Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Mike Lamb » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:02 pm

Chumpy wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:10 pm

[*]00:48:53 - Mike Lamb

Very tactful, gentlemen, thanks. It's been a struggle for me to record anything for many years now, and I blame Chumpy and Ujn for convincing me to join the fight again with this garbage fire of a track. :) It was definitely very last minute, and it shows, but I am glad to have gotten -something- in. Here's hoping the next one is a real song.

Amazing work by all the other entrants, every year everyone just keeps getting better and better!

-ML
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Caravan Ray » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:29 pm

Love the podcast theme song twojerks!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:34 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:29 pm
Love the podcast theme song twojerks!
Me too! MG you're going to have to up your podcast theme song game. :P
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by mo » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Hey dudettes and dudes, congrats to everyone on making such great music. I don’t envy the judges at all. It just took me such a long time to remember my password; I haven’t been here in so long hahahahaha.

Good to see so many old friends in Nur Ein—looking forward to it!

Oh yeah Glenn made me do it, I’m the textures and lead guitars in Agony Sauce’s entry this week.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by mo » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:58 pm

While on the one hand I’m like omg there’s a Songfight pod, OTOH of course there is haha
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 01, 2019 1:06 am

Enjoying the podcast, although you're stealing all the ideas from my half-written reviews! I can't believe you got to the Radiator Hospital comparison before me.

I also love the theme tune. Looking forward to some New Ugly podcast action too! And seeing the results for round zero, even though they don't matter!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by noma » Wed May 01, 2019 2:17 am

Chumpy wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:10 pm
[*]00:54:04 - Nick Soma
Hi,
first of all, I love your podcast :)
Just wanted to tell you a bit more about my song, especially that weird intro... Now as for that heavy phaser, I'm well aware of that. Had the same problem with my last Nur Ein song before this one, "Never Knew the Guy", but then it wasn't too much phaser, but chorus and flanger. I'd change that now if I could, but I hastily recorded the song on Sunday and it's a miracle I even managed to finish it at all...
No overdone phaser/flanger/chorus/wah/whatever on round one's entry, I promise. :lol:

But, now for the interesting part. You said something about the intro/riff part was off, and I wondered if that might indeed be the case. I'm not really sure what I did there, I guess it's just a syncopated 4/4 beat, but maybe someone more well versed in music theory can tell me more.
I just did a little synth sequence of the intro, so you can hear more clearly what each instrument is playing, and this time I can guarantee it's metronomically perfect.
synthmessage.mp3
Synth version of the intro to my Round Zero entry
(261.82 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by thirdcatmusic » Wed May 01, 2019 8:00 am

glad I don't have to be a judge, so many great songs, would be hard to rank them. great podcast jerks. curious to hear the new ugly one. some quick impressions from me:

Abominominous - this has a really cool dirty rock feel, nice combination of punk feel & catchy melodies.

Agony Sauce - love the atmospherics contrasting with the heavy guitars. this one really kicks ass.

Berkeley Social Scene - pretty cool instrumental, I like the synths. vocals could be stronger.

Boffo Yux Dudes - pretty quirky weird stuff. not sure I like it, but it has some charms.

Faster Jackalope - really pretty instrumental, nice vocals. probably among my favorites (again, glad I don't have to be a judge with so many great songs to try to rank)

Fisher and Diaz - some cool sounds in the production. the singing part is quite out of tune which can be cool for this style but not sure it works.

Frankie Big Face - lovely mix of atmospherics (synths & electric guitar) and acoustic guitar. among my favorites.

Grumpy Mike - this is good, but in a genre I don't like much (sounds very much like like '90s alternative rock), so a bit of genre bias would keep it out of the very top of my rankings if I were a judge but it's really good. great singing, mixing, production, playing, & singing.

Inflatable Vegetables - cool sound, I like this one quite a bit. nice arrangement.

