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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
Treyt
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2022 04:16 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#41

Post by Treyt »

Alright, it's time to review!
As far as my personal experience, this is certainly new territory for me. I pretty much only produce for myself, and I tend to get pretty large negative adrenaline rushes when someone criticizes my work negatively to any extent, so it's already been an interesting event lol. I'm mostly fine with my guitar in the track, and I'm flat out embarassed by the state of the vocals, but holy Hera did I enjoy making this track lol. Definitely going to continue pushing this sound and experimenting more with a combination of edm and metal. I'd call myself passionate about it, at least for now. Thanks for the feedback so far, hope you guys enjoyed my entry.

Now it's time for my thoughts on other people's music!

Olli H - Crawl!
I can confidently say that I think Olli had the most fun out of everyone making his song. Except for me of course, I had a literal blast on mine. But this is about Olli, not me. I very much liked the mix, the instrument panning works very well, the guitar playing was VERY good, creative, varied, and had a lot of character. I will say that I didn't think the vocals fit the backing track (backing track is much more cheerful than the vocal style), but I think further experimentation could make for a REALLY cool vibe. Solid production and performance!

Alavault - Non Sequitur
Literally the only complaint I have about this is my brain absolutely wants vocals in it, and that's not a big complaint. The synth and guitar play perfectly together, and speaking of play, really liked that you played the bass and guitars, pretty nice touch. The amount of dissonance in the track is extremely tasteful, and your melodic composition is blissfully beautiful. Great work.

DavidJohn - To The Lake
Send my props to Dick Winters, his guitar and bass is sick!
My favorite part of the track by only slim margin is the drums, which I think REALLY fit the sound space and are very crisp, followed closely by the tasteful use of string synths. The chords you used really brought the chorus from 10 to 11. Now for critique. I'm only going to nitpick these because I know you and have respect for you as an artist. :tu: It was likely a creative choice, but I think the lower register bridge vocals could use some breath removal. And not through being drowned lol. I also thought the pitch patterns in the first two sections of each verse were maybe a little odd and didn't fit as well as they could have, but like I said, these are nitpicks. Solid work homeslice.

Mobiledrummer - Rough and Ready
While I'm not sure if this title is a play on rubbers, it's probably my favorite structure. Yes, you wrote a VERY simple track. No, it's not complex. No, I don't like the kickdrum sample lol. And no, it's not flashy. But somehow it's my favorite track in this mix. Idk why. The melody is gonna be stuck in my head for weeks, I love your fills and drum pacing, I love the track structure, and I love the energy the track creates.

VCA-089 - Eclipse
Your stupid fake guitars make me wish I could confidently do drop A on my guitar without causing permenant damage lol. The rhythm changes and melodic movement in this track easily beats every other track out in creativity, hands down, and you understand AND use metal excellently. Other than that I VERY much want this track to be covered by a professional metal band, I don't have much else to say. It's kind of hard to say anything with my jaw on the floor. Great composition!

Bonus round, EsteveCobrera!
I liked the track, but I do think you can take the treble down a bit on the percussion. Though keeping them that way could be a unique and creative choice.

My final and personal votes will be based on composition only, and of course are not indicative of production quality. Imo everyone did well with their tracks. My votes are simply personal taste, and are as follows:
► Show Spoiler
Well done on all submissions, maybe I'll be back for another round ;)
EsteveCorbera
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2020 23:53 CEST
Location: Catalunya

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#42

Post by EsteveCorbera »

Hi,

I haven't had much time this month either to prepare the topic or to listen to your topics very carefully.
I want to comment on the new way of voting and give our opinion to others. I think it's fine to limit the votes to 5 people, so as not to disparage those who would be below everything, but I miss a comment for each fellow player. I think it was a double way of learning more, because you reviewed everyone's comments and because you had to make an effort to comment on everyone.

Arelem - Might Of The Gods
The most interesting bits are the Chorus bits, when you apply more power to it. There is too much difference between the chorus part and the others. The other parts are missing something. The guitar playing the same notes all the time ends up tiring. At some point the vocals could stand out more and I think they have too much reverb which makes them very muffled.

alavault_Non_Sequitur
It's off to a good start. Then the track deflates when you take a break from the opening beat, but as it progresses, it gets better. It has power and strength. I like the synths you put in the background (I confess I'm more into synths than guitars). I must also congratulate you on the originality of the structure of the song.
The more I listen to it, the more I like it.

