SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Results, Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
Tbase2000
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by Tbase2000 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:50 pm

Here we go again. I gotta say it was a little boring this month without the drama. :grin:

10 Eric Tracks World is Hell:
I absolutely love the guitars and the pedalling keys. The intro whole note synth tone is pretty horny
(mids). Vocals are on-point. Just my idea but on parts like 1:13 the vocal needs some help to get
the intensity. This is where you go wide with a split pair of lead vocal 2 distorted and a harmony
track. I prefer the chorus to be bigger like that as well but you can get some good emotion out of a
guitar amp setup on your backup vocal. Lots more room for vocal verb and delays too. 1:30 that
would have worked.
Drums: I didn't know what to do either. They sound a little shady but they work.
I think you did a great job. It sounds finished to me, great mix, clean.

9 FixInTheMix Burning Chrome:
I almost put my roller skates on and did some spins in the living room. Flash Dance! You nailed the
80's and I hope you were going for that. But then you dropped this sick break at 1:30 that brought
the whole song into the present. The vocal is great. You really need to use it more and develop
your confidence. The music behind that vocal is perfect. We talked a little about it. Those 16
measures or whatever are my favorite of the contest. I know
collaboration is drama and everyone saw 02 get ugly...but you need other people to develop an
idea. Let them run with it and see what comes out.

8 KC23 Electric Paranoia:
I can hear the ideas and individual tracks because I have Ninja hearing. What I'm not sure of is why
you didn't give each group its space in time. 16
measures of everybody and then let the keyboards run with it for a while...drop to solo bass for a
bar then let the guitars build it back up. It's all so layered that it just becomes one sound, which in
my opinion only works for a limited amount of time...ie a chorus. It's cool kaos. If you did like a
roller coaster volume fade for the entire thing and dropped one more showcase rhythm in each of
the dips of the roller coaster...that would be dope.

Are you ready for the Christmas Theme song contest in December? Ewe...please don't do that BNF.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by FixInTheMix » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:59 am

10 - World Is Hell - erictracks
You got me with the staccato 80´s synth bass, also the synth-like arpeggiated guitar works great, I think this song is the one that got closer to the cyberpunk aesthetic feel than the rest, kind of nostalgic IMO.I specially enjoyed the general phsing at 2:16 anf the abrupt ending, very good ideas in this one.

9- TeaBags4Two - Tbase2000
This starts really strong but I think It kind of losses it´s focus during the break, I don´t think that specific melodic sequence really makes sense considering what comes before and after, I like he idea of a softer sounding break but I don´t like execution. I really like the very processed guitar panned to the left during the first verse, what is it? very fast vibrato? a leslie style proceesing? I would like to know :pray:

8- Electric Paranoia - kc23
Starts promising but it gets old reeeally fast, a simple look at the overall waveform already gives a clue of the problem: no dynamic variation at all during the whole song, everything is loud all the time wich tires the listener very quickly and I´m not talking from a technical point like overcompression, it´s an arangement issue, as Tbase said you got to let the song breathe to be effective, I understand you went for a density of sound approach but it looses it´s power when it´s a constant thing, also I don´t really like some of the individual sounds, for example the EDM style chords, which (to me) feel out of place, also maybe eq out some low end from the background guitars I think they are mudding the mix a little.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by erictracks » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:11 am

10. Tbase TeaBags4Two:
Cinematic, aggressive sounds. That’s an ominous intro. I put this in first place because it’s a complete journey, with an intense vocal delivery that matches the feel of the song. Honestly I was surprised it was only two and a half minutes, because so much was packed in there it seemed a bit longer. The transitions are dramatic, yet there’s an overall consistency to the arrangement. I really liked the major—ish riff at 1:08, and the plastic pipe sounding synth that makes appearances in the verses. I wasn’t a fan of the sorta cliche computer sounds, or that big sub drop in the intro, but honestly it worked, sounded pro and happened in all the right places.

