There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

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There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:42 am

Getting the ball rolling.
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.

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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Eric Y. » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:21 pm

...or hovering, as the case may be
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby BBABM » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:32 pm

i guess ill start out with some reviews. this is on first listen, so ill probably add, and edit my opinion as i listen again.

monotone max and his long band name: wow... space music. i didnt think anyone could write a song with less changes than me, but you prove me wrong. i do like it, but i don't really get why it would be called "future on the road" or how it was inspired by this title. i would have called this song "interplanitary zipline" or something. i liked the listen though.

rycehat: nice, a time travel song. i had to restart at the doc brown line to figure out if it actually was about back to the future, but i dont think so. i like the groovy,playful, almost TMBG style lyrics and guitar progression. i would have liked some drums, especially during the solo. it still sounds fine with out them, just a personal preference.

unexpected bowtie: very pretty arrangement, but kind of boring. maybe boring is the wrong word, but there was no energy and it made it seem very sleepy. i didnt like the voice off the bat, the words and melody are good, but the voice is kind of reminiscent of neil young, whos voice grinds my brain. obviously this is not something that can really be helped, and is totally subjective on my part. i feel that there should be a third different part at the end, so rather than verse-chorus-verse-chorus there is something that breaks up the pattern.

Berkeley social scene: is that an ebow at the beginning? there are a few spots where it doesnt feel like everyone is quite togeather, but not that bad, r numerous. i believe you used two singers in this song... i really like the guys voice who sings "got you wrapped up in my jacket now"... really smooth. i like the almost southern rock break down towards the end, however, i might rethink the vocals over that. i really dug this song as a whole, maybe a little long, but enjoyable.

the noodle minions: i dont even really know what to say. the acoustic riffs at the beginning were super awesome, and then it went into craziness, pulled back out of craziness for long enough for me to realize what the hell was going on... BLAM! techno in your face out of nowhere. i am now confused about everything except for who is apparently driving... you. in terms of musical/noise experimentation, and songs that may not be entirely "music" as i see it, this was the best i have heard in my short time at songfight... but i still dont know if i am going to vote for it.

the hate noise: omfg, this is hilarious. i dont know if everyone can appreciate this fully, but its pretty frickin brilliant. truckers are a strange folk, and deserve to have their tales of plight, and homosexual rendezvous told to the world. here in Va there was a big bust a few years ago of a huge man on man truck stop orgy. according to the press this reststop was a notorious meeting spot for all sorts of depraved people to do all sorts of activities. anyways, good song not to be taken too seriously. vote

manhattan glutton: damn your distortion sounds good. i like the helmet-esque riffs, and that you are able to sing heavy without screaming/growling/doing that stupid james hetfield voice so many people do. the only criticism i have is that if possible it sounds really light. like your gently flicking the pick across the strings, and the drummer tip-tip-tapping the drums. it is hard to get the emotion that you are able to get live, sounding perfect enough to go on record, and this may be the problem. either way, it feels like it is missing the emotion that is supposed to be there. vote anyways cause that distortion is uber beefy.

todd mchatton: cool guitar part, feels familiar somehow. i like the vocal harmonies, very tight. the only part i dont like is the slow part at the end, feels a little out of place in a fun song like this.

flvxxvm florvm: the blues. actually my first thought for this title as well. i like it, almost doors-ian (i made that up) in singing style and tempo. simple, to the point, tight, in key, but not super exciting.

the semolina pilchards: i like your drummer off the bat, the little tom fills at the beginning were slick. i like the music, but not the vocals so much. that solo is really cool though. wow. even though i think your voice sounds like trey anastasio with a cold, you get a vote because the music is really really really awesome.

Architects of desire: of all the songs this week this one sounds the most like a song that could be played in a movie behind a "driving through the desert" montage. i see two lovers racing through the salt flats, in a big body convertible with the wind blowing unkept hair wildly, racing away from parents/authority towards their dreams. you win.

bbabm&jmsp: my songs, the effects on my voice in the bad boys song are really heavy. the night before i had smoked like a whole pack of cigarettes and my voice was pretty shot, i though that the distortion and flanger mad it sound better, but that may have been a mistake. the words are a little boring, but i really like the chorus to this song. the jmsp song i like a lot better, even though it is really short. that one is about a clinically insane girlfriend i had, and i didnt feel that anything more really needed to be said. hope that they were at least a little enjoyable.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:05 pm

The "jump to discussion page" on the page for this fight still points to the reviews thread for "After Hours."

