Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

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king_arthur
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Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm

review thread, check. cover art, check.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby foobar93 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:38 am

What a great way to start the week.

Banana Dan

Fun first 0:10, good hook, nice broad soundscape. I like the way each lyric with "sometimes" comes in just overlapping the one before. Nice tight track, very enjoyable. I wish there was more verses to match all those choruses.

Berkeley Social Scene

I like the call and response between the bass and distorted guitar. For the busier parts, I especially like how the guitar is hard core distorted but somehow not too loud and therefore not overpowering the rest of the track. I like the high parts of the solo at 1:50. Is it just me or is this song about how to drive in the rain? I feel like I'm missing something because the song has a great emotional punch. My only minor quibble is that some of the syncopated guitar stabs feel like they are coming in early sometimes. But that's very minor compared to another well executed track.

Bombernaughts

I like this one a lot, great vocals and well complemented with the low end. Even on my crappy earbuds it has a real feeling of bass. I like the pacing and the kind of nonstop action of the song. Good length, too, ends leaving me wanting. I did find the ending a little bleak. A little light at the end of the tunnel would be really powerful, imo.

Dime Novel

EDIT: corrupt file fixed. Thanks, Spud!

I like the guitar+piano hook. There's a seriously fun groove here. It's not consistent, though. I am having trouble putting my finger on what's different between the parts that work vs the ones that are less strong. I think in general the verses are better than the choruses. Drums are good, especially the fills and contrasting sections. Guitar solo doesn't speak to me. Vocals sometimes drift, maybe that's the issue. Anyway, overall whenever the main hook is playing, this song is fun.

Foobar

This is me. I've been away traveling the last few weeks so I didn't have a lot of time to put this together. Thanks to a lot of your suggestions, this is my first attempt at multi-tracked vocals. Let me know how you think it turned out? Appreciate the feedback and support everyone.

Hurrikitteh

I like the double-tracked vocals. Is that a chorus effect, too? I feel like the track loses energy by 1:10. I get the mellow vibe is intentional, but a little more contrast is needed for my ears. Where did that intro fingerpicking guitar go, it was great and I wish it would return? I like the busy texture that finally comes in at 2:05 or so. I wanted more energy overall. Lyrics are enigmatic. Is this a song about being grounded as a kid? Am I being too literal?

inflatable vegetables

Sounds like a soda can pop-top right at the start. Sound effects are hilarious. There are plenty of problems, vocal and otherwise, but I get that wasn't the point so I'm happy to just enjoy the ride. Sounds like you had a lot of fun making this and it shows.

Jeebas Jones

Love the guitar tone and how it blends with the rest of the track. Something is up with the vocal recording. I'm not expert enough to diagnose it, but it doesn't sound great throughout. I think it's messing up an otherwise strong performance. Nice ending, too. Overall very enjoyable track. Raw emotion comes through.

King Arthur

First 0:15 greatly increases expectations - let's see if the rest of the track can live up to this fanfare. Did the tempo go wobbly around 0:45? OK there are definitely problems throughout, especially tempo, noise floor, and a few moments that blow out my earbuds and so distort the whole track. But the horns are great and I feel like the rest is just a delivery vehicle. So I'm enjoying it for what it is. I could see this cleaned up and turned into a retro pop hit.

Merle Fyshwick

I don't think I have anything too helpful to say. Nice overall and way better guitar and vocals than I could produce. I enjoyed it but it didn't really speak to me.

Rio Mondo

LOL. Fuck Guitars!
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:32 am

foobar93 wrote:King Arthur

First 0:15 greatly increases expectations - let's see if the rest of the track can live up to this fanfare. Did the tempo go wobbly around 0:45? OK there are definitely problems throughout, especially tempo...


