Ears Please

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FreddieK
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Ears Please

Post by FreddieK » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:52 am

New to Taxi since June this year. Submitted a few tracks and have received no forwards yet which is a bit discouraging. I wanted to see if any of you would give my tracks a listen and offer some feedback and advice - good or bad - on what I need to do to improve the quality of my tracks. Thanks! :)

Also, don't know if this is the thread for this question, but when trying to play Taxi songs on my iPhone via the Taxi website, it says to use Flash Player, but I don't think you can use Flash Player on an iPhone. Any suggestions?

https://www.taximusic.com/hosting/home.php?userid=69590

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: Ears Please

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:23 am

Hey Freddie

Well it depends on what Listing you submitted them to, maybe if you could pick a couple and post up the Listing and tell us which track you submitted ? Otherwise it's hard to know what the screeners are after.

Did you have any feedback from Taxi ? I listened to a few and the ones I heard had a stiff kinda midi vibe, which is what the listings always say to avoid. Not sure what you're using for your sounds but some of them seem like they could use updating too.

Did you check the Taxi blog as they list the Forwards for each listing, you can often find them with a bit of Googling and have a listen to compare to your own. See where the bar is.

To be able to play them on your iPhone unless you wold need to enable downloading and do it that way.

Hope that helps

Mark

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Re: Ears Please

Post by FreddieK » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:40 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:Hey Freddie

Well it depends on what Listing you submitted them to, maybe if you could pick a couple and post up the Listing and tell us which track you submitted ? Otherwise it's hard to know what the screeners are after.

Did you have any feedback from Taxi ? I listened to a few and the ones I heard had a stiff kinda midi vibe, which is what the listings always say to avoid. Not sure what you're using for your sounds but some of them seem like they could use updating too.

Did you check the Taxi blog as they list the Forwards for each listing, you can often find them with a bit of Googling and have a listen to compare to your own. See where the bar is.

To be able to play them on your iPhone unless you wold need to enable downloading and do it that way.

Hope that helps

Mark
Did get a bit of feedback from Taxi ... mostly just said wasn't right for listing.
My sounds are mostly from Kontact Komplete Ultimate and Superior Drummer
Want to get all the opinions I can to help me get better! :)
Thanks for your input Mark! :)

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Re: Ears Please

Post by andygabrys » Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi Freddie,

Mark had some good feedback.

I hear some of the same things - this is what I can say considering the sounds you use. Everybody uses Komplete Ultimate and Superior Drummer (or variations of the same). The difference between those that are successful and those that aren't is really producing skillfully.

this is what I would look at:

1) Make great arrangements - Like it or hate it, something new happening every 4 bars really helps make a piece move. If its a faster tempo, maybe every 8 bars. If its really slow, maybe every 2.

That's more difficult with a solo piano piece, but easy with a motown or Meters funk kind of thing. That also doesn't mean totally NEW - doubling a rhythm, or a melody, or a chord with some other texture or sound, or even moving from a more sparse to a more dense rhythm can be enough. If its a pad sound, just moving a couple notes of the chords up for the next section can add some drama

2) make things rhythmically clear - If you hear 3 or 4 rhythmic clams in a short listen, you are going to need to go in with a magnifying glass and make things closer to on the beat. That might be ironic because as Mark said, the SD drums are a little mechanical because they just play those patterns. But if everything else doesn't agree, or if the pattern doesn't really work - its going to sound off. I heard a few instances where entrances of instruments need to be tightened up.

3) make things harmonically and melodically clear - there are a couple examples in your pieces where you have made choices that lead my ear to a different place than where you went.

E.G.

Summer Serenity - at 0:28. You have F-, going to G7 (which lead my ear to expect C- as the next chord) and then Ab, to Bbsus.

If you were looking for the smoothest sound, I would go F-, Eb/G, Ab, Bbsus. Its a slight difference, and things that sound a little ambiguous may or may not throw the listener or screener off.

