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Waves From The East [NGADM]

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Whoo NGADM group stage submission.

Edit: Now that I have time to think, I can write a proper description...

This is probably the quickest I've put together a track, at least in a long time anyways. I didn't get a chance to start working on a submission for the NGADM until Tuesday of last week, so it was nonstop crunch time through the whole process. A majority of the track was written on Thursday, after two ideas I initially tried wouldn't stick.

I'm not exactly sure where this track sits with me. It's not quite where I'd like it to be, and there are some details I want to fix after the judging period is over. But for what it is, I'm happy with it. I learned quite a bit working with some of the things I did structurally and sonically. And it's so important to be able to make music under a set time line and have it stand as a finished product, so as grueling as the last week was, I'm in it to (hopefully) keep going.

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This is an NGADM 2015 review.

The strings in the intro are nice, but what really impressed me was how you transitioned into the breakbeat percussion! That major chord leading into the gradually increasing tempo of the percussion kind of blew me away - the way everything came together when you introduced the beat and then the piano chords. It resonated with me pretty strongly - it's so god damn cinematic and powerful; especially with the riser and pad chords on top of it all!

I think the only thing that disappointed me after that was your use of the supersaw in the chorus. I don't think it's an appropriate sound for what you started with, and how we got to this point in the song. It's just too harsh imo. That said, the rest of the chorus is fantastic. The choir/pad is great. Your percussion is strong, pretty good kick (could use more high end and impact, though) and the snare is pretty good; perhaps a little middling though. Maybe bring out that low main frequency a bit and give it some gloss; maybe even some noise with a short attack/release layered on top.

Great breakdown. The portamento pad/string (something) around 2:45 really got me! The modulated bass in the intro and how different this part is from the rest of the song works quite well - it's a great buildup. I might have appreciated some highpass work or something to flavor it up, as the chorus hits with very little impact imo; but it's still good stuff. As said before, I feel that the supersaw lets you down. You could probably remove it entirely and you might end up with a better song, but I'm unsure. I say this not to your detriment to be honest though because it's more that the rest of the elements are so well put together/constructed.

Chorus at 4:39 mixes things up once again! This is a much better use of the saw, where you've got longer notes, and I think it works better here by a lot. It's just less screamy and tense, and fits the song thematically a little better.

Despite the fact that I had a few negative things to say, I believe this is one of the best entries of the round, probably top 5. When it came down to your entry and skyewint's entry, I found it impossible to choose between the two of you. This song is fantastic.

I liked the warm string sound at the beginning. It sounds very cinematic and bright. I will say that I didn’t like how they cut off suddenly at :13. It sort of ruined the flow of the piece IMO, and if you’re going for more of a sweeping/pulsing effect it’s probably more effective to create a decrescendo before you cut them off. The piece progresses slowly, but the chord progression itself is powerful and engaging. The mechanical-sounding samples you introduce starting around :53 offer an interesting dynamic to the piece, contrasting the artificial and the natural in a way. I liked the piano you introduced at 1:26 as well. It did a good job of darkening the mood just in time for the climax at 1:44. Unfortunately, I don’t think the piano comes through as clearly as it could’ve during the part at 1:44, although I do like the choir and the beat you added to the texture at that section. The part at 2:20 offered some much-needed structural relief, and I liked the melodies that started popping in at around 2:45. You’ve done an excellent job of creating a constant sense of direction for this piece. Despite the abruptness, I liked the transition at 3:29. The abruptness added to the drama effectively there, although I usually don’t appreciate sudden transitions (a word of warning for future rounds, haha). At 4:21, you seemed to be creating a build-up to yet another emotional height of the piece, yet at 4:35 you sort of stripped away the texture of the build-up, which confused me a bit. You then launch straight into what I see as another build-up at 4:39 (which seems to lead into 4:56), but then you don’t do a lot with 4:56. In fact, you don’t really ever get to that arrival point, which disappoints me. I liked the ending, but I don’t think you needed any of the build-ups after around 4:20 or so. Still, you should have another refrain in there at some point, probably one which serves as a variation of the one you had at 1:44. Having one main chorus/refrain that’s 1/3 of the way through the piece strikes me as a structural oddity, especially since this piece is so long. I would suggest trying to condense the latter half of this piece to be able to structurally accommodate a second refrain, and you also could stand to cut down what is essentially a 100-second-long intro and build-up at the very beginning of the piece. Overall, this is a solid piece, but I think the structural issues and long-winded nature of it detract from my enjoyment of it, unfortunately. There are a lot of cool ideas here, though, so I’d encourage you to keep working on it (after the competition, of course!). Hope this helped, Tyven. Keep at it! ;)


This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.

Hi hi hi. I'm Solarex. I'm facing you.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect hearing this track at the beginning. It really reminded me of an orchestra tuning, except with more coherency. Very smooth transition into the electronic part.

I must disagree with 1f1n1ty below, I really enjoy your composition. Certain things may not be 100% coherent with each other, but that adds to the piece and contributes to the complexity of it. You have a feeling you're trying to get across, and you do it quite well.

My only concern is the intensity levels. I think through loudness and thickening of your sounds in the main electronic sections, you could really raise and lower intensity much better and increase the effectiveness of your overall song.

Great entry to the competition! It'll be a close one between us

After your epic, orchestral/electronic hybrid awesomeness of an audition track, I was excited to see what you would offer us in round 1. Seeing that your track's genre was "experimental", I got even more pumped up. Have you disappointed me? Not at all!

Your track starts with a chord progression that you don't hear every day. Props for originality! And at 0:51... is that a speedup? Or does it just go straight to double speed? I really can't tell, but it sounds really unorthodox, so more props for originality! Man, this whole thing is just brimming with originality!

I'm not exactly good with talking about the quality of instruments, but synths? You got it. While I would have liked your lead synth to have a bit more flavor, your sounds are really cool! The portamento synth introduced at 04:21 caught my ear, although that may just be because I have a soft spot for portamento synths. Come on, they sound pretty awesome! Your bass growl hits (such as the one at 02:54) are also really nice. Good job!

Now for composition. And I guess this is where the complaints start. Not that your composition is bad, no; it's just that I feel that certain things don't quite work well with the chords behind them. Like at 1:27. The pitch riser sounds okay with the chord until you start to change it. Then it starts to sound off. At 2:11, the arp doesn't fit with the flute, in my opinion. It's just for that one chord, though. But hey, there are many, many places where you have AWESOME composition going on. I've already mentioned the very beginning, for example.

The transition at 3:29 is pretty sudden. Could have used, say, a reverse to lead up to it. I don't know. Not good with transitions either!

In the end, though, I really love this track! Just as I did your audition piece. 5/5, 9/10, good luck in NGADM! :D

Tyven responds:

I just figured out how the NG notification system works and saw your (awesomely detailed) reviews. Thank you!
- I'm glad you liked the intro. Now in retrospect I'm hearing how much magic is in it and how it actually works, and to think I spent an entire day trying to scrap it and force something else to work there. The entire track is set at a constant bpm, but I guess I inadvertently wrote some time changes into it :)
- I appreciate your comments on my synthwork as that's a major area I have difficulty with. I guess it worked this time around pretty well!
- The transition at 3:29 is intentionally impactful, to create a moment of relaxation for the listener's ears right before it hits hard in the 2nd chorus...I guess I can claim artistic license there, haha.

I'm glad you liked it and thank you for the great review!

Credits & Info


4.32 / 5.00

Aug 19, 2015
12:22 AM EDT
Video Game
File Info
12.9 MB
5 min 38 sec

Licensing Terms

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