The results for Tornado of Solos are here! This is how the public voted:
#1 Ivan Hakštok - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Bat The Funk Out - good -0.1
#2 Cory Johnson - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Ken Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard Presents 'Kenagon Griffinity' - above average +0.44
#3 Powellman - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - King Tama Jr Presents........ - above average +0.36
#4 BMC_War Machine - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Designated Shredder - above average +0.19
#5 Czyszy, Katamari - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - The Stadium Organist Got Carried Away (WIP) - above average -0.19
#6 Ian Martyn - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - AcoustiKen Griffey Jr. - average +0.45
#7 tibone - Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball - Griffey's Theme - average -0.19
The public votes are scaled to integer values from 0-60 (e.g., ["above average" = 40 points] + ["+0.36" = 4 points after rounding] = 44 points)
Here is how the public voted (note: see bottom of post for final scores)
#1 Ivan Hakštok - 49/60
#2 Cory Johnson - 44/60
#2 Powellman - 44/60
#4 BMC_War Machine - 42/60
#5 Czyszy, Katamari - 38/60
#6 Ian Martyn - 35/60
#7 tibone - 28/60
Our duel was also reviewed by a special judges panel for this month, featuring Snappleman and Prince uf Darkness!
Snappleman's scores and comments:
1. AcoustiKen Griffey Jr. - 6 points
Aacoustic guitar recordings are good! otamatone wtf! lead guitar playing could use a fair bit of expression and confidence (and practice), fukken banjo. Overall I feel like some of the harmonic content was thinned out a bit by the lack of bass, and not always playing the correct chords or voicings. Still decent tho.
2. Bat The Funk Out - 10 points
Love the guitar playing, that bass break is effing dope too. bass sounds great. I don't like the drum mix, I apprecitae the usage of the drum room mics but they're too raw, too much 800-1khz. Brass is a bit too loud compared to the guitar, at least in the sections when the guitar needs to be out in front early on. The original soloing is very cool. Best lead playing this month.
3. Designated Shredder - 9 points
Guitars are bit too scooped for my tastes, dig the rhythm playing! the drums are a bit disjointed for me, kind of kills the groove. lead guitar playing is ok, lacking in finesse and expressiveness, and the lead tone could use more mid-presence. Bass is super fat, which can be a good thing but I'd have liked a bit more note definition in it, and again the harmonic richness of the original was a little lost here.
4. Griffey's Theme - 6 points
Different take on the riffs and leads here, not sure how I feel about the changes, though I do appreciate you not trying to go over your abilities. Mix could use a bit of very subtle EQing in the 180-400hz range, I do like the chilled out acoustic section, but I don't know how far that can carry you in a SHRED contest, either way it's an interesting entry.
5. Ken Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard Presents 'Kenagon Griffinity' - 7 points
What the, this shit raw as fuck, nice. these lyrics are hyper stupid, singing voice nerdy, lead gtr playing is appropriate for the arrangement, could use some obsessive practice sessions tho. I really dig the arrangement overall, if this wasn't a shredding compo I'd appreciate it a lot more, but this is dope, the mix is going for a certain lofi sound and it works-ish.
6. King Tama Jr Presents........ - 10 points
That snare sounds like shit lay off the transient shaper, dickhead. best playing of that main riff so far, sounds so good! But the tone is mad muffled! Lead playing is the best so far too! Nailed the fucking thing, so good, not sure how I feel about all that wetttt on the lead guitar. Bass is good. Love that synth, sounds like a D-beam! Best guitar playing in this shit, and the D-beam is impressive as fucking since I have one and cant get anywhere near that level of anything out of it! Halftime holy shit! Best rhythm playing this month.
7. The Stadium Organist Got Carried Away (WIP) - 8 points
Easy on the limiter, asshole! so much distortion in the low end, I like the energy in the rhythm guitars, not sure how I feel abuot the chip, but I do appresh the organ. organ playing is rockin, lots of balls and good tone. Not sure how I feel about leaving the SPC bass in there during the break, that's an important moment in the song for me, so taking off some points for that, still a very interesting entry.
Prince uf Darkness's scores and comments:
AcousticKen Griffey Jr. - 11 points
Comments: I love this. It’s risky, it’s clever, it’s totally different than the others. I only have minor production and performance gripes about this one. Right off the bat (hey-oh!), because the acoustic guitar is the sole rhythm instrument, I think it needs a tiny bit more low end. I’m not talking about thumpy frequencies, more around the 150-200Hz range. How compressed is this acoustic guitar? It feels like every note is performed at a static level, and I think it would sound just a little vibrant if the acoustic rhythm was played a little more dynamically. Accenting open chords and such. There’s a lot of space to fill with one instrument. 0:59 has CRAZY sharp transients on that lead. Compress that shit down. 1:55 onwards with all the instruments together is GREAT, I would’ve loved to hear more of those various instruments together rather everyone trading off over one acoustic guitar.
Ground Rule Double
Bat the Funk Out - 14 points
Comments: IF YOU DON’T LIKE… WHAT YOU SEE HERE… Ugh… funky brass section is like a cheat code to give you points, so fuck you. Solid all around, dig the roomy sound on the drums, kick thumps pretty well. The guitar playing totally steals the show in this one, from the tone to the performance, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. The only production gripe I really hear is that the bass isn’t filling the space between the guitars and the kick drum that I’d normally expect. The tone might just need a little more spank, it’s more of a early 90’s funk tone than an early 90’s rock tone that it needs. That could just be my bias towards the Extreme track, but 20% more attitude on that bass tone and this would be a perfect track for what you were aiming for.
