Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by BBABM » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:00 am

I'll start...

Bobobobo: you suck.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Kapitano » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:47 pm

Apparently true insight comes from within. So I've looked deep inside myself for these reviews instead of listening to the submissions. Or even knowing what they are yet.

Octothorpe: I used to lie awake at night wondering what an accordian would sound like if played with an egg whisk. Thanks to you, I can sleep soundly now.

Rone Rivendale: Either Whitney Houston's your new girlfriend and she's guesting on vocals, or you've got a pitchshifter plugin. Either way, congratulations.

Johnny Cashpoint: When you said you were doing sexy banging techno...I didn't think you meant *that* kind of banging. Or indeed that kind of sexy.

Down with Gender: Oh how we've missed you!

Ross Durand: Did you deliberately record with the windows open while they were digging up the road outside? Any why did you build your studio next to an airport where they have fire drills every hour?

The Hellyeahs: How did you manage to play three Peruvian nose flutes at the same time? Or don't I want to know?

PigPEN: I didn't think it was possible to rhyme "a thousand love songs" with "Grope the insectoid refrigerations conker or I'll griddle thirteen hopscotchers, Bishop". But somehow you managed it.

Kapitano: You want to know what I think? You *really* want to know what I think? Well I'll tell you...oh damn I've left the iron on.

Jon Eric: The most soothing, tuneful thing I've heard in years. Your drummer should get diverted to Vladyvostok more often!

BLT: Every time I play your songs, I smell burning bacon. What's going on?

Lady Magog: Are you someone famous posting incognito?

Fluffy: When you promised to blast my speakers with your crushing rock, I didn't expect you to break into my home and drop an enormous stone on my sound system.

My vote goes to Manhattan Glutton, even though he didn't actually submit this week because he had to save Tokyo from Godzilla again. Unless it was the the other way around.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:54 pm

Kapitano wrote: Fluffy: When you promised to blast my speakers with your crushing rock, I didn't expect you to break into my home and drop an enormous stone on my sound system.
My gursh, I lolled way harder than I should have on this one. :lol:
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by BBABM » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 pm

well, im bored and have new songs to listen to, and the time to write some critiques.

sockpuppet: i like the sung "instruments", especially the "bum bum bum bum" bass run. i cute song ,and i like the heavy stuff. the only thing i would work on is getting the vox harmonies a wee bit tighter.

canonical man: i like the guitar groove, but the vocals dont quite fit for me. and the chorus feels like its in the wrong song, and was just pasted in. there is potential, it just feels all mismatched as is.

scott gesser: nice, and chill. reminds me of primitive radio gods. the lyrics were a little boring, but they were sung well, so thats ok.

hey its romer: hahaha, at first i didnt like it, but as it went on i enjoyed it a lot. the some of he lyrics are kinda dumb, but i like the "mortal kombat moves list" line.

larry: the music sounds like two carnival rides having a fight, the vocals sound a little thrown together. but it sounds like you had fun doing it, so that is what is important.

realist: i really like this, especially when the energy rises in the chorus thing. though i like the crazy drums, i think they may be a little distracting. im glad to hear a female singer really belting it out. good work all around. vote.

BSS: this starts out sounding like every other bss song, but then it goes into almost a cool jazz thing which was really cool. i wish it stayed there. it sounds like smooth operator by sade. i like sax solos, even long ones.

King Arthur: i too thought of using the title as someones name, but i imagined an 8 year old ninja girl named Ruthless Lae-lee. yours works much better than mine would have. i like how you talk about how he was ruthless because of his name, not the other way around. cool story.

Paco del Stinko: that is a fun bass line. your voice is cool, i like the jello biafra wavers at the end of some lines, but im glad you didnt go over board and do it all the time. cool, fun rock song.

BLT+P: denni is very good at sounding seductive. very nice production, the voice echoes are cool.

Noah McL: my goodness, what a bright, happy, uplifting song. i do like it, your crash test dummies voice even fits. however there are a few notes that you don't hit/dont work to my ear.

Kapitano: when the main beat came in... i swear i started singing fine young cannibals "she drives me crazy". that drum hit is the exact same one used in that song. i like the weird computer talking voice better than i like the effected rapping.

illscreen: lol dj poop. you're actually pretty good. a little more variation in flow would be nice though.

