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Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals

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Echo
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Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:04:18 Reply

Welcome to the official NG Audio Deathmatch 2011 thread for the SEMI FINALS of the competition! Yes, that's right! We're almost there! Haven't heard about the NGADM? Go here), to get all the information you need about this massive contest.

So here we are after a minor delay due to the usual problems, Spikrodd didn't finish his reviews on time, so we're going to skip his reviews for this round, also jpbear took over from Morph94 due to the latter having problems reviewing. The quality of submissions this round was once again very high, and although not everyone submitted, those who did deserve a great big round of applause (and a lollipop). Remember, the people who win this round are guaranteed a frontpage and a prize signature!

Before I start posting the results for each judge, I would like to remind you all of some points:

1) Please wait until I have posted all the results before posting anything yourselves, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion. I'll be using alts due to post limit and I will give the go ahead once I have finished posting the results, so you guys can start firing away :P

2) Remember that you have 2 weeks from this point to submit your new submissions for Round 3 in this thread. DO NOT post in any other thread. Just use this one. The Full Revised schedule can be found below ;)

3) PMs will be sent to everyone linking to this thread. If you have already seen this thread, please disregard anything in the PMs which speaks about this thread.

4) Please remember that each judge is free to have their own opinion. If you disagree with any of the points mentioned in a judge's review; DO NOT start an argument in this thread. Please discuss it via PMs.

5) Read the RULES again. You never know. You might have missed something.

Also, due to the delay, the schedule has been revised and can be found below:

Round 1
Starts = 01/08/2011
Ends = 15/08/2011

Round 1 Judging
Starts = 15/08/2011
Ends = 22/08/2011

Round 2
Starts = 22/08/2011
Ends = 07/09/2011

Round 2 Judging
Starts = 07/09/2011
Ends = 15/09/2011

Bonus Round
Starts = 15/09/2011
Ends = 29/09/2011

Bonus Round Judging
Starts = 29/09/2011
Ends = 03/10/2011

Round 3
Starts = 03/10/2011
Ends = 17/10/2011

Round 3 Judging
Starts = 17/10/2011
Ends = 21/10/2011

Round 4
Starts = 21/10/2011
Ends = 04/11/2011

Round 4 Judging
Starts = 04/11/2011
Ends = 06/11/2011

Round 5
Starts = 06/11/2011
Ends = 20/11/2011

Round 5 Judging
Starts = 20/11/2011
Ends = 21/11/2011

Announcement of Winners
21/11/2011

So anyway I think that's it, let the posting of the Results commence!

Echo
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:06:02 Reply

RESULTS - SUPERSTEPH54

midimachine - Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)

  • Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)
    Thief of Heaven (8-Bit) by midimachine

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.21 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Video Game
    Popularity
    252 Views

SUMMARY: Great!

REVIEW: Wow this is so quirky and fun. I swear this'll cheer anyone up any day. Nice work.

I'll admit it - I have a bit of a soft spot for well-made 8-bit songs. With 8-bit you're bound to focus a lot more on the melodies, and me being the melody-obsessed person I am, I do quite enjoy 8-bit tracks like this. I like the melody here - very happy and enjoyable, with a pretty nice chord progression too. The structure is solid, the pitch-bending is all over the place but just adds to the quirkiness and the production really shines here. You seem to have quite a bit of experience making songs like this - not necessarily in this genre, but with a similar style/mood. Transitions are very smooth, and some transitions like the one at 2:23 help to spice things up. Percussion is very effective, as well.

Having said all that, my main and only gripe with this track is that it's four minutes long and it gets tiring to listen to. Not exactly repetitive, not exactly random, but just tiring. The tempo's quick, the beat remains roughly the same with a few subtle fills here and there, and the high, wailing 8-bit synths and very harsh mix don't help much either. Halfway through the track I had to resist the urge to turn the music off for a while and listen to something else. Despite it being so well-made, I can't help but think this gets a bit tiring and it isn't really something I can imagine myself or most people listening to more than once. Condensing it into a shorter version, making the mix a bit more pleasant to listen to and/or varying the mood will make this have more replay value, I think.

To wrap things up, I enjoyed this a lot more than your breakcore. Not to say that the breakcore is bad, but I prefer this style of music and I think you're really good at it. Keep it up.

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

LogicalDefiance - - LD - Doomsday Brigade

  • - LD - Doomsday Brigade
    - LD - Doomsday Brigade by LogicalDefiance

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.41 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    6,761 Views

SUMMARY: Ten gigs of pure epic.

REVIEW: I love the work you put into this. East/West is certainly a ravenous monster when it comes to CPU/RAM (believe me, I've been through it myself and it's not pretty), and I think the work you put into it to incorporate so much of the orchestra definitely paid off, despite a few issues. Good work.

Firstly, I like the atmosphere and the scene that this song portrays. This song sounds really awesome with the volume turned up very high, and I can easily envision some epic undead army advancing or something like that. You have a good chance of faring well in the Halloween contest too I think. The instruments sound great (especially the brass which, as usual, sounds incredible). The mixing is quite good too - some nice bassey percussion hits and deep strings/choir. The melody isn't that special, but works well. I like the chords you used at around 1:40-ish. At 1:52 you introduce a quieter part. It's pretty simple compared to the other parts of the song, but its simplicity helped to make it so full of tension which seemed ready to explode any second.

