Understanding (Just a Little)


Here’s an original Soul/Reggae influenced song done with Ardour3b5 and once again making use of Hydrogen, linuxDSP and Calf plugins. I find the chromatic lift in the Dmaj7 chord either interests people or drives them nuts…either response is appreciated…:). This song features Pete C. on organ and bass.

Song is here: http://www.bandshed.net/music/Understanding(JustALittle).mp3

Thanks for listening, any comments or questions are welcomed.

Hey Glen,

Not bad at all! Don’t know why you mention the chromatic lift in your post. I think it’s fine and there’s no need to finger-point at it, it will only attract some undue attention. See ? I wrote way too much about it already :smiley:
Anyway, I like the song, not my style but well played and sung. The mix may benefit from some more … mmm … dynamic is not the word, but it sounds a little flat on my studio monitors. Well, these monitors do have a rather neutral bias, but still. Maybe it is the sequenced drums, it’s a little 2D sounding to my ears like some depth is missing maybe, but anyway, nice song :slight_smile:


Hey there thorgal,

Thanks very much for listening and commenting, I think I may know what you mean, I would guess you are referring to the ‘Reggae-ish’ verses which have a half-time shuffle beat, I’m not 100% sure if I’m loving the hi-hats in that part, they sound a bit heavy and give the illusion that the groove is a bit laboured which all cleans up when the chorus parts move to the ride cymbal… That exactly why I put these tunes up for the benefit of a second (or third, or fourth) set of ears. Thanks again…back to the mixing board…

Great vocals man, i liked it a lot

I didn´t care too much about that chord, if i have to say something about it… i believe that arrangement is unecessary specially having that great voice in the song…

after a while it felt a little repetitive sound-wise some chords but nothing really important, nice song, great vocals.


Thanks again for listening and the kind comments, You make a good point about the kick, it does sound good on my studio monitors and on a decent car stereo but it is a little weak on standard issue earbuds ( which for better or worse are the gateway to most peoples ears now). I’ll mess with it, certainly seems like it could use a nudge in the 250-400Hz range, thanks for your suggestion!


I replaced the original with a remix with new closed hi-hats doing a more funky 2-handed pattern, it really opens up the verses for the vocals and other instruments and gives much better movement to them…that was a great lesson learned!

Thumbs up Gmaq!

Dan the comparison man sez this reminds him more than a a bit of Van the man, this time, which is good going as he’s one of my fave warblers.


Thanks for taking time to listen, I wasn’t really thinking Van in this tune but certainly there’s some similar ‘blue-eyed soul’ elements. We do actually cover Van fairly extensively in my weekend cover band:


GMaq: Sounds good. I’m glad you’re doing so much recording lately; this is really good quality stuff. Your vocals get better with every song, and on this song in particular, your vocal tone is f***ing awesome. I agree that the hihats in the verses are jarring, I’d love to hear the edit, but I think I would just have played the 8th notes instead of 16th, and with just a little swing, as if the drummer was doing that thing where they swipe the stick back and forth across the hihat. Also, since you asked ;-), I would either use a different kick, or change the eq to give it more “whap” (top end click). The way it is (and indeed on most of your tracks) is very bassy, and while I can hear it well in my studio on some nice monitors, I have my doubts that a kick like that would translate well to crappy systems, like computer speakers, tvs, car stereos, etc.

But anyway, really nice song. Well written, very well sung.