213 Area Code Calls from American Idol’s Songwriting Competition Judges?

UPDATE – APRIL 27: Big, huge, fun American Idol liveblog + discussion happening on our new discussion boards.

It’s a really fun week here at spinme.com, because a lot of our clients and readers are waiting anxiously to hear whether they have been chosen as one of the Top 20 finalists in the American Idol Songwriter competition.

In the previous discussion thread, at least one of our readers received a mysterious call from a number in the 213 area code. Whether that’s a real call from the American Idol songwriting contest team or just an errant telemarketing ping, it’s got us all on pins and needles.

I’m not normally one to hold my breath and wait for the lottery balls to pop up. As I wrote in all of my books about the music business, you’re going to go farther by building a direct relationship with your audience than by holding out to “be discovered.” However, this is a very rare occasion — a very public songwriting competition whose outcome really will change the lives of twenty talented winners.

Even for the songwriters who won’t be featured in the top twenty, the American Idol Songwriter project has encouraged a lot of folks to share or create material that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day.

In the past few threads, songwriters have been sharing links to their songs and/or personal websites. A few folks have asked how they can share songs if they don’t have a personal website (yet). Feel free to use a large file transfer service like DropSend or YouSendIt to get those songs to us at tips [at] spinme.com, and we’ll host the files here for you.

Good luck, as always!

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153 responses

  1. Joe,

    You’ve gotta be kidding. Until the top twenty is announced..can there be another thread?

  2. I feel like Charlie Bucket.

  3. For Lee, and for other folks just joining us… because this site’s a blog and not a bulletin board, we’re not well equipped to handle pages and pages of discussion. Once one of our posts goes beyond about 100 comments, the server will get VERY SLOW. So to keep things moving and to keep the conversation in one place at one time, we close out comments on the old thread and start a new one whenever we need to. Sometime this week, probably before our newsletter goes out, I’ll pull together a recap post.

  4. Hey guys,

    Great idea to “talk” through this blog!

    I’ve submitted one song for the AI contest. The recording is rough (just me and git)… and no auto-tune… =(

    BUT I would really, really appreciate ANY feedback! The

    It’s called “Given Me Wings”.

    http://www.myspace.com/willistheband

    Thanks!
    -Phil

  5. Ann–I can’t believe you referenced Charlie Bucket….I’ve been thinking the same thing, just waiting to be one of the lucky ones to get a gold ticket, as unlikely as it may seem sometimes.

    Nancy hasn’t posted again, maybe they called her back and she’s on her way to the airport…or maybe she’s sworn to secrecy…..

  6. Michael Avatar

    Joe, I really am not trying to start panic, I am just getting good info here.. I agree that we should all just chill.

    Okay, still a rumor here. But there is huge activity at ckx (the owner of IDOL/19 etc)apparently people from Sony/ATV are coming in. It is most likely Sony/ATV will be the publisher designee of 19 entertainment on this. They usually work with Arista/J which surrogates 19.
    Keep your fingers crossed…

  7. Wouldn’t surprise me at all, Michael — as other commenters have mentioned, it’s likely that the A&R team have been burning the midnight oil to get their choices narrowed down before widening the selection to an in-house team.

    What I like about this whole process is that normally jaded folks from within the music publishing business are telling me they’re really excited about this.

  8. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Why are people being “flown” in?

  9. Mark L. Avatar

    Haha….this most fun you can have with your clothes on!

    I just hope the folks at 19Entertainment are playing Three Stooges Video’s…..Curly classics of course….to stay sane.

  10. Some above said this is the best $10 bucks they ever spent. I’d have to agree. I can’t remember the last time I experienced this type of anticipation and excitement, all the while knowing the odds are slim of anything really happening. Still, it’s a lot of fun hoping.

  11. It wouldn’t surprise me that folks from the big publishing offices in Nashville, or even NY and London, are tightly involved. After all, there are a lot of folks who will have to feel comfortable that ANY of the Top 20 songs will sound great on the show.

    Also, there are a LOT of folks, especially on the publishing side of the music business, who are REALLY still passionate about discovering new music. Outside of an event like this, it’s impossible (for legal and practical reasons) for them to review unsolicited demos.

    This must feel like Christmas to them.

  12. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Is there anyone on this site who knows anything for SURE or is it mostly conjecture? like about “huge activity at ckx? Where did that come from? I have SO MUCH TO DO but it’s so hard to tear myself away to see what the next bit of info will be!!!

  13. Well….(I’m the one who got the mystery phone call) and as of 6:20 on the East coast…I’ve heard nothing. It could have been some strange telemarketing thing or something. But how CRAZY it made me. A 213 call on my cell phone (the number I gave them)…on THE day that you guys are saying they would probably call! And I just went to the BATHROOM!! I keep humming that song that Sanjaya sang that night….the one about “Girl…you really got me going”…..etc. It kind of depicts the “frenzied” feeling I’ve had since coming back from the bathroom at 3:20pm.

  14. Joe Vee Avatar

    Nancy – go take another “health break” – maybe the tooth fairy -aka AI – will call again.

    We are pulling for you! And thanks for the update!

  15. I am a total newbie to the songwriting business. I will obtain one or more of the books on the topic described in earlier threads. However, due to the impending nature of this contest, I ask the following question naively: do we need to immediatley join ASCAP or BMI in case we win or are in the top 20? Also I read earlier that all 20 finalists are given the $10K advance. Is that really true, or only so for the winner? Thanks for any responses…

  16. Michael Avatar

    Yes, the activity is confirmed. And yes, I happen to be in the industry.
    It is an exciting them for them for exactly that reason of “unsolicited material.” Like it or not, most of this business is relationships with lawyers who pre-screen. Often they work backwards trying to get an artist deal and have to hold out publishing in case the label is it’s own publishing arm. So, if a songwriter is in this situation versus a hot young star, the hot young star has longer bankability and ‘could’ produce more revenue; meaning the the labels aren’t getting as many writers pitched to them and they can’t ask for unsolicited.

    As to Dan. It would be in your best interest to join either ASCAP or BMI right now anyway.

    No fresh news, it’s 4 there and the doors are shut.

    As you all know, “the artists may come and go, but the song lives forever.”

  17. So, you all agree with me that Idol will need to receive the top twenty ‘source tapes’ by Friday at the latest, so today or tomorrow is the last day we might expect to be notified?

  18. I am so glad I found this discussion thread! I’ve really enjoyed listening to the songs when links have been provided and it has also been exciting to be part of all this.

    I’d heard about the AI songwriting competition but blew it off because I was finishing up my master’s thesis and was freaking out about it! At a low point, I was consoling myself by trying to imagine how good it was going to feel when I finally graduated and then this little melody popped into my head … “I’m walking on the clouds…floating on air” and I thought – that’s it! It’s an American Idol song! I didn’t have time but I just HAD to write the song. My husband helped me make a rough recording and we entered the contest. So there’s my story. It’s the fastest song I’ve ever written and the recording has really ugly mistakes in it but I’m actually sort of proud of it. So take a listen, if you like. It’s the first song on our myspace player.

    Melissa Green
    http://www.myspace.com/7shadesofgreen

  19. I’m sure any of us would be excited by a call from Cali about this time…some of you in this forum aren’t using good logic though:

    IDOL GIVES BACK starts tonight. You honestly believe that they are going to release any information out about the songwriting contest to the public, even the winners, that could possibly create any other media hype besides what they have spent so much time to build around this special? (I bite my tongue if they announce anything besides the shortlist being finalized tonight on TV). Dates in this industry are not an accident. It was not a mistake that May 2 begins online voting, right after this special is over with…leaving enough time for the necessary parties to be contacted.