What struck me as a problem first would be that it sounds generic, and therefore doesn't leave that much of an effect. The intro sounds brilliant - the percussion hits fit well, there are some cool high notes on the choirs and strings which help provoke tension, there's that synth which adds to the originality, the low brass is sublime and I love those orchestral effects you did like the wind chimes and the... thing... at 0:04 (for lack of better word). That's what I like to hear. Not the generic parts and overused progressions which start at around 0:30. Towards the end you do a really generic buildup followed by an ending note which sounds reminiscent of loads of other movie/trailer soundtrack ending notes. Also, on a smaller note, the staccato strings towards the end were a little too loud.

I feel that the main problem with this is the fact that it's generic. It sounds epic, enjoyable, and you know what you're doing when it comes to this genre, but I can't help but think I've heard this before and it doesn't leave as much of an effect on me as if you had used more original composition techniques which aren't so predictable. That said, this sounds great regardless. Excellent job.

SCORE: 8.5/10
--------------------

SineRider -

  • SR - Tecino (NGADM)
    SR - Tecino (NGADM) by SineRider

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.02 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Ambient
    Popularity
    65 Views

SUMMARY: This sounds so incredibly SineRider :D.

REVIEW: Lol, the very second that those drums came in, I recognised your style in the blink of an eye. Anyway, good job on this track overall.

I can start by stating the obvious. This song's atmosphere is sublime, as usual. A very ethereal and dreamy atmosphere throughout, thanks to the light soothing synths and the soft percussion. Everything flows so smoothly as well. As always I can't really fault your Ambient skills - this song certainly fulfills the job of putting the listener in a dreamy state and making him forget all that's around him. The drums are very similar to those in your other songs too, and they serve to give the listener a bit of a rhythm to follow the song with. The beat is varied well, with a nice amount of fills and different rhythms. I like the ride pattern you have, where the ride plays every off-beat for a few bars, and then stops playing for a few other bars. It may sound weird, but it sort of made me think of the ride cymbal playing, stopping to take breath, playing for a few more bars, etc... Cool stuff :P.

That being said, the song doesn't go anywhere. The only significant changes are when you introduce the drums at 0:16 and when the song ends. In-between those two time markers there's just a vast space of the same mood, style, atmosphere and sounds. A good Ambient piece in my opinion is one which flows very well, like this one, but still remains interesting without becoming random. I've got nothing to remember the song by, and when it ends it barely feels like anything ended. The composition is so interesting and the atmosphere is incredible, but you don't use them to their fullest potential by keeping the same thing going for the whole track, in my opinion.

Well, that's my two cents. The song is great, and you've got to love the atmosphere, but it's too much of the same thing I feel. That said, keep it up!

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

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Echo
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:07:41 Reply

RESULTS - SUPERSTEPH54 Continued...

ProudAardvark - NP - Death of a Dream

  • NP - Death of a Dream
    NP - Death of a Dream by ProudAardvark

    Click to listen.

    Score
    3.98 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    46 Views

SUMMARY: Love the dynamics and emotion!

REVIEW: Wow, I immediately noticed how emotional and powerful this song sounds. Wonderful work man, this sounds amazing.

What struck me would probably be how I think this would fit so flawlessly in a Prince of Persia or God of War game. This is a good sign, because it means I'm comparing this to game soundtrack. This is just so well-written. The song has plenty of dynamic changes. The loud parts sound very rich and deep, and the quieter parts sound so peaceful yet so ominous. Some pauses you had somewhere around the 1 minute mark were very well incorporated, albeit too abrupt. The instrumentation and instrument samples are all very high-quality. I especially liked the sound of those strings, and of course the choirs are out of this world. Reverb was used perfectly here too, I think.

My main issues all rise from the fact that this song isn't as smooth as I would've hoped it to be. Like I said, some pauses were too abrupt which disrupted the flow, and the hit at 1:13 is far too sudden. Moreover I feel that the intro doesn't seem to tie too well to the rest of the song. It's just a loud string crescendo and then whatever follows is mostly pretty minimal with soft choirs and the occasional dissonance. Don't get me wrong, I like the sound of the intro - it's very cinematic - however it stands out too much compared to the rest of the track in my opinion.

It's a great piece, with plenty of emotions, dynamics and interesting composition which makes this not only very fitting in a game, but it sounds great on its own too. Work on making it flow a little more smoothly (perhaps lengthening it a little too) and I think you have a winner here.

SCORE: 9.5/10
--------------------

F-777 - Backstabber - F-777

  • Backstabber - F-777
    Backstabber - F-777 by F-777

    Click to listen.

    Score
    3.83 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Dubstep
    Popularity
    558 Views

SUMMARY: Cool!

REVIEW: And here I was thinking you were just a Dance artist. I stand corrected, nice work!

I love the production. Despite being your first Dubstep submission, your experience producing music certainly helped a lot to give this a professional sound. I'm hearing a lot of compression and sidechaining here, and while I'm usually someone who doesn't like sidechaining, I think it fits. All the sidechaining made this have a very mighty, powerful overall sound. The kick does get kinda loud and drowns all the other sounds though, so you might want to work a little on that. The sounds are all very cool. I particularly like that little synth thing you had at parts such as 0:20, and the strings, despite sticking out like a sore thumb compared to the Dubstep synths and beats, are excellent. I'm hearing loads of different sound effects and some effective transitions (like the one at 0:37 and the one at 1:01). It all sounds very good, and for your first Dubstep submission, it's impossible not to be impressed!

