MUSIC FORUM's SONG REVIEW # 1
Ok people! here's our first review ever. ...I didn't think it was gonna happen, but these guys proved me wrong. If you enjoy these reviews comment away, and feel free to participate in future ones.
I'm posting the first two, and waiting for the third one to be completed.
Pete! enjoy man! Hopefully we weren't too rough on you.
Without further ado:
Here we go!
Artist: The Auteurist (Pete)
Song title: "Raintown Road"
About song: (A robotic monk meets Animal from The Muppets).
Vocal/Intrumental: Contains some vocal snippets
Tools: Started in Reason 2.5 & remastered in Record.
Review 1: SoftEnerji (Mark)
Review 2: Ecopro (Ed)
Review 3: AvatarOne (coming soon)
Here's a quote from "The Auterist":
"It's an older one of mine that I remastered recently, called 'Raintown Road'. It was originally written with Reason 2.5! It's since had the record treatment. It's a track like, and would like to try and do 'something' with one day, so some opinions could be helpful"
"It was written using R2.5, but remastered in record (simply, by running the old exported wav through the master bus compressor). Thus, there are no combis or thors in the track at all. The lead 'vocal' sound is a single subtractor with a scream!"
Soft Enerji’s review of The Auteurist’s Raintown Road
Let me start by saying that since I’ve been hanging out on the Music Forum I’ve been listening to a wider variety of music than I would normally do. That’s not to say my musical tastes are limited, far from it but I have to say my ears have been opened and for the most part it has been a very pleasant experience. I don't think we ever stop learning in music and this Propellerheads community we are part of is probably one of the friendliest out there and we can all help and learn from each other. Ecopro's idea for these song reviews is another example of how this community works and I'm happy to be involved.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle from me, on with the review.
I did start off by trying to comment on each of the categories but I struggled with that and felt that I would be better to put my overall thoughts down first and come back to the categories later so I decided to first review the track on it's merits as I found them.
Raintown Road starts with an intro section which at first I thought was a bit overpowering (it actually drops in level slightly on about 0.8 so maybe start off at that same level or a subtle fade in would suit it better), but once the bass and drums kick in on .15 it does all comes together.
The pounding 4/4 beat and ominous synth bass line really gets this track underway and once the hats kicked in I definitely got the feeling that this was really going to get big, and I wasn't to be disappointed! All of a sudden the vocal sample jumps right out at you! I was instantly reminded of a Deep Forest or Enigma style chanting but soon I realised Pete has taken this to another level altogether. His comment on the track about a Robotic Monk is probably right on the money. The vocal starts to go ballistic at about 1.19 just as nearly everything else drops out which is a nice touch and the effect had me smiling. The steady build from there has a nice sense of space and the almost dub style stutter and stop at about 2.10 sets the scene for the rest of the track. When at about 2.53 the vocal really goes off the scale I was grinning like a madman. It is seriously that good!
The end section from about 3.31 took me by totally by surprise. I wasn't expecting such a dramatic change but it works so well. The track could have just stopped at 3.31 but this just adds another dimension to it.
I guess now that I've put my thoughts down in black and white I should be able to address the categories, funny that, so here goes.
Originality: Yes it has a certain degree of originality. Pete has very cleverly got the vocal chant to take the song through different levels.
Essence: Pete has absolutely nailed it with Raintown Road. It's an emotive and thought provoking journey that has a feeling of euphoria flowing throughout. It has a degree of unpredictability as well which is always good in my opinion.
Production Technique: It sounds pretty damn good through my Sennheiser headphones but I will give it another listen through my monitors on the weekend before I post and come back and edit this.
Edit: Saturday afternoon on a warm sticky day in Sydney. Air con on, monitors on. As noted before I'd maybe drop the level of the synth drone at the start and perhaps there's a little bit of distortion on the drums that could be cleaned up. Could it be the MP3 file? I'm really not a fan of these. I'd love to hear this as a WAV or AIFF. Aside from that I reckon it sounds pretty good.
Sounds/Instruments and Quality: The synth drone, hmmmm I keep coming back to that, I wasn't so sure at first but the more I hear it the more it works. The bass sound is excellent and sits well. The drum programming is top notch and the vocal, as already mentioned is superb!
Overall appeal: I really enjoyed it! Pete has got just about everything right from where I stand. Pete, you mentioned you wanted to try and do "something" with it one day and obviously you have your ideas but something I kept hearing in the back of my head is some piano, something really light and simple....just a thought.
Well there you have it, my first ever full review of a piece of music. It definitely wasn't easy but it was inspiring and fun to do. Thanks for the track Pete and for putting yourself on the firing line.
