Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by crumpart »

That is beautiful.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by seemanski »

You could almost say its the dogs bollocks.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by iVeg »

Recorded vocals at the park. I'm not sure it's better than nothing.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Looking forward to listening to the songs.
I wrote a song. I recruited a guest vocalist. I also decided screw it and didn't do a damn thing this weekend. Thanks for a fun Nur Ein with tons of cool songs.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Lucky Spoon »

seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by furrypedro »

Lucky Spoon wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 am
seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
I agree that the songs should always sound like they fit the title, but I would say that shoe-horning is inserting the title into the lyrics where it doesn't really fit, which can sound inelegant or guileless. I may be wrong but I think the majority of judges would appreciate a song that fits the title but doesn't use the title in the lyrics, rather than a lyric that includes the title but with no thematic link to the title.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by seemanski »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:00 am
Lucky Spoon wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 am
seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
I agree that the songs should always sound like they fit the title, but I would say that shoe-horning is inserting the title into the lyrics where it doesn't really fit, which can sound inelegant or guileless. I may be wrong but I think the majority of judges would appreciate a song that fits the title but doesn't use the title in the lyrics, rather than a lyric that includes the title but with no thematic link to the title.
Yeah, I agree shoehorning the title in isn't a good idea and I think I got so caught up with getting something for the different perspectives, finding another vocalist and trying out my new vst plugins that I lost sight a little. I'll have to just wait and see what the judges think.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by crumpart »

For interests sake, if anyone missed it last week, my Chupacabra shadow entry utilised the title as an acrostic poem. Shoehorning the word itself into a song about an actual monstrous person committing genocide felt inappropriate.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Generic »

Lucky Spoon wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 am
seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
Nur Ein X, Round 4. The title was "Banshee." Frankie Big Face's song does not use the word "Banshee" in the lyrics. Two of the judges put him at the top of their rankings (including me), and he won the round handily.

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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Lucky Spoon »

furrypedro wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:00 am
Lucky Spoon wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 am
seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
I agree that the songs should always sound like they fit the title, but I would say that shoe-horning is inserting the title into the lyrics where it doesn't really fit, which can sound inelegant or guileless. I may be wrong but I think the majority of judges would appreciate a song that fits the title but doesn't use the title in the lyrics, rather than a lyric that includes the title but with no thematic link to the title.
yup, "shoe-horned" was more tongue and cheek. It is interesting to ctrl+f the title on the lyrics page, though.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by frankie big face »

Generic wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:28 am
Lucky Spoon wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:05 am
seemanski wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:16 am
Looking forward to my walk and listen today. All the lyrics look really great. Reading through I realised in my haste to put something together I forgot to put put in a mention to a rear window in my lyrics, whoopsees. If I was having a driving test I would have failed :(
It's not an explicit requirement, but there have been judges that question whether or not the song fits the title so it is customary to shoe horn the title into the lyrics as much as possible.
Nur Ein X, Round 4. The title was "Banshee." Frankie Big Face's song does not use the word "Banshee" in the lyrics. Two of the judges put him at the top of their rankings (including me), and he won the round handily.

It can be done.
Been a long time since I won a round. Thanks for the memory, Jon.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by GlennCase »

Okay! Here we go!

Glow Worm - You're on point as always. The guest vocalist is phenomenal. My main complaint is that keyboard patch in the break sections - I don't care for the timbre. The mix is good overall. Things do sound a bit distorted (especially the vocals) but it does sound like an intentional choice. Hell of a chorus hook. Keep putting out material this good and you'll make it to the final round. If there is one thing that could work against you in later rounds: You have set the bar very high, and it can be very tough to continue putting out quality output as the competition goes on. As it sits, this is another stellar entry. Well met.

