2023-JAN-31 Info: Did you check out all Songwriting Competition 065 entries yet? Have a listen and join the conversation.

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2669
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Winners announced

#1

Post by Mister Fox »

Hello and welcome to the Songwriting Competition 063 - November 2022



BEFORE WE GET STARTED:
  • Please consult the official and very simple "Rules and Guidelines" (TL;DR version) for the Songwriting Competition regarding principles of the game, it's engaging game mechanics (allowed editing/re-submission of your entry until the deadline has been reached) and upload/submission guidelines.
  • The general idea of this game is to "...just make music", and to also challenge yourself by stepping a bit out of your comfort zone, and take a dip at realms you've never worked in before
  • The Genre and "Premise" months challenge can be found in in post #2
  • Filename Template: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav and/or .mp3
Read more about this month's competition further down below. And if you got any question, please also reach out on Discord.




This introduction post acts as an index for the various stages of the Songwriting Competition. It will be updated with the corresponding links and suitable thread headlines as we progress. Please watch this spot...


Submission Period: General Information and Sponsors
Cheat Sheet: A couple of examples / audio demos for this month's challenge (limited if genre is "free to select")
Voting: Summarized entries and start of voting process
Results of the Songwriting Competition: Results of the Songwriting Competition
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2669
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#2

Post by Mister Fox »

CURRENT CHALLENGE - GENERAL INFORMATION

Time Frame: Tuesday, 01st November 2022 to Thursday, 24th November 2022 (24 days)

Challenge submission will end on 24-NOV-2022, 23:59 UTC+1/CET (Germany) - until further notice.


Want to find out if you're still within the deadline, please consult the following options:
The Global Countdown on it's dedicated page or the countdown on the home page. There will also be short reminders on Social Media and on Discord.

Does the game time frame feel too long? Why not set a personal shorter one of 5-7 days absolute max to push yourself to focus on the essentials, then use the rest of the time to ask for feedback and possible refinements. :idea:



SONGWRITING THEME: "Dialed to 11"
GENRE: Heavy Metal


Image
Image Source: Pexels, photo by Andy Pinaria, released under Creative Commons CC0



A few word about this month's theme:
Staff (Mister Fox) wrote: I honestly don't know what to write this moment. I had plenty ideas for a premise on my mind. However, every time I sat down, those ideas just vanished. I wanted to link it to current day events on our floating and rotating ball in space. Things that makes you speechless, others where you just want to scream into the void. Basically, offer something where you can channel your emotions, and turn it into art.

However, every music genre and monthly premise can turn into that. Even this month -- if you want to.


November is our traditional "guitar based theme month". This month, I am not offering a specific image to be inspired from, or a super deep theme, then ask you to turn into into something. I only provide you one genre we are not tackling as often: Heavy Metal.

If you've never touched this genre -- now is your chance to do so, interact, learn from each other. But most important - have fun doing so.
.



Your task for this Songwriting Competition:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This month, you can create a production in any "Heavy Metal" music genre.


What I'd like to see/hear this month:
The sub genre of Heavy Metal really doesn't matter this month. May it be Grunge, Nu Metal, Folk Metal, Industrial Metal, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Symphonic Power Metal, Metalcore, Djent, Progressive Metal, Visual Kei, Metal blended with Chiptune music, etc...

Ever wanted to dabble into odd time signatures, this is the perfect chance to do so. I would like to to hear some cool grooves and riffs, I want to hear distorted electric guitars. And if you feel comfortable, maybe add vocals as well. As usual, zero pressure on that end. There are plenty of instrumental metal songs out there. Just make music!


And remember - by joining in the first place, and stepping beyond your comfort zone, you already won in my book.

