Quote:Hi, I've just been a reader of the forums until now, as I've noticed something odd and I guess I just want to rant a little.So anyway, I've gotten back 2 batches of critiques from TAXI so far and I've noticed something very odd about them. This is not an issue of low scores or returns either, let me explain. First, as you know, looking at the critique sheet the elements rated going from top to bottom are Music, Lyrics, Marketability, Arrangement, Production, Engineering, Musicianship, Lead Vocal. So in that order is how I will give the score numbers for each critique.First Batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism" and "In Embryo".The Exorcism scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8.In Embryo Scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8......anyone else see the similarity's here? Its a perfect match, score for score...coincidence I thought...moving on.The Second batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism", "In Embryo", and "Olivers Wake". This time The Exorcism scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.In Embryo Scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7....Olivers Wake scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.....Do you guys see it? HOW does each song for each separate critique get the exact same score? The first critique featured 2 songs with the exact same score as each other....the second critique featured 3 songs that all had the exact same score as each other? Am I the only one to find that strange?Also, something else I found quite odd. Let's look at the second batch of critiques. This critique really pissed me off which is why I waited till way later tonight to write this, as it gave me some time to cool off, but let's forget about the things I disagree with for a second because a critique is just a persons opinion after all, and everyones in titled to one right?OK, The exorcism I recorded around May or so last year. I'm always learning new recording tricks and methods every time I go at it, and I've learned a fair amount more since then. Olivers Wake was recorded in February this year. As such alot of extra steps have been taken that haven't on the other songs such as having all frequency's below 60 Hz removed, and having all DC offset removed before Mastering. I also had gotten tons better with compression and using Limiters and Quad Compression. Theres a whole slew of things that have been done better in the mixing but the bottom line? The audio quality is much better in Olivers Wake then The Exorcism, yet they have the same score for Production and Engineering. It's not small differences either. You can hear the difference on a regular CD player, but if you listen using a proper pair of Mixing head phones or Monitor Speakers there is a HUGE difference, especially with the bass. The bass in The Exorcism is kind of muddy and not well controlled, while in Olivers Wake it is very tight and punchy WITHOUT muddying up the mix even a little as it's very balanced.Also, in the first batch of critiques The Exorcism got an 8 for both production and enginering....concidering that Olivers Wake on the second batch is actually better quality wise, I find a 7 and a 6 to be...well it just seems wrong to me.If your tired, take a break, I'm not done ranting yet....I've gotten many critiques from various places such as www.songoftheyear.com
and some other people in the industry from music seminars and such, anyway, the one thing I've always done well with in critiques are Melodies and Originality. They are usually both 9's and 10's, which is why the second batch of critiques really pissed me off. Let me explain my situation here.For a relevant example, let's look at the overall comments from the first batch of critiques from TAXI."Hey Will, your songs feature interesting and unique musical and melodic parts. The vocal delivery suits the material well. The musicianship is solid, the production sounds good. Both songs could be made more accessible (especially on a first listen) by giving the listener something to hook onto, e.g., some repeating vocal lines. It could also be a good idea to try and move away from the root note of the songs throughout. I wish you good luck with everything".OK, it's a nice critique, I'm happy with it. The main thing to take from it is the fact he pointed out "unique musical and melodic parts", AND, the fact that I don't repeat vocal lines. I do NOT do verse chorus verse, and I usually vary up the musical parts as well. I structure my songs like a movie, rising and falling to reach a final climax and conclusion. I use alot of time signatures, I record the strangest kinds of ambiance from scraping on the walls to kicking doors, whatever I have to do to come up with something original and atmospheric. I get docked points and singled out for being unconventional in almost every critique (all except the second batch from TAXI mentioned above) in the arrangement particularly, but its OK, and I understand that its unconventional and doesn't fit into the mainstream...but thats partly why I do it, it makes it different, it makes it fresh, and I take great pride in my ability to do that.....and ya know, I don't mind losing points for it as long as the originality is recognized. This is also the same reason that the second