Excellent, mellow improvisation with a lot of spirit to it! I loved your licks and the tempo rubato feel, and especially your harmonies! One thing that was a little strange was the part from 1:16 onward. Not in itself, just that its more upbeat pace didn't continue for longer. While everything else felt nice and fleshed out (though not harped on, for which I have to congratulate you), that was the only place where I really felt a single part could use more length. Regardless, a very nice bit of improv with some real soul and great technique!
As you say, short, but very, very good!
Really nice song! The very beginning has a bit too much volume on that low boom; you can hear the limiter trying to cope. I'd watch the same for your kick, but aside from that, the combination of your chordal synth design and the vocals was great! Though the mixing could use some work, I really love this track and I'd definitely like to see more like this.
Great song with a nice feel, but I kinda wanna see a bit more variety in how you construct your song. It follows a pretty standard complextro/drumstep pattern that I think could do with some more sudden shifts in volume and instrumentation. There's a lot of the same sections building off of each other, and while it works, it doesn't surprise. Some of this has to do with the lack of much melody (a simple synth pattern could add a lot to just create a recognizable monophonic motif), but a lot also has to do with the sound design. You may try gating the verb to the MIDI to get more sudden transitions between instruments and building some more fills and patterns to provide interruption to your loops. An alternate chord progression could also accomplish a lot, as could some sort of sans-sequence breakdown. There's also a bit much high-end on some channels; a gain reduction in the high shelf on your snare and a few of your synths could open up a lot of space for the hats, noise, and distorted effects, as well as allow you to sneak your master limiter's input up a tad. I also thought a few of your synths could use a bit more verb and that the sequenced pattern you had in the background could use some mangling/effecting/note changes at some point to break it up a little. Overall, though, a great composition with a very appealing neurofunk/complextro/drumstep sound!
Overall, very good quality, with a nice mixdown, some very cool sound design, and a nice, trancy groove.
Could use a bit more variety in terms of chords, beats, sections 'n stuff, but it also works in that trancy, semi-ambient way. One thing I will say is that, in my opinion, the best trance DJs tend to really micromanage the little bits of their song, such that despite the repetitive pattern, things really sound different from point to point. The reversed cymbals, for instance, were a little overused as they were. However, if you mangled them up or resampled or effected them differently at points, it would provide for some great contrast to the chords and melody.
Hope this helps!
Sorry that you thought this is trance....
This is minimal techno :)
Okay, so I can't really find any fault with the compositional aspects of the song; it's quite an interesting mix of trance and dance you've got here. So I'll just concentrate on the more sound-oriented parts that could help. The first thing I have to say is you should mix the track a little more. It sounds a little like your levels are overriding each other a little, particularly when that high distorted noise synth transition comes in (0:30, 0:57, 2:08, etc.). Try turning off any compressors or limiters you might have in the mastering chain, moving your individual track volumes to a maximum of about -3 DB, seeing if it clips anywhere, and adjusting the individual levels accordingly to get the sound you want. I think your bass might be just a wee bit loud, personally, but it's your call.
Trying to play a little to your style here, try low-passing all your tonal instruments aside from the bass at 100-400 Hz, depending on what frequencies you want to emphasize. Low-passing the bass at 40-60 Hz can help to bring out the kick, too. High-passing the tonals from around 5 kHz to 15 kHz can open up space for your hi-hats, cymbals and high effects, too. Most importantly, you'll be able to hear the high and low ranges at lower volumes, which'll decrease your pre-production RMS (so you can make it LOUDAH!). The bass can be hi-passed from 1 kHz to 10 kHz depending on your sound preferences. Side-chaining some, most, or all of the sounds to the kick in varying degrees might also give the tune a bit more danceability. EQing down some of your extreme hi- and low-end range (say, beneath 60 Hz and above 15 kHz), as well as the mid-range (maybe 300-1,000 Hz), in the master might also help to get everything nice 'n peachy.
Finally, there's a fairly wide stereo field, but you might be able to hear everything a little better if you narrow down the individual drum and tonal track widths and pan your melody slightly harder to the side (usually make an exception for the atmospheric effects and pads, though). I'd narrow down the kick (without narrowing the kick reverb too much) especially. Just make sure that very, very center of the mix is reserved for your low and very-low-mid range kick, bass, and snare. Some mid-side processing might also help to get those high frequencies outside so you can lower their volume a bit.
Oh, and double-finally, (totes not trying to patronize, just making a disclaimer of sorts) take any of your own preferences over mine or anyone else's if they end up contradicting each other.
Peace and love,
This is the hugest and most helpful review of anything I've ever seen. You're obviously well-aquainted with mixing techniques so I'll probably give myself a few hours at some point, make a copy of this song, and try to implement everything you said here. Thanks so much this is critique at its finest!
Also I'll be sure to check some of your stuff.
This track immediately brought back memories from the days of Gameboy soundtracks for me, which made me feel more than a little nostalgic. I was thinking that you might want to EQ the bass to get just a little less attack and a little more of the low-mid range, but then again, you made this pretty lo-fi, so I understand how that fits in with your production choices. This doesn't really strike my area of "expertise" (if you can call it that) in terms of production, but I like it, so I can at least tell you that you're doing something right! There's a lot of good employment of counterpoint and different voices that works to the benefit of the piece as a whole. One thing I'd like to see more of is more structural variety. You had two main themes and sections you played off of, and I'd like to see where a different melodic variation and chord pattern could take you. Still, I like this a lot, and I can definitely hear the JRPG vibe coming through clean and clear.
Hey, thanks for the feedback. I wanted to leave a little high end in the bass -- I thought it gave the individual notes a bit more definition. Listening back though, I see what you mean: I'll see what it sounds like if I cut it down a little -- having some mid-high end on the bass was a conscious production choice, but having too much wasn't!
lijkDICKJUSTICE (below) said the same thing about adding more variety -- I'm starting to spot a pattern, here! I'll try to be a little more adventurous in the structure next time I submit.
Glad I succeeded with the JRPG vibe. Thanks again for the review!
I thought this was overall very well-made, with an almost-paradoxically relaxed energy to it. Nicely-structured, nicely-varied backbeats, though I'd like to see some more play with the melody, chord progressions and such. On a related note, you can obviously do a lot with soundscapes, your use of orchestral patches and synths especially underlining this. But the song drives along at a fairly constant DnB rate for eight minutes and I'd like to see a touch of the unexpected: not just breakdowns, which you do fantastically well, but other themes and sections, with perhaps some breaks in pace. I also think this could be trimmed down a bit in length without sacrificing any of the musical quality, which could make it seem a bit less repetitive. Nevertheless, this is a very refreshing track with a lot of cool ideas and very good execution. I dig!
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