Let's rock! :guitar: :metal:


Songwriting Rule Summary / Add-On Rules:
  • create a production fitting to the given theme, genre and general premise
  • you can use any tool that is at your disposal (samples, virtual instruments and/or real instruments)
  • IMPORTANT: if you use non-licensed material (as in: non royalty free material from sample CDs, etc), give full credit to the source material
  • for newcomers: no finished productions that have already been released outside of the time frame of the current Songwriting Competition (Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, etc), no cover versions or remixes, no ripped acapella's -- please only showcase your own content
  • do not go higher than -14,0 LUFS ILk/-1,00 dBTP in terms of perceived loudness (mastering). Music doesn't have to be squashed to bits in order to be impactful
  • name your files properly prior to uploading and make the production downloadable. If you opt to present your entry through SoundCloud, the forum can also convert your links into a Soundcloud player through the [soundcloud] BBCode from the text editor (orange square with a white cloud in it)
  • ADD-ON RULES:
    • Filename Template: SWC000_ArtistName_TrackName.wav and/or .mp3
    • <no (additional) add-on rules specified>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please take note of the official rules - they can be found at the following thread:
Songwriting Competition - Official Rules and Guidelines (most notably Rule Book - post #6)

Please address any OT question in the official Gossip thread:
Songwriting Competition - Gossip and Discussion

If you like what the Mix Challenge (community) has been doing in recent months:
Please consider supporting the project

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SPONSORS (Prizes):

Prizes for Songwriting Challenge participants:

Note: All licenses are NFR (Not-For-Resale), except where noted.
Changes to available prices on short notice may be possible and will be announced separately.


RECURRING LICENSE SPONSORSHIP:

Image
Cherry Audio is kind enough to give away one license of Voltage Modular Ignite, plus either a license of "Year One Collection" or "Year Two Collection"
License will turn into NFR
More info on Cherry Audio: https://cherryaudio.com


Image
IK Multimedia is kind enough to give away one license of MODO BASS 2 to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on IK Multimedia: https://www.ikmultimedia.com


Image
Musiclab is kind enough to donate any 1 guitar of your choice to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Musiclab: https://www.musiclab.com


Image
Tone2 is kind enough to donate a license of Saurus3 to the winner (until further notice)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Tone2: https://tone2.com


Image
kv331 audio is kind enough to give away a bundle of either SynthMaster 1+2 Bundle, or a freely selectable set of 3 SynthMaster Expansions
License will not turn into NFR, you need to have a kv311 audio user account in order to pick up Expansions
More info on kv331 audio: https://www.kv331audio.com


Image
JRR Sounds is kind enough to give away any-1 sound sets or sample set of winner's choice (exception: Bundles)
More info on JRR Sounds: https://www.jrrshop.com/jrr-sounds


Image
Luftrum is kind enough to give away either a license of Lunaris, a license of Bioscape, or any two sound sets of winner's choice (exception: Bundles and Nano Electronics)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Luftrum: http://www.luftrum.com


Image
Rekkerd Sounds is kind enough to give away 1 sound set of winners choice (exception: Krezie EDM and Neurofunk Vol. 1)
License will turn into NFR
More info on Rekkerd Sounds: http://sounds.rekkerd.org/


Image
Ghostwave Audio (Vincent Bastiat) is kind enough to donate any 2 sound sets to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Ghostwave Audio: http://ghostwaveaudio.com


Image
Hollow Sun is kind to donate one license of "Music Laboratory Machines - The Suite I" to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Hollow Sun: http://www.hollowsun.com


Image
Hornet Plugins is kind enough to give away one license from the depicted tools (see image) to the winner
License will turn into NFR
More info on Hornet Plugins: http://www.hornetplugins.com


Image
Sound / Graphic Designer, and honorary Mix Challenge staff satYatunes is donating one commercial product of winner's choice (until further notice)
More info on satYatune's page: http://www.satyatunes.com/





THANKS FOR THE DONATIONS!
And also a thank you to all former contributors as well.

If you want to sponsor content (please have a focus on instruments, samples and sound sets), please get in touch with the Mix Challenge staff.

