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Colour Me Red by Diesel13 (jp65535)
I'd previously downloaded version 1, but figured it'd make sense now to critique v1.1 instead, so here it is! Nice to hear a more acoustic-led version of this track, having just critiqued several that take a more electric slant, and it's a very convincing version in general from the perspective of the band. Some people have taken a very compressed sound for the drums, but here the compression feels much more moderate and in keeping with the more acoustic outlook. Things also seem to blend quite well, too, although the effects have been carefully applied to be pretty stealthy, which is rarely a bad thing and certainly seems to keep things fairly direct-sounding in this case.

I'd maybe pull back the higher frequencies of the acoustic guitar picking transients, because they do come a little too far out from the texture, relatively speaking, and the low midrange of the backing vocals feels like it's building up in the mix a bit too much, so some subtractive EQ might be worthwhile there. Otherwise I like the way the sounds fit together for the most part, with the exception of the bass guitar, which seems to major on the frequencies that prove most troublesome from a mix perspective, namely the low midrange. I'd suggest giving it a bit more fundamental (the raw tracks are a bit shy in that respect) and then maybe some more true midrange to bring out more of the melodic interest, which is maybe a bit too understated at the moment.

I can see there's already been some discussion on this thread about the vocal distortion. If I can pay in my tuppence-worth, I think it actually works really nicely in terms of making the vocal seem more exciting. The patch suits the voice in this case, and hearing it made me think 'wow, that really is a great vocal performance' despite having heard it more often than Diesel himself has by this point... Rolleyes What I'm trying to say is that the processing seems to be enhancing what I already like about the vocal, which I think is great. On a technical level I think you might want to automate an EQ on the distortion return, though, because it does make the vocal tone feel overly congested at times, particularly the Mid-sections. In Mid-section 1, for instance, it seems a bit muddy on "here", "taste", "away", "see the writing on", and "me fall", to be specific.

However, despite all the things I like about the vocal distortion, it does cause a bit of a problem getting the vocal to sit with the backing track, because it feels a bit like it belongs to a different (probably more electric/rock) vision of the mix. So, in that respect I think something in the backing needs to bridge this divide before the vocal will sit properly. I actually wonder whether you might just be able to sort it out simply be setting up a stereo distortion+compression send, feeding it from the acoustic guitars and snare, and then mixing that in a little bit. It's not that I don't like the acoustic vision, it's just that it seems a bit clean to work with that kind of furry vocal character.

Altogether, though, I like your approach a lot, and it's really highlighted what a dose of vocal distortion can offer for this multitrack. Thanks for posting!
(21-11-2016, 11:00 PM)Mike Senior Wrote: (Several nice comments and many pointers to new opportunities for learning and experimenting. jp)

Mike -Thanks for taking the time to review and critique my entry. I'll be creating a cut-list of the areas that need work.
Wow, automating EQ. Who knew? (Well, probably everyone except me, but that sounds like something I need to get familiar with - quickly.
I can't wait to see the list of the top entries. I'm sure listening will be an education.

Thanks for selecting such a fun song for the competition. I'm already looking forward to the next one. But not too soon, I got things to learn... Big Grin
Thanks again, John.