LYRICS: [GOOD] 2 points
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [GOOD] 2 points
SCORE: 10 out of 10

Frankie Big Face - Rachael and I listened to all of these songs a few times today, and she asked me on more than one occasion who yours was by. That's very telling because she knows your voice, and she can usually identify you easily. Your voice perfectly projects vulnerability here. Your guest vocalist is fantastic. My primary complaint is that percussion, which has an unpleasant, piercing quality to it. Maybe roll some of the highs off. In general I am hearing things in the high end that detract from what is otherwise a very, very solid composition and performance.

LYRICS: [GOOD] 2 points
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 9 out of 10

Jon Eric - This is THE best Jon Eric song I have ever heard. This one goes on the eventual best of compilation, and this is the song that Rachael and I are the most likely to cover if there is ever a Jon Eric Hxaro. Your voice sounds better than it has ever sounded. The chord structure is quite good, and those rhythmic hits at 2:03 and 2:23 were a brilliant touch that wasn't overused. The mix itself is okay, but the drums are definitely buried. Excellent structure, lyrics, and your guest vocalist is great. This is downright enjoyable. Nur Ein tends to bring out the very best in some people, and this is a prime example of that. EXCELLENT job.

LYRICS: [GOOD] 2 points
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 9 out of 10

Max Bombast - This is very fun, and expertly crafted. Serious bonus points for having so many guests. Was really happy and surprised to hear Plat, and J$ in there! I like the concept, and the structure of the song more than the lyrics themselves. Good hook in the chorus. I feel like you're getting warmed up now, and that is a very good reason for the competition to start getting nervous.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [GOOD] 2 points
SCORE: 9 out of 10

Mandibles - I heard that chord change at 0:06 and I got excited. I asked myself "Ooh, who is this? WHAT?! MANDIBLES?! WELL, HOLY CRAP!" Yes, I usually don't like your songs very much. This is far and away my favorite Mandibles song I have heard thus far. The chord structure and instrument choices are making me think of the first (and very likely the only) Buckingham/Nicks album. ("Crying in the Night" and "Crystal" from that album are examples). I like the acoustic guitar solo. The "I'm moving out" part does sound like the melody of "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban, which is distracting, but I absolutely LOVE everything about the verses. Vocals are still having pitch issues in spots, but not bothering me as much as in previous entries. Vocals do sound a bit compressed/distorted, and possibly a bit loud in the mix. Snare is a bit buried as well. Still, this is a Mandibles song that I actually LIKE! Good job!

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 8 out of 10

Nick Soma - Great concept, and a fun song. Those drums are sounding a bit crispy. Tinny, harsh high end. I like the interplay between the vocalists, although the delivery on some of the lyrics border on clumsy, and are arguably squeezing in too many syllables ("for good reasons" at :39 and "When we were supposed to get started" at 1:15 are examples of this). Yes, we asked for a story which can lead to more lyrics written, but it is still possible to tell a good tale without squeezing every last syllable in there. This is a good one overall.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 7 out of 10


see-man-ski - This started out so promising. Sure, the high end is a bit harsh, but the groove was good. The vocals kicked in, and things went downhill. For one, the vocal delivery of "long to live up to" is clumsy. I do like the guest vocals quite a bit, and that helped you out a lot here. You have all the ingredients for what should be a decent song, but it falls short. Not much in the way of melodic variety, but that seems like an intentional choice. You are doing the right thing by introducing elements, and taking them away at key points of the song, but I would argue that it might have served you well to have made those changes even more dramatic. Example: Maybe that snare doesn't even need to come in until the first chorus. Perhaps you could have introduced even more things in that final chorus to really drive the point home that the song has been building up over time. You could have things coming to a fever pitch by the end. I initially had you way lower in the rankings (in the bottom 4), but I ended up liking this quite a bit more with repeat listens. For one: The chorus hook is better than I thought. The mix also sounds WAY better in headphones than on speakers.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [GOOD] 2 points
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 7 out of 10