9. FixInTheMix Burning Chrome:
This would have been a contender for the ten point spot if it took me somewhere else. In the intro I feel like it did a much better job of doing what I was trying to do in my track, in terms of the retro sequencer and anxious synth melody. And this sounds so good. But the intro and outro end up just kind of being there, and I wish more happened in those sections, even if this is an abbreviated version (I think?). That said, the chorus is incredible. It sounds extremely contemporary synthwavey, with the soft vocal delivery, and lush vocal reflections. Tons of potential.

8. KC23 Electric Paranoia
My initial reaction is like, how the hell do you get kicks to sound like that? The guitars start and I have no idea where we’re headed. This arrangement and delivery are absolutely mental, and clashes all these sounds together in a way that skyrockets my anxiety levels. Based on the song title, I assume this was intentional. First impression was that this was a soundscape, that wasn’t really going anywhere in particular, and was setting the technological postapocalytpic mood. But then the progression gets dramatic and hits that moment at 1:29, and I realize there is a lot more going on here, with a constant pull down into the paranoia. I wish it was a little more, orchestrated? (not sure if this is the right word). Some further contrast.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by kc23 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:34 am

hi

so... i said I bet you could tell it was done in a few hours!!

your feedbacks about it are really awesome to read... don´t know what I was going for, just pulled that thing out of my system, and uploaded it. no time to think it over. no time to make it pretty. its what it is. and its awesome to have caused this reactions!

but of course it needs work... one of these days I´ll post it again wiht my do-overs.

and next time I´ll try invest more time... and maybe blow my steam a little less!


so, to my voting:

10 Ericktracks
It sounds to me like Bowie meets Chris Squire with a background reminiscent of Eminence Front by The Who. Dense and anxious. So yeah, i Like it.

9 TeaBags4Two - Tbase2000
There´s somethign about it I don´t like... but to be honest, don´t really know what it is. Maybe the looped voice... but overall this track has some very good moments.

8 FixInTheMix
I think this may be entirely a taste thing... but never liked those rythmic keyboards that usually "drive" the whole song. It makes it a little too... soft... flat... I think this track would have needed a little bit more paranoia! hehe


so, there it is.


thanks!

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by Tbase2000 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:01 am

And there you have it. KC23 has a taste for Bowie and not TeaBags4Two.
I do appreciate the in depth feedbacks from the other contestants and really think this will be the ultimate drawing card to the competition.
Happy Holidays if I don't see you in December.
I think we are done here. Hope to see you next month. If not, Happy New Year!

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Voting until 01-12-2017 11:59pm GMT+1/CET

Post by Mister Fox » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:00 am

The following feedback is "bonus" from my side. It has no influence on the results. I just fell like doing it.

As with SWC02, I also added some technical details at the end of each report, after analyzing the WAV files (in fact, I only listened to the WAVs). You don't need to do that. I just want to give you a small overview of where to look out for in the future maybe.




:arrow: Fix in the Mix - Burning Chrome

Right off the bat, very 80ies "retro wave", very interesting build up for the first 1:30min... Though give that snare some more gated reverb, please! :grin: (like, a lot more!)

Definitely did not expect the vocal part. But aside from the background chorus, the main vocals were a bit off-putting sound wise on first impression (it worked better after listening to it 3-4 times). Maybe a different filter usage and more reverb/delay on it would have ported it a bit more into the 80ies, or let things flow together a bit more smooth. But such things are always personal opinion. A pity that this is cut so short. 2:30min max. Also... no "safety silence" in front and back of the production.

Should you ever decide to finish this, it could be a likely candidate for a future Mix(ing) Challenge. Regarding your question of how you could "repeat" sections... Take the ending of your current edit for example... let the lead sound run a bit longer, create a pitch bend down or something, maybe mess with the beat a bit, then jump back to the 33s mark of the song (which could work well for repeating). At least IMO.


TECHNICAL BONUS INFO:
- production was in 48kHz 24bit
- Loudness was -14,5LUFS ILk, -12,7LUFS SLk max
- track was limited to -1,59dBFS max
- mixdown had a DC Offset of about -67,1dB (assuming, it used a lot of analog type effects)




:arrow: erictracks - World is Hell

This is definitely a track that you would hear in a 80ies animated show/movie or on the radio. I can definitely understand the David Bowie comment, although generally British synth pop would fit just as much. Looking at the use of instruments, it's also a great selection (Arturia SEM-V, Mini, Prophet and Matrix-12 and TAL Noizemaker - is reminiscent of these old synths from yesteryear). I assume the "Samples from Mars" were a Roland 808 or maybe even SP1200. Either way, really fitting. Same with the guitars.