YSS: very pretty, i feel it loses something when the drums come in. all in all, it is very nice, but may be a little long.

steve durand: it sounds like your bass is a rubberband on a box... very strange sounding, not bad, just weird. was that a clarinet solo? that is cool.

MC Who Izzy: music is good, but the vocals sound like you recorded them at the other end of a long hall, off key. this sounds like someone singing karaoke... which can be taken as a good thing, because even if its a sub par performance, a solid song is there underneath.

EggNogAdam: wow... another pick me up. cool story, well sung for sure, id like to see this live. vote

infinity point buck: i like the beat, but the melody needs to be turned up, and the bass down a tad. some of your lines dont rhyme, but the wacky cadence you have makes up for it. well done. kinda reminds me of a white del the funky homosapien.

bobobo-bo bobo-bo: a collab with a coworker, and several of his old bandmates. their music is awesome... my voice, on the other hand, sounds funny. i was going for fall of troy vs. old korn... i dont know what i got, at least its mostly on key.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:23 pm

BBABM wrote: BLT+P: denni is very good at sounding seductive. very nice production, the voice echoes are cool.
I know. She wasn't even suppose to sing on this song, but she seduced it. My music is such a pushover for a pretty voice with a huge set of sibilances. :P
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by nyjm » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:44 pm

VERY first and foremost, I need to VERY publicly thank lalabrookie for her tremendous vocal work!

Secondly, please, please, please post your lyrics.

*I have made a few updates now that more lyrics have been posted.

Berkley Social Scene
+++ sax work +++
/// it kind of winds on. this is good for playing in the background at a party, but doesn't really reward close listening save for a study of sax method ///
+++ lyrics, though I'm not sure why +++

Sockpuppet
+++ chorus +++
+++ changes up at the precise moment when I was thinking "this is getting a little samey, it could use some more - oh look, dynamics !" +++
/// vox are little hot and the performance could you some tightening (yeah, yeah, look who's talking) ///

Infinity Point Buck
--- yawn ---
/// that's not entirely fair. for rap, this often lacks the necessary prosody and/or has unsettling rhythm changes ///
/// as a song, it doesn't really have much to offer, either in it's dynamics or composition ///

Hey It's Romer
+++ dynamics +++
/// chorus needs more swing and melody ///

Paco del Stinko
+++ RAWK; love that bass +++
/// despite all the violent macho posturing of the first and second verses, i think this is actually a pretty slick indictment of that ideology. I'd move the third verse to the no. 1 position to make this point clearer ///
/// i harp on this with everybody: but it needs more dynamics / change. the end is great! but i'd like to feel like we've been through more by the time we get there ///

Realist - vote
+++ that's some awesome belting; spot-on +++
/// recording feels a little thin: more compression / less reverb? ///
+++ there's a lot going on here, musically, but it all blends very well +++
+++ minimalist nihilist lyrics make this more meaningful (at least for me) +++

Bobobo-Bo Bobo-Bo
+++ love the energy anyway +++
/// why does this sound like it's playing through my shitty car speakers? ///
/// cut the fat: i don't care about the guitar chops or fanciful tempo changes - get to that awesome "go run hide" bit, do a chorus and be done with it ///

Larry
/// you piano is still out of tune / acoustic space with everything else ///
--- bad mix / recording ---

EggNogAdam
+++ great melody & story +++
--- painfully obvious pun ---

noah mclaughlin (feat. lalabrookie) - vote
+++ brooke's really great vox +++
/// i'm singing at the very bottom of my range; there are a few missed warbles. it's funny, because i have the guitar capo'd at the 4th fret; i guess i can't sing that high, but i can, mostly sing that LOW ///
+++ old stories are still the best stories, especially when you can turn them on their heads +++
+++ organ tone from R.E.M. +++

MC Who Izzy
++++ upbeat bluesy vibe +++
+++ piano +++
--- over-reverbed vox are muddy ---
/// lyrics lack prosody here and there; they need massaging for flow ///
-- sudden ending ---

Yardley Social Scene - vote
+++ claps +++ (i'm a sucker for claps and cowbells)
+++ melody +++
+++ overall excellence +++
/// solo could use tightening ///

