Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by mo »

Hey bud (Frankie in this case haha), yeah I saw where you were going—I recently remembered that I used to have all the Roger Moore Bonds taped off of TV on Betacam, which...well, wasn’t great for my development as a human being probably. But one is the things I have in my head is the punchiness of the key lyrics, “Man with the Golden Gun” or even in a softer vein “Nobody Does It Better”, the pithiness of it as you would say. Anyway good job and looking forward to everyone pitching a fit about the next round hahahaha
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by frankie big face »

GlennCase wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:37 pm
And how is being "dumbfounded" not an insult to the judges?
Glenn, I think you're reading too much into this. The results are often surprising (as you and I have discussed) and sometimes disappointing. If someone thought Micah did a great job this week and he was eliminated, I think it's fair for that person to say they're "dumbfounded" by the results. I'm dumbfounded every time I get ranked near the top and at the bottom by two different judges. You may be feeling underappreciated doing a job that, as you've noted, has almost no upside. But I don't think Mike was personally insulting you.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by mo »

Dumbfoundead is an American treasure btw
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by frankie big face »

mo wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:43 am
Dumbfoundead is an American treasure btw
I did not know that! Mo, you bring people together. People who need people.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by mo »

Literally no one has ever said that about me before *heart emojis*
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Adam! »

Liner notes! Come find out what happened.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by MicahSommer »

Thanks grumpymike and crumpart for the compliments, and thanks judges for your reviews and rankings, and all the time you put in listening.

I for one am not at all dumbfounded that I was eliminated - I had fun with my song and am happy with how it turned out, but this was a tough round with a very specific challenge, which most people managed to capture far better than I did (with a pretty clear consensus to that effect from the judges' rankings). I'm just glad I made it into the top 25% of a very talented field - and that I nailed that big F-sharp at the end.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by frankie big face »

My piece also ends on an F#! And you definitely nailed it. Good job!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by grumpymike »

I spent more time editing this than working on any song this contest, probably. Who knows.
http://podcast.songlander.com/?name=202 ... lanche.mp3
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Lunkhead »

grumpymike wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:50 pm
I spent more time editing this than working on any song this contest, probably. Who knows.
http://podcast.songlander.com/?name=202 ... lanche.mp3
Title: Carte Blanche

Challenge: Tell a story from multiple points of view
Copy/pasta?
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by crumpart »

Podcast responses for Grumpy Mike, Cybronica and Ben.

***

I very definitely was not going for “Bond theme”, but a song that referenced Bond. It did, indeed, step off from Owl talking about The Mountain Goats and their song (recorded directly into a boombox), The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton. Here are the liner notes that I put in with my lyrics, which I think is probably relevant to read.
When Owl made that joke about The Best Ever Death Metal Bond In Denton I couldn't get it out of my head. It's so silly but I thought I could do something with it. I also couldn't get the Cate Blanchett / Carte Blanche line out, and this song was born. Wadeye is a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory of Australia. My sister worked there for five years a teacher and still has very strong ties to the community, and I travelled up occasionally to work with her as a tutor. On paper it can seem like the wild wild west (except north), and a lot has been made of the fact that family factions in the community name themselves after heavy metal bands. Vice, for example, did a bunch of gross articles that focussed on this aspect while simultaneously doubling down on a bunch of problems in the community; basically they heard about the heavy metal thing, decided to write an article about it then treated their few days there as a fishbowl experience entirely lacking in depth or understanding. Wadeye, like most remote Aboriginal communities, has been very marginalised by colonisation and because of that they have lot of challenges to deal with day-to-day, along with the regular endemic societal racism experienced by all Indigenous Australians. For example, Indigenous Australians are incarcerated at a rate highly disproportional to their population: 29% of Australian prisoners are Aboriginal, but they only represent 3% of the population in total. In reference to the original song, John Darnielle talked about the "Hail Satan!" ending as being off the cuff and kind of a hopeful, joyous sentiment. I wanted to keep it there, obviously, but in the context of this story the explicit Satan reference didn't feel appropriate, so I set Cate Blanchett up as the hopeful, joyous Devil character and as such, she gets the coda. It think she'd approve.
It’s definitely a Mountain Goats pastiche, but in deference to the Mountain Goats, I also wanted to make it a serious song about a serious thing, all wrapped up in a coat of absurdist imagery.

In terms of my recording setup, I took a picture for you! I’m definitely a stand-upperer, currently in that tiny space between two printing presses. I have historically been terrified to sing in front of anyone, but am definitely aware of my faults and trying to work on my delivery. I think/hope I’m gradually improving.
8E3765FA-40EF-4EB0-AEA7-148CB596BFF6.jpeg
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by vowlvom »

I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I'm assuming Mike, Ben and Cybronica all critiqued your mix as "not having enough printing presses in the mix" and I hope they're eating their words right now.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by crumpart »

There's never enough printing presses in the mix.

