Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

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Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by JonPorobil »

Well... someone had to do it.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by j$ »

They probably didn't ...
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

I'm really enjoying the Homesick Elephant song a lot. Very nice! Love the melodica interlude. I also like the Tuners Union song.

Also I can't seem to get the entry for Nobody Et. Al to play. Is anybody else having problems with that file?
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

Hostess---- your vocals ver awl-some
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by EvelBist »

heine - this is a raw demo, i know that. but it begs for just a bit more production. especially the chorus "cut it out", just a little doubled vocal or reverb. in the bridge, how about some high harmonies? I really really like this - but because it is SOOOO close to being complete, I was left hoping for just a bit more. Maybe if it was rougher, it could have gotten away with it.

$bill - ok, i'm collapsing into the rhythm right off the bat. the layered instrumentation behind the vocals adds to the drama. But when the chorus comes, I wanted to hear a dramatic change. Perhaps like the doubled vocals in the second verse, but something to separate the chorus from the first verse. Once I got over that, I was pleasantly surprised as the second verse did build from the chorus. Again, I would have like the first chorus to have the second verse's dynamics, and the second verse could have continued it, while the final chorus could have relieved the tension and come down again. What it is has so much more possibility to it, that's why I was disappointed, not in the structure or performance.

SD: I'm fast becoming Steve's biggest fan. There's no pretense here, just blatantly raw energy. As did Peter, Steve shows no guile. The song is like an aural representation of a man, and for that there is no substitute. Of course the instrumentation is fun, but whatever else there is, it all fits and that's a good good thing.

HBilly: There's nothing like an honest up front porch song. This falls right onto the porch swing. But it ends just as its beginning. Ok, where's the rest?

FlyingG: Multisyllabic techno rap - yes, I can get into it. I can see this as a reincarnation of Devo.

VA: Almost one minute into the song, and I'm hearing ambient electronica that I really really love, along with the two spoken words "Shit". This is crying for some EQ'd synth guitars and some kind of percussion. I hear all kinds of possibilities. This could be the canvas of something much more. I'd be very interested to hear what happens when the paint is applied.

HM: Quite dramatic, almost Peter Gabrielish early Genesis like. All the twists and turns that make a progressive rock ballad. With the wah'd lead, sparse rhythm, doubled vocals it really does the job well. One doesn't have to be a fan of 70's progressive bands to like this.

sep: Dark intro, subdued vocal. I am sitting on the beach in Santa Monica after midnite and the guy across the fire has a keyboard synth and is playing this as we pass the joint around.

Dwald: This has a spooky, one dimensional feel to it, probably because of the deep delay. When a vocal is layered onto a background like that, its hard to hear the enunciation of the words because they are being slammed into each other back and forth. However when the instrumental part comes in at around the 3 minute mark, it all starts to make sense, still I wish the vocal did not have as much delay as it did.

RD: Another rebel song from the master rebel himself. This is how its done. Woody Guthrie would have been proud to have done this. Simple cynicism at its best, nothing more to say or do, it is what it is, and does what it needs to do without filler or fat. Awesome.

PDS: From the intro to the end, there's a maestro at work here. Just a bit too much tremolo at the start for my tastes, but that's not a complaint. Is that a farfisa I hear?

HE: Fun Fun yeah. I'm so glad you didn't muddy it up with more than the three sounds + harmonica I hear. Did you multitrack the vocals or was it one take? Your voices are perfect for each other, with a minor 7th effect. Just one more part and you could be the second coming of PP&M.

Priz: I hear the blender running, chopping up whatever your latest kill was. The barking dog is going to alert the neighbors. The alien spaceship already has.

Nobody: Ever hear the Gin Blossoms? You remind me of their early days. More doubled harmonies on the chorus. It needs to stand out from the verse. I'm biased because of my inclination towards the Gin Blossoms, so suffice to say I like it.

JE: Where's Julio? Ok, I had to say that because of the intro chords. First, you have a wonderful voice. John Sebastianish. Your vocals must be the center of this song because they carry everything. I don't care about the guitars, bass, drums when I hear you sing. There's the right balance of effects on your vocals here so take notes of where the pots are.