Lichen Throat - this is the best Lichen Throat song I've heard. some cool stuff in the instrumental (really like the little melodic riffs that come in during the breaks of the vocals) and the vocals are better than in the past - much improved rhythmically.

Lucky Spoon - pretty strong performance with the singing & guitar, I like the g & g part. the rap bit is silly. overall not a favorite for me.

Mandibles - great performances, musically & vocally. pretty catchy. the vocals are a bit too theatrical for this style I think and that does throw me off. probably too long.

Max Bombast - these vocals have a huge amount of attitude and are extremely strong. I'm very impressed. very catchy. not necessarily my favorite song of Round Zero, but possibly the best song objectively. reminds me of Muse a bit. sounds pro.

Merisan - this is very cool. definitely among the best of the bunch. can't think of a negative thing to say, you nailed what you're going for I think.

Mike Lamb - I like the concept but not sure about the execution, could've been filled out more.

Mousehole - pretty good but doesn't grab me quite as much as some of the others, seems a bit by the numbers pop/rock. mix/production could be better. still; this is good. so many good songs the ears start to get fatigued listening one after the other.

Nick Soma - I like crazy phasers but not sure it's done really well here because it doesn't space me out the way I like (with the heavy straight guitar panned on the other side keeping me tied down). overall, I like this one but not sure if I love it.

Paco del Stinko - I like the way you sing I G O T I T ( I got it) , pretty cool song. Catchy bits.

Pigfarmer Jr. - In the context of all of these songs I kinda enjoyed this because it's kind of a break from all the songy songs. A neat soundscape.

Rachael Layne - catchy song, I like it.

Rain Watt - lots of personality, very catchy. this might be my favorite.

The Sunday Colors - lo-fi g & g isn't usually my thing but this is nicely done, I like the vocals a lot. they remind me of someone... Ben Gibbard?

Third Cat - really hate my vocals on this song and am overall really frustrated with what I'm doing. working to do something I don't hate for "Shock Value." cool that the jerks noticed my little gear shift key change on the last chorus, I thought it was kinda clever because it was only for a few bars and then I modulated back to the original key. the ending solos are in a couple dissonant modes (lydian & locrian) which feature that flat 5th

Ujn Hunter + Friends - I like this one quite a lot. so many great songs in this thing. clever nur ein/song fight double entry.

Vowl Sounds - charming and among my favorites. you guys are on fire. I was a bit shocked you didn't win the last Song Fight for your "Two Hits" as I thought that one was crazy good - if I were a judge this would possibly be my #1 for this round. although there is some fierce competition.

***EDIT***

saw the results, I'm honestly really happy to be #16 considering this competition and I think I can do much better than this one (already liking my "Shock Value" more). also it looks like I'd be right there with the other judges putting Vowl Sounds #1. congrats you two, you killed it.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 01, 2019 8:36 am

Whoa, thanks judges! Really surprised and pleased to be at the top of the Round 0 charts, the competition is incredible!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by owl » Wed May 01, 2019 8:52 am

omg! I had just emailed @vowlvom last night that I was a bit intimidated as the competition is amazing (...hopefully I can get some reviews up, but 25 songs is a lot...)--so many great songs and talented musicians in this group.

we've got nowhere to go from here but down, buddy ;)
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 01, 2019 12:59 pm

Right let's get these posted so I can get on with my life.

Abominominous - love that crunchy snare sound. This is a great first-track-on-the-album song, if you take Nur Ein round zero to be an album, and if you’re listening in alphabetical order. Which I am. Really strong right out of the gate, I think objectively this is one of the best songs of the round, subjectively I maybe have some slight genre bias against it, but there’s enough cool ideas here to win me over, and I like the way I can hear Joey Ramone AND Thurston Moore in the vocals at different times. Middle-8 with the spelling feels a little messy though.

Agony Sauce - excellent energy, although this doesn’t really kick in for me until the “what we have here” section (Cool Hand Luke, right? Good movie!) and it doesn’t hugely stick with me when I’m not listening - but this is solid.