Review 2 below >>>
Review 2 by Ecopro
Ecopro’s Review of “Raintown Road“by The Auterist.
The track is pretty unique in the way that the effects have been applied, which says a lot about the creator and his knowledge of Reason/Record effect manipulating skills. For Example, the swirly, buzzy effect on the main synth starting from the intro, the cool stuttering effect @ the 2:06 mark, the flanged/filtered vocal snippets introduced @ the 2:53 mark, and the filtered/distorted drums towards the end along with the final quirky robotic sample.
The chord progressions pretty much stayed constant throughout the track, but did not detract because of their sheer quality. The intro synth started very sinister and kept intriguing throughout. Melody wise, nothing seems spectacularly original, but at the same time, nothing seems predictable or clichéd.
I don’t know if the track adds anything new to the genre, as this is a mixture of different styles. Because of that mix of styles, it makes the sound more appealing to the ear though.
First it gets me in a mysterious/intriguing mood. After the beat kicks in though, it makes me feel energetic, and makes me bop my head to the rhythm.
Even though the track does not have much variation in terms of melody or progression, it kept me interested until the 3:31 mark. After that, the next part sounds like a completely different track for the remaining 36 seconds. It sounds more like an interlude to a next track, which can be considered unnecessary in relation to the rest of the track; unless it would be in an album with another track following the interlude.
It does have some smooth transitions like that breakdown @ THE 2:06 mark, after the stuttering part, followed by the reversed beat that shows the creator’s ability to make transitions work.
The quality of production is crisp, a bit on the industrial & dirty-lo-fi sound, especially on the drums. At the 2:42 mark, a more driving kick drum is introduced that goes well together with the vocal mangling that’s going on in that section. What a cool and manic section this one is.
Everything sounds the way it should in an all-Electronic mix. Bass is strong, without being overpowering; mids are clear, treble is not too bright. I didn’t hear any presence of muddiness, but due to the lo-fi nature of the mix, the ambience and overall feel tend to stay on the dark & dirty side.
The mix shows up at its optimum volume, & there’s no clipping present. The dynamics do not seem to be squashed by extreme compression either. There are no phasing or clashing issues and the only distortion present is towards the end, it was intentionally applied on the drums, & didn’t bother my ears.
The mix as a whole sounded even, & sparse. The stereo image was used effectively, without it being too cluttered. The effects used on the instruments correlating with the vocals and the drums create the right atmosphere.
The sounds, synths, & samples were well chosen and they do match the style of the song.
Even if the producer used the sounds of a known refill or patch, nothing sounds generic, because these sounds were manipulated and tweaked to the user’s content, which is always a good thing.
The only part that might need some tweaking or replacement is the break beat introduced @ the 1:27 mark. This sounds a bit on the thin side, almost as if the sound used was mono. I think, a thicker, crunchier break beat can help here, or it might help to EQ it to fit the part better.
In a combination of all categories above:
Overall, I think the sinister sound does grab you almost immediately, along with the catchy mad-monk-like chanting vocals throughout. I think that if you are going to add singing later on, it could work with some vocals in the style of “Mesh”, or “Assemblage 23”.
In my opinion, the track grows on you on every listen, giving the listener enough enticement to come back for another go. I don’t hear this song as a potential “commercial” radio hit, but more of an independent, underground sound, like the bands I mentioned above.
This track doesn’t excel in terms of variety, or beautiful lush melodies, but it shows its magic in production quality, and sound manipulation. Great work Pete, I hope all the best to you and I’m looking forward to your future productions.
Review 3 by AvatarOne
***Reserved Spot*** (Coming soon)
Thanks so much to Ed and Mark for taking the time to review my track, and I eagerly await AvatarOne's opinion also.
Guys, you were very gracious with the reviews, but have also given me the motivation to revisit the track and make it even better. Thanks again.
I'll post more of a thorough 'debrief' once I've read the third review.
No worries Pete it was fun to do. I think the rules are that you do the next review. Ecopro, we got any tracks yet?
Great Pete! I still haven't gotten anything from AvatarOne. We'll see what happens there.
Your track is next on line Mark. Are you ready with it yet? We can start passing it to Pete so that he can start working on it.
I will need two more reviewers!
hook me up
Let me know if you want to review, or put up a track for review.
sounds complicated, hm. I'm pretty sure I could be just happy with Music Forum if people'd listen and write more... sorry :)
Sorry, I am working on it. I've spent all day so far clearing up the mother of all **** ups, so sit tight.
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