Canonical Man
--- obvious pun ---
--- out of tune chorus vox ---
/// you would really benefit from a better microphone ///

BLT & the Psychotics - vote
+++ groove & dynamics +++
+++ reminds me of the Hell Yeahs in all the best ways +++
/// during the verses, this mix pushes the vocal mix a little too far back ... BLT, you can't win, can you? ;-) ///
+++ the running sex-as-consumption theme of the lyrics works well with the vocal persona +++

Kapitano
+++ beats and tones +++
+++ cohen reference +++
/// very cool, but it takes way to gorram long to get into the actual song; i would move that explanation to the middle or the end and not the beginning and ditch the last part ///

Scott Gesser
+++ melody and lyrics +++
--- vox are annoyingly thin & tinny ---
///the idea for a synth-heavy composition is need, but i would have gone with more sinister tones until the more upbeat prechorus ///
--- end goes on way too long ---

King Arthur
/// i had read your lyrics first: NOT the opening i was expecting ///
+++ flute +++
+++ lyrics +++
/// the syncopated parts are messily complex; technically in time, but the hard panning just makes it distracting ///
/// oh, you really should end with the line "and that's how this story ends" ///

Steve Durand
+++ lyrics and story +++
/// it's so odd to hear an overdriven guitar in your music; i'm not sure that exact tone works with the rest of your very organic music; maybe just a little less growl... ///

illscreen
--- oh please.... MC Frontalot you are not ---
/// on the other hand, compared to the other rap entries in this fight, you have rhythm: nice rapping with good prosody and groove ---
Last edited by nyjm on Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by BBABM » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:00 pm

nyjm wrote: Bobobo-Bo Bobo-Bo
+++ love the energy anyway +++
/// why does this sound like it's playing through my shitty car speakers? ///
ungodly amounts of compression, and distortion on the voice. not to mention the mp3 converter i use always makes it sound a little funny. if you crank the volume it sounds a little better.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by eggnogadam » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:44 pm

nyjm wrote: EggNogAdam
+++ great melody & story +++
--- painfully obvious pun ---

illscreen
--- oh please.... MC Frontalot you are not ---
/// on the other hand, you sir, do have rhythm: nice rapping with good prosody and groove ---
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA and also, what pun?
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by canonicalman » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:57 pm

Just starting to listen through and will add reviews as I get time.

Short version - Please keep feedback coming. Sorry for my vox - I was really short on time. Will start reviewing once I am finally somewhere with speakers rather than using my phone.

Long version - Apologies on my entry - I was sick with chest cold until wedn afternoon so did the whole thing in 24 hours. I never had time to touch up the vox or mix how I wanted. I am planning on redoing all the vox once I get home from my trip. I would really love some tips for better mixing - especially in reaper. It was my first time with the recent version and I hated how the vox came out. But at 3 AM thurs I didn't have time to redo them. Overall I am really pleased with the lyrics and the music. The reverb on the vox sucks and the chorus would have sounded better if I just pitch shifted one take. But didn't want to lose the idea I want to do properly later. It was just that my take didn't work properly. (They were intended to be part of a 3 way harmony but 3rd track had too many problems for the time I even tried to auto tune the chorus but it didn't help.)

NYJM - why did you think the mike was crap? Sure the vox are crap but the mike had little to do with it. Yeah I would love to have something better than my Shure but I would also like to have a voice that doesn't sound like a prepubescent teenager. Will a nice mike really help with that? I don't know any mikes that give body when the voice is not there. What you are hearing might have just been me overusing auto normalize on vox and having a really aweful reverb patch in reaper. I would love to get a better mike if it would actually help.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by fluffy » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:30 pm

BBABM wrote:sockpuppet: i like the sung "instruments", especially the "bum bum bum bum" bass run. i cute song ,and i like the heavy stuff. the only thing i would work on is getting the vox harmonies a wee bit tighter.
The vocal harmonies were just my first improvised take, and I never got around to revisiting it since I was afraid of destroying the chemistry. I lack confidence in my ability to consistently deliver silliness.
nyjm wrote:Sockpuppet
+++ chorus +++
+++ changes up at the precise moment when I was thinking "this is getting a little samey, it could use some more - oh look, dynamics !" +++
/// vox are little hot and the performance could you some tightening (yeah, yeah, look who's talking) ///
The change-up was part of the underlying song structure, which were supposed to reflect the mental state of the narrator. I thought it would be great if the lucid voice (chorus) would change things and then the psychotic voice (verses) followed along to try to fit in. It kind of precipitates on a deep analysis of the lyrics though.