Berkeley Social Scene - the vocals are REALLY messy but the fun enthusiasm of the song in general mostly makes up for that. Not crazy about the meta stuff, and I’ve definitely heard a LOT better from BSS but this is still pretty charming.

Boffo Yux Dudes - this is ridiculously catchy and fun, and I fell in love with it even without having any clue what you were singing about (I have now done my Wikipedia research). I really wish the mix was better though, it's so kinda muffled and quiet, especially compared to the songs around it in this playlist. But still one of my favourites!

Faster Jackalope - absolutely love this one too, the lyrics are sweet and emotional, the mix is gorgeous and the strings sound great. Possibly my favourite Jackalope song thus far and definitely among my favourites from round zero - best bit for me is the guitar melody on the pre-chorus, which is just lovely. On a first listen I thought maybe the chorus would grate on me after a few listens for some reason but the opposite was true, I like it more every time.

Fisher and Diaz - Jerks said it all really but this has some good rapping that is somewhat let down by the off-key chorus and the mix. Not bad though, and it stands apart from the rest of the songs genre-wise, in a good way.

Frankie Big Face - this is gorgeous, sparse in the best way, just enough in the arrangement to make it super pretty while leaving plenty of breathing room. Another favourite.

Grumpy Mike - I have some genre bias against this one but it's very well done. As far as heavy rock goes this reminds me more of the 1% of stuff that I do like than the 99% that I don't (probably demonstrating my genre-blindness here but some of it reminded me of Deftones a little) - the big dynamic shift into the chorus is great and the drony, chanty vocal section is very cool.

Inflatable Vegetables - enjoyable, catchy synthpop, and up there with the best I've heard from you I think. Lyrics are clever and witty and the song is generally good. I feel like there's room for it to be even better, but this would definitely be at the high end of my "not quite favourites but still really good" second tier.

Lichen Throat - musically I think this is some of your best work, it's an interesting composition and the mix holds together well. I like the way the bass pulls it along and the muted guitar sound does a call-and-response thing with the vocals. There are just a few sections where the vocal timing totally goes to hell though and it almost spoils this for me, which is frustrating when so much of it is so good!

Lucky Spoon - I don't share your disdain for rap verses and so your rap verse just came across as really sneery and unpleasant. The song up to that point is well done but suffers in comparison to the rich and layered productions found elsewhere.

Mandibles - fantastic writing, the lyrics and melodies are among the best I've heard from you and make this one of the strongest songs of the fight. I do agree a bit with the podcast critique though that the vocals are a little overpowering for the genre... obviously Cybronica's voice is one of the best weapons in the Mandibles arsenal but for a song as poppy as this one the operatic vibrato sometimes feels a little out of place. Still one of my favourites though.

Max Bombast - frankly I can't quite believe you managed to have that morse-code motif run throughout the song without it becoming annoying! The vocals are really impressive, great harmonies and melodies. Not quite in my top tier but another one that would be at the top of my second group.

Merisan - really slick and enjoyable as I'd expect from you guys, although I'm not as much into the chunky-guitar sound as the synthy stuff I'm familiar with. Still very good and catchy though and I'm sure the rest of the competition feels a certain sense of dread that the reigning champions decided to return after all!

Mike Lamb - intriguing intro but the rest of the song doesn't live up to it. Having seen your posts about your time away from music I won't go into too much depth, looking forward to hearing what you come up with once you've gotten back into the groove!

Mousehole - really like this one, although the vocals right at the start feel like they don't fit into the mix particularly well. Everything sounds fine once the excellent backing vocals kick in, though, and this is right up my street genre-wise.

Nick Soma - I can hear enough in this to tell that it's a really good song but I really dislike the FX-heavy guitar sounds, they grate on me enough to push this down my favourites list (for the record I still absolutely love your ‘Never Knew The Guy’ so I guess I have double standards for guitar FX, haha). Lots of clever lyrics and melodies, though. Surprised that this was the only song to go the acrostic route.

