SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
Nige
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:10 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Nige » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm

Beeble wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:10 pm
I feel a bit "mustained" about your argumentation @FixInTheMix.

Image

FixInTheMix
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 8:13 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by FixInTheMix » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:48 pm

Beeble wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:10 pm
Now @FixInTheMix shows up that a loud mix and some clippings counts more than the song itself. :headscratch:
Maybe if this is the way to evaluate a composition this should be renamend in "production contest"
Well, as I said before the only reason my critique focused more on the technical aspect was because it was the element that stood out to me the most, I also wanted to be as clear as possible about what I was talking about to not be confused with just disliking distortion in general.
I really didn´t know what else to mention besides the few things that got my attention (riff, subtle offkey vocals), I understand that it seems that I based my vote on technical critique only but I didn´t. As I also said before I gave kc23´s song a higher score because I consider it more creative in almost every way (dynamics, chord progression, structure). I still think Nige song is great but it´s more simple and "safe" than the rest.

It´s okay to disagree with my review, it´s okay to tell me why you think I´m wrong, what is not okay is to tell me I deserve sarcasm because I´m an idiot and that my opinion matters less because I make lounge music apparently :shrug:

Nige
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:10 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Nige » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:48 am

These are my scores and a few words on each, cheers.
kc23 - Coffee.Nothing

I love the overall tone and feel of this track throughout, it's got a real post-punk, 'The Cure', vibe about it, and I think the vocals in particular really lend themselves to this style. I noticed an abrupt cut off at 0:57 which really should have tailed off into that change. Love that bassline through this section (0:56-1:18) how it plays against the back beat of the snare but was ultimately let down in the fact that there was only one line of vocals and turned a potential chorus into just another interlude.
The galloping bassline that kicks the whole track off is really cool and works nicely with the arp guitars, but I felt a little more time could have been spent building up the intro as opposed to bass/drums/keys/guitars all appearing on the first bar. Same goes for the abrupt ending, you could have at least finished on the end of the bar.
I thought leaving the bass out at 1:59-2:20 didn't work and just left a big hole in what could have been a powerful build up into the introduction of that cool arp keyboard part at 2:22 that really dances around the stereo field.
The breakdown at 3:05 felt a little long-winded, but I think this probably had more to do with the mix than the actual performance, and if those guitars were out in front of the mix a bit more it would have made for a much more engaging section.
All in all it's well played/performed, and there's some catchy melodies (the bass in particular) to keep the listeners attention, although the bass level throughout was quite dominant. I felt the drums got a bit sterile and mechanical in places (most notably the hi-hat) and the guitars were quite buried in the mix which took away a LOT of impact overall, and made the track plod along at times.
The vocals took a back seat to the bass guitar too level-wise, which was a shame. They really needed to be out in front of the mix quite a bit more.

Donkeyt-Oncoming traffic

Not really getting too much of a 60's flavour tbh,it feels a bitmore modern to me with a of early Blur or even hints of Oasis, but either way a really concise, to the point track with equally memorable vocal melodies, I especially love how the change falls on the "traffic" part, really clever and engaging, and the call and return play off between the main vox and the BV's was a sweet touch too.
The syncopation of the drums, bass and vocals are a winning combo in my books, all three elements play off each other really succinctly, and you can tell there's tons of effort put into those drum and bass tracks, and they way you really highlighted the accents.
As far as the "jangle" goes, I would have like a more natural guitar sound and level overall in comparison to the strong bass/drum performance. They felt more like an ambient element as opposed to a driving force on top of the rhythm.
The "singing down a pipe"vocal effect wasn't working for me either, a more lo-fi approach might have been a better option but I guess it all comes down to taste.
I think the biggest let down for me was coming back into the final verse after the short interlude 1:43-1:57 and getting the same vocal delivery as at the start. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible or anything, but a key change or even a variation in the melody of some description would have really knocked it out of the park, instead it felt a bit too samey for such a concise track.
A tight mix, and a really nice job overall.

