Well, here. I can give some brutal honesty. Initiate full improvement-based review.
-Biggest thing is that most of the instruments sound like they were recorded inside a small room. This is one piece which could really benefit from some reverb. The initial sound at about 10 seconds in doesn't, but the guitars certainly do. Use a bit of stereo widening and wider reverb.
-Strings are meh IMO. They're definitely better than a lot of strings I hear from early composers, but they can be improved.
-Horns can DEFINITELY use some improvement, though they're decent for a free library.
-A bit more clarity in the mids of the mix would go a long way.
-The birds seem a bit disconnected by the end.
-For some reason, the way the piece is organized just doesn't "click" for me. This is more a personal peeve, but the entire thing seems a bit underwhelming and 'weak'. The weakness is in part due to instruments being a bit overly thin, but otherwise the melodies seem like something you came up with on the spot rather than being something put together REALLY well. This seems to mainly be made up of chord progression, which is very difficult to do well.
Alright, brutal honesty mode over.
Seeing you've played music before, I can understand some of your skill with composition - it's good, too. Always refreshing to see a new artist who's paid attention to how music works. Your mixing is fantastic for just starting out. So is your use of many instruments. There are definitely things to touch up on, but this is still very good.
(also, keep going, say hello - I'll try to drop one of my more normally-formatted reviews on a track or two of yours, if you want)
This is exactly the kind of review I'm hoping to get. As much as I like to hear compliments and people liking my music, these reviews are the ones that are truly valuable and actually help me improve. I really appreciate you took the time to review my piece with such detail.
I agree with everything you said. Particularly the fact that it sounds weak especially at the biggest orchestral moment has bothered me since I uploaded this. I improved it a lot, but it still isn't right. I just don't really know how to fix it. I've tried improving it further but everything I try just seems to make it worse. I think I got a bit overly ambitious trying to make a big orchestral piece out of this with so little experience, but I do have to start somewhere.
Cool song. You really get this post apocalyptic feeling from it. I like the wind and bird tweets. Very fitting.
Thanks a lot SourJovis!
Well damn. This is just great. Have you seriously been composing for no more than a couple of months? In that case, your skill level must be extremely high! I havn't heard the first version, but what I know is that this one is stunning. And not only that, it captures the theme of the picture SO well. Do you know what this reminds me of? Have you ever heard about Gustavo Santaolalla? He made music to the movie "Amores Perros" and to the game "The Last of Us". I'd say that this style is similar to his, in a very good way.
I think the panning might me a little odd, but I don't really see it as a problem. I like all of your instruments too, as well as the nature sfx. Immediately when I heard the guitar in the beginning, I knew this was going to be a great track. Especially 1:04 is a highlight, since the drums enter. What free sample library did you use for this, I'm interested to know?
All the strings are amazing as well, not to speak of the melodies and the atmosphere. I know you said you wanted brutally honest reviews, but honestly, I have nothing I really feel like complaining about at all. Even the structure and most of the mixing seem just fine to me.
Once again, the artpiece that inspired you is simply great. And since you were searching for a post apocalyptic theme, which musicwise was extremely well done in "The Last of Us", I'd say you managed just great, as the style in this piece is similar to Gustavo's!
I'll look forward to future stuff from you, and I'll probably check out some of your older stuff as well :D
Good luck in the contest!!!
I loved the soundtrack Gustavo Santaolalla made for The Last of Us and it definitely influenced me with this, especially with the beginning of the piece. It's really nice that you think it's great, but I think my inexperience can be easily heard, especially with the panning and the use of EQ and reverb. I really don't have that great of an idea what I'm supposed to do with them. I'm just trying to trust my ears while turning the different knobs. :D
The strings and brass are from Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra and the Kontakt Elements Selection R2, which I thought was free because I got it with my MIDI keyboard but now that I checked, it actually costs $50. Also the toms are actually from the Epic Room Percussion from 8dio which I payed only 10 euros for. They are sfz files so you don't even need Kontakt for that.
Thank you for the taking the time to review my piece!
That's some sexy distortion going on there, a pretty vast improvement over the previous version of this track. I only wish some of the orchestra were more glitched/crushed and less flat-sounding, perhaps some vibrato would have helped. I know it's really the samples themselves, but you can manually do that with an LFO at very fast intervals. I like the stereo panning you applied and even though there's not much low end, it still is quite the enjoyable post-apocalyptic piece.
Thank you for the review and the advice. In my future pieces I'll definitely try out what you suggested.
Like it, the mood is really there and the guitars are really cool! I get some Hans Zimmer vibes sometimes. :)
I'm glad you like it. :)
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.