FIXED
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:16 pm

Architects -
Positives: Funky beat and piano, niiiiice. Good choice of stops. Good performance.
Negatives: Vocals feel a little too clean on top of the song for my taste - they could use a subtle FX or EQ or something. Anticlimactic chorus - could have harmonies. 1:30 fadeout? Are you just seeing what you can get away with?

BBABMVS -
It sounds like you stole an oldie, covered it, and put an obnoxious fx over the vox. Well, I guess it gets better later in the song. I'll make up for being a jerk with your other song's review.

Flvxxvm Florvm -
Nice solo work. The drums could be tighter. The tired chord structure makes it hard to judge this on anything but performance, which is pretty good overall.

Hate Noise -
I'm glad BBABVMWTFS explained what this song is about, because I was genuinely confused at first. Nice beat, good performance, not entirely thrilled about the more graphic lyrics. Major kudos for making a completely taboo song that anyone else would probably be embarrassed to perform.

Jack -
Ok this is a good one. Upbeat, catchy, good performance. Quite the improvement. Drums could come up, singing could be a little stronger.

ME -
The verse is an excuse to call this noise experiment a song. The low-end is a little loud. The octave vocals are a complete cop-out and... hey I shouldn't tell you guys this stuff. My favorite part is the last minute and a half.

Max -
At first I expected Cock's voice to come in and start singing "Back to the Well". So now that we nixed that expectation, the little things going on in this song are cool. It's alright for 5 minutes of one note, but it would be nice if it went somewhere after... oh... 3 minutes?

Noodle -
I like the swung plunky guitar riff. I don't like the synths or the clipping live take. Or the song structure. Or choice of vocal melodies. Or what happens at 4 minutes in. But it started with potential.

Rycehat -
Nice! I like what's going on here. Good harmonies, lyrics, recording, and performance overall. Now, stop copying blink182 (or whoever the kids like these days) and cut out the nasal singing.

Semolina -
Quaint poppy tune. The instrumentation is a little spazzy for my taste, but that's okay because the vocals are the problem. They're on key and not bad, but the lip smacking sounds... yikes! Crop, noise gate, do whatever you have to do. The other problem is they sound like they're sung in a closet while trying to be quiet. I like the little change-up toward the end with the sweet guitar thing or whatever is making that noise.

Todd McHatton -
Sweet harmonies, vocal performance, chorus. I like the drum beat. Mix feels very trebley and lo-fi. Verse is kind of an excuse to make kickass chorus.

Unexpected Bowtie - The vocals are extremely nasaly and monotonous. I think you have a good start but need to work on the song-writing a little.

Favorites so far: Architects, Rycehat, Jack, Todd, Hate
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby glennny » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:11 pm

BBABM said:
...even though i think your voice sounds like trey anastasio with a cold...


LOL! You're right! I know that was sort of an insult, but it really feels like a compliment. I LOVE Trey! The good news is I was compared to Trey Anastasio, the bad news it was his vocals.....

MG said:

.... they sound like they're sung in a closet while trying to be quiet.


You guys have good ears! Yes I had a cold, yes they were middle of the night demo vocals. The idea was I'd get the idea down then have the good singers of the Berkeley Social Scene redo them. The schedules and timing never worked out for that.

This was nearly a solo glennny effort, with Ken on drums and mixing for me, I convinced him it was a Semolina Pilchards tune.

Anyway, sorry everyone for my crappy vocals. They were really fun to do, but I should really_____________(Zappa quote)
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby BBABM » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:06 pm

glennny wrote:I know that was sort of an insult, but it really feels like a compliment.

not really an insult (i am a big trey fan too) just an observation... sometimes i like the "i cant sing all that well, so ill do a half sing /half talk" thing. trey is the master of this. you also do it well when healthy, i felt i could literally hear the congestion.

