Another awesome piece. I'm going to say something more substantive here because I copped out on my last review hahahah
This song is just filled with a lot of awesome ideas. I'm going to list my favorite here: The end of the melody at :27 really caught me, because it seems like it's directionless but then it is justified really nicely at the end. Dat arp at :41 !!! (Reminds me of gerudo valley from OoT!) The beautiful higher range piano at 1:08.
Minor nitpicks. The piano seems to have been EQ'd weirdly, like it has no bass at all. I think with some more powerful bass this would be a little better. It's really quiet, just crank up the gain somewhere.
Slightly more substantive thoughts: Well, you called it jumpy because of the left hand, but I actually feel like jumpy adequately describes the entire piece, which may not be a good thing. It feels like it moves between great ideas a little too fast, like an overenthusiastic friend excited to show me things - I almost don't have enough time to appreciate the last thing by the time I get to the next one. Also, the great ideas are scattered in with some ideas that aren't quite as great.
I think this is an easy thing to fix - just make the song a little more repetitive! (How often have I given that advice?) If you were to repeat your good ideas, I think the song would flow better. I also have this problem where you're going between moods too fast, like it goes from sad -> mysterious -> open and happy and then back in any variation really rapidly. Allowing repetition to stretch out the arrangement of the song could help here, too.
The other thing I wanted to point out is that the chord progression is quite tricky to get a grasp on. Actually, now that I relisten, there is no repeating chord progression! Maybe this is why I was having a problem... haha. I guess it's again a problem of lack of repetition then...
Anywho... great work. I complained a lot but really (as evidenced by my score) I think the piece is great and your composition is really inventive. This puts you solidly on my list of people to keep an eye out for ;-)
Ahaha, thanks again :D
"The end of the melody at :27 really caught me"
=> Yeah, I like that place too; when I came up with it (quite long ago now) I remember being pretty happy with it.
"Dat arp at :41 !!! (Reminds me of gerudo valley from OoT!)"
=> That is probably my favorite part! I love Gerudo Valley, so it might be that some element of it has snuck into this piece :D
"The beautiful higher range piano at 1:08"
=> It's funny that you like this part, since it is actually one of the worse parts imo, but that might be because of the poor mixing :D
"Well, you called it jumpy because of the left hand, but I actually feel like jumpy adequately describes the entire piece, which may not be a good thing. It feels like it moves between great ideas a little too fast, like an overenthusiastic friend excited to show me things - I almost don't have enough time to appreciate the last thing by the time I get to the next one. Also, the great ideas are scattered in with some ideas that aren't quite as great."
=> I agree with you on every point. The fact that the transitions are so sudden and that the song lacks repetitivity are also reasons for the composition's name :) When I made this song, I spent no time on caring about actual arrangement, I just let my hands follow their own will, and took every idea they gave me without qustion (tip: one shouldn't always do this). Ofc, that is just running away from the criticism haha :D
"I think this is an easy thing to fix - just make the song a little more repetitive! "
=> You know, with all the different parts in this song, I could at least double, probably triple the length of this song, without it getting too iterative. I mean, the beginning is never brought back! The only things that repeat, are 1: that jumpy left hand. 2. that odd transition at 0:50 and at the very end. I might follow your advice and expand upon this some day!
And yes, I've noticed from the previous reviews that the mood switches very abruptly too! I actually had some difficulty realizing this myself, since I wasn't really (if I recall correctly) in any special mood when I made this song; I was simply feeling creative. So whenever I listen to this song, the only thing going through my head is: oh, it's this song. That is almost sad... This might be a good song for people with short attention spans though XD?
"Minor nitpicks. The piano seems to have been EQ'd weirdly, like it has no bass at all. I think with some more powerful bass this would be a little better. It's really quiet, just crank up the gain somewhere."
=> Actually I don't think it's the EQ, I think it's some other thing I used (Probably too much air and too little bass in UpStereo). What I should have done though, is EQ the lower register of the song, so you're still right. I didn't think about it, but now that you mention it, there is pretty much no real bass sound in this :D
"The other thing I wanted to point out is that the chord progression is quite tricky to get a grasp on. Actually, now that I relisten, there is no repeating chord progression! Maybe this is why I was having a problem... haha. I guess it's again a problem of lack of repetition then..."
=> Oh, you noticed :D Well, almost. There is actually some hidden repeted chord progression, but it's pretty subtle. Well, if one wants to be nitpicky, many of them are variations of the same chord. That is, F might be replaced with F7 or so on.
In the beginning this progression is played twice: D minor, Bb (flat, I mean), C, F and A. However, the time given to each chord varies a little. If you count the right hand you might make those chords D minor add 9, and so on, giving the illusion of no progression.
