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Deteriorate {Dj-Abbic}

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Credits & Info

Sep 5, 2014 | 5:37 PM EDT
File Info
7.9 MB
3 min 28 sec
4.75 / 5.00

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Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.

Rated 4.75 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
1,118 Plays | 68 Downloads
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Author Comments

This is my entry to the final round of the NGAUC 2014. I'm not particularly happy with it yet, but due to time restraints, I'll have to make do with what I have so far. This is something different to what I normally make so I hope it works out in the end.

EDIT: Not sure what happened about the 10 seconds of silence at the end there, sorry about that.






Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

This is a NGAUC Finals review. Apologies for the massive delay in reviewing...

I do not know what kind of time restraints you had, but for the presumably little time you had, your production skills are marvellous. Everything is mixed well and has its place, and is nicely balanced and audible. Am I right in guessing that you took a different approach to most and concentrated on the production side, where most people would have concentrated on composition? -- many other listeners and judges would appreciate you for this. I do. ^_^

Let's take it chronologically:

0:00 - 1:20: You have a good sense of buildup, but I find that the four-chord sequence that is repeated here gets a tad tiring. You start off with a nearly-acoustic feel, and it gradually progresses to electronica. Your instrumentation is nice and your bass is playful, but there are some things I'll need to mention a little later.

1:21 - 1:58: Drop, and then growly basses. That was a very nice drop, and the wobbles are nice to listen to -- but they repeat. Bit of a synth buildup would have been appreciated here, in anticipation to 1:59? It does not need to be standoffish or evident; a subtle one would've been enough.

1:59 onwards: There's a bit more of an evident melody in there. There are some bits that do clash, and are hard on the ears.

2:20: I can tell the piece is winding down. There is a dampening of a lot of sounds. I guess it's a good thing.

2:39: Back to the melody we first heard. I would have really, really appreciated if there were little fragments or hints of this melody cleverly hidden in the rest of the piece, because it felt very A -- > B in structure, like the first idea was used, thrown away, and then used again.

Ending: The fadeout feels a bit of a letdown. A more definitive ending would have been appreciated. I understand this is one of the reasons you weren't particularly happy with this piece.

Much of the piece suffers from these --

1) The bass, while playful, follows the melody or the top line in octaves. You know your chords; you'd want the bass and the melody to have some degree of independence from each other without them clashing.

2) On the subject of clashing: there are a few parts, like 2:07, where I hear parts that clash with each other -- for instance, the bass and the synth melody, creating dissonance that ought not to be there.

3) There needs to be some sort of variation. There are two very distinct four-chord sequences, and they need to be anything *but* four-chord sequences. Or if they did stay as four-chord sequences, they ought to have been built up on. Say, buildup to some sort of climax. Because I felt that the repetition did not justify what I was listening to: I heard a beginning, I heard rising tension (but not a climax -- and no, the drop didn't do it for me, I'm afraid), falling tension, and then an ending which was nearly similar to that of the beginning.

The good bits, all in all were:

1) Good instrumentation.

2) Excellent mixing.

3) Knowing how to be playful with your instruments, even with the repetition. Knowing not to stick to trite playing techniques, if you get what I mean.

I'm not too fazed about the ten seconds of silence at the end -- we all make that mistake from time to time.

In spite of the flaws of this piece, I want to emphasise its strengths -- and I want to commend you, above all, for going out of your comfort zone, attempting something different. The outcome doesn't matter; the fact that you've attempted something different already makes you confident, a winner in my eyes. Take this time to iron out the flaws, and never cease in attempting new things -- if you didn't surprise yourself this time, you might very well surprise yourself and others the next. I am confident about it.

Keep up the good work! Also, pardon me for a relatively incoherent review..... I find that words aren't sufficient to express what's good or what's lacking.


DjAbbic responds:

A review of this length is worth the delay :)

You would be correct in your guess. I did focus on production over composition. I have always taken that approach and, although it does take away a bit from the creative side of things, I feel like quality takes precedence over creativity. Besides, I don't make music to be creative - I make music I like and the music I like just so happens to not require too much creativity :).