Manhattan Glutton wrote:BBABMVS -
It sounds like you stole an oldie, covered it, and put an obnoxious fx over the vox. Well, I guess it gets better later in the song. I'll make up for being a jerk with your other song's review.

funny you should say that, while recording (especially the little melody guitar riff) i totally felt like i was channeling marty mcfly during "earth angel". it does have an old timey, kinda doo-wop feel.
Manhattan Glutton wrote:Jack -
Ok this is a good one. Upbeat, catchy, good performance. Quite the improvement. Drums could come up, singing could be a little stronger.
i was gonna bring the drums up, but i didnt want everyone to realize that they were exactly the same as the drums in "you believed it yourself" so i put em back further. im thinking of writing another verse, but i kinda like it under 2 mins.
Edit: I am working on singing with more volume, rather than just turning the volume up. Not as easy as I would like. Especially when it's just me and my headphones, and there is nothing I have to sing louder than. I have tried turning the rest of the mix up to compensate... Any suggestions on projection?
Last edited by BBABM on Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby unexpectedbowtie » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:35 am

I'm just going to pick out the ones that stood out for me - can't be bothered going through critiquing everything I don't like.

Todd McHatton - I like this muchly. Sincere, but not too serious. good vocal harmonies. A couple of bits definitely sound familiar - some 90s surf-pop band probably. If I keep listening I'll work out what it is.

Hatenoise - This is the first song from this lot I've appreciated properly. I like the idea/execution - a different take on the whole thing.

Manhattan Glutton - I like the dirty guitars. Listening to the vocals explains why you have such distaste for 'nasally' vocals, since yours at the other end of the spectrum. Not my cup of tea either, but it's a totally different style.

Semolina Pilchards - Quirky. I like the quiet, carefully attonated vocals - it gives it an offbeat indie-film sort of feel.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:58 am

I'm pretty self-conscious about my own nasal vocals. People have compared me to Weird Al before. Ouch!
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.

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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby tristrok » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:06 pm

I don't know, Weird Al is a pretty amazing vocalist these days. Though his early 80's vocals are certainly terrible.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby duffey » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Had written a song for this competition, but never got the time to sit down and record it! Bummer...I will review and vote when I have more time! And hopefully make the next round!
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby HeuristicsInc » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:49 pm

Yeah, I've compared people's vocals to 'Weird Al' in the past and meant it as a compliment.
I think one of them was "Babaganoush" by TV's Kyle... if I remember right. And that one won!
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby duffey » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:21 am

Alright...some quick reviews while I have the chance!

Manhattan Glutton – Great intro! Love the sound of the guitars! I can hear a crowd of people all shouting the lyrics of the chorus by the end of the song. A song I would have obsessed over in my teenage years. Very well done.

Jack Mehoff – Like the simplified band instrumentation…acoustic guitar, drums, vox and harmony, and it all compliments each other. Nice job!

Rycehat – Sounds like a They Might Be Giants demo….I like They Might Be Giants

Berkeley Social Scene – You got my vote last contest, and this week’s song is great too! Love the vibe this song puts out. Would definitely purchase an album if I saw at a record store.

Architects of Desire – Great piano line in the beginning, and like the vocal melody too. Great addition of strings as well. Similar style to some stuff I’ve written, so it’s pleasing to my ears. Excellent!

Noodle Minions – Your band name makes me laugh! Very interesting tune. On the first buildup I had to make sure I didn’t have 2 players open…like the experimenting in that section though, as well as in the crazier electronic section.

BBABM – I like when artists/bands add something a little unique to a more conventional song…as with the vocal effects. I experimented with that last contest, and enjoyed yours as well. Like the chord progression as well, it’s pleasing to the ear.

Todd McHatton – Found myself bobbing my head to the beat of this song. Digging the harmonies in this song, and love the solo! Very creative, I enjoyed this a lot.

Flvxxvm Florvm – Love me some minor blues, and another great guitar solo! And I have no idea why, but it made me want to revisit Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand”

HATE Noise – I’ve enjoyed your last couple songs, so I was looking forward to this one. Completely different from the last couple entries…but hilarious!

Unexpected bowtie – I like the mood this song puts out. An eerie nostalgia. Great chords and added textures that you put it.

Semolina Pilchards – Really creative…liked listening to all the different lines happening in all the instruments…and what an interesting solo! Loved it!

Monotone Max – This makes me wish I had better gear and equipment, so I could use some of these effects and sounds as well. Very cool…and scary!


