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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Rita Ora: 'RIP'
      #1019910 - 23/11/12 11:20 AM
Despite its demonstrable unit-shifting capabilities, it was all I could do to keep my finger off the Skip button while auditioning this exceptionally bland production. Any life that might have remained in the mechanically programmed drums has been smooshed out of them at the mastering stage; mushy synth layers complacently go through the motions, draped around unimaginative harmony; and there’s scant arrangement interest beyond a bit of fader/mute juggling. Despite all that, though, I couldn’t help smiling at one corner of the main hook lyric, because of the neat way it plays with your expectations. The first phrase (0:02-0:14) begins with Rita Ora spelling out “R.I.P.”, so when the second phrase recaps the same melody at 1:15, there’s a momentary impression that she’s started another acronym “I.D...”, when in fact the lyric actually continues “I decided...”.

It was so diverting that I almost listened to the song twice.

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Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete recording method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Rita Ora: 'RIP' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1019912 - 23/11/12 11:22 AM
I critiqued this mix from the version on the NOW 82 compilation, and Wikipedia suggests that the Stargate people were responsible for the production.

Despite my quip in the main critique, I have ended up listening to this track more than once, not that it's changed my opinion much... What I do notice more consciously now, though, is the way the lead vocal's high level only reinforces my impression that the backing sounds small. Everyone has a pretty clear idea of how loud a voice is naturally, so if it's mixed much louder than the backing in a mix, it tends to suggest that the rest of the backing sound is less loud than a single voice.

With live recorded instruments, the illusion can be partly restored by the performance intensity of the backing musicians -- they can give the impression that they're loud via the enthusiasm of their playing and the tonal changes this elicits from their instruments. With electronic instruments, though, it's trickier to do this, even with the usual tricks of wide stereo, long delays, and big ambiences, all of which are on display here.

(And, speaking of stereo, check out how those synths suffer in mono, which only serves to exacerbate the vocal level issue.)

For more critiques of commercial productions, browse The Mix Review Index.

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Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete recording method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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franciskimberley



Joined: 28/07/08
Posts: 303
Loc: UK
Re: Rita Ora: 'RIP' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1019977 - 23/11/12 06:07 PM
I f#@*ing hate this song. The main lyrics are wrist slittingly moronic, the sonic palette is depressingly beige, Tinie Tempah's guest verse was all about the cash and ticking demographic checkboxes... Aargh, there's nothing bad here that you can't find anywhere else in the charts but there's something about this song that's really offensive. I can't get past the above to even bring myself to download it and listen to the mix. I feel sorry for Mike that he had to listen to it multiple times, I can just turn off the radio.

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www.hungrybearmastering.com
www.bookofsound.com


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Rita Ora: 'RIP' new [Re: franciskimberley]
      #1020113 - 24/11/12 08:54 PM
Quote franciskimberley:

I feel sorry for Mike that he had to listen to it multiple times, I can just turn off the radio.




It's a type of masochism. I can only blame myself...

--------------------
Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete recording method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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oggyb



Joined: 09/02/08
Posts: 1615
Loc: Leeds, UK
Re: Rita Ora: 'RIP' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1026302 - 29/12/12 10:31 PM
Sounds like a digidub cash-in. It's fashionable. I do like the timbre of the drums they've used, and the addition of a 9th over "I'm ready for ya" in the last section.

The rest of it can go away.

--------------------
Composer;
www.ogonline.org


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sc1460
member


Joined: 07/01/01
Posts: 90
Re: Rita Ora: 'RIP' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1026514 - 31/12/12 09:56 PM
Nevertheless Mr Senior please continue with the s&m as I find it thoroughly beneficial to read your critiques of chart hits, though frankly i think you are sometimes too kind!


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