Wow! Instantly I am filled with ideas and inspiration for a new track! I love this happy-go-lucky vibe this track gives off. It sounds like something out of a fantasy RPG game or even Harvest Moon, gotta love it! That being said, it would fit wonderfully in a game of that nature. I love how you build the track, especially when you throw in extra percussion such as the bongos later on, it really adds to the depth of the sound. The conclusion was nice and mellow, and the strings really emphasis this.
As BFJ has said, the lighter portions of the track (0:00 – 0:18) sound kind of MIDI-like. The overall mixing of your instruments could use some work and there are some cases of repetition. The biggest issue I think is that this track is lacking dynamics. By adjusting some of the velocities of the instruments and by making some different stylistic choices with those strings and perhaps the piano, this track would sound fantastic (not that it doesn't already).
Great stuff, keep it up Wolftacular! :D
This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.
What I liked:
-Good work mixing.
-I like the introduction of the bongos. It helps to pan out the track and make it sound wider.
-The string sounds are pretty decent.
What could have been better:
-Sample quality is low in the "happy" sections (midi sounding guitar/piano/bass)
-You tended to repeat things a lot in this piece.
-This sounds kind of disjointed overall, like there is no connectivity between sections. Implementation of a common melody throughout the piece would probably help.
- NGADM Round 3 Review -
Yes, this does sound incomplete! And I don't mean just by vocals (which I think would be very interesting to hear in this piece).
The repetitive hats didn't sit well for me. Mixing percussion around 2:03 and 3:54 could use some work; it's definitely too loud and close to the ears, and takes away from the rest of the song.
Your melodic work and chosen instruments work nicely together, and they're so pleasing and refreshing to hear, and invoke happiness from this ever-grumpy person here :)
The not-so-good points for this song are it's repetitiveness as it drags out to the end of the song (I'd suggest cutting it shorter) and the noticeable lack of dynamic change. I really like this song a lot, and I do recommend finishing this beautiful, uplifting piece into something even greater.
"...and invoke happiness from this ever-grumpy person here :)"
Birds and flowers and naked women everywhere :D
I'd never thought about the percussions being too loud, but thinking back about how excited I was working on that part and how awesome those samples sounded, it makes a lot of sense, lol!
I blame the repetitiveness on the song not being finished, and lacking the lead instrument (vocals) :c But that's my bad. So many people mentioning repetitiveness must MEAN something, though! So I'm definitely going to pay a lot of attention to that once I'm able to finish this.
Very glad to hear you liked it, despite its flaws! Will share when finished in case you care to listen and maybe give me a 10 the second time ;u;
Last, but not least, thank you for taking the time to listen and review my shit. Contest or not, judge or not, agree or not, I always appreciate it!
-Well, this is more cohesive than your second round piece. I particularly like the guitar in my left ear.
-I like the pizzicato arpeggios quite a bit. They're definitely well-done.
-No clipping in the mixing, which is a good thing.
-When the synths come in at about 4:30, that provides some much-needed variation, though the new feeling doesn't last long.
-That drumset is so weak, the kick and snare are almost completely buried under just the piano and guitar. Some compression would do wonders here, or just turning up the volume period.
-This definitely feels incomplete. While there are a few chordal motifs and ostinatos, there isn't really a specific motif for the entire piece tying it together as a main melody or main rhythm even.
-Alright, this is repeating quite a bit and barely changes the feel at all throughout the entire piece. It feels a lot like a pop song, actually. A lot of the individual phrases repeat note-for-note, which brings down the overall quality of a repeating phrase.
Overall: Score of 6.4/10. Some good ideas here, but not very good execution - it really does feel unfinished to me. Even if you had used an instrument other than voice to make a main melody, it would have been significantly better than it is now.
Pleased to hear about the good, ready to fight the not so good as always, albeit a little late.
The drumset thing, yeah, I definitely agree. It's one of those things I failed to notice because of listening to the song over and over. The guitar is also quite low in this mix.
I WOULD argue this second point, but yeah, it IS incomplete, so I guess I half agree. It's not that there isn't a motif, it's just not as sugar coated or obvious without a lead instrument.
I definitely will argue this last point. For starters, it sounds like you might be contradicting your previous point by saying that there's a lot of repetition in that these repetitions obviously mark the main rhythm. Disregarding this, though, I think all you should've criticized is that it follows a pop structure. If the song was cut down in half, keeping the ending and intro alike, and basically avoiding the repetition of the entire thing, there is barely any repetition at all. I'm even inclined to think you agree with me here, given that your conclusion states I had good "ideas", plural.
I worked with three different sections, each with their own feeling (which goes hand in hand with the missing lead). I can understand if you think the first [0:00-1:18] and second [1:18-1:58] sections sound similar. The only way I can think of explaining it is that they're sort of "neighbor" feelings. If you listen closely, though, the second section doesn't sound nearly as "happy" as the first section, and I doubt I need to compare the third section. Placing what I said earlier in repetition (lol), I think the only part I agree with about this last point is that the song follows a pop-oriented structure, and I'm not sure that's bad at all.
