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Midnight Lights {7x}

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Author Comments

- NGADM 2012, Round 2 -

This is probably one of, if not my best song to date. I'm up against the legendary TroisNyxEtienne this round though, so it's going to take everything I have.

This song has it all: Sidechaining, sweeps, filters, phasers, panning, and even a sexy sax solo or two. I worked my arse off on it, and I hope it shows (the hard work that is, not my arse). Regardless of this round's results, I'm pretty proud of this submission.

Fun fact: this song is 174bpm, and coincidentally also has 174 bars (including the last several seconds).

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The intro is great - it quickly and neatly introduced the listener to the track with lush filter sweeps, a standard breakbeat, neat chords and wide, rich sounds. The sax is a good addition that brings a sense of authenticity to the song, which is very much needed in a genre like this. The opposite could be said about the wobbly synth right after that, which sounds more or less uninspired and out of place, especially since we live in a time where everything that starts to remind one of dubstep immediately feels a bit cliched. c;

Mixing is good, there aren't too many elements in the song that could cause problems but the ones you have fill the frequency spectrum nicely enough. The drums do snap nicely but they're truly utterly boring as hell. They go on and on without dynamic variation apart from a few fills where one would expect them, and without tonal variation apart from a few filter sweeps - for 4 full minutes. And nothing about it makes it stand out from other bland breakbeats.

Mostly this same lack of variation and interesting new content goes for the entire track and is the one big blatant problem with this track.


NGADM 2 and stuff.

I really like the idea behind this song, mixing a softer bluesy-ish type feel with the sax, some light orchestral influence and of course, DnB. It's a cool idea, and it's something I'd like to hear more of.
However, to be honest, I was left feeling a bit dissatisfied as aside from the occasional lift with the orchestral influences or the sections with the sax, it was fairly standard and cliche, as well as quite repetitive.

All that aside, I still thought the use of a sax in a DnB song was brilliant, and it fit in well, I just wish the underlying song had a little more attitude to it. 7/10.

Hey man! I am going through all the NGADM entries and reviewing them for myself. This site has a lot of talent on it and I thought you would enjoy another review that could possibly help you improve. Anyway, I really thought this review was mastered very well. All of them sounds were crisp, creamy, and smooth. The instrumentation chosen was a great idea and matched the flow very well. Your use of filtering was carried out great in most areas. I thought you should have experimented more so in the bitcrushing and phasing categories, however, to help spicen up your sounds.

It's always good to expand your horizens and broadened your talents with different sounds. It is what keeps a song interesting and moving right along. Most dubstep / drum n bass tracks I hear on here tend to stay at one idea and continue throughout that idea, using the hell out of it. Instead of having one idea on there, try to incorporate multiple ideas at once. The thing is with drum n bass... is that EVERYONE uses that same fucking beat. Try edging up that beat and changing it into something new... glitch it out, go into a different beat form, and bring it back. Put some originality into it.

All in all, youve got a nice, solid, generic, well mixed track that is enjoyable to listen to. I would recommend trying to veer off into another direction, giving the whole drum n bass song your very own style. Experiment a bit and see what sort of awesome sounds you end up producing. Generic is fun, sure, but originality is really what brings "holy fuck thats awesome" into a song.

This sounds mostly like standard DnB fare to me.
However, I liked your usage of Saxophone.

This is your NGADM Round 2 Review.


Yeah I can hear the effort in this. It's an entirely different genre than your Round 1 submission and it still sounds like you've got experience in this genre. Massive kudos for that, I always respect an artist that can do different genres!

Sorry to start the review like this but I really wanted to point out that the saxophone is just so good. Honestly, when I was discussing this track with the other judges on Skype they said "oh look, a saxophone in a drum'n'bass track" and I was like "pffhahahaha I must hear thi-whoa cool". It's really good, I'd say it's pretty much the defining characteristic of this track. It also plays some really cool melodies too, which brings me to my next point...

You've got some good composition here. Like I said, fantastic sax solos, and I like your pad chords. Cool bell-like synth, and that main synth with the cutoff LFO or whatever on it was nice. You've got some good sounds and effects, like the filter automation at 1:29 and the sweeps. Also, good mixing. Tight mixing on the drums (they're too loud but more on that later) and overall you have a great, clear mix and good mastering too. This is all really well-made, you're a talented composer and it shows in this piece of work.

However, I have complaints. Biggest complaint would be that there isn't really much sound processing going on here. Sure, you've got some nice effects but you're not really showing off any kind of technical prowess since sweeps are pretty standard in electronic music, and so is filter automation/LFO. You don't really do much with the effects even though the effects you have right now are great. I would've loved to hear some glitching on the drums, different kinds of effects like pitch-bent effects, maybe some more organic hat lines, and more sounds in general...

...You don't really go anywhere with your sound set and stick with a pretty limited sound set. Throw in some more sounds! It'll diversify the experience to hear different sounds come in like some bassier pads, arps... anything really. Your lack of sounds made for a pretty empty mix that seems entirely overshadowed by the beat which is just too loud and stands out too much compared to everything else. The song also gets pretty repetitive. The latter half of the tracks need more different-sounding sections and new stuff to maintain interest.

All in all, what you've got here is impressive. Just work on that repetition and throw in some more interesting stuff in there!



EbonHawk7X responds:

Your reviews are without doubt some of the best and most constructive criticism I have ever received. Like with each of the other judges reviews I've learned much more about my own compositions from your sharp ears and stellar advice. While improving, I'll be certain to keep each of these teachings in mind so as to one day become as skilled as many others who have entered this competition. Thank you again!

Credits & Info


4.00 / 5.00

Aug 23, 2012
11:19 PM EDT
Drum N Bass
File Info
9.2 MB
4 min 1 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.