Paco del Stinko - classic Paco, great guitar sounds and some really fun lyrics. Really enjoyed the “I G-O-T GOT IT” hook and the IMDB line. Don't have a lot to say about this one, it ticks the Good Paco boxes without being one of my favourites from you, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Pigfarmer Jr. - I guess "just getting something in and hoping there aren't too enough entrants to get eliminated" is a valid strategy but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Rachael Layne - this is really strong, well written, mixed and performed, and I like the lyrical concept a lot. Like the Abominominous song, I feel like this is one of the strongest songs in the round BUT doesn’t quite make it into my favourites, I guess because of a little genre bias?

Rain Watt - musically and lyrically this one is among my favourites, I really like your voice and the mix of acoustic and electric guitars works really well. The fact that the mp3 tags list a different title and the lyrics don't really correspond to "message received" (as far as I can tell) would knock it a good few places down my list if I was a judge and if we’d reached the elimination stages but I’m not and we haven’t so I can just enjoy this guilt-free! Can’t believe the Jerks stole my Radiator Hospital comparison! I love Radiator Hospital.

The Sunday Colors - took me a few listens to realise how good the lyrics were because I found the quiet, sparse guitar / vocal mix to get lost a bit among the strong competition. But they are good indeed, and so is your performance.

Third Cat - a middling Third Cat song, which is still pretty good. I liked the slightly crunchier-than-usual guitar and drum sounds; I wasn't that keen on the way the spelling section was hard to follow due to reverby vocals and the way they were sung - a little more clarity would help there I think.

Ujn Hunter + Friends - combining the SF and NE challenges feels like it could go horribly wrong in any number of ways, but this is pretty irresistible. The mix is so BIG and I love the vocal sound here (tell me how you did it so that I can steal your secrets!). I came to the same “I think this is probably Thai but I’m not sure” conclusion as the Jerks, but whatever the lyrics mean, I enjoyed this a lot. I think it suits the Song Fight title better than the Nur Ein one but you did a great job including enough to meet both challenges.

Vowl Sounds - it's us! I sent owl a track that awkwardly combined a party atmosphere with excessively long verses, and she responded with this lyric / vocal that tells a brilliant story, I think. We had fun spooking up the arrangement with whispered vocals, theremins and evil cello, too.

Loads of great songs, Faster Jackalope / Rain Watt probably my absolute favourites, but I’d like to give some special appreciation to the songs that I loved but the judges ranked fairly low. BYD and Mousehole was robbed!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Pop Machine » Wed May 01, 2019 1:23 pm

vowlvom wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 12:59 pm
Right let's get these posted so I can get on with my life.
Boffo Yux Dudes - this is ridiculously catchy and fun, and I fell in love with it even without having any clue what you were singing about (I have now done my Wikipedia research). I really wish the mix was better though, it's so kinda muffled and quiet, especially compared to the songs around it in this playlist. But still one of my favourites!

Loads of great songs, Faster Jackalope / Rain Watt probably my absolute favourites, but I’d like to give some special appreciation to the songs that I loved but the judges ranked fairly low. BYD and Mousehole was robbed!
Bless you, kind sir!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by BoffoYux » Wed May 01, 2019 2:08 pm

Pop Machine wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 1:23 pm
vowlvom wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 12:59 pm
Right let's get these posted so I can get on with my life.
Boffo Yux Dudes - this is ridiculously catchy and fun, and I fell in love with it even without having any clue what you were singing about (I have now done my Wikipedia research). I really wish the mix was better though, it's so kinda muffled and quiet, especially compared to the songs around it in this playlist. But still one of my favourites!

