SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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Dr Dendrite
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:21 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Dr Dendrite » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:08 am

What a great bunch, good luck all!

J I L L I A M
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:25 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by J I L L I A M » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:42 pm

Dr Dendrite wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:08 am
What a great bunch, good luck all!
Shame on you for not participating! :hihi:

Just kidding. I guess Prodigy is not your style?

DoctorBob
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:02 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by DoctorBob » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:58 pm

I would have done something but no time. Sorry. I first started listening to music on 7" vinly, starting with Russ Conway and China Tea! Started to build my own library around 1959 onwards on 2 track 7" tape! Worked with groups (recording/foh/mixing/production) from the late 60's. Stopped this in the late 80's - prog rock/disco/rock/blues/electric folk/acoustic folk/electronic experimental. Make my own solo music and record for my daughter (jazz/classical/big band) and friends.

dB

TrojakEW
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by TrojakEW » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:36 pm

DoctorBob wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:58 pm
I would have done something but no time. Sorry. I first started listening to music on 7" vinly, starting with Russ Conway and China Tea! Started to build my own library around 1959 onwards on 2 track 7" tape! Worked with groups (recording/foh/mixing/production) from the late 60's. Stopped this in the late 80's - prog rock/disco/rock/blues/electric folk/acoustic folk/electronic experimental. Make my own solo music and record for my daughter (jazz/classical/big band) and friends.

dB
Too bad. I was hoping to hear your experiment with this style. You have more experience with music then we all together here. :oops: Maybe next time. :tu:

I'm still listening to tracks and analyzing them. So hope tomorrow will be able post some comments.

minuskx
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:06 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by minuskx » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:19 pm

Sorry I took so long to post my rating. I'm not very good at coming up with feedback that isn't "on the spot" adjusting things in real time.
At first I was making the mistake of trying to compare the musics to something by the Prodigy, but the contest is about big-beat in general, and while Prodigy popularized it, their form of big beat isn't exactly the most distiled, containing quite a bit of their hardcore/rave background.
In my opinion a fair-er comparison would include artists like Lunatic Calm/Elite Force, Fatboy Slim, Propellerheads, Utah Saints, etc.
Anyway, I will present my feedback in the order the musics were posted by Mister Fox, and then do the rating list.

This feedback is a critique within the big beat genre only, I'm not taking into account your experience in this genre, or lack of thereof, even if the track is really good on its own, if it fails to relate to big beat in any way, it'll suffer.

"Heavy Exhale"

You got the darkness and heavyness down, the distorted guitar really adds to it. I feel the drums lack a bit of power in the snare department: (Originally) big beat derives its breaks from the old funk/soul days, where the snare hit was one of the most noticeable things in the break, more so than the kick drum sometimes. It was not uncommon to overlay a 909 or 808 on top of that, for some extra "meat". I think there's a bit too much distortion at the end, intentional or not, but with experience and messing about you'll get that stuff honed in. Overall a good stepping stone to improve upon.

"2nd Step"

Love the bass in this, great backing melody. The wah pads on the other hand not so much. The drums are good, but lack power and fullness, the cymbals could fill up that space a bit more, or even overlaying a different break on top. The pad ambience is pleasant, but I think there's a big problem with the piano section, it seems to be very off tune and off tempo, the off tempo quirk also being in some other instruments. I don't know if that's intentional, but big beat, like most electronic music, is what some people call a "button pushing" music genre, everything tends to be very perfect and synchronized. If it was intentional, I still respect that use of creative freedom.
However, my main issue with the track is that it seems to go nowhere after a while, that blessed pad constantly in the background is also a curse that makes the whole song seem too static even with the variety of instruments playing. Aside from what I said above I think you should practice breaking down the track at some points and even introduce different sections with no background pad or even just it playing at a different note.

"Little Racer"

Very good composition, creative use of samples, but the break really doesn't fit the big beat genre. Loved the dark and lightweight tone mix of the song. To be honest it's a perfectly competent song on its own, regardless of genre.
Good work!

