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Lightning Strikes (v2 w/ more organ)

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This is a re-mixed track from my upcoming album RAIN BATHER. First mix can be found here.

1- Louder organ in the middle "bluesy" section; more distortion on the organ in that section.
2- A timing fix (I added milliseconds) to one of the final hits that was rushed.
To reiterate, the mix, in general, is set in stone. I tweaked EQ and other minor things.

PLEASE VOTE ON WHICH VERSION YOU LIKE BETTER in your comments below. It's more or less the same until the 1:59 mark. What I did was actually play over the track with a more distorted organ setting, adding, I hope, more edge and vitality to that section which, taking comments from the earlier version to heart, needed. The track from 3:14 out is unchanged (except for a slight fix on some rushed moments, altho it remains generally a rushed ending, which is just the way we played it.) Thanks.

The ensemble:
Tobin Mueller - B3 organ
Chris Mueller (my nephew) - piano
Jeff Cox - acoustic bass
Dane Richeson - drums & percussion
Woody Mankowski - soprano saxophones
Tom Washatka - tenor saxophone
Ken Schaphorst - flugelhorn
Bob Levy - trumpet

RAIN BATHER draft mixes on MJ:
I Wanna Fly
Lightning Strikes
Caught In The Current (feat. Bill Barner/Komdrade K)
Finding No Path
Seven Buttons On A Nehru Jacket
Acid Hopping (extended version)
Last Song On Vaudeville (feat. Bill Barner)

If you would like to purchase a copy of the CD, which is pressed on a cool disc that looks like a mini-LP, feel free to contact me, or see:
Rain Bather on CDBbay
Rain Bather on iTunes
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Song Stats
Hits: 5316
Comments: 34
Fans: 19
Plays: 186
Downloads: 202
Votes: 9
Uploaded: Nov 12, 2007 - 08:03:31 AM
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2010 - 01:36:09 PM Last Played: Nov 01, 2018 - 02:24:18 AM
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guitapick said 4020 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
...the emphasis on the organ in the middle section definitely cleans up that section. Creates a solid bed for the horns to jump into, as well. Lot more cohesive.

Nice, Tobin...and I love how that section moves into the next...cool stuff...
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
peacepiano said 4020 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
I still like this a lot :)

Item 1 I will offer my strictly personal choice of the organ on version 1, it just sounds better to me.

Item 2 I think I hear it, and I think ver 2 is better timed at the end, but it is almost to subtle for me.

Sounds great.
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TobinMueller said 4020 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
V1=1 V2=1
Thanks for the notes. I like V2 better, its power and drive and evenness. I'll give one vote for each and start a tally. I though V1's organ sounded a bit like a skating rink. Its so hard to decide, since I almost always like what I just did, regardless, just out of certain enthusiasm momentum. I'm very interested in what you guys think.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
guitapick said 4020 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
Just listened to the first, again...
and this and back, etc, again for the middle section...

...different feel in the v1 section...though it's a bit "busier", the piano gives a funkier feel to it than v2...percussive.

I don't think you can go wrong with either. With v1, you've got a bit more of a textural shift than with two. It's a bit funkier. V2 is a smoother transition into the horns. Allows the organ to be more of a presence in that full section, too.

Can't vote on it, Tobin. Sorry if you thought I was critical of the original in my comment. Just reread it. Nice to have a "problem" like this, though: both choices are great.

Your call, IMHO..great piece(s)....

Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
TobinMueller said 4020 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
V1=2, v2=2
Since you voted for both, I'll up each by one. Maybe I've been playing too much prog rock lately and just like the power organ of V2 better becuz of that. But the evenness that the new organ gives makes the track sound more professionally, maybe?, and if I want to use it as Track 1 on the CD, I think V2 might be better? Thanks for liking both versions.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paddler said 4019 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
I'll have a shot at giving you my opninon:
First off - what a great track.I made a cup of tea while both versions loaded (bless the G3).From a listeners perspective - its a really subtle change youve made and at first I couldnt see any difference,listening through speakers:- still just a great jazz track.Then I noticed in the 2nd half that the riff your playing is more emphasized - the bit that goes b-da da . . b-da da da da-da - b-da da . . etc and still pretty well balanced with the rest of the band.So well - I'd enjoy either version equally as guitapick concluded.I'll have a listen on headphones now.
So - on headphones - the B3 sounds a lot clearer - which is good as its a great riff.So I'd go for the second version.My critisicm (on this kind of meticulous level - you always get me writing an essay,Tobin) would be that the piano at the beginning is panned in the middle and sounds completely natural but towards the second half seems to move off to the left (if my headphones are the right way round) and you seem to have added a very slight delay to it - my advice would be to keep it consistent with the begginning - then you dont notice 'the seam' if that makes any sense.But overall as usual the end result is excellent and seems to land somwhere between miles davis and frank zappa.