    I still wish you all good luck!

    Some songs I have heard (not just in here) are either gender, race, or religious/creed specific. These are not bad songs, but you can count them out, I agree with an earlier post. Idol is about bringing people together, not dividing people based on what they believe or the color of their skin, or anything else like that. “Jesus Take The Wheel” sold as well as it did (still not her best song) because Carrie Underwood is a fantastic singer, not a rough-around-the-edges-up-and-coming songwriter like most of us…

    Taterix…I say that song needs to be on the radio as is. What sells that song besides the obvious strong lyrical content and vocal harmonies is your unique singing dialect that shows through. Not the same type, but much the way Rob Thomas had it work for him in Matchbox 20.

  20. Hello,

    I said a prayer for you Nancy! Funny, but I think we were all living vicariously through you today. I don’t know your song yet! Fill me in.

    Also, everyone, I am one of the writers who went outside of what would seem to be expected or competitive and submitted a song with religious references. I knew I was taking a chance, but, stranger things have happened.

    I wrote “God’ll Get Back Our Souls” 7 years ago on Memorial Day. I arrived at a wedding that was subsequently cancelled. So, instead of writing the typical my friend got left at the altar country song, I was inspired, possibly due to the introspection of the turn of the century that seemed to be in the air, to write “GGBOS”.

    When I completed the song that weekend I somehow knew in my gut that the song would have to wait for another time or place. One of those Opray AHA moments…..well I had one then.

    So, as this contest came to the forefront, my gut just told me to give it a go. There ya have it.

    Thought I’d share.

    Stephanie J

    P.S. Hey, it’s time for IDOL to begin here in Omaha and I need to get into my “Give Back” mode!

  21. Sorry Michael, Could you clarify your last statement a little more. What activity is confirmed?

  22. Hey, Howz it Goin’ Everyone…..Does anyone think that aside for songs of various styles Do you think they want to also find songs by writers of varied ages. Maybe they wanna find a good range of songs with different perspectives. An 18 year old may have a different take than a 45 year old. Maybe that 50 year old grandmother thing will hold true…..

  23. okay i’ve been thinking about this over and over. they’re probably going to pick like 30-40 songs. then they are going to listen to those again and edit down 10 more or so. And then, they’ll probably present 30 of them to Simon Fuller for the final blessing on which 20 he likes best. then i assume, they’ll contact the 20 finalists first and see if all the paperwork goes through but they’ll have that other 10 in their back pocket in case things don’t work out with someone.
    does anything think they already contacted people today or do you think they wanted to wait until after this big idol gives back event tonight and start contacting people tomorrow?

    ahhhh this is seriously giving me an ulcer…
    i like this board. lot’s of attitude which I love!
    http://www.myspace.com/tamarberk
    “Comes Down To me”
    &
    “On My Own”

  24. I’ve been reading these posts ever since I submitted my two songs to AI – looking for info on when the results would be out. I wasn’t planning on jumping in on the discussion, but I can’t resist – it’s too much fun! – I’m already worried about the anti-climax after the Top 20 are released (unless, of course, you ARE in the top 20 – no anti-climax there!) Am I the only one amazed that there’s no hard info anywhere out there on the net re: what stage of the decision making process they’re at? What about ‘leaks’ ??? – I guess those only happen at the level of international politics and world finance – over at 19 Entertainment everyone must keep their lips sealed pretty tight when it comes to Idol business!

  25. To try to pull my mind from these absurdist flights of fancy,
    I’m going to post in rhyme. I hope it makes me feel less antsy.
    When I got home from work, I had a -click- on my machine,
    So now, of course, my mind is right where Nancy’s must have been.

    I know I really ought to get my feet back on the ground–
    The odds are miniscule, with twenty slots to go around.
    My demo was atrocious, poorly played and quite off-key,
    And all around are far more gifted lyricists than me.

    And yet the butterflies have made a nest here in my gut,
    My mind’s distracted, and I can’t… I-can’t-remember-what.
    I don’t think I will sleep until the chips and ballots fall,
    And writing this in couplets isn’t helping me at all.

  26. I see no new posts…Joe..is this site experiencing technical probs?

  27. I have submitted a song with my songwriting partner. I wish everyone luck and hope that someone breaks through with this opportunity.

    Assuming our song doesn’t get picked, i didn’t want to waste this post. So, if any of you are very good singers, who would like to work with two published songwriters who have some material on TV, send me an email difalcoschickmusic@cogeco.ca

  28. Hey everyone, must say really enjoyed listening to the postings on the site. There are many very talented songwriters out there. My major critism are the lyrics, half the songs I hear are saying..” had my dreams so long…couldnt do it without you …im reaching for the stars ..here I am.. this is the night… dreams are forever dreams are forever ..couldnt do it without you..” You will find those lines in most of the songs. Not imaginative enough..too predictable..the point is to capture that sentiment without blatantly saying it. Also there are some songs that sound overproduced, very genre specific and don’t capture the sentiment of the show. Although some of those happen to be very good songs and should be released by the artists who wrote and recorded them….some good stuff. For the show I actually prefer the simple piano/guitar vocal.. really good if the songs stand just on that and allows the producers to mold it to what they want. However if there are 20 songs to choose from, there probably will be a sample of each genre and production. Good Luck everyone

  29. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Everyone seems to be raving about Taetrix (?) song. Where can we hear it?

  30. http://www.myspace.com/planetsunday

    That is Tatrix’s site. Track 1.

    Which is Nancy’s?

  31. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    thanks! VERY good! It’s so darn hard to know what they want; we only had time to do a piano vocal (I sent another fully demoed one from years ago also) and i wonder if the less demoed ones really are going to get by. they are so less dramatic.
    oh well, it’s a moot point now!

  32. Yes, I’d like to hear Nancy’s as well! I like your song too, Tatrix – especially the chorus. And, Stephanie, I couldn’t help but notice that you’re in Omaha. I’m just down I-80 from you in Omaha.

    I am so tempted to talk about how great Jordin was tonight (and how much I’d LOVE to hear her sing my song) but I suppose we should save Idol chatter for another discussion board, eh? Too bad they didn’t mention anything about the songwriter situation tonight!

    Melissa
    http://www.myspace.com/7shadesofgreen

  33. Whoops, Stephanie. Lincoln. I’m in Lincoln.
    Melissa

  34. 213-867-5309 everyone knew her as Nancy

  35. 213-867-5309 everyone knew her as Nancy give me a break…..gettin crazy

  36. 209, 213, 310, 323, 408, 415, 424, 510, 530, 559, 562, 619, 626, 650, 661, 707, 714, 760, 805, 818, 831, 858, 909, 916, 925, 949 all California area codes and LA has many

  37. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    is that the 213 number and if so, did she trace it?

  38. Phillip Avatar

    I also agree that Idol could hold off on notifying winners until Thursday (after the really big second part of “Idol Gives Back” airs Wed. night.) 20 calls will be easy to make and then that still gives AI the weekend to wrap up other affairs. Since the contest was on the “back burner” to begin with, I think it stands to reason that they will get past their special first and then very quickly turn their attention to the contest so as not to detract attention from “Idol Gives Back.”

  39. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Oh my gosh, I haven’t seen Jordin yet tonite BUT MELINDA MAKES ME WEEP SHE IS SO AMAZING.

    Oh, earlier comment about not having a “religious” focus on the songs…………..don’t they always have a huge CHOIR come out on the final song?