"Assemble"

Cool track, but this isn't big beat at all (WHERE'S THE BEEF... ahem, I mean... THE BREAKBEAT?). Great melody and mastering work. It does start sounding a bit the same after a while, but that's nothing a bit more creative work on the song won't fix.

"Weapon of Choice"

While a cool track overall, some bits kinda irk me, like the vocals detuning from the rest of the music at points or not really feeling like they belong. I like instrumentals in electronic music specifically because of this, samples of melodic singing usually never work with electronic music unless it's sung based on the instrumental version of the music.

"Sharper Knife"

Yup totally see where you were going with this. The drums could use with a bit more filling, cymbals, 16th note hihat hits, 7th, 9th and 15th note ghost snare hits, 13th note kick hits, etc. More drum variation. To be honest I think the drums are the only thing in the song that needs some work, otherwise it's a good tune on its own!

"The Virus"

What can I say haha. You nailed it. And you even got the good old Amen hits in there too! I don't care how cliché it is, you did your homework on this. My only complaint is the repetitiveness of it and the intro could be a bit heavier right away.

"I am donkey, you are not donkey"

Heck yeah, epic sample use, really channeling that Fatboy Slim vibe, you know the works! I just think the sound is a bit too compressed.

"NXT Level"

Good stuff, but the build up seems fruitless. Other than that it's a good heavy track. I'd say maybe try to change up the drum pattern over the song or overlaying another break on top at some sections, so that it at least gives a different sense of speed and rhythm to the song and breaks up the monotony.

"Buddha be praised"

A nice track, the drums seem to be drowned by the bass at some points, but that's nothing a bit more mastering won't fix. I'd try slicing the break and rearranging the pattern for more variation on the groove and drum fills, so that you aren't limited to just retriggering the break or cut it off. Overall it reminds me of the darker mid to late 90's industrial electronic tunes.

"Flint Eastwood"

Man, glad someone remembered that The Worm break existed. Long intro though, but still a neat track!

► Show Spoiler

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

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by donkey tugger » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:26 pm

minuskx wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:19 pm


"I am donkey, you are not donkey"

I just think the sound is a bit too compressed.

So do I! Never mix things at the last minute, Never at high volume on headphones, and never straight after recording..them's good rules - all the ones I forgot about... :oops:

DoctorBob
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:02 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by DoctorBob » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:00 pm

@TrojakEW I was sorry too … I started out with some experiments, but really didn't have time to make a good BigBeat track.

Here's a couple of tracks recorded at a gig in the late 70's with a 2 track Revox and 2 room mics! Transferred to cassette and now mp3'd!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5luy2bucfkfvt ... y.mp3?dl=1

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2va3103pii4z4 ... a.mp3?dl=1

Enjoy!

TrojakEW
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by TrojakEW » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:42 am

First of all, I always rate and score based on overall production. I rather prefer balanced production over fabulous mix but bad composition and vice versa. Each element have to support each other elements.

Regarding select genre Bigbeat, I just look at base principle and description found on the net: "Big beat is an electronic music genre that usually uses heavy breakbeats and synthesizer-generated loops and patterns – common to acid house/techno." That's mean I will not compare track to something that was already produced. We do not need another copy of Prodigy or any other group. Track just need to stick to general principle defined by style.

Also my view regarding mix is not bound by the genre. Somebody may said and defend the track saying that it should be like that because every bigbeat track is going this way. I don't care about this. Mix should be clear with nice stage and good instrument separation no matter the style. Muddy will be always muddy same as harsh is harsh no matter the track genre. I again included some basic statistics and in few tracks also vectorscope to show and support my view about narrow stage.

There are some tracks that are in "usable" loudness range but true peak are out of bounds. It is just that my latest test shows that uploaded track after conversion to stream version (even the loudness is lowered) introduce more clipping. Kind of like there is applied expander that increase dynamic range but also increase true peak. 99.99% of users listen to the tracks directly from streaming services like soundcloud and not downloaded version. So if you want to make track sound as much the same as uploaded version you should watch the peaks to avoid additional distortion and other errors.

