This is a pretty well produced and interesting track. I like the use of dissonant chords, it gives this piece a cool, sort of out-there vibe. The bassline fading in at around fifty seconds is a subtle and cool technique. I also like the lead synth a lot!
I do feel like it could use a little more structure-wise to keep it interesting. I don't feel like the song really developed or went anywhere. Also, I was underwhelmed by the drums, which were just a four-on-the-floor groove copied and pasted over and over. Something as simple as adding a ride cymbal at certain parts could help spice it up a little.
All in all, though, it's a neat track that shows a lot of potential. Keep up the good work!
Hey, I also have a song called Night Sky! Two very different interpretations on that theme haha.
Anyway, this is really excellent work.
I love the opening, the bellkit (or maybe glockenspiel?) sound really conjures the image of stars to my mind.
The main theme, which is first played on piano is very compelling!
I really like the toms around 0:30, I usually find that kind of thing to be a little melodramatic, but it works perfectly in this piece. Way to pull that off.
The background strings sound really good at around 0:30. I'm curious how you got such a quick attack, I often have trouble with that since string samples tend to have a longer attack, making them harder to use rhythmically.
I'm not sure what that lead string instrument is, but it's really interesting. Kinda makes me think of Legend of Korra.
I really like the ambient section that starts around 0:50, you manage to create a lot of depth with the pad synths there. However, and this is just a personal thing, I might have made it just a bit more melodically active. If you're looking to extend this piece, this would be a good place to add a secondary theme. But honestly, that's just a minor nitpick, so feel free to completely disregard it.
The arps around 1:20 are quite nice, I almost wish they were just a tad louder so you could hear them through the pad.
At around 1:30 the hi-hat gets just a little too prominent for my taste. I would recommend that for this buildup section you back off the volume on the drum samples and add a little reverb (or increase it if you're already using it).
I absolutely love the variation on the theme at 1:34. Superbly done! One thing I'm noticing is that the volume kind of fluctuates in a weird way during this section. This might be a mixing problem, especially if you're using a limiter. It's most prominent around 1:41.
The little coda on bellkit at the end was a really nice touch.
All in all, this is a truly great piece. It perfectly captures the adjective "epic", and I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Great job!
If you're interested, I could record that piano opening on a real piano for you to give it a more natural feel.
Hey, would you look at that, chance has it that I'm reviewing one of your tracks again. Let's do it.
Right off the bat, I can tell this will be a piece with a good sense of atmosphere. I really like whatever the sample with a ton of reverb is.
0:04-0:24 I love how skillfully you manage multiple different instruments, lines, and textures simultaneously, without any one becoming more "important".
The moment leading into 0:24 is a very clear signifier of a new idea, but it also manages to be quite subtle. Well done. Also, I love the lead you use at 0:24, it's a very cool sound.
The way that the arpeggiated chords and the melody interact is really beautiful. The texture of the piece is never boring or one note.
0:48 I'm digging the pad sweeps you used here.
1:00 Is that a tempo change I just heard? Nice and subtle.
1:07 The clap-like sound you used here works really well.
1:18 The build-up at 1:18 is pretty good, but it feels just a tiny bit typical, what with the noise sweep and the basic edm snare at 1:15. Perhaps it could be a little better matched with the rest of the song (really minor nitpick, I'm just trying to find something useful to point out so I'm not just gushing the whole time haha).
1:19 I really love the compound meter feel here. The lead is right in the sweet spot of not being too grating, but also managing to stand out and convey the melody over the rest of the song.
1:37 The chord change here is unexpected, but that's something I tend to really like, so kudos to you on that. I would try to get all smart and describe it with music theory, but my keyboard's still at a performance space.
1:43 Another really nice transition. Well done.
1:50 I always love to hear the dorian mode. I really like this section and I wish you would've spent a little more time exploring it. But that's not really a criticism, I respect your choice as an artist here. Also, I'm typically not that crazy about the type of midi piano sample you used here, but you totally made it work within the context, so good job!
1:56 Nice chromaticism.
2:00 In a song full of nice transitions, this moment is a little jarring and unexpected.
2:05 I like the energy in this section, but it's all coming across as a little much. My ear isn't really sure what it's supposed to be listening for. What I do like about this section is that it's in an odd time signature (5/4 I think), which is a cool choice that not many producers would have the gall to make.
2:24 Good transition around this spot. Also, I'm a fan of the groove you shifted into here.
2:30-2:35 I like this idea, but it's kind of short lived. I would say it's a satisfying conclusion to the section proceeding it, but that's immediately upended by 2:36.
It's an odd choice. Very out there. The following section builds up a lot of tension. My ear doesn't really say "Hell yeah!", but it's an interesting idea and one I would say a lot of people wouldn't think to explore.