  40. Michael Avatar

    Great point tony, lots of area codes.
    I’m giving you all the leaks I have….
    Remember this is just rumor. So, last I had heard from my contact was this: ckx had the closed door with people from Sony/BMG. They left at about 6pm pacific time. Some of the staff has been told to be available this weekend. There is a concierge request (basically a pre booking of a hotel conference room) for friday and all of Creative Services at Freemantle have a huge meeting tomorrow.
    However, as we have all been asking anyone who gets in to tell us, I’m hearing that the confidentiality clause will be enacted until Tuesday unless the winners are slated to do press through Freemantle. If you have ever seen the AI contract there is an iron-clad confidentiality clause that is incredibly tight. So maybe we should come up with a code like “Well, guys NOBODY KNOWS” or something

    So, here’s hoping for tomorrow.

  41. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    did any one notice when submitting the lyrics portion (i sent mine in line by line) that when it came time to send it, the lines were gone and all the words ran together? I had to send it in again with “slash” marks separating the lines!
    It happened a couple of times so then i just figured that it reconfigured it to take up less space.

    I don’t imagine they are looking at all the lyrics unless they are SERIOUS about a song, then they’ll download them/read them/print them out?

  42. Joe Vee Avatar

    thanks Tony (aka Jenny) – that was helpful.

  43. My feedback on tatrix.. I actually love the verse.. Tatrix thankfully does not have every lyrical line stating Im reaching for the stars,almost gave up dream ..becasue of you they are here tonight..blah blah blah ..actually descent lyrics the verse with the melodic piano and seductive vocal line capture your attention, actually reminds me something in the mold that The Fray would write. The chorus however while having a hook reminds me more of something that I would hear in an 80’s soundtrack. While this in itself is not bad it might not be best suited for American Idol, actually to me this would be great in some movie soundtrack. On Tamar’s material from her website the standout piece to me is On My Own, GREAT song, very teen anthomish, simple cute catchy, very much of a teen liberation song something very suited for a singer like Liz Phair, although Tamar could probably do a good job releasing it on her own. Again not sure if that suites American Idol, couldnt really see Melissa Dolittle singing it. However I would not be suprised if it made the top 20, great hooks! Goodluck everyone

  44. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    It all comes down to Jordin and Melinda…….i wish there could be two winners. SO OUTSTANDING.

  45. Wow, what an exhausting day. Maybe tomorrow someone will hear something. Would anyone feel comfortable posting that they were actually chosen for the top twenty?

  46. Laurie W Avatar
    Laurie W

    I’ve been reading these posts for days, wondering and waiting like everyone else. I’ve heard it said that you can’t keep a good song down. So whether you have a professional demo or just a guitar, the bottom line is the song. I don’t think the A&R people will be fooled by a slick production if the song doesn’t have strong bones. Average/good lyrics have nothing to hide behind with only a guitar or piano. At least this is what I keep telling myself since I only had a guitar as accompaniment! Best of luck to everyone.

  47. david v Avatar

    You know, the contest next year will probably get over 200k entries since people will start preparing for it way in advance. I bet if you land in the top 20 this time you could make a living just leading seminars on how to write a AI top 20 song! LOL

  48. Sorry to be the one to throw the proverbial turd in the punchbowl but I get about 10 telemarketing junk calls a week with a 213 area code. So take a deep breath, pour yourself a stiffy and settle into your beanbag chair (am I the only one who actually has one?) and take that guy’s advice by putting on some Beatles (make it Revolver) and relax. If you’re the next Leiber and/or Stoller, Holland and/or Dozier, or hell, Paul Williams, then it’ll happen for ya. Nighty night.

  49. A lot of the music industry is in the west LA/Beverly Hills, and Hollywood areas which are 310 and 323 area codes anyway. Downtown (213) isn’t exactly a highlight spot of the entertainment industry, but who knows. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  50. Hi guys, me again! Let me sheds some light here … I am in the music publishing industry and I’m also a published composer. I have been racking my brain on what song will be the best out of what I have heard (including my own .. melodically, I’m there, I paint a picture, etc.) I HONESTLY and wholeheartedly believe that Leslie bowes song: HERE I AM is the one!

    PLEASE, go back and listen to it and think about all the things we have mentioned .. i.e., production, performance, message, etc. THIS IS THE SONG! If I’m in the top 20 with that … I concede! In all honesty, PLEASE reread (or remember ) what the idol camp was looking for via *their* website. The moment I heard this song, HERE I AM, I immediately went: “THAT’S IT!” I walk around singing the chorus to myself and not my own (or anyone else’s). Again, I’m on the editorial committee for an established (since 1975) publisher. No names, though … FYI, I’m also published as well. after the results I will reveal so that you can check out my other material. ๐Ÿ™‚

    once again, remember what the idol website said that they wanted. HERE I AM is it! When writing my titles (under the gun and in the final hour), HERE I AM is what I was going for.

    BTW, there is a story … it was co-written with his mother-in-law.

    Give another listen, please:
    http://www.myspace.com/lesliebowe

    again, I’m at:
    http://www.myspace.com/jamesegreen

  51. Re #46 – Yeah, lyrics are a hard call. We like the entry though and feel there is a fit.

    Re #53 – I agree this is a great tune. I didn’t get the same immediate appeal that you did. I’ve heard the song about four times and the chrorus has grown on me. I can say a lot of people really like it. I’ll have to role it in rotation with the other past finals tunes for an A/B. They did a great job.

    Our entry “Without you”
    http://www.myspace.com/planetsundayproductions

  52. any feedback to improve my song “Given Me Wings”???

    thanks!!!

    -Phil

    http://www.myspace.com/willistheband

  53. Hey there everyone.I also entered a song,two actually,into the American Idol Songwriting Competition.I usually screen my calls with caller id,and wait to see if anyone leaves a message or not.I guess in this case,if I see a number on my caller id that has the same area code as one of the ones that was listed on this site,I should answer the phone,huh? Seeing how I’m sure the reps over there in Fox land won’t leave a message if you actually are in the top twenty,I guess the important thing to do here,is just to be home and answer all your calls,just in case.If anyone has any new,or any info at all on this,could you please post it? Thanks alot!

  54. I also wanted to ask if the possibility was there,that perhaps even a 1-800 number could be used anywhere in this whole deal?…

  55. Hi Guys! My anxiety level is through the roof, aswell. When will we know? I have thought about when the 20 finalists will be contacted…when to give up hope, and I remember the agreement I checked that said that I give American Idol and affiliates, permission to present my song on t.v. the web, to send to others…for the purpose of the competition. If I read correctly, that means American Idol has no obligation to contact me to motify me that my song will be an inclusion of their top 20 selection. They will contact the winner to legalize the contract. Other than that, they have no need to contact the top 20 songwriters. We all agreed to allow American Idol, 19 Entertainment freedom to exhibit our songs, for the purpose of the competition. May 2nd seems to me, to be the likely date of announcement….On The Show. What do you think?

  56. HERE I AM is a pretty song, and it is probably in the mold and genre of what the American idol would sing as a finally, although it does fall into the trap of having the Here I am , not defeated my dreams are coming true true lyric trap…EVERY OTHER SONG IN THIS CONTEST HAS THE SAME LYRICS, the song lyric is all about the singer, nothing to do with the audience, dont really want the winner of the show to sing Here I am, im not defeated. When Kelly Clarkson’s a moment like this, the hook is ” a Moment Like This”. It is something that everyone can relate to, the singer is secondary to the moment and is just taking part of it, to hear an American Idol sing Here I am I am not defeated, my dreams are coming true.. actually sounds a little childish. Otherwise it is a very pretty song, it is basically a piano and vocal performance, the song has a beautiful melody and doesnt need to hide behind alot of production. I wouldnt be suprised if it was picked and the producers with the songwriters worked on rewriting the lyrics.

