Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issues?

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euromantix
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Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issues?

Post by euromantix » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:09 am

Hi all, I hope to get your feedback to see if you agree with Taxi's recent review of the song I co-wrote and published, called 'Stay For Life':http://www.taximusic.com/stream/166889/ ... 3Unbeknown to Taxi, this song was released 12 months ago on an album by platinum-selling artist Andy Abraham. You can buy this song right now in most record shops or on iTunes. Those from the UK will know Andy Abraham was the runner up in The X-Factor (the original of the franchise also known as American Idol etc. around the world), represented the UK on his own at the Eurovision Song Contest in front of hundreds of millions of TV viewers last year, and was signed to Simon Cowell's SonyBMG for 3 albums, which all went either gold or platinum.Without knowing the song has already been commercially released, or that he is a platinum-selling and much loved singer, or that MSN Music reviewed this song as 'the strongest song on the album' when they reviewed the record, Taxi reviewed the track as follows.I would first take this opportunity to clarify that I am not quibbling the suitability of the 'style' for this listing, which may have contributed slightly to it being rejected, but I am quibbling over the other points which seemed to make up the majority of the rejection comments, and I feel therefore the reviewer makes it clear that these were the 'main' reasons for the rejection:S090408SS: SINGER-SONGWRITER SONGS a la Matt Nathanson, Howie Day, Sara Bareilles, etc., are needed by an established Music Publisher in L.A. who has secured TONS of Film/TV placements for many TAXI members. All tempos will be considered. Solid performances are necessary and recordings need to be Broadcast Quality (excellent home recordings should be just fine). Male or female vocals are just fine. They offer a non-exclusive, 50/50 split deal - you keep your original copyrights. Please submit one to three songs online or per CD. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Wednesday, April 8, 2009. TAXI #S090408SSReview:yes this is a pop ballad... but is aligned more with a retro vibe and sound. As well there are some pitch issue in the vocal performance that must be addressed and therefore this song does not quite fit for this listing.Style:not in keeping with the artists mentioned in this listing (i.e. Matt Nathanson, Howie Day, Sara Bareilles)Overall Comments:The main focus here is on 2 issues. First, updating the overall feel of the track. Trying to enhance the quality of the instrumentation used to feel less synthetic and project more soul and professionalism would help a lot. [This was commercially released on an album].As well, the vocals must be spot on to get a forward for TV/Film as there cannot be any off notes. There are some issues with your pitch throughout the tune which is something you must rectify to obtain forwards for listings like this one that deal with TV/Film. good luck.Sound Quality:track feels quite small and synthetic. probably need to address the sounds you are using.The main reason(s) you were or were not forwarded for this listing is:the style is off and the vocal needs attention with pitch issues.What concerns me greatly is that Taxi are saying that a song that is good enough for a commercial album release by an artist who has sold hundreds of thousands of records, is not good enough for forward to one of their Film/TV libraries.Do you agree with their review, that this commercial release by a great singer has "tuning issues", "off notes", "issues with pitch throughout the tune", and that the instrumentation is "synthetic" and does not "project ... professionalism"?

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by billg » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:33 am

I can't comment on the production and/or instrumentation aspects as I really don't know what's cool as it relates to the genre, but I don't hear the pitch issues.I can promise you though that you'll find people who will (hear the pitch issues), and that's because unless a voice has been treated with some method of "auto-tune" there are very few people who sing with absolute perfect pitch.The degree to what is acceptable is getting smaller, maybe it's due to all of the artificial ways there are make vocals perfect, I dunno.I have had returns for "pitchy" vocals and have had the same songs forwarded with comments like "heartfelt vocals help move this track forward" etc. it would seem that vocal pitch or tuning issues would be beyond the subjective but that's just not true. All I can think of is that there are varying thresholds of acceptance when it comes to this.

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by felix » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:17 am

I had many returns lately. Although the overall comments on the songs were great and encouraging. Some of the comments even say the songs are actually "hits". But because they don't sound current enough they can't be forwarded. I know there has to be a certain standard in quality and execution of a demo and I believe most of us deliver that standard. Nevertheless we are making demos and not productions in order to present our songs. I think 'euromantix' song is a great demo. It says it all and it leaves creative space for the producer to do his work. - Felix

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by rld » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:31 am

I think the point, if I understand correctly, is that euromantix song is not a demo but a commercially released finished product that is included on an artists album.I think the version he provided here sounds great and I don't hear any "pitch" issues.Its a bit disconcerting when issues like "broadcast quality" and "vocal pitch" become subjective. How is one to improve on something when you cant trust the judgment of a screener?