Treyt_If_Heaven_Calls
I like the approach to heavy combined with synthwave sound. The voices are very good, I especially like them accompanied by the same melody played by the synthesizers, it's very cool. Maybe I would put some reverb on the vocals, it would look good with that 80s vocoder style (or whatever the effect of the vocals is) that you draw with the synthesizers. Good melodies and good arpeggios and a lot of power.
Encourage you to continue participating. The criticisms we make here are to improve, never to despise anyone's work. I have personally learned a lot from the comments of my colleagues over the last few years.

VCA-089_Eclipse
Good instrumental track with guitars and good ambient moments, full of distant textures. Very cinematic. I really like your style. I like the background synth. I find the structure of the song very original and different.
Around minute 3:29 you apply some rhythm changes that I didn't understand. They are taking me off topic.

mobiledrummer_rough_and_ready
I like the melody you draw with the lead guitar. Maybe it lacks distortion to sound heavier.
At minute 0:31 you make a change with the kick of the drums and leave the song a bit orphaned. It lost the strength it had at the beginning.


(translated with google)

Thank you all


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Arelem
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2021 06:09 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#43

Post by Arelem »

Hello All,

For this challenge, I really wanted to try a different vocal style to what I normally would do. I'm not much of a vocalist, but I still like to try my hand at making something passable from time to time. I also don't know any singers that I can use to help me practice working on songs with vocals, so I make do with my own attempts. I also spent a lot of time on the guitars and their processing. I think I learned a bit on getting a better result out of them that will hopefully help in my future tracks. Thank you to everyone that provided feedback, I will put it to use as best I can.

Reviews:
alavault - Everything sounds great. I might have liked a snare with more snap for this track, but that's more of a personal preference. I think unfortunately the song is set up to have a singer and without it is a bit boring. Maybe editing the sections shorter to compensate for the sake of the challenge would have helped. I really liked the bit at about 3:15, great guitar playing there (all around really).

becsei gyorgy - Something about the guitar in the verses reminds me of the fast surf guitar songs of the 60s. Not just the fast playing, but the tone too. The vocals are good however, they fit the chorus a lot better than the verses IMO.

Dear David John - Great song! Really reminds me of some of the 00's music that I used to listen to. The only critique I have is that the song repeating the intro after the first chorus was a little disappointing. I think it made for a good intro, and I'm not objecting to a slow down there, just that using the same bit again made the song feel as though it was going in circles instead of progressing.

Treyt - I have no major objections to the song. I don't know, I just didn't vibe with it too much. I do think that maybe there wasn't enough variation to make it interesting. The drums feel very same-y throughout the majority of the track and the guitar chords don't change much from one part of the song to the next. The only exception to either of those is the parts where they drop out.

VCA-089 - For me, the intro was a bit long/boring. If I wasn't listening for the sake of a contest, I might have skipped the song before ever getting to the meat of it. The other issue I had is that there isn't much of a melody for the listener to grab onto. The song is well executed but maybe not as well constructed. I understand that you wanted to use a kind of solo guitar as the lead, but I don't think it created a good result for the listener in this case. I think maybe an artist to check out for examples of someone doing this would be Joe Satriani (I really like Surfing with the Alien). The guitar is the lead, and in an almost solo type of way, but it is still repeating melodies in a way that the listener can get in to.
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Dear David John
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2022 17:44 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#44

Post by Dear David John »

This months takeout:
2 Portions egg-fuyung, 3 BigMac Meals (toy included), 1Kg ribs and a side order of ... I F*KING LOVE METAL!!
Also dived into RATM again after many months and Zack is delightful.

VCA-089_Eclipse
Great work with textures and sound design elements to give that larger then life cinematic feel at times. As instrumentals go I really enjoyed this. For what was delivered I don't feel critique is founded.

becsei gyorgy - Did NOT expect this and totally loved the vocal work. Nice long drawn out operatic elements which I have always loved in a vocal. Some key tone issues could be address slightly but thats also user preference. SOLID track !!