  57. The last 2 comments were posted by another Joe B. Imagine my shock at discovering the presence of another Joe B on this planet! Since neither of us have posted any links, we are indistinguishable from one another. (Now I know how everyone named Ann feels.)

    I would never critique anyone’s songs in a blog. I’d write to them personally.

    Just writing the song for this contest was quite fulfilling. To paraphrase a sports analogy – it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you feel about the song you wrote. I have written songs since the late 60’s, but my best work has always been way too downbeat and negative for American Idol. With the help of my wife who I married 3 years ago we managed to write lyrics that we both believed in AND that were positive in nature AND we actually love the damn song.

    It will obviously be a priceless opportunity to have written one of the 20 selected songs, but it’s how you feel inside about yourself that really matters.

    I’ve enjoyed listening to everyone’s songs, and I’ll provide a link to it in the future after May 2nd unless of course A.I. controls it.

  58. Melissa Cash Avatar
    Melissa Cash

    I would think/hope that if there was no answer when they called the top 20, that they would leave a message and say “you need to call this number within the hour or so, or we are moving on to the next person”. Especially if the caller ID comes up “Unknown”, or some weird number (which I always get anyway).
    The other day I got a call that specificaly said “Los Angeles”, my heart about dropped. I answer and it was a stupid telemarketer. I hung up on him.

  59. Carolyn Avatar

    It is also possible that they have called ID block – so if you get an unknown number you may want to pick up the phone.

  60. Re- 55 Hey Phil I’ve listened to your song Given Me Wings. My feedback…. crude production and vocals, lyrics fall into that trap you given me a chance for dreams to come true..here I am.. you give me wings to fly.. many submissions have the same lyrics… that being said I do like the opening verse lyrics about remembering the times when we held hands, something sincere and sweet about that line. Actually the song itself has a nice sweetness and sincerity and it would be cool if that made it to the top 20 just because it is the type of song that has potential and it would be interesting to see it with a great vocal , and nice production , and in my opinion new lyrics for the chorus

  61. #43-Michael–thanks for the insider info…it makes the waiting and anticipation that much more climactic to know that they had the big closed-door meeting.

    #53–James–thanks for the posting “Here I Am”…it’s been discussed, but I didn’t see a post…I’ll have a listen.

    Good luck everyone…keep your cell phones where they get reception….

  62. hey,
    i too, am on pins and needles
    they said they WOULD contact us b/c they needed our ORIGINAL WAV doc ASAP if our song was picked- i figured we wold have heard by yesterday- giving them one week to get the 20 together to put on line since voting starts next week- just a thought
    also- i am a bit frustrated- i am a new songwriter- and i understood that they were looking for an AMATEUR- so i worked real hard to get the song ready- now i am learning from this site that i basically have nO chance agst you guys who are like pros- i feel like the contest was presented improperly- they said just make a song and a melody on piano or guitarand we will ‘work our magic’- so i feel like they misled us- i did not know i would be up agst the amazing songs i have heard on this blog- but it was a great experience.

  63. Phillip Avatar

    I think that so many of us have tried to give our songs what the AI website asked for that the lyrics about “journeys”, “dreams” and “making it” are likely to be represented in at least some of the Top 20 songs, albeit only the cream of that particular crop.

    I also think that this might be the least competitive year to participate in this contest as it kind of snuck up on everybody. Clearly thousands more will enter next year after hearing the Top 20 posted so I guess our chances may never have been better.

  64. Nicola,

    Good point, I didn’t think they actually meant that…you would think they would contact you, but at the same time if they did, do you think that would curb the voting a little and give people too much time to begin a fan base? Like AI contestants only get one day (2 hour period) to get America to vote…could it be unfair to those AI contestants if the Songwriters Competition would get days in advance notice? hmmm. something to think about!!

  65. Michael Avatar

    Good morning. No call, texts or emails from anyone out there, those in the industry know that is a good thing. People are busy.

    Whether you get in or not. Write songs for yourself, stretch your writing with assignments like this one and please look into music publishing, it is where most of this game is played.

    Good luck to all.

  66. Phillip Avatar

    Michael #68 –

    Sounds like you truly are the insider here. We’ll all be waiting for your updates!

  67. Okay, I guess I need to choose another handle other than Joe B. He persists in critiquing songs here although he has not submitted his own work for criticism. Actually … hmmmm …. I’m keeping Joe B. In fact I think I’ll criticize him ๐Ÿ™‚ It may wind up being like that Superman III? where Superman fights himself or that Star Trek where Kirk is split into a positive and negative side.

    To Joe B,

    I pretty much agree with everything you say about everything…. I know …. I’ll critique every song that you critiqued ….

    Given Me Wings – first verse is nice. Personally I keep thinking about Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    Here I Am – dreary. It reminds me of a song by Molly who posted a while ago and asked for criticism. I prefer Molly’s song. The verses were much too slow and dreary, but the chorus was quite fresh and lovely. You are right that “not defeated” is an awful choice and comes off narcissistic.

    Without You – dreary droning verses, overproduced badly, fire the drummer.

    On My Own – nice real song, inappropriate for the finale of American Idol.

    Comes Down To Me – actually catchy…. listened to it twice … this is so sad for me who is also in this competition ….. this song is really good.

    That’s all for now … The Famous Original Joe B

  68. The waiting is tuff! The “road is long” no, just kidding….Actually, that did slip into my song submission, but what can you do. There are only so many trite lyrics to go around. I will post my song, a pop/r&b inspirational ballad, if not encumbered, after May 2…it will be cool to get some feedback, hopefully, positive, to cheer me after the big letdown! Oops, I’m supposed to think positively. I have to say, I am kind of hoping they will surprise us all, and just post the songs on the 2nd, with no notice. It is tuff trying to stay anchored by the phone all the time, and going crazy every time it rings! Afraid to go out. Afraid to go to work…afraid to go shopping…what if I miss the call! I hear a song in this….Good luck to us all! Enjoyed hearing all your songs and will share soon. This site has been a godsend during the seemingly endless wait. XOXO Amy

  69. I take it back Nicola…I do think the top 20 will be contacted before, because that’s the only way you can go into “Further Agreement”, and that has to be before on-line or on-air voting begins. And by then you will be sworn to secrecy so no one will be able to talk. Read below:

    4. The Competition will comprise the following elements:
    1. 19 Entertainment will select twenty (20) songs from those entered to go forward for public voting on the Competition website. 19 Entertainmentโ€™s decision on the selection of the twenty songs (โ€œthe Top 20 Songs???) will be final;
    2. the public will be invited to vote to select the winning song from the Top 20 Songs. This vote will be either by voting on the Competition website or by a telephone vote;
    3. the winning song will be the song receiving most public votes.
    5. If the Song is selected by 19 Entertainment as one of the Top 20 Songs, you (and all Co-Writers) will be required to enter into a further agreement with 19 Entertainment (โ€œthe Publishing Agreement???) as a condition of you continuing in the Competition. The Publishing Agreement will grant to 19 Entertainment (or its publishing designee) the exclusive right to publish the Song (but not any other music or lyrics you may have written) for a period of ten (10) years in return for an advance to you of $10,000 against a royalty to you of 75% โ€˜at sourceโ€™ worldwide.

    9. You agree to treat all information and material that you receive or acquire during your participation in the Competition as strictly confidential and not to disclose any such information to any third party.

