Could I please have a second opinion on this review

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valybogdan
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Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by valybogdan » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:28 pm

Hello everyone, I have been a taxi member for about 6 months, got my share of rejections (which is fine, by the way, I know there is a process to anything). I have been writing music for a long time, but mostly classical/concert works (I only started to dabble into music production a couple of years ago). Normally, I try to look at each rejection as a learning opportunity, and I have a certain ambivalence about posting, but I do want ask for some opinions about this review which I was quite disappointed/confused about. It was in response to the following submission.

Here is my track: https://soundcloud.com/alentinogdancomp ... anian-bash


Lots of UPBEAT, CELEBRATORY BALKAN INSTRUMENTALS are needed by a leading Music Licensing Company for a bunch of ongoing placements that will air on Middle Eastern-themed TV programs and Documentaries. They could air anywhere in the world, not just the Middle East! This company is distributed internationally by Universal Music!

NOTE: We previously ran this request as TAXI Listing #S210425BK, but the Company didn't find what they were looking for. If you submitted to listing #S210425BK, please send different material this time around.

TAXI Tip: Want to be a standout with little competition in a particular genre in this company's catalog? Here's your chance! Less competition = More possible placements!

This Company is looking for Instrumentals in the general stylistic ballpark of the references below we got directly from them:

"Casablanca" by Fanfare Ciocarlia

"Hermetico" by Balkan Beat Box

"Band of Gypsies" by Taraf de Haidouks + Kocani Orkestar

"Lule Lule" by Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra

Although some of the references have vocals, please submit Instrumentals only for this request.

Quoting the Company: "We'd love to hear tracks that are upbeat, rhythmic, positive, mischievous, and energetic."

Please submit top-notch Instrumentals with authentic-sounding Balkan melodies, rhythms, and arrangements. Your submissions can have a range of instrumentation, just be sure that they're in the same general range of the references. Please be sure that your production and any virtual instruments or samples you use are super high-quality and not stiff or dated. If your Instrumentals could get the party started, send them in!Your submissions should be around 3 minutes in length, give or take, and definitely no shorter than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings will work best. Do NOT copy the references in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.
Here is what I got back:

I like the live sound, the melodic content, the thematic content, and the upbeat festive feel.
I think you could improve this song by
Some of the same notes here, I like the ideas and the live sound, but the execution needs to be a little tighter and this needs more build/instrumentation/layers as you progress.
I returned or forwarded this song because
This stays in the same place throughout. It needs a tighter execution, more layers, and more build going into a more dramatic ending.
It was reject due to: mood off target and "could have had a better arc)

I was a bit disappointing, not because of the rejection but more so the comments: I felt that this was in my ballpark, I am of Eastern European descent and I have been playing Romani and folk music since I was a child. What I don't understand is the following: what do you think Tighter execution mean? I did not use a click track (if we are going for the Eastern European band feel, no band would use a click track). Also, form any of your prior experience, what do they mean by an arc? Is it something that we artificially should add in any of our compositions? Some music (such as the Balkan tunes, are inherently repetitive, and I didn't feel like that approach would fit here? It was funny, I submitted a 2nd song and I have gotten back a similar review, with the same exact reasons for rejection > While I completely understand that much of our business is subjective, I do want use my Taxi membership to learn as much as I can. Thank you everyone for your time, best wishes to you all.
Last edited by valybogdan on Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by cosmicdolphin » Mon Jun 14, 2021 2:09 pm

Link does not work

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by valybogdan » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:03 pm

Hello. Thank you for your reply. Please try this link if you can, and let me know what you think.
Thank you

https://soundcloud.com/alentinogdancomp ... anian-bash

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by Telefunkin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:47 am

I would certainly not claim to have any knowledge or experience in this type of music, but What I hear is some 'looseness' in the timing where the players are not entirely together. Slight timing inaccuracies can help to give a nice live feel and add to the energy, but there are places here where the playing is just a little too 'loose'.

I like the way the various instruments take their parts in turn, but if I flip between 1:22 and 2:32 (for example) the track sounds exactly the same. That might be fine for the band when playing live, but a sync editor could loop and repeat that section themselves if they need to, so offering different variations every time is more desirable. In doing so, you can also offer different intensities by layering fewer or more different instruments, such that an editor has lighter material to begin with but could allow it to build to match video content progression, or to cue a conclusion at the end of a video segment. If you think about these things they probably explain the screener's comments about build, layers and development arc. Just my thoughts though.
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing.

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by valybogdan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:09 am

Thank you for taking the time to respond, I appreciate you taking the time to give some input.

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:36 am

valybogdan wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:28 pm
what do you think Tighter execution mean?
The timing is sloppy and the groove seems to lurch around , I don't get that feel from the references so although they aren't metronomic they are still all in the pocket.
valybogdan wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:28 pm
I did not use a click track (if we are going for the Eastern European band feel, no band would use a click track).
Obviously the bands in the don't need one, but I feel your track would have benefited. A click track does not have to mean it sounds robotic or if you prefer you could play to a real drum groove from somewhere and use that as a substitute metronome. Lumpy feeling sloppy tracks are not very licensable.
valybogdan wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:28 pm
Also, form any of your prior experience, what do they mean by an arc? Is it something that we artificially should add in any of our compositions?


Essentially the track needs to take the listener on a bit of a journey which means it needs to constantly change / evolve and not just repeat itself. Doesn't matter if the real bands play the same thing for 5 minutes, we are here to provide options for a music editor on a TV show and they need variety.

See this thread for more info of avoiding repetitiveness topic146048.html

Mark

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by valybogdan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:43 pm

Thanks for the input.

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by Paulie » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:57 pm

This is a very fun and regionally accurate piece of music, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ve been to Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece. I would certainly raise a glass to the band playing in a local pub playing this. :)

Speaking from a music library/producer perspective, in most cases the bar is a little higher as far as musical execution goes. Here are some notes I took while listening:
  • the drum that enters t 0:13 is very loose, not a solid rhythmic performance.
  • At 0:39 the playing is out of time, sounds amateur.
  • The bass seems to be rushing a bit, it causes the feel to be a little unstable.
  • The keyboard riff at 1:21 is a little sloppy, could be more confident and in time.
  • The melody around 1:39 is also a little sloppy Same at 1:52
  • The ending sounds a little rushed.
I would also add a little reverb, it seemed a little dry to me. Again, a fun piece and I appreciate the ethnic authenticity. I think what got you most was the musical execution. If these are all midi instruments you might consider quantizing it a bit, perhaps around 80% strength, and see if it tightens up a bit.

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Paul "yo paulie!" Croteau
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." Beethoven
http://www.yopauliemusic.com | https://www.taxi.com/members/paulcroteau | https://soundcloud.com/yopauliemusic

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Re: Could I please have a second opinion on this review

Post by valybogdan » Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:36 pm

Thank you for your input, I appreciate you taking the time.

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