Treyt - The only part I did not like was the bit between the intro and the outro..
HA! Jokes brother! Banging composition as per usual. I also know the road youve walked with this genre (soft rock pink pop) and im stoked at how you've progressed. BUT IF I EVER HEAR YOU COPY AND PASTE A VOCAL AGAIN I WILL FIND YOU AND EAT YOUR SPLEEN!
Thats all. Love you

Arelem - I seriously like how solid this guitaring was. Super tight and on the button man! Great work. Never been a massive fan of that vocal effect but it works for the track. Good job man

Mobiledrummer - I have to chose to say something because you were the reason I bopped for the first time. When that double time beat takes over with that Melody. Thats little bit of foot-tapping heaven right there.

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alavault
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#45

Post by alavault »

Hello,
I don't really have much time to do anything these days, so I am quite satisfied how things turned out. Also, c# standard is not so great when using 9-42 gauge strings: might as well play with cooked spaghetti. Also, not really much time to edit things... However, quite happy on how the bass turned out. Who knew a cheap Jazz Bass could sound so agressive.
Dialed to 11 either means it's going to be a Spinal Tap parody or SLO100 only songs. Well, none of these happened.
For my submission, I started with the intro arp (at first, I wanted to make some experiments with arpeggiated leads), then added a pad (that I f*ed up in a good way). Then add the rest. Add drops. Add a breakdown because Spiritbox and Gojira do it. And... no singing because I don't sing.
****
Arelem: minimalist proggy metal. While the intro feels a bit a long and repetitive, things get lifted up with the first chorus.
becsei_gyorgy: I have always had a soft spot for that kind of metal... But the lead guitar is a bit of a let down. Too bad, the rest is bringing the story togerther. Overall, great composition but questionable lead gtr performance.
Treyt: While I understand previous comments about over-tuned vocals, it fits the song. But it really goes too much into Cher territory. That's a let down because the rest of the production is awesome: great balance of synths and metal aggression, poppy melodic lines. Bullet for my Amaranthe ? Also @Treyt , care to sing on Non Sequitur? XD
****
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VCA-089
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 15:46 CET

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#46

Post by VCA-089 »

My thoughts about this round:

Great topic for sure! "Dialed to 11" means to me that we must create the most evil and aggressive sounding thing we could, and I have waited quite long for a contest like this to share my apocalyptic vibe with you. However, I can see that not everyone went that way.

I don't have any physical instruments. Not enough time to practice and not enough spare money to afford a thing that will collect dust most of the time. In my case, it's either producing a track or running endless routine exercises. Also, there are no proper guitar services in my town, so I have to go somewhere or do it myself. It's just not practical, at least in my current conditions.

Good thing that plugins do sound nice those days. It's not ideal, but I guess it's better than 10 or 20 years ago. Someone is gonna hate me for that. Well, it's their right to do so...

Here is my feedback:
► Show Spoiler
Voting:
► Show Spoiler
mobiledrummer
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2022 06:55 CET

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Voting until 01-DEC-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#47

Post by mobiledrummer »

I think all submissions were great! For unrelated reasons, the last few months I've been listening to metal from the 70s, 80s, 90s... and up until today. Listening to these, I was wondering how I would be able to capture the energy and, especially, the guitar parts without real guitars. I struggled with that. So I thought, well let's make a simple three chord song with a focus on the riff and melody and some energetic drums (that in the end goes into double time chaos together with the solo). I just improvised over the chords until I found something I liked for the riff/chorus and the "verses". It might be a bit lighter and simpler than some of the other submissions. But hey, that is just the way it turned out (and I'm usually using to many chords anyway...). Just a note about how I voted. I don't care about how technically proficient it is, I want to hear some innovation, character, and something that speaks to me.

Anyway, on to the feedback and voting:

OlliH - Crawl!
This is great. OlliH has an unique way of doing things. Irrespective of genre, you can hear that it is him, which I think is a good thing. The guitars and the vocals are very good.

