Critique only a 5 on Engineering

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Susanstunes
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Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Susanstunes » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:23 pm

Hi everyone I am brand new to Taxi and submitted my first song and got a critique which I understand well and got a lot out of except don't know why engineering was given a 5 - it was recorded in a professional studio. Any thoughts? Listen here:


https://soundcloud.com/user-287596640/change_rev1-1

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Russell Landwehr » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:19 am

Hi Susan.

Welcome to the Forums! :D

This kind of question would probably get noticed better in the TAXI Review Station or Peer to Peer sections here in the Forums.

I'm hearing two things in this that could have got you that 5. First, in the vocals there seems to be quite a few microphone "pops" on the plosives. Specially when the vocals say a "P".

The other thing is the "pedal thump" on the piano. If this is a real piano then the engineer probably should have placed the microphone in a different spot. If this is a Virtual Piano (sample based), then the amount of "pedal thump" should have been turned down because it is distracting. Still, I've heard solo piano pieces used on TV with WAY too much pedal thump in them (in my opinion). Pedal thump is one of my pet-peeves and I probably would have knocked some points off as well. (if I were a screener... which I'm not... I just second-guess them in the Forums :lol: )

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Susanstunes » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:45 am

Thank you kindly Russell! That helps. Susan

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Len911 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:23 pm

Well first of all, wow, I was seduced by the song, it sounds pure theater imo. I was wondering what Broadway show it came from ;)

A 5 is medium, middle, average, if it was judged on the way the song was tagged, folk, ss, maybe so, for theater though maybe a few stage sounds and it gets a 10? I don't know,lol!
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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Susanstunes » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:57 pm

I'm glad you liked it! I am not going for theatre style but maybe I should write a musical ! I think I need to study ss style cuz that's what I want to do.

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by andygabrys » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:29 pm

HI Susan,

I am not sure if I would get too worried about a 5 in engineering - if you look at the form it has only 2 categories that relate to mix / recording: engineering, and Production. So look at those 2 categories together.

Which part of that related to how a song is recorded? Hows its mixed? How the overall song fits a certain style (which has a lot to do with the mix)?

I listened to your song and it was instantly reminiscent to me of Joni Mitchell. Not necessarily the voice, but the general setting with the piano answering the vocal.

So: try to have an objective listen to your song vs. the piano based songs off the "Blue" album - like "my old man".

Specifically listen for how clear your voice is above the piano, vs, Joni's compared to her piano.

I am hearing some wooly sounding low midrange on yours that could have been attended to during the mixing phase, which would have made it sound a little more "produced" even for this minimal style. If you didn't do the mix yourself then this is a comment to take back to whoever mixed the piece. Even very simple recordings of two parts can be worked on to sound a bit more produced.

Hope that helps!

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Susanstunes » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:06 pm

Thanks very much Andy that is quite helpful. Your thoughtful comments give me so much to think about! I wonder tho is that JM style halfway marketable in 2016?
Susan

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by andygabrys » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:14 pm

Susanstunes wrote:Thanks very much Andy that is quite helpful. Your thoughtful comments give me so much to think about! I wonder tho is that JM style halfway marketable in 2016?
Susan
I don't know for sure Susan.

I would say that if TAXI is running a listing for folk tunes that had ref artists like Blue-era Joni I would say that indicates that there is a hole in the publishers available offerings in that style.

Like for example - there is one company that works with TAXI that specializes in actual period recordings from times gone past. They don't want newly created productions that sound vintage - they want actual tunes produced in those eras with copyright dates to prove it.

So the JM style might be used less than a "contemporary pop tune" in a modern TV show, but older styles to get used when appropriate.

You would know from the listing text that you submitted this one to. If a client of TAXI's runs a listing like that it means they want that style. And if you can nail that style you can make yourself very useful for those types of uses.

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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by mojobone » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:47 am

Speaking just about the recording, here, not the song, which is pretty cool, and definitely has a Joni vibe.


The vocal is drier than the piano; both are missing some air, at least to my ears. The vocal doesn't seem to be in the same room as the piano, but the mix balance is otherwise excellent. On balance, this kinda sounds like it was recorded in the seventies, on all analog gear; the difference is that back then they probably woulda recorded a little brighter, to fight trebles lost through multiple tape and stamper generations.

This might be down to your engineer/mixer's personal style, or how(s)he likes to hear things, or maybe their monitors/room are a little too bright; If I were given this to master, I'd add more than a touch of 'lift and sparkle' processing, EQ and maybe even some harmonic exciter. If I were engineering on the session, I probably would've chosen some brighter microphones. Possibly, the mics were bright enough but your guy or gal rolled off a little too much top end or maybe a darker-sounding compressor wasn't compensated for; there's lotsa ways this can happen-sometimes mixers get ear fatigue and overcompensate for it, but on the whole, it's not terrible, which is probably why it got that "5".
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Re: Critique only a 5 on Engineering

Post by Susanstunes » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:50 pm

That is great to hear all that info from educated ears. Makes sense to me what you said about the dry vocal and sounds like its in another room, etc. I'll bring it up with the engineer guy. Much appreciated feedback! Susan

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