Loads of great songs, Faster Jackalope / Rain Watt probably my absolute favourites, but I’d like to give some special appreciation to the songs that I loved but the judges ranked fairly low. BYD and Mousehole was robbed!
Bless you, kind sir!
I agree. Perhaps we have a future writing '1-877CAR-4-KIDS' jingles!
There was a high level of great tunes this round. I'm just happy we're moving on to Round 1!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Lunkhead » Wed May 01, 2019 3:30 pm

Weird, I was randomly showing somebody Forty Second Songs, and guess what, their last track "Tank Top" has spelling in it!!

http://sfjukebox.org/songs/tank_top/For ... nd%20Songs
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Chumpy » Wed May 01, 2019 5:10 pm

Pop Machine wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:38 pm
I'm using somewhat new software which chides me for going over 0dB in my final output, but that seems to make the volume pretty low comparatively, so I need to either ignore that or tweak the output accordingly, I think. Anyway, my point is you gave HELPFUL feedback, so thanks muchly.
These days when folks talk about song loudness, they measure it in LUFS, which stands for Loudness Units relative to Full Scale. It's like how our digital meters are in dBFS, where 0.0 is the peak value before the signal gets clipped. LUFS is measured in LUs, and you can think of 1LU = 1dB, although it's perhaps more complicated than that.

So when you look at your master output, and you see it peaking at 0.0dB, that can be a momentary bit of high energy in your song, and not really tell you much about the perceived loudness of your track. To get a better idea of how loud something is, it's better to average it over time, which is a simplistic way of thinking about what LUFS is. Like dBFS, the smaller the LUFS number is, the louder it is. There is some agreement (through various telecommunication standards bodies, and some just de facto) out there about how loud audio content should be for certain applications.
  • -24 LUFS -- for US TV and Radio
  • -23 LUFS -- European Broadcasting Union Standard
  • -19 LUFS -- de facto standard for monophonic content online
  • -16 LUFS -- de facto standard for stereo content online
  • -14 LUFS -- Spotify / Amazon music and podcast target
As part of the mastering process, a lot of folks will run their final mixed stereo track through plugins with names like "brick wall limiter" or "maximizer" that does not allow any signal to go above a certain threshold and then cranks up the gain. This is similar to what a compressor with make-up gain does. Let's look at three tracks that I think are illustrative.
Image
There are three stereo mp3s from round zero on three tracks pictured here in my DAW. The one on top is the BYD track, the one in the middle is from Grumpy Mike, and the one on the bottom is from iVeg.

Just by eyeballing the waveforms you can see that the BYD track is pretty quiet but with spiky bits, Grumpy MIke's track is loud in parts, and that iVeg's track is pretty loud all the way through. I can point to my favorite section of the iVeg song (where it's just the vocals and the heavenly pad) just by looking at the shortest bit of the waveform towards the end of the song.

The meters on the left show the 'integrated' LUFS (the LUFS over the length of the entire track in this case) for all three tracks and you can see that sure enough the BYD track is the quietest at 19.1 LUFS, Grumpy MIke's is in the middle at -13.1 LUFS and the iVeg track is the loudest at -10.4 LUFS. As you can see there is almost 9dB difference between BYD and iVeg! If you were listening to those two tracks back to back, you'd be quickly reaching for your volume knob.

Let's say that all three of these tracks were submitted to Spotify, and we had them in a Spotify playlist. Now Spotify wants every track played through it to come out at a standard -14 LUFS, so their customers aren't reaching for the volume knob every song. It doesn't fuck with the volume of the song when it transcodes and stores it, but it does note how far off from -14 LUFS it is. When I play back the BYD track on Spotify, it will crank up the relative volume on the player by +4.9dB, which will bring it up to -14 LUFS. When Grumpy MIke's track hits, it bring the volume down by by -0.9dB to to keep it at -14 LUFS. Finally when we hit iVeg's track, Spotify will turn down the player's relative volume by -3.6dB.

