Voting for Composition Challenge 21

What's Hot
This is the combined Voting and Discussion thread.

Thanks to all that entered the competition.

Please use this thread to cast your votes for your favourite entries to Fretboard Challenge #21


VOTING AND DATES

Voting System - voters can pick their top 3 favourite entries.

First choice gets 5 points - Second choice gets 3 points - Third choice gets 1 point

The entry with the most points wins.

Simply post in this thread your top three choices for winner in order, 1st choice first etc etc. 

(Note for Entrants of the competition: Self Voting is NOT Allowed)


Voting ends 11.30pm 14th March 2018, and the top three will be announced shortly after.



REMINDER OF GUIDELINES

The theme for this music composition challenge was as follows:

***A New Year: Time to set new trends or update music from the past by putting a new spin on an old style***


COMPOSITION ENTRIES

Below is a playlist of the entries:

https://soundcloud.com/thefretboard/sets/comp-challenge-21


It's not a competition.
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Comments

  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 907
    10 entries - is that a record?

    Good to see so many getting involved. Now I've got to find time to listen to them properly.
                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
                                                                                                                                                            My Soundcloud stream

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719
    It was suggested that I tag entrants to help them remember to vote. So here's a list below:

    @DeeplyDazzled ;
    @frank1985 ;
    @Bezzer ;
    @stratman3142 ;
    @fnpt ;
    @flying_pie ;
    @mistercharlie ;
    @steamabacus ;
    @spark240 ;
    @Fretwired ;

    It's not a competition.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719
    edited March 1
    10 entries - is that a record?

    Good to see so many getting involved. Now I've got to find time to listen to them properly.

    Yes great to see so many involved. I'm too new to the forum to know whether it's a record.

    It's not a competition.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    Is it okay to post an explanation of our interpretation of the theme here? In the event someone might listen to it and immediately think WTF? :-)
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 907
    Is it okay to post an explanation of our interpretation of the theme here? In the event someone might listen to it and immediately think WTF? :-)
    Please do. :)
                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
                                                                                                                                                            My Soundcloud stream

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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 191
    edited March 1
    I was starting to feel like the only metaller at the ambient party ... then @flying_pie comes to my rescue

    Seriously good stuff this month and I'm only half way through!  Going to listen to the rest then again properly at home on decent speakers before picking my faves though.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719
    Is it okay to post an explanation of our interpretation of the theme here? In the event someone might listen to it and immediately think WTF? :-)
    Please do.

    Yes please feel free post comment on how you interpreted the theme, how you recorded the track, how your picture relates to the theme etc.  It all makes things more interesting.

    btw. clicking on the icon to the left of each track should bring up a bigger view of the picture. Everyone provided a picture so everyone will get one point added for that.

    It's not a competition.
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 907



    btw. clicking on the icon to the left of each track should bring up a bigger view of the picture. Everyone provided a picture so everyone will get one point added for that.

    Is that a mobile thing? I get sent to SoundCloud if i click on the image. You can expand the image if you click on it within SoundCloud.
                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
                                                                                                                                                            My Soundcloud stream

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719



    btw. clicking on the icon to the left of each track should bring up a bigger view of the picture. Everyone provided a picture so everyone will get one point added for that.

    Is that a mobile thing? I get sent to SoundCloud if i click on the image. You can expand the image if you click on it within SoundCloud.
    Clicking on the picture gives a slight increase in size. But yes you then have to click on that to see the bigger image in Soundcloud.

    It's not a competition.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    My pleasure @steamabacus ;

    My idea was to take an old song and radically cover it in a more modern style. I chose "Oh What A Beautiful Mornin" from the musical Oklahoma which was first performed in 1943. I think that qualifies as old. 

    As it's one of the happiest songs ever written I decide to turn it into a German industrial metal number to make it sinister. The concept became :
     
    What if Rogers & Hammerstein were actually the Neue Deutsche Härte band HammRstein. The album cover artwork should be self explanatory. 

    3/4 and major key was changed into 4/4 and minor. There's a bit of the original chorus melody transposed into minor as a lead part but the rest is newly written riffs rather than a simple major to minor transposition.

    Oh, and I growled it in German and rewrote some of the lyrics for the amusement of any German speakers who are familiar with the original source material! (note to others - don't sing in German. It's really hard to do and virtually impossible to layer vocals due to the harsh vowel sounds) 

    There you go. So now the W in WTF can be Why instead of What!
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 863
    10 entries - is that a record?

    Good to see so many getting involved. Now I've got to find time to listen to them properly.
    I think it’s good as it shows how many folks have come on with recording their own material, I reckon maybe the jam days have given a few some more confidence as well.

    certainly shows off some improved recording skills anyhow !


