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#1093769 - 10/12/15 05:41 PM 30-second test?  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Crozet, VA
I think I am pretty close to being done with this dang CD I have been working on forever! I have uploaded the songs to a playlist at soundcloud: [b][size:14pt]Crows Say What?[/size][/b]

If you can spare the time, I would appreciate it if you would just go through the first 30 seconds of each tune (or a verse and chorus if you are so inclined!) and just make sure nothing is glaringly wrong.

I have listened to it so much that all I hear now are the mistakes, stumbles, mush mouth singing and that sort of stuff (ha, ha). Overall I have gotten the volume up to where it is almost on par with most analog recordings from back in the day -- but I can't get to the current music loudness without squashing it too much (the CD as a collection has a dynamic range rating of DR10). Quality-wise I think I am doing pretty decent for a typical home recordist.

Thanks!


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1093775 - 10/12/15 07:17 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
The first song sounds about right. Since I have been fooling with recordings since about 1956 a few things I have learned. There is a Level/Volume Control for a reason. To prevent recording gross distortion. The Meters on a Tape Recorder when reaching the Red are, if I'm not mistaken, it's been so long, is at 3 percent THD, (Total Harmonic Distortion) of which is perfectly acceptable and many recordings on Tape probably have reached that level.

With recording on a Digital Device going into the Red is a No. No! So it is best to set that level to about 70 percent of the max and your recordings will come out all right.

Dynamic Range is the measurement of a recording device's ability to capture the lowest to the loudest passages without max distortion. Better Audio Tape Recorders could easily measure a 50 to 55 Db range. I think Digital is even better. So the recommended (Mine) setting of about 70 percent is more than adequate.

When you go into the distortion of a Digital Device it sounds like an electrical storm on an AM Radio or gross scratches on a Vinyl Record.

OK. My bill is on it's way!


Ray E. Strode
#1093776 - 10/12/15 07:23 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Thanks Ray! But are you saying the recordings sound distorted?


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1093778 - 10/12/15 07:32 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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No, no distortion to speak of.


Ray E. Strode
#1093780 - 10/12/15 07:38 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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double thanks!


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1093784 - 10/12/15 09:59 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Online content
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Listening as I type, Kevin, and it sounds great. It's been a long time coming but well worth the wait. Congrats!

Ricki

#1093786 - 10/12/15 11:50 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Hey Kevin,

first, please understand that I have no "ear", and so can't comment on db's or any other technical aspect, unless something really stands out as "off", and if it did, I couldn't tell you why.

But nothing sounded "off" to me. It's all clear and clean and no caffeine!

So lemme try to phrase this right, because it's meant as a compliment!

This doesn't give me the vibe of having been done in a recording studio. It sounds like some friends hangin' out on a back porch, just having a good time.

I didn't listen to the tracks in order, my bad, but one of the things that gave me the illusion of friends hangin' out, is the very beginning of "Slightly out of Phase".

At about the 1.5 second mark, someone says "Ready?"...If you had left that in, intentionally, then I'd say "Well done!!, because that one little comment set the whole stage for me.

If it was not left in, intentionally, then give it another listen and figure out if you wanna keep it or not.

Well done, lad! It was the most enjoyable assignment I've had in a long long time:-)

Midnite



Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1093787 - 10/12/15 11:51 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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I did as you requested and listened to some of all the songs. They sound very good. You vocals have come a long way in terms of being on pitch, etc.

In terms of loudness and distortion, I had to listen in good headphones rather than speakers which can be misleading, but I could hear everything. The mix was plenty loud enough, although I don't know what Soundcloud does to our tracks in terms of compressing and leveling. There was no distortion. I have read that the volume wars are tapering off and that more dynamics are creeping into songs, but that probably only pertains to the most pumped up pop songs so it is probably irrelevant here.

As far as production is concerned, I thought the Bup Bup song was a bit loose in the timing of the drums vs guitars, and the guitar on the right is fighting the vocals a bit, but that was the only one. I thought Thunderbird Motel might have been a bit louder than the ones before, although in headphones, it is hard to tell. If it is, it's subtle. (I listened to some on speakers today and the volume seems more consistent).

That's about it. Everything else is fine IMHO.

