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A.I.M - Entering the Beast

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Author Comments

Had a great time putting this one together for the AIM competition.

Took inspiration from LinkTCOne: http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/linktcone/the-kraken-concept-art


Very solid submission to the AIMC! The mixing doesn't really bother me. Sounds like a song I'd put on while I work or read. Calming, but energizing all the same. Keep up the good work!

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Your percussion and panning is killing my enjoyment of what would otherwise be a pretty neat track. The drums as a whole sound very cheap, are panned strangely, have points where some hits stick out far more than others, etc. Also, if you're going to pan your drums, pan them to places that make sense. Don't pan your toms all the way to the left channel on a fill when you've got cymbals on both sides! Standard set has the middle toms between the crash and ride and the low tom opposite the snare. Snare is usually to the player's left, therefore the listener's right, although sometimes producers will mirror this as it doesn't make much of a difference.

Make up your mind where you want your sounds! This bugged the ever loving crap out of me. I'd argue you should never pan anything TOTALLY right or left, as this unbalances the mix and just sounds weird, especially on headphones. Also, the kick is weak. Sounds like it's missing a lot of 50-60 hz. No oomph whatsoever.

Arrangement wise, your chords were pretty standard -- heard the exact chord structure more than once across NG, the radio, and my own playing tendency. It's just sort of natural, and it sounds okay. I'm not going to subtract any stars for lack of originality there. There were a lot of noise frequencies in the intro, though -- just idle static creeping in. Melody wasn't too complicated either. Maybe I'm just a music snob, but this is an easy enough key to play in, and eighth notes aren't hard to chug out. It sounds predictable, and not in a good way.

Lead is sticking out a bit too much in places. Note, lead guitar doesn't necessarily mean loudest guitar. Your lead and rhythm are burying the bass and drums completely. Mixing is absurdly muddy on them too.

Long story short, it isn't a bad track, but it isn't great. I did like the sort of trippy feel to it though. Without the panning issues and a little better compression on those drums, I might be inclined to give it a 4, but as is, it's a hard-won 3.

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AIM Judge Review
Solid HM piece this :).
Really like the arrangement of the track and it's packed with energy. A lot of the riffs sound really cool and original, and you have a lot of layers going on which makes the track sound full.

I gotta critisize a couple of things though. First of all, like RF already pointed out, the mixing is poor. At the parts were the lead guitar played alone like in the intro especially. The guitar has a lot of unwanted and painful frequencies which you might wanna cut. The kick is not as powerful and bassy as it should be, and tbh I think the kick sample all together sounds pretty cheap.

A general problem I hear that you have in your mix, is that the low end is very muddy. It can be hard to notice that the low-end is the problem, but usually when a mix sdounds muddy the first think you want to do is to have al ook at your low end. Try to analyze each instrument seperately with an equalizer and think about which frequency range you want each instrument to be heard in. As an example, usually you don't need any low end at all in hi-hats. In the same way, you don't need any high-end in a sub. A basic principle when it comes to mixing music is, "if you don't need it, cut it". If there are frequencies that you don't need and/or can't hear in an instrument, cut it. Even though you might not be able to hear a difference between cutting or not when the instrument is playing alone, the difference becomes really clear in the full mix.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that you need to put an EQ on every single instrument and sample and remove the unneeded, unwanted and unaudible frequencies.

Otherwise the track is pretty good. The drum patterns can become a bit uninteresting and generic at times, but they are fairly decent. I'm a bassist myself so I will always wish for a more interesting bassline, but that's 100% personal opinion and isn't really needed.
The energy and action in the piece reflects thesense of danger in the art, though I feel like this piece would have fit more with a picture with a little more action in. Art is pretty subjective though.

Mixing: 2/5
Arrangement: 4/5
Art Relevance: 4/5
Overall: 3.5

Keep up the good work :).

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Insomnimatic responds:

Thank you for this review/judging! You actually reviewed one of my guitar only pieces back in 2014 and your review along with others encouraged me to keep writing and posting here on Newgrounds so I wanted to say thank you for that!

Each song I do I notice I am getting better and better with mixing but I still have a ways to go. In this song I did cut out some of the frequencies I did not need but not a lot of the low ends like you mentioned were needed to be cut. The kick is actually from the Superior Dummer 2.0's sets. I can't remember which one exactly it is but I think it was a DW kick from the Heavy Metal package. Not exactly cheap for the sets but maybe cheap in sound? Haha

I like to keep the drum tracks powering through songs to help the guitar out for the most part which I'm finding out isn't always the best method to go with. I need to work on my fillers and make the drum its own instrument instead of a backup for the guitars. I don't play bass too often on its own/ practice as much but I think I will start to do that soon or at least learn what makes a great bass line for this genre. Mostly root notes but I did add a few spots where the bass had its own part.

- DareDevi424

TBH I think you're really close as far as the mixing is concerned... I struggle with the same problem. I'd say your kick could probably use a touch more "click"/"pop", but that's just my personal preference. But the rest of the mix is kosher.

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Insomnimatic responds:

Thanks a lot, man!

I was thinking about making the kick have more of a click to it, but in my past songs people have told me it doesn't sound as good as a deeper kick.

It's taken quite a while to even progress to this stage of mixing but I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. I just really need to learn how to give the songs I make the "power" they're lacking.

So right off the bat the mixing and recording need a lot of work. If you played all these instruments yourself recording them kudos for that. I think the bass is probably fine, but there's no "power" in the mixing of the guitar or drums. And also the guitar clips some in the beginning and the parts it's by itself, or maybe it's too much fuzz on the distortion, not sure.

The drums are panned out well and I think the cymbals sound ok, but the mixing really needs work. The kick needs more low end, and needs to sound less nasally if that makes sense, sounds like there's too much in the mids. The guitars either need to be recorded better, or need better mixing. The snare sounds ok but could also use adjusting in the mix, but the cymbals are a bit too loud. The levels need some adjusting.

I can't really say this fits the picture though. As far as the melody and stuff, It's not bad, would sound better with tweaks in the mix. I like the breakdown, but the tapping on the ride is too loud and sharp which distracts from the melody a bit. This has a nice melody to it though. The drum work is done really well as far as how you played if this was recorded, but either way, the way the way the drums were arranged are nice as well as the other instruments.

I did enjoy this song though, good melody, mixing isn't terrible but not great, but I can still enjoy it. The other judges can probably touch on things I can't. I'm still going to school for mixing and stuff. Overall with some mixing improvement this could potentially be a great song, and I think it's a good song even with the mixing now even though it's not superb mixing.

Good job though, keep up the good work, I enjoyed this. Can't wait to see what you make as you improve.

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Insomnimatic responds:

Thanks a lot for the review / judging. I know I have a huge problem with mixing even after all this time with making music. I just need to find the time to learn to mix correctly. I believe the clipping in the guitar is probably from the distortion I use.

I played all the instruments except for the drums which are a VSTi.

I need to learn how to cut out certain frequencies on the guitars / bass and how to give the music "Power" as you stated.

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Credits & Info

4.06 / 5.00

May 25, 2016
4:30 PM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
7.1 MB
3 min 6 sec

Licensing Terms

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