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Setting Out

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This is my submission for the NGADM 2015 first round.

It's a motivational song for when you're going somewhere adventurous, like to the grocery store, your parents, the office or whatever.

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This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.

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Good:
- Extremely interesting use (and variety of) instruments (harmonica, didgeridoo, banjo, etc.)
- Varied thematic material; gave me sense of wonder and adventure!
- The entire second half of the track sounded very pretty and wondrous.

I've always had a keen respect for the use of instruments in your tracks. You always find creative ways to implement different sounds, all of which end up sounding at home with each other. Case in point, the didgeridoo blends well with the harmonica, banjo and organ. Awesome.

I want to focus on the latter half of the track first; it has such an otherworldly feel about it. Very atmospheric, very adventurous, and even mystical. In some ways, I feel that this would have made for a better introduction, because it instantly captures the listeners' attention.

What to consider:
- The first half of the track is somewhat empty sounding when compared to second half.
- Concerning the above note, the track really feels like two tracks that were arranged separately and then mixed together.
- The harmonica (as mentioned by TaintedLogic) does sound a little harsh. Granted, it does give the song its tone and atmosphere.

As mentioned above, the first half of the track sounds kind of empty. I think that it doesn't quite have a sense of space. By adding some reverb to all of the instruments, especially the harmonica, would work incredibly well. The two halves of the track are separated as if they are two completely different songs. On one hand, this is pretty neat as it allows for a diverse track, on the other, it breaks immersion.

I think that by adding some more texture, dynamics, and harmonic content to the first half and by bridging the atmospheric gap at 1:29 would make this track even better. Keep it up, SourJovis! :)

Score: 7.5/10

I like the soulful mood at the beginning, but that instrument you used for the lead is very harsh-sounding. I think you need to equalize out some of the treble tones in that instrument. This piece is very slow to progress, and lacks some textural fill for much of the first minute or so. You tried to offer some structural relief at 1:29, but the mood there is really different from in the first 1.5 minutes. You go from a bare-bones, raw, and even creepy and mechanical vibe to a dreamy, atmospheric, and upbeat one. I’m really confused as to what you intended to be the main themes/moods of the piece. The part at 2:08 sounds much more like the mood at 1:29 than at 0:00 as well, giving the piece the sense of being structurally incomplete and also lacking some coherence. There are some good ideas here, but you need to flesh them out more and also think more about how you’re connecting them with each other. Right now, this sounds like 2 or even 3 separate songs. I’d like to see you continue to work on this after the competition. As for now, I hope this review helped. Keep at it, man. ;)

6/10

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

SourJovis responds:

Thank you for the review. It's very helpful to know how I can improve the song.

I will replace the lead instrument (the harmonica) by someone whistling. That gives perhaps more of a western like feel. It also has a less harsh sound. I'll have to see how I'll mix it in when I've recorded it.

The first part sounds a bit empty indeed. I'll think about what instruments or effects to add. I'm thinking about an accoustic rhythm guitar and a jew's harp. Perhaps add some nice percussive effects. Maybe it's best to save some of those instruments for later in the song, and instead bring in the organ earlier. I'll just have to figure out what works in relation to the rest of the song. I'm also considering going double speed at a certain point, for the sake of progression. Perhaps with a nice tambourine.

The part after 1:29 has a different mood indeed. That was supposed to be the wide world. It starts of kind of cold. Like there's a vast plane with a lot of wind. I think I'll add a recording of actual wind from 1:29 to 2:08 to make this point clear, and tom make it sound more lively. From 2:08 onward I'll slowly fade it out again.

The part from 2:08 onward is supposed to be a bit more action driven. Like before you were overlooking the windy plane. Now you're riding through it at high speed. I think this part also needs some additions to make it sound more interesting. Perhaps more metalic percussion. Or some woodwind flutters.

You're right about the song beind structuraly incomplete. I think I can fix this by having the theme from 0:00 to 1:29 return after 2:50, this time with the addition of more orchestral instruments so the part 1:29-2:50 acts as a bridge.

I will indeed continue the song after the competition. Working with a deadline can at times be a bit of a problem for me. I've had a very hectic time. My boss went missing and left with all of the money. Now 45 people are left without a job, and I had to write a letter to the councillor for social affairs and employment to explain what happened. We have an invitation to speak to him in person in a few weeks, so at least my letter was succesfull. Also I thought the deadline for this competition was later. When I received a message I had to upload the song in 30 hours I had to rush. On top of that my internet provider was hacked so I had to ask for a delay, so I could upload it halve a day later from a friends place, right before we went on holiday. I didn't think I would win with this song, but I didn't want to cop out and not submit anything either. I'm glad I at least contributed something for the competition. Competitions like this are always nice to get people to listen to your music and give usefull feedback.

Thanks again for all of the usefull advice. I'll improve the song now I have more time. Good luck with the rest of the competition.

Credits & Info

SourJovis
Author

Listens
696
Faves:
1
Downloads
14
Votes
5
Score
4.02 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 19, 2015
11:07 AM EDT
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
6.6 MB
2 min 54 sec
Tags

Licensing Terms

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