Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

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Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:30 pm

“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
― Werner Herzog
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Sat May 06, 2017 11:00 am

Songs posted, sorry for the long delay.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby j$ » Mon May 08, 2017 1:30 pm

Ah, sorry, everyone, in a grumpy mood tonight so grumpy reviews. Blame Furrypedro.

F U Milburys - you can't hide 'Blue Vevet' by changing one of the chords. That said, lovely vocal. Personal taste aside, it's a bit thin in the arrangement but it's still a pretty damn pretty song. In all honesty, less than half the way through, I'm itching for it to change up; but I guess that doesn't really suit the style. Nah, it's a very well done, well performed song but it's a bit *meh* for me. But then again, I am a cloth-ears.I do like 'Big mistakes, I know I make 'em' ...

Corey A G - I don't like the showy a capella opening. The music when it kicks in is good. Not sure the (totally impressive) vocal fits the music in any way whatsoever. It's like Robert Plant doesn't know tonight his backing band is the Cranberries. Or in a more constructive way, the constituent parts are good, they just don't add up to a whole for me.

Wreckdom - I love the backing track and some of the vocal choices. Overuse of water sounds gives an unsure impression. The guitar when it comes in is nowhere near loud enough. What happened to you, sell-outs? ;) It's fun but clearly a minute too long for what is. However the (misheard?) lyric "Horses fill up your crevices" works for me just fine!

Jan K - Other than the watery arrangement and the slightly emo lyric, there's not much to dislike here. I like it, though in all honesty, it's not screaming out at me to click 'play' one more time. I wouldn't take it too personally based on my mood ce soir.

Pigfarmer Jr - Ah, I like this a lot. The more I hear that you do, the more I'm impressed by it. Yes, of course, it's 'my favourite bands family-size bargain bucket' but aren't we all guilty of that? This is catchy and tuneful, even with a few stray notes. Good stuff.

j$ - that's me. I'm not very good.

Will listen in again tomorrow, in a cheerier mind-frame, before voting.

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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Enter It In The Art Show » Mon May 08, 2017 2:55 pm

Corey A G was my fave of the fight. Good work, sir.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Mon May 08, 2017 4:07 pm

JK: There is something about your voice that I've always liked. This song builds nicely and I like the melody. The change in pacing at the end of the chorus is tasty. It's a good arrangement. I like this more with every listen.

Corey: I like the vocal throughout. I like the single note guitar. Not sure they fit together perfectly. Still this is good. I like the fairly sparse arrangement. There is just a spot or two that the vocal and guitar fight for attention that I think could easily be fixed in the mix or at least smoothed a bit. Otherwise, pretty cool.

J$ - This sounds thrown together rather quickly and while I mostly like the feeling in the vocal, the title line turns me right off. I feel you were going for a fun little run and instead hit a major hill that took you out of your game plan. (Pardon the analogy, I've been a masochist lately, ie., running.)

Milburys: I like the throwback feel and the vocal works really well for me. This is pretty good. It would benefit from some sort of change up, imo, although the laid back guitar break was nice. Ultimately this might be a hair too long to keep my attention on multiple listens.

Wreck: I liked the guitars. The vocal work for me, but they don't sit quite right in the faster sections. I'm not a fan of the doubled effect on the slower bits. Really, I like parts of this but it just doesn't quite seem like all the pieces fit together quite properly.

PJ - me- Trying out some mixing ideas mainly. This is suppose to be a song about addiction but came off as an ordinary tale of lost whatever. Still, I like it.

Corey and Milburys seem to be the two I'd mostly likely listen to again although JK's song is growing on me.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby coryag » Tue May 09, 2017 12:22 pm

Jan Krueger: I like the acoustic sound in the beginning. Honestly, I really enjoy the background vocals and how the instrumental builds until the electric guitar steps in. Theres a part on 0:34 like a voice crack or something but, honestly it's all little stuff. Good job. Vote.

johnnycash: i'm enjoying the keyboard in this and drum beat. I also like the sound of the chorus, but i'm having a hard time understanding much of the lyrics

Milburys: The beginning is pretty awesome, I'm a sucker for slow runs. There are some great parts in the vocals and there are some pitchy stuff but, I see quite a bit of potential. I think you should play around with this song and make it great.

Pigfarmer Jr: The subtle effects are actually really awesome and had me intrigued from the beginning. The chorus is really my favorite part and is what stands out in this song for me. The vocals seem to be getting eaten by the guitar in the verses, I found myself turning the volume up and down cause of the fluctuations. Vote..I like it!

Wreck: I love when songs open up in a way that tells a story which I think it does here. I thought the vocals could have fit better in your mix so play around with it. Towards the middle you kind of lost me but the song is all in good fun. 2:06 is when I started really enjoying the chorus and was digging how it picks up towards the end.