RG (ps apologies for trivially headbutting you on facebook - gave everyone one if thats of any consolation)
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TobinMueller said 4019 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
v1=2; v2=3
Thanks for the careful listening. The piano was mic'd in such a way that the reverb seems to mysteriously increase in spots. Lots of bleed too. Panning is embedded in the 2-track mix and I can no longer alter it, sadly.

Even tho you liked both versions, which really aren't that different, more or less the same, you came down in favor of V2 in headphones, so I'll give your vote to V2. It is interesting that in headphones the organ is not as bright and loud as in my studio speakers; I have no idea why. Yes, in headphones, V2 is much better (in that section).
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Feter said 4019 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
Lightning Strikes
well both versions are rich and so alive ..
but I m more biased to the B3 whenever it plugged
in .this one Rock !!!
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TobinMueller said 4019 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
v1=2; v2=4
The B3 is so cool to play. I'm having a gas on this project.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 4019 days ago (November 12th, 2007)
Love how that bass
is boopin and hoopin. Wozer! Love the stop and how the piano comes in like jack rabbit how of a hole. Love that theme and how well it's honored. I. I really like that one quite a bit. I think one of the real highlights is the bass. The ending is really cool!

Great stuff Tobin. Wow to bring such creativeness to Macjams.
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TobinMueller said 4019 days ago (November 13th, 2007)
v1=3; v2=5
Some folks are giving me their opinions on which version they like best and why via NOTES. Steck prefers this new version due to overall better blending. Henri Rogers prefers the original version, saying that "the organ add, with chords, is competing with the piano in this part after 1'59. Maybe adding organ soloing "monophonic" could bring what you're looking for." An excellent suggestion. Thanks guys.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
TobinMueller said 4019 days ago (November 13th, 2007)
v1=3; v2=6
iG.STUDiO likes this version better, perhaps becuz of the "hypnotizing persuasion" of my description! Thanks, Ilya.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
moorlandt said 4018 days ago (November 13th, 2007)
version 1...
... is still my favourite. The song is driven by it's rational chaos, and I can find it just a tiny but more in the original version. My idea, for what it's worth...

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TobinMueller said 4018 days ago (November 14th, 2007)
v1=4; v1=6
I know what you mean. I wish I could boost the piano in that section, then I wouldn't have layered more organ there. That would have been enough to equalize the intensity and volumes. Actually, the piano solo went on for 16 more bars, but I cut it down to the length you hear cuz it was so full of errors, which was great fun live but didn't translate in a recording (in my ears, anyway).
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
damiengh said 4018 days ago (November 13th, 2007)
If you were after boosting the organ I think you achieved your objective. The mixes are pretty close, but like you said they were in stone.
Powerful tune which swings hard. I'm not sure I would have had the piano and organ playing at that solo section at the same time, seem to battle one another, but perhaps that is the effect you were looking for.

Man, I'd love to play in this kind of situation, has been a few years. Nothing like have your chops in tiptop shape. Like a hired gun.

I like this 2nd version best, even though I found the 1st enjoyable too. Love dem horns.
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TobinMueller said 4016 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
v1=4; v2=7
Thanks. Maybe I'll keep both versions and make one a hidden track...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
michael2 said 4018 days ago (November 13th, 2007)
i'm liking this version better. I think that the organ is a nice touch. maybe a little unusual for this type of music, but I think it fits in really nicely. you guys sound great. job well done.
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TobinMueller said 4016 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
v1=4; v2=8
I know the organ sound and riff are kind of blues, even early rock in that section, which mitigates the out there feel. There are other times on the album the organ is out there while the band is pretty standard. I'm hoping all this evens out the album, too, from track to track, keeping everything in the same vein.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4018 days ago (November 14th, 2007)
Great discussion

This is very interesting reading .
Talking about 2 excellent takes of the same piece .

Thank you Tobin for accepting the debate .
Will you choose the best version by counting the "votes"?
Or will some ideas fit better with your feelings ?
Not very easy ...

TobinMueller said 4016 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
I'm counting the votes for fun, to keep track. I weigh personalities and arguments, too. I am already leaning toward the second take (this version) since I like the power of that section. I miss the piano solo, which is now buried, but I felt like the drop in energy was nearly lethal. So the arguments that explain why the first version is better (intellectual chaos, for example) remind me what won't be there if I choose this one and make me pause...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thoddi said 4017 days ago (November 14th, 2007)
difficult choice
I'm not quite sure of which version i prefer.

