Some confusion with Screener critique

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jlevis6
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Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by jlevis6 » Sun Apr 24, 2022 11:20 am

Hello all:
I submitted this track for the following listing.
ORCHESTRAL DRAMEDY INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a Music Licensing Company with a HUGE list of placements in Films, TV Commercials, and A-List TV Shows.

NOTE: This Company has signed lots of TAXI members over many years and nailed down lots of placements for them!

This Company is looking for Instrumental Cues that could be found on a playlist with the following references:

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (From 0:59 - 1:55)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4XWN5cohTY&t=59s

RHOSLC Highlights S1 Ep6 (From 1:35 - 2:00)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vnwMR-VCKo&t=95s

"Sneaky Snitch" by Kevin MacLeod

Please submit well-produced Instrumental Cues that set the tone for quirky, light, dramatic scenes in Reality TV shows. Your submissions should have solid motifs and high-quality Orchestral instrumentation. Please craft your Cues around a singular motif and mood, and create a sense of dynamics and forward momentum by layering instrumentation in and out as they progress. Be sure to avoid submitting anything that sounds too busy, as it could interfere with a scene’s dialog. Your production should be polished and any virtual instruments or samples you use need to be top-notch.

Submissions should be about 2 minutes long, give or take, and have non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings. 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 the track

https://www.taxi.com/members/93-HgfxkQ7 ... d-skulkin-

the critique
I think you could improve this song by
This is good, although, with a cue structure, you want to stay on the "a" section throughout utilizing subtractive and additive composition. This has a "b" section at 0:51. For this request, try an alt-arrangement and maintain the "a" section and lessen the overall density of the instrumentation. Less is more for this request. Listen to the references and study the density of the instrumentation and the openness of the rhythmic phrasing.
and then:
I returned or forwarded this song because
The track has a good menacing attitude, although, it could benefit from a revision in the arrangement to get closer to the desired character style of arrangement referenced and requested in the listing.

One of the references "Sneaky Snitch" a great feel to it...and I think a similar level of activity in the mid to upper mids that mine does. It also shifts to g minor for a b section with a rather contrasting rhythmic schema-the second phrase in the b in the context of four measures of 4/4 is organized in groupings fo 3+3+3+3+4-thus a strongly contrasting B section. The B section is repeated. I find it a little frustrating when I am being admonished to listen carefully to the references and then being confronted with such a contradiction between the critique and the references that I am supposed to work from. Sneaky Snitch has disappeared from the link provided above so I found this as an alternative:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm0qaXi9THA
I am not, at this point arguing that should have been forwarded...I am sure people will weigh in what could be improved...would most welcome, actually..I just feel at times that I am at a a loss as to what to follow...I feel there is a disparity here..Lastly with two of the references-it is hard to hear the music underneath the continuous dialogue and the low level of the track being referenced.
any comments/criticisms welcome.
best,
jlevis6

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cosmicdolphin
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by cosmicdolphin » Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:55 pm

It sounds a bit harsh to return it for having a B section especially when they provide references that don't stick to that formula, however I've listened to the Refs and your track ( I have some Dramedy cues out there with placements but it's by no means my speciality ) and my overall feeling was whilst it's well written and put together it doesn't create the same mood as the refs.

Also for this listing 'm not 100% sold on the orchestration...feels a bit too" dark/heavy " to me. They are asking for tracks for quirky / light scenes...this is more Nightmare Before Christmas type vibe. Slightly scary and comedic.

So I think it's a good cue, but it's not the right cue. I think you'll figure it out before too long though, I always think these types of cues have a more childish nursey rhyme like quality. Yours is more scary bedtime story.

Also don't forget to put some edit points in next time.

Mark

jlevis6
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by jlevis6 » Sun Apr 24, 2022 4:31 pm

Thanks for the good feedback and criticism...I appreciate the specificity in the critique that I sometimes find lacking in the screenings...I often see stuff that is copied or repeated verbatim...
The point you make about the "scary bedtime story" is really something I can use...
thanks again,

jlevis6

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irthlingz
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by irthlingz » Tue Apr 26, 2022 6:34 pm

1) "Please craft your Cues around a singular motif"

2) "Use them [the refs] only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe."

When you see this, stick to a singular motif, even if the refs don't. Use the refs only as a general guide for tempo, tone and over all vibe -- not structure.

===
Michael

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Casey H
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by Casey H » Wed Apr 27, 2022 3:44 am

I agree with cosmicdolphin that this cue has too much of an ominous character for the "Real Housewives" type of dramedy cue asked for. I hear underlyings of dramedy ideas but it doesn't stick to that feel. I think it could be edited into something lighter, more dramedy if that's what you want to do with it.

Best,
:D Casey

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Paulie
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by Paulie » Thu Apr 28, 2022 8:06 pm

Something I learned at a Taxi rally was that the references are provided to help define the overall feel for what they customer wants, or at a minimum what Taxi thinks they customer is trying to describe. (often Taxi is left guessing based on lame, ambiguous input from their client).

The thing that stuck out to me during this Rally session was that you should try to find the commonalities between the references provided and shoot for that. Listen to mood, to instrumentation, to volumes, to theme and variations. Find out what's common among all three references. Sometimes there is very little, but shoot for that nonetheless.

Long ago I gave up on trying to copy form from references... screeners don't listen to the references at that level of detail. They are listening for mood, genre accuracy and overall mix with current sounding instrumentation.
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

jlevis6
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Re: Some confusion with Screener critique

Post by jlevis6 » Sun May 01, 2022 3:53 pm

Thanks to all of you!

This is terrific feedback-the commonality thing is a great incite-I did commit the error of focusing in on the track that I thought was the best of the three. It is kind of like what a manager will tell the pitcher when he is in a jam...."don't walk him and don't give him anything to hit".....I have found it a challenge to fill this kind of request, as a product, something that is manufactured, in a way..It does seem that the screeners are not spending their time dealing with the details that I was listening for....the particular thing about the b sections was glaring in my opinion inasmuch as it really stood out in one of the references..The feedback in these forums adds clarity...and that is one of the best things about belonging to TAXI!

again, much thanks

jlevis6

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