  70. In response to js:I have heard of many songwriting competitions that don’t need a song entry with “studio production” quality to be considered as a contender for a great spot as a finalist,or maybe a winner in itself.If a song is true to itself,and has a great melody,and yes,exactly what judges consider appropriate for a competition,then you have an equal opportunity for success.Even up against people who send in full blown,cd distribution quality,album worthy singles.The people that do this may think they have a better shot at winning,with an over-production of their material,but the fact lies solely on how credible the song itself is.Is it worthy and even good enough to stand the test of time ?IE:is the single chosen as the winner going to sell copies in the long run,etc.Since the contest winner’s song will be remade to suit the idol winner,the quality of the submitted song should,and will not matter,and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

  71. to JOE B: (not sure which one!!)
    hey thanks for the feedback for “ON MY OWN”. Didn’t get much feedback on that one so I really appreciate it! it’s funny that you mention Liz Phair. I was obsessed with her first album and it all went downhill from there but yes, there is definitely some LIZ influence!

    We’ll see if some folks hear today! I have a strong feeling in the pit of my stomach that they wanted to get last night’s show overwith and start contacting folks today. but hell, I know nothing….hehe.
    have a great day everyone!
    xo
    tamar

    http://www.myspace.com/tamarberk
    “Comes Down To Me”
    &
    “On My Own”

  72. Kathleen Avatar
    Kathleen

    Hey, folks. Nice to see some critical discussion here – over at the AI boards it’s all happy happy joy joy “everybody’s song is a winner!!” even if they truly suck.

    I entered “Who I Am.” It’s on my TAXI hosting page at:

    http://www.taximusic.com/hosting/songs.php?userid=1785

    Love some feedback. Just remember – I’m a writer, not a vocalist!!

  73. Who knows what they are looking for? I’ve seen comments here that address “overused lyrical themes” and I’m guilty as well. That’s not how I usually write but it was what seemed appropriate for this situation. I’ll bet that those themes are going to show up in every one of those 20 final tunes. It’s going to be really fun to hear the songs that rise to the top of all these obviously promising submissions!
    Melissa
    http://www.myspace.com/7shadesofgreen
    “Walking on the Clouds”

  74. I am not sure why people are pushing their songs so hard, here. It feels a little like folks are using this blog to try to solicit votes, when the top 20 haven’t even been announced yet.

    As for being positive that certain songs will make the top 20, gosh, that’s an awfully big assumption based on a sampling of a couple hundred out of 25,000.

    My hunch is, we haven’t heard the best yet. Not by a long shot.

  75. Here’s a thought….It was mentioned that a contract would need to be signed prior to the start of voting for the top 20. I’m sure they don’t want to give people too much time to digest a contract which would lead to legal questions, issues of various concerns, etc. They’d like to shoot the contract at you, have it signed, and move on. Therefore, I can’t imagine that they would do anything but make the calls JUST PRIOR to May 2. ALSO….tonight is really the big IDOL GIVES BACK night, and I wouldn’t expect calls today. With all they have going on, tomorrow seems to me to be the earliest calls would start going out. I also submitted two songs. Hoping like crazy as I’m sure you all are. Misery loves company!!!

  76. Michael Avatar

    Just to clear things up here. The people running this contest are not working on the American Idol show. They probably don’t even watch, so that really has no bearing other than the timing of the press.
    Yes, a contract will have to be signed.
    Yes, it would be good to have an attorney look at it.
    No, they will not negotiate this single song agreement, which is vary favorable for a new songwriter. The devil will be in what the royalty rate (‘at source) is. This is usually the mechanical royalty for the writer every time the song is printed. The negotiation will come from synch rights.
    If you have more to offer, they may go further into negotiation.

    However, this is not a setup contest. The reason why they wanted a computer home recording on Garageband or other audio program, is because of the source file. The .wav or .aiff file. It is time dated so there is a better chance that you are not using someone else’s music. The other reason is this, the band has to learn the song and arrange appropriately to keys and intro/outro, so a fully produced song is actually not in your best interest as far as making the cut.

    I want to be clear here. I am not trying to pass on sensitive info, I have some contacts that work with the same people, and we are all just trying to get a jump on when the word goes out. Everything is rumor until it’s true.

  77. I tend to agree with the fact that nothing is going to be announced today. After all, tonight is the big finale of Idol Gives Back, the show that they have been pumping for weeks. They havent said boo about the contest, except for that first comment Ryan made about having over 5000 entries 2 weeks ago. It did initially make sense to notify the top 20 this wed. or so, but I think it will definetely be after tonights show at the earliest. I also think that all that “activity” mentioned around 19E headquarters recently could also be misinterpreted. Remember, they have over 20 major stars coming in tonight for the show, including the likes of Bono. Supposedly just J. Lo alone brought an entourage of over 100 people that AI had to deal with. Who knows.. just speculation to keep this dream alive for all.

  78. Phillip Avatar

    I agree with Dan L on timing – after tonite, get ready!!

  79. Dan,

    here here, I agree. I would think tomorrow too!. I do think that they won’t make announcement about it tonight either, they will save it til next Tuesday, to remind people to begin voting on Wed. May 2nd and remember they also said they would send an email to remind you to vote when voting begins on the 2nd. However, I can’t imagine much past tomorrow for the calls to go out. Yes, this misery is taken a toll out on me & my family. This whole thing makes me realize how impatient I really am, yuk!

  80. I agree with Dan, the calls probably won’t start rolling in until after Idol Gives Back, which would mean, maybe the 26th. or later. I think the entire songwriting nation should just stay home from work tomorrow and Friday, you know, sort of an IDOL holiday, so that no one misses the call. My hope is, the calls will come in at night when people are home. That would make the most sense. Carly Simon said it best….”Anticipation….is makine me wait!” We’ll all get through it together :). And think of the fun we can have next week on this site, dissecting and critiquing all the posted songs, and, not to forget, voting! They should all be ours. All 20 of them. From my mouth to God’s ears.
    Love and luck to all!

  81. Didn’t we have to convert the .wav file to an mp3 before we sent it? I recorded mine as an mp3 not a .wav. Does anyone know if that has any bearing on this? I’m clueless as far as that goes?

  82. Joe Vee Avatar

    James #53
    Couldn’t disagree with you more. Btw – you left your name. And if any of us ever need an agent – we know who to call.

  83. Michael Avatar

    Let’s be clear, the announcement on Idol will not be made until May 2nd’s show. What we are anticipating is the finalization of the top 20 or so. Trust me, you will know before America knows, if you are in. There is a bunch of things that have to be done legally.

  84. To JS: I wouldn’t be frustrated. You have just as much a chance as anyone. Granted just like in the singing competition you will always have people with more experience. Melinda for instance is truly a professional singer. Sanjaya not so much. But both have made their mark. And remeber just because someone walks and talks like a pro that doesn’t say squat about their art. I have known plenty of people with fabulous studios and several CD’s who couldn’t write their way out of a paper bag. At the end of the day it’s the lyric and melody followed closely by the arrangement and instrumentation. Some of the greatest works of music have had awful production value. R.E.M’s murmur sounds like it was recorded in a garage but it’s brilliant.

