SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
ontrackp
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:37 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by ontrackp » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:56 am

SWC Notes

EatMe Woopi

Nicely produced, although the drums are a bit up-front and punchy for muzak. The whole thing feels like a backing track to me – no melody, just that turn around figure and staccato descending chord line which repeats over and over. So, good vibe, nice production even with overly loud drums, but not really musically developed enough (i.e. no melody) to qualify as muzak for me. The production is so good, and you are obviously a very good player and adept at creating music, which make the lack of a melody feel like it's unfinished.

Elevating the Waltz – Dr Bob

Nicely produced. I feel like I’ve heard this melody a million times but can’t quite place it – which pretty much makes it perfect for elevator music. The sax is very realistic and great sounding. At times the drums stick out a bit so distract from the melody, but this works really, really well for me – nice Muzak.

Olli H – Lift Me UP

I love this song – especially the twangy guitar and Hammond organ sound. I think it suffers from modern production – drums too up front for really feeling like Muzak – feels more like an instrumental pop song for the radio (that’s a compliment!). Really nice guitar playing. The melody and feel are very appropriate – the production is the only thing that throws me a bit as it seems too good for Muzak.

RyanC – A Good Man

I like the concept of this song, but it doesn’t quite hang together – the rhythm feels a bit off to me which is distracting, there are some intonation problems with the sax, and the mix feels more like a live performance than background muzak. I think it’s a good song and on the right track though – with more polished production would have worked better for me.

EricTracks – Otis Forever

Jazzy! This has that “I’ve heard it a million times before” vibe which I think really works for this genre. I really like the guitar playing, but it feels like the drummer had a couple of drinks before the recording sessions – the little fills are stiff and distracting to me. The piano chords are a bit clunky to me – could have been a little lighter in feel to support the breezy nature of the track. All in all, nice muzak though – especially am impressed with the guitar playing (and jealous). The production is nice and clean and at moments absolutely perfect for muzak.


Leonard Bowman – Revolving Door Rondo

I loved the beginning of this. The oboe? that comes come in is kind of naked feeling to me – my perception of elevator music is that it’s usually pretty filled out and my expectation was that at :35 the full band would kick in – not instruments sitting out front in a sparse arrangement, which draws attention to it, even when it’s as well done as yours is! I also found the piano soloing to be a distracting, mostly because it’s so interesting and exposed, as opposed to buried in a production designed to be very easy to listen to. I like the simple melody though when it plays – it’s very catchy. I think we all suffer from the temptation to push towards more intellectually interesting music – the skill of the Muzak writers is that they’re ok with banal….

VCA-89 Love In the Elevator

This is a lovely piece of music, but doesn’t really work for me as Muzak. It is emotional and evocative, which is nice, but I don’t think it works well as something light in the background that is basically unnoticed other than helping to create a pleasant environment (i.e. Muzak) – as with some others, it’s too interesting. I also felt that some of the notes in the B section were dissonant, which can work on a subjective creative level but are jarring to listen to as Muzak. Nicely produced though with good sounds. It works best as Muzak starting at 2:48.

Clueless – Manimal

Jazzy and a little abstract. The entire piece feels kind of jagged to me, which makes it more interesting to listen to, but I think it would be kind of distracting and weird in an elevator. The ending feels like it’s a band in a club kind of winding down. Nice sounds and pretty good production though.

Canese – Mis

This works for me as Muzak. I’m not in love with the drums, but the rest of the track works as the type of smooth melodic vibe I expect in an elevator. The piano also gets a bit frisky at times. When the drummer calms down it works really well but all the filling around is very distracting to me. Nice production.


Voting
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erictracks
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 3:52 am

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by erictracks » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:46 pm

Reviews

EatMe
Woopi
Woopi is the tightest song this month. It’s so tight and direct, and demands your ears. I’m feeling this is splash screen theme music on an early video game, but one that is a cult classic, and people cover the splash screen song in their bands nowadays.

DoctorBob
Elevating the Waltz
This one puts me in a brightly lit suburban mall in the 80s. Like, the nice mall, with the upscale stores. Maybe there just to sightsee because who can afford anything at abercrombie and fitch? (the original one with the overpriced outdoors gear). This is competent as hell, really nice work.

Olli H
Lift Me Up
My word that’s a nice sounding guitar. Instrumentation fits the composition perfectly, it’s all put together so well. I’m fine with this as e-z listening, it’s not illegal to add a little country swing. This is so clear headed and honest, I really like it. Beautiful playing.

ryanc
A Good Man
That direct guitar sound really fits the laid back, e-z listening vibe going on here. I like all the build ups, that brass is doing a lot of work and I think it was the right choice. I’m getting some dissonance in the blend and it just rules. Gives this track so much personality. This progression is pro too, and I like the subtle percussion. This is really good!

