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I Owe You The Same

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So...this may or may not be something for a competition I'm in. I may or may not be testing audience response. I may or may not give handjobs for reviews.

This was done with a single guitar and vocals/beatbox, done by myself...everything was acoustically recorded with a single mic. There is nothing pre-made in this recording at all. It's all me. Really.

Lyrics:

I got this problem
It's keeping' me awake at night
I see it running through my head
messin' up my very mind

Got no solution
Never seems it's time to fight
But if she won't touch me at all
Just try and tell me I'm not right

RAP

I've got a girl at home
But I'm upstairs all alone
She's downstairs watching the boob tube
Talking on that god damn cell phone

I'm like hey just what gives?
But her ears are just like sieves
It's like she thinks there's only her
in the world in which she lives

There's no more I can take
It's time to call out this fake
My stupid idea that she'd come around
was really my only mistake

She's the one with the messed-up psyche
It's time that I take a hike
What's that you say
While I'm walkin' out the door like

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This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.

Production: 18/30
Composition: 23/30
Instrumentation: 9/15
Originality: 10/10
Interest/Emotion: 9/15

Total: 69/100 or 6.9/10 or 3.5 stars

==========
The Good Things:
- Creative, enjoyable lyrics.
- Very good performances on guitar, decent vocals.
- Good variation between parts to keep the listener from getting bored.

The Not-So- Good Things:
- Your mic clips at 0:22 and in other places with the vocals. I would recommend experimenting with different settings or consider getting a better microphone (I'd recommend a Shure SM-57, but you'd need an interface then).
- The reverb is too much and washy for the sort of "indie" vibe you are going for. Normally this sort music has very little and/or very small reverb.
- For me, the beatboxing and clapping really subtracted from the tracks' quality. Consider finding a drummer friend or a drum VST or just doing without drums.
- There are some syncing issues in the piece where the parts get out of sync (like the clapping after "let's break this down". Never be afraid to do extra takes or move things around until it really locks.
- Production-wise, the track is rather lacking. Consider things like faux stereo widening, EQ'ing, compression, etc and experiment around to find something that gives your track more presence. Make sure you find a good balance between the guitars and the vocal elements. For example, I wish there was more guitar in the track.

In general, the cheaper the mic you use, the more work you have to do to get it to an acceptable level. There isn't any "studying" per say, just go out and listen to tracks in the same sort of style you are working on and isolate the elements- how much reverb is there? What kind? How do the voices fit into the puzzle? Where is everything panned? How rich is the bass and treble elements of each instrument? How do those elements fit together to make a coherent piece? The only way to learn production correctly is to go out and build up your ear so you can hear these things. ;)

Best,
-Sam

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.

--

Oh man, this is a funny one! In a way it's in the same light as SonicWombat's submission. It has a pretty modest, home-made sound made out of just a guitar and your voice, the most humble instrumentation ever. However, suffice to say, yours has a little more cheek to its lyrics than his does! Speaking of which, the lyrics are well-written, and you sing them very nicely. You have a laid-back and confident singing style which, like secantwave, I wish I heard more of. I admit I didn't care much for the rap sections, which were fine but not quite as impressive as the singing. The vocal melody, while naturally not very complex, does its job well at providing a catchy hook to ingrain into the listener's head, and the clean guitar solo was a pleasure to listen to. The kicker at the end with Tim's mum also made me giggle a little, so there's that!

The production, in some ways, is decent. I like how gritty the sung voice sounds. Not sure if it's simply your recording quality, or any kind of distortion effects you put on the voice, but it works! In terms of execution, your guitar-playing is tight. Some minor timing issues, but that actually adds to the charm so I'm not too bothered. Unfortunately, in other ways the production isn't quite there yet. The rap sections were extremely unclear, the clacks at 1:14 have too much high end and stand out unnaturally, and the mix overall is thin and subdued. I read what you said in the thread, but I'm afraid I still disagree - reworking the mix and master to make the track more full-bodied instead of it being so thin and subdued will do the track wonders. Right now, the track could at least do with some compression and reworking the EQ, as long as the dynamics are retained of course.

Recap: was hoping for a better mix and more developed sung sections. Otherwise, this track is charming and a blast to listen to. It's been a pleasure having you on the contest!

SCORE: 8.1/10

Ceevro responds:

Hey, no worries! I was honestly shocked to get through the auditions! Seems that you liked my tune a bit more than the other judges. I know I've got issues with EQ...it's always going to be a challenge to compete acoustically with mixes done entirely on a computer, which is to say that I need to study my mixing more.

As for singing...well...that's just what came to me when I was writing, for this particular song.

However, that's all good. I have some clear things to work on for next year!

I like the chord progression underlying this song, and I liked the very crisp way you played and recorded it, along with the subtle percussion. However, I felt like the ideas didn't come together very cohesively (a problem I have as well.) I like the brief solo, but it was so short that it felt incomplete, and I liked the "doo-wah-oos" at the end even more, but having them come out of nowhere and end the song was very disorienting--I think that combination could have carried the piece by itself. On the other hand, the rapped verses and the narrated bits didn't thrill me so much. I found your singing to be above the cat-strangulation level of quality, and I would have liked to hear more of it.

Still, there are some very good ideas in this piece, and the sound production was outstanding, especially given the conditions you describe.

Ceevro responds:

Honestly, I think that my issue with the do-wah section at the end was that it took me so long to nail it down that it started to sound annoying to me...even though a friend of mine who is a professional recording artist/producer told me that I should be "slutting it out through the whole damn song." I even prepared a second version with way more do-wah-ing...but I decided to keep the original on the basis that it started to annoy me (hours of hearing the same loop will do that to you...a lesson in stepping back from your own creation).

...And is it just me, or has no one noticed that the solo was 'Crazy Train?' I thought if I continued it, I'd get called out for lazy composition, instead of a quick Ozzy tribute!

Excellent review! I promise to sing more in the future!

I like how this song goes through so many sounds, especially the "doo" section at the end and suddenly it's doo-wop, haha. Your voice is good and the mix is solid, well done :)

Good luck!

Ceevro responds:

You know, I didn't sing at all for most of my life because my parents always told me that my voice was about as pleasant as a cat being strangled (hence the guitar skillz...I wanted to sing, buuuut...). Getting two reviews that both say I've got a good voice is actually already more reward than I thought I'd get out of the NGADM. Thanks guys!

Don't know what to say about this (or at least the song as a whole). I'm pretty fond of the fact that you did this all with a microphone. I really like the solo at 01:02. I know I couldn't play that so clean. Everything from that point I like a bit more than the beginning, but now I'm getting into more opinionated tastes. I like how you're doing the percussion but it sounds like its muffled like your holding your hand in front of your mouth the whole time.
I really like the last part of the song (01:38 to the end). You change up the style from fancy guitar to bubbly vocals, and you definitely have a good range with your voice. Good punch line at the end as well.
I'd say a 3.5 since I could tell that some of the timing wasn't quite perfect, but all-in-all a fun little song.

Your friendly competition
-Spadezer-

Ceevro responds:

Well, we shall see how well it does. I was shocked to make it past auditions in the first place...

Credits & Info

Ceevro
Author

Listens
950
Downloads
20
Votes
5
Score
3.80 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 8, 2014
12:47 AM EDT
Genre
Fusion
File Info
Song
4.7 MB
2 min 4 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.