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    Well that was bloody hard to pick just three. I really enjoyed them all. It seems awful not to award points to them all.

    5 points @Bezzer - I've got to go with a fellow metal cover and that scream at 2.35 was top notch commitment to one's art 

    3 points @frank1985 - Awesome dreamscape

    1 point @spark240 - I couldn't stop smiling while listening to it. This could go down very well especially given the weather outside (I'm now wondering if you're actually Ming The Merciless playing with the Earth's weather to rig the result) 
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  • frank1985frank1985 Frets: 519
    edited March 2
    These are all great, it was hard for me to choose...

    5 Points - @stratman3142 ;;;;

    Really nice uplifting track - reminds me of something from Satriani’s ‘The Extremist’ during some parts. Have listened 3 times already.

    3 Points - @Spark240

    Another cheerful track, simple but effective. 

    1 Point - @Flying_pie

    Loving the industrial influence in this one...KMFDM fan?


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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15379
    Great work guys ...

    @Bezzer .. 5 points

    @stratman3142 .. 3 points

    @Flying_pie .. 1 point
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 191
    5 points : @flying_pie - was always going to top this one for me, Rammstein habve been one of my favourite bands for years and this absolutely nailed their sound.  And I have to give bonus points for singing in German, very impressive work.

    After this is became more difficult, amazing work by everyone and the production levels were fantastic throughout.  Ended up as I usually do by focusing on sounds that really grabbed me.

    3 points : @stratman3142 - interesting crossover, like the steel drums.  Again really nice fuzz synth and smooth lead tone.  Breakdown at 2:05 is great.

    1 point : @Fretwired - Now I was not expecting this from you, and I don't know why but I wasn't.  Loved it though, there's something about the sounds used that just feels right to me ... even the more mechanical sounds at the fade out which aren't normally my thing at all.  Felt like an outtake from NIN Ghost sessions ... liked it a lot.


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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15379
    Bezzer said:


    1 point : @Fretwired - Now I was not expecting this from you, and I don't know why but I wasn't.  Loved it though, there's something about the sounds used that just feels right to me ... even the more mechanical sounds at the fade out which aren't normally my thing at all.  Felt like an outtake from NIN Ghost sessions ... liked it a lot.


    Thanks Bezzer .. it's all basically guitar bar the piano and a synth part (an NI Massive patch) I played on a keyboard during the riff section. There's an ebow in there somewhere and a swelled guitar and the drums were a loop with an added tom kit to beef things up ... the transition back to the piano is the tom with a massive amount of reverb ... I ran out of time mastering it though.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • 5 Points - Spark420  - i picked up my guitar and played along
      3 points - FNPT        - sounds great and lovely ooohs
      1 point - Stratman     - production arrangement playing

    I enjoyed them all.
    Roll on the next challenge



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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719

    ...Roll on the next challenge


    That will start right after the voting is finished and the winners are declared for this one, which will be shortly after the 14th March - assuming I can get a decent internet connection after I move house next week.

    It's not a competition.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    frank1985 said:

    @Flying_pie ;Loving the industrial influence in this one...KMFDM fan? 
    Cheers @frank1985 ;It was my attempt at Rammstein - hence the growling German baritone vocals. KMFDM though... there's a blast from the past. That's brought back fond memories of early industrial stuff along with Front 242 and Nitzer Eb. 
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719
    It was interesting to read the description by @flying_pie. It would be good to hear how others approached things.

    Here's how I created my track. 

    I came up with a picking riff idea on my Telecaster and recorded that first with a basic drum pattern. That's the picking guitar pattern that comes in at about 16s and is present for a lot of the song.

    I had an idea that I would base things around a reggae feel mixed with something else. I added a steel drum part using Kontack 5 that tracked the guitar picking pattern, to emphasis the reggae feel. I also added another part tracking the guitar using the Image Line (IL) Harmless synth, which was a steel drum type sound but with more space to it. I eventually panned those parts around to create a stereo image.

    I started playing round with programming drum parts and came up with a military marching type pattern, which led to the idea for a track that combine reggae with a marching pattern, hence the title 'Reggae March'.

    At first I decided to use synth bass to add an electo feel to bring in another style. I played around with NI Massive and came up with a Gary Numan type sound. At one point I considered a reggae track in Gary Numan style. I also wanted a percussive synth alongside the synth bass and came up with a part using NI Rounds. If you isolate that part it sounds like "Do The Macarena", which nearly took things in another direction :)

    The drums were all done using Addictive Drums 2 (AD2) using the Fairfax Vol. 1 Adpak, with each kitpiece brought out to a separate track in Reaper, so I could vary the amount of Bus reverb I use (I didn't use the AD2 reverbs). I often use midi loops and edit them a bit for the drums but, for this track, every drum hit was entered manually in the Reaper midi grid. 