Now for the bad news. The song feels rushed. This might be because your computer crashed, I don't know, but whatever the case, some sections feel underdeveloped/extra. Like for example, instead of starting the song with a decent intro and then building up to a drop, you just start with strings quite suddenly, and before this section had time to develop you went straight to the Dubstep. I'm hearing some more strings later on in the track (1:26) which feel extra, not only because the transition to them sort of came out of nowhere, but also because they don't seem to tie together to the rest of the track. Some Dubstep parts were repeated quite a lot, and the ending seemed to be done in a hurry too. While all of this may not be your fault, it really takes away from the listening experience.

In conclusion, I'm impressed. I wish I could go "Hey, let me try and make <genre>. Never made that before!" and make something as awesome as this, haha. Main problem here is that it feels a bit rushed, but in light of the fact that your computer crashed, I won't penalise you too much for it. Keep it up man.

SCORE: 8.5/10
--------------------

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Raven-Guard
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:08:38 Reply

RESULTS - SUPERSTEPH54 Continued...

aliaspharow - ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)

  • ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)
    ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP) by aliaspharow

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.06 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    House
    Popularity
    89 Views

SUMMARY: House done right.

REVIEW: While I don't think this is one of your best, this is pretty darn awesome! Also, an interesting observation; you consider this a work in progress and it's about twice as long as an average finished song on Newgrounds :P.

As usual, the production is fantastic. Not many people have the talent to keep a song going for many minutes with a solid structure, but you've managed to plenty of times. I'm hearing plenty of sweet effects, automations and little details here and there which make for a great final production. I liked that background synth of which you automated the pitch a lot. It's unique and helps give some transitions an extra boost. Variation here isn't that much of an issue, either, so great job improving there. The composition was interesting, as always. I love how you always manage to make a catchy, great melody with synth plucks, and here's just another example. The percussion is snappy and well-mixed. I think the kick might be a bit too loud when in comparison with the other percussion sounds, but maybe that's just me. Honestly, you really know your way around this genre!

Major problem I noticed is that this song feels anti-climatic, or at least to me it does. Any form of a buildup that I'm hearing leads instantly to a build-down. For example, in the slight buildup which introduces the kick beat at around the 1-minute marker, the song already becomes anti-climatic. The largest buildup, about three minutes in, just leads to a slow ambient part with a piano (not saying it sounds bad, because it's excellent, but I expected a bit more from the buildup). When the song begins a really stretched progression after around 4 minutes, and eventually the kick hits become more frequent, I felt like the song was about to reach its much anticipated climax, but then the song started fading out. It truly is a shame, because when this song finished I didn't feel like it accomplished much, if you get what I mean.

Even for a work in progress, this track is superb. I think it has one major fault; that it's pretty anti-climatic. You may want to work on that. Other than that, nicely done!

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

Birdinator99 - Superfluous High (NGADM '11)

  • Superfluous High (NGADM '11)
    Superfluous High (NGADM '11) by Birdinator99

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.33 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Miscellaneous
    Popularity
    62 Views

SUMMARY: Pretty funkeh.

REVIEW: Here's another improvement from your other NGADM tracks. I enjoyed it quite a bit, nice work!

First and foremost, the composition is all over the place, in a good way! The harmonies and melodies are so unique, and the various key changes and unexpected twists and turns of the melody made this incredibly fun to listen to. The mixing is a big improvement - the mix is filled nicely and I'm not noticing discernible clipping. The bass filled the low end nicely and the variety of synths and effects made for a nice, full mix. The structure is also good - in a few of your older tracks I felt as though the song got too random, but here I think the structure was nearly flawless (I'll explain the nearly later on). I love the subtle reiterations of the intro's melody scattered around the song. Each section of the song complimented the next - even the guitar solo. You know I was kinda expecting you to throw an electric guitar in there somewhere :P.

What I noticed immediately when the song began playing was that I don't like the sound of the main synth. You used it for a lot of the song and towards the end it started feeling overbearing. It felt like a relief when other instruments like the guitar came in instead. I would tone down some of the mid/low frequencies of it or alternatively use a lighter-sounding synth, especially considering you're using it so much. Secondly, a structure-related complaint. Sometimes the song repeats certain parts, and I would've liked to see some subtle additions/alterations in these repetitions because they were basically identical repetitions and ended up sounding repetitive. For example, at 1:38 you repeat the main melody and the section after it, without changing them around at all, which made them a bit predictable. Lastly, I felt that the percussion didn't fit as well as it could've. The beats/rhythms were great and varied, but they sound too much like pop drums to fit in this.

Anyway, all in all this is loads of fun and unique at the same time. I have a few specific complaints, and there is the odd transition here and there which I felt was a bit abrupt, although I've already said a lot. Sounds great, keep up the good work.

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

Next - RobinDB
Raven-Guard
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:10:18 Reply

RESULTS - ROBINDB

midimachine - Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)

REVIEW: The first thing that catches my attention is the chord progression. I suppose in the entire world of music, it's nothing new, but it's still a cool catchy theme. The melody was just lovely and put a smile on my face, and the 8-bit synths and beat all sounded authentic. The movements throughout gave it plenty of variety, from verses to bridges and so on. I also appreciate that you gave it a solid conclusion, instead of simply fading out or cutting off. I almost feel like I should hunt for things to dislike about it to be a fair judge. Still, it's an excellent song, as should be expected at this point in the competition.