FixInTheMix - Contra Tiempos

It's really hard for me to get enthisiastic in regards to a song in this style but the smooth vocal performance definitely got my attention and kept me engaged throughout. The melody worked well over top of accompanying music and played off the bass particulrly nicely. I really liked the spacious vocal verb too.
Keys filled in the empty space really well and seemed to glue all the elements together.
The arp parts (1:14-2:07 etc) added a bit of variation and the guitar solo was great. Well played and nice overall tone that spread right across the stereo field.
Drum tracks were extremely bland and showed very little variation or dynamics and felt very copy/paste throughout the entire track. While being what you'd come to expect from a track in this style, I found The progression throughout to be be very predecticable which again added to the copy/paste feel of the song.
I completely lost interest at 3:10 when we head back for a musical outro that is (quite literally) more of the same without any type of variation or counterpoint to mark the end of the track. A sweet little vocal line, guitar part or something to hold the listeners interest through here would have been a welcome addition.
It's all played well enough (vocals in particular) and the mix is pleasant, but overall not a memorable song.

10 pts - Donkeyt-Oncoming traffic
9 pts - kc23 - Coffee.Nothing
8 pts - FixInTheMix - Contra Tiempos

donkey tugger
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:40 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by donkey tugger » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:43 pm

Nige wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:48 am


Donkeyt-Oncoming traffic

Not really getting too much of a 60's flavour tbh,it feels a bitmore modern to me with a of early Blur or even hints of Oasis, but either way a really concise, to the point track with equally memorable vocal melodies, I especially love how the change falls on the "traffic" part, really clever and engaging, and the call and return play off between the main vox and the BV's was a sweet touch too.
The syncopation of the drums, bass and vocals are a winning combo in my books, all three elements play off each other really succinctly, and you can tell there's tons of effort put into those drum and bass tracks, and they way you really highlighted the accents.
As far as the "jangle" goes, I would have like a more natural guitar sound and level overall in comparison to the strong bass/drum performance. They felt more like an ambient element as opposed to a driving force on top of the rhythm.
The "singing down a pipe"vocal effect wasn't working for me either, a more lo-fi approach might have been a better option but I guess it all comes down to taste.
I think the biggest let down for me was coming back into the final verse after the short interlude 1:43-1:57 and getting the same vocal delivery as at the start. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible or anything, but a key change or even a variation in the melody of some description would have really knocked it out of the park, instead it felt a bit too samey for such a concise track.
A tight mix, and a really nice job overall.

Cheers, some good ideas to look at there. I'm thinking about that last section..the vocal is right at the top of my range (30 odd years of smoking tends to do that.. :hihi: ) so maybe something going lower I think. Hmm...I shall ponder.

And I'll always take Blur as any kind of comparison. :love:

Nige
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:10 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Nige » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:27 am

donkey tugger wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:43 pm

Cheers, some good ideas to look at there. I'm thinking about that last section..the vocal is right at the top of my range (30 odd years of smoking tends to do that.. :hihi: ) so maybe something going lower I think. Hmm...I shall ponder.

And I'll always take Blur as any kind of comparison. :love:
Never neglect the importance of a strong ending (>insert every great song of the modern age here< .
I'd been fucking it up for years and always wondered my songs were missing that 'something'. It's taken me right up until now to realize I was merely a lazy songwriter who wasn't putting in all I had.
On a side note, I dedicated 20 solid years of my life to cigarettes. If it's affecting your health in a negative way it might be time to re access the current paradigm. If everything's cool why change?
If I didn't have legitimate reasons for not smoking I'd do it too, just to offend all the social correctness warriors.

kc23
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:03 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by kc23 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:57 pm

Hello

First, sorry for being late... I never got to post a translation for my lyrics, I suppose it doesn´t matter now anyway.

There´s been a lot of activity in this months competition, albeit the small number of paricipants. "We few, we happy few...!" :cool:

So, I´ll proceed to my voting, and afterwards will have a read through the whole thread!


"Summer Soul/Winter Mind"

This one has a nice sort of simple structure, but with good "riffy" guitars very upfront and agresive (maybe a little too much in some moments). Those guitars sound really good! I like the "blend" I hear between old and new "Alices", as in your singing and the chorus reminds me of Alice Cooper, and the voice delays right before the 16th notes bridge and the key drop in the solo remind me a lot of Alice in Chains... hehe. What threw me off a little is the change to major feel on the final chorus... its not like its not nice... but I think it doesn´t sound as "sweet" to me as maybe you wanted it to be... maybe a modulation to another key in there?

