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One of Those Days

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Edit: Compression and Tape Saturation added to vocals, increased stereo separation between piano and vocals
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We meet again, Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch! Everyone in Group M is wildly talented, so I just decided to do something completely different and make an old timey Jazz piano thing...with lyrics, no less! What the heck am I thinking? I've never even used FL Studio for lyrics before, but this idea has been percolating in my head for a while now, so here it is made manifest. I truly hope that it is well received!

Lyrics:

It's one of those days
Yeah, it's one of those days
When everything goes wrong,
That's why I'm singin' this song
Oh, it's just one of those days

To think it started out fine
Woke up with plenty of time
But ever since then
Been tripped up time and again
It must be one of those days

You woulda thought that I'd be used to this
My bowl of cornflakes always soaked in piss
The old bald cheater come to take my smile away

A vicious cycle that never seems to end
I lose my house, my car, my job, and even my friends
But in the end there's really nothing else I can say...

Because it's one of those days
Oh man, it's one of those days
The bathroom mirror broke,
Cleaned it all up but got poked
Someone shook up my Coke
It soaked my only smoke
Caused me to cough and choke
Such an unlucky bloke
Why, oh why, oh why...

Is it one of those days?

It's not like every day is really so bad
No, this isn't even close to the worst day I've had
But when the hard times outweigh the rest,
It really makes you start to feel like it's all one big test...

Of course it's one of those days

You woulda thought that I would be prepared
But when it hits it feels like no one cares
I've got no choice but to act like nothing is wrong

I hope you live a life that's happy and full
Instead of one that's like you're always shoveling bull
Takes all I've got just to keep on moving along...

When it's one of those days

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Five years. Five long years since I discovered your account...

And I don't ever regret coming back.

From my freshman year of high school to starting college I've been following this artist, and I can happily say that his talent has grown dramatically since I first came across him. I'm glad to see some lyrics in your work. You've really outdone yourself with this one Chrono.

ChronoNomad responds:

Aw, thank you so much, chaosdrakath! Has it really been that long already? Wow...

I've been a singer pretty much my whole life, but I haven't actually written many songs with lyrics myself, so this is currently something of a rarity. Certainly hoping to do more in the future!

So glad that you still drop by to visit me here from time to time, my friend. Hope all is well with you, and may your stint at college be fruitful. Don't be a stranger.

This is an NGADM 2015 review.

Dude I gotta give you props for your lyrics. They were engaging and fun, and I really couldn't fault you for much on this song, especially given its simplicity. The lyrics might be a bit repetitive at times, but you wrote them for just about the entire song so I can't blame you at all. The only issues I have are related to your mixing and your bandpass vocal section.

So first off, your piano is so sick. Love the jazzy vibes and energetic rhythm. The piano itself sounds amazing, too! Very thematically appropriate sound.

One of the first things i noticed after you introduced your vocals is that they were a bit loud, and a bit low. Honestly it seems to me that you need to highpass them a bit, because they're pretty strong down to about 150-200hz, and it creates this feel of imbalance in such a simple mix. They're also a little poppy at points, so you might want a better pop filter or simply stand a little further from the diaphragm. Either way, they're pretty well recorded apart from that! The highs in them are quite nice as well. Nice short reverb.

So, the other thing i had was the band pass vocals. Because man, your song is about -18RMS usually; which is very quiet but fine for this kind of music... but it's telling when the bandpass bit is at like -10RMS :P. It's reaaaally loud and quite piercing as well, so you might wanna turn down the Q on your filter. Just after that you had a really sick piano transition though so consider those points earned back haha.

Overall, a pretty well rounded song, especially for just piano/vocals. Nicely done!

ChronoNomad responds:

Hey, Geoplex! Thank you for the in-depth NGADM review. Very cool to hear that you enjoy the lyrics so much. I guess I'm not entirely sure what you mean by repetitive in this case, though. Are you referring to the notes themselves? Because there's almost nothing repeated from one end of the vocals to the other besides the "...one of those days" motif, but that was essentially the hook and every instance has a different lead-in. Anyway, it would be awesome if you could do me a solid and elucidate with a quick PM. I guess if I don't hear anything I'll assume it was the note progression, which is admittedly a bit simple. :)

Aw, yeah! Really glad that you dig the jazzy, energetic rhythm of the piano. I knew exactly which piano I wanted to use to get just the right kind of attitude, so if it sounds sick I guess I chose well. I hadn't used that particular piano before, but I got it just for something like this. Hooray for being prepared!

Okay, you've got some really good points there about the lyrics, and I've been kicking myself for not applying a bit of highpass throughout. I had a hell of a time just laying them down since I was at the mercy of a very stubborn summer cold, but somehow managed to crank out some rather passable vocals a few days before the deadline. I don't personally hear much pop, and I really cleaned up the vocals before adding them to the mix, but if there is any there's nothing I can do about it. I have no pop filter, whatsoever. I have a bunch of handheld mics, no mic stands, and currently no disposable income with which to remedy the situation. In short, it is what it is. It's probably kind of miraculous that they sound as good as they do! Glad the reverb works well, too. Solo vocals need definitely need some, but being a single-instrument song I knew it had to be brief.

