this would have been about six orders of magnitude better in higher resolution. that being said, pretty good.
8-bit Mecha for Next 8 but Megaman game!
Hey man. As you requested, I took the time to listen to your tracks and make some notes. I also gave you some 5's to help your scores, but don't tell anyone.
Good stuff, keep it up! These thoughts below are for all 3 of the newest tracks, Mecha, Aqueous, and Conflict.
- Your songs have a really solid progression and can be pretty catchy.
- These have a nice overall sound, from a purely aural and non-musical perspective, it's pleasing to the ear and good to listen to.
- The songs are fairly complex, worth listening to a good number of times to get the full effect. Much 8-bit goodness and movement going on.
- All three would fit perfectly right in the middle of some killer NES game!
- They loop really damn nicely. One could leave it on and continually enjoy 8-bit excellence during the mundane tasks of the day... Seriously though they are seamless, I never knew it was possible on NG haha.
Now of course you know what you did right I'm sure, let's get into the meat of the important part, where I play critic :)
- Your bass motifs are often always the same, repeated 8th notes or similar underscoring the currrent chord. Try to work more rhythmic and melodic variation into your basslines, often harmonizing with the leads or doing their own crazy thing etc. You should also often make the bass coordinate rhythmically with your drum parts for added interest and impact.
- Remember that when you're using 8-bit, every instrument can emulate any instrument or part of a song. For example, just because the triangle wave is traditionally the bass in 8-bit, doesn't mean you shouldn't take it out of that element every once in a while
and take advantage of its unique sound compared to the squares.
- On that note (bad pun intended!), you seem to know some of the techniques used by 8-bit composers to achieve special effects such as the fake echo and whatnot. There's more than just that though, of course, and I find it never hurts to experiment with doing other crazy stuff
that would never be done on real instruments with your 8-bit.
-Stronger drum sounds will really reinforce the rhythmic movement of your 8-bit, it sounds a bit soft and thus lazy at the moment, and lazy drumming is not what you want for those intense Megaman-esque tracks. More harsh noise-based drums can work, but I find that unsatisfactory and the best is to emulate the NES games that had DPCM samples of drum hits for their drumkits. You can emulate this by downsampling a kick and snare sound and cutting it very short in length. Hi-hats and crashes should continue to be done with the noise channel.
- Sometimes in these tracks the leads and the harmonies/accompaniments have too close of a timbre, and it may just be the mixing too but often the melody can become indistinct and difficult to follow when it blends in with everything else too easily. Despite the limited nature of 8-bit "instrumentation", do your best with processing each sound to make each one distinct. Use volume for emphasis or lack thereof where necessary.
- I feel like there might be too much reverb on these tracks. Use VERY little if you're going to use any, and make it a room/plate reverb IMO, as long reverbs with trailing transients tend to suck a lot of the intensity out of an 8-bit song. It also starts to make things sound foggy or too wet. On one hand, this effect works very well on the "Aqueous" track! I recently acquired some studio monitor speakers so I trust my ears on these, but still I am not 100% sure if it's too much verb.
- Sometimes the arrangement should get sparse to give the listener some room to breathe or to change up the structure. This of course depends on the song etc. and is a purely artistic decision, but lots of 8-bit tracks do it. Solo parts with minimal accompaniment, have all parts playing the bassline, etc. Stuff like that to change it up.
Good work my friend, keep on 8-bit-ing, love this stuff.
Perhaps we should collaborate on an 8-bit project at some point?
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.