Please don't eat the words though; they're made from lead.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Generic »

I just listened to the New Ugly episode about this round, and wow, I'm blown away by the in-depth commentary on my vocal technique!

Cybronica, I'm sorry to bear bad news, but you were incorrect about my having been in a choir. I have spent a lot of time hanging out with the choir and musical theatre kids, and know a fair bit about the theory of vocal technique, though (clearly!) I struggle with the execution, especially on an ambitiously-written vocal piece like this one. I especially liked how you used the two big breaths in my "Tom Jones" coda to illustrate the distinction between "head" voice and "chest" voice. I tried, valiantly tried, to make both of those notes chest notes, but I just could not hit that highest note. Getting old sucks. I know I could have done it seven or eight years ago. So I had to settle for the falsetto. Oh well.

I did put a lot of effort into modulating my technique for the genre, which you all seem to have picked up on. Compare with my "Rear Window," which has a much breathier, lighter "head"ier vocal delivery, because that's what the genre (country ballad) called for. Whereas this week, I was going for more of a professional, "crooner with some menace" type vibe. It was harder, and I don't think I nailed it, to be honest, but I'm glad it gave you guys a whole meal of a conversation about vocal technique!

Also, Mike, I very much sympathize with your editing woes. I produce a podcast that I host with my brother, and editing is by far the biggest time suck of the whole production. We had an episode due this coming Tuesday that's going to be late because the raw recording was nearly two hours long, and I can't reasonably expect to cut a pass of it in that time, let alone chop off the amount that needs to be chopped off to make it listenable (we aim for 55-60 minutes per episode). Uh... I guess check it out if you're interested? https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/p ... 1484393853

Anyway, that was a great discussion to listen to, and I agree with most of your criticisms. You guys are great at being honest and not pulling punches, but actually not being TOO mean about it. And I laughed out loud at "Why are you stabbing my earballs?" Great job!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by BoffoYux »

mo wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:43 am
Dumbfoundead is an American treasure btw
True Dat. I saw them in 2013 in Boston with Watsky.




bcap, Dumfoundead, and Watsky at the Paradise Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_KRwFA ... 2a&index=8
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by BoffoYux »

Re: Judging

I've often had my say on judging, which is easy to grouse about, and hard to do. I've been on both sides, and it's a challenge to write a good review.

Also, you have 5 people, you have 5 viewpoints. Once BYD tried to write a song that would please the judges. Never again. It ended up pleasing no one, including ourselves. Since then, we just do our thing. If it's a winner in some people's eyes, so much the better.

I will say I was surprised on who was cut for Round 3. I wouldn't have ranked them that way personally, but I'm not a judge. That's the way it goes some times. I also know I don't enjoy being a judge, but also consider it a 'civic duty' to do it occasionally, because of the times I've been on the other side.

Hosting the listening party is the easy thing to do. I just play the music, and have occasional words of encouragement. Constructive criticism, especially when someone doesn't want to hear any flaws, can be tough to hear but is a worthy endeavor.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Cybronica »

crumpart wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:34 am
In terms of my recording setup, I took a picture for you! I’m definitely a stand-upperer, currently in that tiny space between two printing presses. I have historically been terrified to sing in front of anyone, but am definitely aware of my faults and trying to work on my delivery. I think/hope I’m gradually improving.
I stand corrected! I should have put in a caveat that my comments are worth very little by virtue of not actually seeing how you are actually making a sound. I do think you have been improving, and I particularly thought your singing in Carte Blanche was a big step in the right direction. :)
crumpart wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:34 am
There's never enough printing presses in the mix.

Please don't eat the words though; they're made from lead.
This had me in stitches!!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by vowlvom »

As all of the judges have said in our reviews so far, this was an extremely consistent round and the difference between elimination and ranking near the top of the list was tiny; we were all forced to eliminate songs that we thought were good. I give all the songs a rating out of 10 as a starting point for my rankings and ended up giving the top seven the same score! It was ridiculously tight. That said, we were pretty close to a consensus this round, nobody in our elimination places got more than six points from any one judge. I have no problem with people praising an eliminated contestant but if you're going to come out with a "WTF were the judges thinking?"-type comment, rest assured we've already been beating ourselves up about it for two days.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Cybronica »

Generic wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am
Cybronica, I'm sorry to bear bad news, but you were incorrect about my having been in a choir. I have spent a lot of time hanging out with the choir and musical theatre kids, and know a fair bit about the theory of vocal technique...
I am again corrected, but this time I sit for it. And, as far as a choir being related to your singing goes, well, I was right that you were surrounded by people who were singing and learning how to use your voice by being part of a group... ;) Is that a technicality? Yes, but I was spot on with the MT/les mis vocal technique comparison!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Generic »