Treyt - If Heaven Calls
This is a banger. I really like the mash-up with synths and the auto-tuned voice. I usually do not like heavily auto-tuned vocals, but here it works by bringing together modern pop and metal in an unique way.

becsei_gyorgy - Dreamin'
I really like this style. A bit of Nightwish in the melodies, to some extent, maybe? Great guitar melodies.

VCA-089 - Eclipse
An extremely well produced and arranged song. Guitars and drums are very good. Like the synths too! Why is it not in my top three? Could easily be, but I had to make some tough choices...

DavidJohn - To the Lake
Another extremely well produced and arranged song. The vocals are very good and the instrumental parts are great. Why didn't I give more votes for this one? Tough choice again... But very, very good!

Voting:
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Mister Fox
Site Admin
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Posts: 2658
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - results in preparation

#48

Post by Mister Fox »

It's the 02nd December 2022, 06:00 (UTC+1/CET) - the Voting Period has officially ended.

All participants have submitted final feedback, we therefore have 0 disqualification.
Please don't change your votes anymore, thank you.


I promised to also provide some additional feedback and a "top 5" vote. This will happen within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Please have an eye on the SWC063 thread :phones:



In the meantime, why not check out SWC064 / December 2022 and the "Community Scramble" - Sample Collection thread? :educate:
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Mister Fox
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - results in preparation

#49

Post by Mister Fox »

Dear SWC participants,

I apologize for the delay. As promised, I wanted to add some feedback to the submitted entries.


One thing that stood out to me the most:

I am aware that you might have certain limitations on equipment. May it be the accessibility, or usability (e.g. "too loud") - I totally understand that. However, it seems to me that a lot of you, if not all, either just use headphones for mixing, or do not cross-check to see how well the production would translate to various playback mediums (simple EQ settings would already do the trick). There were sometimes stark contrasts between playback on old 2" active PC speakers, compared to a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones. On headphones, you could often hear more intricate details, and certain mixes also felt more balanced. While on speakers, at least on my end, certain things were emphasized drastically that highly influenced the overall listening experience. Maybe this is worth addressing for you in the future, as this is a recurring topic.


Then, aside from some productions not really fitting to the given parameters, the second biggest topic is:

The mix. For this particular genre, both the guitars and the drums can make or break the experience. Most notably, it's the guitars being the driving force. I apologize if my tone feels harsh in places. However, this month I focused on "what could be improved" - should you choose to go back to your creation.


:idea: I might actually reach out to one or even two of you in private. This month, we had a several entries that could be suitable candidates for a future Mix(ing) Challenge. And considering that we barely have any material for 2023... who knows, maybe you're up to the task of becoming a client / Song Provider. :thinking:





:arrow: On to the feedback for SWC063:


@Arelem

I already gave extensive feedback through both the forum and Discord regarding the guitars (I also provided screenshots and audio demos in private). I am still not a fan of how they are mixed, the jump of the stereo field is just a bit too much for my taste, and the flanged guitar is also a bit too much.

This is where music/making music is a highly subjective topic - I would have pulled back on the reverb overall. Then work on the vocals with a different EQ and reverb (to get that "higher being" feeling), then try to blend it into the arrangement. The instrumentation would have been a bit more raw, guitars definitely more pushed (knowing what samples were used: compressor > maybe two distortion pedals in series for more effect > hi-gain amp, and then subtle delay to add some "movement"), drums definitely more up-front. The snare is barely noticeable, so are some of the cymbals.

The original idea had quite the potential, with a touch of "Sisters of Mercy" (vocals), blended with "Doom Metal" concepts. What didn't work for me, was the super intense reverb clashing too much with the rest of the instrumentation. Interesting approach, but unfortunately the mix suffered a lot due to that.




@alavault

An interesting attempt at Power Metal, blended with Electronic Instruments (synths). So many great ideas, quite the interesting soundscapes even (I do like the bass, which works great on both small speakers and headphones). Unfortunately, what really throws me off here, is the often "out of beat" stuff that is happening. Especially in the beginning (there are also many pops and clicks... are these loops?). Due to this, the production feels sloppy, the drums are dragging, then the guitars drag, as if these tracks run against each other. It accumulates so far as that there are micro-beats beat missing (most noticeable at the 1:14 and the 1:30min) mark. The second half of the song is fine. Such a pity - otherwise it's amazing.

