. . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

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. . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Riders on the Skyline

My most extensive and complicated composition to date . . . , but I'm exhausted and feel I've been

too close to it for too long, so I've decided to let it out into the wild and let it breathe, to give my

brain a rest . . . .

The "choruses" are basically identical harmony-wise, the verses are different

(two different chord sequences) and alternate in turn, through the song.

I ran out of inspiration at the final verse so it is there with no lyrics as a backdrop to a strange synth solo . . . .

All principal parts were "played-in" on my Fusion 8HD, and the midi resultant file imported into Reaper.

Instuments used were from NI Kontakt5 . . . mostly, and include:

Piano - "The Grandeur"

Intro "Woods" - Flute and Cor Anglais (English Horn)

All on one track, determined by midi channel.

These were played-in live on the Roland PC-300 controller

U-He Tyrell N6 Synth VST - Synth Part . . .

Vintage Organs - Whiter Shade . . . (Kinda B3 . . .)

extensive key-switching here to control Leslie and vibrato . . .

"Glissandos" were written-in on the Piano Roll

Retro Machine Mk 2 - DX7 EP

FM8 - Bladewalker (kind-of Pad . . . . )

MT- Power Drumkit 2 - Drums . . . (Basic Pattern)

Additional drum break played-in live on the PC-300 controller

Clap Machine from "99Sounds" - Claps were written-in on the Piano roll

Session Horns - played the transitions - written-in on the Piano Roll

Session Strings Pro, and Emotive Strings were BOTH written-in on the Piano Roll, using extensive

key-switching for pattern selection, and editing of VELOCITY to differentiate between Major and Minor Arps . .

Session Guitarist - "Strummed Acoustic" did the Guitar Tracks, again, written in the Piano Roll,

keyswitching selecting the Arps . .

Master Track in Reaper did the 1/2 speed section . . .

Vocals were recorded using an SM58 Mic, into my M-Audio Microtrack 24/96 as mono .wavs - while

listening to the guide track on my iPod through Cans.

The "Location" is Dartmoor, in the SW of the UK. All the Place names mentioned are REAL

The "Forest" - is the Forest Inn, at Hexworthy . . . . , which I've known for over 50 Years . . . .

Childe's Tomb has an eerie and TRUE tragic story attached . . .

Fox Tor Mire is REAL and was made famous as the Grimpen Mire, in Conan Doyle's

"Hound of the Baskervilles" Story.

The Moors are my most favourite place. They have a wild beautiful nature, which can change in the

blink of an eye from a Sunlit Vista (Great for riding over) to Misty and scary disorienting Netherworld.

. . . So it demands respect . . . . so to speak.

Link is here:

Here's the DAW with the Project loaded . . . . . a bit scary . . . . :o

Riders DAW Screen.jpg

enjoy . . .

parametric


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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by Saul »

That sounds like it needs a huge stage and backdrop Chris. Nice work indeed ((i)) ((i)) ((i))

Sasha particularly liked your "strange synth solo" toward the end (Y)
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

I really hope we will get a chance to hear it when you're done :)

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Thanks Shelly . . . .

That's gonna be IT for the forseeable future.

I might revisit it in the future, but for the time being, I need to get involved with some other stuff

I have had on the back burner for way too long . . .

The final verse was doing my head in as to how to finish it in a satisfactory manner . . .

I just ran out of ideas and inspiration.

Probably need to visit those places again and contemplate . . .

BTW - The legend of Childe's Tomb is here: http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/child_hunter.htm

with a bit more detail here: https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/learning/da ... the-hunter

para
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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

It's good to step away, take a break, and come back to it. Your music has so many beautiful layers. Lots of thought and hard work.
Last edited by shelly0624 on Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Saul wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:29 pm
That sounds like it needs a huge stage and backdrop Chris. Nice work indeed ((i)) ((i)) ((i))

Sasha particularly liked your "strange synth solo" toward the end (Y)
Thank you BOTH for your thoughts. It's been a very satisfying project to do and quite apart from actually

writing it, I've learned much along the way about what is possible with midi as well as how to use some of the

NI Instruments.

It really is quite satisfying bending the NI stuff to "My Will" . . . IYSWIM . . .

Chris
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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

(I didn't realize you had already posted the link to your song). What a pleasure. i just listened to your song. It really had your signature on it and I appreciated it as much as the other one you wrote. I found myself leaning in and listening to the synthesizer throughout. And I agree, the synth solo was the greatest. I also focused on the lyrics. It amazes me that you don't have to compromise really good wordsmithing in order to make things rhyme or fit the rhythm. Because of this, there is vivid imagery and a story to tell. I enjoyed it very much. With the way you write lyrics, it would be easy to believe that you have probably written other things too. It would be a natural thing for you to paint with words in other ways. You probably do. When I had to lay aside my guitar, I started working on a story that had been on my mind for many years. It's a nice diversion. Very relaxing. With the complexity of your music projects, that would be a little break in between.
Last edited by shelly0624 on Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by SysExJohn »

Hi Chris, how goes it?