Here's the deal behind the "tempo" problems and some of glennny's comments last week as well: I use Band in a Box to create my drum parts, and, being the lazy old geezer I am, I don't always listen real closely to what it's doing in the drum parts. So I'll get cymbals that are playing faster than humanly possible and stuff like that because I'm just not listening to the details. I think I could actually edit the patterns and fix some of this, I'm just thinking ahead to the rest of the arrangement...

What happened this week is that BIAB only has a couple of 7/4 patterns, and they're in "straight" time, but the other instruments are "swinging." So, especially when there's a fill with a lot of eighth notes, the fills can sound wrong. You're certainly welcome to give me grief about this and not vote for me because of it, but that's what's happening. Maybe if I get enough grief about it, I'll stop being so lazy and listen more closely to what the drum part is doing before I lay down all the other instruments...
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby BananaDan » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:41 pm

Banana Dan:

I really like the chorus but I was pretty tired by the time I recorded the verses and I phoned it in on production. With a little TLC I know it would make the whole song much more coherent. Lastly, the intro is total crap.


Berkeley Social Scene:

I like the structure of this song with the repetition in the vocal line. The guitars are well performed and well mixed, I would try doing something with the high synth... maybe some distortion? Maybe drop it an octave? I liked everything in this song except maybe the slow start after the guitar solo. I would try to give it more energy and perhaps a change up in the vocal line.


Bombernaughts:

What a beautiful voice! The phrases "staring at me from the sky" and "but it still makes it" are quite awkward. I would try making those two phrases sound like "I've been waiting for the sun" (through the use of variation). That last phrase with the backing vocals really make my ears happy.. that said I'm not sold by the final line.


Dime Novel:

I can't help but hear Randy Newman in the voice. I like the drums especially the exaggerated bass in the kick. For the lyrics being sad it's quite an upbeat tune. I feel there are some tuning issues in the guitar solo. I think the bright vocals on the not-so-bright instrumentation is interesting. I would try adding backing vocals and see what fun I could have with it... although it would likely lose the feeling of loneliness.


Foobar:

I'm reminded of South Park's Matt and Trey. The piano really sells the sad. I would try adding a delay (and/or reverb) on the main vocal and see if I could make it sound more alone. The chorus is awfully catchy. You do give it a little more energy at the end but I might try to over-emphasize that crescendo and make the last chorus really strong.


Hurrikitten:

You have a very nice indie sound. The guitar(?) with the panning LFO (:35) is a bit wide. I would make the effect more subtle until the bass comes in. I might even try to make the bass pan the other way! The subtle vocal layering is quite pleasant (before the heavy layering at the end). The triple layer during the third chorus is really delightful. I like the motif "We aren't kind" and I wish the song ended with it. I don't think the actual ending was well supported so although it sounded nice it lacked emphasis (since that phrase is only heard twice overall).


Inflatable Vegetables:

For the most part the sound effects are well chosen, I do find them a bit loud in the mix. With such simple instrumentation you are relying heavily on the vocal track. I would try to adding a low-mid track on the vocals to cover more of the EQ. The standard verse-chorus structure gives the song a coherent feeling although I think it could sound better with stronger instrumentation.


Jeebas Jones:

The piano melody is delightfully sweet. The chorus effect on the main vocal is distractingly strong, it's much too digital for this track. There is a lot to be said about subtly (a lesson I'm not sure I have implemented as a composer); Check out the vocal doubling of Hurrikitten at :20. I wouldn't worry so much about making the vocals sound pretty, I might play this one like good ol' Bob Dylan. If you do want to use the strong doubling, I would put an envelope on it to quiet it a bit in the verses and leave it strong in the chorus. I wanna hear the instrumental of this!


King Arthur:

I like the brass intro but it doesn't have the same effect after the first chorus. The jazz groove is quite smooth, a feeling which is lost a bit with the non-mellow vocals and some splotches of distortion (like 2:15). I would like to try to re-mix this track, it feels like everything is vying for my attention.


