Production is my bane

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tresero
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Production is my bane

Post by tresero » Thu May 23, 2019 6:20 pm

I've had some forwards, but all my returns are production. Part of that is I'm 58 and ears aren't what they used to be for mixing. But, I also think that when you leave the box of traditional (i.e. American/Eurocentric) tunes, things go haywire.

I recently submitted this tune for this listing.

MINIMALIST COVERS of PUBLIC DOMAIN CHRISTMAS INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a successful International Music Licensing Company with worldwide distribution through BMG!

They’re looking for Mid-to-Up Tempo Instrumental Cues that would fall in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the following examples:

O come, O come, Emmanuel (Piano/Cello) - The Piano Guys

Silent Night (instrumental) - Piano and Violin duet

Quoting the Music Library: “We are looking for tracks that are minimalistic, sparse, and somehow simple. That does NOT mean boring, repetitive, or without evolvement. Please avoid sending solo pieces. We prefer to have at least two instruments in a cue. So if you have a solo piece, please add another instrument or two and send this new version instead.”

Minimalist like Steve Reich, Philip Glass, etc.? NO. Minimalist for TV, film, and advertising? YOU BET.

You’d be wise to submit Instrumental Covers that stay close to the original melody so that the piece is easily recognizable. They’re looking for Instrumentals in all genres, but your compositions should be performed on a limited/small number of instruments. Pieces should not feel huge or even big, and you should use as simple motifs as possible. Submitting overly busy compositions for this pitch could distract from a scene’s dialog.

All submissions should be around Two Minutes long (give or take) with non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings. Do NOT copy the referenced examples in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed.

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The feedback (and I'm sure in some ways my mixing chops suck, I grew up in the age of paying for studio time :) was:

This is highly fresh take on a holiday classic. The recording and mix could be improved a bit overall. The guitars are sounding a little bright and brittle. We are getting a more "harpsichord-ish" sound and I wish it had a warmer sound like you'd get playing close to the neck.

Overall the track could use some more bass presence of one kind or another.

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The problem for me is this isn't guitars (well their is some electric guitar on a melody), but Cuban tres. The lowest note is a G4, hardly a bass note in sight :)

Anyway, just wondering if my fondness for an ethnic instrument (it's happened before) is the issue or my mix really sucked that bad?

Thanks as always for your time.

https://jongriffinmusic.com/my-music/fi ... la-navidad

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CTWF
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Re: Production is my bane

Post by CTWF » Fri May 24, 2019 12:12 am

tresero wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:20 pm
The problem for me is this isn't guitars (well their is some electric guitar on a melody), but Cuban tres. The lowest note is a G4, hardly a bass note in sight :)

Anyway, just wondering if my fondness for an ethnic instrument (it's happened before) is the issue or my mix really sucked that bad?
I am not a mix person, but my guess is that the problem is more the instrument than the mix, given they did not know what it was. Also, the piano
only came in at the very and and for a very short time, which possibly is not what they meant by "two instruments". So, re bass, maybe introducing
early on a deeper piano part could have helped. And the other thing is, you could have told them either in the title or in the "lyrics" what instrument
you used to give the screener the right perspective (if they care to read). Another thing would be, to introduce early on another "ethnic" instrument,
e.g. percussion, to set the stage right, to get a "Cuban" sound right from the start.

Not an expert at all, but these are my thoughts. :) Nice piece!

Tom

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Re: Production is my bane

Post by andygabrys » Fri May 24, 2019 2:03 pm

The tres is similar to a mandolin in texture, and somewhat similar in range. I.e. higher range.

It sounds like you recorded it direct through a pickup. Generally that's not going to help things. Its convenient but you have a much better chance of leaping over the broadcast quality bar if you use a mic to record it. That's what the "brittle" comment relates to.

When they say bass - develop the cue.

Add a nylon sting guitar after the first section playing lower notes. Or piano lower notes. Something simple but something that adds a little depth.
Add an actual bass of some kind playing at least root notes as the piece progresses.
You could also change the octave of the melody in some parts - like playing on a steel string or nylon string acoustic down an octave.

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Re: Production is my bane

Post by tresero » Fri May 31, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks everyone! I'll post an update. Since there isn't a need now, it will be a while. And sorry for not seeing this. For some reason I never got the notification email.

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