TU: Snooty, nose in the air feel. I don't know if you were shooting for that, but it could be a by-product of the vocal style. You are capable of producing some smooth tunage, and this doesn't deviate from that at all. The only suggestion is to "shine the light" more on the chorus as it blends too much with the verse.

LoO: I'm waiting, waiting for thrash guitars to come in when "cut it out" is rapped. This is threatening in that it does its job well, the vocals certainly reflect "feeling their oats". The style is so reminiscent of German synth pop bands of the last 20 years its scary. Very impressive.

Flv: Speed punk. I can totally see this played at a frat party, where the artists are just as blasted as the guests.

Ssage: Me, so I'll pass.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Heine »

Some more reviews. First my Votes:

Sausage - After being fond of your last entry, the new Sausage song was the first one I gave a listen to. And it did not disappoint me. That's a dramatic way I really appreciate. Great guitar lick, expressive singing. Cool. But still I miss a bass and maybe some discreet keys. Clear vote!

Hostess Mostess - Yes! That's it! It grows so beautifully. I really love this 70's sound. The ending feels a little 'open' to me. But anyway - along with Sausage my favorite song this time! Vote!

Nobody, et al. - Charming melody. Quite a black kinda humor. But when I got it while driving in my car I really had to laugh. Lyrically, I really like the middle section. Well, please send this one to Weird Al and convince him to do a video clip of this track. I really want to watch that. Vote!

Homesick Elephant - That sounds so warm and intimate. I simply love it. I want to hear more of that. Vote!

Flvxxvm Florvm - Yesyesyes! That's fun! Love it. Vote!

Dollar Bill & the Inkpoints - First, I failed to hear the beauty within this song. Behind this not quite perfect performance there's a very fine melody waiting and a pure gospel song. Love the lyrics. Got to sing this someday at church. Vote!

Paco del Stinko - Fine production. Raw an energetic. What really got me was that much too short guitar solo at the end. Vote! May I ask you someday (for a colab) to put a solo onto one of my tracks?

Jon Eric - Very light tune. I like that bass solo. One your best vocal performances I've heard. Vote!

Steve Durand - Nice instrumentation: Wah, cool bass line again, outstanding brass. Nice groove - did you drum it on a real kit?

Tuners Union - I really love your production technique. What hardware are you using? Which microphones? Nice vocal and guitar work. Don't know why it won't grab me this time - would be perfect as a flip side.

sep - Nice chords. Maybe it could need a change after some time. So, I was happy when the other instruments set in.

Flying G's - I like the simple backing track. You didn't mess it up with some loud and hard beat. So there's more attention paid to the lyrics.

Dwald - I once lend an old record in a public library: Amon Düül "Lüüd Noma". Your song would have fitted onto that LP. Takes some time to get into it but it has its own charme.

Prizelemental - More a soundtrack to me. Very industrial. Not my favorite but nice production, though.

Lord of Oats - As EvelBist wrote: very German synth. But even colder to me. This one really gets going at the end when the rap part starts.

Ross Durand - Some classic RD stuff. I love that clean recording sound. (I messed mine up with too much compression.)

The Various Artists - David Bowie's "Low" LP would have benefitted from this track. Nice mood.

Hillbilly - "…didn't have nuff time." Just like me. I ask myself how the song would end.

heine - There were only 10 minutes time to play, 10 minutes to mix and 10 more to convert and send it away. But I loved lyrics and music quite much so I really had to do it. There was something more inside my head like some drums for the chorus... but family first.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by kaz »

Heine wrote: Tuners Union - I really love your production technique. What hardware are you using? Which microphones? Nice vocal and guitar work. Don't know why it won't grab me this time - would be perfect as a flip side.
I use an M-Audio FastTrack Ultra with Samplitude 11 on Windows. For most recordings (mainly vocals and acoustic guitar) I use a Sterling ST55 condenser, although I tend to use an Audix i5 on amplifiers. I've converted my walk-in closet into a recording booth of sorts (complete with monitor+keyboard+mouse and clothes instead of panels) to avoid the nasty room reverb of my bedroom, and I've found it makes a *huge* difference in there. Thanks for the comments!
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Heine »

Hi kaz,

thanks for the information. I had to google the Sterling ST55 because I really like that clean sound.

