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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Winners announced

Thematic Songwriting Competition - recurrence: monthly
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Doc Jon
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Submissions until 24-MAY-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#21

Post by Doc Jon »



When I hear the term 'modular' I am instantly drawn towards a certain German 4 piece electronic band who have formed the inspiration for this track. I worked with the phrases 'Programmed by humans' and 'Played by robots' to sum up how I see this form of music being put together. Imagine my joy when I typed these phrases into Google Translate and found that they rhymed in German!
I have tried to use exclusively modular synth sources as far as possible but have relied very much on presets as the whole modular patch programming thing is way beyond me!
Instead I have concentrated more on feeding these sounds through a modular Fx path, courtesy of AAS Multiphonics which comes in Fx form as well as a VST. I have used it for some 'normal' track processing duties with its distortion and delay modules but also pushed myself into doing something beyond the normal by processing all the vocal tracks through this as well, and for the intro/outro and middle eight the entire master bus mix is put through a modular chain of processors for some more extravagant processing

Lyrics
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Tech Specs
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Screenshots
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Submissions until 24-MAY-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#22

Post by Mister Fox »

:arrow_right: A friendly reminder:
We're in the final 24 hours to submit your production.



Please get your production ready and submitted (through the forum) today.

To make it easier for me to create the collection post, please update your initial post with the appropriate links (final version), or explicitly mark your entry as "final entry". Please also don't forget to make your files accessible. Thank you.

If I didn't miscount, we have 4 amazing entries so far. :headphones:
We need at least 9 for a full podium, and 15 for a possible expansion.
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VCA-089
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Submissions until 24-MAY-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#23

Post by VCA-089 »

phpBB [media]


WAV: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t9mUjC ... sp=sharing
FLAC: https://drive.google.com/file/d/116LuJl ... sp=sharing
MP3: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KH_6TB ... sp=sharing

I've been quite busy this month but I can't let myself miss the modular themed round, an opportunity to make music that isn't quite appreciated. I've remastered some of my older dark space ambient tracks recently and I wanted to make something new in that aesthetic. It seems that I'm perfectly on time.

At this moment I have a quite limited setup in terms of CPU resources, so this composition is constructed of rendered tracks of running sequences and soundscaps fading in and out similar to an old tape recording. This workflow feels kinda authentic for this style of music.

Instruments and techniques:

1. The sequences created with Voltage Modular. There are three ones: the bass sequence, the "upper" sequence and acid sequence. All of them are slight variations of the same patch with sequencer, dual VCO in the style of MS-20 processed with resonant filter, sub-octave oscillator, chorus and spring reverb (for acid sequence I used TB-303 oscillator and filter). Each sequence has different clock divisions (resulting in different note lengths).
2. The soundscapes are also created with Voltage Modular:
- Low drone - eight oscillators tuned to specific notes fed into a lowpass filter with noise layers. Processed with shimmer reverb. I call this patch "room warmer" because it uses 100% of my CPU;
- Main soundscape - created with an additive oscillator module. There are several LFOs modulating its "partials" amplitude and panning through the console mixer module. It's then passed through phaser and reverb effect modules;
- Noise cloud - created with a noise source fed into a formant filter, with three LFOs modulating the peak points.
- Alien speech - created with vocoder effect using several oscillators tuned to a specific chord and a bandpass filter as a modulator signal. It also fed into the frequency shifter. Different values of a frequency shift creates different timbres;
- FM Sweep - created with FM Station module (a four operator FM synth).
3. The pads are made with Full Bucket synths (they are also modular at some point):
- Oxid for strings with that classic JMJ style phasing sound;
- Tricent for synth-brass playing the low octaves.
4. The keys are Full Bucket's Tricent processed with chorus and ring modulator (FL Studio's stock effect).

Technical details:
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - preparation phase

#24

Post by Mister Fox »

It is the 25th May 2024, 00:15 UTC+2/CEST - this month's Songwriting Competition has official ended


STATISTICS:
  • If I didn't miscount, we have 5 submissions this month (5 entries less than last month, and also 10 entries less than May 2023)
  • We have 0 submissions after the deadline (as of 25-MAY-2024 00:10 UTC+1/CET)
  • We have 0 submissions that has been disqualified (production released outside of the game's timeframe)
  • We have 0 submissions that has been withdrawn (therefore it can't count to the overall participation)
  • The "staff balancing vote" add-on rule does not apply (special game mechanics do apply)
  • "Sole Winners Podium" rule (equal or less than eight participants results in a single winner) does apply (1-position Winners Podium)


:arrow_right: How do we go from there?