    At some point I also added a timbale in AD2, a chucka chucka rhythm guitar and real bass guitar to emphasise the reggae feel. The bass is a Squier Vintage Modified V Bass and the VST is IK Amplitube Ampeg SVX 2 collection, plus high pass filering using ReaEQ to keep the bottom end under control (especially as there was some bassy synth from NI Massive).

    For the 'Change' I added a distorted guitar under the synth to beef it up using the bridge humbucker on my Strat. I decided to go for a country sound for the 'Break' to bring in another style.

    One of the last things I added was the melody guitar, which was the neck pickup on my PRS S2, except I've replaced the pickup. So that was a Seymour Duncan Jazz pickup.

    All the clean guitar parts used the IK Amplitude 4 Fender 2 Collection VST. All the distorted guitar parts used the S-Gear 2 VST.

    So now I had a bunch of sections that I assigned to 'Regions' in Reaper, and kept shuffling things around until I came up with a sequence/arrangement I liked. Then I brought parts in and out to create a bit of variation. There's a screenshot of the Reaper project at the end of this post that shows how I use colour coded Regions - and also gives away how much of it is a 'copy and paste job' with lots of short sections plus drop-ins :)

    The final thing I added was a string part (using NI Symphony Series String Ensemble) to build towards the end.

    Pretty much every instrument was set to dry and I used ValhallaRoom as a common Bus reverb. To my ear, using a single reverb, rather that a bunch of different reverbs, helps to glue things together. Voxengo Elephant was used for Master limiting.

    I used amazing free software callen Blender (link below) for the picture, which probably took almost as long as the track to create. I've been learning it for well over a year and still haven't scratched the surface. It's mind boggling.


    Reaper screenshot


    It's not a competition.
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 863
    5 Points - Spark420  - i picked up my guitar and played along
      3 points - FNPT        - sounds great and lovely ooohs
      1 point - Stratman     - production arrangement playing

    I enjoyed them all.
    Roll on the next challenge



    Thats very inspiring, Im glad you enjoyed it !..

    I shall be listening to all the others fully  very soon .


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    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • fnptfnpt Frets: 443
    edited March 3
    Great entries everyone.

    My choices:

    @flying_pie

    @bezzer

    @stratman3142
    ____
    "You don't know what you've got till the whole thing's gone. The days are dark and the road is long."





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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    Thanks @stratman3142 that was very educational. Especially the colour coded regions in Reaper. I could see that being really useful.

    I didn't mention the recording side of things so I shall. My set up is very basic. I used a Boss GT 100 as an audio interface into Reaper with free vst plugins. 

    Drums (MT Power drum kit 2), bass (4 front bass and Ignite bass amp) and layered synths (Dexed and EVM) were all hand programmed in the midi grid. I double tracked the bass to mix cleaner and heavier amp settings. I considered borrowing a real bass to record it properly but thought the synthetic sound suited the mix.

    Guitar was a Michael Kelly 1955 Tele with an Iron Gear Rolling Mill overwound bridge pickup into a Blackstar HT 50 preamp into GT 100 with power tube/cab IRs in Reaper. Guitars were mulitracked with a higher gain American sound on one side and a lower gain Marshall sound on the other. There was a digital clean boost before the amp. "Standard metal EQ" was used to remove annoying frequencies and tighten. I then boosted the higher mids then TDR Nova dynamic EQ to reduce muddiness in the lower mids and tighten the boosted high mids. Since submitting this I've found better amp settings and cab IR to give the sound I was really after but this was in the right ball park. 

    Vocals were done with a SM58 into the GT100 on a clean amp patch! I de-essed them manually while addressing differing volumes in the vocals. I multitracked the intro 1-2-3-Ja!.  I tried that with verse and chorus but it was much trickier to match up the harsh vowel sounds so I just duplicated a track and moved the second track a fraction then used multiple fractional pitch shifts instead.

    There was a tiny bit of reverb on vocs, bass and drums but not guitar. And I used the free W1 master limiter vst which is by all accounts identical to Waves.


    Be really useful to hear how others approached, recorded and mixed their choons.
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 719
    edited March 4
    Thanks @stratman3142 that was very educational. Especially the colour coded regions in Reaper. I could see that being really useful.


    Regions are really useful. You can Click-Drag on the region bar and move things around. Also, if you Ctrl-Click-Drag, you can create a copy which you can move around. It makes it really quick to throw together basic arrangements and experiment with different options.