Cory A.G.: Is there any reason why everyone spells my name with an "E"? It doesn't bother me, just wondered why :)
I honestly started recording this last minute a day before the deadline. There are some timing issues that drove me completely nuts but ran outta time. I think I need to re-evaluate how the acoustic guitar fits into this mix and try and fill in some empty spaces.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby j$ » Tue May 09, 2017 1:54 pm

coryag wrote: ,,, i'm having a hard time understanding much of the lyrics.


Well, listen harder, then ;)
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Tue May 09, 2017 5:10 pm

coryag wrote:Is there any reason why everyone spells my name with an "E"?


It's not our fault you spell your name wrong. 8-)
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby coryag » Tue May 09, 2017 10:20 pm

:mrgreen: it's totally not. It's legit how it's spelled. :P
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby jast » Wed May 10, 2017 8:01 am

I'm writing these reviews on my phone because I'm recovering from a hip operation, am not at home and can't sit too long. I hope you guys appreciate my sacrifice here...
I'm listening on my phone with cheapish in-ear headphones so don’t expect me to notice too many details.

Cor(eee)y A.G.: aside from being somewhat drawn out and repetitive, I like this. Nice arrangement but could use some bass. The tracks don’t quite sync up in a few places and some of the strumming is a little arrythmic, both of which detracts a little from the overall thing. Finally, the vocal pitch is a little ambiguous at times and it’s quite daring to do an a cappella intro that way. Quite listenable but won't go on repeat.

Johnny Cashpoint: I like the arrangement and structure. I'm not so excited about the bog standard angry-at-the-world lyrics. My main issue is with the vocals which are rather muddy – lacking in vocal foundation and so missing the edgy element in the sound that would, incidentally, work much better with these lyrics. This is a problem particularly in the doubled vocals which are pretty hard to understand as a result.

WreckdoM: well. Cool arrangement, though some of the bass playing is perhaps a little too loose. I found the spoken samples somewhat annoying at first but they grew on me. Some of that may be because of the other vocals which hardly convey a melody most of the time, though it does sound like there’s supposed to be one. Given a few short segments that sound relatively decent I can only conclude that you phoned them in.

The F. U. Milburys: nice clean mix. Unobtrusive, unremarkable composition, gets a little boring for me after a while. You might benefit from varying the arrangement a little more, particularly in different sections. Vocally, don’t continue on this path, it’s a dead end and you’ll always be fighting to not have your voice wimp out.

Pigfarmer Jr: fake vinyl noise sounds fake. I like this but I think it suffers in the execution. Having this much more reverb on the guitar than on everything else makes for a rather weird soundstage. The strumming has a tendency to hurry a little at the end of each chord. The vocals are a bit buried during the chorus. It sounds like you’re letting yourself get distracted when the pitch goes up during the verses and your intonation suffers. Relax, this is not even close to a high pitch! Focus on the mood when performing and you’ll be fine.

Jan Krueger: I rushed this one a bit because I had time in hospital coming up. Almost all of the instruments are recorded in one take, except for a measure or two in one of the electric guitars in the second chorus. I even left in a wrong note in the bass. The vocals in the final version are from the seventh take, give or take. I did maybe three sets of takes for the background vocals for up to seven parallel tracks. The drums are fake, everything else is undoctored.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby j$ » Wed May 10, 2017 8:58 am

jast wrote: cheapish in-ear headphones so don’t expect me to notice too many details.


Johnny Cashpoint:... bog standard angry-at-the-world lyrics ...
I would say you may have missed the point but a combination of cheap earphones and muddy vocals may well contribute to the nuances, such as they are, not being picked up. Suffice it to say, I find it hard anyone could take entirely seriously a character celebrating the imminent destruction of the world because it at least means he'll be spared having to love anyone ... but maybe that's just me

The rest of your review, i can agree with (though don't know what vocal foundation is, sounds terrifying). Ta!

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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby jast » Fri May 12, 2017 1:40 pm

j$ wrote:
jast wrote: cheapish in-ear headphones so don’t expect me to notice too many details.


Johnny Cashpoint:... bog standard angry-at-the-world lyrics ...
I would say you may have missed the point but a combination of cheap earphones and muddy vocals may well contribute to the nuances, such as they are, not being picked up. Suffice it to say, I find it hard anyone could take entirely seriously a character celebrating the imminent destruction of the world because it at least means he'll be spared having to love anyone ...

No, I definitely missed the point, because I did read the lyrics before reviewing. It wasn't that clear to me that the end of the world was being celebrated. On the other hand I'm not sure you picked up the traces of making-fun-of in my lyrics, either. :)

(though don't know what vocal foundation is, sounds terrifying).

