This is an NGADM 2015 review.
I recall having a difficult time judging this song during the judging period - I couldn't decide if it was just good, or god damn amazing; largely because this song is so alien to me. Settled somewhere nearer to amazing, eventually. This song is deserving of a much longer review than I'm able to give in the time available to me, so sorry in advance for that.
Your production is quite dynamic for the genre, and not all that loud - I would have appreciated more impact at each drop/chorus. But damn dude, your production just shines with all the space you've given the song. Percussion is extremely clean! Everything sits together very nicely. Drums might be a little harsh in the intro, and might have benefited from some automated lowpass or highpass.
I really like your noise in the intro, the soft way the song progresses, and your instrumentation. Your sound design is excellent; you've got so many subtleties and small bits of sfx here and there that add a lot of flavor, and I love it - especially the reverse notes in the middle section/breakdown.
I perhaps would have appreciated a stronger snare with some more impact, but it may not have been appropriate. I found your bass design to be quite soft/mellow, which was quite appropriate for the rest of your instrumentation. This song has a very soft/icey/cold feel about it to me.
This song shines in its restraint and space, with tiny complexities and lovely sound design. It's great work.
Hey there, geoplex!
I totally agree with your criticisms - I could have made the drops louder. In fact, that's one of the things that I'd say are my biggest problems - climaxes in music. I tend to produce in a flat way, so that there are no sudden jumps causing people to need to adjust their headphones. I should definitely work on easing people into a climax better though.
I do try to keep everything clean with a lot of subtleties, more like a "pick-your-own-music" type of thing - people can focus on whatever aspect they want to analyze and delve into without much trouble hearing it. I also want to keep any dubsteppy parts clean, since that always bothered me about most dubstep (mud everywhere).
In any case, thanks for the awesome review! Looking forward to seeing your reactions at my round 2 piece if you end up reviewing it. :P
I really liked the atmospheric vibe at the beginning. You left yourself a lot of space for climax, which is always good to see. It progressed a little slowly, but you maintained this sort of tense and ominous mood that I really liked. I thought the drop at 1:01 was engaging while simultaneously not being too heavy. The part at 1:27 offered some much-valued structural relief, although I thought the bass was a little too loud during that section. Perhaps it would’ve helped create even more structural contrast if you had kept the bass in the backdrop a bit more at that point. I liked the melodies at 2:08. They helped lead into the second drop really nicely, and it was good to see that you varied the drop more the second time around. It helped create some melodic development. I liked the coda too, but I thought you dragged it out a little longer than was necessary. I’ll also add that there’s a lot of built-up tension in this piece that I didn’t think you released fully by the end, even with the second drop. It would give this piece a much more cathartic emotional height at 2:21 if you had some more hard-hitting content in there IMO. Still, I love the soundscape here, and the production quality is very high. Keep up the good work, SkyeWint! ;)
This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.
Quite honesly, I can't disagree with any of your comments. I completely agree.
The bass at 1:27 could have been a bit quieter - it didn't sound like it on either my speakers or my headphones when I was mixing though. :( Se la vie, I suppose.
Definitely some tension that could have been released better in the second drop, and I agree that the outro was a *bit* long. I think that's the only part I take slight issue with, as the piece was meant to have slower progression - that's why I had all the little partial melodies hidden in the plucks at the beginning and end. That said, I guess the outro being as long as the intro is a bit much. To be *perfectly honest*, I kinda copy/pasted a lot from the intro and the first drop for the second drop and the outro because by the time I put it out a lot of me was just done with it (partially due to other life issues at the time which are still going on but much improved - see my recent news post if you really want to know). Probably apparent, but I thought there was still *enough* content (since I stuff way too much content into my music normally). I guess there was enough, but it was clearly still apparent.
In any case: Thank you for the review. It was definitely helpful - I can respect every single point you made since they were clearly written and directly applicable. Respect for you yourself +20!
Really makes me feel like exploring a city at night exploring for a purpose and finding secrets to why a city is decaying.
Sweet. That sounds awesome.
Whoah, you can hear Skye all over the song!
It keeps you very much in the....well...sky xD.....Dreamy and tightly mixed, this song keeps getting you interested with an incredible range of frequencies that are clean and shine a lot.
Have you played Cortex Command? This certainly would fit the game mood!
The only complain i have is the end, i feel like you could have built something more "endy" xD
Awesome job as always and as expected Skye ^^
Hey there, Divo! Glad you could hear me all over it. Totally my piece of music, neh?
I haven't played cortex command, though I hear it's very good.
I get that about the end - trust me, the original ending idea was worse. It was just fading out, even! The horror :(
By the way, you should get on Skype sometime.
Mmm. Mhm. Yes that's tasty.
I don't know if you've ever heard of Day One, but that synth definitely gives me similar vibes.
I love all the little modulations and perc hits occurring throughout the song. It's the little things that make the big picture!
Reading through your notes, I noticed the 20-200 Hz comment with the bass. I'm also told similar things about my tracks (see Escape), so maybe I'll take a look at doing that. The only concern is that perhaps with all that bass, it muds up and you don't get as much clarity. Be especially careful in moments like that in-between section with mostly sub and pad, there was one note (2:09ish) that was a little harsh on the ears. Still, I'm gonna take a look into that for my own tracks!
3xosc is so underrated. I may not use it anymore cuz I switched to Baebleton, but I miss it every passing day.
Great track, it wouldn't surprise me at all if round 1 went to you. Keep it up!
Hey there, Solarex! I'm kinda surprised to see your review tbh!
Never heard of Day one, sadly.
The little modulation and perc hits are just kinda my thing. All about that tiny detail stuff. It's my favorite thing to stuff into pieces.
The bass thing, yeah. I love the 100-200hz range so much but people can't hear it. :( :( :( Instead, sometimes I like doing this - take a kick, cut literally ALL THE BASS out of it up to about 150hz, then just use a deep bass with a sub included as the bottom of it. That way you can have your kick tuned to the music *and* link your bass to the kick which makes a super solid sound. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a harsh sound, the only thing I can think of is that the reversed bell drop was too loud. It'd be awesome if you could clarify that. :)
3xosc is awesome. I can't wait to play around with it using it as a carrier for vocodex. Imagine if I used more shit than a couple waveshapers, a bass amp, a bitcrusher, and a lowpass filter for making dubsteppy wubzes.
No idea who'll win this one. That's up to the judges! :P I think all three pieces in our group are excellent. Yours is very well-produced and has your classic insane-amount-of-surprisingly-clean-mid-to-high-range-arpeggios thing going on while Tyven's has some really creative progression IMO. So we'll see!
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.