2:57 Another (albeit slightly less) jarring transition. Again, it's not super pleasing, but music (and art) isn't always supposed to please. I will say though that this section doesn't really fit into the rest of the song very well at all. I understand that the point of this song was experimenting with a bunch of contrasting ideas, but up until this point everything kind of made sense together, even if it was all very different. This section kind of throws a monkey into the wrench works (I think I got that one right, haha).
3:18 This transition is alright, and I like the idea that it segues into. You did a fantastic job using samples and different textures to create atmosphere here.
3:42 I like the idea of a return to your original idea, but I don't feel like it was set up all that well.
3:51 Interesting chord progression here. I like it.
Transition around 4:00 is quite well done.
4:20 The setup was good, but the actual transition itself left me surprised again, and not in a good way.
4:46 I think I mentioned this in the other review, but I like how you take ideas we've heard before and spice them up a bit when you revisit them later. It's a good habit/practice to get into, really helps set you apart from copy paste DJs creating monotonous music.
Around 4:56 to the end is just gorgeous. I love the effects you used on the piano samples. The tempo change feels meaningful and adds a lot to the emotion of this section.
I hope I wasn't too harsh with a few of those critiques. For the most part, this is a really nice piece that showcases your skills very well. There are a few areas that could possibly use improvement, but most of it is interpretation stuff, which can get kind of subjective. All in all, this is a work that you should be proud of.
This type of episodic piece could be called a rhapsody.
Hey! Thanks for the really long, detailed review! Let's see...
The EDM snare you mention at 1:15 is actually the same sound as the clap sound earlier that you said you liked, with the snare frequencies removed. All of the drums in that particular section come straight from a drum loop. Typical? Maybe.
The chord change at 1:37 exists in the original, and so does the 1:56 chromaticism.
The section at 2:00 is a climax, and I was never good at writing climaxes :P Of all the transitions I attempted to write, the ones going into these sections prove the most lackluster. The section is actually in two bars of 6/4 alternating with two bars of 4/4 - no 5/4 here ;)
The idea from 2:30-2:35 is meant to be a slight nod to a lighter theme that gets immediately usurped by darkness. This has an in-game symbolic significance that you're not aware of (because duh, haven't played). Not a problem, of course. Just thought I'd mention the intent there.
The transition at 2:57 - that's funny, because before I published the track I actually wrote in a sound that eases the transition a lot more, but that sound somehow didn't end up in the final render. So... sad transition :( This really dark section at 2:57 with the weird whole-tone harmonics comes straight from a section in the original piece.
3:51 is just the same section pitched up 3 semitones.
I had lots of fun writing 4:56 to the end! Glad you liked that!
Once again, thanks a ton for the review! Criticism and all is definitely appreciated! :D
This isn't awful, and there are a few things you have going for you:
-Good musical ideas.
-Managing a lot of different layers, which shows scope and creativity.
Here are some things you could work on:
-Mixing your drums so that they don't get completely drowned out. I'm not saying turn them up so they make the listeners' ears bleed, just give them a little more punch. I'd leave the kick alone, maybe turn it up a little, but I can't hear the snare or high hat AT ALL when the synths come in.
-The strings at the beginning kind of throw off the rhythm. This is because string samples typically have a fairly long attack, which means that it takes a while to get into the "meat" of the sound. Strings are typically used the way you would use a pad, making them difficult to use rhythmically. One workaround is to move the samples or midi notes back a few fractions of a second so they line up better sound-wise. The strings could also be a little louder.
-The bass sound you used is really cool, but like the drums it needs to be mixed better. If you have it, I'd recommend using an eq of some kind and taking out all the frequencies you don't need (especially the high ones). That way you can turn it up without destroying the entire song in the process.
-I'm throwing a compliment out here, I really like that you use a counter-line at 0:22. It's a cool thing to do. However, I'm straining my ears to hear it. You had the right instinct to turn up the melody, but I want to hear that counter-line too. Your goal when mixing is to have everything be heard pretty much equally, with nothing sticking out or difficult to hear.
-At 0:42 the lead is too loud and everything else is too quiet.
-There are more issues like this sprinkled throughout, but I don't really have the desire to point them all out and I'm sure you wouldn't want me to :). I don't use FL studio, but they put out a really good how-to on mixing and mastering, you might give it a read. Search "FL Studio Mixing Advice" to find it.
-Just a general note here, it kind of sounds like you're using presets on your synths. This isn't a "bad" thing to do, per se, in fact I do it quite frequently, but if you're not careful your music can start to sound a little... generic. This reminds me of a lot of hard techno from the early 2000's, which isn't a bad sound to emulate, but I think you should try to put your own spin on it. The beautiful thing about synthesizers is that you can create almost any type of sound imaginable with them, so don't limit yourself. Keep exploring, keep finding your own voice, and you'll see yourself taking huge leaps into fascinating new territories!