SCORE: 10/10
--------------------

LogicalDefiance - - LD - Doomsday Brigade

REVIEW: The introduction is quite interesting, with the mix of classical instruments and modern synths. The percussion is thrilling, and breathes life into the piece, grabbing my attention even more. It's very well balanced with the choir, the growling brass, the percussion and strings. I like the dynamic change with the string section solo followed by the build back into the main section. My only problem with it is the length. I understand how it can take up a lot of time choosing instruments and getting the mixing and dynamics just right, but I feel like the second climax is building to something more, only to come to an end. I think for the ending you could have, maybe, mixed in some synth sounds to tie in with the intro; or even better, drop into a second mellow bridge with a different theme, and build back into a final, brutal, massive ending. Other than that, it was all very well made, and all the instruments sound great together. Very good work.

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

F-777 - Backstabber - F-777

REVIEW: I was impressed by the mix of classical strings and the heavy dub throughout the song. Now as far as the dubstep sections, there's absolutely nothing wrong, other than it gets a little repetitive. Don't get me wrong, I like the breakdowns and the builds, but every dub section is the same basic progression. The middle breakdown with the new theme in the strings was a nice change, but then builds right back into the same dub. There are some minor changes I can pick up on, but it would have been nice to hear a completely new section somewhere in the dubstep. A nifty trick I remember from Jr. High band class is to take the chord progression you have, and reverse it. Anyway, I've been picking at this little complaint, but in reality I'm quite impressed with the whole piece. The mixing and dynamic flow of it is very well written. Good work.

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

Birdinator99 - Superfluous High (NGADM '11)

REVIEW: I'm diggin' the feel of the song. Kind of like being under the influence of some good stuff, and knowing things aren't quite right, but going along with it anyway. The intro, I honestly didn't really like. The melody doesn't really rub me the right way without the supporting chords and beat, which I suppose is just because the chord progression of the whole thing is so unique. The different sections give it very nice movement, but I feel like the dub section you threw in doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It comes in so abruptly, and then ends just as quickly, and never makes another appearance. The whole thing is mixed very well, and blends well too. The end is a very nice change from the rest of the song, while still matching. Altogether, it was a very interesting and unique song. Good work.

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

SineRider - SR - Tecino (NGADM)

REVIEW: I can't help but think of the title as a coffee drink for robots. Capuccino, technology... Tecino! Ok, now for the serious review. The intro hooked me right away; it's very smooth and relaxing. Very cool progression. My problem with it is when the percussion comes in. The kick is fine, nice and light. My deal is with the snare and ride cymbal/hihat. They're not necessarily overbearing, but just a bit too loud and bright. A bit more of a mellow tone would have mixed better, I feel. Aside from that, the synths have a very peaceful, ethereal sort of floating sound, and I like how you had some faint synths going on in the background that come through every now and then. There's not much dynamic movement and variety in the chord progression, but for this song it actually works better that way. I like the ending when you pick up the beat a little more, almost like helping the listener to wake up before it ends. Very good work.

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

aliaspharow - ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)

REVIEW: The intro has a very cool sound to it with the delay on the lead synth. I like how everything slowly blends into what's coming next. It gives it a very nice relaxed feel, while the house beat keeps it moving. The slow melody of the piano gives even more of a relaxed, pleasant feel. The build and release at around 3:00 is a nice change and cuts it off before it gets too repetitive. The chord synth that builds behind the piano at that section has a nice rhythm, and the percussion on top of the kick has a cool rhythm throughout. There's nothing to complain about as far as mixing and mastering, but the fade-out ending was a little disappointing. I know you didn't complete it the way you wanted, but at just over 5 minutes long, I feel like you could have given it a more decent ending. Other than that, it's all very well made.

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

ProudAardvark - NP - Death of a Dream

REVIEW: I really like the intro progression. It has this strong emotion of regret and remorse. The solo vocal fits perfectly with the somber feel. Short as the song is, I love the movement of it, how there's not necessarily a dynamic climax other than the intro I suppose. When trying to describe an emotion so low and so defeated, having a dynamic other than low and dark would only work to throw off the entire feel. The mixing is all very well done, and like I said, the progression is just great. The ending is sort of odd, but fits with the song at the same time. Very nice work.

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

Next - jpbear
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:12:18 Reply

RESULTS - JPBEAR

midimachine - Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)

REVIEW: Writing: 8-bit music rarely appeases me, yet this song came through rather nicely. Energy was high throughout. Riffs had that same catchy and nostalgic a mega man track can give a person, could go on loop for hours and still be happy when that refrain comes in. Could have used a more prominent break in the middle, the kick pounding got a bit tiring after a while. Score: 9.25/10

Production: Kick is a bit overpowering, detracts from melodies, it's the largest problem with this song. Rather harsh mixing overall, in a limiting/maximizing sense, doesn't fit too well with a relatively peaceful track. Nice 8-bit drum production overall, the snare is rather innovative. Nice use of portamento, not overused and harmonized nicely. Although it is an 8-bit track a little more differentiation could have been used between different synth leads, the louder leads seem to all be almost 100% saw waves. This detracts a bit from giving certain section definition, namely the lack of a distinct break mentioned afore. Score: 8.4/10

SCORE: 8.825/10
--------------------

LogicalDefiance - - LD - Doomsday Brigade

REVIEW: Writing: Awesome choice of instrumentation, the synth intro, the rumbley brass, the very high quality choir. The writing seems very typical for today's cinema, which is not a problem, my only bone to pick with this is the lack of solo lines which could have fit very nicely on the break. Seemed like everything in the song was half notes or whole notes, which leaves the listener with nothing to cling on to after listening. I felt tense throughout listening, yet also energetic, which shows your powerful writing in effect. Score: 8.7/10