But it seems to me that Sterling mics are not known here in Germany, there is no shop around here selling it!!!
(Mostly I use a Rode NT1-A for vocals. Is there anybody out there who has made some experience with both mics: Sterling and Rode?)
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by LibraryDogs »

Take these with a grain of salt, eh?
I always give props for anybody who can write/record/produce a song in 10 days.

Dollar Bill
-Kinda low-fi and wierd but I like it. Echoey and stereo bouncy, with a synth juxtaposed against a fairly organic whole-rest-of-the-song and the Biblical lyrical content.

Dwald
-Sounds like the guitar needs tuning, vox too. Did you really just rhyme heart with fart? Bonus points. Then it gets all early Floyd. Actually in a Syd Barrett context the first part sort of makes sense now.

flvxxm
-a little high fi to be thrash punk, but that's not a bad thing. Got me bopping my head to it, heh heh.

Flying G's
-I like the "you fucking hipsters" thing, but the rhythm of the lyrics seemed off to me, not tight enough with so little going on in the backing track. I would have liked to hear the style change or another instrument be introduced in the hook. Or just a breakbeat somewhere might have pulled me back in.

heine
-I like the dynamics, the sparse arrangement suits the imagery of having been left behind. The first song so far where "cut it out" didn't feel awkward. Vote.

hillbilly
-I liked the first verse, but then the song was over... Nice gritty vibe for those 41 seconds though. :-)

Elephant
-Dig it. Boy/girl harmonies are a winner. Very indie folk/pop. Dig the melodica. I love how the lyrics and rhyme scheme seem to meander, and then reunite with the song in a very elegant way. Vote.

Hostess
-Nice harmonies, and I like the way the song builds. The keyboard/guitar combo harkens to late70s,80s balladry mood. Another one that handles the awkward "cut it out" prompt well. Vote.

Jon Eric
-Nice bouncy happy acoustic pop tune containing an acidly-scathing satire. Props for not sounding so self-righteous on the vocals that it distracts (seriously, most people can't do that). Extra points for the key change at the end. And the barbershop tag. Vote.

Lord of Oats
-Imagery is good, vocals have a kind of Paul Stanley vibe, which is strange on top of an electro beat. But it's a good electro beat. Then sort of goes to a NIN grind for the chorus/hook. The "Cut It Out" bit is a little awkward. But everything else is enjoyable. Even the rap bit at the end made me smile. Vote.

Nobody (me)
-I need to figure out how to get a hotter signal when I render the tracks without the signal distorting or everything getting squished in the compressor. Songwriting aside, the production sounds really soft especially when put between Lord and Paco. Any ideas for a mixing/mastering newb?

Paco
-Rockin. Dynamics are very nice. The riff in the chorus is catchy, and the tremolo guitar is a great hook. The organ is a nice arrangement choice. Vote.

Prizelemental
-Um, yeah. Not my cup of tea. This song did make me think "Cut it out" several times - was that the idea?? :-)

-Ross
Nice Nashville/Austin feel. Lyrics done well. That's enough for a Vote in my book.

-Sausage
The flangy piezo guitar is kind of neat in the beginning. Not sure why it makes me think it lends a certain Latin vibe. I really like when the song kicks in about 1:15. The electric guitar is very expressive. Hard to make our your lyrics but they aren't super necessary. The rest of the song is nicely expressive. Vote

-sep
It's definitely got that brooding feel. I'm sure the vocals and drums were way back in the mix for effect, but there wasn't anything to retain in my Black-Lab-with-ADHD attention span once I got used to the piano loop.

Steve Durand
-That groove is killer. I was hoping I wouldn't be the only one who referenced actual physical surgery in the songwriting. The fact that you added trumpets jacks it up a notch or two. Really nice southwestern feel. Grin for the lyrics too. Vote.

Tuners
-Reminds me of that Blue October song "Into the Ocean" - I dig the hell out of this tune. It's tight and harmonic with a head-bob-inducing groove. I might actually go back and listen to this one after the fight is over. Vote.

Various
-Very moody. Second song in this fight to make me think of Nine Inch Nails. I would have liked to hear the lyrics. Fricking cold season.

