2024-MAY-01 Info: Check out our current running Songwriting Competition 081 - which offers an interesting twist and a focus on sound design.

SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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Doc Jon
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#21

Post by Doc Jon »



Hello everyone, it's good to be back again after more than a year
The photo inspired me to write a song about someone escaping from a bad relationship and starting a new life
My chosen genre is retro 80s style
It also gave me the chance to use the amazing Synthesizer V by Dreamtonics which I had recently discovered by chance, and which, with a bit of careful programming, can produce jaw-droppingly realistic vocals

Lyrics
► Show Spoiler
DAW - Cubase 12 Pro
Instruments - Retrologue and Tone2 Saurus, very little processing -> just a bit of delay and reverb send on some tracks
Funk Guitar - Scarbee Funk Guitarist (Kontakt 7) -> Native Instruments Guitar Rig 6
Drums and percussion - Superior Drummer 3 (707 kit) -> IK Multimedia Black 76
Vocals - Solaria (Dreamtonics Synthesizer V) -> iZotope Nectar 3
iZotope Ozone 10 on the Master Output

Loudness - Integrated -14.44 LUFS
True Peak -1.04
https://lufs.org/
Last edited by Doc Jon on Sat Apr 22, 2023 13:50 CEST, edited 2 times in total.
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The Exponent
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#22

Post by The Exponent »

Doc Jon wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2023 23:23 CEST


Hello everyone, it's good to be back again after more than a year
The photo inspired me to write a song about someone escaping from a bad relationship and starting a new life
My chosen genre is retro 80s style
It also gave me the chance to use the amazing Synthesizer V by Dreamtonics which I had recently discovered by chance, and which, with a bit of careful programming, can produce jaw-droppingly realistic vocals
Fantastic entry and what a comeback ! :clap: The vocals sound very realistic indeed :shock: Well done with an excellent production overall :hail:
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A Future in Noise
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#23

Post by A Future in Noise »

This sounds very professional indeed, @Doc Jon. But here are a few things that came to my mind:

Although it sounds very good, 3:37 is a little too long with the same sound all the time. If I were you I had placed the “bridge” (or the “variation-thing”) directly after chorus 2 (2:04), and maybe I had eliminated the main synth totally here for maybe as much as eight bars. Or skipped the drums, or done something else to achive something that sounds more different than the rest – more than the bridge (or variation-thing) you have between 2:23 – 2:33.

Open hi hat too loud the first 34 seconds, IMO (but it could be my earbuds).
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#24

Post by A Future in Noise »

P.S. I don't use crap-earbuds, that would not be serious. These are very good, though. (When I'm at home, I use headphones or loudspeakers, of course.) https://www.soundbysweden.com/se/product/nero/
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#25

Post by Doc Jon »

The Exponent wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2023 02:05 CEST

Fantastic entry and what a comeback ! :clap: The vocals sound very realistic indeed :shock: Well done with an excellent production overall :hail:
Thank you very much - it's good to be back! :smile:

A Future in Noise wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2023 16:32 CEST
This sounds very professional indeed, @Doc Jon. But here are a few things that came to my mind:

Although it sounds very good, 3:37 is a little too long with the same sound all the time. If I were you I had placed the “bridge” (or the “variation-thing”) directly after chorus 2 (2:04), and maybe I had eliminated the main synth totally here for maybe as much as eight bars. Or skipped the drums, or done something else to achive something that sounds more different than the rest – more than the bridge (or variation-thing) you have between 2:23 – 2:33.

Open hi hat too loud the first 34 seconds, IMO (but it could be my earbuds).
Thank you for your kind comments and advice. You are absolutely right about the hi-hat - it's not your earbuds - it is too loud. I was turning it down all the time while mixing but have now turned it down some more!
As far as the arrangement is concerned I have stripped back the bridge section significantly to create a marked contrast with the rest of the track which I think does work better - I will check it again over the next couple of days for any other changes that seem to be needed

Any other advice is most welcome :smile:
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#26

Post by KukoBass »

Hello everybody,

this is my contribution for this month. I ran out of time to write the lyrics so the melody is played by the electric guitar. I'm quite happy with the structure of the song and the motifs, but not so much with my performance. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to do things properly. But I'm glad that at least I got so far that I have something to enter for this month's competition.



https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KRS1Os ... share_link


DAW:
Ableton Live 11

Drums:
Ableton Live Amazona Kit

Claps:
Boz Digital Labs' "El Clapo"

Drum Bus:
Ableton's Drum Bus "Boom in A", slightly modified.

E-Piano:
Applied Acoustic Systems Lounge Lizzard EP-4, "Comp"-preset

Bass:
Harley Benton B-35NT Acoustic Bass Series, recorded dry through my Zoom H4n Pro interface
Ableton Live Compressor, Plugin Alliance Ampeg B15N-Plugin, Ableton Live Cabinet, "4x10 Bass"-preset.
Ableton Live EQ-Eight as low-pass-filter

Guitar:
Line 6 James Tyler Variax, recorded dry through my Zoom H4n Pro interface,
For the verse: Ableton Live Hot Tubes plugin as pre-amp, Ableton Live Chorus, Ableton Live Amp on "Lead"-preset, Ableton Live cabinet 4x10, IK-Multimedia TR5 Leslie, Ableton Live EQ-Eight as a hi-pass-filter.
For the chorus: Ableton Live Hot Tubes plugin as pre-amp, Ableton Live Chorus, Ableton Live Amp on "Heavy"-preset, Ableton Live cabinet 4x10, Ableton Live EQ-Eight as a hi-pass-filter.

