Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
HeuristicsInc
Gorilla
Posts: 5239
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 pm
Instruments: Synths
Recording Method: Windows computer, Acid, Synths etc.
Submitting as: Heuristics Inc. (duh) + collabs
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by HeuristicsInc » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:15 am

yeah, jast's vocal hints should be in a thread in the how-to section and kept for posterity... i'd like to refer back to that next time i am doing vocals.
-bill
152612141617123326211316121416172329292119162316331829382412351416132117152332252921
http://heuristicsinc.com
Liner Notes
SF Lyric Ideas
User avatar
jast
Loris
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
Recording Method: REAPER, Steinberg UR44
Submitting as: Jan Krueger
Location: near Aachen, Germany
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by jast » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:30 am

The Arbitrary Review System is taking a leave of absence. Today's special: all songs listened to at -10 dB compared to the level I usually listen to fights at. Most of the songs weren't happy about that.

Cock -- Like: Vocals. Synths! Composition. Dislike: Sounds thin. Occasionally wrong pitch on vocals. Ideas: More stuff in the last run of the chorus? Perhaps more punchy pads. Overall: I like, I vote.

Crack My Jaw -- Like: Vocals. Dislike: Guitar is pretty quiet. Speaky singing. Ideas: A bit of compression on the guitar. Overall: Musically there's not much here.

deetak -- Like: Sound. Gospeliness. Dislike: That you don't let your vocals live. Ideas: Higher MP3 bitrate and/or better mic. Overall: cool. I wish you'd expand your vocal technique but I can't not vote for this anyway.

Doscientos -- Like: Rock. Dislike: That dreadful delay on everything. Vocals not very accurate. Overall: hmm.

Flvxxvm Florvm -- Like: Raw. Fun composition. Dislike: Pressure in vocals. Sudden ending. Overall: sort of fun.

Fortune's Favorites -- Like: Vocal accuracy. Synths. Melodical development. Dislike: Vocals sound lifeless, loose. Vocal falsetto before the solo-y thing and near the end. The high-pitched thing in the drums (?) is a bit annoying. Ideas: Turn up the guitar. Overall: Enjoyable.

Gawking Urethras -- Like: Parallel guitar/bass section. Dislike: Loose/pitchy/strainy vocals. Pointless delay on vocals. Ideas: Perhaps extend the arrangement a bit. Overall: I've got mixed feelings about this.

Gooey Caramel Centaur -- Like: Sounds authentic. Dislike: Wobbly vocals. Rhythm guitar sounds distant. Ideas: A little bit of percussion. Overall: .

The Hell Yeahs -- Like: Bassy synth/guitar. Arrangement/accompaniment. Dislike: I think you sacrifice vocal accuracy and resonance for sounding, for lack of a better word, edgy. A better balance might work wonders... Overall: works for me.

Jon Eric & Friends -- Like: Nice stereo, nice transparent mix. Wonderful progressions. Most of the backup vocals. Bits of them sound a bit pitchy/off. Great piano. Dislike: Strainy vocals. A bit meandering overall. Ideas: Bit more punch in the mix, perhaps. Overall: Fun, vote.

King Arthur -- Like: See, that's how you write a song that's interesting despite having a touch of blues. Dislike: that ride is somewhat annoying, as is the hat. A bit repetitive. Attack on the left guitar is rather harsh. Ideas: More changes in the accompaniment. Overall: Not a waste of time.

Kokiri Warriors -- Like: Nothing. Overall: Nothing.

LML -- Like: Drums. Dislike: Delay on vocals. Sometimes the vocals are way too inaccurate. Sounds thin. Ideas: More instruments. Overall: decent.

Loose Napkins -- Like: Female vocals, flute. Dislike: Beatboxing is missing punch, also sounds a bit amateurish. Thin mix; I don't quite see the vocals fitting together Ideas: bass? Overall: nice seedling, now make a song out of it.

Manhattan Glutton -- Like: Vocals. Pace. Dislike: Cheesy synth. Unrealistic sounding drum patterns. Boring midsection. Ideas: Boost the vocals a bit. Overall: Good, not great.

