Glide Reflection

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I'm excited to be participating in the Newgrounds Audio Underdogs contest this year in the Professional Amateurs division!

The limited time I had to make this piece led me to loosen up a bit and fill it with things that I already know I like: 5/4 time, sus chords, sweeping arpeggios, delay, and individual sounds with massive reverb. So I had a lot of fun making this, and I'm pretty pleased with the final result.

The process of creating this song was interesting, because I used several different tools in tandem with each other: SunVox for sequencing, Supercollider and Audacity for sound generation and processing, and Tracktion 4 for putting everything together. (All of these things are available for free, by the way.) I've used each of these tools in the past, but I'm beginning to integrate them better.

The xylophonesque melodic lead came from a recording I made last year of myself tapping on a hollow metal post at my university, although heavily processed: SunVox made it very easy to slather it in delay and an LFO-controlled filter.

Also, whenever I'm working on music, if some sort of processing accidentally produces an interesting artifact, I'll try to isolate it and make a percussion sound out of it. In this case, the "ponk" sound that begins appearing at the end of each phrase starting around 1:24 originated from heavily amplifying the background noise of another sound.

Make sure to turn up your volume on this one; it's mastered a bit quiet. Constructive criticism and praise would be very much appreciated!


Easily one of the most unique pieces out there, certainly for this contest. I'll spare you my usual disclosure because you know me, I'm blunt, please don't be oversensitive and offended, ok thanks.

-Holy fuck all the arps. That is really awesome. Their chord progression is impressive as always.
-Your general originality and odd-ness pretty much is worth a point all to itself.
-The background noises and progressions are incredible. General sound quality and instrument quality is top-notch.
-Please for the love of god teach me how you do your foley processing to make percussion and stuff. You always have the most impressive instrument/noise processing I've heard for music.

-Really, this piece just suffers in one thing. Composition. The arps are great, but they have very little variation in the end - mainly background and not any kind of melodic progression. There is very little melody, and sadly precious little difference between each of the A sections and B sections. Uniqueness alone only works the first time, sadly - when repeated it loses its effect greatly.

THE RESULT: 7.5/10
I mean, what can I say? There's not really much to - it has absolutely fantastic everything... except composition. Unique composition, but not fantastic. This is also one of the things your music has suffered the most from in general, unfortunately. I think that your song Rain/River/84/415/8 is one of the best written pieces in this respect - it has more significantly evolving differences in sound as well as multiple different distinct sections, whereas in this piece the differences are mostly background. The background differences are important too, but something in the foreground is also important!

secantwave responds:

I have to say, hearing what you have to say about originality and oddness, along with the other "this is weird, but cool" types of feedback I tend to get on Newgrounds, is a wonderful compliment -- it's great to know that I'm managing to convey what I love about this sort of music, odd though it may be.

I'm also super flattered by what you said about my sound processing. It's often just a matter of messing around with ideas without necessarily knowing how they might sound, and then whenever something has potential, listening to it over and over again and fine-tuning the parameters. (In this piece in particular, I discovered the Klank generator in Supercollider, which makes for some neat resonance effects.) If you ever want to talk more about it or want to know how I made something, let me know--it's a major passion of mine.