  85. I have to agree with the fact that there will be some sort of confidentiality clause for the top 20. I dont think AI wants the top 20 telling anyone, let alone calling a press conference with your local paper or something to say, “hey I got into the top 20, vote for me”

  86. I have to agree with Ann # 77. The best will not be heard until they are posted for voting. Although I have heard some favorable songs they only appear inspirational for the final night only. Where will they go after is very questionable. They are not songs that I would run out and buy to hear over and over. My understanding of the search was not to keep any of the singers in mind, just write a hit song that will soar. I guess I did not hear it needed to be specific to inspiration. I did hear that an inspirational song would be sung by the singers on the night of American gives back. This contest can cause anxiety to many so sit back, relax and should you get chosen super and should you not continue writing. Do not beat yourself up. 20 songs out of 30,000 or so is a small number and as good as I feel my songs are I know for a fact there are at least 20 much better arranged than mine. So use it as an experience and give an honest vote to the ones that are chosen not the ones you have been writing back and forth.

  87. Michael Avatar

    Okay juicy news….
    Cheryl Robson Head of A&R for 19 london is scheduled at 11am Pacific for a Sony/ATV meeting. that means they must be getting closer. Iain Pirie, who heads the US operation for 19 Entertainment is also slated for this morning’s meeting

    As to Neat and others, yes tons of stars there. That is not where the movement is. That all takes place in Burbank.

  88. I love getting inside information even if it’s something as small as knowing a meeting is going to happen!
    I do agree that there are going to be some amazing songs that no one has heard at all. Again, the chances of getting in the top 20 are so slim but you never ever know what they might see in a song that might otherwise be looked over.
    keep sending the juicy news!!!
    xo

    http://www.myspace.com/tamarberk

  89. Michael,
    Thanks for the info. Let me ask your opinion on a hypothetical. If one made a simple(voice, piano and acoustic guitar) demo submission that was selected as a top 20 finalist, when AI approached you for the master WAV file, do you think they would allow you to give them a new version(still under 4 mb) with drums and bass added to the original tracks that would play to the general public a little better?

  90. If you watched the Tuesday AI they did say tonight was a 2 hr special and they have a hugh surprise! Maybe they will run the chosen 20. There was nothing in the contract that stated they had to contact first. You signed rights for them to utilize it there way for the AI promotion. Who knows, maybe it will come as a surprise and if you hear your song you can expect them to make contact from that point forward. Just speculation. I think most of you are right though, they need to get through the America gives back first and then bring the songwriting forward to generate ratings until the finale.

  91. Michael Avatar

    Keep this in mind…
    Even if you do not get into ‘this’ competition, there is a chance of being contacted later for another opportunity. There may be a chance to be paired as a lyricist if that was your strength or possibly that perfect song for a gospel artist for all of you inspirational writers. They are not going to destroy your song after they hear it. Like Joe and I haver explained this is an unsolicited goldmine for them. All I am saying, is do not lose heart over this one thing.

  92. hello,
    i have never posted but have been lurking. just wanted to say best wishes to everyone. i know deep inside the folks who don’t make it to the top 20 will be disappointed (including me) but hey, life goes on. this is the only discussion online i’ve found with people who’ve submitted songs, and it’s been really helpful to know that i’m not the only one with increased anxiety!

  93. Michael Avatar

    This one’s getting long Joe.
    Tamar: I totally know you from touring Chicago, our last bands broke up around the same time. Kimmie, turned me on to you. And then Brad at WB had really good things to say about you. We’ll have to talk after this at some point.

  94. Mark L. Avatar

    Michael #90 (aka Deep Throat)

    Thanks for the intel. Even if it’s all fiction writing (which I don’t believe)….it’s the best stuff I’ve seen and has made this week a lot more fun.

    Keep it coming….whoever you are….ha.

  95. Jeffery Cameron Avatar
    Jeffery Cameron

    to Neat, in response to #84…

    what software did you use to record your song? i have never heard of any software that records directly in mp3 format.

    i am guessing you used some software to record your tune and then you saved it as an mp3, which means it was recorded as a wav file. if you still have your recording session, you can save it out as a wav should you need to do so.

    i recorded my session in ProTools, then i bounced the tracks down to a wav file. i then opened my wav file up in Wavelab and created an mp3 out it. so i have my original wav file should they ask for it. it was about 45MB as a wav, and it ended up at about 3.8MB as a 192kpbs mp3 file.

    i am not sure how they will want the file to be sent to them. i am figuring they might want the wav file to be burned to a cd and mailed in to them, or maybe they will ask to email the wav file to a special server (although that would not normally be done) or maybe use yousendit.com or sendspace.com to send it to them or something.

    anyway, i am just like everyone else, i am dying to know anything and everything that is happening. i think they will contact people as soon as they have their top 20 picks along with another 20 runner’s up just in case of situations where they can’t reach someone, or someone won’t sign the contract, etc…so if they have the picks done today then they will start contacting people today. if they finalize the picks tomorrow, then they will contact people starting tomorrow. it won’t make any difference that the idol gives back gig is tonight, they will contact people as soon as possible.

    i think they will send an email and make a phone call to those people whom make it into the Top 20. they will also send ovenight packages with the contracts to be signed in them that have immediate return postage on them. they will move fast and furious on this for sure. no time to think or make any calls to a lawyer, so don’t even think about it. just sign the contract if you get one and don’t even look back. you will have no choice in the matter, either accept your chance at success, or turn your back on it. that is all you will have time to do.

    if i were to get into the Top 20, i would read it once through and make notes of the things that didn’t make sense to me, make a copy of it, sign it and mail it in right away, then contact a lawyer to have them explain in greater detail the parts i did not understand.

    in any case, there is nothing they could put in the contract that would make me not sign it, no matter whether they give me any money or take away my song rights etc…the exposure alone is worth it to me, the 10k advance and 75% at source profits are just the icing on the cake. the sync rights would be damned nice to retain, but let’s face it, they are only gonna play it a few times on their show, maybe on some of the big interview talk shows, etc, so that will die off real quick and no be worth that much money. if they were going to play the song on a weekly basis like a theme for a sitcom, then losing the sync rights would be a horrible deal. but once again, that is meaningless in regards to what you really win…exposure in the industry and to the music buying public. you could turn it into an instant career basically. then quit your day job and work for yourself writing and publishing songs. what a wonderful life it would be….

  96. Interesting! what band? what do you do now? it’s a very small world!

    my new band is insane…it’s an electro punk project…soon to be taking over! just nothing like my singer songwriter side so I’m not talking about it too much on these boards! might scare people!
    xo
    tamar

  97. Good luck everybody! One more week!!

    jason, jeremy, and steve
    “My Chance”
    http://www.myspace.com/voteformychance

  98. Michael–thanks again for the extra info, I agree with Tamar, it’s really cool getting a bit of the scoop as it plays out. Keep it comin’…….

  99. Michael,

    You make me feel like I’m on Inside Edition. I love the rumors!!! Keep them coming.

  100. Laurie W Avatar
    Laurie W

    JC,
    Just curious, why would AI make people sign a confidentiality clause? Do you mean just before May 2nd?

  101. Does anyone know what they mean when they say they will be needing the orignal .WAV file for the top 20? Didnt I send them that?? I burned a cd off of my digital home studio, converted it to an mp3 and sent it. That is my original file, unless they want the cd??

  102. deepthroat Avatar
    deepthroat

    The winner has already been determined. It will be 18 minutes of silence. It’s an extended remix of John Cage’s 4’33”. But seriously, best of luck to you all (is there ANY possibility that any of us will be in the top 20? I’d like to think so, but it’s difficult to keep thinking positively).

  103. So what do we think about the afore mentioned meeting? Is it a finalization of the top 20? Who has final say on the list?

  104. Michael Avatar

    Biggest news of the day. On the count of 3…. everybody wave!

    Yep, ‘they’ (not sure who exactly) are watching this discussion. Apparently, the info is changing and the loop is broken. Here is the latest and the last bit of info….