Merle Fyshwick:

Hell yeah! I so excited to some country on Song Fight. So bouncy with pessimistic lyrics. It is admittedly short but it is well performed. I would try to make the mix a little brighter which might emphasize the juxtaposition of happy/sad. I would also limit the backing vocals during the verses to make the choruses seem more important.


Rio Mondo:

Your skit surely expressed the same feelings I thought while I was making my song. There's no reason you can't have that guitar in the beat. The best aspect of this song is surely comedy and it is handled quite expertly. Sounds like you had fun with it, I recall my last week was nothing but somber because of this damned song! As far as the beat is concerned, the bass is nice but the kick sounds like it suffers from a low pass filter.. actually, is that acapella? If it is made with a mouth it should certainly have high frequencies! The panning of the vocals is a little weird when only one person is rapping.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:40 pm

Banana Dan
I like the beat. It's nice and hi-fi sounding with good bass. I'm enjoying this until the rapping comes in, frankly, at which point it starts sounding kinda generic to me. The rapping isn't bad, it's just not really blowing my mind and I've been kind of overwhelmed with rap on Song Fight! and don't really care for it much anymore. Man, this is super loud, now that I think about it. Maybe tone it down a bit with the maximizer on your master bus.

Berkeley Social Scene
This song was fun to put together. Glen and Ken and I jammed as a power trio with me on drums and Ken on bass. Martin did the vocals a week later, and Glen did the high vocals in the last chorus. Crap, I just noticed there are still some click track clicks at the end. Doh! :(

Bombernaughts
Nice singing! Maybe a bit more reverb than I would have preferred. I like the bass that comes in. Things sound a bit distorted at times, like it was mastered too loud. Good one though.

Dime Novel
I don't know if you have control of this, but you might want to tweak the mix of your drums. It sounds like your snare is too quiet and your cymbals/hi-hat are too loud. I'm not a big fan of that opening rhyme, overcast/overpass. You're rocking out in the vocals, which is cool. It makes me wish the drums rhythm guitar were louder and adding some more RAWK oomf to the song. The solo's a bit anticlimactic, it doesn't end in a very exciting way.

I'm glad folks are keeping their songs a reasonable length so far this fight.

Foobar
Your lead vocal seems too dry and up front compared to the backing tracks, it doesn't seem to blend in very well. Your drums seem too quiet. Nice chorus, good idea with the left/right backup vox. They seem a bit too dry too though. The tinkly e-piano or whatever that comes in during the second verse is way too loud.

Hurrikittah
Nice, I like the intro guitar. Ooh, nice intro vocals. Nice centered guitar with left/right vox. Wait, why'd the guitar fade out…? I liked it more than these new backing tracks. They're ok, but not great. I think it would have been a good idea to center the vox once the backing tracks changed at least. Some strummed acoustic might sound nice mixed in with the drums/keys. I like the overlapping vocal parts section, that's really cool.

Inflatable Vegetables
This sounds like it could be kinda funny. I'm having a hard time listening to it though because I feel like the volume levels of the sound effects and the music are the opposite of what they should be. The sound effects seem super loud and the music is barely audible at times. I like the lyrics and the story, and the singing and melody are ok. It feels a bit long though and a bit repetitive. Maybe some more variation in the drum beats would help keep the dynamics changing or something.

Jeebas Jones
I'm not a big fan of the effects on the vocals. There are also some pitch issues. The music's OK but those four chords are starting to get a little dull feeling after a minute. Oh, a chord change, nice, good timing. Oh, back to those four chords. It's kind of too much of the same thing over and over for me, although I like the outro 30-40 seconds because of that piano melody and how things wind down at the end, which is nice.

King Arthur
This mix sounds kinda distorted, specifically the low end or something (the kick? bass). Anyway, very King Arthur sounding, which for my personal tastes is OK.