Orchestra of Blades -- Like: Synths. Dislike: Obnoxiously overbearing snare. Reverb on vocals. Vocals sound hollow. Bit buried, too (or held back?), sometimes clippy, and sometimes they don't fit with the rhythm. Overall: Not enough in it to excuse the length.

Paco del Stinko -- Like: Mix. Section in the middle. Dislike: Bit busy for my taste. Vocals a bit buried and strainy. Overall: okay.

Pathetic Wannabees -- Like: Arrangement/tone. Dislike: Vocals. The fact that the guitar is horribly out of tune. Overall: not spectacular.

Ross Durand -- Like: Punchiest mix this round. Vocals. Composition. Dislike: Overdoing the low bass part a bit (but it's not quite as bad as I claimed earlier). Ideas: I can imagine this with a few brass highlights. Overall: I might just put this one on The List. It gets a vote either way.

Swilington -- Like: Panning/arrangement. Synths. Dislike: Vocals are not very accurate and are lacking resonance. Sound like they were recorded with a crappy mic, too. Guitar out of tune. Overall: nice but needs work.

Tuners Union -- Like: Arrangement. Sounds authentic. Dislike: Vocals a bit weak and, sometimes, pitchy (backup vocals). Mix seems a bit dry. Stylistic break seems rather arbitrary. Ideas: higher MP3 bitrate. Overall: a bit forgettable but in a nice way, I guess.

The Weakest Suit -- Like: Pace. Dislike: Thin mix. Thin vocals. Repetitiveness. Overall: not very exciting.

Voting for Cock, deetak, Jon Eric & Friends, Ross Durand.
most of my music
Song Fight-related stuff I host: ZIP archives // Circle of Titles
User avatar
reve
Marmoset
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:54 am
Instruments: Soldering iron.
Recording Method: Reaper.
Submitting as: R., Chth*.*, Cock, etc.
Location: San Diego

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by reve » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:17 pm

jast wrote:The Arbitrary Review System is taking a leave of absence.
Boo. The ARS is the best SF-review system evar.
-- reve mosquito.
User avatar
Generic
Gorilla
Posts: 5423
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:45 am
Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Accordion, Bass
Recording Method: Cubase 5AI, Cubase 6
Submitting as: Jon Eric, Hunky
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Generic » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:51 pm

jast wrote: Jon Eric & Friends -- Ideas: Bit more punch in the mix, perhaps.
Are you working on a plugin for that?
"Warren Zevon would be proud." -Reve Mosquito

Jon Eric - Get your feel on.
Website powered by Spud's Amazing Website Machine.

Circle of Titles!!!!!!
User avatar
jast
Loris
Posts: 1216
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
Recording Method: REAPER, Steinberg UR44
Submitting as: Jan Krueger
Location: near Aachen, Germany
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by jast » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:44 pm

Generic wrote:
jast wrote: Jon Eric & Friends -- Ideas: Bit more punch in the mix, perhaps.
Are you working on a plugin for that?
No.

This is the kind of thing where I don't trust code to do a good job.
Most of the time, punch is just a function of good EQ and compression.
most of my music
Song Fight-related stuff I host: ZIP archives // Circle of Titles
jackfrost
Marmoset
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:36 am

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by jackfrost » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:39 am