The vocals are definitely too hot and the EQ is a bit muddy but I was working on this song for like 36 hours straight and my ears were fatigued to heck (this is what happens when I don't have a job and I am very glad to be starting my new one Monday).

If there's a listening party tonight I'll write reviews then. Otherwise I'll try getting to it soon.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Kapitano » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:03 pm

My *real* reviews this time - part 1. I make no apologies for concentrating more on production and recording aspects because...well, they're what I know a bit about.

Berkeley Social Scene: Mellow but melancholy, the two nicely blended.

The strummed guitar fights for some low end frequencies with the electric bass - just apply some lowpass filter to the former and it won't be a problem. The bass guitar booms, but there's nothing else down there to clash with.

The vocal had a good 'throaty' quality to it that matched the feel of the song, but it sounded like it was being sung in the hallway while the rest of the band were in the main room. Too much reverb? Or just the recording space you used?

There could have been more differentiation between the verse and chorus - I'm thinking some backing vocals added in the chorus.

That grainy alto sax is brilliant, but it did get overused. Make it more sparse when there's vocals, then let rip in the solo, I suggest.

Billy's Little Trip: This is great. Sharp but not intrusive drums, melodic bass, fuzzy guitar...and that vocal. All well EQed and mixed in a way that couldn't be done live, but doesn't *sound* like it was layered in a studio.

But that voice. She's got a nice contrast of growling frytone with the kind of penetrating nasal sound needed to cut through a grungy rock backing. The effects on the voice, especially the pseudo-doubletracking worked without calling attention to themselves.

Rhyming 'mistakes' with 'cakes'? Well, if it works, I suppose that's the justification.

Bobo: The thing about grinding, screaming, deliberately dumb walls of noise is...they've got to be short, make their point quickly and get out.

And the thing about crafted rock songs with tempo changes, occasional effects, intros and outros is...you can't shred and scream all the way through them.

This one wants to be both. Which means as a thrashout it goes on too long, and as a song could use more variation.

Canonical Man: BBABM's right, it does have a mismatched feel. It sounds like there's a drummer, an acoustic guitarist, a bassist, two rhythm guitarists (one for the verses, one for the chorus), and two vocalists...all playing to the same click track on different days.

There's nothing wrong with each part - it's how they're mixed, EQed and effected. The drums and chorus guitar are *way* too quiet, and you need to try blending the instruments with EQ instead of just faders.

Otherwise the vocals fight the guitar, which fights to bass, which fights the drums, which is what happens here. Everything's OK individually, but together there's not enough space on our ears.

A quite separate issue: A song about being without a woman called Ruth? If you can imagine your five year old self coming up with the same pun, your adult self shold probably avoid it.

After all that, *this* is the chorus that's circling in my head half an hour later.

EggNogAdam: This is the kind of thing I can respect a lot - because I can't do it at all - without actually liking. A lyric-centered song with minimal instrumentation just to give the voice something sit on.

The choir in the middle part feels oddly tacked on, because it doesn't go anywhere.

Both the piano and voice could use a little more top-end, probably by adding a quiet but long reverb with high frequencies boosted. Failing that, an exciter plugin does wonders, adding 'body' and resonance.

HIR: On the one hand, this sounds like a sketchpad of ideas, thrown together quickly to be worked on later. On the other hand, the frantic switching between effects, cut up samples and blurts of various synths show this is the *result* of working on the track for a while.

Try doing what Brian Eno does - when he finds an effect, he doesn't immediately incorporate it into the song he's working on at the time. He puts it in a notebook as something which might fit into another song another time.

You've got a lot of good ideas. It's just putting them all into 1:54 makes a mush.

IllScreen: Good lyrically - I like "on fire like your grandma's home cooking" - and pretty well delivered timing-wise.

