S240204EM - HAPPY, EMOTIONALLY UPBEAT POP INSTRUMENTALS with HORNS

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WSAO
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S240204EM - HAPPY, EMOTIONALLY UPBEAT POP INSTRUMENTALS with HORNS

Post by WSAO » Tue Feb 06, 2024 5:21 pm

Hi guys,
Please help me to understand and improve in future listing. I sent 2 songs for this listing:
HAPPY, EMOTIONALLY UPBEAT POP INSTRUMENTALS with HORNS are needed by a globally distributed Music Licensing Company that has a lot of success landing TONS of Major Network placements every year.
This Company is looking for Instrumentals that are in the general stylistic ballpark of the examples below:
SCHEELS Commercial
"Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man
"Valerie" by Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse
Please submit well-crafted Pop Instrumentals loaded with happy, emotionally upbeat energy, hooky melodies, danceable, upbeat rhythms, and dynamic arrangements with forward motion. Instrumentation that's in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the references will work best (think horns, guitar, drums, bass, etc.). Please make sure that any virtual instruments or samples you use are high quality, realistic, and not dated-sounding.
Your submissions should be about 90 seconds to 2 minutes long, give or take. Non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings will work best. Do NOT copy the referenced material in any way, shape, or form. Use it only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Do NOT submit any material with unauthorized samples of any other artists’ music, sounds, or any other form of media. Broadcast Quality is needed.

2 songs were sent to this listing and the reference used was the first one:
SCHEELS Commercial
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOZq-viT6DE

First song I sent:
https://www.taxi.com/members/WJQg0yIBTr ... 240204em_1

Critique:
What I like most about this song
Fun Swagger and Soul track. I like the blend of Rock, Pop and Funk. I like the heys. Cool horns.
I think you could improve this song by
This is fun and energetic. But the virtual sounds are a bit too stiff and demo sounding. The mix could be more polished as well. Revamp your production sounds.
I returned or forwarded this song because
Could have stronger virtual sounds and a more balanced mix.

Second song:
https://www.taxi.com/members/WJQg0yIBTr ... 240204em_2
Critique:
What I like most about this song
Another fun Swagger and Soul track with Marching Band and Surf Rock flavor. Cool quirky 60s flavor.
I think you could improve this song by
As with "S240204EM_1," this is fun and energetic. But the virtual sounds are a bit too stiff and demo sounding and could use a revamp. Needs to be warmer and more organic.
I returned or forwarded this song because
Nice potential. Just could be more polished production / virtual sounds wise.


Any advice in regard to the mix? It doesn’t sound bad when I listen to it, in the car, or headphone, I tried to match the reference and a TV commercial sounding and it was even mastered for this propose but I understand mixing is a personal choice sometimes and what sounds good for one is not good for another but I’m open to any suggestion.

But this part of the critique was odd:
“virtual sounds are a bit too stiff and demo sounding and could use a revamp. Needs to be warmer and more organic."

The only VST in the songs I sent is the drums and is normally quantized, the same way the reference was, all the rest is true guitar, bass, saxophone and trumpet played by musicians, no VSTs at all. So, I’m kind of confused by this…
Thanks.

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Re: S240204EM - HAPPY, EMOTIONALLY UPBEAT POP INSTRUMENTALS with HORNS

Post by minoruchan » Wed Feb 07, 2024 2:41 am

Thanks for the share

I think it's a very good truck.
The VST drums don't seem like a good sample for this track to me.
I quantize the drums at 60% or less. If there are notes that are in the wrong grid, I manually correct them. My collaborator is a drummer, so most of the time we play live...
Brass instruments have a good sound, but clients would find it better to mix them with a warmer sound.
In the case of brass, if you emphasize too much high notes, it can sound like a synthesizer, so you have to be especially careful. The trumpet is a particularly prone instrument.
Don't let the client think it's an imitation, even if it's played by a real player.
When we have a trumpeter in the studio, we ask him to bring another instrument with a different character than his main instrument.
This is because when the same player plays harmonies on the same instrument at a high position, it can sometimes sound like a synth.
If the same tenor saxophone were to play harmonies in a lower position, we would have him play by switching reeds and mouthpieces.

Compared to the reference, I think the overall mix is harder and lacks warmth, and the way the brass is processed is different.
The screener may have given a very harsh review, but since the song is intended to be used in a top business, I think it's better to take that review into consideration.

The critiques you share from the screener will be very helpful to us. Thank you very much.

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Re: S240204EM - HAPPY, EMOTIONALLY UPBEAT POP INSTRUMENTALS with HORNS

Post by WSAO » Sat Feb 10, 2024 6:25 am

Sorry for late reply Minoru, very busy around here.
Great inputs, thanks for your contribution.
In case of quantization, when is pure rock, blues, jazz, etc.. I agree to have a more relax and natural grid, but for pop, advertising, most of the songs are 100% quantized. In this case the reference from what I could get is 100% quantized.
Even the trombones are so perfect align that sounds electronic.
In regards the high notes for trumpets, I think your suggestion is really helpful to avoid them sound too perfect like a synth.
Anyway, it's a shame that a song with potential can't be "fixed" to that listing anymore.
Thanks again!

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