A few comments for you.
Please do take them in the spirit in which they are offered. Not as being hypercritical.
I very much like the idea and the immense effort you've obviously put in so far.
My thoughts are what occured to me as I listened and what I'd like to hear to make the track as special to me as "House on a Hill".

The title, before I even opened the thread, made me think "The Doors"? Then I reread it. "No."
Then my thoughts flew back more than fifty years to a 78 my parents had, "Ghostriders in the Sky" ;)

Started the track and loved, just loved the oboe ( okay, cor anglais) then the flute but suddenly, after just one measure, too suddenly for me, they were gone. Never to reappear.

One of the things that really made an impression on me from "House on a Hill" was the slow and very long introduction.
It set a distant pastural scene for me, and took me back to a place in the Lake District called Skelwith Fold.
A holiday there, after the chaos of commuting into and around London, was so spirit restoring for me.
I'd walk out of the back entrance of the site and gradually leave the houses behind.
The trafiic noise would dim, first to a murmur and then to silence.
The sound of distant sheep bleating and birds singing would take over.
Gradually the everyday concerns would depart and the peace and tranquility of the countryside, the distant hills and mountains would fill my vision.
After walking a while the sight of a far distant farm house, drawing gradually closer, would impress itself upon me.

And that is what the slow introduction of your "Little Grey House on a Hill" still does for me.
It sets the scene of a much loved, sorely missed, place and time in my memory.

My own feeling is that you could have done with several more measures of alternating oboe and flute before perhaps combining them, with a gradual crescendo, before the riders intrude upon the landscape.
I'd hoped, as I listened, that the 'landscape' sounds would make a reappearance from time to time, reminding us of the scenery in which they rode.
I believe they would also work well alongside or juxtaposing the synthy bit. What think you?

For me, and I know I do have hearing problems, one of which is hyperacusis, after turning up the volume for the introduction, the beginning of the verses had my hand shooting out to turn the volume way down again. For me, the transition was a bit too abrupt.
But maybe that was your intention?

Did you, I wonder, use the snare as a kind of 'click track'?
For me, with my old hearing, the snare volume made it difficult to hear the words.
With sufficient volume to hear the words the snare was overwhelming.
If I turned it down so the snare was acceptable then I couldn't hear the words.
Others seemed to enjoy it, so maybe it is just my elderly hearing.

Again, may I say, please don't take this the wrong way, Chris.
It is meant constructively.

With the last verse, I know how frustrating it can be when the words don't come.
I started some verses back in April '17 about boarding school experiences, and had to break away for months at a time as it progressed.
Sometimes we have to 'stew for a while' before the words come.

All the best,
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
Hi Chris, how goes it?

A few comments for you.
Please do take them in the spirit in which they are offered. Not as being hypercritical.
I very much like the idea and the immense effort you've obviously put in so far.
My thoughts are what occured to me as I listened and what I'd like to hear to make the track as special to me as "House on a Hill".
Always pleased to hear critical analysis from you John . . . .
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
The title, before I even opened the thread, made me think "The Doors"? Then I reread it. "No."
Then my thoughts flew back more than fifty years to a 78 my parents had, "Ghostriders in the Sky" ;)

Started the track and loved, just loved the oboe ( okay, cor anglais) then the flute but suddenly, after just one measure, too suddenly for me, they were gone. Never to reappear.
Fact is, it never had an intro originally and I was at a loss how to start it . . . :lol:
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
One of the things that really made an impression on me from "House on a Hill" was the slow and very long introduction.
It set a distant pastural scene for me, and took me back to a place in the Lake District called Skelwith Fold.
A holiday there, after the chaos of commuting into and around London, was so spirit restoring for me.
I'd walk out of the back entrance of the site and gradually leave the houses behind.
The trafiic noise would dim, first to a murmur and then to silence.
The sound of distant sheep bleating and birds singing would take over.
Gradually the everyday concerns would depart and the peace and tranquility of the countryside, the distant hills and mountains would fill my vision.
After walking a while the sight of a far distant farm house, drawing gradually closer, would impress itself upon me.

And that is what the slow introduction of your "Little Grey House on a Hill" still does for me.
It sets the scene of a much loved, sorely missed, place and time in my memory.
As it happens, I have another piece on the back burner that DOES have bleating sheep - AND a Pony walking L - R

across the stereo field, leading into an intro . . . . The working Title is "Pixie Rock" and will detail some of the

more fanciful or "impish" interactions of those little people with the folk who live and work on the Moor.

The music is pretty much done, but it's the Lyrics that are "being difficult" . . . .
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
My own feeling is that you could have done with several more measures of alternating oboe and flute before perhaps combining them, with a gradual crescendo, before the riders intrude upon the landscape.
I'd hoped, as I listened, that the 'landscape' sounds would make a reappearance from time to time, reminding us of the scenery in which they rode.
I believe they would also work well alongside or juxtaposing the synthy bit. What think you?
It's a good observation John - and a valid point. I will consider it when I revisit it, perhaps not just a re-utterance,

but a small "development" if I can fathom how best to do it . . . ?
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
For me, and I know I do have hearing problems, one of which is hyperacusis, after turning up the volume for the introduction, the beginning of the verses had my hand shooting out to turn the volume way down again. For me, the transition was a bit too abrupt.
But maybe that was your intention?
The transitions were intentionally overlapping . . . . . not very "Classical" I know, but I thought it would pique interest

for being "different"?