The backing needs more variation though, and you're *too* fond of big reverb. Reverb should usually either have a long tail but low amplitude, like in the real world, or loud with a very short tail - for punchiness.

Infinity Point Blank: Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" was rhythmically a bit bizarre, but it's easy to follow because it's the same bizarre all the way through.

This one flips and flops between different non-bizarre rhythms - which makes it a confusing bitch to listen to.

As with Bobo, you need to mix with EQ as well as faders - here the drums and vocals are fighting, and both crowd out the instrumentation.

Kapitano: Me! I like long intros far too much, and I never know how to end songs.

And that seems like a good point to break before part 2.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by BBABM » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:09 pm

Kapitano wrote: Bobo: The thing about grinding, screaming, deliberately dumb walls of noise is...they've got to be short, make their point quickly and get out.

And the thing about crafted rock songs with tempo changes, occasional effects, intros and outros is...you can't shred and scream all the way through them.

This one wants to be both. Which means as a thrashout it goes on too long, and as a song could use more variation.
i agree, i wanted to actually sing, rather than just scream the whole time, but i have a low singing voice, and the song called for a high, 30 seconds to mars type singing voice...not mine. i also agree that though there are changes there, they all sound vaguely the same. thanks for the review
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:07 pm

Kapitano wrote: Billy's Little TripAll well EQed and mixed in a way that couldn't be done live, but doesn't *sound* like it was layered in a studio.
Thank you for the comments, but this one thing above that you mentioned is nice to hear. I've said this to Paco many times. I try not to make things sound sterile and layered. There is nothing better to me than standing in front of a stage watching a band play and feeling the raw energy. To achieve this in the studio, as you well know, requires a lot of production, lol. In the great words of Dolly Parton, "it costs a lot to look this cheap". :)
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Who_Izzy » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:10 pm

Okay, so before I begin I would like to say thanks for the feedback. I would also like to say that I know my singing is cruddy...I even say so in the song lol.

Kapitano- :D -OHMAHGAWDTHISINTROISAWESOME...oh my god this intro is still going...I really love this song I'm not even sure what the lyrics are saying but It sounds so nice. The only thing I don't like about it is the length of the intro. If only you hadn't done what you didn't do, but since you didn't you get a vote

Bobobo-I don't know why I like this song, tbh. Maybe it's cause I just really loved the lyrics when I read them. Maybe it's the music. It's certainly not the screaming, just not my thing lol. If not for the screaming you'd have a vote

Realist- :shock: -My goodness. I really like your voice. This song sounds like a mix of Gorillaz and something else...not quite sure what that something else is, maybe jello pudding pops.
So far I've yet to hear a song with music that I didn't like, yours in no exception. And I must say, vote

Canonical Man-This is...okay. I mean it's good, but I'm just not feeling anything jump out at a me, which is sad, cause I feel you did exactly what you wanted to. So I can't vote for you...It's not you, it's me

Larry-I'm so sorry. I had to stop. I just didn't like it. I think it was the recording, which I have no room to say anything, but I can't vote for you

BLT+Psychotics- :mrgreen: -80's Fem-Rock? I love it It reminds me of my childhood and it's going on my itunes if that is quite alright. vote

Now, because there are so many and I have ADD...I'm going to take a break from reviews and hopefully come back to them later.
"I just play music that feels good so that when I listen to it, I feel good" ~BLT 2011

"No-I'm not sure. But I meant to. I'm voting for it now." ~Caravan Ray 2011
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:13 pm

nyjm wrote: BLT & the Psychotics - vote
+++ groove & dynamics +++
+++ reminds me of the Hell Yeahs in all the best ways +++
/// during the verses, this pushes the vocal mix a little too far back ... BLT, you can't win, can you? ;-) ///
Thanks! Wait, what pushes the vox back?
And you're right, I can't catch a break. :lol:
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by nyjm » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:19 pm