Leonard Bowman
Revolving Door Rondo
Slick groove. Thoroughly enjoying the broad instrument selection, is that like a mellotron flute? That tape artifact sound perked up my ears. Cool choice to bring in percussion as a pretty important element. I’m feeling an opening credits for an animated feature film, maybe jungle setting, at least exotic.

ontrackp
Who Cut the Cheese
Oooh I love the jazzy guitar, nice job! This chord progression fits perfectly, with what I’m not sure, but it’s perfect. This saxophone style always makes me feel kinda sad (it’s not your tune in particular — like, Baker Street makes me want to slit my wrists). Really nice mixing on this.

VCA-089
Love in the Elevator
That epiano opening evokes middle school dances (I’m kinda old). Compelling melody. VCA always brings something a little different. I think I heard some very cool dissonance or what blended to dissonance and I loved it. Transition at 3:40 is really nice. I’m feeling a mid 80s thriller intro credits here.

Clueless
Maninmall
Attractive ambience with a percussive piano. I like this mix. I’m feeling twin peaks here. How did you get this to sound so good? The electric piano has this amazing realness to it, at least to me.

canese
Mis
I like this groove. 30 seconds in the melody is fantastic. Somehow this places me in a dated chinese restaurant, my friends and I looking at each other like ‘this is festive music to eat my wonton soup by’. Not that this has any asian overtones. It’s just where it puts me when I listen to it. That little bit at the end is extremely elevator music.

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Scores

I know we say it a lot but this month the following rankings are so much closer than the scores indicate. Like, I could have picked anyone of these as my top track. Extremely impressive and I'm honestly feeling outclassed in a big way. You guys are pros.
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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Mister Fox » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:13 am

A friendly reminder:
24 hours left to submit your feedback and cast your vote

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

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by J I L L I A M » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:48 am

Hi, i didn't even participate and, i don't listen to Jazz. I don't know how to comment these tracks - Jazz is not my taste - but off course, you all did great job - frankly. All the tracks sounds well-written.

I don't know if it's fair by me to rank and, affect the list, as i am not a fan of jazz.

I just wanted to say, that my favorites were:
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Leonard Bowman
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by Leonard Bowman » Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:49 pm

EatMe - Woopi
groovy, fun, but it doesn't have a lot of structure to it. I think that having a more distinct B section would greatly improve this as a song.

DoctorBob - Elevating the Waltz
:) it sounds a little under the reverb, but all in all it's a nice song and a nice performance.

OlliH - LiftMeUp
Fun to listen to, good development with a nice melody. Guitar solo is really excellent!

ryanc - A Good Man
That saxophone feels a little weird to me, maybe it's a little sharp? I like the composition, but I think the performance could use a bit of work.

EricTracks - Otis Forever
I think you've nailed it. Maybe the chord progression in some places holds a little too much tension for a smooth elevator ride, but musically it works very well. and the guitar solo is great.

Me - Revolving door rondo
my performance was pretty awful :( especially the recorder

ontrackp - Who Cut the Cheese?
Spot-on; pleasant to listen to and fits nicely into a background.

VCA-089 - Love In The Elevator
Doesn't have the feeling I personally associate with elevator music, but as a waltz it's nice and pretty. It's just a little dark and slow for innocent background music in my opinion.

Clueless - Maninmall
Whoa! not what i'd imagine for elevator music, but I think it's a neat piece of music. I think it could do with a bit less reverb.

canese - Mis
Could do with a bit less reverb overall in my opinion. An interesting piece of music, but i think the mix balance is a little off. Drums (snare in particular) are a little too forward. It doesn't quite have that elevator feel for me either.

so my votes:
► Show Spoiler
bonus track:
J I L L I A M - Nightly/Sending
neat groove! Parts feel slightly out of balance, i personally would like more of that bass. Doesn't feel like background music to me though.

VCA-089
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by VCA-089 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:25 pm

Thanks for your feedback. I realize that my entry is way off the theme. I tried to make something in the manner of elevator music but I got completely bored out of my tune and deleted it. And perhaps my setup is not prepared for 50-70's music. So I went into this kind of thing and to be honest, I enjoyed making it. And I also enjoyed your music as well.

Voting time!

EatMe

Nice and catchy groove, but it feels like it is one minute long, too much repititions even for an elevator music. I wish if I take a ride in the elevator with this music playing it would be fast.