If you were to go back to the production, your first task would be, as bad as it sounds, time align things. Or play better "on time" (considering that we're talking live guitars and bass). Then the next task would be to clean up the sound cluster. Give the guitars a bit more upper mids, layer the "lower chords" with the "higher melodies" better (with EQ or different used amps) to have a better distinction. The drum could either use a different snare, or one that feels more "beefier" (more low-end). Else it feels weak in comparison to the rest of the production.

The second half of the song feels way more coherent and picks up quite the drive at the 3:15min mark. But the mix is sadly the weakest part.




@becsei_gyorgy

Another attempt at Power Metal / Symphonic Metal, this time with samples and a nice female voice on top (which has a touch of "Delain" and/or "Within Temptation"). There are really great ideas here, and even though samples were used, they are well masked. Yet again, the mix is the weakest part.

Example: the rhythm guitars (compared to the bass) could definitely have a healthy dose of either the 1,3kHz or 3,3kHz range. The lead melody guitar could be louder, and also get a healthy dose of high mid EQ. The drums in comparison are too loud and feel "too dry". To remedy this, I'd actually give the snare a dedicated reverb (warm plate) and make it more noticeable. I also miss that ride cymbal in the mix. On headphones, it is more apparent that the snare might not be ideal for this production (funny enough, this is Addictive Drums yet again -- but ADD2 got such a sound uplift). Not only that, a lot of intricate details only surface here (like subtle choir and pads).

If you rarely dip into the heavy metal genre, this was a really good attempt. I'd love you to see the mix being revisited at some point.




@Dear David John

I've heard this production "behind the scenes" before David decided to post it to the public, and I really enjoy the "metalcore" aesthetics. One of the hardest hitting productions this month. Great guitar and drum work (even if a tad on the brighter side). Although I am not a fan of the reverb on the vocals, most notably on the verse and pre-chorus vocals (which is only emphasized on small speakers). This is where I'd adjust things, pull back on the reverb to make things more "intimate" (also... maybe a touch too much upper mids on the verse vocal takes), only to then be pushed into a wall with the screams (which are amazing), and then balanced out again with the chorus/doubled vocals (who feel a bit too centered, actually).

This production is definitely one of the highlights this month, IMHO and all that. I really hope, should we revisit harder hitting music genres like this November, to hear more like that.




@EsteveCorbera

While I like the idea of an "Action Theme", this definitely feels more like a soundtrack than anything. Sadly not close to metal at all. The guitars are too tame (as in: the chord guitars could have been pushed with heavier distorted amps sims), the drums are too loud for this particular production (on headphones, the super bright drum kit even sounds like a sharp knives), the synth towards the end is also way too loud. Repetition is a topic as well.

Nice attempt with going more towards the more heavier side of "Rock Music", and you did create something in the first place. So kudos to that -- you can be (and should be!) really proud of yourself. This is what the Songwriting Competition is about.

However, you sadly didn't stick to the given task this month. I'm sorry.




@mobiledrummer

What can I say... I really like the ideas you've presented here, I even like the initial mix (it's a bit "slow" for Heavy Metal, but also not quite pure "Hard Rock" either -- it all comes down to the sound design). However, it is clear that there is something "missing", and it isn't a vocal take, or a lack melodies, or the guitars chords. It's actually the "bite" (and overall balance).

Some things I'd do different, even with the tools that have been at your disposal: Addictive Drums' weak point has always been the snare, and the used reverb. Never been a fan of it (especially Addictive Drums 1). Maybe dial that back, tune the snare as well so that it has a bit more sustain and "rattle", pull it down by -1dB to let it sit better in the mix, kick just a smidge less click-y (it's super boomy on headphones). The big topic here are the guitars.

Now Strum-GS-2 isn't "bad" per se, it has a nice rhythm and feel. Although, the leading "rhythm part" comes from the left side, while the right plays straight chords (this definitely feels more classic rock). The weak part here is the used amp setup. You just didn't use enough distortion. Considering you've used Helix Native, you could have run a compressor > drive pedal > hi-gain amp (like the Ubersonic, the Revv, or the ANGL Meteor). More distortion, and therefore more perceived low end. The lead guitar could also be pushed similarly, to let it "scream" through the amp. Then add a fitting delay > reverb combination to let it stand out.

