Hello! This is a review for the NGUAC competition.
I've gone over one or two general categories of issues specific to your song, and one section of things I think also deserve complimenting. I prefer being very direct with my critique, none of it is meant to offend. Thank you for your understanding!
- Alright! Since it's been commented on by a couple people already, let's take a look at the mix. Right away, I can tell one thing - those drums are NOT too quiet. If you actually reference them against almost any other track, especially in similar styles, you'll find that this is a perfectly normal volume. The actual problem is in two parts. First of all... there is FAR too much reverb on just about everything other than the kick, which sounds like it has very little (and it shouldn't have any). The reason this is a problem is that reverb in music is like the blur tool for images. Sharp, clear detail bleeds out into surrounding colors and lines in the art with blur, and sounds and frequencies will bleed out into the surrounding frequencies while becoming flatter themselves by using reverb. It might make things sound "big", but those drawbacks are NOT small! The other main issue with the mixing right now is the lack of bass. However, the lack of bass frequencies aren't in the kick as much as they lack in the bass instrument itself, which could use more bass frequencies (try sidechaining it to the kick to avoid making it muddy.
- Secondly, let's look at the composition here. Your use of melodies and the two shifts in chord progression (especially the short breakdown at 1:55) are quite nice, actually! You can still slightly improve this bit with some substitution chords in your main progression. However, what REALLY needs improvement are your dynamics and... really, the drums desperately need more work here. The dynamics could use more variance because even in the calm sections there tends to be a lot of energy and volume, which gets tiring - even in the breakdown, it's still fairly loud since none of the instruments actually change volume and the bass instrument is still reasonably present, adding a lot of energy to the sound. However, for pretty much the entire track, your drums are a standard four-on-the-floor beat with a snare on the offbeats, keeping the energy level in a high stasis. Even the high hats stay the same the whole time. Much of the EDM genre does keep a consistent drumbeat, but they typically have more fills and some variation in the high hats. One format that works very well for me to keep things varied is to changes things by measure in the following format (one letter per measure): A-B-A-C-A-B-A-D-repeat. This lets you keep relative consistency while adding in some fills, and the fills remain consistent enough that they feel familiar but not boring. You can tweak that format, but it works pretty well as a basis.
Compliments to the Composer:
- This is such a lovely pleasant track. The composition is generally pretty fine, perfectly enjoyable, and the atmosphere is happy and sweet. I absolutely LOVE the guitar in pretty much the entire track, it's the best instrument out of all of them. If anything, I'd love to have some more emphasis on the guitar over other pieces, perhaps even some guitar-based percussion for variation and a bit of extra ear candy.
Final score: 8.1