    Although I've got loads of paid for drum VSTi's, I've also got MT Power Drum kit 2 and for 'that specific sound' it stands up against the expensive options.

    It's not a competition.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372

    Regions are really useful. You can Click-Drag on the region bar and move things around. Also, if you Ctrl-Click-Drag, you can it create a copy which you can move around. It makes it really quick to throw together basic arrangements and experiment with different options.

    Although I've got loads of paid for drum VSTi's, I've also got MT Power Drum kit 2 and for 'that specific sound' it stands up against the expensive options.

     I watched Kenny G's video tutorial on regions last night. Wish I'd known about them, especially Ctrl-Click-Drag feature, a long time ago. That's so useful for arranging. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. 
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  • BezzerBezzer Frets: 191
    OK, I'll join in with a "how and why" post ... partly because this was such a speed record it may interest some.

    I really wanted to get something in for this challenge ... I want to start submitting for all of them as the Collective as was used to be a great motivator ... but I knew I had one afternoon or it was never going to happen.

    Picking the song was the first part.  Writing something original was never going to happen in the time, but equally I felt it gave chance for the concept to breathe.  Something simple but recognisable ... so Le Freak, obviously.

    Most of what I did will probably not be of much interest, I mean recording one chord in a semi funky metal rhythm for 5 minutes isn't exactly rocket science :)  It was just run through PODFarm2 (hadn't bought Helix Native then), Marhsall-eqsue setting EQ'd "out of the way".

    The bassline was basically the original just played a lot lower ... a LOT lower.

    The longest parts where the drums and the choir.  For the drums, I spent a long time trying to get these as close to the original as possible.  I wanted to retain the feel but it had to be hammered out and played with a lot more force.  I simplified parts but tried to keep the gist.  The samples were from the utter fantastic Metal Foundry in Superior 2.  Just a pure from the box mix, nothing clever.  Straight ahead power.  Ran through a group and simply added some EQ, compression and a TINY splash of reverb.

    The choir was fun.  I've just signed up with EastWest and was looking for a project to use Hollywood Choir on.  They have this feature called WordBuilder where, using their Votox phonetic alphabet you can get the choir to sing anything.  Programmed in 4 different parts, 2 male and 2 female, and then bust out the keyboard.  I cheated on these and used an EZMix preset for choirs.  Gave the right amount of air and weight to it for me and saved me a lot of time.

    For the outro, was simply the break in the original extended, piled on way more strings (again courtesy of EastWest) and broke out the strat for the solo.  Was aiming to make it more Floyd then metal, keep something melodic.  I mean obviously I failed massively ha ha ... I tried.

    Vocals were direct into the Focusrite from my AKG C1000S (an absolute bargain of a small condensor mic). No pop shield, and kind of rammed halfway down my throat :)

    Overall mix was my usual practice.  Drums balanced to just below 0db on the master, then bring in bass down the centre aiming for the same volume as the kick (although this bass was so low it became almost sub so is still a bit tricky to hear), then guitars panned out, three in this case, left and right doubled and one in the middle quiet.  Then vocals and extras.  Run the whole lot through a compressor and a limiter and apply some EQ to the whole mix.

    I think it could be mixed a lot better ... but it is what it is in the time.  It inspired me to try something else later though, did a Timberlake song and I think the outcome was a bit rounder.

    Not sure it that's interesting or not ... it's certainly long :)

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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 907
    Finally got a chance to listen. Ten very good entries this time - they all have something interesting but there can be only three ....

    (based on gut response)

    5 points @flying_pie ; Ein Schöner Morgen  Anyone singing in German does it for me. God's Own Language to a Zappa fan. :)

    3 points @frank1985 Nice build up of tension and some tasty guitar playing.

    1 point @Fretwired ; Storm99  So chilled and then .... that dubby riff!

                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
                                                                                                                                                            My Soundcloud stream

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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 372
    Bezzer said:
    Not sure it that's interesting or not ... it's certainly long :)

    Said the actress to the vicar...


    As someone new to recording and writing I personally find that sort of information to be useful. That's also very impressive for an afternoon's work. When you originally posted about having a free afternoon I was expecting an acoustic cover, not a full band with choir. 
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  • frank1985frank1985 Frets: 519
    edited March 6
    @DeeplyDazzled This is a great opener...I’ve never heard an ebow on an acoustic, sounds sweet. Is that natural room reverb, an fx pedal, or both? 
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  • The EBow/acoustic guitar sound was recorded through a condenser mic (Art M2) then into a Lexicon MPX550 chorus/reveb patch.
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