DoctorBob

Well, this is certanly a 100% elevator music. Feels good and sits well in the background. The mix quality is good, I like the bass sound and gentle cymbals, but I feel that sax needs to be more compressed. Some notes are getting too loud, even louder that the whole mix. It is noticeable when listening both quiet and loud. Besides, it is a good entry that fits the theme perfectly.

OlliH

Great composition and arrangement. Not pretty sure about elevator/mall compatibility but it feels very good. I think it could be a pop song with vocals and played on the radio. Also, a good mix and selection of instruments, but there is a problem with electric guitar. It's tone is too piercing, it is not a frequency problem it is a lack of compression I think and feels like a lead instrument put on the side which breaks all the balance in the song. With that solved, it would be even greater entry.

rynac

Feels good and sits in the background. I think it fits the theme. I should say that stage feels quite thin, too much instruments in the middle, but may be it is not the case for this kind of music knowing that it is going to be played through a lo-fi mono speakers.

erictracks

That feels really nice! I like the composition and especially the solos. Good selection of instruments, mix quality and stage. It is a minor thing, but may be the bass is too present in some sections, probably because of sustained notes. Great entry overall!

Leonard Bowman

That is a cool little entry! It is not an elevator music for sure, but I think it could be a nice soundtrack for a tycoon videogame. It is a rare thing whe some one using real instruments, not so easy like drawing notes on the grid. So I'll give you a credit for it.

ontrackp

Wow! This song brings the right feeling after a first beat. The conposition, instruments, mix and stage, everything is very smooth and balanced. It fits the theme perfectly and sounds very good. Great work!

Clueless

Well, perhaps this is not an elevator music in any means, but still it is very interesting theme. It is wierd in a good way and has some feeling of thrill and intrigue. Nice sounds and pretty good mix. I think it could be used in an old school investigation movie.

canese

Another very good entry that is associating with elevator music within a fist beats. Good composition with some interesting parts like drum solos for example. Speaking of drums, very good sound and nice percussive elements. Althrough the mix is pretty good, the bass is kinda lost. I didn't even noticed that in the first listening. It is good that you at least fixed your sax.

So, it was a very tough choice, especially for the top three. Here it is:
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EatMe
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Voting until 01-SEP-2019 11:59pm GMT+2/CEST

Post by EatMe » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:11 am

I have summed up the scores for the reviews. This month has a shared 3rd place here.

*erictracks - otis forever
9 8 8 10 8 10 8 = 61
*doctor bob - elevating the waltz
6 7 8 10 9 8 7 = 55
*olli h - lift me up
10 9 5 9 8 7 6 = 54
*ontrackp - who cut the cheese?
3 9 10 7 6 9 10 = 54
*canese - mis
8 5 3 7 7 2 9 = 41
*leonard bowman - revolving door rondo
4 3 5 3 6 2 3 = 31
*vca-089 - love in the elevator
2 4 4 4 4 4 6 = 28
*eatme - woopi
6 2 6 2 3 4 2 = 25
clueless - maninmall
7 10 7 9 3 5 5 4 = DQF
ryanc - a good man
5 2 6 2 5 10 3 5 = DQF

clueless and ryanc did not vote. they have one extra score listed compared to the ones who voted.
their score does not count.

To:
Mister Fox wrote:Mister Fox
Mister Fox: can you do the final word?

To:
Clueless wrote:Clueless
ryanc wrote:ryanc
clueless and ryanc: hi, i'm new here. if you voted, you could make sure I come last.

*edit: Why don't we have a poodle prize for the last place?

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Mister Fox
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Results in preparation

Post by Mister Fox » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:20 am

Listen... I appreciate your initiative, Eat.me. But could you please stop acting like an official or song provider?

I'm currently busy and on my way to a mixing job throughout the whole afternoon.
I'll properly respond later tonight, including the results (this is not an automated process!).

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EatMe
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Results in preparation

Post by EatMe » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:26 am

Mister Fox wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:20 am
Listen... I appreciate your initiative, Eat.me. But could you please stop acting like an official or song provider?

I'm currently busy and on my way to a mixing job throughout the whole afternoon.
I'll properly respond later tonight, including the results (this is not an automated process!).
I nowhere stated I am an official or song provider.

I am doing my work too properly, I guess.

PS. I have installed a new hyperdrive turbo on me elevator.

canese
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 3:51 pm

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC024 August 2019 - Results in preparation

Post by canese » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:26 pm

:whiteflag:

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