If somebody feels that I my comments are too much then I'm sorry. I will rather tell you what I really thinks about the track instead lying to you. It is possible that my view and opinion are not correct so you can always point me so I can learn also new stuff. This is reason why I'm here - to learn and to have fun.

J I L L I A M - Heavy Exhale
---------------------------------------
Now regarding numbers and mix it seems you are moving forward and it is better then in previous round. From graphical view in span it also looks tonally balanced but only looks because it doesn't sound balanced. Most problematic is that you like distorted sound so much that you add some kind of distortion effect on almost everything. You placed instrument nicely on stage but because of this distortion and huge reverb it doesn't sounds right. Because of reverb track sounds muddy and you tried to make drums punch through the mix with distortion but it doesn't help. I think track fit the style but that distorted sound especially at the end of the track make it hard to separate instruments and this make it sound almost random and cluttered even that I know it is not.

Max momentary loudness -10,1 LUFS
Max short term loudness -11,4 LUFS
Integrated loudness -12,7 LUFS
Loudness range 7,2 LU
True peak L -1,22db
True peak R -1,51db
DC offset L -0.019%
DC offset R -0.015%

MarkS - 2nd step
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I'm trying to find something that suit the bigbeat style but I can't find much here in this track. Especially beat that is most important in this genre is missing. You have there simple 4/4 drum pattern without any drive and syncopation. Also missing aggressive energy that is very unique in this style mostly because of your drums pattern. There is too many elements here kind of played randomly. It almost feels like some of instrument are playing its own melody. It sound almost like lullaby but with aggressive sounding instruments. Most of parts sounds mechanical, almost like that sound is just triggered on timeline without any additional changes like dynamics. Every single note have same velocity. Regarding mix there are some instruments that are too loud for example that distorted lead starting at 3:12. This also break tonal balance in these parts. Also not sure why you have removed everything beyond 16kHZ.

Max momentary loudness -14,6 LUFS
Max short term loudness -15,9 LUFS
Integrated loudness -20,7 LUFS
Loudness range 10,8 LU
True peak L -5,97db
True peak R -5,91db
DC offset L -0.002%
DC offset R -0.002%

ANTHEMIC - Assemble
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Looks like you are still in previous round SWC019 based on name of your track :). Intro is nice but it should be shorter. There are some nice sounds in there and overall it sound nice but this is not bigbeat style but more like pop electro something. Like most edm it have really simple melody and that feels too much repetitive. Maybe this is correct way how the edm should be, I don't know but I prefer more complex composition no matter the music style. Stage is very narrow. Almost everything is centered.
Image
There are tonal inbalance mostly because of bass that bring too much sub frequencies 80HZ and bellow. On the contrary mix sounds hollow. There is need to boost frequencies between 200HZ and 2kHZ.

Max momentary loudness -8,3 LUFS
Max short term loudness -10,0 LUFS
Integrated loudness -11,4 LUFS
Loudness range 13,5 LU
True peak L +0,70db / 350 clipped samples
True peak R +0,42db / 33 clipped samples
DC offset L -0.007%
DC offset R +0.008%

Leonard Bowman - Weapon of Choice
---------------------------------------
There is interesting beat here that suits the style but it is buried in mix. Drums need to be more upfront with more power. Here I can hear mostly that "hihat" pattern that sounds more like crash cymbal. Also sometime you hear snare hits but that's all. There some nice transition and changes in composition but composition itself without energy is not enough. I loose interest too quickly. Most problem here are because of instruments choice or rather said how they were used. It is again same like before in your tracks. Everything sound like it comes from instruments without life. No dynamics and expressions in instruments and even on lover velocity the sound is same. Like old school midi played through opl synthesis. I think this is your weakness. You have good ideas and awesome compositions but the sound is always too "weak" and lifeless. Numerically tonal balance is there but numbers wont deceive my ears. There are some problems but nothing serious.