It's pretty straightforward, actually, but hard to get right. I did need quite a bit of help myself to figure it out (and I still don't have all of it figured out). The basic idea is this: singing requires a pretty well-balanced level of air pressure through the vocal tract (the vocal folds need about the right level of pressure or they won't vibrate well, or not at all). When most people try to sing, the balancing happens in/near the vocal folds, tightening up all kinds of muscles in the area to slow down the air flow. This is not the most effective way of regulating pressure: it can become painful at medium-high pitch plus it has a tendency to create extra turbulence in the air flow, making air pressure rather unstable so that you don't get the full vibration on your vocal folds and a lot of timbre disappears. The air is best and most easily controlled at the diaphragm (if you keep your torso straight and your chest lifted up, that's the only way left to breathe). It's like inflating a balloon... you can do that at any speed and typically the control and pressure comes from the diaphragm. Once you figure out how to do the same when singing, and getting rid of the other tension (which is often hard to even notice if you've never experienced it any other way), you're basically half way there.

That on its own would be too easy, though. The other important bit is the shape of the upper vocal tract, everything above the vocal folds. For ideal resonance, it should have a funnel shape: narrow near the vocal folds and gradually expanding on its way up. Any irregularities in this shape, again, cause turbulence in the air flow and mess everything up. Most people have pretty much no experience with managing the shape of the part of their vocal tract that's above the vocal folds.

Some pictures and sound examples: https://completevocal.institute/complet ... technique/
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby jast » Fri May 12, 2017 2:12 pm

More feedback now that I can listen and type properly:

Cory A.G.: put more effort into putting the pieces together and lining things up. This is all a little slipshod. Also you might be able to keep more interest by varying the power level and arrangement a little more, though I guess the style is a bit of a limiting factor on that here. Generally the pacing and use of emphasis could probably be improved. Side note, it's totally allowed to cut off silence/noise at the beginning of your mix. :)

The F. U. Milburys: now that I can focus a little better I'm immediately hearing Blue Velvet, too. Except Blue Velvet does it way better: it's shorter (the material in the song isn't enough for four and a half minutes, though a later version does hit the mark by adding a drawn out boring solo); Bobby Vinton sings more fully which gives him a lot more vocal manoeuvrability and so helps keep things interesting; there are more elements in the arrangement (choir and glockenspiel, notice how both are not used throughout but to accentuate). You went for a noticeably lower BPM, too, which only serves to make the monotony last longer. Don't get me wrong, all of the instrumentation is very competently done, it just doesn't hold my interest at all.

Johnny Cashpoint: the doubled portions of your vocals are suffering mainly from your singing softly. I understand you were going for a certain effect, but this soft stuff ruins vocal clarity unless your takes are really, really tight and you spend a fair bit of extra time in the mix. Personally I usually fix this by adding a normally sung take or two, pan it centre, and then level it out and high-pass it so that it improves clarity without becoming too obvious.

Pigfarmer Jr: I'm liking the reverb on the guitar, I just think you may want to add a little more to the vocals (not as much as on the guitar, but still something, and ideally very similar or identical reverb parameters otherwise) to make it fit better. Unfortunately all of the elements in the mix are competing for the background, there's no clarity. If you'd like a second take on this, send me your raw tracks and I'll make a new mix along with a few notes on what I did... I won't be doing a lot in the next few days, anyway.

WreckdoM: the electric guitar/flute sections seem poorly balanced in terms of EQ. There's a lot of noise/high frequencies but without any presence, some bass, and the rest is just all over the place. The slap bass sections work much better for me despite the vocal weaknesses I mentioned before, but they're still missing presence.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby freff » Sat May 20, 2017 7:38 am

So if you write a tune with a I - iii - chromatic slide to ii, it's automatically Blue Velvet, and the arrangement ahould reflect that.

Got it.
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby Lunkhead » Sat May 20, 2017 11:37 am

Congrats to Jan Krueger!
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Re: Something More Than A Drop In The (Ocean of Love Reviews)

Postby jast » Sun May 21, 2017 1:15 am

Thanks, Mr Lunkhead!

freff wrote:So if you write a tune with a I - iii - chromatic slide to ii, it's automatically Blue Velvet, and the arrangement ahould reflect that.

Well, I know simply saying "reminds me of" is not terribly helpful, but that's why I included the rest: your arrangement and development is boring considering the length of the song, trace similarities to other songs or not. I used "Blue Velvet" as one example of how to avoid that, but of course problems tend to have more than one solution. Reading that as "do everything in exactly the same way as some other song does it" is your choice, not mine.
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