eggnogadam wrote:
illscreen
--- oh please.... MC Frontalot you are not ---
/// on the other hand, [edit]compared to the other rap entries in this fight, you[/edit] do have rhythm: nice rapping with good prosody and groove ---
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
oooh.... EDITED for clarity.
canonicalman wrote:NYJM - why did you think the mike was crap?
If you have a Shure, you are not doing it right. It sounds like you used a $20 USB mic from Radio Shack. There's way too much reverb (grab yourself some GlaceVerb and use the Vocal 1 preset), and possibly not enough compression. Definitely do NOT normalize your vocal track; the need for that effect just means you have a bad take. You might be standing too far away from the mic when you're recording.
Billy's Little Trip wrote:
nyjm wrote: /// during the verses, this mix pushes the vocal mix a little too far back ... BLT, you can't win, can you? ;-) ///
Thanks! Wait, what pushes the vox back?
Oi, also edited for clarity.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:26 pm

nyjm wrote:
Billy's Little Trip wrote:
nyjm wrote: /// during the verses, this mix pushes the vocal mix a little too far back ... BLT, you can't win, can you? ;-) ///
Thanks! Wait, what pushes the vox back?
Oi, also edited for clarity.
Got it. I'm guessing that you mean the second part of the verses when the stompy rhythm guitar kicks in...or as I like to call it, karate chop rock. :P I LOVE playing like that.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:32 pm

Who_Izzy wrote: BLT+Psychotics- :mrgreen: -80's Fem-Rock? I love it It reminds me of my childhood and it's going on my itunes if that is quite alright. vote
You pretty much nailed it. I like that punk dirtiness with an old school raw rock chaser. Dee just puts a cute sexy bow on it. :wink:
Thanks, Izzy.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by canonicalman » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:17 pm

Ok here are my reviews. Ordered my reviews by how promising the intro sounded. Generally in my scoring an A is something worth putting on radio. B is a group to watch. C is not going to get many gigs but ok at what they do. D is heavily flawed. F is just terrible. I tried to be constructive where possible. Sorry if I just don't get your thing.

BLT and the Psychotics - Like the growly bass tone. The intro sounds derivative of some song I am just not recalling at the moment - Jane's addiction maybe? Initially mix quality on the vocals weakens the song. Its not weak in the performance sense, more that the mixing could have presented them better in the mix. Though I must say the chorus mixing rocked. The trick of very light doubling to enrich the vox in the chouses was what I wanted to do. Wish I had your engineer ;-) Instruments all rock hard and sound nicely polished. A-/VOTE

Berkeley Social Scene - Nice downbeat shoegazer jazz lounge tune. I felt some of the random noodle notes here and there distracted from the song rather than amplifying the vibe. There is a difference from vamping in jazz and noodling. I love the jazz stylings the pointless noodles are what gets me. Also the vox sound a bit atonal. Like they were recorded before a lot of the instrument parts were recorded. There is also a bit too much echo on the vox - though it still sounds better than my entry. In general I liked the jazz stylings added by the wind instruments. But at 2:34 the bassist hits a real stinker and that knocked you from my A list. Was this a live jam? B-

King Arthur - Nice vocal mixing. I like how you make the vox so clean and frontal in the mix. I wish I could manage the same on my entry. The synth pan flute is somewhat distracting. Not a fan of the style but well done overall. A-

Canonical Man - Sounds washed out and muddled. Have to turn it up a lot to get bass and general presence back. In general after vocals the engineering is the biggest problem here. I would love tips on all the myriad engineering sins I committed. Somehow the intro lost a lot of punch in the final mix down. Maybe my mp3 converter? It kept clipping where my original didn't and I ran out of time to polish this turd. Lyrics are hilarious but the sloppy vocals distract from them. *sigh* I love the idea but the execution is crap. Gonna work on this next week to try to do it right as it really deserves more time than I had. B-/VOTE

Yardley Social Scene - Nice clean beatle-esque sound. I don't have many comments for you but a lot of questions. What effect were the vox using? I like how they came out - was it chorus then compression? The effect sounds a bit poorly synthed (like a old 16 bit chorus effect on 24 bit data) but despite that I still love the overall effect. I also love the guitar tone at 2 minutes in. Was that just a tub amp and some delay? It was not what I expected for the song but I like the sound and wish to emulate it. Probably my favorite entry this week. A+/Vote