The song pretty much feels like as if made from one piece. Can't add any more to that. Even if you say it's not really mixed, it's great already!


TECHNICAL BONUS INFO:
- production was in 44kHz 16bit
- Loudness was -14,7LUFS ILk, -12,3LUFS SLk max
- track was limited to -0,11dBFS max
- mixdown had a DC Offset of about -114,4dB




:arrow: kc23- Electric Paranoia

This is a strange one. IMO, it does fit with SciFi / Cyberpunk. But more like into more modern (think 2000s, think Ghost in the Shell: SAC, Cowboy Bebop, .hack) - heck, it would even fit into a J-RPG. There is definitely a lot of influence from "King Crimson" as well (the progressiveness and the guitars). But the track sadly needs a lot of work. Things just clash too much, you have a strange pumping effect going on as if things are about to break apart (probably because things were compressed too much?! And then pulled down in loudness again?). But for just "blowing off some steam from work", it's an interesting creation.

Maybe you should revisit that track and create a more clean mix.


TECHNICAL BONUS INFO:
- production was in 44kHz 24bit
- Loudness was -15,8LUFS ILk, -15,1LUFS SLk max (so either strongly compressed, or the layers of sounds offer no "dynamic movement")
- track was limited to -4,83dBFS max
- mixdown had a DC Offset of about -inf dB




:arrow: Tbase2000 - TeaBags4Two (or maybe T-Bags 4-2)

This is definitely a stab at more modern sci-fi. It could fit into a Devil May Cry game for sure, or some really, really dark "Cyberpunk" visual material. But this is where it sadly ends for me. I understand the idea/concept of chaos (throwing various genres together into one) and the taunting vocals (I do get the reference). But it just doesn't want to grow on me personally. The vocals are not fitting with the mixing (if we look both at the mix and the performance). A different EQ and definitely a different room sound would give the production a more homogeneous feel for sure - if you want to keep them.

For just messing about with Cubase 9, I think it's good. But I don't think this is your "AAA game".


TECHNICAL BONUS INFO:
- production was in 44kHz 16bit
- Loudness was -14,5LUFS ILk, -11,4LUFS SLk max (fairly dynamic, considering the otherwise "squashed" and dull)
- track was limited to -0,30dBFS max, but showed +0,08dBTP, it therefore clipped
- mixdown had a DC Offset of about -90,4 dB





:!: SUMMARY:

I think I kind of expected "more" towards Jazz and oldschool productions (80s/90s, Synthwave and Classic Rock). But then again, there was no definite genre limitation. And considering the rare entries, it's still outstanding to see the different approaches. I found it a bit sad though, that the majority of the entries were basically "last minute" entries or "just for the hell of it". They were also below 2:30min - with the exception of Eric's 3:20min song. I really hope the recent adjustments to the competition will help on the long run - to get back to more fun (no need to rush things), not at the last minute, etc.

To me, there is one clear winner. But then again, I grew up with "Cyberpunk" in animation form and associate mostly 80ies "Wave" music and classic rock with it. But that's a personal preference. So let's see how SWC04 will play out.



:arrow: My votes (they do not count to the overall score sheet, 2nd and 3rd place is interchangeable for me):

10pts - erictracks
9pts - kc23 (if the mix would be better)
8pts - FixInTheMix
7pts - Tbase2000



See you in Songwriting Competition 04

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Results, Winners announced

Post by Mister Fox » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:11 am

Ladies and Gentlemen, here are the results of Songwriting Competition 03

:arrow: The winners podium consists of:
  1. erictracks
  2. Tbase2000
  3. FixInTheMix
Everyone voted, no ties
We have no disqualifications


Here are the results as chart in image form:
Image



Thank you so much for your participation. :clap:



:arrow: License selection:

We'll now perform with the usual. The top three spots can select from the available price pool. First place has the first pick, then second place from what is left, then the third place. Selecting licenses is handled in public, please. After that, please get in touch with me (via PM) with your contact data. In case of the "Bjulin Waves" sponsorship - the winners podium can additionally select one "Inspire Me" package on top of the license selection (please mention that in the PM).

