Nostalgic Dreams

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The title of the song isn't really what I imagine goes on in the song, to be honest. I just wanted to keep continuity going.

I started this thing months ago, then dropped it. A few days ago, I was fishing through my 'unfinished projects' folder when I came across this. That's probably why the instrument choice is so strange. That melodic instrument at 0:14? My friend thought it was a flute. It was an erhu.

The main trumpet melody is one that I think I vaguely remember, but I can't quite place. Ah, well. If I can't remember where it's from, it's not copyrighted! (logic) Hey, look, more justification for the title!

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Love It!
Try to make a Remix and have this,
Slower sound,Lower Sound, With less trumpet and finally last ingredient, is to make the volume of the sound lower.

LunacyEcho responds:

Yeah, I've been getting complaints about the trumpet. I definitely won't feature trumpet that prominently again until I get a less crappy VST.

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

Ahah "Nostalgia Dreams" is an amazing name for a song. (It's so good that I want to make a song called nostalgic dreams now.) This, however, sounds nothing like nostalgic dreams. It sounds like I'm awake and excited! :D

So lets get the good stuff out of the way so that I can complain more. I love complaining. The composition is pretty great overall. I like the overall melody and the final coda thing at the end is excellent in that we've been building towards it the whole time. It feels like a coherent and complete song, not just a string of different ideas (which I sorta said last time).

Honestly I only care about composition and melody and arrangement, so you're pretty much good. (You can think of the first 4 stars as for composition and the final one as for technical stuff, even though that's not true.) Still, there are a lot of technical problems with this song which detract from my enjoyment of the composition, so let's just go through the technical side and I'll point out some offenders.

Mixing: The beat sorta disappears towards the end. Cranking up the beat and making everything else a little quiet is probably the single biggest single thing you could do to improve this song.

Piano at 1:34: You should to vary the velocities on the notes. Right now it sounds like a robot is playing it, which is bad. Tweak the velocities to make it sound like a human is playing it. It sounds simple (and it is simple) but, if done right, it will add SO MUCH expressivity to the piano. I was amazed the first time I did it.

Trumpet sounds fake. I don't blame you. I never use trumpets because good trumpet soundfonts (that don't cost millions) are practically nonexistent.

Song sounds disjointed. This is a big one, so pay attention. Currently when people listen to this song they can't get into it, because it kinda jerks you around. This means you should work on your transitions. Consider the transition at 1:29. There's no indication that a transition is coming up at all, and then suddenly boom crash and a new instrument. This is really jarring. Put in a little drum fill before 1:29, or do some sort of lead in into the new section, and the transition will flow much better. Do this throughout the entire song and it will flow way better and be easier to get into the groove of. (If you want more on transitions, go talk to SkyeWintrest lolz.)

Too many instruments moving at the same time: Am I really about to tell someone they have too many melodies when I do even worse things in my own songs? Answer: yes. hahahah. Passages like 1:38 feel very 'unstable' (describing music is hard) because so many instruments are moving simultaneously. If you made the bass simpler I think the whole thing would 'stabilize'. Usually when I want many melodies going at the same time I follow some rules:

1. One focal point - It should be pretty obvious which melody you want your listener to follow, because it's the loudest. The rest should be quieter.
2. "weaving" - make one melody have gaps in it, and then bring in the other melody during those gaps. You don't have to do this, but it helps.
3. separation - Don't put two different simultaneous melodies too close to each other in frequency - they should never overlap. e.g. 1:33 in this song. Though there isn't a noticeable problem with overlap, they are still too close and it's a problem.
4. Panning. Use it. You could make some of your sections a lot more comprehensible by panning the instruments left/right. Definitely by the end it's practically impossible to tell what any individual instrument is saying because they're all overlapping. Panning can help.

So like I said... it's filled with technical problems, but the melodic and compositional side of things is strong. I think if you work at it for like 6 months or a year or something you could work through the technical problems and be writing REALLY good stuff. (I hope that's not, uh, discouraging or anything. Music takes work, but it's luckily a lot of fun too.)

(Composition -> This is prob why Steampianist likes you. Ordinary non-musicians can't really hear past mixing errors, so if they listen to a poorly mixed song they won't be able to understand it. But good musicians like steampianist can sorta hear the intent behind a song. You have good intent but bad mix. A lot of people have bad intent but good mix, but it's much easier to fix mixing than composition imo, so you're in a good position. ...I'm rambling a little bit here.)

