This is an NGADM Round 1 Review
I feel like such an ass for having you matched up with such hard-hitters again for this contest, especially after hearing this stellar piece of music. There's a real sense of emotion and progression behind your melodies, to the point that once we finally hit the end, it feels like I was sucked into a world and went on a journey, not unlike the feeling you get after watching a good movie. That definitely racks you a lot of points in my books, because orchestral is such a good storytelling genre, and you definitely nailed it in that respect.
I'm afraid that while I truly enjoyed the first half of your piece, the second half of the piece just... didn't do it for me. I mean, it was still great compositionally, but the drums are sorely lacking. I had high expectations for the drums since for pretty much the entire duration of the first half, you had this really fitting and intricate cymbal beat, but once the climax hit, the drums just devolved into a cheesy, MIDI-sounding, dry pop kit that didn't add nearly as much power as they should have.
I think the idea for the track is all there. The first half was gripping and well-composed, and the whole idea of building a huge amount of tension and then releasing it works really well for this style, but you could've executed it better, I feel, and the first step towards that better execution is having a more powerful and influential percussive section. Either way, thanks for the beautiful piece of music!
You can certainly tell which parts I spent plenty of time on and which parts were rather...rushed.
Being wrapped up in the mixing, arranging, and EQing of everything else, the drums just blended into the background to me and I never really gave them enough attention. That's probably one of the reasons why my score was lower.
Every time I listen to it now I hear nothing but how out of place those drums sound and it bugs me to no end.
Either way, what's done is done. I'm not in NGADM for the end prize, I'm in it for the competition and the good music.
This is an awesome track dude. This track was very memorable for me. I love the soundscape that you created with your track. You did a wonderful job of giving every note and percussion hit its space from one another. It all sounds super pretty to me honestly.
So although I absolutely loved the soundscape you created, it sort of kills the dynamic range a bit. I’m sure there is a fix to this, but when time came for the bigger part after the drum fill, it didn’t feel any bigger at all. It clearly was bigger because the melodies were directed to be bigger, but I think dynamically it could have been expanded. On a sidenote though, the dynamic range change after the bigger part was really nice!
The other side is the mixing. It sounds really really nice. And honestly all of the pitched instruments sound beautiful, I felt that the percussion fell short and it really affected the track. The percussion is half of the production in most songs. If you have tight drums, then you’ll have an easy time for the rest of the track in terms of mixing. This is one of those songs that plays at the end of a movie when the hero gets everything he wants and kisses the girl and everything. Anyways, nice work! I really enjoyed it.
I love the emotion at the beginning, as well as the filter/echo effects. It progresses very slowly, yet you leave yourself a lot of space for contrast and climax. The warm mood is beautiful. I appreciated the melodies at 1:40, but the percussion there didn’t work for me. It added a more staccato-y and almost exotic dynamic to what is at heart a very down-to-earth and organic-sounding piece. The low strings at 2:35 are beautiful. They lead into the arrival point of 3:06 very well. Here, the percussion works better IMO because it adds a dynamic of energy and progression amidst a full texture. The emotional height you created at 3:06 dragged on for a little too long, though, sort of trivializing the beauty in a way. In fact, this piece is a little structurally flat within the emotional height from 3:06 to 5:00. The section lacks much textural change or phrasing. I like how you brought it full circle at the end with the part at 5:00, though. I really like this piece overall. I just think that fixing a couple of structural details would’ve helped bring out even more emotion here. Keep up the good work, Papkee! ;)
This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.
Oh man, this is just so pretty...I'm trying to really listen closely with a critical ear so I can offer you a solid critique, but I'm finding myself simply getting lost in the beautiful atmosphere.
While I don't dislike the percussion, I do agree with midimachine that the drum kit used here just doesn't do the song justice. I personally think that the hi-hats work well later on in the song, but a good shaker would have really fit the mood nicely earlier on. Maybe some soft cymbal swells, too. Yeah, I think that would sound amazing.
Truthfully, this piece gave me chills. There are a few small details that could use a bit of tweaking, but the overall atmosphere of the piece made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and if I closed my eyes it felt like I was flying. That is some incredible imagery that you've managed to conjure up with this music, and it almost feels as though it builds and builds from start to finish, until it finally eases off towards the horizon.
The ending is simple yet fitting, giving me one more shiver up my spine before passing into the horizon and out of sight. I keep going back to that ending to listen to that rumble and final echoing boom, again and again.
I love this, it is just so good. There's nothing more for me to do here besides listen yet again and wish you the absolute best of luck in the NGADM. Excelsior~!
sounds like the intro for a chicane track, was waiting for bryan adams to start singing haha
the emotion starts ramping up with that clari, nice! the brass/choir layer has a really slow attack which kinda throws it way ahead of the beat, you can trigger those notes a little earlier so they hit their peak volume on the beat.
the drum kit is kinda general midi sounding and have a really different energy to the rest of the song, like you have this really laid back pop ballad beat up against this beautiful, epic orchestra and it's just weird haha. i think a really subtle but large reverb (in terms of room size) on the kick and snare (toms too maybe?) might give them the same presence. honestly, i'd probably just try a totally different approach for the percussion with totally different samples.
otherwise this was really good. i liked the structure in particular, i'm a sucker for pieces with long builds and lots of tension :)
lots of tension is what I do best beby <3
The horn attack problem was one of those things that I noticed but didn't do too much about. The problem was that Kontakt was having issues loading all the samples for all of the instruments and it was lagging behind a bit.
The drums were something I didn't think sounded too bad, but after listening to the same thing for three days straight you start to not notice things. There wasn't much done to them and truthfully I should have performed them instead of just programming them. But whatever, I had to get the track done before I went down to school for the year.
But thanks for the review and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with for this thing.
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.