Return on "All Cause of You" listing

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Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by bigbluebarry » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:54 am

MODERN POP/HOT AC SONGS a la "All Cause Of You" by The 88 (opening song for "You Me and Dupree" are needed by the Music Supervisor for an Independent Feature Film. Sonically, the tone should be fun with a compelling groove. A current-sounding arrangement is a must, with positive and upbeat lyrics. Think adventure, finding romance, exploration, etc. Only submit uptempo songs for this listing! Broadcast quality is a must, as they won't be re-recording your material. Think comedy-romance-adventure in terms of the overall tone of the underlying soundtrack. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Mar. 21, 2008. TAXI # S080321MPHere's the song:When I Look At You - http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... am=1Here's the critique:Music, Lyrics, Marketability, Arrangement, Production, Engineering, Lead Vocal - all got a 7Musicianship got a 6You have a very sweet voice & these melodies are well crafted to me. Nice melodic lift in the CH as well as a fairly focused HK (altho for me it's 'you make me feel brand new' as opposed to the title phrase). This has a pop sound & vibe, esp w/your vox, but the instr. perfs. are making this sound more like a demo than a master quality trk to me.Style: On target for this listingsomewhat close; a bit of a quirky pop vibe, a la The 88Overall CommentsBarry, I just wanted to reiterate here that I think this is strong songwriting . And, in general, I think this is a very 'pitchable' lyrical theme for film/TV scenes, whether it be this listing or others. And with the sweet tone to your voice you can pass for modern OR retro pop, which is a positive, too. However, before this could be considered a master quality trk in my opinion, you'd have to raise the quality of your instr. perfs. to that of your voice. A really solid effort tho !!The main reason(s) you were or were not forwarded for this listing is:A solid effort, esp since this is a very well written song w/a sweet, pop lead vocal perf. However, for me, the instr. perfs. make this sound close to a song demo than a master quality trk ready to be placed 'as is' in film scenes.Let me start off by saying that I'm not the vocalist on this song, that would be my co-writer, so major props to him. I guess I'm a bit confused as to why he would say "strong songwriting" and "very well written song w/a sweet pop lead vocal perf." but only give them a grade of a 7, especially if the "musicianship" was holding the track back that much. I realize that a number system on that is somewhat arbitrary but I would think there would be a larger degree of separation between the scores. Oh well, that's just my math brain kicking in I guess.I guess my question would be relating to the comments regarding the instrument performances making this sound more like a demo than master quality. Is the reviewer saying that the actual playing I did sounds like a demo, or that the parts that I played sound like a demo, or that the track as a whole just doesn't sound up to par. I, personally, feel like the actual performance, as far as being played in key and with a click, are fine, but if my ears are out of whack, someone please feel free to point out places that I'm wrong. As far as taking it from sounding like a demo to being a master quality track goes... I don't have the funds to go out and hire people to cut tracks for me. Instead, I'm taking that money and investing it into gear so that I can learn how to do this on my own. I know have A LONG WAYS to go to get up to Master Quality but I'm gonna get there. I'm too determined not to. Here are a few steps that I'm planning on taking, not necessarily in the order listed. 1) Upgrade my mic-pre's (currently Digirack 003) and add an outboard compressor unit2) Purchase Waves SSL 4000 plug-in3) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE4) Invest in better mic's5) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE6) Continue to learn from others who've done this longer7) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICEAny advice, especially from you veterans out there, on how I could take this song from Demo to Master Track quality would be GREATLY appreciated.sincerely,Big Blue
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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by rld » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:47 am

Hey Barry,I got a return on this also...http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... ream=trueI think your song is very close.I'll say that as I listen to yours, what sticks out is the panning.The guitar is in the center and gives the songs a crowded, mono feel to me.Now when your bridge kicks in at 2:05 notice how everything opens up and the mix comes alive.If you study the a la song by The 88, you'll see they start similar to you but pan the guitars left and right which creates a bigger sound.I think if you re-mixed your tune with some creative panning, maybe add another git in the chorus, a little brighter eq on the guitars, your song would sound much bigger.Just some ideas.

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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by bigbluebarry » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:55 am

thanks for the suggestions RLD, I'll have to give that a try. I thought I had panned the guitars L/R at the beginning, but perhaps I didn't. I've learned quite a bit in between the time I submitted the song and when I got the results. I checked out your song. Very nice! Why did they say it didn't get forwarded? Sounds like you captured the vibe they were going for to me.
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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by rld » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:02 am

I got high scores and good remarks...The screener thought it was leaning a bit more towards classic pop, a la Jellyfish, than modern pop. I probably made it too happy and upbeat, which they asked for, but I can see it going either way for this listing.I'll just save it for another day.