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by toddt » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:40 am

"Pitch issues" may have an element of subjectivity, but surely not in the same way as "good" or "bad". And I don't hear any pitch problems with this recording at all.Bearing in mind it probably wouldn't have been forwarded anyway because of the style-miss, maybe send an email to Taxi A&R directly ( http://www.taxi.com/abouts/contact.html ), asking for clarification of the comments.

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by hummingbird » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:53 am

Can you post the listing?
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by aubreyz » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:18 am

A couple of things... first, just because something is commercially released by a "platinum" artist doesn't by default mean it is great. Second, it certainly doesn't mean that it would fit a listing if off target.Also, just for the record, though he's been signed to Simon Cowell's label for three albums, this was independently produced. Honestly, though this is a decent recording, I've heard better quality from some people around here who have home studios.The intro sounds very midi and boxy. By midi, I mean it sounds quantized, stiff and sampled. The lo-fi drum loop kind of adds to that unreal sound. It's clear by the time the track builds that this was a production decision and not necessarily a matter of quality, but I think the screener's description is spot on -- that's what it sounds like.Quote:the vocals must be spot on to get a forward for TV/Film as there cannot be any off notes. There are some issues with your pitch throughout the tune which is something you must rectify to obtain forwards for listings like this one that deal with TV/Film.This guy is a good singer, but this is not the greatest vocal take and there are several things that should have been at least cleaned up by the engineer or recut. I won't list every one, but as an example, listen to the last line of the 1st verse leading into the chorus-- the falsetto run. It's very pitchy and he runs out of air and just kind of trails off.All that to say, if I didn't know who this artist was, I would not be that impressed by this track or vocal and I think the screener was dead on. Some of this stuff is subjective though, and simply a matter of opinion. If the listing were right, it's very possible that this could be forwarded.Unfortunately, often the screeners are that dead on about some of my stuff too. Aub

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by euromantix » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:53 am

Jun 2, 2009, 6:53am, hummingbird wrote:Can you post the listing?Hi, I have added the listing details to my first post above. Thanks.

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by euromantix » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:03 am

Thanks for all the feedback guys - it seems there is almost unanimous agreement that the reviewer was wrong about the apparent tuning issues in the vocal. I won't reply to every one of you, as you're essentially all agreeing with my perspective.Thanks for the feedback Aub too... Jun 2, 2009, 8:18am, aubreyz wrote:The intro sounds very midi and boxy. By midi, I mean it sounds quantized, stiff and sampled. The lo-fi drum loop kind of adds to that unreal sound. It's clear by the time the track builds that this was a production decision and not necessarily a matter of quality, but I think the screener's description is spot on -- that's what it sounds like.You're right, this was a production decision. The intro is intended to sound retro. It sounds quantised because it is quantised. It's that nice trick that when there is more contrast between the quality of two sections, then the better section 'appears' even better than it actually may be. The point I was trying to make above was of course not with reference to the intro! To clarify, I just cannot comprehend (neither apparently can any other poster) how by the time the reviewer gets to the momentum and build that this track has, particularly the 3rd chorus if not before, he/she could possibly make the comments they did about it This does lead one to the conclusion that they perhaps didn't bother listening to the full song Quote:...this is not the greatest vocal take and there are several things that should have been at least cleaned up ... listen to the last line of the 1st verse leading into the chorus-- the falsetto run. It's very pitchy and he runs out of air and just kind of trails off.It's so strange how I (and others) just cannot hear this. I pride myself on having a normally excellent ear. I have lived with this song during production and beyond, and just cannot hear anything "pitchy". That word - to me - means his pitch i.e. tuning is off, IOW he is singing some notes out of tune. Can you clarify which words or syllables are sung out of tune - to your ear - please?Quote:Unfortunately, often the screeners are that dead on about some of my stuff too. Ahaha it's not just me then Thanks for your feedback.

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Re: Taxi say this platinum artist has tuning issue

Post by euromantix » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:07 am

Jun 2, 2009, 6:40am, toddt wrote:Bearing in mind it probably wouldn't have been forwarded anyway because of the style-miss, maybe send an email to Taxi A&R directly ( http://www.taxi.com/abouts/contact.html ), asking for clarification of the comments.Yep, I have done so, and Robin only backed the reviewer's comments about parts of the vocal. I still just cannot comprehend how in any universe this vocal would not have been good enough for a music library, or for film/TV usage. I have been hearing elsewhere that this song was used in an episode of Bones (there is some mention of it on Google) - surely that would come from a film/TV library!My point isn't regarding the listing being on-target for the style, but that the vocal shouldn't have been mentioned so often as a reason for rejection, if it is as good as most people seem to think, including MSN Music who called this one of the strongest songs on the album. Sadly Taxi have been rather stingy and refused to credit my $5, even if it meant losing me as a lifelong member. I paid to get an accurate critique, and I feel - perhaps rightly - that getting a misleading critique in return, should mean some sort of credit is due.

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