Why would you not forward this?

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by gregorym » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:39 am

SteveAlton wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:49 pm
I'm thinking TOP GUN on this......

Sounds great
Thanks Steve!

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by JDM » Fri Sep 20, 2019 10:29 pm

Ted wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:36 am
What were the screener's full comments?

I was gonna chime in earlier but I'm still somewhat green as a producer and wanted to see what someone else said first to see if I was thinking along the right lines. What Kolstad wrote was pretty much what I was thinking. The mix sounds a bit muddy and sounds too far "back" with not enough presence-- likely because of the reverb. Because of this it sounds kind of garbled and "lo-fi" to my ears.

Which is a shame because I also agree that you nailed the genre and this is a very good composition. I was going to say this song really has a nice "Airwolf" vibe to it-- and I liked the many little modulations sprinkled through-- which were tonal hallmarks of that genre/era. It really triggers my Pavlovian nostalgia for the 80's.

It really sucks when we get a return for a production issue on a track that has great compositional/performance elements. Over the summer I worked really hard on a "surf guitar" track for a listing. I thought "reverb, reverb, reverb" and when I got the return there was no comment on the song itself but rather a terse "muddy sounding-- too much echo to be of use for this listing" remark. That was one of the hardest returns I ever got-- and the one that was almost the straw that broke my Taxi back and made me want to quit. I worked my butt off on that track. Then it pissed me off even more when I finally listened to the songs that got forwarded for that listing and half of them were more country than surf. :evil:

Don't let it get you down. We all get robbed sometimes-- even if it's the producer side of us robbing the composer/performer side of ourselves. You know there will be more listings for that same style-- heck that listing was a rerun of a previous listing (because they got a lot of music they wanted.) So go back and remix the track and have it sitting in the can for the next opportunity-- which WILL come-- because it's a sweet track!
Ted, how does one listen to the songs that got forwarded? I've always wondered about being able to do that. Thanks! John

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by lesmac » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:39 pm

The culprit a lot of the time is too much stereo information robbing the mix of clarity whether its generic reverb or the patches themselves which seem to be loaded with width and delays to make them sound 'sexy'.
Your track speaks better to me through a single speaker.
I've heard quite a few pros recommending using mono instances of synths or samples etc.

I have found even if I didn't agree with what a screener has said it still points to the fact the track needs improving in some form or other.

Jump onto something else then come back with fresh ears. Its a good track, you can make it better.

Best

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by Ted » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:51 am

John, go to a search engine and type in “Taxi forwards blog” and you’ll see all the tracks that got forwarded for each listing. Sometimes there’s a few days lag for them to appear but it’s a fantastic gauging resource to see how your own stuff stacks up to what other people are doing.

You can only listen to the tracks that are publicly linked on Taxi— so some of them in the forwards blog are private and you’ll only see the name of the artist and the track— but you can usually hear half or most of the forwarded tracks. It took me forever to even realize this blog existed—So don’t feel like you’re the only one who never knew about it. Haha.

Bingo to what Les posted. It’s not just necessarily reverb but an accumulation of a lot of the extra sweeteners in certain synth patches that can gunk up the mix and bleed all over the other parts.

My first track that just got a deal was maybe one of the quickest projects I ever did. I had an idea sitting in music memos for a while waiting for a good opportunity. But I slept on that listing and didn’t even prepare anything and the deadline passed. Then because the computers at Taxi were having issues, the deadline was extended for one extra day and I had to go for it. I did it in an hour and a half— I kept the mix super pure and barely did anything to it— mostly because I wanted to hurry up and submit something then get out of the city and go for a sunset drive out to the sticks. I’m glad I did. Otherwise I probably would have tried to overproduce it and I might have mucked it up.

So the lesson I took away from this was the famous “keep it simple, stupid!” mantra I sometimes hear around here. Maybe when I become a better producer I can get away with playing more angles in a mix but I think the best thing, for me, is to try to just keep the composition as pure in the mix as I can.

Also this reminds me—I was recently watching a video lecture from a famous producer (I can’t remember who) who was answering a question about doing EQ and mixing and he said something like “if you get a project that is already very well arranged, then there is very little EQ/mixing/ effects work that needs to be done,etc”. This is very true!

So being a novice producer, I really try to do the best I can with my arrangements first. This maybe isn’t that pertinent to the OP’s track— because I thought it was arranged well— but it’s just something extra that I thought of because it does make a lot of sense.

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by cassmcentee » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:23 am

15 seconds of repetitive Intro will start the Screener's ears towards a negative response
You would have had to hit them with something stellar afterwards to steer them back towards a positive

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by gregorym » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:29 am

cassmcentee wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:23 am
15 seconds of repetitive Intro will start the Screener's ears towards a negative response
You would have had to hit them with something stellar afterwards to steer them back towards a positive
I can agree with that. Thanks Cass!
This one goes in the cue graveyard. :D

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by gregorym » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:50 am

lesmac wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:39 pm
The culprit a lot of the time is too much stereo information robbing the mix of clarity whether its generic reverb or the patches themselves which seem to be loaded with width and delays to make them sound 'sexy'.
Your track speaks better to me through a single speaker.
I've heard quite a few pros recommending using mono instances of synths or samples etc.

I have found even if I didn't agree with what a screener has said it still points to the fact the track needs improving in some form or other.

