Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

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jast
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Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

Prepare to receive tanning.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Kip Lightning »

I am certain this is explained somewhere but can I /how can I submit art for a title?
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Try these:

"SUBMIT ART" link in the left column of the home page under the big "SONG FIGHT!" text logo:

http://www.songfight.org/submitcover.php

"How do I submit art?" question from the FAQ, to which there is a link in that same area of the home page:

http://songfight.org/faq.html#artwork
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Treachjuris »

Wow - so many participants! So far, in no particular order, The Magnetic Letters, glenny, Future Boy, Inflatable vegetables and Fish Sausage are tickling me right now...
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Kevin Mellows »

Woke up and gave all these a listen. WOW- I think Big Crouton kills it this week! Reviews to come.

-Kevin
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Toby Roktot »

Big Crouton--bestest this week hands down....

Lightning Shark--very nice...finish it and let us listen...PLEASE

The Mag Lets--W T F ?!?!?!

Mr. Walbrun--nice cover art...
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by wadewalbrun »

Thanks Toby. Perhaps my claim to fame will end up being my cover art, and not my music. Oh well, we all get our 15 minutes.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by chocolatechips »

Votes to Future Boy, The Moonlight Lullabies, Fish Sausage, Jan Krueger, & Airlines /// not sure I'll have time to do full reviews this time around
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by iVeg »

I did cover art for a while, couldn't finish songs.
Lots to listen to. I'll try this weekend.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

Here, have some streamy-consciousnessy reviews. (Yay first!)

WreckdoM -- I dig the backing track. The vocals, not so much. Fortunately the backing track tries its hardest to drown them out, and often succeeds outside the verses. So, I don't regret spending time listening to this. Also, cute ending.

glennny -- I like this, but man the sax in the first part is distractingly loud and busy. The piano got mangled by compression which is a bit sad. But man, except for that sax bit your arrangement is great. Perhaps rethink the levels of the various tracks, some of them seem disproportionately loud and bass is almost invisible most of the time. I find your use of pitch locking a bit extreme, too. Solo sounded a bit random. Overall verdict: nice!

Kevin Mellows -- A bit lacking in the low end... for my taste you've cut away too much in most tracks. It's most noticeable before the bass comes in. Very solid arrangement, though it's mixed pretty far below the vocals. The higher notes you're singing ("every time I..." and beyond) sound painful. Not a fan of the solo. Solid song.

It's Chris -- Would it kill you to tune your thingy before recording? Then again, it fits with your vocals that way. Actually I take that back, the vocals still stick more metaphorical knives into my eardrum. Even if the song was okay (and I find it hard to judge), the performance totally kills it.

The Chocolate Chips -- Best-balanced mix I've heard so far. Great arrangement. Vocals could use more edge (I think you tried to add some artificial edge using plugins, but that never really works, instead it just muddles the sound up). The chord progression in the chorus has somewhat mediaeval influences that stick out a lot, though I don't think that's a criticism. I like this, and please don't cut off the ending the next time you render a song to MP3.

Inflatable vegetables -- This is just a pile of noise with a veil of kill-all-clarity in front. Whatever you did when amping/mixing this, don't do it again. The song itself isn't the kind of silly I enjoy.

The Moonshine Lullabies -- Head voice/falsetto overdose! ... I'd rather put stamps on letters all day long, way more engaging. Song itself is nice... rather repetitive, though. I'm sure I'll have forgotten all about this in five minutes.

Berkeley Social Scene -- Standard BSS song, not my thing like most of the time. Points to the singer for trying. Points off for writing something that your singer couldn't perform convincingly.

Fish Sausage -- I think I'll have chicken curry for dinner. Or maybe just pizza. Man, it's so hard to make up your mind... fortunately I don't need to do that about your submission, I can be thoroughly unimpressed with it pretty much automatically.

Klownhole -- I'm sure you've used up the reverb allotment for all of us for the rest of the decade. Boo!

Jeebas Jones -- Ahhh, sweet lack of reverb overload. Nice song, decent performance except for the spectacularly bad switches to falsetto (the first one after the phone break is okay, though). Try a breathier falsetto, it might work better with the rest of the vocals.

Future Boy -- Solid except for the overly nasal vocals. Not the kind of song I enjoy listening to, but props for doing it well. Bonus point for the Wurli.

Johnny Cashpoint -- Coherent. Nice use of additional vocal tracks. I think this could have been a lot stronger with a different mix, something that gives all the parts more room to shine. It's a bit clinical the way it is now.

Lightning Shark -- Short song, song review. Nice.

Burnzi -- You completely ruined this with compression/limiting, and the distortion on the guitar is a bit strong, too. Other than that I like it and I can't really complain about anything else. Great development, progressions and everything.

The Magnetic Letters -- Okay, so there's the intro, and then there's vocals that were apparently recorded in the bat cave. Bit strange, but oh well. Apart from that this is all very by-the-book (aside from the four-letter word, I guess), and so definitely very easy on the ears, but it's also not keeping my interest. By the way, when the... fake strings? Organ?... come in, the last chord before the chorus sounds like you fumbled it badly. That is all.