On the production side, your doubled voices maybe need to be a little tighter rhythmic wise... I mean the ones that are in the same note, the harmonies are fine. And a little less guitar (talking about levels not sounds!) in favor of the voice in some spots... I still can´t figure out what are you saying at the beginning of the chorus... and I´ve already worn off my hard drive in that spot! hehe


"Oncoming Traffic"

Very nice ringing guitars! sound almost like arpeggiated bells all along the song! Also the leading melodic bass is nice, gives the song a different kind of drive. I also like all those creative guitar sounds and transitions on the edges of the stereo... that style reminds me of Adrian Belew´s solo work. Very nice melodies over a very nice chord progression.

I think that raspy quality of your voice is also really nice and fits your timbre very well too, but maybe for this tune your performance needed a little more drive... more anxiety... more push! I feel this in a couple of spots. And maybe a high voice harmony here and there (or more presence to the ones already there) could have helped... like at the beginning of the verse... or at the end, on the last "you´ll be left on the incoming traffic... traffic!", so one would feel the anxiety of being left head on to the... incoming... traffic... :smile:



"Contra Tiempos"

Very nice 7/8ths vs bass melody, suits the song name perfectly. The harmony sequence and some changes remind me a lot of the jazzy feel of Spinetta. And I hear that in your voice in a couple of spots. I think the arrangement is also what is needed here, simple, textured, nice sound fx where needed (finger snap, crash cymbal, keyboard splash, aahhh, etc). Guitar solo is not flashy, and weird enough to add to the overall melancholic feel of the song. Everything sounds clear and clean... but, maybe a little more "dirt" on the bass?

I would have liked to hear your voice a little bit dryer (and a little more tuned) in some spots... or maybe just not doubled, at the beginning of the verse... or the chorus ("no hay más tiempo...") or where the lyrics imply a little more intimacy. Also, a little more contrast for the "a.m. radio" parts... so a little bit MORE "a.m."!


So, this has been difficult, and the only reason I´m scoring is because... I have to!


10 pts. Contra Tiempos
09 pts. Oncoming Traffic
08 pts. Summer Soul/Winter Mind


Thank you to all participants, and of course to Mister Fox!

kc23
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:03 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by kc23 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:29 pm

Just had a read through the thread...


About the scoring thing, I´ve already said my peace and I think is over there in the SWC gossip thread.


So, thank you all for your feedback, is always nice to realize new possibilities for something one is hearing a certain way. Even if they don´t "stick", at least will spark ideas to keep trying out.

Did the mix "on the fly"... but anyway I still need to keep going at it with my mixing.

So, thanks again!

FixInTheMix


(y... saludos desde Perú! :wink: )

FixInTheMix
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 8:13 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by FixInTheMix » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:17 pm

kc23 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:57 pm
Very nice 7/8ths vs bass melody, suits the song name perfectly. The harmony sequence and some changes remind me a lot of the jazzy feel of Spinetta. And I hear that in your voice in a couple of spots.
Being compared to Spinetta is the best compliment one could possibly get so thank you! :hail:

Nige
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:10 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Nige » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:13 am

kc23 wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:57 pm


This one has a nice sort of simple structure, but with good "riffy" guitars very upfront and agresive (maybe a little too much in some moments). Those guitars sound really good! I like the "blend" I hear between old and new "Alices", as in your singing and the chorus reminds me of Alice Cooper, and the voice delays right before the 16th notes bridge and the key drop in the solo remind me a lot of Alice in Chains... hehe. What threw me off a little is the change to major feel on the final chorus... its not like its not nice... but I think it doesn´t sound as "sweet" to me as maybe you wanted it to be... maybe a modulation to another key in there?

On the production side, your doubled voices maybe need to be a little tighter rhythmic wise... I mean the ones that are in the same note, the harmonies are fine. And a little less guitar (talking about levels not sounds!) in favor of the voice in some spots... I still can´t figure out what are you saying at the beginning of the chorus... and I´ve already worn off my hard drive in that spot! hehe
Hey thanks for the feedback, you've raised some really valid points. I definitely get a bit lazy when it comes to vocals, probably because I don't really consider myself a singer, as opposed to having to do it out of necessity and tend to rush through the whole process.
I need to take a bit more time in this area, cheers.

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC07 March 2018 - Voting until 01-04-2018 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:27 am

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 24 hours left to submit your vote


I think only DT's feedback/vote is missing at this point...

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