Good luck,

Colin

Last edited by Colin Ward; 10/13/15 08:01 AM.

Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1093805 - 10/13/15 09:49 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Kevin, over all I think it is a pretty good CD, your four most commercial songs that I like best are 2, 5, 10, and 14, maybe it is because they are love song, being a romantic they appeal most to me.LOL I liked #8 for its up-tempo feel. Congratulations for taking the plunge and doing what your heart told you. Success comes from doing, not dreaming and no action. Bringing a dream to life is success. Good for you sir, I hope you do well with it.

#1093858 - 10/13/15 11:34 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Kevin:

No nits or crits. I listened and thought the recording technique was good. The song about keeping the two dogs struck me as the one I would pick if I were narrowing everything down to a single.
Best of luck with the album.

----Dave

#1093872 - 10/14/15 09:49 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
Ricki: Thanks for taking the time to give it a listen. It is a llot of fun doing this stuff -- but I wish I knew now what I didn't know then. I could have improved the arrangements and recordings!

Midnite: Ha! You caught me. Once I decided to leave that opening strum in there, it just seemed like someone need to say something. I had been thinking of adding that "ready" in there for a while -- finally did it. It is me playing everything on that one, so of course I wasn't ready (ha, ha). Super-duper thanks for the listen and comments.

Colin: I turned down the right guitar a couple of db during the singing parts. I actually turned down the speakers to as low as I could go and listened to all the songs. If any string instruments were competing with the voice, I turned them down a tad -- nothing radical, just a db or two. I also adjusted Thunderbird Motel a wee bit. Thanks -- it is appreciated.

Everett: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day and give the collection a spin. Thanks for your take on your favorites also!

Dave: It is always good to have a slightly humorous song or two. I like Her Weekend myself. I appreciate the listen and comments.


Thanks to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1093982 - 10/15/15 10:38 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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MidniteBob  Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich

Midnite: Ha! You caught me. Once I decided to leave that opening strum in there, it just seemed like someone need to say something. I had been thinking of adding that "ready" in there for a while -- finally did it. It is me playing everything on that one, so of course I wasn't ready (ha, ha). Super-duper thanks for the listen and comments.

Thanks to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ha!!! Brilliant choice! I'll have to track ya down and hurt you if you take it out now:-)

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1094004 - 10/16/15 11:54 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Bernd Harmsen Offline
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Well, there are two rather different 30 second tests.

In the good(?) old time you had about 30 seconds to convince an A&R manager if you tried to pitch a song or some radio guy to put it on air. This would be the very first 30 seconds.

If you try to sell songs today - it's the internet age, mind you - you've actually got 30 relevant(!) seconds to convince the buyer. These days I posted my songs on CD-Baby and the managed in 16 out of 17 songs to select the chorus for their automated preview! That's what potential buyers can listen to before they decide to buy or scrap it. And it's quite enough, I'd say.


Although I can't tell how A&R people or radio presenters work today I tend to say that the 30 second 'rule' is not a big issue anymore.

Your home-produced songs sound fine to me (much better than mine, but I'm not much of a competition).

Bernd


Bernd
[url]http://bernd-harmsen.com[/url]
#1094238 - 10/20/15 10:56 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Bernd Harmsen]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
Bernd: Thanks for chiming in, it is appreciated I don't there is much in the way of "sales" in my future, though (ha, ha).

I think I am done. Thanks to all who listened and commented. I took every suggestion to heart and tweaked what I thought I could tweak without ruining what I had (ha, ha). Perfect -- not by a long shot, but probably as good as I can do! OK, I did listen to all of the songs in mono and they all sounded fine except for the The Bear Picture Song (which I am going to re-name I'm a Big Bear. I will have to look at that one again.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094326 - 10/22/15 06:51 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Bernd Harmsen Offline
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Here are my 30-second tests. IMO CD Baby does a great job selecting representative snippets - never mind the music behind that ;-)

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/berndharmsen

Or here's Amazon (no fading in and out which makes it less elegant, yet they use cuts from within the songs, too):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016MMZD7Y

Last edited by Bernd Harmsen; 10/22/15 06:52 AM.

Bernd
[url]http://bernd-harmsen.com[/url]
#1094356 - 10/22/15 03:52 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Bernd Harmsen]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
You are rocking out!