I am aware of the disparity between the regular and pass-filtered sections, but this is actually the first review I've had where it was brought up as being problematic. Nevertheless, it does indeed make good sense to have the RMS be more equal. Thanks for the tip, and I'm glad that I could earn those points back with my mad transitioning skillz! :D

Huzzah! Thanks again for the feedback, Geoplex. It's been a real pleasure to meet you this way.

I love the jazzy vibes at the beginning. Sounds very bluesy. I love the lyrics, and your voice is very soulful. The simplicity makes it feel very organic, down-to-earth and even improvisational. At 1:56, you seemed to be using some sort of reverb effect that I liked, and I also think it enhances the old-timey feel of the piece, but I also think you should’ve applied it to the rest of the piece. I like the structure of the piece, but I would’ve liked to see you add a bit more to the texture. Some simple drums, an acoustic bass, or even some sort of woodwind solo would’ve contributed a ton to the piece while simultaneously making sure the listener stays engaged. It’s a fun piece, but I think you could’ve done a lot more with this. If you wanted to get around adding more instrumental parts, I would’ve at least liked to see you emphasize elements of dynamic contrast or phrasing more at times. Still, as I said, it’s a fun piece. Nice work! Hope this review helped, and keep at it, man. ;)

8/10

This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.

ChronoNomad responds:

Hey, thanks for my very first official NGADM judge review, TaintedLogic! Really glad to hear that you dig the bluesy style, and to see that you think my voice sounds soulful makes my day. I didn't want to use the triangular low-pass+LFO effect that you hear at 1:56 too much, mostly since I wanted it to have more impact, but I suppose it could have been applied in other ways or to a lesser degree throughout the rest of the song. I had a few more ideas for improvements late in the game, but was pretty satisfied with the overall vibe and didn't want to end up accidentally wrecking something that already sounded solid. That, and my voice kept going in and out from one day to the next. Summer colds really suck.

I did consider adding some simple ride cymbals and other drum elements to the mix, and also gave thought to the acoustic bass angle, but ultimately decided to be super ballsy and make it all about the piano. The only thing you mentioned that I hadn't really considered was adding some sort of woodwind solo, though a bit of jazzy clarinet or flute would likely have made for a pretty cool addition, as well.

Once again, thank you very kindly for the excellent review! I can hardly believe I'm still in this thing, though I've got an almost insurmountable obstacle directly ahead of me in the form of the LucidShadowDreamer & dem0lecule combo. I'll be doing something quite different in this round, so we'll have to see how it stacks up against whatever those two wild and crazy guys come up with. Cheers!

Whoah, this is what I call a brave approach, going all in with two instruments to NGADM means one of two things, lazy or courageous….after hearing the song I decided on the latter!
I love the lyrics and the overall mood of the song, the piano has a really interesting composition and it carries the song just nicely by its own. Your vocals have a deep quality to it and a nice timber, they do however maybe sound a but too jolly and clash in frequencies a bit with the “bassy piano” parts.
Overall I think you did a pretty good job, and im sure you had lots of fun producing this song…I guess everyone is happy it didn’t happen in one of those days! :P
Good job and good luck in NGADM ChronoNomad!

ChronoNomad responds:

Haha, thanks DivoFST! Even with just the piano and vocals this was far from being a lazy effort, so I appreciate the vote of confidence on the courageous side of things. Yeah, I suppose it is just that, especially considering the crazy talented group I'm up against. Yikes!

I'm really happy to hear that you love the lyrics, piano composition, and overall mood of the song. I guess the real problem was that, when I came up with the song itself, it really was "one of those days." Life was at an all-time low, suckage at an all-time high. In contrast, when I actually laid down the lyrics I was feeling pretty good. Life's gotten eminently better and the level of suck has grown quite dim, so I wasn't able to tap into as much legitimate grimness and instead had to think back, imagine myself back in those times, and tap a bitter keg of remembrance.

Yeah, this was a pretty interesting production ride, that much is certain. I've pretty much enjoyed myself each NGADM for the past few years, though that's not to say it's all sunshine and lollipops. I wouldn't make something like this if I thought it was simply destined to lose, but I'm still going way out on a limb doing something different. I'm pleasantly surprised that it's been met with such positive reaction, and the feedback I've gotten - as per usual in the ADM - has been and continues to be invaluable. ^___^

This is groovy as hell.

Can't really bring any critique to the table.

Really love the occasional rhythmic intricacies in the vocals. The piano is bliss. The vocals are expressive. Great stuff!

ChronoNomad responds:

Many thanks, LunyAlex! I'm glad that you dig the bluesy vocals, jazzy piano, and overall vibe. It's really awesome to know that the vocal rhythm changes can be appreciated without any assumption that the phrasing is mistimed. Here's hoping that the judges dig it, too. Best of luck to you in Group L!

Credits & Info

ChronoNomad
Author

Listens
2,524
Faves:
6
Downloads
25
Votes
21
Score
4.43 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 11, 2015
7:29 PM EDT
Genre
Jazz
File Info
Song
8.4 MB
3 min 40 sec
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You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

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