Using the same rule, the one progression that repeats the most is: D, Eb, F and Gm.
The only other progression that repeats is: Gm, Eb, F, D.
All the other parts use those same chords as well, and the A is completely forgotten D: Which is dumb, because some A's would really be cool >:( Well, at one point there is an Ab, but that doesn't even fit too well!!!
Ha, now who is rambling XD Sorry for that, I went slightly off topic. Also, there are better ways of explaining that, but my knowledge about music theory is very lacking :)
I'm being even more nitpicky than you! Basically, you are right. There is not much repeting chord progression in this song :'D
"Anywho... great work. I complained a lot but really (as evidenced by my score) I think the piece is great and your composition is really inventive. This puts you solidly on my list of people to keep an eye out for ;-)"
=> Wow, thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I don't really see it as complaining, since you were right about every "complaint" as well! I'm glad to see that you enjoy the odd music that I produce! And sorry for the long reply... When I start writing, I don't easily stop :)
*raises hand, jumping up and down with excitement* OOH, ME, SIR! I LIKE READING TAGS!
You know what would be interesting? If it's a MIDI file, switching it to different instruments and seeing how the mood changes. Not only is it entertaining, but it adds to your mental repertoire of sounds that you can use in music.
Speaking of variation and melodies, this actually sounds like it could have been improvised with a hint of inspiration beforehand. When I heard the beginning, it sounded really somber, so I didn't immediately get the 'jumpy' feeling, but as the song progressed (0:47 seems like a nice place to say that that's where it got going), I felt it bounce over me (admittedly, that sounds quite painful).
I think another thing I enjoyed about this song is the fact that it spans so many octaves. I can just imagine of some guy playing this in a concert hall, stretching up and down the piano.
When you came up with the name 'LucidShadowDreamer', did you have LSD in mind? Because not only is that a huge coincidence, 'LucidShadowDreamer' sounds like a description of someone on LSD.
Hahha, good thing you like to read the tags :p
OMG, you must be psychic! I already did that half a week ago! It didn't turn out to be horrible, but I liked the original better :p Then I deleted the file, because I don't know. I regret it now, since it sounded quite funny (it was difficult finding a good instrument for those high notes though, since my sound library is somewhat limited :D).
If you want to hear something of mine that uses more instruments, you can check out tinyurl.com/EmptinessNG; it's the very first track I uploaded to Newgrounds, before I was scouted, so I don't think you've heard it :) (not done with a DAW though). However, it's a completely unedited version. I might upload it again at some point, with slightly improved quality XD
Lol, I could never improvise this well though! About the beginning, you're definitely right. I wanted to mix that slightly comedic left hand with a darker melody. But I almost immediately failed. I just let this piece write it self, which is why its structure is a bit odd :p
Yeah, Many of my songs range over almost the entire piano. It's a weird habit, but it does give variation :')
About the name, as fun as it is, it is a coincidence D: I actually only realized a couple of months after I first used the name (on some website)! You see, my usual go to name is ShadowDreamer, without the Lucid part. But since that name is already used on some sites (like here on NG), my backup name eventually became LucidShadowDreamer (Lucid being the name because of lucid dreaming).
Aaaaaaanyhow. Thanks for the review :') Which reminds me; time to go review your new track! :'D
It does have a light, bouncy sort of mood! :D Reminds me of a child skipping along a sidewalk on a sunny summer day, but by :53 he realizes that he has no one to play with. He goes through a cycle of revelation, and by the end he has found some other child to share his toys with! <3 Yeah, I'm in a weird mood today...Anyway, I like the melodies a lot. It has just the right amount of variation, and was overall a very enjoyable piece! The structure and transitions worked very well, and I appreciate the dynamic contrast introduced at 1:06. Keep up the good work, LSD! :D
One cannot help but love all those visuals you're planting in our minds! I really enjoy the pictures you paint, as they also give me insight in what people can think of, when they hear my stuff :D I'm also happy to see that you managed find a story for this song, especially since I couldn't really imagine anything myself, while making this, if I recall correctly :p
Im actually quite pleased with the melodies myself too, even if they might be a bit random :) And imo as well, this composition is definitely full of variation; it doesn't really want to stay in the same place for too long XD
The transitions are pretty odd I'd say, but I guess that doesn't necessarily make them bad. This is not a song that's meant to be bland or something very ordinary. Thus, it's good that you like the transitions!
This might be an old song, but I'll do my best to keep up my good work! (Don't you just love how the abbreviation of my name is the same as that of a drug :D Maybe it's because people get high on music ;D).
Anyway, thanks again!
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.