Airlines -- Bass required... or something bassier at least. Other than that, all I've got to say is: be courageous, use less reverb on the vocals (it's not as bad as the bat cave in the previous song, but still stands out in a bad way) and bring them up a little more in the mix. Your vocals ain't perfect, but so ain't everyone else's. Nice job overall, though. Creative arrangement and all.

Big Crouton -- I like it! Maybe raise the vocals a bit in the mix? In a few spots they almost disappear. The chorus is a bit of a wall of noise... not sure why exactly, but I think I'd try reducing the distortion a bit and easing off the sustain a little. That'd be the icing on the cake for me.

Scrotean Hydra -- Flangers make vocals less clear. You know that, right? Doesn't work very well on vocals that aren't sung out in the first place. In the mix it almost seems as if everything is competing to melt into the background. I like all the parts, though, to the extent I can make them out. The song is interesting, too.

R. Mosquito -- Hey reve, long time no listen! Very nice soundscape, but it bothers me that the vocals and the snare are so undermuscled in the mix. Also maybe the delay on the vocals is a little bit extreme... hard to get it up in the mix that way. Maybe take more of the dry part and slightly less of the wet part. Mixed feelings about this one. I also feel that musically this could have been built out quite a bit more.

Jan Krueger -- Thought I'd do something different. It's not terribly original, but at least it's something new for me. As I mentioned elsewhere, I did a lot of things to the mix that I ended up undoing later. So, this is fairly untreated, except for the reverb, 2:1 compression on the lead vox, and EQ. In fact I just did another mixdown entirely without compression (here; de-gained by 2 dB, so listen level-matched to get a proper impression of the difference) and IMO it's a little better still.
Last edited by jast on Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

Treachjuris wrote:Wow - so many participants!
Nope.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by glennny »

glennny -- I like this, but man the sax in the first part is distractingly loud and busy. The piano got mangled by compression which is a bit sad. But man, except for that sax bit your arrangement is great. Perhaps rethink the levels of the various tracks, some of them seem disproportionately loud and bass is almost invisible most of the time. I find your use of pitch locking a bit extreme, too. Solo sounded a bit random. Overall verdict: nice!
Thanks for the review, I agree with most of what you said. I apologize for the auto-tuned vocals. The vocals really need many more takes so the affectation of the auto-tune isn't so awful. I'll take the busy and random criticism, but I do like what I have, I don't think I'd change it on a rethink. It'd be great to get a better piano sound agreed. Anyway, thanks!
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

glennny wrote:I'll take the busy and random criticism, but I do like what I have, I don't think I'd change it on a rethink.
I don't really think it needs to go away, but maybe there's a way the mix can support it better.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by hillbilly »

big crouton- like this honky tonk style, sound and groove, whats that guitar an SG.

jan- at my present mood, I enjoy this.

moonshine-good job, sweet voice,clean guitar, would you like to be my baby momma, kidding.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Better late than never. Me and King Colon's reviews from this weekend...

Airlines - Nice changes, nice breakdown. Mixing could use some work: there is a lot of reverb on the vox and the distortion of the rhytm guitar takes away from the harmonic richness while th lead guitar is tool loud. Overall, pretty good tune! I like your voice and your guitar harmonies. Also, enjoyed the tambourine quite a bit.

BSS - Hearing a lot of Elvis Costello here. The vox aren't perfect but they are endearing, and complimented by the cool vocal harmonies in the chorus. Whoever plays bass for y'all is great. Colon would like a bit more brilliance in the guitar tone, like brighten up the guitars and reign in the high vox a bit. Cool.

Big Crouton - Hard rock/country crossover hit? Or movie soundtrack hook. Well crafted and well recorded. Sounds pretty pro to me. Like the breakdown. Sweet bass, rippin' guitars. King Colon says breakdown/end part sounds like Sabbath having sex with Alice in Chains.

Burnzi - Horribly mixed, vox mixed so bad, almost unlistenable. There's just too much going on, and while I like that fuzzy flangy wall of psychedelic noise going on, it wasn't a great fit for the vocals, which had their own style and flavor and seemed to be going the way of that guy that sits in a chair playing guitar in a crusty tavern but people just hang out and continue to talk.

Chocolate Chips - Electronic decadence! Colon sez what this needs is a dubstep remix. Then we go to fairytale land. Hey nice leads! Oh no, the breakdown is breaking down on us. Where did that electronica go? The 60s' electrono-pop rises up to take over. The parts were cool by themselves but lacked cohesion.

Fishsausage - Fish boudin? I think I heard some Missle Command noises in there. King Colon likes it and thinks it is a work of atmospheric genius reminiscent of a young WreckdoM, except that it's instrumental so you're gonna fuckin' lose!

Futureboy - one of my favorites. Futureboy your tone is fantastic and you write some very well-crafted and catchy tunes. Would've loved to hear some accompaniment on it.

Glennny - Wow! That is mixed loud! Colon says you had him there for a second, then just no. I liked that breakdown. You took it to a wierd place.

Inflatable Vegetables - This is great, there's no way you used loops to make this tune, it's the real stuff. Vox are the best! It would go so good with some Ministry action going on. Guitar sounds really bad.

