The Last Clean-up

Well, all good things must come to an end and MSI is no exception. I for one will be sorry to see it end. We’ve had the privilege to hear some remarkably talented songwriters and performers. Some incredibly polished engineering and creative recordists. We have seen the caliber of submissions increase exponentially and I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing every one of these pieces. Thanks to all of the artists that have had the guts to submit there musical compositions to be scrutinized and dissected by some very intelligent and quite talented people even if some of them are some grumpy old bastards. You know who you are.

Thank you Andrea and James for your insight, unique points of view and gentle critique of these submissions. Thanks to Tom Chianti for his contributions and suggestions to the artist from a recording engineer’s prospective.

Most of all, Thanks to Rich Wildman and Ian Husbands for their persistence and entertaining personalities that were the heart and soul of MSI.

I will have to award everyone my entire janitorial cart and cleaning supplies for the smashingly good time that I had here and remember, please unplug and carefully cover and electronically sensitive equipment before hose down after the end of today.


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Clean-up 10/11/15


Well, after a 2 month hiatus from writing these reviews, hopefully I’m back for good. I apologize to anyone who actually reads this blog, but my construction project manager job has eaten my private life with extreme prejudice. I am not thrilled with the idea that I have no time to record, produce or especially compose any music but sometimes you have to just face the fire.

Our submissions for this week were rather eclectic to say the least.
#1 was a nice chillstep tune that had a very nice sound palette and excellent use of sweeping filters and delays. This piece would be perfect for an after hours DJ mix or some independent film movie cues.

#2 Was a cute little folky love song that seem like a ‘push record’ first take. With a little tune up of the vocals and acoustic guitar and some sweeteners like a fiddle part or a banjo, we would have a happy little ballad.

#3 Wow, very different! As an old Fusion/Progressive rocker from the 70s this was a delicious eye-opener. Gothic dubstep? Maybe you have created a new genre that will open up the eyes of video game producers or horror film makers. I really liked it but I can see how some folks might find this difficult to listen to.

The high quality of submitted music on MSI has made it much more challenging to pick a winner but I will have to award 2 brooms and a wet/dry shop vac to #1. Until next week.

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Clean-up 8/23/15

A very interesting trio of pieces this week challenged all of us this week to have a favorite.

#1 was a tremendous songwriter’s piece. This is a great tune with all of the telltales of a country song destined for the charts. It needs to be fleshed out with perhaps a kit and bass part and maybe a pedal steel and, ta dah, you have a hit.

#2 was, wow, 1967 again with that folk, psychedelic feel. Excellent vocals and fine musicianship makes for an easy listen but it may be hard to get this heard anywhere except in a period film soundtrack.

#3 had a fine 80’s feel to it. It would easily had been mt fave if it hadn’t been swimming in reverb. It had some fine vocals but too much of the other instrumentation was muddy from reverb.

Although I’m not much of a country music fan, I will give #1 3 hydro plungers and a mop for the drippings and if you get some more instrumentation on this, it is radio-ready.

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Clean up 8/9/15

Well between working hellish hours, a few Saturday night and Sunday gigs, and the pursuit of video documentation of Bigfoot, I have been burned-out or out of communication for a month or so. I apologize to the hard working artist who bust ass to submit music.

This week #1 had a nice modern sound with a rather talented bass player and a tune that had some really good ideas. The recording showed a wide separation of the instruments, maybe even a little to much. An interesting and innovative song structure with an unusual ending made this a very interesting but slightly in need of polish piece of music.

The #2 song, a country style with a psychedelic twist had some clever yet borderline novelty lyrics. There were some mix issues as the fiddle was mixed to far away with a lot of reverb and the lead guitar had similar issues. I think a picking banjo part would have pulled this together a bit more.

#3 has a ‘wall of sound’ 80s feel to it with some Van Halen Hammer-on and pull-offs in the licks and the solo. There was some ‘in tune’ issues with the vocals and the guitar part and there is just way to much reverb on the whole mix.

I have to go with 3 and a half Swiffer mops for #1. I think it has the best chance to be remixed and maybe a retake and there will be a good modern alternative pop song here.

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Clean up 6/21/15

#1 was a good EDM piece that had some well place filter sweeps in the intro. I never thought I would say this, but the vocal are to prominent. Some additive and subtractive mixing, i.e. dropping and introducing parts would go a long way to make this one club pumping.

#2 Well, oh my, a real country tune with all of the bells and whistles. This was very well polished and radio ready fo’sho’. I’m very impressed even if it was a bit predictable. In country music, predictable can be good.

#3 A really good R&B/pop tune. The intro was a bit confusing, maybe they were going for that AM radio in the car feel. This tune with a few tweaks here and there is definitely radio ready. A modern take on a tried and true style.

3 window cleaner tablets and a bucket of hot water for #3 my winner this week.

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