    “Some of the finalists will get calls from London, New York, LA and elsewhere, so don’t look for 213. No one will get a call today unless it’s during the show. (seems to be messing with us) There is a satellite press feed for AI next Tuesday morning.”

  105. Jeffrey #98

    I downloaded this free software called Easy Hi-Q Recorder, it gave me the option to record as an MP3 or .wav. I figured they wanted an MP3 so I used that option. When my co-writer recorded our “song” she sent it back to me using the same software, but the file was huge like 6.4mb so then I used another free software called Easy Hi-Q converter and it shrunk it down to 3.8mb. Maybe not the best way, but it worked. God I pray that they heard it ok. Check it out and see if it’s legit. http://www.roemersoftware.com/moreinfo5.html – thanks!

  106. The original file they are referring to is a WAV not an MP3. MP3’s are lossy whereas WAV’s contain all the data. My guess is that they want the original WAV so they can have someone do a little mastering (eq, enhancers etc.) You can’t master with an Mp3…you’d end up enhacing the distortion inherent in an MP3.

  107. Hi, rather new here. I’ve read most of the posts and like many here I am anxious, rather nauseated waiting to find out who the top 20 are.
    I submitted a song that I really doubt would make the top 20 but did it just to say I did. It was a song about my Mother and Cancer. REALLY don’t think it will make the top 20 but I had to do this to get rid of the fear factor in submitting something to someone. I needed to get past the nerves part and then of course the website just had to be down while I was trying to submit it and I nearly gave up. And to top it all off I received and email from the site saying there was an error and that my submission didn’t go through. Well I checked my bank account and they sure did take my money. Makes me wonder if the song made it to them, or if they took my money without the song. Did anyone else have that problem?
    Thanks,
    Anna Marie

  108. http://SuperwomanSong.com

    This song can be sung by a MALE VOCALIST just as well, simply by changing the line “take it from a sister” to “listen to me sister” or something similar…

    Best wishes to everyone here!

  109. Melissa Cash Avatar
    Melissa Cash

    Anymore feedback on my song? Positive or negative?

    http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=55980

  110. Mark L. Avatar

    Thanks again Michael #106…..you da man.

    IA: you should send all of those overworked ears there on a great vacation….esp. if they have found a few diamonds for you.

    And thanks for listening to all of the tunes that have been previously designated as “unsolicited material” by every other label. Hopefully you will be rewarded with even more profits.

  111. Michael,

    Why do you say the last bit of info.? What loop are you in exactly? I’ll miss your sound of “know it all” ๐Ÿ™‚ If “they” are watching this discussion you would think that “they” would have some sort of empathy and just tell us that the final have been chosen, so we can get on with our lives.

  112. Alright!! thanks Michael, at least we know we have another fun-filled 24hours of speculation and agony…..this is great stuff……maybe we should all right a song about “The Big Wait”…filled with our own set of cliches about struggling to be patient and minutes seem like hours….

  113. I don’t know about pro tools but I use Adobe Audition 2.0. You can record in any file format. And a .WAV file is basically your file uncompressed. The MP3 file for a 4 minute song is usually about 3.75 MB large while the .WAV can be 80MB. That is much too large to upload to the Internet. I had to downgrade my MP3 to 128kbps to meet the 4MB limit that AI set for submissions.
    Thanks for the inside updates Michael. I can’t tell you how much it helps to hear your info.

  114. Hey everyone…I’m on pins and needles. Good luck to everyone. Below should be a link to my song entered. It’s a bit “pitchy” but I think you will get the Idea. Let me know what you think! – Ryan

  115. Thanks Michael!

    My demo was recorded straight to MP3 too. The instructions on the site said to use Windows Sound Recorder (or something) to make a WAV file, but that particular utility has a one-minute cap so that bit of advice was useless! I wound up downloading a freebie that let me record from a mic straight to MP3. I had my backup music on a handheld tape player and I was holding it next to the mic as I sang. I’d love to be able to redo it before the voting but without a studio I don’t know whether I could improve it!

    It is what it is. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s just going to have to rise or fall based on the lyrics and tune, not the production quality.

  116. Here is my song…I don’t see the website on the first posting?? – Ryan

    http://www.songramp.com/mod/mps/viewtrack.php?trackid=56068

  117. Did someone say Diamond (#113 Mark ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://DiamondSong.com

  118. Ann–we had some issues using the Windows Sound Recorder with the whole one minute thing too, but you can actually play with it and extend beyond the one minute…ours came in at 3:45 and we used the Windows Sound Recorder and then did the conversion as described for submission.

  119. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    do you really think “they” have the TIME to be “watching” this site? there must be plenty of other sites as well talking about this!

  120. bonjoev Avatar

    Hi folks . . I’ve been out of touch for a few days (and probably shouldn’t have been given the plethora of activity here).

    Re: recording. For my submissions I didn’t use any software, but a simple 4-track digital recorder (Fostex MR-80) that uses a simple SMARTCARD. Each track is recorded onto a seperate WAV file and you can mix and add effects.

    Since it was just me recording, I “layered and bounced” everything without ever losing any quality. Once I finalized the mix, this little system can created a final WAV file. It has a USB port so you can use it as an external harddrive for the PC so you can “drag and drop” files as needed.

    I think I focused more on the production than the song itself, but it was a great experience for me since I’m typically just recording demos for my local band here. (I wrote my songs very quickly and submitted very early in this process)

  121. Ann S. from Woodbury: You still perusing this site?

  122. Hello,
    This site is quite addictive! I am really enoying listening to the entries! I hope some of us get into the top 20! If not, at least we all gave it the old college try! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Here’s my song (please excuse rough vocals and production…I did it the very last minute and my voice was shot).
    This was a fun assignment!
    Good luck to all of you! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lauren
    http://www.myspace.com/laurendepino
    “You Knew I’d Make It”

  123. Michael Avatar

    Aw Neat, you don’t really care who I know do you? Does it really matter? No. I am in the same boat here. All I want to do if find out for myself as well as all of you when notifications started happening so that no one has a heart attack-stroke broken marriage incident from waiting too long.

    As to the question of them watching. Go google american idol songwriter and this blog comes up 1 in blogs and 5th overall. There are pros who do this, to stay ahead of press and it happens far more than you want to know.

    As for the feed, that could be the singers, hosts, the producer or the songwriting finalists. It is simply to promote that night’s show. But it makes sense.
    Anyway, it’s fun.

  124. Yes Ann!

    Exactly, that’s what I did too and it was only 1 minute of recording, so as you, I did the same thing. Well, if I do get the call and I have to send it to them in .wav form then I’ll have to re-record, because the only hard copy is an MP3.

  125. Michael,

    Did you submit a song? I don’t see it anywhere? I guess it doesn’t matter who you know, but I do think you know more than what is being said, don’t you? ๐Ÿ™‚

  126. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    so did anyone else notice anything with the way the lyrics configured when you pasted them or typed them in the entry form?

  127. Do we have any intelligence on how the voting is to be presented? Are they going to display bios and lyrics? Is there going to be any playback of the songs other than on the website? The TV montage? Will there be a limit to how many times a single user can vote or a limit to how many songs one could vote for? Has anyone registered to vote yet?

  128. I used to enjoy watching AI tues and wed. and now its agony. I only watch to see if ANYONE will mention the contest, which they havent!!
    As far as who wins, I dont care anymore, I just want to know the top 20!!!!!! arghhhhhh

  129. Rosanna–it was the same for me. I went back and puntuated and spaced where needed, but it did lump it together as you described.