It's also interesting to note that Grumpy Mike's song has the largest "LU Range", meaning the difference between the loud and quiet parts -- something reviewers picked up on. I feel like his track strikes a great balance between loudness and dynamics. Great job Mike!

Now this is SongFight, and not ProductionFight, so you don't really have to care about any of this. Know this though, there is a reason why there is a loudness war going on. Some people perceive louder as better. I'd suggest folks target -16 to -14 LUFS for their songs if they want to play the loudness game. Be careful though, you can squash all the life out of your track with having too heavy a hand on the maximizer or limiter + gain controls. You'll want to err on the side of caution.

There is a free maximizer plugin called Loudmax that you can use if you don't have the tools to do this to your mixed stereo song. If you use GarageBand or Logic Pro (I'm looking at you CR) you can apply mastering presets "Broadcast" or "Top40" to your "Stereo Out" track which I think do a pretty good job with minimal effort.

Edits: typos, clarifications, getting the units right everywhere.
Last edited by Chumpy on Wed May 01, 2019 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by grumpymike » Wed May 01, 2019 5:52 pm

A. Thank you, Chumpy, for the compliment.
B. Thank you, Chumpy, for teaching me something. I’ve still been aiming for -12dB RMS, like a chump!

Edit:
C. If you continue to compare me to Creed I might do my Scott Stapp impression. “WITH ARMS WIDE OPEN-AH!”
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed May 01, 2019 7:49 pm

How about a free LUFS meter?
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by BoffoYux » Wed May 01, 2019 9:40 pm

Chumpy -

That’s a lot of good information. I knew intrinsically that the song ‘felt’ lower when I plugged it into audacity to make an mp3 and boosted the gain a bit, but wasn’t aware of how ornate the signal processing needed to be.

Thanks!

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 01, 2019 10:52 pm

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 7:49 pm
How about a free LUFS meter?
https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/

This is the generally-accepted-as-best free one, I think.
BoffoYux wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:40 pm
That’s a lot of good information. I knew intrinsically that the song ‘felt’ lower when I plugged it into audacity to make an mp3 and boosted the gain a bit, but wasn’t aware of how ornate the signal processing needed to be.
Here's your song passed through my usual lazy "mastering" chain, since I've been meaning to make it louder anyway for listening in my car.

Edit: I seem to have chopped the start of the song off somehow. This is why I shouldn't process audio before breakfast. Will sort it later.
BYD_MessageReceived.mp3
(3.93 MiB) Downloaded 21 times
Last edited by vowlvom on Thu May 02, 2019 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Chumpy » Thu May 02, 2019 12:10 am

BoffoYux wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 9:40 pm
I knew intrinsically that the song ‘felt’ lower when I plugged it into audacity to make an mp3 and boosted the gain a bit, but wasn’t aware of how ornate the signal processing needed to be.
If you use Audacity this can be pretty easy. I found an oddly specific video on YouTube that explains how to use the free maximizer and LUFS metering plugins mentioned earlier in this thread with Audacity. Hope this helps!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu May 02, 2019 4:40 am

A video for Reaper... mainly putting it here to watch later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wPnlND92QU
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Zero "Message Received"

Post by Cybronica » Thu May 02, 2019 7:45 am

Nur ein xiv 0

So many songs to review, and so much great music, too. Good job everyone!

Also thank you to Chumpy et al for this really cool information!

Abominominous - I love the choice of words. Regardless of lyrics, the words just sound good what with alliteration and the assonance. ( that is to say, I haven’t read the lyrics and I have no idea what the song is about but you made really good phonemical choices). Good driving beat. Nice stylistic vocals.

Agony Sauce - vocals are fine, I like the music and instrumentals a lot. It just feels like there’s no point to the spelling. Also choosing to spell the title feels too obvious. Who’s the little voice singing in my right ear?

Berkeley Social Scene - vocals are trying. It sounds like you are sing with your tongue hanging out. That’s just a personal preference. The chorus is cool, but the vocals sound like they are purposefully playing around the edges of the pitches.