Please spread the word of the challenge on social media.
For example with our dedicated Twitter Account or Facebook Page

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck to all participants.
And most importantly, have fun!
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2669
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#3

Post by Mister Fox »

AUDIO EXAMPLES:
---------------------

Articles and Info Pages:

A great starting point is the "Addendum"/Supplementary thread for the Songwriting Competition
Songwriting Competition - Addendum: Music Maps and BPM Charts

Wikipedia Article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_music (just a starting point!)

And let's not forget the infamous Map of Metal




Music examples (selection for inspiration not covered in "Map of Metal", as that stops pre 2010s, 32 videos):
► Show Spoiler
.



Please also check in with the following threads in the the Gear Talk sub-forum, if you're on the look-out for new tools:
Places to fuel your GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) (the starting point if you're in need of audio tools -- from free to affordable)

Also recommended to check out the following tools, if you're new to/need help with songwriting:
Plugin Boutique - Scaler 2
Xfer Records - Cthulhu
CodeFN42 - Chordz (Transition is also recommended, if you want more experimental/generative MIDI, Free, Windows only)
W.A. Production - InstaChord and InstaScale
Fabrizio Poce / J74 - Progressive ("Max4Life" is needed, Ableton Live bound)


More tools of the trade
► Show Spoiler


UPDATED: 31-OCT-2022 22:35 UTC+1, updated 18-NOV-2022 07:45 UTC+1
Arelem
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2021 06:09 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#4

Post by Arelem »

Hello Everyone,

For this challenge, I wanted to try something a little different from what I usually do. I've done rock/metal songs in the past and go with a gritty, distorted singing style. For this one, I wanted to do a big clean vocal with lots of echo and reverb. I think I've got it sounding pretty good.

*EDIT*
The link has been updated to my latest version. Mister Fox was kind enough to offer some feedback that I tried to implement. The song definitely has some doom-metal influences but it is not strictly doom-metal, so not everything was incorporated. I was initially using something along the lines of Tool/A Perfect Circle as inspiration. I had to work around my own limitations of course as I am nowhere near the level of those bands. In the end, I think this song winds up as something of a hybrid of those styles (with a bit of my own style thrown in).

*2nd EDIT*
Track has been updated to the final version.



Lyrics
► Show Spoiler
Details
► Show Spoiler
Last edited by Arelem on Sun Nov 20, 2022 05:02 CET, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2669
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#5

Post by Mister Fox »

Quick feedback for @Arelem, since nobody else did and we're about to hit 14 days left on the timer:

This is an interesting idea for "Doom" inspired metal track, but the focus is a bit too much on the electronic drums. They stick out quite a lot compared to the guitars.

And speaking of the guitars, I am aware that not everyone has access to one, so virtual instruments are an option. However, this is also the crux with this production - you clearly notice that it's "samples". You should definitely play more with modulation in form of slight bends here and there, vibrato, etc. To make it feel a bit more alive. The amp usage is (IMHO) also not ideal... I would opt for a different guitar amp, bar minimum a different cabinet that feels more "rounded out" rather than honky and just pure midrange. If you can't find a suitable alternative, maybe a subtle high cut, and reducing some resonant frequencies around the 3,3kHz range might help improve the raspiness.

Another thing I usually try, is running a "guitar > compressor > amp", or even "guitar > compressor > booster pedal (like Tube Screamer with input gain at low, tone adjusted to taste, only controlling the output) > amp". Therefore I change the distortion characteristics of the amp itself on top of bringing up the guitar's sustain. This might also have influence.

I would also dial back on the reverb for the whole production. Leave some stuff a bit more raw. Or, instead of washing everything out, maybe ducked reverb so that the guitars can be your wall of sound, and the rest be a bit more washed. Finding the right balance of clarity and conveying a larger-than-life feel is not an easy task.

I hope this helps.
User avatar
Mister Fox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2669
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 16:15 CEST
Location: Berlin, Germany

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#6

Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
Including today, 14 days left to submit your production


If you want to access the extended game mechanics of the Songwriting Competition (asking for feedback during production), please try to release your first edits within this week and to have enough time to get possible feedback (if needed/wanted) and continue to work on your song.
Arelem
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2021 06:09 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#7

Post by Arelem »

Mister Fox wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2022 22:41 CET
Quick feedback for @Arelem, since nobody else did and we're about to hit 14 days left on the timer:

This is an interesting idea for "Doom" inspired metal track, but the focus is a bit too much on the electronic drums. They stick out quite a lot compared to the guitars.