4) make your mixes sound "broadcast quality" - relative balance of instruments needs to be similar to a commercial recording in the same style.

Reverb on instruments and vocals needs to work together. If its a vintage sounding guitar amp some spring verb can help, but experience will tell you how much to put on to make it sound Motown instead of a surf band.

Orchestral (or dramedy) arrangements need to have believable room and reverb sounds too. Strings might be more ambient - woodwinds have space on them too, but they can't have so much sauce that they sound 300' away.

Instrumental and vocal sounds have to be produced in an appropriate manner for the era and genre of the music. That means that the default kit in SD 2.0 or SD 3.0 although they sound amazing - isn't the best choice if you are going for a Motown type vibe. Check out Stevie Wonder's drums on "Uptight". Or maybe if your piece "Going all out" was after more of a Meters type vibe - check out Sissy Strut or something like that and cop those sounds.

experience will tell you whether or not to copy the panning in older styles.

When using virtual instruments, explore the difference that the velocity of each note makes. Your piano piece could use the softest velocities to get a certain sound, and some notes do stick out to me as being loud. Like the downbeat at 0:28 - its really out there.

sometimes you need more velocity differences to make things sound right (some funk lines on sampled bass guitar) and sometimes you need less (pounding 8th notes on a rock tune on a sample bass guitar).

The main thing you need to do to transform what you are doing right now to something that gets forwarded is:

A) listen to those whose music gets forwarded as Mark suggested on the TAXI blog, or by listening to the soundcloud or website offerings of more successful members, or even google the big production music libraries and listen to their catalogs (the ones owned by major labels would be a good place to start) - get a better idea of what other people are doing and how they do it.

B) start using references when you record and mix your productions. Have something that sounds good. Try to recreate that vibe with your own musical ideas. There are many ways to do it - the Magic AB plugin makes things pretty easy to reference back and forth.

Try to avoid buying a bunch of new sounds unless you truly can employ the stuff you already have in a skillful manner. When screeners say "update your sounds" it usually means "use the sounds you have more skillfully, in a better production, that is closer to what could be broadcast today". This applies to both virtual instruments and mix plugins.

Thats my take. Hope that helps.

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Re: Ears Please

Post by jonnybutter » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:16 am

Hey Freddie,

That is a large slab of excellent, very usable (and free) advice from Andy, who knows what he's talking about.

I don't think you can use Flash Player on an iPhone. Any suggestions?

No, you can't use Flash on your iphone. You need to download the tracks and then listen via HTML5, or set up a mirror site with tracks not using Flash (i.e. HTML 5).

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Re: Ears Please

Post by mikehamm123 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:17 am

andygabrys wrote:this is what I would look at:
that was a lot of good stuff to chew on!
Mike

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Re: Ears Please

Post by FreddieK » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:41 am

andygabrys wrote:Hi Freddie,

Mark had some good feedback.

Thats my take. Hope that helps.

Andy - thank you so much for taking your time for giving me such detailed, relevant feedback! I really appreciate it and it definitely helps me understand better.

I'll definitely be using your nuggets of experience and wisdom to make my tracks better.

I had a chance to listen to your tracks and can hear in your tracks the feedback you gave me. I hear a high quality in your tracks.

Hopefully I can incorporate your advice and improve my quality!

Thanks so much!
Freddie K

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Re: Ears Please

Post by FreddieK » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:42 am

jonnybutter wrote:Hey Freddie,

That is a large slab of excellent, very usable (and free) advice from Andy, who knows what he's talking about.

I don't think you can use Flash Player on an iPhone. Any suggestions?

No, you can't use Flash on your iphone. You need to download the tracks and then listen via HTML5, or set up a mirror site with tracks not using Flash (i.e. HTML 5).
Thanks for your advice about the Flash Player! :)
Freddie K

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Re: Ears Please

Post by FreddieK » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:43 am

mikehamm123 wrote:
andygabrys wrote:this is what I would look at:
that was a lot of good stuff to chew on!
I agree 100%!
Freddie K

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