Production: Stereo on the drums in the intro was interesting way to bring in this piece. Nice tribal drums throughout, kept the intensity and tension high throughout, would fit very well in video games. The bass and sub bass throughout was very nice, the choir hit a lot of necessary low end and so did the brass sections, not sure how you kept that low mid and high bass area not cluttered with everything going on in that range, but you managed very nicely. Score: 10/10

SCORE: 9.35/10
--------------------

F-777 - Backstabber - F-777

REVIEW: Writing: Overall a bit too over the top cheesy, a bit expected when listening to an F-777 track lol. You kept a lot energy from the intro to the second breakdown, something rather hard to pull off. The string's riff was cool. Overall the writing was nothing spectacular, you wrote a cool staccato riff and made a cool dubstep song with it. Score: 8.25/10

Production: Mix was overall powerful, just too much compression between the percussion and bass yelling at each other to grab at headroom. I've written this about one too many dubstep tracks, but seriously switching bass patch at every half note over 4 bars is getting a bit old, the modulations on the bass patches were good but very expected/over used. Nothing too innovative going on bass patch wise. You use the same 4 notes on the all the heavier sections, a bit less repitiveness would have helped keep things interesting, also some changes in your bass patches modulations. Overall, mix was powerful yet a bit over compresed/limited, and the bass patches were terribly average. Score: 8.5/10

SCORE: 8.375
--------------------

Birdinator99 - Superfluous High (NGADM '11)

REVIEW: Writing: Jazzy intro, the DnB styled drumming gave the track a lot of energy. Good variations in riffs and solos, very lighthearted and cheery overall yet pretty complex writing wise, not something I would really listen to but I guess it would fit nicely in a cute flash or something. Overall, enjoyable writing with a different edge. Score: 9/10

Production: I have a bone to pick with you instrumentation, seems like you just used a new instrument to solo with every time you ran out of ideas. Drums pop nicely, especially the snare. The mix is overall nice, nothing wrong with it, and nothing that pops out as terribly wrong. Some sections were a bit muddy on the low end, namely the buildups. Score: 8/10

SCORE: 8.5/10
--------------------

SineRider - SR - Tecino (NGADM)

REVIEW:
Writing: Nice trip-hop lo-fi idm feel. There are only a handful of different riffs going on in this track, they all seem to meld together through your use of delay and reverb, this can give a good hypnotic chill feeling, but the drums detract from the "chill" of the song and keep the listener on the edge while listening. These two elements are very contrasting and interesting, but ultimately make the track un-enjoyable for me. I liked the detuned lead, something new and interesting, but it got a bit boring after a while. A bit too much shared mid end on your synths, the mids are cluttered with 2 or 3 synths while the highs are bare for the hats (placing a lot of emphasis on them). Overall, the writing was very innovative, but also rather un-appealable. Score: 8.5/10

Production: Hats were a bit too clicky imo, and too loud. The low end mix is probably my favorite part about this track, the sub end is very warm. The high end on the kick is very ugly, probably the worst part about this track. Not many FX going on at all, some wispy airy fx here and there could give the intricate edge this track needs, because it does seem almost too simple/minimal. Not hearing much reverb at all(especially in the treble end), mix is rather thin as a whole. I feel that with some tweeks in your production and drum choice/mixing this track could have been loads more enjoyable. Score: 7.3/10

SCORE: 7.9/10
--------------------

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ng1razor
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:13:31 Reply

RESULTS - JPBEAR Continued...

aliaspharow - ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)

REVIEW: Writing: The chromatic detuned buildup/rise is a very nice touch. The transition into the break was spectacular, the sub bass on the break, and the most prominent "super-saw like" pad that fades in and out is delicious. The progression from eerie melodic writing into the peaceful nostalgic break was really well written and contrasts superbly. The buildup from the break into the break-down was my favorite part about this piece, it's a shame you couldn't finish on time. The initial riff that repeats for the first 3 minutes got a it repetitive, trance considered. But how this droning contrasts with the evolving melodies of the break contrasts nicely as well. (I'll take off points for this being incomplete in this section, it wouldn't have taken much work to make an ending imo, you could have just had a club outro and killed the building on the break. Seems like the bulk of the work of this project had been completed already.) Score: 8.25/10

Production: A marvel, got all those standard trance and prog house elements, with tremendous innovativeness throughout. The detuned bell-y synths throughout give it an awesome edge. Nice attractive kick. The swishy and clicky hats are one of the favorite aspects of this song. Over-reverbed a bit, but I like it, gives it the right ambiance this song requires. Piano is a bit too treble-y for my tastes, trance pianos need those mids. The attack on the sub bass could be perfected a bit. Score: 9.75/10

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

ProudAardvark - NP - Death of a Dream

REVIEW: Writing: Very heartwarming opening, favorite part to this piece, it eludes to the eeriness that is imminent very well. Although the chords in the last 20/30 seconds are eerie, they call back to the intro very nicely. I just love the contrast between the sweeter side of minor to the creepy potential you fully use it to. Ending feels a bit awkward. Score: 9.5/10

Production: Very full orchestra on the intro. Some awkward pauses throughout, namely in the strings' attack, this detaches the listener a bit. The strings could have used a bit more low end throughout the middle section as well. The percussion smash at 1:20ish is a bit discomforting to the listener as well, a little drum build/fill before it would have made it much more appealable. Dynamics throughout are a bit everywhere, a more defined crescendo at the end could have worked nicely. Score: 9/10

SCORE: 9.25/10
--------------------

Next - LiquidOoze
ng1razor
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:15:21 Reply

RESULTS - LIQUIDOOZE

midimachine - Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)

SUMMARY: Oy old-skool!