Jump onto something else then come back with fresh ears. Its a good track, you can make it better.

Best
Thanks Lester! Your ears are spot on. My mix needs work. I was just confused at the screener's comments, but I can agree that the track needs more work. I did use a stereo widener on the bass patch, and there was a phaser on the patch that plays the ostinato. I should have taken off the phaser. In listening to 80's themes, they are quite dry. I got to figure out how to make the VST use mono for my synth sounds, and samples. Anyone know how to make Native instruments go mono? I know it can be done, but I haven't figured it out yet. Specifically, the Acoustic Strummer is in stereo. I didn't use Acoustic Strummer in this track, but I've been trying to figure out how to put that VST in mono for 10 weeks now. (sigh goes here).

This track goes to cue graveyard. :D I hope it becomes a zombie and haunts the screener. HE HE HE. Just kidding, but perhaps a science experiment is in order with these melodies. Reverse engineer the DNA of this piece and it lives again!

Thanks a lot man. I really appreciate the feedback you and others have given.

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by gregorym » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:00 am

Ted wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:51 am
John, go to a search engine and type in “Taxi forwards blog” and you’ll see all the tracks that got forwarded for each listing. Sometimes there’s a few days lag for them to appear but it’s a fantastic gauging resource to see how your own stuff stacks up to what other people are doing.

You can only listen to the tracks that are publicly linked on Taxi— so some of them in the forwards blog are private and you’ll only see the name of the artist and the track— but you can usually hear half or most of the forwarded tracks. It took me forever to even realize this blog existed—So don’t feel like you’re the only one who never knew about it. Haha.

Bingo to what Les posted. It’s not just necessarily reverb but an accumulation of a lot of the extra sweeteners in certain synth patches that can gunk up the mix and bleed all over the other parts.

My first track that just got a deal was maybe one of the quickest projects I ever did. I had an idea sitting in music memos for a while waiting for a good opportunity. But I slept on that listing and didn’t even prepare anything and the deadline passed. Then because the computers at Taxi were having issues, the deadline was extended for one extra day and I had to go for it. I did it in an hour and a half— I kept the mix super pure and barely did anything to it— mostly because I wanted to hurry up and submit something then get out of the city and go for a sunset drive out to the sticks. I’m glad I did. Otherwise I probably would have tried to overproduce it and I might have mucked it up.

So the lesson I took away from this was the famous “keep it simple, stupid!” mantra I sometimes hear around here. Maybe when I become a better producer I can get away with playing more angles in a mix but I think the best thing, for me, is to try to just keep the composition as pure in the mix as I can.

Also this reminds me—I was recently watching a video lecture from a famous producer (I can’t remember who) who was answering a question about doing EQ and mixing and he said something like “if you get a project that is already very well arranged, then there is very little EQ/mixing/ effects work that needs to be done,etc”. This is very true!

So being a novice producer, I really try to do the best I can with my arrangements first. This maybe isn’t that pertinent to the OP’s track— because I thought it was arranged well— but it’s just something extra that I thought of because it does make a lot of sense.
Thanks Ted! Lester has really good ears. You see what really got in the way here is me. I did the production. The composition is from a couple of friends work from the 90s. I defend their contributions, I really can't defend my mix though. I'm a newbie. Learning. Tinkering. It's great. You guys make me happy again.

Time to forget and repeat. Repeat without the mistakes from last time.

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by lesmac » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:33 pm

Thanks Lester! Your ears are spot on. My mix needs work. I was just confused at the screener's comments, but I can agree that the track needs more work. I did use a stereo widener on the bass patch, and there was a phaser on the patch that plays the ostinato. I should have taken off the phaser. In listening to 80's themes, they are quite dry. I got to figure out how to make the VST use mono for my synth sounds, and samples. Anyone know how to make Native instruments go mono? I know it can be done, but I haven't figured it out yet. Specifically, the Acoustic Strummer is in stereo. I didn't use Acoustic Strummer in this track, but I've been trying to figure out how to put that VST in mono for 10 weeks now. (sigh goes here).

This track goes to cue graveyard. :D I hope it becomes a zombie and haunts the screener. HE HE HE. Just kidding, but perhaps a science experiment is in order with these melodies. Reverse engineer the DNA of this piece and it lives again!

Thanks a lot man. I really appreciate the feedback you and others have given.
Hey my ears aren't that great man. I've just researched stuff on the net, then tried it myself and thought, okay that sounds like a thing. It's really handy having a single mono small speaker to flip over to check mixes on, like a lens that focusses everything right down. Good for eq and balancing. Stereo is nearly a cop out in that you can seem to separate sounds without really working at it but the focus of what is speaking in the track can be lost.
Percussion panned wide can be a distraction if too much is going on at once. The analogy of a mix being like a play is good to keep in mind, too many actors talking at once...

I'm not sure about Kontakt and mono. You could use a third party plugin to collapse the audio to mono. Pro tools has mono instrument tracks but I'm not near the studio atm. I did a quick google and saw a few threads where people are asking the same question.
I have noticed in some busy mixes of mine that mono instances of synths haven't flooded the mix like stereo would.
+1 to what Cass said about first impressions.

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Re: Why would you not forward this?

Post by cosmicdolphin » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:28 am

I thnk you had the right idea is just wasn't very well executed / produced.

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