Although I usually would prefer the more distorted organ sound, I think that here it tend to compete with the piano in this bluesy part. And it also distracts my attention from the horns melody, which I regard as vital in this part. This may be because I'm lead to listen especially to the organ... but comparing the two versions I think I'd put my money on the first one...

In the first version I look at the B3 organs role as a supportive one... Here it seems to try to get on top of the piano and take control...

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TobinMueller said 4016 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
v1=5; v2=8
Yes, in the first version the B3 organ's role was a supportive one... The section in question is pumped yet the part is merely a chordal supportive one, which is one of the reasons I'm not sold on it. But I couldn't play anything new, it sounded way too cluttered, and false, so I just dubbed over what I'd already played. I'm going on emotional appeal... it may come down to where the track falls in the album playlist. I like this as a first track, and maybe version 1 as a later track, since I'll have established the organ as a solo instrument by then and the audience might be thirsting more for a few bars of solo piano...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 4017 days ago (November 15th, 2007)
Nice mix.
Love the horns!
DWL said 4016 days ago (November 16th, 2007)
Stupendous playing
Difficult to avoid the Miles comparisons when you've got a flugelhorn so well played but it's none the worse for that.

Personally I preferred v1 as I thought the more distorted organ on v2 rather swamped the piano and the edge was lost rather than increased.

Then again, who am I to criticise such a coherent and quality piece of work?

Well done sir!


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TobinMueller said 4015 days ago (November 16th, 2007)
v1=6; v2=8
The vote is so close, its almost a wash. Fascinating how subjective everything is. Thanks for weighing in. Now I really don't know what to do...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jiguma said 4015 days ago (November 17th, 2007)
More organ ....
... will always get my vote Tobin. Nicely "up" - kept my tired old foot tapping :)

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TobinMueller said 4015 days ago (November 17th, 2007)
v1=6; v2=9
Have you ever noticed that classical musicians almost never tap their feet? Jazz guys always tap on the up beat, never on the down beat. Country fans almost always tap/clap on the downbeat, even when the guys on stage are clapping on the up beat...
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SpasmodicMan said 4015 days ago (November 17th, 2007)
How bout option 3?
If all we can do is vote for these two, I vote v2. But my pref would be to somehow boost the section in question in v1 and make it more present that way. You're a wiz with mastering, can't you do that? (And when are you gonna share more from the session...!)
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J.A.Stewart said 4014 days ago (November 17th, 2007)
Version 1 Wins My Vote
I have to agree that what seemed a natural balance seems to have been disturbed by boosting the organ part in this mix. Curious phenomenon, actually... a sonic symbiosis? But sometimes the most subtle changes can make a significant difference. I hear one here.

--- Joe
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TobinMueller said 4014 days ago (November 18th, 2007)
v1=7; v2=9
Its funny that when I listen in headphones, the balance seems just right. In my studio speakers, the organ is a tad loud in that changed section. I can fix that on the master, I think.
EQ is very system-sensitive. I'll have to listen to each version in the car next...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Drew Kopr said 4013 days ago (November 18th, 2007)
Very subtle difference
in the two versions. I like both. I do believe the increase in volume in the organ in this section is good; however, it is now competing in volume with the piano, creating a touch of tension or resistance that I did not hear in the first version. I would suggest lowering the volume of the organ in that one Blues section by only 1/2 db to see if that blends it better with the piano (or lowering the piano in that section 1/2 db to see if it blends better with organ).
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TobinMueller said 4013 days ago (November 19th, 2007)
v1=7; v2=9; v3=3
At about the same time you must have been writing these words, I began working on a third version (which I won't bore people here with posting) that did exactly what you suggest. Since V1 is a 2-track mix I can only tweak, and V2 is an overdub of my organ part (in that one section only). So, I filtered back the organ at the beginning of the "piano/organ duet" and let it pop thru on some of the cooler chordal licks I used, but I kept it present so the distorted organ setting would be there. Also, compressing the trumpet hits a bit to boost the piano underneath during the section helped. I think the highbred works great and would never have done it without the thoughtful feedback of everyone on this page. V3 will be what I used for the album, I'm sure, and it is good enough to be the first track, which is what I wanted. I finally feel good about the track.

Thank you, everyone.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
davisamerica said 3186 days ago (February 23rd, 2010)
what i needed
this morning was a spike of "get busy"... knew I could find it on your page and I must admit I picked a winner. Mind blowing great Tobin.
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TobinMueller said 3186 days ago (February 23rd, 2010)
Morning wake up music
You know, I was going to open the Rain Bather album with this piece but chickened out. It is track 4, I think. Your comment makes me think I should've stuck with my initial intuition. Thanks for the daily boost to my own motivation (your kind comments). Now, time to get busy...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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