I hope that you keep creating music, keep learning, and continue to improve. I have no doubt that you can do it.
If you have any questions or need further explanation on any of these points, feel free to PM me.
Most reviews you get on here won't be this long and nitpick-y, so don't let this scare you off! Newgrounds is a great community where you can and will learn a lot. I highly recommend that you use the "review for review" thread to get reviews while you're first starting out, otherwise you might find your stuff getting ignored.
Hey man, not nearly as long a review as I posted on your GTI remix. Just wanted to say that I love the way you use time signature changes in general. Also, 3:00 is incredibly well done!
Hey! Thanks for the kind words!
About 3:00, yeah apparently chopping up pieces of the first drop and rearranging them makes a really freaking cool second drop :D
Dude, what you've done here is incredible!
I was a huge fan of the mystery dungeon series, but I have yet to buy a 3ds, so I haven't gotten to play GTI. I'm glad to hear from this that the music is as inventive and atmospheric as from the previous games (Those games, musically speaking, are actually a huge inspiration to me). I wish I'd heard the original to have more context into what you've changed here, but since you didn't compose the music, I'm only going to review your production technique etc.
First off, I love just how spread out over the stereo spectrum this is, right from the get go. It really envelopes the listener, draws them into the track and fills them with a sense of wonder. At about 0:24, I was afraid it was going to turn into a generic dubstep remix, but it went right back into that same chill groove. A musical bait and switch, and one that works really nicely! I'd say that maybe the kick/snare is a little too heavy here, but that's just a matter of taste.
At 0:39, I LOOOVE the way you mixed this counter-line on synth harp. Both it and the melody are beautiful, and because of your mixing choices I'm able to not only focus on both lines at once, but appreciate the way they interact with one another.
Great job on the smooth tempo change at 1:03! To my taste, the lead synth is just a little too grating. Don't get me wrong, I love that square wave sound, but I might have added the tiniest bit of low pass on it. Just a minor nitpick, though, and it doesn't both me very much at all until 1:22. There, you should at the very least turn the volume down a little.
Transition at 1:28 is quite nice.
At 1:59, your choice to use a subtle electric bass-esque synth (it may actually be an electric bass for all I know lol) really pays off. It's a decision that truly marks this as something made by a mature producer, and I truly appreciate it.
2:20 or thereabouts, I very much enjoy the tone of the pad you have playing in and out of the background. This section shows a clear understanding of volume modulation and the ability to manage multiple textures at once (something I'm still working on haha).
Just a general note, the drum fills that you create in various areas are a really nice touch. I also love, love, love your use of the percussion toys you mentioned at the bottom of your description.
The return to the original groove/melody at around 2:40 (albeit modulated to a different key) is so satisfying, not only because of the transition, but because you took the time to create subtle differences between this and the beginning. It's familiar, but there's a lot of new stuff to listen for too. Again, this kind of thing is truly the mark of a mature, developed, well-practiced electronic composer.
The piano at 4:09 melts my heart. It sounds like you recorded it live (again, for all I know, you very well might have). Just gorgeous.
This review has gotten really long, and filled with a lot of gushing. What can I say? This is a superbly arranged, beautifully mixed, expertly produced remix.
Aside from my couple minor nitpicks, this is pretty much perfect.
Really well done.
Hey, thanks for the lengthy review! Glad you liked it!
The new MD games, Gates to Infinity and Super Mystery Dungeon, have superb, if not better, soundtracks than the previous entries! They take lots of inspiration from electronic sounds and styles, too, mixing them perfectly with orchestral and ethnic influences. It's super cool!
I always liked to spread out the stereo a bunch ever since NoisySundae told me how. <3
A little heavy on the kick and snare, huh? I used impact sounds, so that's probably why. The "kick" is a lower impact and the "snare" is a higher impact.
I'm really happy with how the electric harp turned out, with every harmony being satisfying and lovely. Didn't really think much about the interaction between the lines, though - I guess that was just an instinctual thing! :P
The tempo doesn't actually change there lul
Yeah, the lead is a bit jarring. I noticed that only after I uploaded the finished work, when I was listening to it on a phone and realized that that part at 1:22 is unbearably screechy. Welp
That's a boobass at 1:59! I use boobass a ton for some reason :P
The pad was a preset that I added in and it just somehow perfectly meshed with what was already there so I kept it in. A lot of the nuances in this piece can really be boiled down to accidental, unconscious edits. :3
One of the things I really focus on with my music is never writing the same thing twice! If I have to repeat a line, I always add something new to listen for. It's become a characteristic of my music for some I've spoken with.
The piano is actually sampler-based! Totally awesome, though, that you thought it was actually played! Tells me I did my job well.
Again, thanks for reviewing, and in such detail! I really appreciate it! :D
Umm.... hm. Well, this certainly is... unique.
