NGADM Round 2 Reviewz0rz
What I liked:
- Epic, unique, and detuned sound. Better yet, detuned in a way that makes sense, it fit, and didn't sound obnoxious.
- That bit at around 1:00... very nostalgic, can really, really hear the Mass Effect influence there.
- Clever creation of atmosphere through sound.
What I didn't:
- The poppy synth that started around 1:20 I feel kind of wore out its welcome after a while, as it was largely doing the same thing throughout the entire song. It worked to add some atmosphere to it at first, but I felt it soon became kind of annoying.
- The entire song feels like it's building up to something, I kept running a Mass Effect-ish scene through my head while listening, and it was stuck on a loop, and never really came to a conclusion.
Excellent use of your influences, I didn't hear a whole lot of Terminator in there... as I'm not overly familiar with the Terminator sound track, but being a big fan of Mass Effect, you really nailed that aspect of it. Could have done without the jumpy synth after a while, and would have liked to hear it reach some sort of climax as opposed to just kind of dropping off.
NGADM Round 2 Review
I do not like starting off reviews with the 'bad' aspects, but I have to get this one particular aspect out of the way immediately. Initially, I was not a fan of the introduction (~1:03). The sound quality is a little off par with the remainder of the song (mostly the brass), however, I can see how you were influenced by the Terminator soundtrack for this portion of the song and when I consider that, it feels like you were tipping your hat to the franchise. Now that the issue of the introduction is out of the way, let's get to the good stuff, shall we?
When 1:03 hit, I was very impressed. I could immediately hear the Mass-Effect influence, while traces of the Terminator still whispered in the background. The mixing of the instruments was mostly carried out well, though there were some areas where the song seemed exceedingly unclear (1:30 -1:48 for instance). The pacing and structure of this track is fantastic, and I think it makes this piece shine.
Alright, besides what has been previously mentioned, the conclusion is the last thing that could use some general improvements. The conclusion just seems to cut off, and as a result, it is very anticlimactic. There should have been a large buildup for a track of this nature. Utilizing the brass and string section to compliment the electronic instruments would have made for an awesome climax! Remember, there's never any harm in experimenting with your instruments! :)
I am really surprised that you didn't utilize your voice in this piece. No matter, I enjoyed listening to this piece all the same. Keep up the great work Wolftacular! :)
-Instrument quality is good. Mixing quality is fairly good.
-I particularly like the bass you introduce at 1:04.
-I also particularly like the brass and clanking at about 2:26.
-Some weird sample clipping at about 0:04 and similar in the horns.
-Like most of the cinematic pieces of this round, this suffers from a lack of direction and thematic composition.
-Unfortunately, the mixing also suffers in that the instruments are pushed back. Things don't stick out.
Overall: Score of 7/10. This is a cool piece, but it really lacks direction, and there are strange aspects to the samples which cause weird audio glitches. Also, flat mixing is meh.
Ooh, I heavily disagree with the lack of direction! Thanks for listening!
EDIT: Sorry, I didn't realize you were an NGADM judge. This requires a hell of a lot more fight.
The sample thing is very true. Unfortunately my orchestral pack wasn't built for long sustains so I had to try fiddling with it on my own, but with 1 different sample for every key, and around 5 different instruments from that same pack, I honestly couldn't do anything more than what I did. Might be surprising to hear that it sounds a lot better than it did before the "fix". So this, you're very right about.
The "lack of direction and thematic composition" as well as the mixing, however, are two things I HEAAAVILY disagree with, and if it's not a sin to suggest so, I think you're very wrong in both. Well, I don't think, I know, simply because this piece IS very theme-based. The song tells a story that I worked with through the whole thing. You could argue that I do a bad job at it, or that the message got lost in translation, but I do honestly think you simply did not catch and/or understand it. This is also why I brought up the direction and mixing together; the "flat" mixing goes hand in hand with the story that this song is telling.
Normally, I would let this all go as simply a difference in taste, since we could argue back and forth forever about whether it's me who sucks or you who couldn't catch the narration, and in the end realize it's just our own preferences clashing. You're a judge though, and I'd expect a lot more analysis than the one I feel you provided, as well as a bit less bias. My song isn't trying to be likable, much less appeal to what the judges might favor, but that doesn't mean it's tasteless or aimlessly wandering.
All that being said, I appreciate the time taken to listen and review my song.
This is an NGADM Round 2 review.
Your voice is indeed one of your greatest weapons. When I heard that you didn't have vocals in this track, I was disappointed. As I said in my previous review, you have an excellent voice, and without it I thought your track wouldn't hold its own. Thankfully, I was wrong. This instrumental track reminded me of how good your sense of composition is, and that you don't necessarily have to use your voice to deliver a good listening experience. You have a really good atmosphere, that is indeed reminiscent of Mass Effect and Terminator, and a pretty decent structure/flow too. Your transitions are smooth, including your intro and outro, which are both satisfying and well-made. I'm in two minds about the detuning you had at the beginning though, but I think I like it haha. Great chords in the intro by the way.
Sound-wise, I am very glad to hear that your production value is an improvement from your Round 1 track (and audition). While I'm STILL getting muddiness from those huge string chords, and at times your track can sound a bit thin and lacking in low end, you've got a clarity that was not present in your Round 1 track. Your sounds aren't bad; what did you use? I also like the reverse effects you used in certain parts of the track. They indeed add a sci-fi vibe to the track. One little issue I found with the sound is that your low brass has an issue when its audio sample loops. It's a little glitch that can be heard throughout the track but most clearly at 0:03 when the instrument is playing on its own.
While this is a good track, I feel like it doesn't really ever build much momentum. The only time I feel the pace picking up is when you introduce the techno arp at 1:03, and the song doesn't really go places from there. This might be due to the fact that your percussion is pretty drowned out, and while it tries very hard to pick up the pace, it doesn't quite cut it. Some kind of breakbeat would do a better job of portraying what you were trying to go for. Unfortunately, this lack of movement causes this track to be less memorable than your Round 1 track, so it's something to work on.
Overall, great track whose production value, while still needing work, is a definite improvement. Nice work!
I like the midpart - could b a part of the blade runner - (the vangelis soundtrack is just classic) Ghost in the shell or mirrors edge soundtrack. Synths action - drum combo is cool! Maybe the horn action is a little bit to much / fast but i am not good at the use of horns, too. Good job!
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.