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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by marcblack30 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:52 am

Wow, these are both great tracks. I'm really suprised that these were returned.

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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by daniel481 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:25 pm

Yeah, the main thing I hear that's keeping it at demo quality is the sound/panning of the guitars, and also the drums. When you're using drum loops/drum programming, it's really easy for them to end up sounding mechanical. They're accomplishing their job of keeping time on this, but they're lacking variation and liveliness. If you would add in some extra crashes, some more small fills, and maybe some open-to-closed high hat flourishes it would make a big difference. Another thing to be real careful of is repeating the same fills/transitions over and over. You want to try to make it sound like a drummer is actually playing as much as possible, and simply throwing a couple of loops up just won't really cut it when you're going for a live drum sound. Unfortunately, the drums on here do scream "demo".As far as the actual recording quality, the raw sounds aren't bad. Sure, better pre-amps might make a bit of a difference, but the 003 preamps really aren't bad. I've done a whole bunch of professional stuff on them and have been able to get a really fat final sound. And plugins like the SSL Line are great, but it honestly won't dramatically improve your sound right out of the box; they're more subtle changes that will come over time as you master how to use them. So, before you invest too much money into new gear, I would spend a lot of time practicing (like you mentioned!) mixing with what you have. Because, like I said, the raw sounds have potential. Critically listen to professional mixes in your style, and then try to match them as much as you can. Over time, I've found that that has helped much more than any piece of gear. So yeah, I would try some of that stuff with the drums, work on polishing up the mix, tackle that practicing you mentioned head on, and this could be broadcast quality in no time.HTH!Dan

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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by bigbluebarry » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:18 am

hey Marc and Dan, thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. I did end up purchasing the Waves SSL 4000 plug-ins, I got it for below 50% of retail so I couldn't pass that up. And you're right, it makes more subtle changes out of the box, though I will say that the Master Bus Compressor by itself out of the box makes a noticeable difference on my final stereo mix. I think one of the areas I'm struggling with right now, in addition to learning how to mix in general, is that I'm wanting to submit to as many Taxi listings as possible and I'm afraid in my effort to get the quantity up, I'm sacrificing a bit on the quality. Each time the listings get updated, I go through and pick out the ones that I either already have stuff for, or ones that I should be able to write something for, in a reasonably short amount of time. But I think I may need to trim it down even more and really focus on making sure that the songs I am getting out there are as top notch as I can do. Here's the latest song I did. Stylistically, it's a 180 from the original song in this thread, as well as it's an instrumental.Blood Inside Me - http://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_ ... ream=trueI spent more time on this one than I have any other one I've done. It still has room for improvement, but I think it shows progress. At least, I hope it does
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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by daniel481 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:36 am

I went through the exact same thing when I joined. In the first two or three months, I think I submitted about 60 different pieces of music thinking that I was knocking 'em all out of the park and would have deals in no time...only to find that most of my stuff really wasn't that good So, I slowly started to go for quality over quantity. Now I try to only go for the styles that I know I'm stronger at, and I spend more time on each of them. So, even though I'm doing less, the forward ratio ends up being higher, and it seems to work a lot better overall. It can be hard to slow down because the thought of deals and forwards is so tempting (not to mention wanting to make sure you get your moneys worth), but it's worth it!I can't check out the new track right now, but I'll let you know when I do.Oh, and have fun with the SSL plugs!Dan

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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by simonparker » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:14 am

Dear Big:I would have given 8's on your submission. Independent film or not, it's a high bar listing, and depending on what's asked for, it's very difficult to score higher.I would have to agree with other posts here. Just a bit of work on the mixing, and panning could bring out a bigger sound. If you have a little more $$, there are places on-line that will have a real drummer play to your click and that might help a bit. Otherwise, humanize the click any way you can.I would definitely get the SSL from Waves, I demoed them and then bought them a day later. Completely awesum!!
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Re: Return on "All Cause of You" listing

Post by bigbluebarry » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:27 am

With the comments about the drumming, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm actually a drummer. I was trying to stay simplistic since the reference song had a simplistic drum part. I think to my detriment I tried to emulate the song too much. I just didn't put enough time in on the programming. Lesson learned.I actually played around with the mix some over the weekend, using the waves plug-ins and was making some major improvements. Practice pays off. I'll post an updated version of the song once I get the chance to spend more time on it. Probably a few weeks away as I'm in the middle of tracking a Christmas album right now.I really do appreciate all of the constructive feedback I've received. This aspect of the Taxi membership has been an unexpected treasure chest of knowledge. Very encouraging.- Big Blue
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