I actually think that the composition of this piece is kind of cool in some parts. I really like some of your ideas. For example the idea at around 0:24 is quite interesting and kind of gave me a OneOhTrix Point Never vibe.
However, you don't really stay on any one idea for long enough for me as a listener to get comfortable. For example at around 0:45 when the song really starts to get crazy, I find myself jarred by the sudden change in dynamics and the sudden complexity that came on without warning. You used like 20 different instruments in the song, and the effect is that the tone, while very unique and at times very lively, is also quite scattered and not consistent throughout the song. To put it another way, this kind of feels more like a bunch of little random individual ideas taped together than a song.
There's one more big issue I have to address. You're using the basic midi soundset, and it's really taking your music down a notch. I have to recommend that you invest in some quality VST synths, or if you don't have the budget download some free ones. Just google "free VST synths" and you'll find some good stuff. This will help to make your sound more distinctive and less ameteurish.
Overall, I personally think that this is an interesting bit of music that just needs some focus to become something truly excellent. However, I could see others who don't like music that's a little different really disliking it. It's really just a matter of taste.
One last note: I would not classify this as "Trance" in the slightest. Put it under experimental!
You have one spotting eye there. I did use 24 different instruments, in which you really listened close to this song. And yes, it is an experimental song, I just used trance for the end is mostly trance. One's taste of music (like yours that I can tell) can differ greatly another person's taste of music. Personally, my taste of music goes on a wide variety, depending on how it sounds (mainly I am focused on EDMs, which I don't make, and trances).
0:00The kick is nice and satisfying and I like the hi-hat and aux percussion sounds. I'm not too crazy about the bell synth at first, but once that nice fat saw bassline comes in it really ties it all together. Also, I'm a total sucker for that 1-3-5-4 bassline, but that's just me. God, that saw wave bass is tight, and the aux percussion keeps it all very active and interesting. Really good job on transitions, everything seems to flow together nicely. The synth you chose when the melody comes in and the drums drop out is just okay, but I really enjoyed the modulation/trance gate effects on it. The use of the bitcrushed kick increasing in pitch was pure genius. The synth with delay that comes in after is probably my favorite synth in the song. The delay on it really adds a lot. I love how much you switch things up, it's clearly not just the same thing copied and pasted over and over and I really do appreciate that.
Transitioning from synth to piano was a cool idea, but I feel like it could have been more gradual and subtle. I love the atmosphere of this section, but I'd recommend toning down the kick and snare a little and adding some more reverb. Love the multiple voices going on at once though. Also I think the transition where you play the kick every beat, then every eighth note, then every sixteenth note is a little overused, I might consider doing something else.
Once again, love your use of trance gate/filter modulation. The interplay between all the different instruments really fills out the songs and gives everything an incredible complexity. It's something that I always want to hear from electronic artists, and it's clearly something you've gotten down really well.
I personally don't like the ending, but that's just me. I probably would have ended it where everything was at its climax and just let it ring for a second, but again that's just what I would have done, and you can feel free to disregard it.
All in all, this is a top-notch track and I could only found a couple minor nitpicks. Really well done!
You said that you've been experiencing a lot of negativity on your stuff lately, but I just want to say that based on this song alone you're doing some really great work! Don't be afraid to listen to criticism of course, but also don't let negative people drag you down and convince you what you're doing isn't worthwhile. Learn, create, and keep up the good work!
Whoaaa maaate... I didn't expect a review so nice and so detailed ! <3
Thank you so much ! I kept in mind every advices so I can improve my bad points and insist on my good points.
I'll continue composing of course, and I won't let others drag me down. Expect a Cinematic era soon ! ^^
I can't thank you enough ! =)
Good work here, I think you could turn this into a really great song. I love the background synths with the LFO, creates a really nice, vivid texture, and the lead fits perfectly into the mix (and I like the pitch bend, really adds a lot of feeling).
As far as which of the two drum patterns I like better, I think that if you're going to use this as the hook/chorus of a song (which is where I would assume you're going with this) I would use the first pattern the first time the hook plays, and then use the second one the second or third time (depending on how long the song is and how many times you want to replay the hook). The first one fits better with the overall feel of the track, but the second one has more motion to it, it's a simpler rhythm that gets people's heads bobbing.
Either way I recommend switching up your rhythms a little, so that each pattern isn't exactly the same throughout. Try throwing in an extra kick beat after beat 4 of a measure every once in a while, and add some fills every four or eight measures or so. Whatever you want to do to add a little variety.
All in all, a project with a lot of potential. Both beats have their advantages and disadvantages, it's up to you to decide what's more important to you.
It's not a bad start, but it really needs to develop and go somewhere. As is, it's just repetition after repetition, and the drums come in to accompany the repetition.
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