This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.
First, here's a breakdown of my score:
Total: 60.5/100 or 6.05/10 or 3/5 stars.
- You had some really good ideas going on in the piece and some pretty nice composition.
- There was some strong contrast in the piece between powerful and gentle elements.
- The entire mix was pretty much solid mud. In orchestral music, the middle-ground and background voices like your chugga-chugga cellos and other strings stay OUT of the way of the melody, which takes dominance ALWAYS. Some instruments had waaaay too much reverb, others had not enough.
- The song's form was repetitive... it felt like you just copy and pasted the first half of the song and then put a fade on the end to make it feel like it was long. Normally with orchestral music, one would add a "C Section" with contrasting material or some sort of part that is different from both the A and B sections.
- If this were realized as a purely electronic track, I feel it would be much more successful.
- Your samples were not up to the task of making this piece work. You should either try to adapt your style to fit your existing samples (i.e. not lots of chugga-chugga stuff, focus on only the best sounding of your instruments, etc) or consider purchasing more powerful instruments which have things like multisampling/round robin so that your strings don't sound like a machine gun.
- Fadeout in orchestral = BIG NO-NO.
I feel like with some more work you can create pieces that better reflect your resources. Remember: the cheaper the stuff you are using, the more work you will have to do with eq'ing, compression, stereo work, subtle tricks, etc to make it sound acceptable. Even if you have $1000 plugins, you should still always be tweaking things to get it to sound right.
Take some time to really listen to popular trailer music and other similar orchestral tracks. Listen to how all the instruments sit in the mix, what sort of timbres and tones they have, how they attack each note, how much reverb they have, etc. Train your ear to want to hear these things, then apply that to your own music. Listen to your strings. Do they sound like the strings in a big score? No. What can you do to make them do that? Add more pop by increasing the highs? Get them to be more punchy with compression or other tools? That's the kind of attitude you have to take to mix a track.