Dude, I LOVE the energy level in this piece! Within seconds I had a stupid grin on my face and was moving with the music. In that sense, this track was a welcome change of pace during the course of my judging for this round.
First, some of the things I like:
-The melody is catchy and rhythmically interesting, and I love all the little runs and turns
-Transitions were tasteful. I like how you started with chiptune style drums, added a four-on-the-floor kick, and then layered more increasingly complex percussion on top of that
-Contrast between sections. I love the rising falling tension around 2:30 and the vengeful comeback at 2:59!
-Loads of automation and shifting colors
-The ending fade out could last another bar or two. For how energy-packed the preceding material is, I feel the track should either end with a bang or have a little more time to wind down. It felt a bit unbalanced to have the fade out occur so quickly.
-This piece seriously needs a B section. You've got a gut-punching aggressive sound that rips my attention to your piece, but you don't have enough contrast to keep the energy and my attention focused. There is a lot of development in the sound design and subtle details such as percussion, but that's icing-on-the-cake stuff. The foundation needs more contrast. There are loads of ways to achieve this, and here are just a few ideas: add a section with a different melody and chord progression, change tempo, change keys, drop out the percussion entirely for several measures, add a solo/improvised section, change registers, pass the melody between different instruments or octaves...There are a million ways you can achieve contrast. The important thing is that you have a section that is really different than what proceeded it, something that makes sense in the context of your piece but forces the listener to pay attention and be like, "Oh man, new material!" The more you can do to make your listener engage with the piece, the better. Write music in such a way that people wonder what's going to come next and cause them to ask questions of the music. Repeat something, lay a pattern, and just before it gets old, throw something entirely new at the listener to catch them off guard and laugh in awe of your genius! Writing interesting music is an act of juggling tension and release, surprise and predictability. It's reeling people in to a great story and keeping their eyes glued to you in expectation until the very last word.
You've got such an enjoyable gem of a track here, and I really want to rate it higher! There's that one critical flaw in the foundation though, that weakness in the form that holds this back from being excellent. Keep writing music, and try to think about your material from the perspective of a new listener. Keep asking yourself what you can do better, what you can learn from each track you make.
I'm looking forward to hearing more of your material down the road!
Whoa, thank you very much for your long and detailed review and suggestions! It really helps me getting the bigger picture!! I will keep making music and thanks for looking forward to it!!
== This is an NGAUC Knock-Out Round Review ==
So, first things first. HOLY CRAP. This piece has a lot of energy. A LOT. I can’t remember hearing a piece with so much energy. It’s pretty freaking nuts. And of course it’s totally a chiptune thing to go completely overboard with energy levels, so you totally nailed that. Well done!
I have to commend you for trying something new for this competition! That’s what competitions are all about, after all - learning! Well, that and crushing your foes, but mostly learning. :P With a few reservations, which I’ll get into later, this experiment was a success.
I know a lot of people are going to say that the drums are not authentic chiptune drums and you should therefore feel bad about yourself (or something), but I say: ignore them. It’s totally valid to do chiptune with non-chiptune drums, and the results can sometimes be awesome. I think your drum choice worked pretty darn well here, though perhaps you could have chosen a slightly more beefier kit.
I also think that your glitching was a pretty cool touch.
But yeah, this track has some problems, so let’s get into those. The largest problem, by far, is the repetitive nature of the track. You repeat the main riff far too much. In my mind, the absolute longest that I would have been okay with you repeating the riff would be up to :47. That’s the point where I started thinking on my first listen that this track was repetitive. Unfortunately, you continue to repeat it up until 1:22, and then you bring it back shortly after and loop it for the rest of the track. This is too much - it makes it sound like you are out of ideas and the song starts to become grating.
The mixing is generally pretty solid. My only complaints would be that the bass might be a little too loud - dominating the rest of the frequency spectrum even when it shouldn’t be - and sometimes the mix sounds slightly cluttered, for instance when you have two mid-range instruments going at 3:37 (the melody and the arp).
I am not very convinced by the solo at 2:10. The instrument just doesn’t sound right to me - it’s not nearly aggressive enough for the rest of this insanely aggressive song, and I think the melody could be a bit more interesting (and faster!)
So overall, this is a pretty neat track, but it has a very large flaw - the repetition! Without that, I think this track would have been much more solid.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Mini-Scores (see here: http://johnfn.newgrounds.com/news/post/936953):
* Composition: 3/4
* Arrangement: 1/4
* Mixing: 3+/4
Thank you very much for the review, John!! It really helps a lot!! :D
I learnt so many positive things by participating on NGAUC!! XD
I really like this! I could totally see this in a video game. I would love to use this in my geometry dash level if thats okay with you. But I honestly find it hard to listen to other songs entirely, but I was able to finish this entire song, just for more positivity, because everyone needs it lol. :) nice track and I hope to hear more tracks from you
Yeay thanks!! I'm really glad you like it!! :D
Yes, feel free to make a GD custom level with this track, I'd love to play it as well because it's my favorite game!! Looking forward to it! XD
Hey there. Some general commentary on your song for NGAUC.
-Holy chiptune. Experiments are always cool, man.
-50 seconds in, waiting for something different to happen melody-wise. Things have been pretty repetitive for the whole thing so far.
-1:30, I swear at this point you're using the same pattern and just glitching it out. Used glitches enough here to recognize it.
-Holy crap what. The pad wash at 2:03 is head-and-shoulders above the other instruments in terms of fidelity, especially for the lead that next comes in.
-Neat effects at 3 minutes in, definitely helping the repetitiveness there.
-You have really cool rises and falls in this overall, I mainly wish that the main theme weren't the same thing going on the entire piece. It could really use some more variation in the feeling of it.
-Ending is pretty good, all things considered. It felt pretty much like the rest of the song, but had just enough conclusion to push it out of the standard fadeout to an actual conclusive ending. Good on ya, man.
Final score: 7.0/10
Finally the review is out!! :D
Thanks for this helpful review @Skyewint !! :D
Though, since english is not my native language, I don't quite get whether this "The pad wash at 2:03 is head-and-shoulders above the other instruments in terms of fidelity, especially for the lead that next comes in" is a good thing or not haha sorry. XD
Once again, thanks for reviewing!! :D
This is very good! Well done! great mixing, the bass cuts jst enough for this style. Great 8 bit voices too! One thing is if you were MIXING the two genres i wouldv'e liked to hear some more complicated voices layers on top of the 8 bit sounds, that way it really would be considered EDM. I more or less hear this as an 8bit video game song, IN THE STYLE of an upbeat house or trance. THAT or put some non-8bit feeling drums on top of your 8bit sounds and it wouldve felt like a real mix as well. Masterfully done though I love it!
Thank you very much for the helpful review! :D
To summarize it, there are 2 things: More complicated voice layers, and non-8bit feeling drums. Alright, thanks for the suggestions and I'm glad you like it!! :D
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.