Here's some reviews:
Cock – i do not like this much. the lyrics do not match…auto-tuned melodies…look I just wrote a verse.
Crack My Jaw – nothing kills the mood more than when a stripper starts talking about her kid. It’s kind of the same thing here.
Deetak – congratulations on creating a new genre: fake gospel. singing sounds fake to the point of parody.
Doscientos – i like this a lot and would vote for it, if I voted.
FF – ripped off melody, seems like a waste of time. Idea ran out 20 seconds in.
Fortune’s Favorites – great idea and lyrics. singing is painful, though, and musically it is very boring. this could have been fucking awesome. someone remake this as a rock song.
GU – vocals need compression (and some form of auto-tune) badly. they completely drown out the music (which I liked). i’m tapping next. vocals hurting my ears.
GCC – i like this one. the second, solo guitar is sweet. this one would have gotten a vote.
HY – again, vocals are grating and inflection sounds fake and inconsistent, not cute. skip.
Jon Eric – not to be punny, but this is just average…kind of generic. i don’t feel any specific way about it.
King Arthur – guitar tone sounds like ringo’s song on abby road. like a lot of this, but then I read that this isn’t even your point of view, so why should I care? give me some real emotion to match the good music.
KW – ridiculous. Is this art?
LL – i like this. melody sounds like it came from a how-to-write-a-90’s-grunge-song handbook. dynamically this goes nowhere.
LN – another ripped off melody. WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE?
That’s all I can take for now.
BenKrieger
Tamarin
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 1:02 pm
Instruments: A lot of instruments passably.
Recording Method: Sonar 4, UA preamp, Apogee Rosetta converter; Garage Band; Zoom recorder; iPhone
Submitting as: Boop Boop, Chokehold Princess, Ben Krieger, Oystercatcher, Solo Frijoles
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by BenKrieger » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:37 pm

I attempted another song cycle with this one, but underestimated the demands of being a stay-at-home dad. I got Parts 1 and 2 recorded.

"Sundrop, mystical goldfish, lived in the wishing well..."

*sigh*
User avatar
Ross
Chimpanzee
Posts: 2730
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:27 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Vox, Bass, Tuned glasses, etc...
Recording Method: Logic on a Macbook.
Submitting as: Ross Durand
Location: Orange CA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Ross » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:03 am

Written over several nights - sorry for the typos - I just figured I would get them posted.

Fortune’s Favorites - I suspect the lassie angle crossed most of our minds - kudos for going after it. Seems a log way to go for what is essentially a one-liner. I think you managed to develop it pretty well for what it is, and the last verse takes an unexpected turn :-) . Tuneful and interesting. I think the arrangement could definitely be improved, but I suspect you are limited by your resources here.

Doscientos - I think you would have achieved the thick sound you seem to be going for better by having the stereo guitars doubling each other at the opening. A little too thick for it’s own good, actually. This rocks ok, but I think structurally I feel like it is only half a song.

Gawking Urethras - Right off the bat it sounds like the vocals and guitar don’t quite agree on the pulse and phrasing. “Tapping back to the well” are you dancing? Is that like shuffling back to buffalo? The backing track grooves in a way that some of your edgy vocals conflict with. This track is ok, but feels like it is not completely developed lyricaly and like the vocals are detached from the rest of it - somehow.

Gooey Caramel Centaur - I think your lyrics are quite interesting even if I don’t know exactly what they mean - I think they share a clear vision internally. Tuneful well constructed and earnestly performed. It does begin to feel a bit long about 3/4ths of the way through.

Loose Napkins - hmm interesting ripped off opening lick. not much song here.

Jon Eric and Friends - Hmm - the tune feels quite awkward at the top of the tune. I appreciate the attempt at not having a same-old-same-old tune. The chorus works pretty well, and the backing tracks work great - who did the piano? is that your new digital thing? Nice work. some excellent vocal turns as well, especially in the post solo section Like some of your other work, I feel it is about 2 bpm too frantic.
Good work, but some awkward spots, including the verse tunes may be holding me back on this one.

KA - Intro feels a bit long, and the drums are a little distracting. some tasty licks. I think this seems like a problem of momentum, musically - the song feels like it takes too long to get where it is going, musically. I am having trouble figuring out if the lyrics are to be taken at face value or whether it is supposed to be a satire.

Kokiri Warriors - the opening is not making me optimistic. So this is some kid reading and enjoying hearing there own voice with reverb?

Deetak - I do wish you would open your mouth and sing on a track like this. Why are you whispering everything? Interesting story - especially paired with the gospel work song idiom. That juxtaposition makes this a very interesting piece. Nicely arranged.

Crack my Jaw - This is a nice little folk tune - it took a while to grow on me, but it’s pretty nice. Since you chose the Timmy name - I was waiting for a Lassie reference. The shout at the ending takes away from it.

Clubs - I guess this is relatively successful at what it sets out to do. Bummer about the digital snare - that may have made all the difference.