Balance Lost - Snare is buried in the mix. Chorus hook initially struck me as nothing special, but repeat listens proved me wrong, as I went from wanting to skip this to being okay with it. The use of the derogatory term "wetback" in the lyrics is jarring, and was probably a key reason why this was initially in my bottom 4, but the lyric makes sense within the perspective of the first narrator. Melody, and structure is mostly boring with the drop-out and build-up from 2:16 to 2:30 as one exception. Lead vocal is having pitch issues throughout, leaning towards being sharp. Guest vocal is good. Repeat listens absolutely saved this one from the bottom of my list.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 7 out of 10


Cavedwellers - As usual I love your chord structure. This week it is your lyrics that sink you. The concept is decent, but the lyrics are awkward, as are the delivery of said lyrics. I can vaguely hear what sounds like a snare drum in the mix, but I barely hear it. Mix is lifeless, dull, and doesn't do the song justice. The vocal is pleasant enough, but I'm not really hearing any emotion there. We don't hear a lead vocal from your guest until 2:23, and their part is over by 2:41. The guest's appearance feels like a tacked on afterthought to satisfy the challenge. This one has potential, but would need some work to reach it.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [GOOD] 2 points
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 7 out of 10


Grumpy Mike - So, the opening lyric starts things off very badly for my taste. I tend to not be a fan of self-referential lyrics, especially when you're using it as the opening line. (Max opened his "The Handbook" in a similar fashion and that song remains one of my least favorite things I have ever heard from him.) Lead vocal is often flat, and you especially sound like you are struggling/straining as the song progresses into those higher notes where Max sounds more comfortable. Mix sounds reasonably good, and the structure is good. Still, I wanted to skip this on repeat listens. I understand what you're doing in the chorus by having "up" and "down" at the same time in the chorus, but it makes things sound muddled, and I don't think it was a good call to include that as something that repeats.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [GOOD] 2 points
SCORE: 7 out of 10


Micah Sommersmith - We have the return of the harsh S sounds, as well as harsh high end in the percussion. I do like the call and response of the vocals. Overall mix is dull, and lifeless. Good lyrics, and a decent performance. Fun, playful lead guitar part that is quite possibly the best thing happening in the song. I do like the structure.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [GOOD] 2 points
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 6 out of 10

Berkeley Social Scene - What we have here is a well mixed song that is merely adequate. The structure is fine, lyrics are not bad, performances are fine ('though seemingly uninspired), mix is good, concept is serviceable. This is wallpaper. It's boring. Shiny sounding, but forgettable. Nothing particularly exciting or interesting to grab the listener. It sounds like a composition that was made by committee, with a majority of votes deciding everything.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [OKAY] 1 point
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [GOOD] 2 points
SCORE: 6 out of 10


Third Cat - Okay, is that a guest vocalist or did you just put a bunch of vocal effects on your voice and attempt to pass it off as a guest? I checked your lyrics and the message boards to see if you credited a collaborater. Either way, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and we will say it is a legitimate guest vocal. Either way - this is one of the songs that I found myself wanting to skip the most on repeat listens. One issue I have with this is the patch/sample choices that don't blend well to my ear. The mix sounds completely out of whack. The organ seems WAY too loud in the chorus. This isn't terrible, but you may very well be in danger of elimination this week.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [OKAY] 1 point
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 5 out of 10


The Lowest Bitter - Another judge mentioned liking this which had me wondering if I was missing something. For one: They liked the noises that pop up, and I do not. Speeding things up at the end was an interesting choice. Overall, I applaud you for trying some unorthodox things, but in my opinion those additions didn't do much to serve the song. The mix, and performance both sound like a mess to my ear with settings seeming to have been picked at random, and everything feels like it is threatening to fall apart at any moment. The high end is crispy, and somewhat harsh on the ear. Ultimately, this is just unenjoyable to me, and I find myself wanting to finish this review as soon as possible so I can start skipping it.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [OKAY] 1 point
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 5 out of 10


Lucky Spoon - The bass is far too loud in the mix, and that is especially apparent in headphones. Lead vocal is buried in the mix, and that might be a good thing because it sounds like you're flat fairly often. Is there a guest vocalist? Okay, I suppose that is two different vocalists, but it isn't particularly easy to tell you apart at first. The structure is fine, but this whole song seems to lack energy. I can hear that you're using dynamics, and yet the whole thing just sounds lifeless, and safe.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [OKAY] 1 point
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 5 out of 10
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by seemanski »

Thanks Glenn for your feedback. You have given me things to think about and try out.