Trying not to put a vote for half, so I'll narrow it down to 4...Votes are for:
Architects Of Desire
Berkeley Social Scene
Todd McHatton
Manhattan Glutton


Wish I had been able to record and submit my song in time...and might not make the next contest either since I'm out of town for the holiday. Oh well....next time!!!
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Spintown » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:19 am

http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2010/11/song-fight-review-future-on-road.html

Todd McHatton - It's funny that you entered this fight, it was about a week ago that Glen Phillips brought you up in a discussion over in ArtiFiction. As for the song; it boarders between catchy & annoying. I swear I've listened multiple times on multiple days, and sometimes it falls into one catagory & sometimes the other. It definitely feels like the song is driving the listener...that may be the thing that strikes me as annoying at times. (vote)

Rycehat - Did you just write a Back To The Future related song? Interesting take on the challenge. Unfortunately this song ends before I wanted it to. Just felt like there was more story that could have been told. (vote)

Architects Of Desire - Mood music...good mood music, but still mood music. It's so long & slow that any story you might be telling doesn't hold my attention past the 2 minute mark. Sounds pretty, I'm happy to fall asleep to this anytime. :p (vote)

Berkeley Social Scene - When the chorus starts at 1:20 it gets difficult to pick up the vocals. Musically BSS is always interesting, even when I dislike the entry. Not being able to pick up chunks of the lyrics is a deal breaker with me though. (vote)

Bad Boys At Bat Mitzvahs - Whatever you did to the vocals actually startled me at first. Later it just became annoying. I could have good things to say about this with a new vocal track, but as is, it's not something I would listen to a 2nd time.

Monotone Max and His Long Band Name - Why the heck is this even entered? I can't see how it relates to the prompt at all. Sorry, but I considered this a waste of my time.

The Semolina Pilchards - Musicially it's mellow & interesting, but lyrically felt weak. If I don't really pay attention I don't pick up the lyrics.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby BBABM » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:47 am

Spintown wrote:Bad Boys At Bat Mitzvahs - Whatever you did to the vocals actually startled me at first. Later it just became annoying. I could have good things to say about this with a new vocal track, but as is, it's not something I would listen to a 2nd time.

thank you for the review, and your honesty. I totally agree. At the time i recorded I thought it sounded really cool, and hid the fact that I smoked a pack and a half the night before/had a wicked hangover. I have no excuse. I also have problems singing at a constant volume, so it could possibly be ridiculously loud at the start of a track, and by the end come down to a listenable level. hopefully I am done with voice effects, maybe a little reverb, but the auto tune sounding flanger effect is too much.

EDIT: i made a clean version (no vocal effects) that isn't too bad ... i put it here: http://www.supload.com/listen?s=y1u3Iu
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Spintown » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:28 pm

Dude that's A LOT better. Probably would have got a vote from me if that was what was entered. Well done.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby BBABM » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:27 am

thank you, andi agree... after listening to it again there are only a few parts where my voice goes out, and those parts were not hidden at all by the ugly wall of effects i put up. i still notice my volume consistency problem, but im glad you like this one better.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby ElaineDiMasi » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:41 pm

Lots of 5+ minutes songs this time? Pretty much my favorites were all the other ones...

Architects of Desire - A good start. I thought the piano was thick-n-tasty and was giving you points for all the little variations in the lines of verse 1. Especially the fourth verse line - emotional - but something after this wasn't what I expected, it neither kicked it in right away nor stayed low and went up later. Maybe I'm not making this clear, but when the second verse started I felt like there'd been a "reset" of whatever forward motion verse 1 had delivered. Now it's 2:19 and I like the instrumentation fine, but was hoping there'd be more of energy coming in to the song by now. Bridge 2:53 is supposed to be doing that, but it doesn't quite. As for the lyric, it tells instead of shows. This is my future, I'm making amends for bad things I've done, etc. No details or (more importantly) images.

The Semolina Pilchards - groovy and I like the unexpected phrasing and internal rhymes. Good musical twists even though it's a laid-back thing. This lyric has got images in it all over the place. And so does the solo part near the end, thanks for that.

Monotone Max &c - Started to lose faith around 1:35 that this was going somewhere and starting checking the time more often at 2:30. Have to admit it develops. Somewhere between a sound bed and a standalone story. I don't think instrumentals without visuals are very easy to pull off.

unexpected bowtie - REM influenced, including the fact that I felt I'd have to read the lyric sheet to figure out what was up other than the mood.