Merle Fyshwick
You have a bit of the opposite problem of somebody else in the fight, your instruments sound dry and your vocals have too much reverb on them for the two to sit well together. This has got me tapping my toe, though. I like the simple kick/rim beat, for some reason, even though it's the same thing the whole time. Short and sweet, nice one.

Rio Mondo
Hm, trying to think of some constructive feedback. Oh, I know, please don't make shit like this, kthxbye. :P

Ryan Dawson
Very nice guitar playing. Not bad singing. Did you record the guitar and vocals together live? Anyway, sounds good. I think this could benefit from some simple accompaniment, maybe some occasional flute or violin or cello or something. There's a really horrible digital distortion/noise sound at 1:41 that hurts my ears. Did you cut together two takes at that point or something? If so it was not a clean edit.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby Jim of Seattle » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:04 pm

Is there any reason you haven't bought my album yet? "We Are All Famous", on iTunes, CD Baby, and Green Monkey Records. Also available in unlimited edition "free" version:
Yes! I want to hear Jim's album without paying for it!
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby RyanZDawson » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:46 am

Lunkhead wrote:Ryan Dawson
Very nice guitar playing. Not bad singing. Did you record the guitar and vocals together live? Anyway, sounds good. I think this could benefit from some simple accompaniment, maybe some occasional flute or violin or cello or something. There's a really horrible digital distortion/noise sound at 1:41 that hurts my ears. Did you cut together two takes at that point or something? If so it was not a clean edit.


Yes, I did record the vocals and the guitar together live. That really loud noise is my cat jumping up on my computer and table and causing my Zoom Q3 to shake, and I apologize for that! I hate it, too. I think I might do a studio recording of this song and add some accompaniment to it.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby sleepysilverdoor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:36 pm

Banana Dan
You know, one of the biggest changes I've noticed in songfight over the years is that the electronic entries now are actually good! This sounds like what I would expected if Black Moth Super Rainbow started making club music. Though that comparison may be only based on the vocoder, but hey, whatever. The rap is actually pretty good! Did you design that synth patch?

Anyway, the sun is shining bright today! 9/10 and a vote.

Berkeley Social Scene
Well, the production isn't as shiny on this one, but you know, whatever. Something about this really reminds me of weezer. At least the chorus does, not so much the verses, from whatever. Where I live, people freak out when it rains because we've been in a horrid drought for the past few years. The roads tend to get really slick around here when it rains. 6/10

Bombernaughts
Holy dreaminess Batman, this is super dreamy. Love the vocal harmonies near the end!

Dime Novel
Not bad...but I can't really think of anything to say for it.

Foobar
Why is that electric guitar buried in the mix so much! It's just sitting over there all faint in the background!

Hurrikitteh
This is perfect for a mellow october afternoon. I just played a round of disc golf, and it was 79 degrees with low humidity. Now I'm relaxing and the sound of this song fits my mood perfectly. VOTE!

inflatable vegetables
AHH THOSE SOUND EFFECTS CAUGHT ME TOTALLY OFF GUARD. Goofy as can be, and getting a vote for making me giggle.

Jeebas Jones
Another one that doesn't strike me as particularly memorable. Can't really say much other than ditch the flanging effect on the vocals.

King Arthur
Vote for 7/8 and not sounding forced in the slightest. Haha. Anything not in 4/4 is a rarity on here!
Merle Fyshwick
VOTE FOR THE LINE ABOUT STINKY BREATH. I actually relistened and so far this is my favorite out of the entire fight...up there with Banana Dan.

Rio Mondo
The guy in the background making stupid vocal noises is making me laugh. Not sure about the rest of the song, but I'm sure you all had more fun than anyone else this week.

Ryan Dawson
You have a nice voice and this is really dramatic. Personally, I've never cared much for songs like this, but that doesn't stop me from acknowledging that they're good!
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:16 pm

Wow, only 8 (now 9) posts in a review thread and only 4 sets of reviews. Where is everybody these days...?
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby foobar93 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:33 pm

Lunkhead wrote:Wow, only 8 (now 9) posts in a review thread and only 4 sets of reviews. Where is everybody these days...?