I agree completely with your comments about the reptitiveness of this. I tried to vary it a bit by changing the way the sequences end but that was obviously not enough.

I also understand there is a lack of climax. However, a climax is something that I don't usually incorporate into my music because I tend to dislike it when only a small part of the piece is climatic and everything else serves as a build-up.

Although I'm not satisfied with this piece as it currently is, I am generally happy with the way my experimentation turned out and I'm glad you think so too.

Thanks a lot for the very detailed review, it wasn't incoherent in the slightest (this reply on the other hand...:p) and thanks for taking your time to participate in judging! It was a good experience for myself and I'm sure everyone else felt the same.


Rated 4 / 5 stars

Right from the start, your production skills are obvious -- the mixing, instrument choices, and effects are all top notch! Lots of energy in this song. Definitely got my toe tapping haha

The bell-like synth introduced at 0:13 complements the piano really well, but the melodies they play together I don't find too memorable. Hi hats and snare have good patterns in the background though.

Good build-up. 1:01-1:10 is my favourite part of the whole track. Everything's just movin' and groovin' along, and the synths have a little back-and-forth thing going on. Not a big part, but it's well done.

Big drop. Big sound. I personally think that "vocal synth" I'm hearing now is overused, but I won't hold it against you. It's kinda cool. It's more obviously present from 2:18-2:34 if you don't know which one I'm talking about (the one that goes "yup").

1:58 -- I like how the lead gets a little evil here. Interesting. I dig it.

It's unfortunate that you didn't get to finish this the way you wanted to. It does feel incomplete; another intense section after the final fadeout would've been great.


Overall, this is good -- lovely sound you've got going on, but the main hook didn't do much for me. If you get a killer idea, there's no doubt in my mind that you'll be able to follow through and make a killer piece out of it -- I just don't think that this song falls into that category. Regardless, you definitely deserve to be in the final round (congrats on that), and I wish you well on your future musical endeavours.


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DjAbbic responds:

Glad to hear you liked the hihat/snare patterns, as percussion has been my weak point for the longest time :p. The vocal synth you mentioned was just something I added to make the overall track feel fuller, although I must admit I've been a fan of it since I discovered it :p.

Everything from 1:58 was pretty rushed in all honesty. I feel like the lead synth at 1:58 could use some tweaks and it could probably have lead somewhere, but I had no inspiration at the time :\.

I'm also glad you recognize the fact that this song didn't really originate from an epic idea. I have no idea how you were able to pick up on that, but that's precisely what held me back imo. The whole piece felt rather forced while I was making it but for the situation I was in, I'm quite happy with the result.

Thanks a lot for this detailed review!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I love the combination of instruments at the beginning, and the mix is very clean and clear throughout. It's catchy and unique. I like the melodies and bass. It's punchy and staccato at times, yet also rather refreshing at others. 1:22 was a highlight. Excellent job with the LFO automations (at least I think that's what's making the effects at 1:33 and other places). It's slower than a lot of mainstream EDM pieces, yet it's also very danceable and energetic as it is. The melody at 2:00 also added a lot. You have an excellent sense of structuring, transitions, and harmony. A lot of the pieces I've been reviewing for the competition this round could easily be front-paged, and I think this is definitely one of them. Also, I really liked the cute and quirky way you ended it with that rather light synth, although the fact that it faded out was a bit disappointing. I often find fade-out endings a bit lazy and boring. Overall, though, fantastic work! If you're "not particularly happy with this yet," you're being way too hard on yourself! This is an amazing piece, Djabbic! Keep up the great work. ;D


DjAbbic responds:

I'm also disappointed at the fact that this faded out, which is one of the main reasons that I'm not really happy with this as it is.

The reason it's slower is because I think the many layers and automation details are brought out better at this tempo. I sped it up at one point, but it just didn't sound right (or perhaps the original tempo had grew on me).

In any case, I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Thanks a lot!