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NGADM 2013 Round 1 xsakux (Dj Sonik) vs Blackhole12
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Your NGADM Round 1 review
Let's start with the good shall we!
The instant that beat kicks in, PHWOAR. I knew I was in for a good track, and a quality track it is. Nothing like a bit of progressive house to swing the competition around! Just like step, you perfectly filtered out that bass synth at the start and brought it in with full force. Beauts. I love the bassline melody and it's rhythm pattern. Simplicity in some of its finest I must say.
Then at 2:01, you switch it up, you bring in a new melody and IT'S ANOTHER GREAT HOOK. Your piano sound beautiful and your low-filtered background synth just adds to the atmosphere of a finely tuned track already. Then your bassline comes back to add a lovely build up and then, you hit us with a brand new synth and melody filling out the rest of the track with beatiful music.
Your production is lovely as well, your kick is perfectly balanced and pumps right through, your snare I feel could probably have a little low end punch but I like how it sounds as it is anyway, the bit crushed cymbals add a lovely touch and everything is mixed at a fine level. Great job.
Now onto the things which niggle at my brain.
There's not really much I'd say that niggles me on this track. I usually pick out a lot of flaws in the production but there's very little here to take out on. The cymbal that comes in at 1:30 I feel is fairly out of place. It's either the sound of the cymbal or how you only play it for 2 bars but I feel like it really throws you off from the track. I can't really put my finger on it haha.
Now the main reason I dropped to an 8 was how repetitive the song became after your drop at 4:02. For the next 2 minutes there is very little variety as Step has mentioned and again, the whole progressive house thing etc. I still feel like the bassline would have changed the whole song if you'd added a different melody for the bass to follow. It would've led to a new direction yet still kept it with a similar feel.
I'm also not a keen fan of how the melodies seem to stop at 6:03 either, it's really abrupt. Not only that, the final note of the piano wasn't resolved to the tonic AND IT REALLY BUGS ME. It's like you expect it and then it's not there, it's not resolved :(
Overall however. I love the production, I love the melodies you have and I love your style. You had some tough competition this year but that's just how it goes. Hope to see you next year buddy and can't wait to hear more.
This is an NGADM Round 1 review.
Definitely one of the more progressive tracks in the round. First off, I love the bass you're using. The way you filtered out its frequencies at the beginning worked very well, and then at 0:15 you fully bring it in, doing a good job of showcasing the lovely aggressive sound it has. This track has a certain weirdness to it that I can't quite explain. The composition feels somehow unconventional, despite being simple, and at first this kind of odd melodic approach sounded more uninspired than interesting, but after a while it grew on me and I've decided it really adds character to the track. That aside, your production is fantastic, needless to say.
I agree quite heavily with johnfn's review. Even though your production is so good, you made a mixing choice that really detracted from the track; the bass and drums are just covering up nearly everything else, especially that piano. I'm not sure if the piano even fits at this point, since it sounds so weak and thin compared to that beast of a bass synth that it almost feels like an unsuccessful afterthought. I also agree that for its length, this was less repetitive than I expected, but it was still repetitive. That's the nature of progressive house, of course, but the key here is to add more subtle variances. For instance, the bass pattern was almost the same throughout the whole track, and some more creative processing of that bass would've made the track benefit a lot more. A few additional subtle sound effects, melodic changes, fills, etc, would have killed the repetition as well.
I actually had a hard time dissecting this track for some reason. Wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but it's grown on me to the point that the former is the case. Great job!
Not my favorite of your pieces, but still pretty great.
Catchy beat for sure (serious toe tappin')
4:05ish it really peaked. Glad I listened through ^_^
This is pretty great. When I saw the length and heard the first minute, I was almost positive I was going to complain about repetition. The song is a little repetitive, but not nearly as much as I had imagined, and the melody you chose is quite good and leads itself to repetition without sounding boring. So, great work there.
I liked the whole song. It's very groovy, it never really bores (except maybe the last half minute, I guess), and it has a nice mysterious feel to it as well.
My biggest complaint is the mixing: to me, it seems like the monster bass and kick/snare combo are obscuring the pretty piano. The current score is 7-8 because it's hard to get into that chorus section when the piano is so quiet. If the bass/kick/snare were quieter, and the piano louder, I would probably bump this up to a 9.
Good stuff here man. Aside from the minor mixing issues, I really liked it.
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