REVIEW: There aren't many pure 8-bit songs on NG that I like, but this one is an exception for sure! I love how you used so many different synths. I can't believe you synthesized all this with a GameBoy, I can imagine that must take very long to do (I have no idea how it's done so I could be mistaken).

A slight detail I noticed is that the white noise hit you use as your cymbal (I hope you know what I mean) seems to have some delay on it, which makes it sound like it's out of sync. I'm pretty sure there aren't many people who would hear it, but once you hear it, it can get annoying. II also noticed that it doesn't happen all the time, which is strange. Unless this was all intended, then you can scratch everything I just said.

What I also found pretty innovative is the dubstep-ish part at 3:32. I don't think I've ever heard dubstep made of 8-bit synths only before. It's a shame that part is so short, you could've extended it or used it in another part of the song (like the break at 1:40). Is that a bitcrusher I'm hearing by the way?
Great job!

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

LogicalDefiance - - LD - Doomsday Brigade

SUMMARY: Is that you, Hans Zimmer?

REVIEW: Yep, it's epic. Not the most original orchestral music I've heard, but it's epic.
I have a feeling you like to pan things a lot. I see this already has been pointed out, but I'll be saying it again: the panning is a biiiiiiiiit extreme IMO. I see midimachine said things about how in concert halls the panned drums are reflected so they're still stereo and stuff, but for me it's just annoying when something is panned fully to one side. Don't worry, you're not the only one, even professional producers do it.

The electronic synth in the beginning is a great tension builder, it's a shame it kinda fades away after the intro. I also noticed the Japanese arpeggio thingies you in the beginning, it would've been cool if you used more of those. The rest is pure perfection.

SCORE: 8.5/10
--------------------

F-777 - Backstabber - F-777

SUMMARY: Pretty neat.

REVIEW: I've never heard dubstep that contained classical instruments, so good job on experimenting with that. It's also pretty good for a first dubstep submission.

But HOLY SHIT that kick is freaking heavy! I don't know if it's sidechain or just too much overdrive (it sounds like it's overdrive, though) but that kick is made way too heavy. So you should either drastically decrease the sidechain (in case it really is sidechain) or just compress the living shit out of it, because now it just stamps the song into the ground.

The synths were pretty cool and I'm also glad that they all differed from each other. The melody you chose for was a bit cheesy in my opinion, but if you like it I'm okay with that. I think the song as a whole could use a bit more variation though, those classical breaks don't really add anything, they're just there so that the song isn't just full of dubstep.

So, good song, but that kick seriously makes it sound much, MUCH worse (and if you closely listened to 0:55-1:02 I can't believe you didn't notice).

SCORE: 7.7/10
--------------------

Birdinator99 - Superfluous High (NGADM '11)

SUMMARY: Funny stuff, in a good way.

REVIEW: I thought this song was funny, the synths were pretty cool (especially the lead synth) and there was a lot of variation in here. It almost felt like you randomly did something at some parts, but because that kinda was your intention, I didn't base my score on that.

Two out of the three problems you anticipated people would find are correct: the loud kick drum and the bass levels. The kick drum isn't that bad, it just needs to be toned down a little more. But the bass, dear god, whenever it got pitched up a bit, I could hear it buzz through my head. I think you need to equalize some shizzle there.

The break at 1:33 gave me a wtf-face. I'm glad you just used it as a small intermezzo, because if you added a few more bars to that I think I would've lifted my headphones from my head until it was over. But as a break it has a cool effect, really. ;)

Some other small details: the ride that comes in at 1:09 and stops at 1:14 is a little too loud, the guitar-ish synth at 2:15 needs to be less dry, in addition to some reverb that would probably make it sound more realistic. Also, the organ-ish synth at 1:15 and the pads are fantastic. :)

SCORE: 8/10
--------------------

SineRider - SR - Tecino (NGADM)

SUMMARY: Mmmmm...

REVIEW: Ahh, great ambient track, man, the synth's long release and it's slight reverb create a great atmosphere. This would probably fit well in a dream, just lay back and look at the figures dancing in front of your eyes.

Couple of issues: the ride cymbal is a bit too loud sometimes. It really adds to the song, but at places like 2:40 it's just a bit too much. Same goes for the snare. You're using it a lot, and that's fine as long as you don't make it too present. Add a slight reverb, make it less dry, that should not only make it less loud, but also add to the atmosphere. I think the bass could use a slight boost, too.

But really, this song is absolutely amazing, I actually don't wanna talk about it much because I'm afraid of ruining it.

SCORE: 8.7/10
--------------------

aliaspharow - ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)

SUMMARY: Very smooth.

REVIEW: This is a great track to chill out to. I can't believe it isn't finished yet (it's so long!). I didn't listen to this one on headphones, which I probably should have done to totally get into it (and hear your mixing skills).

What really is a shame about this track is that the kick is so damn loud. It's not like it's overpowered, but it doesn't fit the song. It's a good kick, really, but not in this song. I'd recommend a more bounce-y kick with less of a punch and more of a click, that would probably fit better.

Apart from that, this song is actually great. The synths are all very bright and warm, the beat is very full and solid (and that's not only because of the kick) and you've create a very nice atmosphere. Normally I'd complain about how some segments of your songs are so long, but this time it's not that bad because I can really chill out to it. Great work, dude.

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

ProudAardvark - NP - Death of a Dream

SUMMARY: Shudder...