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094627 - 10/27/15 08:04 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


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Crozet, VA
Got the first free review CD back from kunaki -- looked good and played fine. Kunaki said they didn't use CD-TEXT, but when I popped it in, windows media player recognized the album name and the names of the 14-tracks, pretty cool. Kunaki wants 300dpi artwork, but all I had were images in Paint (96dpi). It still look passable.

Of course, I have slightly edited four songs already (ha, ha) -- I ended up playing the CD really loud in the car and I heard a few things that I didn't hear at the lower volumes that I was mixing at -- oh well. So I will be resubmitting a new cd image. Nothing gets edited at kunaki, you have to start all over again as if it was a new project -- but that is no big deal.

Kunaki only offers one free review CD (still nice), so I will order 5 and when I get the next set I can fire up iTunes and submit the album name and track names to gracenotes and be in that big music database in the sky!


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094699 - 10/29/15 09:57 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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$1.00 unit cost is great for up to five copies, how much shipping cost on five CD? 6 to 99 cost $1.75 each, plus shipping, why the big jump in unit cost I wonder.

#1094702 - 10/29/15 11:00 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
Everett:

I think they consider 1-5 units "review" copies, so they probably just do that cheaply so you will get a small quantity to try out first. There are no refunds or returns, so you want to make sure it is right.

The first time they send you one completely free
1 @ 1$ + $4.30 s/h = $5.30 (way too much)
5 @ $1 + $8.05 s/h = $13.05 ($2.61 per cd)
10@ $1.75 + $9.20 s/h = $26.70 ($2.70 per cd)
20@ $1.75 + $10.35 s/h = $45.35 ($2.26 per cd)

I probably will order 20 after I make sure the first 5 are OK. I can't ever see me ever ordering over 20 at any given time.

Places like discmakers become competitve once you start thinking about ordering 100 or more. Both jewel case CD's with 2-page color insert.
kunaki: 100 jewel case CD's = $140 + 20.70 s/h = $160.70 ($1.67 per cd)
discmakers: 100 CD's = $152 + 34.30 s/h = $182.30 ($1.82 per cd).
(note: discmakers kept showing $249 for a 100, but after clicking around it went down to $152 -- weird).

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 10/29/15 12:34 PM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094748 - 10/30/15 10:01 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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Thanks Kevin. The shipping and handling is what kills it. I guess shipping to another country will drive up the cost even more. Better to burn your own as needed.

#1094749 - 10/30/15 10:08 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Posts: 10,543
Crozet, VA
if you have a printer that prints on the disk directly, that'll work for low volumes. All in all, I still think kunaki is cheaper/as cheap as I can do by myself. ... and less hassle.

Edit: I just checked -- sending 20 cd's to St John's NL is $41.60, I guess you are stuck with Priority Mail International!

But 5 CD's is only $10 shipping. You can choose economy air with just 5 CD's. Still $2 a CD though.

Last edited by Kevin Emmrich; 10/30/15 10:16 AM.

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094793 - 10/31/15 09:30 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,472
Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,472
,NL Canada
$41.60 for 20 CDs is a little over $2.00 a CD,not bad I suppose. I wonder if duty comes into play too, not to mention sales tax. What ever way you look at it, Post Office and government will drive the price up beyond double the initial cost. Thank Kevin for checking this out.

#1094795 - 10/31/15 09:58 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Everett Adams]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,543
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,543
Crozet, VA
oops -- that is $41.60 for just the shipping, the 20 CDs @ $1.75 = $35 or a total of $76.60 for $3.83 for each CD. Pretty high. Printing them yourself if you have the printer is probably cheaper than that. But ink and supplies are not that cheap, either.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#1094870 - 11/01/15 05:49 PM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,472
Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,472
,NL Canada
Oh yeah, that puts it out of reach, especially when this is US dollars, Canadian dollar is now only worth about 70 cents US.

#1095728 - 11/16/15 10:29 AM Re: 30-second test? [Re: Everett Adams]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,543
Kevin Emmrich Offline
Kevin Emmrich  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 10,543
Crozet, VA
Ha, I actually sold a digital download of the CD at bandcamp. Of course then I found out it was an old friend of mine from Florida. Does that still make me a professional musician (ha, ha)?


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)

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