Voices:
Recorded in my bedroom through my Zoom H4n Pro interface,
Vocal bus: Soundevice Trap Tune, Hornet Plugins SybillaPro, Ableton Live Compressor

Masterbus:
IK Multimedia TR5 Saturator X, Hornet Plugins ThirtyOneMK2, TBProAudio Isol8 to check for problems, brainworx bx_masterdeck True Peak, LUveler64, SPL Hawkeye to check for problems, Youlean Loudness Meter 2 to check for loudness problems.
Last edited by KukoBass on Sun Apr 23, 2023 14:54 CEST, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#27

Post by Mellow Browne »

Hello,

this is my entry for this month:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18Tu2NK ... share_link

I remember this one trip to Italy when I was a kid - early 90´s - it was the first time I really paid attention to pop rock songs on the radio, some of them had this emotional thing that really caught me (Sinead O´Connor, Eros Ramazotti, R.E.M., U2, A-ha). I tried to reproduce the feeling of such songs.

I´ve been working on some drumless playalongs/backing tracks in the last few weeks and I wanted something in this (pop rock) style in my personal catalogue. It's a nice track to play along and I'm happy with the result, even though the instruments sound a bit cheap and fake. I think some vocals could possibly cover this "unnatural" sound a bit and better guitar vsts would give it a more realistic character as a "production". And of course, e drum modules sound like "plastic" (at least the Roland TD 17), I still wanted to see what I can make with it.

As a backing track it's absolutely doing its job, I personally have the impression to really play with a band and in that very moment I don't hear the fakeness of the sounds.

The song was written and mixed in UAD Luna but the drum performance was created in Logic Pro X simply because I wanted to avoid Midi editing in Luna, which is horrible. I first captured my performance via MIDI for editing and quantising the notes and hits I was off (there were quite a few ones :hihi:) and recorded the take afterwards via External Midi as wav back into Logic with every individual track of the module because it is not supporting multitrack recording.

I used Scaler 2 (in Guitar Voicing mode) to write the chord progressions using the "Jazz Guitar" preset in NI Kontakt but I'm still not sure if the finger position is authentic.

If you are a guitar player you can check for yourself:
► Show Spoiler
Here are the tools I used:
► Show Spoiler
In this mix the gain staging is different than I would make for a complete drumless version, I also mixed the drums a little bit louder, just to hear the result and how it translates to different sound systems.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#28

Post by EsteveCorbera »

Challenge companions and Mister Fox, Good night!!

I present to you my work for this month. I keep doing things in a style that I would like to do at school.
In this case I take a look back at the 80s. I received a postcard from that time!!!
Incredibly, this time I went very fast when composing it. I spent more time on arrangements and mixing.
Every week, Reason + offers you several sound packs (they are like presets) of many different styles. In this case I used two packs in the 80s style. With these sounds it was relatively easy for me to get inspired and make the song so quickly.
I started with chords and rhythms. I built the first melody based on the initial chords. The second melody, much more retentive, I based on a sample of the Reason sound pack.

I hope you like it.



Thank you colleagues.

(translated with google)

Equipment:
DAW:

Reason 12.5

Instruments:
Europa Shapeshifting Synthesizer
Algoritm FM Synthesizer
Monotone Bass Synthesizer
Layers Waves Edition
Subtractor Polyphonic Synthesizer

Effects:
RV7000 MkII Advanced Reverb
Channel EQ
Quartet Chorus Ensemble
Audiomatic Retro Transformer
Channel Dynamics
MClass Stereo Imager
Alligator Triple Filter Gate
MClass Maximizer
The Echo
DDL-1 Digital Delay Line
Pulveriser Demolition Unit
MClass Equalizer
Sweeper Modulation Effect

Players:
Scales & Chords
Dual Arpeggio

Utilities:
Combinator
Line Mixer 6:2

Reason Packs (Presets):
80s Dreamscape
80s Synth Pop

Reason Rack Extension:
Kilohearts AB kHs Stereo

Other instruments outside of Reason:
Arturia Jup-8 V4
Beatskillz Sequel2

Other effects outside of Reason:
Arturia Flanger BL-20

Samples:
Reason samples
Function Loops - 80s Neon Waves

Other tools:

iZotope Ozone 9
Plugin Alliance SPL HawEye
Last edited by EsteveCorbera on Mon Apr 24, 2023 22:59 CEST, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#29

Post by A Future in Noise »


WIP-4 just got released https://mix-challenge.com/forum/viewtop ... 635#p14635 Entire song, 3:35. Are the vocals too loud here and there?
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC068 April 2023 - Submissions until 24-04-2023 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#30

Post by becsei_gyorgy »

Hi,

Here is my attempt this month.
I liked the picture theme immediately, but again the free choice of music genre caused me difficulties. I didn't really know what style to start with. I tried a jazzy start, knowing that it would be well received here :), but my first attempts didn't really work out.
Since I was not in the right mood, I found myself following the line of the previous month. Electronic music with fast rhythms and organic instruments. I started with some psytrance base things (kick, rolling bass line - always in E :) - there are no variations, but all instruments play on this base. But I also tried to sneak in some melancholic melodies - as I like to do.
The music is made up of small mosaics (like postcards) - the little motifs, the instrumental choices are all little postcards of the world - the postcards evoke pleasant memories - for further explanation see the video clip...
There's a lot that could be improved. but that's all the time I've got.

Postcards from around the World

BPM: 143
Key: E

phpBB [media]



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