P.S. drum quantization gets a little wonky on the snare at 2:38
Designated Shredder - 12 points
Comments: God damn, solid as shredding. Like Bat the Funk Out, guitar steals the show, but the drum programming is also ace. There are some out of control sub frequencies around 60Hz right in the intro, and I have a tough time figuring out if it’s a bass thing or a tom thing. Maybe both? It clears up at 0:17. Try a multiband compressor to keep that shit in place. Also on the bass, would love to hear more low mids, or spanky distortion or something to round out the tone across the spectrum. Once the track gets going at 0:17 things start really kicking ass. Nice crisp tone and as a full package, the song sounds great. I would love to hear a little more out of the direct mics for the toms instead of the room mics, but it still works stylistically. The shredding and tone from 0:46 – 1:36 is the highlight. Well fucking done. Since the bass gets exposed at 1:36 it sounds to me like a pretty scooped tone. Don’t be afraid of those low mids or mid mids of the bass. They really help with perceiving what the notes actually are, where the low frequencies are more about the power.
Griffey’s Theme - 6 points
Comments: Alright, lot of room for improvement on this one, not going to lie. Drum programming is good, drums definitely need to be louder, particularly kick and snare. Rhythm guitars and bass sound decent. The things I would really focus on improving are the rhythmic timing of the lead guitars from 0:06-0:43 and 1:17-1:39. Not quite in the pocket, mostly ahead of the beat. Same with the rhythms at 0:44. There’s a lot of high end on the acoustic chords at the end, either compress that shit or EQ some of that out.
Pop fly to Center-Left Field.
Ken Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard Presents ‘Kenagon Griffinity’ - 10 points
Comments: This one is ripping my brain apart. I love the lofi Dead Kennedys vibe, so I think most of what would otherwise be negatives is actually working towards the punk attitude, and I find myself not being to hit it too hard. I’m pretending this was recorded in a warehouse on a 4-track cassette recorder while everyone’s hammered and stinking of cigarettes. I think as far as the aesthetic goes, you’ve achieved what you’re going for. Here are some production things I noticed:
-Grab a notch filter and pull down 2300Hz like 6dB. THAT is really hurting the clarity of the track.
-If you pulled down a wide Q around 600Hz, that would also help balance it out. I respect you are not going for a super hifi grammy winning mix because of the style, but that would still work.
-Drums have a great vibe, but are just a LITTLE too compressed, cymbals are suffering the most
Sacrifice Fly to Get the guy on 2nd to 3rd base
King Tama Jr Presents - 12 points
Comments: Pretty straightforward DoD arrangement. Guitars and Bass sound great. I’m not digging the kick and snare samples. Especially in that intro groove, I’d prefer to hear more dynamics since it’s a groove riff. This bass tone is definitely what I’ve been expecting from the other rock tracks. Balanced across the frequency spectrum, very clear and not overpowering the guitars. Are you playing the fucking melodies on otamatones at 1:34? That’s fucking hilarious. Not going to lie, was going to give the straightforward arrangement a 3, until you busted into the swing groove. You know how much I like swing grooves, you bastard.
Force Walk with Bases Loaded
The Stadium Organist Got Carried Away - 8 points
Comments: Holy drum compression. Relax. Tranquillo. Also a lot of energy at 5000Hz on the cymbals. I like the attitude of this arrangement, but the production is kind of killing it, and making it hard to listen to the elements I want to hear. The organ is easily the best part, though. I dig the bass tone as well, nice and round, holds up the low end pretty solid. A little mum on the guitar tone as well, probably a little too fuzzy over overgained. The chip sounds are clever but aren’t really fitting into the mix, I might compress them a little bit, and add a stereo chorus or reverb to fill some space, also boost the low mids since most of the energy is on the high mids. Not bad, but really killed by the drum sounds mostly.
One guy stole 2nd, the other got thrown out at Home
That puts our final scores at......
#1 Ivan Hakštok - 49 + 10 + 14 = 73
#2 Powellman - 44 + 10 + 12 = 66
#3 BMC_War Machine - 42 + 9 + 12 = 63
#4 Cory Johnson - 44 + 7 + 1 = 61
#5 Czyszy, Katamari - 38 + 8 + 8 = 54
#6 Ian Martyn - 35 + 6 + 11 = 52
#7 tibone - 28 + 6 + 6 = 40
Congrats to Ivan Hakštok, Powellman, and BMC_War Machine on the win, and thanks to all of our judges and everyone who voted!
Next month's theme is.....
TRICK OR TREAT! This month has a very specific rule to follow: Your entry must either create a TREAT (take a SPOOKY song and make it FUN), or create a TRICK (take a FUN song and make it SPOOKY). For example, one might remix the music to Silent Hill as a bouncy disco track, or you might turn the Shatterhand soundtrack into a dark, creeping epic full of screams. The choice is yours, and yours alone.
Submissions are due by 11:59 PM Eastern on October 29th. Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org