I had the same question but was too timid to say anything. Seems like some weeks there are tons of reviews and other weeks, very few. Is there a pattern to it?

If anyone is on the fence about writing some reviews, please do it. Those of us who are new at this really benefit from the feedback. And, to put it another way, if you plan to listen to future fights, the time you invest now in reviewing pays back in slightly less awful tracks in the future.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:53 pm

As a regular participant who does appreciate the reviews we get here, I know I should be reviewing... but I've been trying to make up for not reviewing by doing cover art...
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby sleepysilverdoor » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:09 am

My favorite part of the reviews is seeing how people react to the dreck I end up submitting, even though I only enter once in a blue moon. Seems like most of the fights I've entered lately have had a bit of a review shortage. Ah well.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:53 am

Lunkhead wrote:Wow, only 8 (now 9) posts in a review thread and only 4 sets of reviews. Where is everybody these days...?

Percentage wise, that's a pretty good ratio. :D
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby SchlimminyCricket » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:15 pm

I'll bet you all thought I was dead, didn't you?

Ryan Dawson - Beautiful guitar. I want to be able to play such guitar. Your voice has great potential, if you would sing louder. From the sounds of it, you could do well to study and emulate the vocal stylings of Mr. Brandon Flowers. Also, maybe record the vocals separately from the guitar, if you are not already. As for lyrics, I cannot understand them. So there's that. But I enjoyed your track. Good work.

Hurrikitten - More fingerpicking. I like fingerpicking. Elliott Smith vocals. I usually like Elliott Smith vocals. Then... What? That's a really jarring transition. My advice to you would be to add a third vocal track closer to the middle so that we can hear it without thinking so hard about it. I like the interplay of the different vocal parts and harmonies. quieter bass, louder vocals. Also pretty good.

King Arthur - Horns! A little Elvis Costello here? Quite enjoyable. I like the scary minor prechorus thing.

Bombernaughts - Sounds a little muddled by too much reverb/sustain. I think there's a good song behind all those echoes. Nice and melodic. Kind of Meatloaf-ish, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about Meatloaf.

Inflatable Vegetables - I like the simple aesthetic. I can't really follow what you're saying because the sound effects are too loud. Oh, aliens. That's cool.

Rio Mondo - I actually liked the beginning song. I didn't like the second song.

Foobar - The beginning sounds like My Heart Will Go On or something. Maybe use a different electric piano tone, because that one is pretty 1990. If you had put the electric guitar in the electric piano's job, it would have been much better. But the heart of the song is good. I think you have some skills.

Dime Novel - Randy Newman? All the instruments need to catch up with the drums, or else the drums need to sink to their level. Volume-wise, that is.

Merle Fyshwick - Bluegrass harmonies are a delight. The melody might be just a smidge too low to sound good on your voice.

Jeebas Jones - You picked the wrong chord progression if you wanted me to remember your song. My feelings are mixed when it comes to the vocal effects. A little bit pitchy from time to time.

Banana Dan - Your track might be a little quick on the draw. It definitely stands out from the crowd in this fight, though. You rap good. By my weird white boy standards. One of my favorites this go round.

BSS - Confound it all, I wish everyone had not rhymed "overpass" with "overcast." The song is pretty good, as usual. I like the synth.

That's all of them. You don't know who I am. I criticize you because I love you.
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Re: Let's All Vote Twice! (Overcast reviews)

Postby Jim of Seattle » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:38 pm

Congratulations to BSS.

According to my extremely scientific Friend Flood Detector, there were no friend floods this week, though it looks like there were a couple friend droughts.
Is there any reason you haven't bought my album yet? "We Are All Famous", on iTunes, CD Baby, and Green Monkey Records. Also available in unlimited edition "free" version:
Yes! I want to hear Jim's album without paying for it!

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