REVIEW: Holy shit, dude, did you write this at midnight at the graveyard or something? Every second of it scares the crap out of me. I think it would perfectly fit in a movie, probably in one of those death scenes were one of the main characters dies and everything is in slow-motion and when that guy dies everybody's screaming but there's no sound so it only gets more intense. Like the one at the very end of LotR 1, when Gandalf falls in the pit and Frodo is like 'OMG GANDALF!'.

Anyway, I think this piece needs some more of an ending. Now it ends really strange, I'd prefer a long deep note on the tonic. Also the hit at 1:14 needs to be a bit better. It served its purpose (I jumped out my chair twice) but now it's like 'Flop!' while it needs to be 'TAC!', it needs to be a bit sharper, like a hard smack on the snare drum.

Other than that, this track is a good one, even though it's scary. I would NEVER listen to this to fall asleep or something (no offence of course ;)

SCORE: 9/10
--------------------

Next - djInTheDark
ng1razor
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:16:53 Reply

RESULTS - DJINTHEDARK

midimachine - Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)

  • Thief of Heaven (8-Bit)
    Thief of Heaven (8-Bit) by midimachine

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.21 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Video Game
    Popularity
    253 Views

SUMMARY: Kickin it ol' skool

REVIEW: This track has an energy I find very pleasing. Right of the bat it gets going and not much can stop it. I would have to say the part I enjoyed out of the whole thing was the melody and the harmonies that accompany it. I seem to get a vision of an 8-bit island paradise
when I hear this track. The breakdowns were a little short in my opinion, because they provided quite a bit of very necessary and enjoyable contrast, but I didn't quite get as much as I thought I might or rather, as much as the song led me to believe. Cool stuff!

SCORE: 8.9/10
--------------------

LogicalDefiance - - LD - Doomsday Brigade

  • - LD - Doomsday Brigade
    - LD - Doomsday Brigade by LogicalDefiance

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.41 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    6,761 Views

SUMMARY: Maximum Power, Maximum Awesome

REVIEW: In the past I've heard a few classical experimental pieces that incorporate multitudes of contrasting elements, and dynamics between those elements. One in particular also had a video of the artist recording all the different types of platforms he was using and all the different objects he was recording in varying ways of producing sound. This reminded me of that in all its conjured creativity. My only beef would be the abrupt ending which I felt put a very damper end to a forcefully flowing piece. Great work nonetheless.

SCORE 8.0/10
--------------------

SineRider - SR - Tecino (NGADM)

  • SR - Tecino (NGADM)
    SR - Tecino (NGADM) by SineRider

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.02 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Ambient
    Popularity
    65 Views

SUMMARY: Funk that shizz

REVIEW: This was super chill and it didn't take long for me to get into that funktastic beat. The melodies in this were great, but I found the background and the harmonious accompaniments to not properly support the ultimate driving force of the track. I loved all the rhythms and drums, except for the snare.While I don't believe it was out of place, if you had dropped the mids on it somewhat and backed off of the snap it had, I think it would compliment the rest of the song and help tie everything together better. Great job!

SCORE 7.5/10
--------------------

ProudAardvark - NP - Death of a Dream

  • NP - Death of a Dream
    NP - Death of a Dream by ProudAardvark

    Click to listen.

    Score
    3.98 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Classical
    Popularity
    46 Views

SUMMARY: With death comes life

REVIEW: This piece was epically seamless, it gave no inclination of where one section began and another ended. The dissonance that you included was very well thought out, and rather than sticking out like a sore thumb, it blended and cloaked itself to become part of the natural harmonics in play. I had two issues with the piece however. After several listens, I still couldn't grasp the context of the grand pause toward the middle. Nor did I find the odd structure of the ending to comply with the emotion the rest of the piece provides. Nice work!

SCORE 8.4/10
--------------------

F-777 - Backstabber - F-777

  • Backstabber - F-777
    Backstabber - F-777 by F-777

    Click to listen.

    Score
    3.83 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Dubstep
    Popularity
    558 Views

SUMMARY: Surprises at every turn

REVIEW: I definitely wasn't expecting a dubstep track based on the information the intro provided, but I liked the direction it took. I enjoyed the melodies the most out of everything, but the majority of the track backs it up substantially. I find in most dubstep tracks, the chorus is often what drags the song down because it repeats more than any other aspect of the track. In this song, I find that breakdowns and builds organized in a certain way can prevent this issue which has become to common in the genre itself. Awesome stuff!

SCORE 7.8/10
--------------------

aliaspharow - ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)

  • ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP)
    ~Delta~ Quantum (WIP) by aliaspharow

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.06 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    House
    Popularity
    89 Views

SUMMARY: House encompassed

REVIEW: This track made me really take a step back and analyze it. And in that I came to find it had encompassed a multitude of house sub-genres into one rather perfectly. It has a progressive drive, yet it appears to the ears as a deep track. And while it holds your attention with tech style rhythms, it slips in minimal aspects to lighten the mood and expand upon the background. It all comes together very nicely in my opinion.Very nice work!

SCORE 9.4/10
--------------------

Birdinator99 - Superfluous High (NGADM '11)

  • Superfluous High (NGADM '11)
    Superfluous High (NGADM '11) by Birdinator99

    Click to listen.

    Score
    4.33 / 5.00
    Type
    Song
    Genre
    Miscellaneous
    Popularity
    62 Views

SUMMARY: Jammin'

REVIEW: This was an all in all fun track. The portamento was a little heavy on the lead at times I thought and it took away from the concentration that song required in order to hold to its course. That course changing all time in a number of directions, all of them very unique and exciting. It really shows what you were trying to invoke in the listener throughout, and especially when a little harmony was thrown in.