batch of critiques pissed me off so much.On the second batch, this guys Overall Comments were: "Will, you have done a good job of establishing & defining the compositional dynamics & at adhering to the hard rock genre requests of the listing throughout all 3 songs that you have submitted. That being said, I feel that the music is to similar in both it's design & presentation to Tool. There are so many bands that try to sound like them & while the listing mentions them as a reference they are looking for material with more stylistic originality"So...Tools the only band allowed to structure their songs in design outside of verse chorus verse? Are they the only ones allowed to use time signatures? Because orchestras have been using time signatures since the beginning...thats like saying "Hey!, U can't have reverb in your song cause Jimmy Hendrix used that on one of his", and guess what? Almost EVERY band is doing verse chorus verse...so my structures are to much like Tools because their...different? I spent the last 6 years finding my sound, experimenting with everything imaginable to make something original, and that originality has been recognized on several critiques, 2 of which came from TAXI itself (First batch), but apparently, having a different structure/design makes me like Tool, because Tool is also unconventional...should I just go and chop up my songs into cookie cutter designs now?To be completely honest, my first impression when looking at the second batch of critiques was that the reviewer must have been a big Tool fan, and was offended that someone else had gone out into uncharted territory, and then had a bias to critique me with. It's funny cause Olivers Wake had all 8's and 9's from www.songoftheyear.com
, was praised for it's originality, got me an honorable mention, and scored a 9 for marketability with the closing notes:"This song has huge market potential and is well worth the effort to clean up a few items. Get busy promoting this song as soon as possible!"And yet, my second batch of critiques from TAXI, the reviewer gave it a 5 for marketability....Now, I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm blaming TAXI, just one reviewer, but while I'm here, I have a few questions about the service after being a member for about 4 months now. That second batch of critiques I got, I received on June 22nd...yesterday. That critique was for a listing that had a deadline of May 10th....OK, so it was late, it happens, things get swamped, I understand...so why can't the critiques be sent through email? I have the feeling I read that they can be sent through email if your a member of band-jam, maybe I'm wrong..but if so, why is it I have to be a member of band-jam to get my critiques emailed to me when the membership to TAXI is $299.95 PLUS submission fee's? Hell, the critiques could be done up in word pad, even www.songoftheyear.com
sends out the critiques by email and they get hundreds to thousands of entries each month (and no $299.95 membership fee). What happened to "You Finally Have Friends In the Music Business"..Im sure none of my friends would make me pay them an additional 30 bucks a month on top of a 299.95 membership fee just to send me a critique. I can understand not being able to send songs via email as it would take some pretty big expensive servers for TAXI to offer that, but little critiques in wordpad I think TAXI can handle.Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I love the concept of TAXI, and I've seen little blurbs of different ways that TAXI is trying to improve the service. I'm just wondering why the small but important things like emailing all critiques without additional fee's is not part of the service improvements.Lastly, a scary thought. TAXI is made up of top professionals within the industry, professionals that scan everything and send the best on for a chance for some kind of success in the music business right? To have credibility, TAXI A&R are tough scorers and they only forward the best because thats what keeps the credibility right?Well, as you all know and can see from my rant here, the reviewers opinions are often very conflicting and subjective. Getting forwarded by TAXI seems to be hard enough, because our musics getting graded just like it would be at an actual established label (TAXI is made up of the best of the best after all). So weather we have good music or not, we have to find JUST the right reviewer that will be impressed greatly before it is forwarded. So it gets forwarded....now you have to luck out and have it reviewed by someone else, and they have to feel at least as good about it as the TAXI reviewer did before you actually get signed...which is going to be hard considering how conflicting most music reviewers opinions are. One might love it, another like it but not enough to sign it. It'll be hard to get 2 picky people to love it. It would kind of be like winning the lottery twice.Anyway, thats my rant. It's long but, it's everything that I never wrote and wanted to since joining, Just had to get it all off my chest. Thanks I don't see the point of this post unless you give us a chance to listen to your work and make our own judgment as to whether you have been treated fairly or not.All I see are three links for Song of the Year.Are you working for them!