This is my review for your GCRC submission:
Is the song constructed well or avant-garde?
This was a interesting song to listen to and a real testament to the creativity of the various artist that submit works for these competitions. I will say that the song construction is strong with one as it makes sense to listen to. The interesting part about the song is that it really does feel like I’m traveling with old man who’s playing a melody on his banjo, tapping the beat as the train tracks are clicking under him. I’m really impressed by the atmosphere you were able to achieve with this version of the remix.
Has balancing between each part allows for the listener to understand the song well?
I think the balance is great for what the song is trying to do. The one thing I will note is that a part of me wants that train-track sound to be more in the background versus it being that present in the song. I also feel the tapping of the guitar is muddling the sound of the banjo, which does make sense from a train-ride sense, but from a production sense and a judging sense, I would have expected that to have been cleared up during the mixing phase.
Does the song contain two of the three required stems as stated in the rules?
The song uses all three stems as required.
Total score for mixing: 15/20
Is the song clean to listen to upon export?
On the surround sound system, the volumes levels were fine; however, when I’m listening to the song, it seems quiet and imbalance on certain aspect, which I think the bass level could have been boosted a little to give it a stronger presence. Additionally, I think the sound level from the lead to the bass are kind of muddied together.
Are sound level balance across as many devices as possible?
The volume on the headphones is quite low. Usually on the mastering phase, you have the levels of volume brought up to as close to 0 dB to ensure that you can hear everything. While it does not take anything away from what is being hear, I think it is pretty noticeable on some of the levels that there is imbalances that are happening at certain parts of the song. I would suggest looking at the mix further on this and analyzing whether some levels could be balance better.
Is the song clipping? (Clipping will lead to a loss of 5 points)
The song is not clipping, however, a lot of headroom is remaining.
Total score for mastering: 14/20
Percussion and Drums
Are the drums and percussion, if used, varied?
The percussion in this song is the tapping on the drums, which you utilized to great effect. The tapping on the guitar add a holistic feel to the atmosphere of the cave-like environment. The only issue I really have with the tapping of the guitar is that the train-track sounds blends in a bit too closely with it, creating a bit of confusion on the part of whether I’m listening to the tapping of the guitar or the train track.
Does the percussion and drums add anything?
The tapping of the guitar adds a layer that the song needs to be cohesive. Without the tapping, the song would feel like a random guitar player playing by himself or will a friend who is playing the bass guitar but without any sort of direction. Additionally, the tapping give a holistic feel as I suggest above, which makes it more interesting to listen to.
Could the song use more percussion or drums?
I don’t think extra drums or percussion could have help this song.
Total for Percussion and Drums: 16/20
Is the bass more than whole notes?
The bass is more than whole notes, but it doesn’t stray far from the save from a few parts. While this isn’t too bad on its own, and the chord changes do represent a diversity to the song, I feel like more exploration could have happen to give it a really blue-grass or deep approach to the song that feel kind of light on its own. I think because the song doesn’t really stray too far, it just seem a little safe from my point of view.
Does the bass add anything to the song?
The bass add a little bit to the song aside from the stems given. The bass seems authentic with this song as you could imagine someone playing their guitar on a mine-cart as its travelling as though the player has been riding the tracks for a long time and knows what to expect. However, as I suggest above, the song itself seems pretty safe and I think more exploration could have been done on an individual level to make it more personal.
How does the bass sound in relation to the song?
The bass sounds solid, though the train-track notice makes the blending a bit muddied, so in this case, there can be a bit of confusion listening to the song whether the bass is different from the other parts of the song.
Total for Bass: 13/20
Does the melody utilize the stem in interesting way?
The melody is creative but goes for a simpler approach to the remix. I do believe that it is creative, but much like the bass parts suffered from, it doesn’t do enough to really distinguish itself from the stems provide. Even with the chord changes, it doesn’t really have its own identity but utilizes the stem as a way of keeping the song cohesive. In this regard, I would have like it if there was more focus on really going in depth on what the melody was given.
How creative were you with the melody given?
My suggestion moving forward is that you might have wanted to scrap the entire melody stem provided and just worked with the bass and bell stems to create something that was uniquely yours as with what you were trying to achieve, it makes it hard to create a universal distinction that is your remix. The reason I suggest this is because the melody utilize did not really seem to be of its own and I think that the more you really worked on this part, the better it could have become.
Total for Melody 15/20
A song that takes on a different approach to the remix and give the listener as down-to-earth feel as we pass though a mine with an old-timer who is used to the ride. From having the sound of a train-track to the tapping of his ol’ guitar, the mix feels certainly most certainly original. However, from some mixing issues, mastering imbalances, and times when the originally of the melody cause some conflict between the original and the stem provided, some of these issues take away from what could have been used to make for a stronger remix.
Final Score: 73/100