I guess these are more "reactions" than "reviews", but hopefully somebody will find that useful.
Great batch of songs in this fight.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Steve Durand »

Heine wrote:
Steve Durand - Nice instrumentation: Wah, cool bass line again, outstanding brass. Nice groove - did you drum it on a real kit?
No, I didn't do any real drumming. I use Jamstix.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Heine »

Steve Durand wrote:
Heine wrote:No, I didn't do any real drumming. I use Jamstix.
Thanks. I just downloaded the demo. Maybe I'll try it next.

Me, I couldn't resist to put some more bass and keys on Sausage's track because I felt something was missing. Thanks to EvelBist for giving feedback and ideas.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Reviews to come, people. Probably on the late side of things.

Heine: Let me know when, I'd love to play on your tracks sometime.
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by Heine »

Coooool! :D
(I think there won't be any time to join the next fights. Pity! But I'll let you know. Thanks in advance!)
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by HeuristicsInc »

Dollar Bill & the Inkpoints
j$ and me. the drums was me tapping with my fingers on the table, then also on a cardboard box, and a quieter mix of regular drums. it's a biblical lyric, but a pretty strange one. i thought of it almost immediately upon seeing the title.

Dwald
the guitar is nice, but the warbly singing is distracting. then there's a totally different song. odd.

Flvxxvm Florvm
i like the retro feel of this one. crazy drums. what's with the fade? i think it should do something besides just ending there.

Flying G's
are you flying or mitch? get yr tags right. bleh. more gratuitous. backing track needs to be more interesting, cause the vocals and lyrics aren't doing it.

heine
the chorus doesn't quite have as good scansion as it should... like the syllables are wrong. i think this song could improve with some lyric changes in that department. it's got good promise.

Hillbilly
did you get to the cut it out part? finish this song!

Homesick Elephant
not really sure what you're talking about here, seems to jump around topics a lot. i think this song needs a chorus.

Hostess Mostess
nice. retro again. that's a great crescendo. loving the guitar and keys, vox meshing very well. i expected a great song and i was not disappointed. maybe this is my favorite in the fight.

Jon Eric
this isn't current events, is it? pretty catchy. not sure how "we'll never be without when you cut it out" follows... the rhyme is good, but the absence of something does not create a presence of something else.

Lord of Oats
nice instrumentation. die is cast/cast is dyin is good stuff. really like the break at 2:00 with that synth. really enjoying this.

Nobody, et al.
unneccessary gratuitous swears, especially from a nursery school teacher? seriously? it is interfering with my enjoyment of the song.

Paco del Stinko
hah, i love the woos. i like this a lot. nothing bad about this.

Prizelemental
Can't find much to grab onto here. Not a fan at all of the sampled laughing.

Ross Durand
this one didn't grab me on first listen, but on second i like it better. ambles along well.

Sausage
i like the kick up in the chorus. also, great guitar effect. crazy.

sep
nice moody (rhodes?). Bring up that vocal so we can hear it better. it's lost in the music and i can't tell what you're saying.

Steve Durand
Nice upbeat, good change of pace from many of the others here. Love the horns. This one seems to have some ideas in common with our track.

Tuners Union
neat. nice retro feel again. i like the variety of rhythms and sounds, beatlesy. maybe this is my favorite in the fight.

The Various Artists
nice instrumental. the interplay between the different elements is nice. get some zyrtec and let's hear it with vocals.

favorites: steve durand, flvx, sausage, dbti, tuners, hostess, joneric, oats, paco, ross
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by HeuristicsInc »

Heine wrote: Me, I couldn't resist to put some more bass and keys on Sausage's track because I felt something was missing. Thanks to EvelBist for giving feedback and ideas.
that's great.
-bill
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

did you get to the cut it out part? finish this song!
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Re: Ctrl+X ("Cut It Out" reviews)

Post by SilverPixie »

Late reply, but..
Evelbist - The words you hear are of a funky soundloop I found online of slightly distorted voices. Where you think you hear "Shit", it's a little girl going "I shot you. I. I SHOT you!" There's also a guy saying "Could you shut the door to the cave" and moans and unintelligible things. Sony puts out weird free to use stuff.

And unless I can find someone to sing it for me, I don't think I'll ever record the vocals. I've got a decent enough voice for radio, but I can't sing to save my life. If only I had Denni's or Mallory's (from Longfellow) voices... *sigh*
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