Boffo Yux Dudes - this is cute, it’s not trying to be high art, but it is quite fun. I have a soft spot for hockey despite my lack of sports interest. I like it. Some of the back up vocals are out of tune. I sent this to my dad (huge hockey fan), and he likes it too!

Faster Jackalope - the start with that cymbal feels very theatric. The whole thing is lovely, great performance from truth. Violin a great addition. Not sure how I feel about the lyrics.

Fisher and Diaz - I actually really like the rap, but the sung chorus is trying on me- inverse of my normal proclivities! I realize you are purposefully being out of tune, an interesting idea, but in practice not good.

Frankie Big Face - so lovely. Love the intro arppegiator. Well sung. Melancholic.

Grumpy Mike - sounds very muse. I like this a lot, especially that bass line. The chorus is so cathartic. The play out is really cool, too.

Inflatable Vegetables - cool song. I like the falsetto thing you do. I would have liked you to lean into it more. It gives the song a creepy twist that goes well with the bitter lyrics.

Lichen Throat - so proud. The vocals show a real improvement from your past stuff. Keep working on it and you’ll only get better. The koto sound is cool. I would recommend doing a single track vocal for a little while while you work on your vocals, because for now the extra line just serves to point out the uncertainty that remains. Love the lyrics.

Lucky Spoon - I like the echo thingy going there, and the harmonies. The song part is lovely. I agree with the sentiment of the song- random rap breaks are jarring. The rap itself sounded belabored, but maybe that’s the point?

Mandibles - I like our song a lot, not gonna lie. Truth came up with the idea and we banged out lyrics and verses together. Unfortunately the other members of Mandibles couldn’t join us this round, but they will be in the future. I think the bridge sounds a little out of place; maybe I we had brought in the fuzz guitar earlier? But over all I just really like it. Good thing- who wants to make music they don’t like?

Max Bombast - love this. The Morse code is ingenious. The lyrics are hilarious and the a Capella is fabulous. Beautifully sung. Is this only you or are there others? What college a Capella group were you in?

Merisan - great song, great singing, great drive, great sound. Great.

Mike Lamb - interesting. I want to see the short film this is based on. :) not my fav; I like all the elements, but I keep finding my mind wandering off before the end of the song.

Mousehole - similar issue as with agony sauce- spelling the title feels too obvious. A good song, but it doesn’t stand out.

Nick Soma - I like the acrostic. Cool take on the challenge. The chorus is pleasing. That buzzing synth is a little grating.

Paco del Stinko - not my fav Paco song- it feels just a little flat. A bit aimless. I like how the g o t I t got it applies to different situations each time.

Pigfarmer Jr. - this was interesting. Very interesting use of panning an vocals not lining up. I kept expecting a song to come out of it, so I’m disappointed that didn’t happen. Sounds like part of a sound track from an edgy space video game.

Rachael Layne - sweet song with a sweet subject. I thought it was a nice take on the challenge and title. I like the upward leap in the chorus melody. Great inst. Break

Rain Watt - very early 2000s. I like this song despite a general genre bias against it. I think it is really well put together.

The Sunday Colors - I wish you had posted the lyrics. This song is haunting in its beauty. Is it all one take? The words are beautiful. I don’t know if you meant it this way, but to me it sound like a song about coming out to the people you love who won’t accept you for it. Really lovely.

Third Cat - the timbral choices here make the song sound a bit monochromatic. Voice sounds particularly Rufus wainwright-y in this song. Cool panning stuff is happening.

Ujn Hunter + Friends - good rock sound. Love it. I want to put this on and dance. The very end is really sweet. Love the drop out.

Vowl Sounds - classic vowel sounds; love the premise, the music is sweet, this is going in my permanent collection for sure. The random letters are a nice touch, as is the oui/ouija spelling. The words seem to come a bit fast, but that seems to be your style. A great song, well deserving of the win!
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