And speaking of the guitars, I am aware that not everyone has access to one, so virtual instruments are an option. However, this is also the crux with this production - you clearly notice that it's "samples". You should definitely play more with modulation in form of slight bends here and there, vibrato, etc. To make it feel a bit more alive. The amp usage is (IMHO) also not ideal... I would opt for a different guitar amp, bar minimum a different cabinet that feels more "rounded out" rather than honky and just pure midrange. If you can't find a suitable alternative, maybe a subtle high cut, and reducing some resonant frequencies around the 3,3kHz range might help improve the raspiness.

Another thing I usually try, is running a "guitar > compressor > amp", or even "guitar > compressor > booster pedal (like Tube Screamer with input gain at low, tone adjusted to taste, only controlling the output) > amp". Therefore I change the distortion characteristics of the amp itself on top of bringing up the guitar's sustain. This might also have influence.

I would also dial back on the reverb for the whole production. Leave some stuff a bit more raw. Or, instead of washing everything out, maybe ducked reverb so that the guitars can be your wall of sound, and the rest be a bit more washed. Finding the right balance of clarity and conveying a larger-than-life feel is not an easy task.

I hope this helps.
That is a lot to comb through, thanks for the feedback. I am using Shreddage 3 for the guitar. I tried adding some tremolo or bends to the guitar but it really doesn't fit the vibe of the song. I also couldn't quite get the guitars somewhere that I liked using different processing so I applied some EQ. Hopefully, that makes enough of a difference. I EQ'd the drums to make a bit more room for the guitars as well. As for the reverb, there really isn't any applied other than on the vocals so there wasn't any to remove. I do think the guitars come through a bit more clear though, so maybe that is sufficient :shrug:
I'm just posting the private link here for now to see if it is an improvement and I can replace the original link later.
*EDIT* I removed the link here because my original post has been updated.
Last edited by Arelem on Mon Nov 14, 2022 00:23 CET, edited 1 time in total.
alavault
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#8

Post by alavault »

Hello,
Song (Non Sequitur): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Dhgd9L ... sp=sharing
---
Downtuned Squier Strat and JBass into an Antelope Interface for amp sims. Used a :mix of JCM800 and ENGL for the rhythm mix. A mix of Marshall and Mark V (?) for the lead. (I don't really know what are the amp emulated inside the sound card).
Superior Drummer and samples from my personal library for drums and percussions (samples generated with StyleWaveGAN). Added gunshot sound somewhere.
Spire and P8 for synths. P8 for lead and pad, spire for auxiliary lead and bells.
--
Final Mix/Submission.
Last edited by alavault on Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:39 CET, edited 3 times in total.
Arelem
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2021 06:09 CEST

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#9

Post by Arelem »

alavault wrote:
Sat Nov 12, 2022 11:50 CET
Hello,
Song: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Dhgd9L ... sp=sharing
---
Downtuned Squier Strat and JBass into an Antelope Interface for amp sims.
Superior Drummer and samples from my personal library for drums and percussions
Spire and P8 for synth.
--
Rough Mix for the moment. Should be updated soon. (I know everything is out of whack).
The only comment I would have made would be about the mixing, but since you said that you are already aware and working on it, I won't. Nice track :tu:
alavault
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 15:00 CEST
Location: Dijon, France

Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC063 November 2022 - Submissions until 24-11-2022 23:59 UTC+1/CET

#10

Post by alavault »

Arelem wrote:
Mon Nov 14, 2022 07:58 CET
The only comment I would have made would be about the mixing, but since you said that you are already aware and working on it, I won't. Nice track :tu:
You can give your comments on the mix you know :wink:
Maybe I was not thinking of the problems you found !
Post Reply