Max momentary loudness -12,0 LUFS
Max short term loudness -13,5 LUFS
Integrated loudness -15,4 LUFS
Loudness range 4,3 LU
True peak L -1,47 dB
True peak R -1,10 dB
DC offset L +0.001%
DC offset R +0.001%

minuskx - Experience
---------------------------------------
That drum and percussive pattern sounds like that are coming right from one of the Prodigy track but still something is missing here and it's sounds incomplete. Where is the kick? I miss heartbeat. It is kind of zombie drum pattern like undead bigbeat that is alive without being live. Stage here doesn't exist here. It sound almost you are switched to mono to do better mix and you forget to switch it back when exporting/rendering track.
Image
Because of missing heart mix feels very weak. Need to feel the that low frequencies. All frequencies 1kHZ and bellow need boost. Yes it is bigbeat but there is missing energy here because of the mix.

Max momentary loudness -11,1 LUFS
Max short term loudness -12,8 LUFS
Integrated loudness -15,4 LUFS
Loudness range 5,9 LU
True peak L +0,52 dB / 7 clipped samples
True peak R +0,80 dB / 12 clipped samples
DC offset L -0.001%
DC offset R 0

toadhjo - Sharper Knife
---------------------------------------
Simple but it have definitely bigbeat feel. It think that beat is drowned in mix and it should be more upfront here in this genre. From what I hear in all bigbeat production and based on written description of it the beat is most important base building block. Here it feels more like background. I don't mind simple melody since most of this stuff have really simple melody or almost no melody but something should lead the track and move forward. Stage, stage, stage. Another track with almost nonexistent stage. Everything is almost mono.
Image
Numerically track have nice tonal balance but my ears want more air.

Max momentary loudness -9,8 LUFS
Max short term loudness -11,9 LUFS
Integrated loudness -14,2 LUFS
Loudness range 5,3 LU
True peak L -1,09 dB
True peak R -1,09 dB
DC offset L 0
DC offset R 0

Shiftdelete - The Virus
---------------------------------------
Yup it have definitely bigbeat feel. Simple but good. What I miss there is something that define the expression. Something that add some emotions there and choose the which side you want to interpret here. Now it feels empty and very neutral. It is more like some kind of background music that just support something else that you have not show us yet. Mix sounds balanced. Stage is there but it can be wider since some parts in track are very narrow, for example at 0:20 where you have only beat and bass. This part is pure mono. What is bad that you went for max loudness too much and mix have over compressed feel. Going for -9 LUFS or even lover require more work and also skills in order to avoid clipping and distortion.

Max momentary loudness -6,9 LUFS
Max short term loudness -8,0 LUFS
Integrated loudness -9,3 LUFS
Loudness range 2,2 LU
True peak L +0,80 dB / 7827 clipped samples
True peak R +0,90 dB / 7090 clipped samples
DC offset L -0.002%
DC offset R -0.002%

donkey tugger - I am donkey, you are not donke
---------------------------------------
Short but awesome. Somebody can say that it is too short but I rather prefer short track with nice ideas and composition and this is clear example of nice work. Great beat and use of ... uhm well everything. Great, really really nice stage compared to the rest of us in this round. Instruments have they own place on stage and they don't fight each other. Now to some bad things here. Tonally it look balanced but I do not like mix and processing especially drums. It sound squishy and muddy. I was not expecting such a poor mix from you :oops: because you already prove that you can do it a lot of better then this. Still this is my favorite track especially because it sound different then the rest and lively. Nice work.

Max momentary loudness -8,1 LUFS
Max short term loudness -8,7 LUFS
Integrated loudness -11,4 LUFS
Loudness range 7,6 LU
True peak L +0,69 dB / 117 clipped samples
True peak R +2,31 dB / 465 clipped samples
DC offset L 0
DC offset R 0

Marc Rapture - NXT Level
---------------------------------------
Intro is too long. What I mean even the break that should move the track beyond introduction still same like intro. Too repetitive without any significant changes and no even that kick you introduce at 0:44 doesn't break that intro feel. Track I mean main theme start at 1:09 so i think even introduction should have something interesting or crate the tension that something big is coming. Like the guitar stuff but seems drum pattern is same whole time. I would like to see breaks and changes in track with length of 3:30. Stage is there but it can be wider even more. Mix feels balanced maybe some boost in low-mid frequency starting from 300HZ up to 1,5kHZ.