Not going to lie, I'd love to look "under the hood" for this production. Actually experiment in terms of sound design, see where things can be pushed. I wish you would have submitted sooner, and continued working on this after received feedback.




@Olli H

This could count as "Symphonic Metal" attempt for sure. Unfortunately, there are so many things clashing that everything just feels a bit all over the place. In fact, I've been heavily reminded of various metal cover versions of "Wizards and Warriors". That game and OST itself was heavily inspired by gothic imagery and music from the renaissance era. Maybe actually even "Joke Metal" bands from the 1980s (yes, they were a thing).

Great ideas. However, the weakest part here is (once again) the mix. Not only do the guitars clash with each other (especially panning wise), the bass screams for a bit too much attention, the drums also don't provide coherence (frequency wise). Granted, Slate's SSD can be "as metal as it can get", but sadly not in this case (it's a bit too much). You can clearly hear the issues on small speakers or a playback medium where you don't have a balanced frequency spectrum. It's once more different on headphones.

The things I'd address, would be finding a better balance between the drums and the bass first. A slightly more quiet bass and/or blending the DI with the amped signal, to have more low end. The reverb on the drums being pulled back or maybe of different variety (perhaps start with the snare only... warm room/plate, subtle first, then go from there). For the guitars, less reverb, more "tight" played for the rhythm parts, "lead" melody in center, rather than having two melodies that battle against each other on the left and right speakers. The vocals can remain as is, but they're also sitting too "on top" of everything.

The main focus here is "finding balance".




@Treyt

Now this production kicked off the biggest arguments this month. Including it not being "Metal", rather only "Metal-esque" (with too much pop influence). However, "Trance Metal" is a thing - heavy use of synths, sound effects like glitching, or even the use of synthetic drums rather than plain acoustic ones (as in: blended/heavily altered). I've mentioned a couple of examples for this genre already. Like Blue Stahli, PassCode, to a certain extend even Celldweller. I also know Treyt's usual sound design ideas from other songwriting games. This production is definitely more inspired by "Machine Supremacy" (SID Metal), meeting Industrial / Electronic / Retrowave (see "The Protomen", maybe even Carpenter Brut, Sergei Primal or myrtorp). Plenty of interesting ideas. I legit see nothing wrong here general production wise...

...except for the vocals. And here I have to agree with the general feedback. Glitching, I would have had no problem with (I actually anticipated even). However, the auto-tuning is just too strong and distracting. Which (arguably) pulls this production more towards pop. Same goes for doubling of some of the vocals. Here I'd "pul back" and either mix those along more subtle, or experiment more with sound effects (like: radio voice / bandpassing, etc) to separate the parts and make them more interesting. The "screamo" part could have also been stronger and more aggressive. One of the tricks I would have used, is a pitched down and distorted parallel track (subtly mixed in for emphasis).

Guitar wise, I would have added a bit more upper mids before morphing it with a synth. Just to have a bit more "bite". And overall the production feels a bit compressed. If you switch over to headphones (with large speakers drivers), you also notice that this production has a strong emphasis on low mids, making things sound a bit dull. And here the vocal effects are even more apparent than on small speakers.

A lot can still be done with mix. A revisit might be a worthwhile time investment.




@VCA-089

If this is really your first time with this genre, you definitely have some interesting "Industrial Metal" ideas with so many intricate details (like your productions usually have). However, aside from it borderline being a bit "too soundtrack like" (the last third of the song tries to remedy that)... and as many other productions this month, it's the mix that is holding it back.

For example... the drums (Addictive Drums) is what's dragging the production down a bit too much. While the snare itself isn't bad (overall tone), it's the EQ and the reverb, which turns this into a mid-heavy monster that wants to break out of a metal box (reverb). This really sticks out like a sore thumb - especially on small speakers. The guitars are another topic. While UJAM is a nice attempt to revive old Steinberg "Virtual Guitarist 2", it sadly is but a shadow of it's former self (they just sound too synthetic, IMHO!). I'd have used a different amp setup. Maybe even more compression > drive pedal > amp > gate (for aggressiveness). Just to mask the rhythm section some more. Same for the lead guitar. You can really hear that this is a sample based instrument, that lacks some slight modulation (imperfections of the strings due to the fingers - I know, the RealGuitars aren't easy to control!), and I would have also used more input gain before hitting the amp, then blend it in with a suitable delay/reverb combo.

