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Racing the Sun

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If you've played Race the Sun, you know the feeling I'm going for here. Featuring some half-baked NES sounds!

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This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.

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Good:
- Excellent high-energy track!
- Cool guitar riffs/solo!
- Nice mix (aside from the buried sounds).
- Mission accomplished; this would sound great in a racing title!

As mentioned above, this is a super high energy track, and I can't say it enough: this would work really well in a racing title. I had to Google 'Race the Sun' to see what you were referring to, and sure enough, this would fit right in. The guitar work here is excellent, as is the overall sound of the drums. Altogether, the mix sounds nice and full (though I'll touch on that a little more below).

What to consider:
- NES sounds, where art thou?
- 'Muddy' mix (as mentioned above).
- No discernible melody.

The biggest issue with this track is the overall mix. It isn't bad by any means, but the instruments don't quite get a space of their own. The bass is fairly muddled, and the NES sounds are hidden behind the guitar and drums. Even certain aspects of the drums are a little buried from time to time. By giving each instrument its own space in the mix (try adjusting frequencies, using panning techniques, etc.), this could really change the sound of the track. Other than that, a solid melody would enable a listener to recall the song. As it currently stands, the track works best as background music (albeit, super energetic and fun to listen to background music).

Great track, would love to hear more like this. Keep it up!

Score: 8/10

This is a NGADM Round 1 Review!
''\\__----====******====----__//''
Final score: 7.25
Composition: 8
Mix: 6.5

Well that was a blast from the past - sounds like classic Maiden. I loved the riffs!! As said before it reminds me of the metal covers of F-Zero, fast paced and with excellent rhythm. Finally I think I should have given you a 9 for composition, in retrospect, however the mix did influence my opinion a lot as, despite how catchy it COULD be, it sounds really flat and uninteresting. The mix is full but lacks clarity, nothing really finding its own time to shine. Also I don't think the NES sounds were necessary or made sense...

Work on that mixing and your tracks could be some of the best on NewGrounds! :)

So, you've made it to the final round. You've clearly proven yourself. Time to judge by NGADM standards - scoring will be harsher as a result. In any case, here are some pointers for improvement.

The Good:
-Whoah this is a warm mix, though it really fits. The drums are super clear in this too which is great (aside from the toms but those are a bitch to fit).
-Once again, great chord progression and overall organization of your piece.
-Great drumming in this! It sounds extremely natural.

The Not-so-good:
-Well, this is really warm mixing, but there's one thing that could benefit from being more bright - the NES sounds. They're very much buried as-is. Heck, even the cymbals are somewhat buried as-is - it sounds almost like everything was filtered down and/or put into a lower bitrate. You even use some of the higher end sound later around 3:30.
-I think I mentioned this last round, but you could really benefit from having more of a clear melody. You also have all of that high-end space in your mix which you could use for it.
-Ending ends. Not very interesting ending and not much of anything indicating that there will even *be* an ending aside from the fact that it had been playing the same idea quite a few times and the timestamp on the music player.

Final score: 8.5/10. Very good piece, but not quite as good as your second round piece. You're a really good guitar player - some excellent electric or acoustic guitar runs in it would be absolutely fantastic and really lend some extra interest to your pieces, even as good as they are now.

thebitterroost responds:

Thanks for the review! I agree on the melody aspect for sure. My songwriting has always been in the context of a band before, so I'm not as good at writing an entire song myself yet, but that's why I'm here! Even in the band context I rarely played anything but drums (that may be why they sound natural, that's actually my kit, lol), so I'm glad that my guitar playing isn't too terrible. The warm, filtery sound is likely the tape saturation plugin I put on the mix bus to give it that 80s/early-90s rock record vibe. Not everyone's cup of tea, and it definitely could use some more high-end presence. Very good insights, I hope to put em into practice. Cheers!

I love the drums at the beginning. They establish the energy and intensity of this piece right off the bat. You were clearly aiming for a very full-texture here, which I appreciated. The mixing also seems a lot better than in the last piece I reviewed. There's some awesome drum work here, man. I love the rides you have playing at certain parts of the song (:26, for example), and I think the drums are just loud enough with blowing out my speakers (I personally find that drums are often left too quiet during rock songs like this). I appreciated that you were trying to offer some more structural contrast with the guitar solos around 2:15, yet at the same time they seemed to lack direction, and the start-stop beat you have playing in the background there kind of disrupts the flow an epic solo should have IMO. I also thought that you needed a lot more contrast energy-wise. If you make your piece essentially uniformly intense (as you have done), it trivializes the intensity by the end of the piece. Speaking of the end of the piece, it's very sudden and fails to conclude the themes you've presented here properly. I would recommend thinking about how you structure your pieces more. You can have several moments of intensity for sure, but you also need to keep the listener grounded more by adding breakdowns, bridges, or re-intros that offer some space and relief from all the bottled-up energy you have playing for the rest of the piece with the edgy guitar sounds. That said, I like your style of play a lot. It's engaging, danceable, and cool. Keep up the good work, Thebitterroost! ;)

8/10

This is good metal

As a stand-alone song I like it a lot. I've never played Race the Sun (Seen the insane videos though) and I tried to imagine this as an F-Zero song but it doesn't work since it changes up the feel of the song a little too much during the track. Not a bad thing though.

The drumming is solid. I love the guitar work, and I kinda wish there was some more NES sounds, like add them along with the melody.

The only problem with this song is that it's really good, but like the NES sounds, I feel like there might possibly been in some way/shape/form or smidgen of something that could have made it better. Maybe just a little bit of more detailed mixing or something with the composition, I don't know. But I like it.

Not too spectacular but 9/10 would listen 9 times straight.
-Spadezer-

thebitterroost responds:

Thanks man! Totally agree with the NES sounds, but I'm really new to it and didn't feel confident enough to really make it pronounced. I've only ever used something like the tweakbench Peach VST before, which just uses patches with pre-rendered sounds. This time I dabbled in one called NES VST, where you manually design the voices. Easier said than done, it turns out :P

Credits & Info


Listens
897
Faves:
1
Votes
12
Score
4.49 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 14, 2015
10:46 PM EDT
Genre
Heavy Metal
File Info
Song
5.9 MB
4 min 17 sec
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Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.