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Expression of Freedom

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Final Edit: The genre has undergone a bit of a change since the entire percussive section has been revamped. The sound just didn't work well as a D&B jam, but it's still a great piece of Electronica with a decidedly VG vibe, so the transition was pretty painless. Enjoy the new beats! I certainly do.

Edit: Many changes have been made. (See SkyeWintrest's review for the full laundry list) He was also kind enough to help out a lot with the mixing. Most notably there is a new bass, drum beats at 0:57 and 1:55 where previously there were none, and yes--we have an outro! As per usual, your cache may need to be cleared and the browser restarted for changes to take effect.

Originally meant as a submission for the NGADM, but I ended up going another way. Maybe I should have taken that risk, but c'est la vie. I have no regrets. Hope you enjoy my Expression of Freedom!


Oh my god... those melodies... so good... they sound like they're straight out of some SNES game or something. You know what they really remind me of? Stickerbrush Symphony. They've got that really longing melancholic feel to them. And Stickerbrush is like the best vg song ever, so well done.

My only suggestion is that some are a lot better than others. If you clean up the issues I'm about to mention down below it'd be a 9, but if you arranged this properly and cut out the less good melodies it could be a 10.

My favorite melodic points are :35, 2:02, 3:15. This is not an exhaustive list though.

The big problem that I see with this piece is the clash of the melodies and dnb. Like, the melodies are too beautiful and placid to have crazy beats going on under them, and so the two just don't go together well. Normally when I hear dnb songs they either have repetitive energetic melodies or more sinister dark bassy stuff. The melodies in this song are straight out of some happy RPG or something, so I feel like it's not working. The other possible cause of this problem is the actual samples you're using - I feel like they're too meaty and would typically make up a 4 on the floor beat. If you want an example of beats that might work better, listen to this song: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/A_zu_ra_-_Ticking_Time_Bomb(OHC259).mp3 Something like that might have a better shot of fitting into this song (though it'd still have to be slowed down).

The other problem with it, and while it's not as big it's still pretty big, is those panning notes that go through the whole song. I like them initially, but they eventually feel very repetitive. This can *sometimes* work, but I think it's not working here. It may just be a problem of instrumentation - if the instrument was more bassy, it might work better. Also maybe if it was quieter? But I can't really say.

Minor: baseline is too busy at 1:47, kinda clashes with the melody.

Anyway you already know how obsessive I am about melodies so the good news is the hard work is already done! The melodies are great and that makes the song great by default. You just have to put the rest of the song into place.

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ChronoNomad responds:

Thanks a lot for the review, John! I'm glad to hear that you like the melodies so much, and that's an incredibly gracious comparison. I definitely get what you're saying about the DnB beats not really fitting the music, and while I'd love to be done with this piece at this point, you've got me seriously considering revising the beat and a few other nuances.

Can you even change the genre once it's set? Hmmm... I'll have to make sure that it's even possible before I delve into this one again, that's for sure. I suppose there's no reason why not, but goodness knows the Newgrounds submission system can be more than a little willful at times. Thanks a lot for your input, and I'll probably come back to this one at some point and see about improving it and giving it a more appropriate set of beat riffs. I've got a couple other things in the works right now, so it may be a while. So much for my first foray into DnB. Heh.

Thanks again! Your input is very much appreciated, and I really respect your musical acumen. Good luck in the NGADM 2013 finals, by the way! Can't wait to see (hear?) the epic battle between you and SteamPianist! :D

Wow, very nice! I hear lots of FM Synthesis going on, which is epic, just like the times of the SEGA MegaDrive! The drums are really nice too, though they could use some reverb as they are a bit dry sounding. Bass is amazing. I don't know, sounds like something out of a Sonic fan game. Great job! This really has that MegaDrive feel to it, could be the use of FM along with those square waves. ;D

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ChronoNomad responds:

Glad you dig it, Sonic! It definitely has something of an old-school video game vibe at its core. It's comprised of a number of Sytrus instruments, BooBass, and Legacy drums. In the end any additional reverb effects were removed since they just ended up making things too muddy. I like the clean sound, though I do feel like the section at 1:56 could maybe use a little reverb or something, but considering how much time and effort has already been spent on this track, it's probably time to stick a pin in it and call it good. XD

Hi. You asked! I think I might still be in judge-mode though, so the feedback might be a bit harsh again. Sorry. ^_^`

The Good:
-The introduction is good, I like the delays on the synth.
-I'm liking your pitch sliding in the synth that comes in at around 0:40. Reminds me a lot of a SNES game that nobody seems to have ever heard of - Brain Lord.
-Good sliding effect at 1:34.
-Liking the little break at 1:57, good little section without

The Not-So-Good:
-Okay, your mixing definitely does need work. I'd suggest letting the bass have more bass frequencies, as it's more in the lower mid right now as far as I can hear. I mean come on, this is drum and BASS, after all, not drum and mid!
-The drums are... eh. The kick feels like it needs a little bit more in the higher frequencies to give it an initial hit, and the snares are a bit loose. At the very least, they're drowning out the high hat that's panned to the left. Frequencies could be edited to let it breathe more.
-As I said in Skype, this is pretty clogged with mids overall. They can take a lot, but try expanding the spectrum, using panning and stereo separation a bit more to achieve a full stereo sound.
-Hm. For some reason at around 2:34, the bass sounds as if it's off-key. It could be an overtone from another instrument, but it also appears at about 2:44 when the bass plays again.
-Would be nice if the drums had some kind of fill or something to transition out of them at 0:59 and 1:56 rather than just a final kick, wouldn't it?
-I don't need to do anything more other than say "outro" for you to know what I mean, do I?

Overall: 's alright for a first attempt. Feels kinda unfinished, but it's definitely decent. I think you can do better, definitely. The mixing would be a solid first step (speaking of which, good job at having no clipping).

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ChronoNomad responds:

I don't want it to look like I've ignored your review, which obviously I haven't since I've been working on this throughout the day and even gotten some fantastic help straight from you! Once I get those filter effects back in there and finalize an outro, I will definitely be replacing this with the new and improved version! Thank you so much for all of your assistance on this, Skye. It is truly a pleasure to watch you work. :D

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Credits & Info


4.54 / 5.00

Sep 20, 2013
2:43 PM EDT
Video Game
File Info
5.3 MB
3 min 53 sec

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