Paco - great opening lick, man. Jack and Jill - nice title take. after that the song is not doing much for me except for a groove and some great playing. Actually gets a little longish in the guitar solo section.

Swilington - ok, heavy on the atmosphere. Not much song here - maybe it would workas an album track, but it needs the rest of the album, I am afraid. Nice groove and delivery.

LML - I started bobbing my head right away. The vocals are a slightly obnoxious and almost got in the way of me being able to hear the “song” in here. Teh verses and chorus are so similar in tune, timbre, lyrics - it just gets pretty boring. I hear you trying to use the arrangement to manage that, but it just isn’t varied or cumulative enough to make it work for me. you do sound pissed, though.

Cock - Great intro and line into the groove. The transitions and arrangement make this work so well, and the title take is good. nice job.

Pathetic Wannabees - the lyrics all disconnect for me. I think I may hear some of what you were going for here - but the nuts christmas thing - I feel like you go more for sound than meaning in this case, and I prefer a combination of either. To me, several rhymes and pieces of wordplay fell short (including well...wall)

Manhattan Glutton - pretty slick sounding. Nice break into the distorted section. I admit that I am not hearing a lot of what this song is about, but it sounds nice getting there. however, it does get a little long.

Hell yeahs - Ok: not exactly a review of this song, but - when I first started this almost 5-years ago, you guys not only rocked great, but you also had some of the strongest production, but I don’t feel that the production end has grown much over that time while those around you have shifted that. It is not really about the song at all, but I thought I would say it out loud - I’d love ot hear your production move forward, as well. I realise it costs time and takes money - so if those are the limits - screw it, but there ya go.
Now to The song - great opening guitar counterpoint. This wanders a bit - is this about Silence of the lambs? I heard “Hannibal” in there. “This Place is Dead” is a cute double meaning. I wish this was a bit more focussed.

Tuners Union - nice guitar opening. right off the bat. The backing vocals are a bit wide for the rest of the mix. Quite 1973 neil young-ish (good in my book). Nice song - oh, I’m not a big fan of hte funky break - you kinda lose me - all of a sudden it’s budget Sufjan. hmm

Orchestra of Blades - this is hard to listen to since it is so hard to hear what you are saying and also because the mix is a bit harsh on the ears. as a result I have little to say about. I heard your sounds, but not your song.

FF - I love the opening line, and the second lie, too. The lack of rhyming scheme and over repetition of the get my money back line take this way down for me, although it is nice to hear you trying some new things. Ends a bit too quickly as well.
"I don't like this song, but at least it's good." - veGetar Ianra Ge
http://www.rossdurandmusic.com
User avatar
HeadShot
Tarsier
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:28 am
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Keyboard, Sequencer
Recording Method: FL Studio 5, Audacity, Samson Go Mic (Cardioid pattern -10 dB)
Submitting as: RE:FLEKT
Location: Boca Raton, Fl
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by HeadShot » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:47 am

Ross wrote: I heard your sounds, but not your song.
Oof, I know what you mean, after having listened to it again. I need to invest in proper studio time, so I can have somebody who knows what they're doing get me the sound I need on my vocals, with a proper microphone and experience behind a mixer.
I've got a better idea. You go in there and talk to him. I'm going home. http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/REFLEKT ... 011?ref=nf
User avatar
Generic
Gorilla
Posts: 5423
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:45 am
Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Accordion, Bass
Recording Method: Cubase 5AI, Cubase 6
Submitting as: Jon Eric, Hunky
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Generic » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:07 am

HeadShot wrote:
Ross wrote: I heard your sounds, but not your song.
Oof, I know what you mean, after having listened to it again. I need to invest in proper studio time, so I can have somebody who knows what they're doing get me the sound I need on my vocals, with a proper microphone and experience behind a mixer.
I'm glad that with some distance, you can hear it. However...

If you're going to pay for studio time, you might just as well buy a cheap condenser microphone and preamp. My sound improved by a couple of orders of magnitude when I upgraded from my laptop's sound card to a Lexicon Lambda ($120 list, I found it on eBay for $80 plus shipping), and from a $20 Radioshack microphone to first a Shure SM58 ($99), then an MXL 9090 (also $99).

