I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

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I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:14 pm

Please critique this song. I keep thinking I am doing good in writing these tunes as fast I can. I write them after I see the listing but something is not right. Or I am just one unlucky guy. I play out every weekend, a semi-working musician and I have played and recorded with top musicians and pretty much I have been able to do most styles. As I get asked to fill in all the time for several other bands. Anyways rip this apart on me. Please critique it and tell me what it needs to be better. I still think it is silly to write music for a commercial without seeing the commercial first but hey what do I know, I got a few forwards but no real bites.. Here is the song it is called Our Fun in the Sun an instrumental for a commercial........... Please be very critical because I really need to hear it. Thanks in advance. I thought this was going to be easy and well after simplifying and changing what I was doing this particular track I thought would be one that I would get a bite with. But nope.

Our Fun in the Sun http://www.taxi.com/32mediagroup
Last edited by AudioNYNJA on Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is wrong with this song? Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:06 am

Would be better if you could post the Listing and the reference tracks then we would know what you are aiming for.

At the moment I've hearing some good funk/pop ideas coupled unconvincing drums and some sloppy playing in parts with a not stellar mix. It's a touch on the repetitive side too. If you could fix those you might have something

But post up the listing

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Re: What is wrong with this song? Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:20 am

First thanks for responding I need all the help I can get so yea let me know what to do to make this song better. A better mix but I need a little more guidance than that, does it need more low end? Or is it too muddy, Please let me know thanks.
Here is the listing.
Y180408GD

FUN, GUITAR-Driven, POP INSTRUMENTAL CUES are U-R-G-E-N-T-L-Y needed for an (up to) $8,500, Direct-to-Ad-Agency placement in a National TV Commercial for a Food Company. Send them Mid-to-Up-Tempo Cues that would fall within the general stylistic range of the following references: “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEPTlhBmwRg “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” by Katy Perry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlyXNRrsk4A “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjVNlG5cZyQ Although the references have vocals, please submit Instrumentals only for this pitch. Please submit guitar-driven Instrumental Cues that have a fresh, fun, feel-good vibe that puts you in a summertime frame of mind. Be sure your Cues are rhythmically and melodically engaging, and have an emotionally upbeat sound with catchy melodies, rhythmic beats, and cool sounding ear-candy through-out. Build your Cue around a central melodic theme, while adding and removing layers of instruments as your piece progresses to create forward momentum and dynamics. Having a developmental “arc” that builds as the piece moves forward is a really good idea! All submissions should be approximately 90 seconds long (give or take), and have a Non-faded ending. Please do NOT copy the referenced music in any way, shape, or form. Use it only as a general guide for the tone, texture, and vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine). The estimated license fee is up to $8,500, depending on the ultimate use. This is a Direct-to-Ad-Agency pitch. You’ll keep 100% ownership of the Copyright and Master Recording, but you won’t be able to license your Song for any other Commercials for the duration of the term of agreement, which will be determined by the Ad Agency and you. You must own or control the Master and Composition rights to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit as many Instrumentals as you’d like online or per CD. All submissions will be screened on a Yes/No basis - No full critiques. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PDT), on Sunday, April 8th, 2018. TAXI #Y180408GD
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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:01 pm

I think I might be invisible. I tried to get this song played on the YouTube channel but when I linked to it on the Facebook page it got messed up. Nobody reached out to me on Facebook and now I am asking for help on here. I just want to make my song better. I have heard people say they like Ozone software for final mixes. Any suggestions would really be appreciated. So far I got a not so stellar mix comment so that is a start but I need advice to fix the not so stellar mix. I guess I will look into the sloppy performance comment too. I was really hoping to get some feedback and learn how to make this a lot better. This is already a remix of a previous song but it still could use some work, something is missing. Any more suggestions are welcome. Please at least leave a comment so I know I am not invisible on here.
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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by Kolstad » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:29 am

Hi there,
Summer might be a little slow for feedback, but I listened and noticed a few things.

The references are very high bar pop productions, so Im thinking the bar will be equally high for the listing.

Your track sounds roughly in the ballpark, but it seems very guitar centric, and not so much on the other elements in the mix.
A challenge with pop is to make simplicity, elaborated. So equal attention is needed on drums, bass and mix candy (of which there is a lot of in pop, allthough there is a sweet spot to make it sound natural in the mix).

The first I hear on your effort is that the guitars plays nice things, but are mixed way to prominent in the mix. The next thing is that the drums sounds like a stock loop from a sampler, which is not really worked on. I dont feel the bass in the mix, probably because of the loud guitars and the unmixed drums. Also I felt that the track was very predictable, which is the danger zone in pop, because it is so simple, but youd want to use that as a backdrop to surprise the listener and hook them, youbdont want the listeners to go “yaaawn, exactly as expected”. I take it that you are not really into pop yourself, but just makes it for the listing, but I could be wrong of course.

So, I would start on the drums, separating the kick and snare from the loop, and make them sound like what you hear in the references for the listing, phat, snappy and dynamic. Then I would add bass, maybe something synthy (or both), and tuck it well with the kick, so you have a solid dance foundation. Then mix guitars, start low and mix them up underneath the dance pop foundation. Take out a lot of low end from gtrs, you probably shouldnt have much below 200hz, and brighten them. Your intro tone is pretty dark for light summer pop, which sets the mood wrong. Finally I suggest adding more synth hooks and ear candy, especially in the transitions between sections. All the references does that, and in inventive ways, which is idiomatic for pop. The listing says "Be sure your Cues are rhythmically and melodically engaging, and have an emotionally upbeat sound with catchy melodies, rhythmic beats, and cool sounding ear-candy through-out.", and to my ears, your track lacks some of that.