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. Just let all participants/winners/the staff know in a timely manner.



Feedback about the "Songwriting Competition" is welcome (please do so here).

See you in in the next Challenge!

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Results, Winners announced

Post by Tbase2000 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 am

Not a complaint...just an observation... What are the judging criteria for the future? I think everyone has been fair and honest but your talking about the last person that votes decides the podium. Might be trouble in the future. I don't know..."I just like a more than b isn't gonna sit well with some other players". Kinda how it played out this round. And 4th Fox? Come on man. Go buy some headphones player. Please....

Another observation is the themes themselves. Can we get a 3 song youtube sample of what the genre is supposed to be. Block Rockin Beats. WTF is that? I know prodigy...but is that even the theme? I need samples. That last contest was some guess work for me and clearly I missed the target. I brought Nintendo to the game and nobody liked it...

For the record I'm gonna pass on any Downloads this month. Cubase9 is buggy and crashing so I don't even want to add a new verb until it's stable.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Results, Winners announced

Post by Mister Fox » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:23 am

Tbase2000 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 am
...but your talking about the last person that votes decides the podium.
The podium is decided by the summed votes, not who voted last. Which is why I post the chart for all to see.

After all votes were filed, erictracks made 30 points, you made 28, FixInTheMix made 26, and kc23 made 24. The podium is declared by the order of highest to lowest points. I don't see a reason for trouble in the future.


Tbase2000 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 am
And 4th Fox? Come on man. Go buy some headphones player. Please....
I thought we're all about fair votes and constructive feedback? :hmmm:
I honestly don't get the angered fuzz. Shall I rather refrain from giving feedback as long as I'm not joining the game as well?

Personally, your production is not my style - and I see room for improvement (vocals!). Also, you still made 2nd place after all votes - even after me giving you the least points. Furthermore - my votes don't count, since we have no ties and there was no need for a balance-vote.


Tbase2000 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 am
Another observation is the themes themselves. Can we get a 3 song youtube sample of what the genre is supposed to be. Block Rockin Beats. WTF is that? I know prodigy...but is that even the theme? I need samples. That last contest was some guess work for me and clearly I missed the target. I brought Nintendo to the game and nobody liked it...
"Big Beat" is the genre for SWC04. But providing a couple of links to Youtube Playlists is no problem, if you don't want to read up on the artists I mentioned. I think SWC05's "genre selection" is pretty clear as well?


Tbase2000 wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:42 am
For the record I'm gonna pass on any Downloads this month. Cubase9 is buggy and crashing so I don't even want to add a new verb until it's stable.
Alright, thanks for making that known. And sorry for your issues with Cubase (I can relate, though not with Cubase 9).


So once erictracks (1st place) has selected something, then FixInTheMix (3rd place) can select a license from the available pool.

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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC03 November 2017 - Results, Winners announced

Post by Tbase2000 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:35 am

Sorry, I missed the artists you mentioned related to the next Big Beat genre. I'll go look for them.
You giving me 4th... That's the whole point...what are we judging on? You don't like it...but the others did. Personal taste shouldn't be in the equation because I'd give you all a D. Get some heavy metal in your diets. Judging needs to be defined for the future. I like a 3 criteria idea.
1) Production
2) Musicianship
3) Mix
4) Theme

Throwing it out there...and yes that's 4. I think the "Hit the Theme" should be +something for every vote. 0, 1 is all. If I drop a metal song on a salsa theme...how are you going to deal with that?

And I think we can all add well enough to know that the last vote may or may not sway a winner and loser. Nobody wants to be in that spot. I don't. Don't make me be the last guy to choose. I could have been a jerk and been last, given Eric an 8 and we would have tied. Not how I roll but everybody is different.
Last edited by Tbase2000 on Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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