I would if you any insight for the below:
GlennCase wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:57 pm
The mix also sounds WAY better in headphones than on speakers.
This is something I have always struggled with. You are quite correct in thinking that I use headphone to mix predominantly. This is out of necessity as I don't want to disturb family members, either asleep or just in the same room watching tablet and giving me grief when I turn the speakers on. I have got a plugin that mimics different setups that I intend to use (toneboosters Isone) and I am going to try and do some mixing via my near field monitors also but very quietly. Do you have any tips? I have a feeling there might be a better way of approaching the mixing workflow.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by GlennCase »

seemanski wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:48 am
This is something I have always struggled with. You are quite correct in thinking that I use headphone to mix predominantly. This is out of necessity as I don't want to disturb family members, either asleep or just in the same room watching tablet and giving me grief when I turn the speakers on[...]Do you have any tips? I have a feeling there might be a better way of approaching the mixing workflow.
This might seem unorthodox, but one possible tip here is to go ahead and listen at a low volume that won't disturb anyone. I have read in a few places that mixing at a low volume can actually be very beneficial.

This video talks about that tactic.

https://youtu.be/dc6KipF1U4A

Also: I find that listening in my car can also be helpful. Our new car has a nice stereo system, but our last main vehicle has the stereo I refer to as "the great equalizer" because my mixes had a habit of sounding like garbage on that thing. If I could make it sound good on that system I knew I was on the right track.

And Max Bombast himself once made a lovely video for my benefit talking about A/B comparison mixes. This is where you listen to, compare, and contrast your mix with mixes of similar sounding songs that you like. I don't use this technique nearly as much as I should, but it can be highly effective. You might not get it to sound as good as a professional mix that you like, but you can at least get it closer. For example you might listen and think "Oh, wow... the bass is WAY lower than it should be when I compare these..."

Ultimately, I think it comes down to listening in more than one way. Mixing on headphones has some great advantages, but it is even better when you use other listening methods to make sure things sound good elsewhere, too.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by vowlvom »

OK, these reviews probably need more work but I really need to do some ACTUAL work. As usual, in order of my current ranking which I may still tweak...

Micah Sommersmith - This is one of the best Micah songs I've ever heard, the lyrics are sweet and melancholy and a really inspired take on the challenge. I love your two vocals together and the little guitar hooks are devilishly catchy. Nothing really to critique, your mix could certainly be clearer / punchier but it has a warmth to it that suits the song. This is excellent.

Frankie Big Face - You seem to bounce up and down my rankings like crazy. This one totally won me back over after being disappointed with last round's song, I love the understated vocals and your voices sound fantastic together. The end-of-the-relationship lyrical take feels like a fairly obvious one for the challenge but the way you've executed it is superb, subtle, specific and moving.

Glow Worm - This didn't quite grab me like your last couple of songs, although it's still extremely impressive. The "god damn" hook reminds me of a bunch of pop songs I've heard a bunch on the radio / at work and it really sticks in the head; the stuttery pauses that occasionally pop up in the other vocals bugged me a little, however. My main complaint with this one, compared to your previous ones, is that I had no real emotional reaction to this one at all - you proved extremely adept at giving me "the feels" in the first two rounds and I miss that here, although perhaps it's unfair to expect that from every song.

Balance Lost - This is an ambitious track, the samples set a really intriguing mood and I like that you went to the effort to get multiple guests, all of whom do good work. The lyrics use some jarring language, but now that you've posted your lyrics I can see where you're coming from and this is a pretty bold take on the challenge - albeit an uncomfortable one. It took a few listens for this to sink in as it's quite a moody, low-key track, but it's definitely one that I enjoyed revisiting and that kept growing on me over time.