    Rob–I remember reading something in the posting that votes would be cast via internet or phone, but they didn’t provide any other info–it will be interesting to see.

  130. Rosanna,

    I did notice the lyrics all jumbled up when I got ready to post. At first I couldn’t even see the lyrics…they were in a black font on a black background. Then when I got to the last “Review” page, they were all jumbled one line behind the other. I had to seperate the lines best I could. Kooky. I’m glad to hear that it was not just me. – Ryan

  131. You guys, we owe Michael the wave! It’s the least we can do for all that insider skinny. (And maybe he can go unbreak that loop.)

    Here’s a big WAVE from Santa Cruz! (‘.’) /-
    And a thanks, too, for paying attention.

  132. Phillip Avatar

    Rosanna, I did notice the odd cofiguration of the lyrics when I submitted but during verification, they looked better again? All of our lyrics must have come out that way.

  133. Hi bonjoev…Yep, I’m still hanging around. It’s just that Michael the mole has me mesmerized…and paralyzed!

  134. To Joe B… I think every aspiring songwriter likes critique of his/her work, I am willing to listen and give my opinion on any work. We submitted one song, simple guitar and vocal, Joe B would love critique….. go to ANNAFLESHLER.COM…click LIVE then DEMO…. song is called Give Me Time

  135. This comes from the AI board:

    “Everyone’s submission will be listened to. We started listening at day one of submissions. We have until May 2nd to finalize before voting goes live.”

    That was posted about 10 days ago by ‘SONGWRITER AI’, supposedly the official rep.

    It seems strange that they would wait til the last minute (for all the reasons mentioned above) but, then again, this whole process has been strange (it’s on! it’s off! it’s on but only online! we’ll re-record! we won’t re-record!)
    anyway, i’ve been playing lots of minesweeper, trying to keep my mind on other things.

  136. Well. I’m sitting here reading all these entries…and I’m guessing now that my mystery phone call was a fluke. Still have no idea where it came from…and normally wouldn’t care!! It was freaky though…that it was on the day we were all waiting. I didn’t post my song because I was afraid of some legal “thing” in case it did make it. I think this blog is good though. You guys are so passionate about songwriting…and it’s fun to be listening to people who feel that way about it. I’m in a rather isolated place right now when it comes to music. Not a lot of stimulation and I need that.

  137. To Tamar.. as I said your music is very impressive, really could here it on a WB11 TV show, a Dawsons Creek Style Show, if your song doesnt get picked, forget the Idol, you can do it on your own, you have something nice. goodluck

  138. I don’t know about you guys but I think Michael has his own selfish gain at stake here. He’s hoping it sounds like…if someone hear gets word they will leak it on this post and the “Agreement” is breached. You could be out of the competition!! Am I completely insane or is there a shred of evidence I could be right? Just so you know…my lips are sealed….

  139. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    molly s
    perhaps they didn’t anticipate so many submissions. I think saying they have until May 2nd
    is so people will chill and think it’s going to be a couple more weeks, in reality, how can they wait that long if in fact, further agreement is needed AND they are going to do musical arrangements on the finalists!

  140. Rosanna Beech Avatar
    Rosanna Beech

    Molly S where was that posted on what board? I went back on the AI website to try and find it.

  141. Joe Vee Avatar

    This is a great site for ppl to share information. But probably not for repetitive and shameful self-promotion. Superwoman – if you’re listening – posting your song 10+ times unsolicited is enough. If I see it again – I’m gonna barf.

  142. Dear Melissa Cash.. I havelistened to your song, as i stated before I am not a big fan of the “now Im flying and soaring since I won American idol lyric”, the song didnt really seem to go anywhere, the piano and vocals seemed to stay the same through the chorus and verse, I had a difficult time distinguishing between chorus and verse, perhaps changes to the piano part and vocal melody could help. On the positive side I must say one of the best voices I have heard on this website. That is REALLY a BEAUTIFUL VOICE. Really nice tone, you or that singer can probably sing the phone book and it would sound good. Goodluck

  143. OMG!
    I just got the call!

    (Deep breath.)

    No, not really. But I’m dying to know.

  144. Jeffery Cameron Avatar
    Jeffery Cameron

    Wow, I am surprised at how many people used a “record to MP3” application. I am guessing that will not work well if you make it to the Top 20. They are going to want a WAV file for the following reasons, 1-some post production processing will work best on a WAV that has not been compressed, and 2- to prove you were the one that created the original file, meaning you hold the copyright.

    Now, if someone were to hi-jack your MP3 off of your computer and turn it back into a WAV file, the file size would go back up to what it was before, but the file itself would show signs of having been previously compressed and would show a lower quality of sound. So if all someone has is the MP3 of the file, ie–the same file you uploaded–that might disqualify you from the contest. They clearly stated in the instructions to record the song to WAV and then to convert the WAV to MP3. And if you don’t have an original source WAV file to send them, you might up $H!T$ creek.

    Really hope no one finds themselves in that situation. I would die if i made it to the Top 20 and then got kicked out of it because I did not have the WAV file. I shudder at the thought of such a lost opportunity.

  145. Jeffery Cameron Avatar
    Jeffery Cameron

    to Rob, in response to #130…

    Ok, here is what I was lead to believe…

    The lyrics and bios are to be posted with the song files. People will be able to read your lyrics as they listen to your song and then they can read your BIO. All of it plays into the voting process.

    I also heard the voting was to be online and/or phone, but most likely it will be online only, and you only get one vote.

    Also, there will most likely not be any playing of the songs on TV, at least not during the voting period. There will not be any show dealing with teh songwriters at all this year, but the odds are that next year and any further seasons will be doing something like that. They had planned to do it like that this year, but with the Idol Gives Back show taking up their time and energy and advertising dollars, they just could not do any songwriters shows this time around.

    As far as registering to vote, you are already registered if you entered the contest. You have to use the email address you signed up with to do so. However, your friends and other folks that did not enter the contest can register on the songwriter.americanidol.com website and then they can vote.

  146. Am I the only one cynical enough to think that there is a good chance the AI folks have a few “back-up” tunes on tap just in case nothing good enough can be sifted out of all the entries in time?

    I have a hunch a lot of good songs will fall through the cracks and never get a proper listen, just based on the logistics and time restraints imposed- If there were 5K songs submitted a week before the deadline, I’d be hard pressed to guess what the final number of entries were- do you think all songs will recieve an equal listening/judgement?
    None the less- I paid my 10 smackers and submitted my song- as others have said- the “what if” factor of all this makes thisa really fun contest- this is the link if anyone is interested-

    http://www.garageband.com/song?|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSkZFmya2o

  147. People… Please Calm Down. Cool Your Cubes. Read The Agreement, Again. Hey! May I Publish a compilation of 18 songs from this blog…Put on c.d. baby.com and see where we go?

  148. Thanks for the feedback guys!

    #63 Joe B. – I hear what you’re saying about the deluge of lyrics based on “achieving your dream, the journey, etc…” However I do believe that is what the site asked for specifically…

    But I do agree, that in order to stand out among the thousands of entries with the same theme… a song has to be GREAT.

    #70 the “other” Joe B. – thanks for the input. KFC?! Ha!

    Let’s hope that atleast one of us hears something from the top 20 judges!

    =)

    `Phil
    http://www.myspace.com/willistheband

  149. […] discussion’s also raising some great questions among newbie songwriters in our previous thread, […]

  150. Comment Monster’s tummy is full for this thread — here’s the new one:

    https://spinme.com/2007/04/american-idol-songwriting-contest-raises-great-questions/

    Come on over and keep the discussion going!