Over the course of the next (hopefully) 24-48 hours (usually up to 6-12 hours maximum after the game has ended), I'll gather all links into one post and hot-link to that from the first post of the thread. Please, no more changes to your entries, but please do check your links that these entries are accessible and downloadable. We then perform with the final feedback and "public vote" system.


We have 5 official participants. We are adapting the overhauled vote mechanic, as talked about in the following news blog:

Songwriting Competition - game mechanic changes: Voting Process (October 2022 Update)
(Info: I am aware that the Rule Book has not been properly updated yet. Time constraints, apologies for the inconvenience)


Summarized:
 ! Bonus Info
  • Unfortunately, the "tiered mechanic" does not apply this month.
  • Participants can (and must) vote for all entries (this is due to low participation).
  • You're furthermore asked to please reflect on your experience this month (2-3 paragraphs max), what you have learned, what you would like to do different in the future, etc. (personal growth)
  • You are also asked to give feedback to every entry (low participation mechanic) -- things that stood out to you, providing some final thoughts and constructive feedback for possible improvements. This adds to the learning experience of our community.
  • The additional bonus points for more constructive feedback than the minimum (part of the tiered mechanic) does not apply this month. Please still write more than just "I enjoyed this song".
  • The "Voting Process" mechanic is mandatory for all participants, and the only criteria to drop out of the game by not partaking. Please don't just collect feedback, and not give back to the community.
  • The overall "Bonus Point" mechanic still applies. Please update your posts with proper production documentation, most notably regarding whom you have collaborated with (as in: proper credits -- not doing so will result in a 2pt deduction on the score sheet at the end of the game). Please also make your entries downloadable, or provide an additional download link if not existing already. You got until the voting period has ended.
Please cast your vote (not the feedback) in collective form through the "spoiler text" bbcode (button on the WYSIWYG editor that features the orange triangle with an exclamation mark in it). Please use the forum username of the participant to make it easier during the score collection to address what vote belongs to whom.
.

 ⚠ Moderation Message from Mister Fox  
For transparency:

The staff (Mister Fox) will not give feedback to all entries and/or cast a vote this month.

(unless there is a tie that can not be broken otherwise)

Feedback from non-participants and/or collaborators is highly encouraged (voting not needed!). The same goes for entries after the deadline, or those that sadly do not count for the current running game (even if you've exceeded the deadline, why not post your entry regardless?). Musicians and Engineers are always after constructive criticism. This is what this forum is about.





Have some general feedback? Please provide that here:
Songwriting Competition - General Gossip Thread, or on Discord.



Please make sure your files are accessible, and please have an eye on this thread! :tu:




EDIT: 25-MAY-2024 0:15 - initial post
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#25

Post by Mister Fox »

Let us kick off the VOTING PROCESS, which will end on Saturday, 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST latest


There is a GLOBAL COUNTDOWN to check for deadlines.
Just follow this link: Global Countdown (on homepage)


Here is the collection of productions from all participants (in hope that I didn't forget anyone). As usual, if you click on the small upwards-arrow right beside the quoted name, you can jump to the original post and read up on the documentation for this production.


.
Arelem wrote:
Thu May 09, 2024 04:05 CEST
"Sonic Drift"

EsteveCorbera wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 00:05 CEST
"Connexions"

Koekepan wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 21:00 CEST
"Quarky Groove"

phpBB [media]

(MP3 Mirror on Mix Challenge for easier playback purposes -- and here is a direct download of the MP3)

WAV: Download as ZIP
Doc Jon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 22:52 CEST
"Four In Line"

VCA-089 wrote:
Fri May 24, 2024 17:53 CEST
"Maneuvers In The Dark"

phpBB [media]


WAV: Google Drive playback and download
FLAC: Google Drive playback and download
MP3: Google Drive playback and download

ADMIN INFO:
I decided to showcase the "Bonus Video" this month, since all other entries also use "preview players" and we only have 5 entries overall. I might change this again with SWC082.
.



WITHDRAWN (not participating - feel free to give feedback, but you sadly can not vote for these entries)


<no withdrawn entries>
.