Nick Soma - I really love the intro riff and the verse is great, the vocal trade-offs work brilliantly. The chorus doesn't really do it for me though, the melody follows the guitar very closely and just feels a little uninspired and lacklustre. The good bits of this are SO good that I'm still ranking it pretty high but I so wish the chorus could match the excellence of the verse.

Max Bombast - I keep bouncing this one up and down my rankings a little, the take on the challenge is very clever and it's a lot of fun, and the "pass it on" hook is catchy. I found it lost impact on repeat listens though, the novelty element didn't have me looking forward to this one as many as a few of the others. I also really wish you'd had the final news announcement play out over an extended outro, as at the moment it feels really tacked on.

Lowest Bitter, The - This has such a great energy that I can overlook the way you've fit at least seven extra syllables into the word "nostalgia". On the first couple of listens I missed a real hook, but on repeats I started to find the WOO! WHAT! vocal samples more and more entertaining and they make this memorable enough for me to forgive the lack of something catchy that sticks in the head. The dynamic shift into your guest vocal is pretty strange and interesting, and I like the specific take on the challenge here of writing a direct rebuke to yourself and then getting a friend to sing it. Dickhead. The layering at the end is clever but could use a bit more clarity IMO, although with the increasing tempo the chaos does add to the overall effect.

Jon Eric - This is a really lovely song, I love your guest's voice and you sound great together. There's a crackling song throughout the recording that slightly impacted on my enjoyment, I'm not sure if it's an accident or a filter to add subtle vinyl effects to the song? But the fact that I'm reaching for this as my critique should indicate that I'm stretching, the song itself is very well done indeed and I keep feeling like I want to push it further up the rankings, only to find that there are a ton of good songs this round.

Mandibles - There are a couple of songs in this round where extremely different vocal recording qualities impact on my enjoyment. I'm trying not to let it affect my rankings because obviously technical issues are hard to avoid. I hope you can get your guest vocal to re-record at some point though as the lo-fi quality of his recording really impacts on the effect when you're duetting! All that aside, I like this song a lot. It's very musical theatre but the melody is strong, lyrics are good and I like the instrumentation a lot.

Berkeley Social Scene - The chorus hook reminds me of Bowling For Soup's timelessly shitty punk-pop anthem "Girl all the Bad Guys Want" which I'm struggling to unhear. This is possibly my favourite BSS song of this Nur Ein so far, I like the crunchy guitars, Geech's lead vocal sounds pretty good, and I like the solo. Not crazy about the lyrics, they're fine but not stand-out. Similarly the challenge take, it's adequate but a lot of these songs had a more interesting approach IMO.

Cavedwellers - I can hear a lot of potential in this one, the chorus hook is really catchy in particular, but it feels like it needs an energy boost to really shine as at the moment it feels like it drags a little. It feels like a new-wave anthem played with soft-rock energy. Give me another 10-20 BPM! I really like your guest vocalist, lyrics are fun. But yeah I always feel like the song as a whole outstays its welcome a little.

Third Cat - Plenty of your usual psychedelic production gold here, but the arrangement occasionally feels disjointed (I'm not sure if there are some clumsy edits in there or I'm just hearing some really clicky guitar notes) and the extremely processed guest vocals don't fully work for me.

see-man-ski - This is pretty solid, with some good electronic production (I particularly like that bleepy synth in the intro) and your vocals sound really good together. It does feel like the link to the title is a little tenuous but in the end my low ranking for this one is mostly just because there were a bunch of other songs that stuck with me more.

Lucky Spoon - There are a few bits of this that feel distractingly sloppy, mostly the first verse and that empty section of a single bass note before the first chorus kicks in. The chorus has a winning punk-pop energy and I like the twin vocal rhythms in the bridge, but in general the two vocals are so similar that the challenge doesn't come across as well here as in most of these songs, and while this is a mostly enjoyable listen there's not quite enough here to push this up my rankings.