I always tend to put vocals prominent in the mix because I want the words to be clear.

No point in telling a story if people can't hear the words . . . . . IMO, too many songs have the lyric too far back in

the mix and it becomes a struggle to make out the words . . .
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
Did you, I wonder, use the snare as a kind of 'click track'?
For me, with my old hearing, the snare volume made it difficult to hear the words.
With sufficient volume to hear the words the snare was overwhelming.
If I turned it down so the snare was acceptable then I couldn't hear the words.
Others seemed to enjoy it, so maybe it is just my elderly hearing.
I didn't consciously use the snare as a guide. The drums are merely to drive it along so to speak, as are the String Arps.

Unfortunately, I work using Cans and only hear the track for real on my Car Stereo . . . . NOT ideal.
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
Again, may I say, please don't take this the wrong way, Chris.
It is meant constructively.
I've always understood this John . . .
SysExJohn wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:19 pm
With the last verse, I know how frustrating it can be when the words don't come.
I started some verses back in April '17 about boarding school experiences, and had to break away for months at a time as it progressed.
Sometimes we have to 'stew for a while' before the words come.

All the best,
John.
Indeed. I had to step back from "Riders" as I was getting tired of listening to it. How to finish it with that missing

verse was getting to me. I did not know how best to proceed, so I let it go - for now anyway . . . .

ATB

Chris
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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

The lovely melody to this song was on my mind yesterday while I watched my grandbabes. I was humming it to myself. One of the signs of really good melody ... it can stand alone, with or without instrumentation.

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by Patrick »

I enjoyed your song.
Your vocal has a little bit of a Peter Gabriel quality.
Also a bit of David Bowie.

The synth lead at 3:00 was unexpected and cool,
liked how the lead kicked up a notch at 6:35.
Overall, the song had a pleasant nostalgia effect.
I chose to listen to this forum song first cause the title, Riders On The Skyline got my attention. (Y)
Last edited by Patrick on Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Thankyou for those kind comments Patrick. :)

Yes, it is nostalgia to be sure - based on holiday memories gathered from Holidaying on Dartmoor for over 50 years . .

ALL the place names are REAL PLACES btw . . . .

My most complicated arrangement to date. (getting to grips with Kontakt, VSTis and keyswitching :? )

Thanks too for the Gabriel endorsement. ;) Always liked his work with Genesis - and his solo stuff for that matter . . .

Also Jack Bruce is one of my favourites, though my voice is not so flexible these days due to my dedication to tobacco. :roll:

Still, it keeps my Brain alive as well as keeping me off the Streets and AWAY from the TV :lol:

Chris
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by Dark Guitar »

Really like the dynamic you gave to the track! I've to tell you that when you're singing "Riders..." i had a deja-vu of "Riders on the Storm" (The Doors). I'm not sure of that, i think there's the same interval between you're voice and the keyboard in the first syllable :D

Anyway, the best part (in my humble opinion) is the beautiful solo that starts at 6:35 :handgestures-thumbsup: well done! :clap:

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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Thanks Man! I appreciate your comments . . . .

Of course - I know "Riders on the Storm", but hadn't (consciously) borrowed from that. . . . . :wink:

The title came from a chance remark about a photo that appears on the website I made which is ABOUT the Dartmoor

location(s) mentioned in the Song . . .

Someone remarked on the photo - "can you see the riders on the skyline"? :?

Truth of the matter is that at 6'35" there is meant to be another verse - but I was all out of ideas, and had been dicking around

with the song for way too long - so I let it go, with just the synth solo (Which I ought to have done better :oops: )

Problem is that I like my songs to tell a story - and since the recollections stretch back more that 40 years, the task of designing

a credible sequence of events is becoming harder . . . .

I have (at least) two further pieces largely complete EXCEPT for the story/lyrics - and it's a pain.

Conditions have to be just right - and I never know when THAT is going to happen . . . . :roll:

It WILL happen - but (please) don't hold your breath :lol: :lol: :lol:

Chris
Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: . . . . Riders on the Skyline . . . .

Unread post by Dark Guitar »

parametric wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Truth of the matter is that at 6'35" there is meant to be another verse - but I was all out of ideas, and had been dicking around

with the song for way too long - so I let it go, with just the synth solo (Which I ought to have done better :oops: )
That's prog!! :lol: the solo fits very well even in combination with the intro, if tomorrow you'll write the "lost verse" i think you should keep the solo as well :handgestures-thumbupright:
parametric wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:13 pm

Problem is that I like my songs to tell a story - and since the recollections stretch back more than 40 years, the task of designing

a credible sequence of events is becoming harder . . . .

I have (at least) two further pieces largely complete EXCEPT for the story/lyrics - and it's a pain.

Conditions have to be just right - and I never know when THAT is going to happen . . . . :roll:

It WILL happen - but (please) don't hold your breath :lol: :lol: :lol:

Chris
Sooner or later :mrgreen: :mrgreen: keep up the good work! :handgestures-thumbsup:

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