Max momentary loudness -12,2 LUFS
Max short term loudness -13,8 LUFS
Integrated loudness -15,0 LUFS
Loudness range 3,2 LU
True peak L -0,05 dB
True peak R +0,01 dB / 1 clipped sample
DC offset L +0.007%
DC offset R +0.007%

functionform - Buddha be praised
---------------------------------------
Now you learn that soundcloud uses original name of track for uploaded file. Yup I learned this here too in this competition. So be sure next time that you named your track correctly. Really like idea of using sounds from kungfu movie but ... mix is squashed with very narrow stage that doesn't support composition. I was looking for more creative way of using samples from movie and was waiting for some kind of story behind. It feel more like just triggering certain sound in certain time with beat in background. Beat have big/breakbeat feel but that kick sound and pattern are more like for some metal track. There are some nice parts like the the one in 1:22 with gong that create tension like during fight. Some instruments or rather say sounds are placed on stage nicely while the most of the track is too narrow. Mix need more air and it looks like you removed everything above 15,4kHZ. This is why it lack sparkle and air in mix.

Max momentary loudness -8,5 LUFS
Max short term loudness -10,2 LUFS
Integrated loudness -13,0 LUFS
Loudness range 4,0 LU
True peak L +0,02 dB / 9 clipped samples
True peak R +0,02 dB / 3 clipped samples
DC offset L -0.015%
DC offset R -0.016%

Mellow Browne - Flint Eastwood
---------------------------------------
Track have definitely bigbeat feel. Simple but from what I hear from tracks that represent this style that they are all, ehm well simple. Intro should be shorter, since there is nothing interesting happening there and whole time I waited for something to come. That exposed high pitch sound is annoying. There are some nice parts here and there and drum pattern really fit bigbeat style. I will like to hear some variation to this pattern since it looks it is same loop over and over whole time only with one intro and one fill during transitions. Mix feels balanced except that intro sound, especially when bass is introduced that add power with sub frequencies. Maybe a small boost to frequencies starting at 120HZ up to 350HZ since bass is more like everything bellow 120 and beat is more above those 350 so this range feel empty. Also some reduction to freq starting from 5kHZ up to 9kHZ. What I really like here is stage. There is nice depth and instruments are placed nicely especially in intro.

Max momentary loudness -11,7 LUFS
Max short term loudness -14,1 LUFS
Integrated loudness -16,7 LUFS
Loudness range 7,3 LU
True peak L -1,33 dB
True peak R -1,14 dB
DC offset L 0
DC offset R 0
► Show Spoiler

TrojakEW
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:15 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by TrojakEW » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:47 am

DoctorBob wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:00 pm
@TrojakEW I was sorry too … I started out with some experiments, but really didn't have time to make a good BigBeat track.
What is good BigBeat track? I don't know if something like this even exist :hihi:
DoctorBob wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:00 pm
Here's a couple of tracks recorded at a gig in the late 70's with a 2 track Revox and 2 room mics! Transferred to cassette and now mp3'd!
Cool stuff. I really like that sax solo in Downtown Dudes. :tu:

MarkS
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:14 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC020 April 2019 - Voting until 01-05-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by MarkS » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:06 pm

TrojakEW wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:42 am
why you have removed everything beyond 16kHZ.
so i try to have a ,,clear,, mix and i remove some high frequencies. I also follow your recommendations about frequencies in my tracks. So i used Span vst and saw that lack of frequencies in my tracks. I used some eq to those frequencies and observed that it gives some air to tracks.
Considering all above i think you can answer a question. What i am doing wrong with syncopation in my melodies? Some people: say it's too robotic, when i go right on kick drum. But when i use syncopation , some people say it's off. So i try to have some light in this matter. This is a answer with a question but i hope you can get it.

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