Grumpy Mike - I'm hoping you subscribe to the theory that it's better to inspire an intense reaction than to leave your listener feeling nothing at all, because I hate this song with a fiery passion. I'm slightly turned off by the meta opening lines, the awkward interplay between the two vocals loses me further, and the last minute or so where you're basically just screaming at each other is... it's just the precise opposite of everything I love about music. This song needs some build, but Max in particular starts the song at almost full intensity which leaves it with nowhere to go but into full-on nightmare territory. I'm not sure whether the vocal cutting off at the end is a mistake or an intentional decision but it feels like the final "will this do?" slap in the face at the end of my least favourite song of the competition so far.

Shadows:

Brown Word and the Big Whine - This has a fun bounce to it, good energy and an interesting arrangement. Complete with Wilhelm scream, haha. It immediately gets more chaotic (and less interesting to me) once your guest joins in, but that's the WreckdoM way!

Hot Pink Halo - This is mostly pretty fun and I enjoyed hearing Toshiro's voice again. The vocal rhythm sometimes feels a little robotic though (2nd verse especially), and the mix gets a little chaotic later on.

Lichen Throat - I like the take on the challenge, and the verses are mostly pretty great but that bridge that splits up the perspectives feels very… functional, rather than musically interesting.

Nuke Skyblaster Reporting For DUTY!! - This is fun, nicely glitchy electronic pop. Pepper Jane's voice sounds great as ever!

Serviettes, The - Fun idea but this is REALLY long and feels it, especially in sparse demo form. Having never interacted with Alexa, I'm impressed at the variety of things you got her to say!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by crumpart »

vowlvom wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:38 am
Hot Pink Halo - This is mostly pretty fun and I enjoyed hearing Toshiro's voice again. The vocal rhythm sometimes feels a little robotic though (2nd verse especially), and the mix gets a little chaotic later on.
Ha! Maybe my one line of liner notes was not explicit enough... (or my attempt at robot processing was not robotic enough; definitely a possibility, I struggled a bit with the mix.)

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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by vowlvom »

Sorry, I did wonder if it was intentional! I am aware that my reviews for the shadows are a little perfunctory, I keep meaning to spend more time with them but then I also keep getting halfway through Tuesday and realising I've done no actual work.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by frankie big face »

@Glenn and @see-man-ski:

For what it’s worth, I haven’t turned on my monitors for this entire competition. That’s probably why you heard issues with the electronic drums, Glenn, that I don’t. To be frank, I just got tired of driving myself crazy and figured everyone is listening in headphones now anyway. (Obviously not Glenn!) I never listen to music this way personally but I’m old (school). Generally, I think my mixes have been better so maybe I need new monitors or new placement or more experience (jeez, how much more is there?), but for now, I’m just using my cans.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Generic »

GlennCase wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:57 pm

Jon Eric - This is THE best Jon Eric song I have ever heard. This one goes on the eventual best of compilation, and this is the song that Rachael and I are the most likely to cover if there is ever a Jon Eric Hxaro.
First of all, thank you so much for the compliments! Second of all, it's funny you should suggest you and Rachael doing a cover of this. When I put out a call for a guest singer on Facebook, Rachael was the first person to volunteer, and I actually considered asking her directly even before I went looking for volunteers. I decided it would be courting controversy to do a duet with a judge's wife. :lol:

vowlvom wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:38 am

Jon Eric - This is a really lovely song, I love your guest's voice and you sound great together. There's a crackling song throughout the recording that slightly impacted on my enjoyment, I'm not sure if it's an accident or a filter to add subtle vinyl effects to the song?
Ack and alas, I've been caught! Yes, I put a phonograph scratch under my song. The fact that it suits the mood of the song was a convenient excuse to use it, but the REAL reason was that my guest vocal file had some audio artifacts that I couldn't get rid of and it was too late for me to ask for a re-recording. The real audio error occurs from 1:52 through 1:57 in the song. The rest of the crackle was added to "camouflage" it. Just think of it as a little bit of dust in the record groove. 8-)

