I love music like this. So calming.
:) Peace, man.
This is SO ace!
You created some seriously cool atmospheres here. It's inspired me to play with Omnisphere more.
Very proggy in places too, I like.
Good work :)
great i like this sort of filtered drum feel and the door feel. Keep it up
Cool, thanks man
Hi. Yeah I know I said I'd review this and I took ages to get around to it (but in my defence I was in Spain and I am certainly not analysing a track on laptop speakers or Apple earbuds thank you very much). Now that I'm back in Malta, I can finally review this, and let me just say from now that this is your best work. I greatly admire Birth of an Astral Nation for the whole size, ambition and creativity of it, but this is hands-down your most solid unified song. On top of that, I absolutely love it, and let me tell you exactly why.
This has EVERYTHING*. It's like my new smartphone. It can do everything save for make me my breakfast (but I'm sure there'll be an app for that in the future). This has parts that are slow, parts that are energetic and bursting with speed, parts that build up, parts die down, atmospheric parts, insane solos and even traditional instruments like the dizi and zither for God's sake. What's not to like?
This is such an ambitious project, just like a lot of your other works. There's a big diversity in sounds, effects and melodic content. This song is like a starry night sky. Look up at it and you've got a beautiful array of stars. Look closer and you start seeing more and more stars pop up here and there, and the more you look at it, the more stars come up and the more beautiful the sky becomes. Same thing here; if I listen closely to the song at any one point, I'll always pick up some new little detail which I didn't notice before. Yes, your song is a smartphone and now a night sky as well. DEAL WITH IT.
The insane amount of detail provides a very slight negative effect. It's very tough to add in so many instruments and soundscape layers playing together because that then diminishes the effect of each individual instrument, which makes this track fall in the same trap a lot of your other songs have. No sound truly stands out in the mix (except that open hat at 2:52 which ironically stands out too much. Turn that crap down, man). HAVING SAID THAT, this is very slight issue because 1.) It makes sense with the theme to have so many things playing together...
...and 2.) you've actually done a much better job on the mixing than you've ever done before on a track. This makes the problem of no sound standing out much less apparent because even if there isn't the clarity I want to hear in certain sounds, I can still feel the power and statement of certain instruments.
This issue is slowly dying away the more you make music, so I think after some time this issue will have disappeared for the most part and you'll be able to separate sounds more adeptly and suitably in a heavy and detailed mix instead of having them competing so much. In all fairness, your mixing skills right now are already great anyway. It's just that you use so many sounds that it ends up being a massive chore to control them all and mix them suitably, and you're already improving rapidly at that.
Now, I often start with composition when I review melody-heavy tracks like these but I wanted to get all that stuff out of the way first. The composition is stellar. I can't begin to express how much I love the leitmotif you've used here or how much I enjoyed the guitar solo towards the end without sounding like your number #1 fanboy or something. Not to mention that great rhythm guitar-like thing you use in the background during energetic parts like 1:20 which is coincidentally one of my favourite things in this track. Overall, you used just the right amount of quirkiness and just the right amount of excitement. This sounds very inspired and creative.
Something I would particularly commend you on is how you manage to combine a light, floating atmosphere with an energetic and fun atmosphere, even adding hints of deeper reflection in certain parts like the end. The sound effects and layers of drone ambience only assisted you in this feat. At the risk of sounding too much like an A.I.M. judge, this fits excellently with the art you chose in my opinion. Your story also fit so well that while I was trying to read it in sync with the music, I practically got goosebumps. It really works.
Notwithstanding the little mixing issue I mentioned above, the technicalities are pretty much nailed. Fitting intro and outro, superb transitions, great choice of sounds and choice of chords, and a very solid structure to boot.
There's nothing more I can say about this piece right now because I'm getting sleepy. I can tell you're proud of this and you should be. You worked hard on it and the result, without a shred of doubt, paid off. You get a 10/10 from me. Keep in mind the issues I've mentioned above and keep on improving please!
* except a cowbell.
FIRST THING. YOU ARE AMAZING AND HANDS-DOWN THE BEST REVIEWER I KNOW. PERIOD. This is not up for debate, you are not allowed to complain. So shush with the downplaying of yourself. I need to review a piece or two of yours (or like, 5) to repay you for all this great stuff.
Now, copy/pasting and responding to your points.
"this is your best work"
:D :D :D :D :D ME GUSTA. Definitely was my goal, though I hope to overcome that... like, 4-5 times during the NGADM.
"even traditional instruments like the dizi and zither"
Okay, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But I must do this. It's an erhu, not a dizi. ;_;
"This has EVERYTHING* * except a cowbell."
...so is it like Omnisphere then? :D
"Yes, your song is a smartphone and now a night sky as well."
Okay, I can deal with it being a high-def picture of a night sky on a smartphone or a smartphone app depicting the night sky. Seriously though, I am highly complimented by you noticing this. I work incredibly hard to have tooooons of little details in my music which people can pick up on if they look deeper, and it's great to have someone comment on that in such an artistic way. ^_^ Also, of course... I always try to have things be diverse and 'different'.
"(except that open hat at 2:52 which ironically stands out too much. Turn that crap down, man)"
Yeah, people have mentioned that before. I guess I should probably change that at some point, lol.
"you've actually done a much better job on the mixing than you've ever done before on a track"
Thank you so much. x.x I hope that each individual instrument had a lot more space and was a lot clearer than they've been. I tried to give them each more room to breathe, and let the relevant instruments stand out a bit more when they're given their chance.
"It's very tough to add in so many instruments and soundscape layers playing together because that then diminishes the effect of each individual instrument"
You can say that again. :\ I like to add a lot of detail in my music as I said. Unfortunately, it can make mixing a complete nightmare. Still though...
"This issue is slowly dying away the more you make music, so I think after some time this issue will have disappeared for the most part and you'll be able to separate sounds more adeptly and suitably in a heavy and detailed mix instead of having them competing so much."
This be good. If I can seriously manage to do that then I want to be crowned the damn mixing king of the world (lol yeah right).
"I can't begin to express how much I love the leitmotif you've used here"
Will send if you want. c:
"the guitar solo towards the end"
Will also send if you want. C: It's this really cool and crazy synth I found lurking in the depths of Omnisphere, actually. No guitar related at all.
"without sounding like your number #1 fanboy or something"
:D PLEASE DO SO. I will give you a cookie the size of a car tire. Or possibly some pancakes, I know a place (went there this morning and they served 3 pancakes the size of hubcaps. I only managed to eat one and then was stuffed for the next 7 hours).
"Something I would particularly commend you on is how you manage to combine a light, floating atmosphere with an energetic and fun atmosphere, even adding hints of deeper reflection in certain parts like the end."
Atmospheres are actually something I also work heavily on. ...okay, so I try to work heavily on almost everything, but atmospheres are still an important thing I try to add into most of my music. :P They help so much in storytelling... which is apparently a good thing since my story came across well. :D So I think that's it, and I'll take my leave... oh wait.
"Keep in mind the issues I've mentioned above and keep on improving please!"
(...but it's not in your favorites. ;_;)
This could be used in the opening of a movie. Great use of sounds, really comforting to the ears with the music. This definitely fits the image, making the sounds of the serene and bizarre landscape. Also, solid job on that nifty guitar solo. Great job here overall.
Thanks for the review - the 'guitar' solo was actually some crazy synth I found hiding in Omnisphere. :P I have to say, I went a bit crazy having fun with it, lol. The mod wheel did some really crazy stuff with it too.
Glad you think it fits the image! Hopefully the story was helpful in explaining my viewpoint. :)
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.