Berkeley Social Scene - Like the shape of the opening, the guitar is working along well with the vocal melody. Most compelling chord changes in the fight so far. "wrapped up in my jacket" That's what I mean by images in a lyric - nouns! Something visual, an object, to focus on.

Bad Boys at Bat - I like the fragmented phrses in the lyrics, and the chorus works fine. Music pretty laid back. If the only source of auditory interest is those heavy fx on the voice, then I wouldn't blow
it by having such a dry backup vocal - just comes out weird.

Rycehat - I like this. The vocal phrasing is charming. Thx for the heavy guitar out of nowhere at 1:30, felt good!

The Noodle Minions - (1) ok that's a cool soundscape (2) ok was this song "written" or just kind of ad libbed? (3) too aformous for me (4) is there a story I'm missing here? (5) there is a story here. But I couldn't tell what it was.

Todd McHatton - a very trendy alt-rock sound starting, then the STP-type-of-beatles thing right after - nice construction! I've got to work a lot harder on interesting chord progressions, more often.

The HATE Noise - Haha! Great. I really like this. I wish it also had a funky, riffy, heavy bass line running around, instead of all thin toy sounds.

The Jack Mehoff Solo Project - Nice. Sorry I don't know what else to say. It's not an unusual chord progression. The verses and choruses are hooky and voiced nicely. It's got a nice rhythm groove.

Flvxxvm Florvm - A lot predictable. "My future's on the road" getting repeated way many times. Guitar sections alternating in every time. Yay for the surprise at 1:58!

Manhattan Glutton - I wanted it to say "I'll get in my car and go FARRRRRR" ... got to say, I like the attitude here and guitars. "Just hit the fucking road" works for me. Now where is my A Perfect Circle CD ...


So, I voted for a couple from home tuesday night and if this fight is still up when I go to work thursday morning, I'll vote for a few more from there. Since I didn't have my act together the first time.
Last edited by ElaineDiMasi on Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby ElaineDiMasi » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:56 pm

BBABM wrote:... Any suggestions on projection?

What training I had was "choral" and I'm not a strong pop singer at all, but I think I do better in projecting when I put my attention far in front of me as if an audience were there. Singing on stage with no amplification, you learn you can focus a voice-beam to the back of the room. With a mic and a laptop in your face you forget. So sometimes I aim towards a window I can see out of, or pretend there's a big audience space in front of me to sing to. Then too, you have to be supporting with your diaphragm (but don't ask me how, because I never got it right) instead of pinching your throat; and emotionally not pulling your punches.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:14 am

In short, the bigger you open your mouth, the more sound's coming out. When I was being taught operatic projection (not that you'll ever be able to tell by the shit I do, heh) the exercise was: acquire wine cork; cut in half; shove halves between back teeth, wedging mouth perma-open; practice songs with jaw wide open and (mostly) unmoving.

Please note that's a projection exercise/technique, and don't do it on stage ;-)

If you have the opportunity to spend more than one take on vox (yes, same boat here, I know) move the damned mike around, push it away from your face, deep throat it, clip the fuck out of the levels, adapt *it* to your voice, and not vice-versa. Experiment, when you have the opportunity.

Have you tried recording 2 mikes at once? I'm pretty happy with the 57/condenser combo, it gives both edge and richness without having to do retakes.

Bon chance, yo.
"Urban cartoon music." -- Paco Del Stinko
Be my friend? --- Song of the Day
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:53 am

I'm getting back into this. . . when is it too late to vote? Presumably votes for Future on the Road will still be tallied even though the deadline for the next song has passed, but I try not to assume anything.

Anyway I'll try to get some reviews in.
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Re: There Will Be Hovercraft (Future on the Road Reviews)

Postby BBABM » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:29 am

Interesting. I often do many many voice takes, because if I mess up I get pissed and start cussing on the track. That is a good idea to look out the window and sing to the parking lot. I'm gonna have to try that. Unfortunately I only have one mic, I record threw a USB condenser straight into the computer, so i dont really have an interface that will allow me to use the other standard stage mica I have. I have done some experimenting with distance, eg " we got all the style" I was as you put it "deepthroating" the mic... On my upcoming GoM entry I tried standing back a foot or two, however this makes it hard for me to get consistent volume, and I have to split the lyrics up into separate recordings to get them all the same volume. This is a pain in the ass, especially when I don't get it all done in one sitting, and my voice sounds different from day to day. I really guess it's just practice, and warming up better.

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