have turned into something far more than I expected, so I am grateful to Ben for that! Those tracks are now used in shows like "when sharks attack".... Did I tell you about a female UK composer had a track that nobody wanted for many years (almost every library rejected it) until a famous bank took it for their TV commercials. She has been able to buy a new house with the royalties from a track nobody wanted! Doesn't that give you a little boost! Just a little luck is all we need Jim!
Thanks so much David! Yes, I will really feel like I've accomplished something if I can ever get Ben to accept one of my tracks. I assume that his opinion is worth gold since he is the music supervisor :-) I'm just someone knocking on the door for a chance to get one of my tracks used. But his guidance on this track forced me to go back and really make it more subdued and chill, which is what he seems to want. It was challenging and forced me to go back and learn some techniques in Cubase to re-use my guitar part, dropping the tempo without messing with the pitch ... and it worked! So I'm hoping that he likes the new re-written track. If not, then at least I'm learning things. One of my friends in LA knows the guy who wrote the jingle for Rice-a-Roni. He said that this guy made so much money from that one jingle that he bought a custom Porsche, ... he calls it his "Rice-a-Roni Mobile"
Hi David, FINALLY I have a track that has been accepted by Epitome Music. This is a major accomplishment for me :-) The best news I had yesterday when I got a note from Ben saying "I have no additional notes, please provide the stems and sign the license agreement".
That's great news! He will now keep you in the loop for future requests! If the original mix is quite different you could possibly re title it and use elsewhere? I've done that before now!
Hi Jim just to let you know that a company called Dreamtouch have just asked for my contact details regarding a track I submitted over a year ago! So don't give up on Broadjam just yet!
Thats fantastic David! This is much better than the "There are some good compositions here but no Broadjam artist has been selected this time" message that I'd been seeing too many times. I hope that this Dreamtouch opportunity results in a placement!
Yes I've seen that a lot too! It does make you suspicious? I've often wondered if the opportunity provider gets a percentage of submission payments! That would explain a few things? Looking at the listing for Dreamtouch though, the listing was for a film about city night life and the vibe they wanted was dreamy and fantasy so I sent them "Caught The Night Chill" I was the only one selected (gave me a nice confidence boost). Will let you know what happens!
Yes, I've had the very same suspicions, that some of the providers are getting a cut of all the submission fees and may not be truly representing the artist best interest but only collecting a fee from Broadjam for an opportunity that they've already filled from someone else. (I could be completely wrong about that, but when you have no feedback other than "nobody had what we needed", then I start to wonder if nobody even had a chance at all). That's cool. I'll go back and listen to your track. Yes, thats a real confidence boost when you have a track that is selected. You're one of the very best composers I've seen, so I'm not surprised at all with your selection. Remember us mortals when you're famous! :-)
Hi Jim, just had another nice surprise. Audiosparx have featured "Killer Clown Rap" for Halloween! I wasn't going to use this track because of it's over violent lyrics (I've turned many rappers down over the years that glorify violence) but then I realized this silly over the top rap could work in a horror film. Well fingers crossed it gets picked up!
Wow, that's great news! I hope that you get some placements from that. Good luck with the song! Yes, I don't blame you about the glorifying-violence kind of thing. I've never liked that in any music genre. But if you're making fun of it (satire) especially for Halloween then this is different.
Great job on the production and writing for the song Two Spies. I love the chord changes, vocal harmonies, and the overall production
John, I loved the song "We Didn't Have Time Enough". Great melody and chord changes. I love the production on this also, with just the voice and guitar, awesome!
Thank you, Jim! That is very meaningful to me as you are an excellent composer, musician, and producer. I love the music you write!
Gator Alley is a fun romp, Keepsakes is pensive and pretty. and Daybreak...well, I agree, strong coffee really makes it! You're very melodic and I like that very much. Audrey has a very nice voice.
Thanks so much John! Much appreciated!
Jim, you're absolutely right about the 50s and 60s "over the top" happy commercial themes, and "Give Me Park Avenue" is spot on in recreating that sound. Also, many thanks to your stars on "Rainflakes." We luckily escaped several of Phoenix's power outages last summer. We're hoping this summer isn't as sweltering! Best to you! John
Thanks so much John! Hope that all is going well with you in our Phoenix Summer.
Thanks so much for the 5-stars on my song The Forest. Very much appreciated! Good luck with all of your music also.