On headphones, you also notice the rhythm guitars being too wide, the lead guitar drowning a bit too much (because of too much low mids), and the drums basically taking over everything. If you can revisit this production, please do. Maybe also pull back the sound effects a bit to make this feel a bit less "soundtrack" heavy.





:arrow: SUMMARY:

There have been some interesting productions this month. Even with the new vote mechanics, it's still not easy to make a suitable selection, so that we have a healthy balance of instrumental and vocalized productions on the chart.

Rest assured, my vote is not really overruling anything - it only "adds" to the points in general.
► Show Spoiler

You all did an amazing job.
Thank you for participating!
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Mister Fox
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Winners announced

#50

Post by Mister Fox »

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are the results of Songwriting Competition 61

:arrow: The winners podium consists of:
  1. @Dear David John (81 pts)
  2. @Treyt (77 pts)
  3. @VCA-089 (67 pts)

Apologies for the waiting time, this is not an automated process.

<4 participant rule is not in use (staff comments and votes, my vote would count as bonus)
We have 0 disqualification (due to lack of feedback)
We have 0 withdrawn entries
We have 0 votes after the deadline - therefore -5 points penalty
We have 0 users that tied
  • no (more) users that tied
"Sole (License) Winner" rule does not apply - 3-position Winners Podium (>= 9 participants prior to the deadline)


STATISTICS SHEET:
Overview of Submissions (PDF - updated: 06-DEC-2022, full sheet)

 ! Bonus Info
Short info:
I am using Wavelab 10 for batch analysis, then I manually port the CSV export to a Microsoft Excel/Open Office Calc sheet with custom layout (this is not an automated process).

As pointed out in this post from SWC047 / July, Wavelab has different tolerances for dBTP max analysis compared to tools like iZotope RX, Youlean Loudness Meter, NUGEN Audio VisLM, etc. To find a common ground, I've implemented "allowed tolerances" (just like with the Mix Challenge). These are based upon allowed offsets mentioned in the white papers for EBU R128 and ITU-R BS.1770-4. Since no measurement tool is the same, to be on the save side, please export at -14,1 LUFS ILk max, and -1,1 dBTP max.

As usual, I did list/analyze alternative releases (MP3s and FLAC). If you've submitted your entry in multiple file formats, the statistic sheet will focus on the uncompressed material first (WAV), then FLAC, then MP3. The higher the quality, the less possible loss on bonus points for "Loudness Specs" due to offsets introduced by a used CODEC. In this case, FLAC and MP3 are merely for information purposes.



Here are the results as chart in image form:
Image


Thank you so much for your participation. :clap:

 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
INFORMATION:
We're still testing the new feedback and voting mechanic as announced in October 2022.

For transparency sake: there were -1pt deductions each for @Dear David John and @becsei_gyorgy for not fully reflecting on their experience with this Songwriting Competition. The idea here is to take a step back, think about what was exciting this month, what didn't work out so well for you, and what could been improved for yourself in the future. The -1pt deduction has no influence on the overall score, and I consider it to be a fair compromise for the overall learning experience.


:arrow: License selection:

We'll now perform with the usual. Selecting licenses is handled in public. Please select one license/company out of the pool (in order of the winners podium) and mention it in this thread, then (important) please get in touch with me (via PM) with your full name, email address and your license selection.

As usual - you're not forced to pick up anything. You can pass and therefore offer more to select for the next person in line (if there is a spot existing / not available for "sole winner" mechanic). Just let all participants/winners/the staff know in a timely manner (within 5 days). Once one company has been selected, it's out of the pool for the next person on the podium.



I re-open the field for talking some more about each others' productions. If things drift a bit too off-topic, please use the General Gossip thread, or Discord.



See you in in the next challenge!


Songwriting Competition 064 (December 2022) is still in full swing. There is currently no entry.
Please help spread the word! :help:
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