Overall, and like last time, I agree with your technical feedback, but not so much with the writing stuff. It could be that we simply differ in styles and taste, or the fact that I don't yet have the production expertise to bring everything that's in my head into my music, or both. Either way, I can't help but feel that 6.4 is maybe a little too low of a score for the things you pointed out, even assuming I agreed with them all, but that's just my opinion. You nearly failed me, and I handed most of my work in D: lol
Last, but not least, thank you for taking the time to listen and review my shit. Contest or not, judge or not, agree or not, I always appreciate it. Both your reviews specifically caught my attention, so thanks!
This is an NGADM Round 3 review.
Whoa OK wait up for a second here. The production value... wow. Now that is more like it. Your Round 1 track was very muddy, as you and I both know. Round 2 was a definite improvement, but still leaving room for improvement. Now, out of nowhere, you give us a lovely mix that's both bright and warm, clear and detailed, airy and full-sounding, and while it's not PERFECT (I kind of wished for some more powerful acoustic drums and 4:16's a bit heavy on the lower mids), it's pretty damn impressive. I especially like your low end here. You don't have a great bass sample in terms of quality, but you keep it at just the right volume for me to hear all of the notes without it messing up the mix. In fact, levelling here (other than the drums which could've been louder as I mentioned) is very good and doesn't indicate any kind of rushing that you might have done in the composition process.
OK, I'll get the whole "there's no lead instrument" out of the way for now. The composition is otherwise really nice. The chords are really nice, and on top of that there's an excellent blend of instruments. There's a lot to commend in how all of the instruments' melodic passages work together, despite having different rhythms and melodies. You also make a genuine effort to keep the instrumentation interesting. It's not often that in songs like these new instruments are introduced later on in the track, but you're not afraid to do that, adding latin percussion and even some kind of synth thing at 4:16. Considering you were planning on adding vocals to this, hearing this kind of attention to detail in the instrumental background stuff is a nice change.
Transitions are all spot-on. None really stood out for me (except 0:18 which was a fantastic change of mood and pace that could've been a bit smoother with a louder drum fill before it) but that's fine. They all do their job in connecting the various sections of the song together. I can't really say much about the structure since a lot of the stuff here is just background or supporting elements, but considering the structure of your other tracks was always good, I can expect a solid structure from you. Intro and outro are both awesome, as they usually are. For a track whose author's comments starts instantly with "COMPLETELY INCOMPLETE", this is surprisingly polished.
I feel like I'm just wasting time by mentioning issues you already know about, but due to my aforementioned self-diagnosed OCD, every NGADM track in this round must have five paragraphs, the fourth being a complaints paragraph and the last being a shorter conclusive paragraph, so HERE WE GO. The track is lacking something in the foreground; everything sounds like it's meant to support vocals. I can actually hear vocals in my mind, coming in at 0:18 or 0:36, and I know you'll do a good job with them. Right now, the lack of vocals starts a chain reaction to lots of new issues, like the seemingly static dynamic (apart from at the very end), the repetition, the lack of a melody to latch on to, predictability, and so on. I'm a bit worried about how you're going to add the vocals in the mix since your mix is already pretty full up. It's something I wouldn't be able to pull off that well, but then again you probably have much more experience with vocals than I do.
It's a shame you didn't manage to finish this. It has a lot of promise, and contest or no contest, I'm going to keep an eye on your page for a finished version which I hope you plan on doing! All in all, fantastic work with everything else. For a track which has no proper foreground most of time, this was actually fairly enjoyable, and well-produced too!
"Whoa OK wait up for a second here."
For someone who cares so much about proofreading, I find it... charming that you seem to add a lot of expression to your writing instead of keeping it steady :3 You wanna get in bed with me? Wait, WHAT? Who said that?
Haha, I just had to comment on that. Down to business though!
I'm very pleased to hear that I finally did a good job with mixing and all that shizzle ;u; Needless to say, I think this competition has really pointed out a lot of things I didn't seem to take too much into account. I agree with the drums, too. It's just something I failed to notice because of listening to the track over and over. You know how that is, right? The guitar is super low on volume here too.
I was planning on replying to your entire review, sentence by sentence, until I realized I agree with everything. I guess I'm curious to find out why the lowish score for so many good things you mentioned, although I do agree that missing the lead instrument is a big biggie. To paraphrase, I wonder if there are other bad things you didn't mention for the sake of an optimistic review. I'd be interested to hear if there's more.
I know I expressed disagreement in the judging style (in someone's blog post), and I maintain that position, in case you ever find the need to discuss it. Furthermore, I do want to point out that what I said in that post (and this applies to nearly all comments and feedback I ever make/give) isn't an "I disagree" as much as it's an "I agree but I think it could be better". Last, but not least, thank you for taking the time to listen and review my shit. Contest or not, judge or not, agree or not, I always appreciate it.
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.