BONUS ENTRIES (submitted after the deadline - feel free to give feedback, but you sadly can not vote for these entries)


<no bonus entries>
.



:arrow_right: GAME MECHANIC SUMMARY:
► Show Spoiler


Good luck to all participants! :tu:




If you have an idea for a future Songwriting Competition, please post about this in the theme/genre request page or on Discord.


Post updated: 25-MAY-2024 0:35 UTC+2/CEST -- initial post
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#26

Post by Doc Jon »

Things I have learned during this month’s competition:
This month I learned that modular synthesis is CPU intensive both for my PC and my brain!
I’m not sure that it is something I would be able to get into. Programming with all those swathes of wires puts me off even before I have started!
From a production point of view this month I learned a lot about transient control within the mix. The nature of some of those modular percussive patches tended to be either huge energy spikes at the start of the sound needing lots of taming, or an ill-defined start to the sound needing an initial transient boost to help make things more defined. The Envelope Shaper tool in Cubase proved to be a valuable asset to help achieve this

Feedback
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Voting
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Arelem
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#27

Post by Arelem »

Hello All,

I had some fun making the track this month. I did also figure out that patcher can be used as a sort of modular synth with basic sound waves. It also offers more flexibility in the the effects that I can use instead of being limited to the ones found inside a VST. I am now kind of curious if there is some way to do some freq modulating that way. Anyways, on to my feedback, which as always is just my (limited) opinion.

Feedback
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Vote
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EsteveCorbera
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#28

Post by EsteveCorbera »

Good night,

Thank you all for participating. It is a pleasure to enjoy such a variety of music. Too bad we are very few.
But that makes the task of making reviews easier ;)
This one I also want to highlight the opportunity we had to work with different tools and make more different connections than we normally do. The truth is that it is an exciting world but at the same time complicated. I tried many VCVRack presets and couldn't get anything to sound. This shows my absolute ignorance on this subject. Little by little I will go into it more.
I also want to highlight the use of cinematic percussion that I used, which allowed me to give emotion to my song.

I leave you comments:

Thanks.

Arelem - Sonic Drift
Interesting contribution. I really like when the more melodic part starts (1:12) and also the part that reminds me of the 80s (2:12). Good mixing job.
Perhaps as a criticism I would say that there are parts that become too long, that there is little variation and you can lose interest while listening to it. But I have to tell you that I really liked your proposal this month, you changed your style a bit.

Koekepan - Quarky_Groove
The first time I played it, it was a bit heavy for me, but in the following listenings, things have improved. In fact, I have had the memory of some of Tangerine Dream's work. I like the various effects that modulate the music and evolve throughout the track.
Only drawback, maybe too long. But I liked it a lot. good experiment

DocJon - FourInLine
Looks like a very good job. Great production. It sounds great. good mix I would almost say that everything is very good.
I also find the lyrics very funny. Kraftwerk!!!
The only drawback is the voice of the choruses. It sounds like the same old voice and sounds like the same old melody. At first when I heard you use the voice generator synth, I freaked out. But now I think I've heard it too many times.
But as I said, a very good job.

VCA-089 - ManeuversInTheDark
Great soundscapes. Great effects. Very good work.
It happened to you like me, I also rendered the Voltage Modular because at several times it was hitting 140% CPU!!!. But I see that you really know how to use it, I started from presets and tweaked them a bit.
As a critic I would say that I miss a more melodic part. But I know that wasn't the intention of this track. I like sounds that go from right to left and go up and down in frequency.


Thanks.

(translated with google, sorry for the imperfections that the translation may contain)
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SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#29

Post by Mister Fox »

A friendly reminder:
We're in the final 24 hours to submit your feedback and cast your vote.


Please check post #024 regarding the feedback and voting mechanic. Giving feedback is mandatory (the only criteria to become disqualified). Please don't let yourself be put at a disadvantage by not participating (fully). The Songwriting Competition lives from the given feedback towards each other. Don't just "collect" and then move on - this is unfair to all other participants.

Outside feedback is welcome, of course.
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Re: SONGWRITING COMPETITION - SWC081 May 2024 - Voting until 01-JUN-2024 23:59 UTC+2/CEST

#30

Post by VCA-089 »

This month was another great exercise of working with a modular environment.

My feedback:
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Voting:
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