I suggest using the a la’s as reference tracks in your daw, and use them to continuously check your mix while working.

Hope it is a little bit helpful fwiw. It is very hard to give general pointers about this, as everything is relative to your vision and the context of the mix.

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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by cosmicdolphin » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:58 am

Kolstad has given a very good breakdown there, I couldn't really put it any better so I won't repeat what he said.

What I will add is the Guitars in the B section 32-47s are too sloppy..they stumble around 40s which is just a complete no go for me.

Also now I know what you were aiming for , yeah it's some way off. One of the best ways to zone in on what you need to do is really break down one or two of the reference tracks. Grab a notebook and a pencil and write down what's happening in every section.

i.e. Moves like Jagger ( taking that it's starts at the 1 minute point on the Youtube video ) ..so you got two bars of guitar with a whistled melody , next two bars add a beefy kick and a little vocal hook ( Oh ) ..then the vocal comes in but notice how the guitar is now filtered as he starts singing ..then the whistle comes back..then we get a synth added and we are only 30 seconds in.

If you analyze and write these things down there's probably a lot more going on than you think.

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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:39 am

Kolstad and Cosmicdolphin thanks for taking the time to post a reply with some advice. I really need to work on this stuff. I am usually writing and recording as fast as I can to finish by the deadline so I also need to do better with my time management to really get these improvements done. I will have to use this track as a reference and as a project to work on and try those suggestions. In my mind it’s background music for a commercial but I guess it still needs a way better production and a not so predictable flow. I have been simplifying lately because I use to submit songs that had too many sections as I was told. I don’t want it to be yawning. I have to check out that sloppy section pointed out too. I thought it was played a little different rhythm but I guess it clashes. Each guitar track is played twice so I thought it was tight. Might be clashing. This song did get forwarded but this is another mix of it. In fact 2 versions as I was mixing down running out of time I was submitting so two versions of this got forwarded. But no response after so I need to step it up. Thanks again.
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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:54 am

In case anyone wanted to see my first 2 mixes were Fun in Sun and Fun in Sun Too both got forwarded but since then I mixed it again as Our Fun in the Sun. So again any more advice is welcome. I must be on the right track because I can get a forward but I need it to be better. I need to get a response that’s my goal of course. Thanks in advance again.
Please help should I get Ozone software? I have a different approach probably when I write and record maybe it is my songwriting. I was told it’s a yawn. Ha. Please criticize and help me out. Thanks
Forwards for TAXI # Y180408GD

“High Life” – Chuck Henry

“Summer Moves” – Mark Johnson

“Hearsay (instr.)” – Johan Björk

“Pop Guitar Party” & “Living It Up At The Weekend” & “The Beach Party” – Andrew McNeil

“I’ll Toast to That” – Todd C Parker

“Funky All Nite” – Paul Armedariz

“I Caught You Winking” – Kit Grenon

“By Your Side VL90s” & “Ready To Fly VL90s” & “Moving On VL90s” – Stefano Tartaglia

“FuninSun” & “FuninSunToo” – Arnold Marfoglia

“Only You” – Braiden Wood

“You Make Me Feel Good” & “Bubblegum Love” – Christian Meyer

“Summer Dream” – Ernst S Svendsen

FUN, GUITAR-Driven, POP INSTRUMENTAL CUES are U-R-G-E-N-T-L-Y needed for an (up to) $8,500, Direct-to-Ad-Agency placement in a National TV Commercial for a Food Company.
You only live once. If you do it right once is enough.

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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by AudioNYNJA » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:26 am

I made another mix of the song it is called Our Fun in the Sun Too.
http://www.taxi.com/32mediagroup

http://www.taxi.com/32mediagroup

I may need to add more ear candy but I worked on the mix. Am I heading in the right direction? Please let me know. And Thank you for your help. Is it still sloppy? Let me know.
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Re: I honestly need your help. Please critique for me, I need to know what is wrong.

Post by funsongs » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:32 am

AudioNYNJA wrote:I made another mix of the song it is called Our Fun in the Sun Too.
http://www.taxi.com/32mediagroup

http://www.taxi.com/32mediagroup

I may need to add more ear candy but I worked on the mix. Am I heading in the right direction? Please let me know. And Thank you for your help. Is it still sloppy? Let me know.
Hi Arnold.
From the cheap seats, the mix sounds right-side heavy, with the guitar riff pretty much dominating the track.
Since it doesn't sound like it's intended to be a guitar solo, per se - seems backing it off, and balancing it with something else -
or, perhaps just lowering & centering it, would improve the overall spectrum of the music.
It sounds quite 'disco'/dance music to me; and the mechanical drums are approaching 'cheesy' - this opinion from an Old Guy who likes real, acoustic drums.

The fact that it got a forward means it was 'the right music' in the opinion of the Screener - and more often than not - 'the right music' trumps even high-bar productions.
So - congrats on that.

Hope that helps.
Last edited by funsongs on Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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