I don't know how much you'd be willing to shell out for "proper studio time"; maybe you've got a friend who'll slot you in for free or something, but if you're thinking of paying more than a couple hundred dollars, you can easily make the jump in quality yourself (and make it permanently) for as much money if not less.
"Warren Zevon would be proud." -Reve Mosquito

Jon Eric - Get your feel on.
Website powered by Spud's Amazing Website Machine.

Circle of Titles!!!!!!
User avatar
Manhattan Glutton
Loris
Posts: 1530
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:10 pm
Instruments: Angst
Recording Method: REAPER
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Manhattan Glutton » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:23 am

Ross wrote:I admit that I am not hearing a lot of what this song is about, but it sounds nice getting there.
Thanks. The song's about willfully submitting to something that's detrimental. Patterns, addiction.
I just posted the lyrics: http://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic.p ... 00#p144400
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

Nur Ein Archives | The New Ugly Podcast
User avatar
Heather. Redmon.
Capuchin
Posts: 694
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:28 pm
Instruments: Vox
Submitting as: The Hell Yeahs
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Heather. Redmon. » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:45 am

I'd like to give a BIG shout out to all you guys who really made me feel extra special and shit. Thanks guys!
Generic wrote: Hell Yeahs - Heather, can you take just a little bit of the sneer out of your voice? It's a little too much here.
Adam! wrote:Hell Yeah: Vocal delivery is a bit too Riot Grrl for my tastes.
Manhattan Glutton wrote:Hell Yeahs - The vocals are coming through a little too harsh
deetak wrote:The Hell Yeahs – I agree with JE about the “sneer”.
supremeedible wrote:The Hell Yeahs I'm not used to your vocals.
jast wrote:The Hell YeahsDislike: I think you sacrifice vocal accuracy and resonance for sounding, for lack of a better word, edgy.
jackfrost wrote:HY – again, vocals are grating and inflection sounds fake and inconsistent, not cute. skip.
You guys are great.

Love you. Mean it.
jack wrote:heather is the hardest working mom on songfight (in addition to being arguably the rockinist chick....).
Listen to our music!
User avatar
Manhattan Glutton
Loris
Posts: 1530
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:10 pm
Instruments: Angst
Recording Method: REAPER
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Manhattan Glutton » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:05 pm

Congratulations, Cock! You earned it.
If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

Nur Ein Archives | The New Ugly Podcast
User avatar
reve
Marmoset
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:54 am
Instruments: Soldering iron.
Recording Method: Reaper.
Submitting as: R., Chth*.*, Cock, etc.
Location: San Diego

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by reve » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:29 pm

Cock thanks you all for your support. I think we expected it to be positively received, but not so overwhelmingly -- we're glad people liked it.

I apologize for the slackjob on reviews -- I'm going to try to double back in coming days. Particular standouts for me were Jon's tune and The Weakest Suit (go in that direction more often!!). Deetak, Manhattan G. and Tuner's Union also had standup tracks.
-- reve mosquito.
HeuristicsInc
Gorilla
Posts: 5239
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 pm
Instruments: Synths
Recording Method: Windows computer, Acid, Synths etc.
Submitting as: Heuristics Inc. (duh) + collabs
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by HeuristicsInc » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:32 am

BenKrieger wrote:I attempted another song cycle with this one, but underestimated the demands of being a stay-at-home dad. I got Parts 1 and 2 recorded.
Ah yeah, I am learning that it is not just stay-at-home dads that have this problem but also working dads... I feel your pain :)
-bill
152612141617123326211316121416172329292119162316331829382412351416132117152332252921
http://heuristicsinc.com
Liner Notes
SF Lyric Ideas
User avatar
Manhattan Glutton
Loris
Posts: 1530
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:10 pm
Instruments: Angst
Recording Method: REAPER
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: Back to the drawing board (Well, reviews)

Post by Manhattan Glutton » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:04 pm

If I had a dollar for every one of my songs j$ has called a 90s pastiche, I'd have $1 for every song I've written.

Nur Ein Archives | The New Ugly Podcast
Post Reply