SCORE 8.6/10
--------------------

Next - Score Summary and Pairings
robertnolan
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:17:26 Reply

SCORE SUMMARY

SineRider vs midimachine

SineRider -- AVERAGE SCORE = 8.22

midimachine -- AVERAGE SCORE = 9.15
--------------------
WINNER = midimachine
--------------------

F-777 vs aliaspharow

F-777 -- AVERAGE SCORE = 8.08

aliaspharow -- AVERAGE SCORE = 8.68
--------------------
WINNER = aliaspharow
--------------------

Birdinator99 vs xKore

Birdinator99 -- AVERAGE SCORE = 8.22

xKore -- DIDN'T SUBMIT
--------------------
WINNER = Birdinator99
--------------------

LogicalDefiance vs ProudAardvark

LogicalDefiance -- AVERAGE SCORE = 8.67

ProudAardvark -- AVERAGE SCORE = 9.03
--------------------
WINNER = ProudAardvark
--------------------

PAIRINGS

midimachine vs aliaspharow
Birdinator99 vs ProudAardvark
--------------------

So there we go! Round 3 is over and Round 4 (Semi-Finals) has now begun. The 4 participants who made it through this round, must get a song done before the 4th of November, 1:00 PM EST (NG Time). See you then!

P.S. You can post now :P
jpbear
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:39:14 Reply

Proudardvark vs LD was definetly a good one.

Birdinator99
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 15:52:19 Reply

Wow, I'm glad I improved on the mixing part again, and for the most part, I agree with all the suggestions that were given.

See you next round!


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Breed
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 16:02:51 Reply

Meh.

Thats all I'm gonna say

Echo
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 16:10:13 Reply

At 10/21/11 04:02 PM, LogicalDefiance wrote: Meh.

Thats all I'm gonna say

Don't worry. Now you can collab with me and have epic babies :3

Acid-Paradox
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 16:21:38 Reply

Congratulations to all the winners and participants!!

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

Music is my passion , not my business.

BrokenDeck
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 16:26:43 Reply

Congratulations to all the wieners.

aliaspharow
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-21 17:34:50 Reply

Holly Shit O-O...
I... Won???
I never saw that comming...

LiquidOoze
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 05:52:44 Reply

At 10/21/11 05:34 PM, aliaspharow wrote: Holly Shit O-O...
I... Won???
I never saw that comming...

You don't seem to have a lot of faith in yourself, do you?


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Rahmemhotep
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 06:03:08 Reply

At 10/22/11 05:52 AM, LiquidOoze wrote:
At 10/21/11 05:34 PM, aliaspharow wrote: Holly Shit O-O...
I... Won???
I never saw that comming...
You don't seem to have a lot of faith in yourself, do you?

You gave him just what he needed. A little Booze.

God, I am such a faggot! I LOVE jokes like that, lolololol!

My sig is clickable and takes you some place.
Best Thread Ever

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Spikrodd
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 06:49:57 Reply

Hey guys, sorry I couldn't break habits from last year, so I had to kill xKore and disregard review time.

It's what I do.

Echo
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 07:36:47 Reply

At 10/22/11 06:49 AM, Spikrodd wrote: Hey guys, sorry I couldn't break habits from last year, so I had to kill xKore and disregard review time.

It's what I do.

Damn you Spikrodd! Why you so evil?! :P

Sequenced
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 11:21:01 Reply

xKore, you disappoint me. :(


lel

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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 11:27:06 Reply

Congratulations to the winners. Good job Midimachine, your entry was a bit too much for me to compete with ;)

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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 11:48:24 Reply

At 10/21/11 05:34 PM, aliaspharow wrote: Holly Shit O-O...
I... Won???
I never saw that comming...

Sure you didn't.

djInTheDark
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-22 13:23:12 Reply

Some big names went out on this round, astounding results! Can't wait for more!


The Main Thing is to keep the Main, Thing the Main Thing.
Latest Song: Retraktion [House/Electro] / Latest Mix: Voltaicly Uncondensed

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LiquidOoze
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-24 09:48:18 Reply

Hurr durr bumpurr


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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-24 09:58:45 Reply

At 10/24/11 09:48 AM, LiquidOoze wrote: Hurr durr bumpurr

Shameless bumping? Selfish advertising of the thread? Hopelessly obvious attempts at making this more popular?!?! :O

You deserve a cookie my friend :D
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-24 15:13:58 Reply

omg, skin of my teeth! I thought Logical had out-epicced me tbh.


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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-24 16:31:07 Reply

In the future I think there should be an agreed upon 4-7 aspects that are rated out of 10 that are averaged for each individual judges score. Thats how I did it when I judged last year.

For example,

Harmony : ?/10
Melody : ?/10
Rhythm: ?/10
Mixing: ?/10
Mastering: ?/10
Total: ?/10

Could easily be added to the end of each review. Also people would come up with scores that better match what they are saying in their review too. Cuz I kinda feel like theres a bit of a seperation between the score people give and what they have to say about the song.

LiquidOoze
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Response to Ngadm 2011: Semi-finals 2011-10-24 16:51:29 Reply

At 10/24/11 04:31 PM, LogicalDefiance wrote: Harmony : ?/10
Melody : ?/10
Rhythm: ?/10
Mixing: ?/10
Mastering: ?/10
Total: ?/10

This wouldn't apply to all songs. For example, there are proghouse songs that have no melodies in them, and ambient tracks don't necessarily have any rhythm, so unless you create a song that's based on all these aspects your fucked because you'll getstuff like 'Boo, there's no melody!'


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