Hope that helps!

LunacyEcho responds:

Holy crap. Dat review. Well, let's take it from the top!

=> Nostalgic Dreams => Aha... yeah... it's not TECHNICALLY mine. Heh. Now I feel ashamed, sorta. http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=32208 <-It's from a game called Magic: The Gathering. Whoops. I think I gave "credit" in the audio file under the lyrics section, though. I named it as such because I was listening to it on a loop, trying to figure out a melody to add to it (which I'm not too good at). Anyways, I fell asleep and had this one dream that I hadn't had since early childhood. It reminded me of that card, so I knew I had my name. I get that it probably doesn't work for everyone, but I enjoy my little hidden details that not everyone gets.

=> Good stuff etc. => Thanks! I'm glad I improved under your standards as well as mine.

=> Mixing => Really? Most of the time, my drum beats are WAY too loud. This time, I used a slightly different approach to the drums and I get two comments chastising it. I'll take that under consideration.

=> Piano at 1:34 => Funnily, I did try and do a bit of velocity stuff, just not so much in sections such as that one. Next time I do something like this, I'm definitely going to thoroughly analyze the dynamics of piano music, since whatever I'm doing, it can easily be better. I see it too.

=> Trumpet => Okay, less trumpets. Noted.

=> Disjointed => Transitions are definitely something to work on. I never had very much formal training in music and all that (which is why I tend to make comments very un-terminologically (pretty sure that wasn't a word)), so I'm not that good at adjusting the various nuances of my pieces that would really make it work together. Most of my knowledge of good composition and good mixing comes from reading reviews such as this one, although almost never on my own work. Thanks again for that, by the way.

=> Melodies =>
• => Focal Point => The melody thing here was a bit experimental, seeing as I'm not that good at melodies anyways and I was trying something new. The focal point thing is what I normally do.
• => Weaving => I've never tried that before. Sounds like something fun to attempt in a future piece.
• => Separation => Interesting. I'm going to change something in the song I'm currently working on for this.
• => Panning => Well, you're the master. Panning is especially effective when I'm having a rough day and just need to lie down, close my eyes, listen to some music, and relax. Panning is not at all effective when I'm doing something else at the same time as listening to music, have one earphone and the other out, and miss half the song. Since I do the latter a bit more than the former, I don't do that much panning in my music. I guess it really fits the mood of the song. However, I'll definitely try and implement it in later music.

Do you really analyze your melodies and music this much while making it? I feel humbled by the process through which you make music.

=> So like you said... + Composition => Oh, that's not discouraging at all! I plan on making music for a lot longer than 6 months or a year. Thanks for the dash of hope. For some reason, whenever I begin to work on something, an authority figure always goes "You're doing one thing right and one thing wrong. However, it's lucky that the one thing you're doing wrong is a lot easier to correct that the one thing you're doing right." Is it just me, or does anyone else get that as well?

Thanks a ton for the ultracomment, johnfn! I really will take your words to heart and see if I can please you and everyone else a bit more with my next few pieces.

I like the emotion and the melodies. The quirky instruments were cool, especially that ghost-y back-up melody instrument at :15. I like the structure and transitions. It's a pretty solid piece. I suppose one complaint I have is that it gets way too busy after around 30 seconds in. There's just too much going on imo - it makes it hard/confusing to listen to. I love the piano and flute harmonies at 1:28, though, and how you then transition into the last refrain. While I'm nitpicking, I think the drums could've been a little more interesting, though. That said, overall, I like this one a lot. Keep up the good work, LunacyEcho! ;D

LunacyEcho responds:

I didn't actually think the instrument choice was that good at first, but I was too lazy to change it so I kept it and adapted it to the best of my abilities. I'm glad you liked it!

As for the tons of instruments, yeah. I agree. I guess I got used to listening to it, but I can see how it might be a bit much for anyone newly listening to it.

I think the transition I used into that final part would work better in a more electronically-themed song, since the basic driving instrument was the drums. Speaking of, I see what you mean by them being boring. I mean, I literally just looped it from around 1:15-1:45.

Anyways, thanks a lot for commenting!

Credits & Info


4.06 / 5.00

Jan 14, 2014
11:00 AM EST
Video Game
File Info
3.7 MB
2 min 44 sec

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