Thank you both for the kind words! This song had a bit of a journey, but it felt like something was clicking better than usual this time around. It makes my day to see such positive reviews!
Last edited by Generic on Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Generic »

GlennCase wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:48 am

And Max Bombast himself once made a lovely video for my benefit talking about A/B comparison mixes. This is where you listen to, compare, and contrast your mix with mixes of similar sounding songs that you like. I don't use this technique nearly as much as I should, but it can be highly effective. You might not get it to sound as good as a professional mix that you like, but you can at least get it closer. For example you might listen and think "Oh, wow... the bass is WAY lower than it should be when I compare these..."
I do this too (usually — unless the recording is finished way too close to the deadline, as happened with "The Handbook"). Ideally you want a full day after you think you're done mixing, so it's not as fresh in your ears, but that's not always possible in Nur Ein.

When I think I'm done mixing, I'll crank it up high on my studio monitors and see if I still like it. Then I'll turn the studio monitors way down low and see if I still like it. Then I'll listen on my studio can headphones, at both a high volume and a low volume.

Then I'll upload the mp3 to Google drive and listen on my phone.

Then I'll connect my earbuds and listen through those at a normal volume, then again at a low volume.

Then I'll bring the phone into my car and listen on THOSE speakers and both high and low volume.

Generally by the end of that process, I've found something in need of correction. Not every step in this process is required, but some kind of experimentation on multiple audio sources usually helps root out issues.

I mean, listen to my song this week, where I had the time for all that testing, versus my "The Handbook," where I only finished the recording at 11:15pm and only spent about half an hour on the mix and master, no time for A/B testing at all. The difference is stark.

EDIT: I just noticed that I misread the post. I'm talking about A/B comparison of my own song to itself from different sound sources, where as Glenn is talking about comparing your own song to other people's songs that you think are comparable. Both are valuable tools when finalizing a song.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by grumpymike »

TIL using someone’s name in an original story is considered meta.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Three "Rear Window"

Post by Lucky Spoon »

GlennCase wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:57 pm
Lucky Spoon - The bass is far too loud in the mix, and that is especially apparent in headphones. Lead vocal is buried in the mix, and that might be a good thing because it sounds like you're flat fairly often. Is there a guest vocalist? Okay, I suppose that is two different vocalists, but it isn't particularly easy to tell you apart at first. The structure is fine, but this whole song seems to lack energy. I can hear that you're using dynamics, and yet the whole thing just sounds lifeless, and safe.

LYRICS: [OKAY] 1 point
STRUCTURE: [OKAY] 1 point
PERFORMANCE: [OKAY] 1 point
CONCEPT/CHALLENGE: [OKAY] 1 point
DYNAMICS/MIX: [OKAY] 1 point
SCORE: 5 out of 10
Oof. I figured I'd get dinged on the mix's bass. The compression I use for the bass track crashes the computer if I use it on more than one track at a time so I put it on and render it out, this time with EQ so they low end should have already been rolled off. But maybe it wasn't. Or maybe the final compression I put on the song brought up too much low end. I'm surprised the lyrics got dinged, though. The lyrics of the two stories paralleled each other a lot but told different thing e.g. When she left I let her go/When she left the dishes in the sink. A lot of clever interactions b/w the two perspectives. I was riding on that being my strong point this week.

General mix question: When a track goes from simple single guitar/vox into full band double tracked guitar, drums, and bass how to not lose the vox in the full part without having them be too hot in the simple part (especially if it's one take going through both)? The simple solution seems to just lower the volume on the vocal take in the verse and raise it back up in the chorus, but that seems wrong that the overall vox volume is going up and down through the song.
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