Spotlight Kyd - Spring Break (Big Band/Jazz/Latin)

Hi all,

here’s my submission for the Libre Music Challenge #29: MDA Piano:

Made in Ardour 8.6 on Manjaro Linux.
Composed, performed, produced, recorded and mixed by Christopher Arndt
Released under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0 license

More production info on the SoundCloud page of the track.

You can also download the track as a FLAC file from my Nextcloud server:

The Ardour project is available as a project archive at: Nextcloud

Share & Enjoy

Chris aka “Spotlight Kyd”


I like it. My only subjective opinion in what I would change if it were mine (it’s not of course) is that I would have the volume slightly less different between the louder lead instrument, especially the first one (a flute?) and the keyboard and drums in the background. It’s your baby, so do what you want. I have not watched a Hollywood movie in a long time, but I know that the volume range from very low to very high is something that annoys me, so I may be biased. The big movie makers must know what they are doing. My tastes are rarely mainstream.

I once got a song mixed at a recording studio, and the audio engineer wanted to put heavy echo on my vocals (which were not very good). The song was about jackhammers, so I the idea of somewhat thunderous echo made sense, but it was just not my thing. I don’t like heavy effects as a substitute for composition. I thought your piece was happy and uplifting, and that is something I don’t get enough of. I hear a certain style of I guess Mexican music on the local radio when I’m cycling through presets, and I pretty much hate it. I think it’s polka music. I hate it more than country. I even like some small percentage of country music. You were way better than that, IMHO.

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, abyss!

I totally get your comments about relative levels. The mixing of this track is very basic. As a submission for a month-long challenge I worked on this on-and-off during April but the bulk of the work was done during the last three days. And in the end I had to rush things to have the track ready in time. So it was really only mixed on-the-go, while I still added stuff, and at the end I just slapped a tape saturation emulation, a multi-band compressor and a limiter on the master bus and called it done :wink:

Sadly, this kind of thing happens to me often, when participating in these challenges. But on the other hand, the time pressure helps getting things done in the first place and sparking inspiration. :slight_smile:

And music with a happy mood isn’t usually my thing, so I’m pleased that I seem to have created something with feeling of levity in this instance.

You’re welcome. I have yet to use Ardour in any meaningful way. My goal is AV not music, and I am no where near production much less post. I understand there is a side chain thing (if that is the right term) for making one track diminish in volume according to the volume on different track. The possibilities are endless and not obvious. I don’t understand saturation emulation, and I am not asking. I see what you accomplished as a victory. I am only looking up from a lower level of ability.

You have not hit your audio engineering ceiling. Having time and energy to pursue what one wants to pursue is a challenge or worse for most of us as far as I can tell.

I think your song is happy, not in an in-your-face kind of way but in a self-assured kind of way, in an unflappable way. That’s my two cents.

Like I said, my tastes are fringe, so take it with a grain of salt. I used to play open mic nights, not so many times. I found that the audience was always consistent (and correct, I suppose) about what my good and bad songs were. The consistency across different sorts of people is scary to me. I have no explanation for how that can be. I lack people skill (or acceptance).

I’m sure that if you get a decent feedback sample size from people who are uninhibited by social concerns about your feelings, you will get ‘the truth of the market’. Yet, the market is also fickle. “Time in a Bottle” was not a hit until Jim Croce died tragically in a place crash. Narrative/image seems to be a big driver, as well as ‘the distribution people’ getting what they want, at least at the professional level. Anyhow, those are my thoughts.