It's Chris - You should come to Austin and play this on the drag. You will bank dude! Added bonus if that is a uke I'm hearing.

Jan Krueger - In the harsh light of day, I didn't like it, for stylistic reasons, but also, Colon says you might try some subtle autotune before harmonizing if the take isn't perfect.

Jeebas Jones - Standard blues progression.

Johnny Cashpoint - Colon says "I love it. You sound like Prick." Cool guitars. Very distinct vox. Colon's favorite so far.

Kevin Mellows - This tune is dark and suspenseful. You have the confidence to make this epic with some more vocal practice.

Klownhole - Yes! This one is perfect. Colon says vox needs to sound like Buzzo, but love this jam. Has the potential to be epic with some really transgressive vox.

Lightning Shark - That whole musical idea was expressed well in 46 seconds. Beautiful effort.

Magnetic Letters - Lawrence Welk presents.

Moonlight Lullabies - Mix is really quiet. You have a really great voice! Interesting chord progression.

R Mosquito - Stoner rock yeah! Vocals are unintelligible. Breakdown takes it to weirdtown.

Scrotean Hydra - Very 80's. Danceable!

WreckdoM - WreckdoM
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

WreckdoMelle wrote:I didn't like it, for stylistic reasons
I'm not terribly surprised. :)
Colon says you might try some subtle autotune before harmonizing if the take isn't perfect.
I hate what autotune does to vocals more than any non-catastrophic imperfection. Screw perfect.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by wadewalbrun »

Jast and WreckDoM - I appreciate your reviews and commentary. However, the horrible almost unlistenable voice "mix" you note may be my quite intentional bullhorn effect I put on verse 2 and bridge vocals. Perhaps, my intention didn't go far enough in offering a dramatic "harsh" contrast to other verse vocals. If you are referring to the vocals mix in verse 1 and 3, well I guess I can accept that. Just wanted to clear up any confusion. Again, many thanks for the review.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jast »

I didn't complain about the vocals in particular. I thought the whole thing sounded rather like it was put in a garbage compactor.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jb »

jast wrote:I hate what autotune does to vocals more than any non-catastrophic imperfection. Screw perfect.
You know it doesn't HAVE to remove the soul from your vox, right? Elle said "subtle", which is a handy word.

"Autotune" (pitch-correction) is a tool, use it appropriately. I think for your harmonies, Elle has a point. That section around 2:25 is rather nice, and locking in the harmonies would make them sound more intentional. And that last harmony at the end of the song as well. Either a few more takes, or manipulate it in the DAW and make that piece of harmony sound like you meant it rather than a toss-off. (I dunno, maybe that was already take 26-- it just sounds like it was take 2 or 3.)

JB

P.S. Definitely not saying you should go back and change this song. Just discussing the point of pitch-correction. Sometimes I take the time, but usually I'm too lazy. But I definitely see the value in it when applied subtly and with thought.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by jb »

wadewalbrun wrote:Jast and WreckDoM - I appreciate your reviews and commentary. However, the horrible almost unlistenable voice "mix" you note may be my quite intentional bullhorn effect I put on verse 2 and bridge vocals. Perhaps, my intention didn't go far enough in offering a dramatic "harsh" contrast to other verse vocals. If you are referring to the vocals mix in verse 1 and 3, well I guess I can accept that. Just wanted to clear up any confusion. Again, many thanks for the review.
I would diagnose your mix as "Trying To Max Loudness of Every Track Syndrome". For the next song, when you want to bring something to the front of the mix, try reducing all the other tracks a bit rather than increasing one of them.

Your individual tracks should all be in the green. If you want it louder while mixing, turn up the volume of your speakers. Then for your overall output, you can maximize THAT so the whole thing is at the limit of loudness.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by wadewalbrun »

jb - Many thanks for the helpful advice!
jast - My bad. Thanks for the clarification. That's useful.

The next song mix I will effort to be a bit more nuanced and less "crammed in your face".

While sonically the song may not be too successful, I've gotten some really good advice in my "loud" forum and been a worthwhile learning experience, even if it is all a whirl in my head. Thanks again.
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Re: Not suitable for vampires (Harsh Light of Day reviews)

Post by Scrotean Hydra »

jast wrote: Scrotean Hydra -- Flangers make vocals less clear. You know that, right? Doesn't work very well on vocals that aren't sung out in the first place. In the mix it almost seems as if everything is competing to melt into the background. I like all the parts, though, to the extent I can make them out. The song is interesting, too.
Thanks for taking the time to review! Actually, what you're hearing is a bit of amateur (and therefore not so good) compression and limiting; the last time I applied flanging to a vocal track was when Sausage Boy did some Jim Morrison and we were looking for that psychedelic sound ...
OMFG Your post looks too spamy for a new user, please remove off-site URLs.
Go to the archives, Terror in Tiny Town, Fish Sausage. Sheesh. In any event, this is my first collaboration with my offspring, and she sings very gingerly and tentatively...therefore, the melting into the background - lol Hats off to the live-fighters!

We're trying to improve not only our songwriting and musical skills, but our mixing abilities as well...
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