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!
- 5/4, huh? I do appreciate some odd time signatures, though I believe it could definitely be improved here. The timing feels very off-putting in this context by placing emphasis in groups of (2-2-2-2-2) and (3-3-4). But... beyond that, I think there are some general compositional points here - the general tone of this song is extremely flat overall as GDSomeGuy stated. None of the instruments have variation to their dynamics, impact to their notes, or points of tension to resolve. The fact that almost every single part is made of one or two 5/4 loops doesn't help this either. What I would highly recommend is focusing on a few "functions" for each instrument and trying to write a song that way first, before adding in multiple instruments to flesh the idea out. One bass, one chord instrument, one melodic instrument, maybe drums - have an A and B section with different chord progressions and try to write a melodic theme to fit each. This way you can have some basic foundation of variation and development to build off of for future works.
- Sound design issues are pretty simple. All of these are fairly low quality soundfonts. They're certainly possible to build into something, but they really need to be handled carefully since individually they often lack impact. Compression may be your friend in this respect, especially since you can also use it in the form of a limiter to master your track to -1.0dB, making sure it's roughly the same volume as other music tracks. Mastering in this way also makes sure there's enough dynamic range for finer quiet details in your instruments to come through, especially if you have a range of volumes for individual instruments.
Compliments to the Composer:
- I really don't see much in the way of odd time signatures, so the 5/4 was surprising and pretty enjoyable here! You also keep everything harmonically accurate, which is much appreciated - I think without relying so heavily on loops, you can actually write some pretty neat stuff with soundfont instruments. Just look at Newgrounds' very own steampianist for an example of how stereotypically "low quality" instruments can turn into really solid tracks when used effectively.
Final score: 4