Sockpuppet - You sound like TMBG on this song. I dig it! Well at least until the chorus kicks in. It is worth noting that despite enjoying the song it gives me a headache quickly. I suspect you used an octive doubler to do the bass added all sorts of extra low harmonic frequencies. Try rolling off some of the very high or very low frequencies and see if that makes it easier to listen to for long periods of time. Something rapidly gave me ear fatigue. I would love to listen to it more but the fatigue thing keeps this from making my playlist. B

noah mclaughlin - I really like the basic guitar part. Very harp like. Also nice low bass voice. I didn't think you had that range, hmmm actually I think you are pushing yourself. But still a very pretty song. I like the instrumentation. Synth section starting at 2 minutes. took you off my short list. Also the male vox lose pitch after 3 minutes so you were definitely pushing your range boundaries and fatigue set in too quickly. If you are pushing your voice like this try doing multiple takes with a lot of rest between staggering your starting point. That would have given you some end verses with a fresh voice. When you are pushing yourself this hard and that long all your takes are gonna be rough at the end unless you get creative and cheat. Even when you take it up an octive you still have lost control. Basically the song is too long, you pushed your voice too hard but up until then it was a really nice tune. B-

Steve Durand - First off the keyboard sounds you picked were almost humorously bad. Very casio. That isn't a good thing. On the other hand the horns are beautiful sounding. You must have played those all yourself. Dude how many wind instruments do you own? You are great sounding on them. Avoid the general midi keyboard sounds and you would stand out better with this entry. B-

Paco del Stinko - Straight ahead rock. The vocals should be a bit more in the foreground. (Yeah I know kettle, black) I really like the guitar solo sections. It is atonal and angry but well done. Dunno how I would describe it. I don't recognize the scale used but really liked how it sounded. B+/VOTE

Realist - Not tagging song with artist annoys me when reviewing so you start with me slightly peeved. Vocals are straining by 45 seconds in. You sound young. Be careful straining - you have the range but straining can damage your voice it is all about using your voice effectively. The instruments sound decent but it does not quite click. Sometime the drums or another instruments add a lick where they don't need to and that shows inexperience. I think with a bit more restraint and focus on the overall sound rather than each instrument could help the sound come together better. The guitar solo at 3 minutes is out of key. But not bad entry especially considering you probably haven't been alive for as long as many of the regulars have been playing guitar. B

MC Who Izzy - Guitar or drum mike sounds like it may be saturating slightly. Vocals are out of tune. Auto tune might help there. Don't like that instruments cut out early. C

Bobobo-bo Bobo-bo - Great song bad mix. Overall sound is too soft for such a driven song. Everything needs to be mixed hotter and mastered differently. Pretty much all the flaws are in the engineering. (Who am I to throw stones, my engineering was even worse) Figure out how to mix this and it would seriously kick some ass. Hell take the same tracks to a engineering studio pay a couple hundred and have it remixed by a pro. It would make it a LOT fuller and if they let you sit in and learn how they do it will be worth every cent. Really love the short riff around 30s in, that is the hardest hitting part of the whole thing to me. B-/VOTE (remix this and it will be an A)

Scott Gesser - The intro doesn't grab. The hook doesn't set until a minute in and you have lost most people by then. Vocals sound a bit nasal. Consider a better mike. It will also help with the background noise. Chord progression feels a bit familiar. I like the instrument at 2:30 (marimba?) it adds a nice vibe. Might have been nice to do more of the song with that rather than the droning sound used for the intro. B-

EggNogAdam - The spoken section is very clear - front and center. The sung sections don't come out as nicely. They are a bit buried. What did you do differently on each section. I like the ruth less rip. It is well executed. B-/VOTE

Hey it's Romer - the electronic sound isn't full enough. Panning instrument sounds differently might help it sound fuller. It sounds mono. The number of different styles you try to do is impressive but the execution isn't quite there. I am impressed by the experiment. Hard house, rap, happy hardcore. Lots of nice crunchy bits. I just wish it sounded fuller and clicked a little better. C+

illscreen - vocals are a bit echo-ey and your mike is crap. A 30 dollar shure knock off would be a big improvement. Also the subject matter is cliched. Vocals could use more presence in mix. If I knew how to do it quickly and easily I would have fixed the same problem on my tune, I think it helps to reduce the fullness of the vox in favor of clarity. So push a bit of the mid range but filter off the extreme highs and lows just to make it punchier and more understandable. You had a few good lines - I liked 'savagely malicious' for example but the bravado does not work when there are simple tech problems dragging you down. C