Cybronica wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:14 am
Generic wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am
Cybronica, I'm sorry to bear bad news, but you were incorrect about my having been in a choir. I have spent a lot of time hanging out with the choir and musical theatre kids, and know a fair bit about the theory of vocal technique...
I am again corrected, but this time I sit for it. And, as far as a choir being related to your singing goes, well, I was right that you were surrounded by people who were singing and learning how to use your voice by being part of a group... ;) Is that a technicality? Yes, but I was spot on with the MT/les mis vocal technique comparison!
Oh yeah, I totally understand why you made that prediction. It makes sense! It's weird that I haven't been in a choir or stage musical.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by grumpymike »

Generic wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am
We had an episode due this coming Tuesday that's going to be late because the raw recording was nearly two hours long, and I can't reasonably expect to cut a pass of it in that time, let alone chop off the amount that needs to be chopped off to make it listenable (we aim for 55-60 minutes per episode). Uh... I guess check it out if you're interested? https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/p ... 1484393853
The raw audio for this was somewhere around the 2.5 hour mark. With each new person it gets exponentially more difficult, too. I didn't realize this. Thank God we had a guest on who can form sentences and speak clearly. If Abigail had our speaking skills, I would still be editing. Then again, if I hadn't kept us on track, we'd still be recording.

For the curious, this is what approximately 40 minutes of audio looks like.
ugly.png
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First I cleaned up the 3 audio tracks in RX7 to get as much silence and dry (non reverbed) voice as possible. Then I went hacking away in Reaper... listening at 1.6x speed... taking out false starts (aka making Ben coherent), "like" so we don't sound too much like Valley Girls, "um", bumping the microphone as Ben grabs his awkwardly positioned computer or beer, beer bottle mouth noises, lip smacking before talking, dog barks, irrelevant tangents, breaks. Put EQ+comp on the voices and a limiter on the master. Drop in 20 mp3s of different loudness levels. Do some spot checks at 1x speed. I don't even bother trying to hit a loudness level anymore. All in all it was probably a solid day work. And, relatively speaking, I went pretty light touch on the editing this time.

The sad irony is that all my podcast subscriptions are piling up because I don't listen to them much anymore. When I have some time to explore I'll definitely peek in on what you've got going there. Let me know if you have any editing tips!
Generic wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am
Anyway, that was a great discussion to listen to, and I agree with most of your criticisms. You guys are great at being honest and not pulling punches, but actually not being TOO mean about it. And I laughed out loud at "Why are you stabbing my earballs?" Great job!
I'm glad to hear that. I wouldn't keep going through this PITA if people didn't express enjoyment. One of my goals when I started was to make reviewing a little more casual, a little more personal, in comparison to the boards. I try to keep as much stuff that makes us seem like random idiots as much as possible. Because in the end, music is subjective, and who the hell am I to say? I'm some idiot who doesn't know who Josh Groban is, apparently.

And while I am still sore about it, I suppose I should publicly thank you for the theme song. :P
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round Four "Carte Blanche"

Post by Generic »

grumpymike wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:57 pm


First I cleaned up the 3 audio tracks in RX7 to get as much silence and dry (non reverbed) voice as possible. Then I went hacking away in Reaper... listening at 1.6x speed... taking out false starts (aka making Ben coherent), "like" so we don't sound too much like Valley Girls, "um", bumping the microphone as Ben grabs his awkwardly positioned computer or beer, beer bottle mouth noises, lip smacking before talking, dog barks, irrelevant tangents, breaks. Put EQ+comp on the voices and a limiter on the master. Drop in 20 mp3s of different loudness levels. Do some spot checks at 1x speed. I don't even bother trying to hit a loudness level anymore. All in all it was probably a solid day work. And, relatively speaking, I went pretty light touch on the editing this time.

The sad irony is that all my podcast subscriptions are piling up because I don't listen to them much anymore. When I have some time to explore I'll definitely peek in on what you've got going there. Let me know if you have any editing tips!
Honestly, I'm relieved to read your process, because it's pretty similar to mine! Except instead of spot-checking, I usually do a full second pass. My cohost takes notes on the first pass, but he doesn't edit it himself. I wanna teach him, but he's resistant to learn. Not like he's doing much else since the pandemic started!

A screenshot of the edit on our most recent completed episode.

A screenshot of our last three-person episode. (Fun fact: the guest was Glenn Case! That episode was amazing to make! He inspired me to get back into making music after a long break. So I can honestly say that if Glenn hadn't joined us for that interview, I probably would not be competing this year!)

Let me know if you ever want to be a guest on our show, presumably after Nur Ein is over. 8-)
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