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!
- First things first, you'll want to fix up your mix. You have solid relative dynamics and sound design here, but it can get buried under how loud everything is mixed during the climaxes. This can be fixed by putting a bit more work into levelling, but also by reducing the volume of ALL tracks prior to doing your limiting by roughly -10dB to give headroom, then restricting your limiter to a threshold of -1.1dB to keep the track from exceeding -1.0dB. You'll likely find a lot of details that became buried such as the arpeggios you have in the background (or the toms at 3:50!), and perhaps more that are no longer audible. Speaking of this mix... the rain sound you have seems to be panned primarily to the right, and also sounds noisy like it's a mp3 file. It might be worth recording a new sample of rain and thunder.
- Second general point is the composition. I see the inspiration from Panda Eyes, and it works quite well - but let's also look at how the drops are structured. There's some variance in the gating (and whether it's gated at all), as well as the specific arpeggios used in the drops. However, there doesn't seem to be any variation in the melody or, importantly, the chord progression. Try adding even a single extra note to one or two chords in the second and third drops, and you might find that you can add a whole new countermelody in the third drop as well, to contrast the earlier ones. As a point of comparison, here is a Panda Eyes track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg1qZq5yjps Notice how in the later drops, there is variation to contrast with earlier sections while keeping the beat and other elements the same, including filtering the 'wall of sound', using some different rhythms and bass design, changing the chord progression to new base keys, and even adding additional similar melodies. This is a hard thing to balance, but highly worth developing!
Compliments to the Composer:
- For the most part, you definitely nailed the sound palette. It's expansive, you're using similar filtering, and you have a lead and growly bass to sit underneath the wall of sound which both are very reminiscent of Panda Eyes. Your composition and mix also aren't BAD by any means, despite the points of critique above. A lot in your drops is still balanced and clear, you have a clear melody, and no offensive dissonance throughout. Great job!
Final score: 8.8
That last drop was so uplifting! :D Great track!
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