Infinity Point Buck - Whoa... back off the delay dude. The vox are just not follow able. You killed them with EFX. The backing tracks are a bit weak in depth. For example you change up the drums at 45s but the music doesn't change. Also throughout the song you have a bit too much random noise in the background. I basically found it impossible to focus on what you were saying with all the random background sounds which completely kills the tune. D

Kapitano - Wait, Didn't you have a different nick? I feel like I recognize your music but this is better than what I recall hearing before. Singing about music industry is a bit cliche. Will need ot check lyric page to see if it is is better than I parsed. The instrumental parts of the music feel a bit one dimensional - a bit of slow stereo pan or other minor backing parts would really pad this out nicely otherwise it is just too spartan for me. Sounds like it must have taken forever in engineering. C

Larry - Owch. The piano tracks seem off time from the other tracks. That makes the song painful to listen to. Also the song induces headaches, I suspect you have a bit too much high or low frequencies. See what I said to Sockpuppet on this. Even ignoring those two problems the song feels sloppy and unfinished. D
Last edited by canonicalman on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by canonicalman » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:45 pm

Kapitano wrote:My *real* reviews this time - part 1. I make no apologies for concentrating more on production and recording aspects because...well, they're what I know a bit about.
Thank god! For that is what I need a million times over.
Kapitano wrote:Canonical Man: BBABM's right, it does have a mismatched feel. It sounds like there's a drummer, an acoustic guitarist, a bassist, two rhythm guitarists (one for the verses, one for the chorus), and two vocalists...all playing to the same click track on different days.

There's nothing wrong with each part - it's how they're mixed, EQed and effected. The drums and chorus guitar are *way* too quiet, and you need to try blending the instruments with EQ instead of just faders.

Otherwise the vocals fight the guitar, which fights to bass, which fights the drums, which is what happens here. Everything's OK individually, but together there's not enough space on our ears.
This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you a million times over - you are so right. You saved me a lot of trial and error figuring out what I was doing wrong. Most of the tracks sound disjointed because they were played to a main vocal track and a guitar track that I just couldn't use so the tying component is missing. I had to redo it but the replacement just didn't fit quite the same. I should probably drop the acoustic and go to town on EQ. That explains exactly why I could not get the vox to come forward. I will need to research where to tweak knobs. But thanks a million.
Kapitano wrote:A quite separate issue: A song about being without a woman called Ruth? If you can imagine your five year old self coming up with the same pun, your adult self shold probably avoid it.
Bite me. *grin* I never got past that age and I don't want to. Besides I do BOTH meanings, but I guess understand your point. (sulk in corner like a petulant child)
Kapitano wrote:After all that, *this* is the chorus that's circling in my head half an hour later.
That statement just made my week. 8-D Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by Steve Durand » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:54 pm

canonicalman wrote:
Steve Durand - First off the keyboard sounds you picked were almost humorously bad. Very casio. That isn't a good thing. On the other hand the horns are beautiful sounding. You must have played those all yourself. Dude how many wind instruments do you own? You are great sounding on them. Avoid the general midi keyboard sounds and you would stand out better with this entry. B-
None of these were synth sounds. Everything is real instruments except the drums. I just couldn't get a bass sound I liked and eventually gave up.


Thanks for reviewing!
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Re: Better late than never (ruthless lately reviews)

Post by canonicalman » Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:14 pm

Steve Durand wrote:None of these were synth sounds. Everything is real instruments except the drums. I just couldn't get a bass sound I liked and eventually gave up.
Wait that was a real bass? :shock: I still can not hear it as a real instrument. You need some new strings or some different setting on the amp. Those sounds do not sound like a real bass ever touched it. My fretless sounded like that when I put flat wound strings on it. HATED that sound.

Also the guitar distortion is a bit too thick. Made is sound like synth too. A lot of solid state distortion has that problem. Maybe a lighter distortion effect would help there.
Steve Durand wrote:Thanks for reviewing!
I am just glad I have time to review again. You occasionally come up with great entries and it is fun to see what some of the regulars come up with.
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