In general, I tend to focus more on sounds and patterns than melody when making music, and I'm heavily influenced by artists like Autechre and Monolake for whom melody plays less of a role. So in a time-limited competition, composition is often the first thing to fall by the wayside. That said, I was actually pretty pleased with the variation between sections of this piece (in my mind, the arpeggios _were_ the melodic progression)--the aspect I thought felt incomplete was the transitions, which nobody seems to have brought up. Regardless, there definitely could have been more variety in the last section.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoy my music (it was a pleasant surprise to see "impressive as always", given that I don't think you've reviewed anything else of mine), and I'll definitely continue to work on composition in the future.

~~~~~~Hello secantwave! This an official Knock-out round review!~~~~~~

First off i actually have to say I really enjoyed listening to your piece. It scored a 9/10 for originality and 12/15 for general effect. Basically I was going "wow what is he doing I love it." the whole time. Very very original and great stretch to go out of the box and do the 5/4 timing. THe chord progression you chose was also very unique and strange to the ear which I actually tend to enjoy if done well.

Now that being said, I want you to know that I scored this round pretty intensely compared to the others. That does not mean your song was bad, it just means due to individual point on my criteria, there were things I felt could have simply been better!


You scored a solid 9/10 for clarity. The overall balance of your voices was near perfect, I only felt that certain nuances and variations you brought in could have been more present! The quality category I gave you a 5/10. A 5 does not mean horrible, it means just above average for me. i liked what you did with your sounds, the little plucks sounded great and gave it a nice tambour, I just felt that all of your sounds sounded very..simple? The way you wrote this piece couldve had more intent if the sounds themselves were focused on more. And maybe they were! I actually really liked what you did with the resampling of sounds on this, however I docked you in this category a bit also due to how quiet it was. That is something that you should focus on. There's no need to give a full master on your songs! But it was simply something I looked for!
And finally I gave you a 5/10 on effects as I felt this needed some effects in your transitions, and some of the effects you used were such a drastic difference to the tambour in the rest of the piece. In my own opinion!


in the category of complexity, I looked for what you did harmonically, how you threw nuance in, and the variations you did, and how well you pulled them off. I gave you a 6/10 in Complexity. I docked you in this category, due to it simply having two sections, repeated multiple times, with only slight variations each time, and the whole time you had the same chord progression. This can become redundant. I would've loved to hear something different with those prominent plucks. As well as hear something that is more of a focal point other than the plucks more often. The section at 0:56 was great, great variation, but it happened only a few times, and the same both times. 1:12 was great too but much too short, the energy felt a little off there to me. the other main point was the 5/4 timing seemed very staggered. It could have felt more smooth, rather than every single 5th beat feeling like a studder.
Transitions I gave you a solid 8/10. Your transitions were solid and this was a struggle point in my scoring for a lot of people in the tryout round. I loved every single transition, the effects and mood changes there were great. Loved them. And actually your transitions were different every time. This was the biggest reason that the whole piece was tied together for me. it wasnt a perfect score due to the 5/4 time still being studdered, and a few effects seeming out of place, particularly the way you changed the 8bit-sounding drums at 1:07. This was a little jarring to my ears, and really treble-y.
and finally in composition, form. I gave you a 4 here. This was also due to it being a simple two part form. repeated, with slight variation. The energy could have gone in so many different places. Your clarity of intent was great! but these all docked you quite a bit, and I wanted to hear more. More variations. do more with this awesome sound of yours and sell it! I also docked you in this category, due to the ending. Some songs really can and should end suddenly I think, but with yours, your sounds were so calm, and relaxing, that I would've loved to hear simply the main pluck as an ending, even if everything cuts out suddenly. The style of this piece seemed very unnatural to me to end so abrubtly.

And finally instrumentation. This seemed a little wonky to me. You had these great melodic voices, nice MOOG-y sounds, and your drums were straight 8-bit sounds to me. I would've loved to here some resampled loops or drum sounds, tweaked to create a more complete vibe. I scored you a 9/15 in this category. The drums really threw it for me. and those super treble-y variated drums around the 1:12 mark were a little too much as well. This was an important category that I payed a lot of attention to.

Please do not take any of these scorings personally. After all that is why we have three judges! Different views and experiences and training bring different outlooks! I think you could make something really really great with your sound if you focus on a few points of progress. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

And one last thing, I really really enjoyed this piece, general effect and originality were very important and I loved listening to this. :)

I hope I wasn't too harsh!!! DX

Hey, it's another mathemusician! i could tell just by listening to the piece :)

The song just reeks of mathematics listening to it. I could imagine hearing this song playing over one of those zoom-in videos of fractals like the Mandelbrot Set or the Menger Sponge. Especially in those upward moving sine arps, the sound and composition just scream "mathematics" at me somehow. I like it! I like it a lot. Definitely gives this piece originality and makes it stand out.

And I'm glad, too, because I opened up your profile page and saw a Menger Sponge sitting right there. Did you know that if you cut the Menger Sponge in half on the plane directly perpendicular to the structure's corner, you get a cross section consisting of a cool snowflake pattern? I bet you do - it's pretty freaking astonishing. Math is beautiful :)

In all, the composition sounds pretty nice and unique! It doesn't sound like something you hear everyday, with the 5/4 time signature, tons of suspended chords, etc. You did a good job!

And I'm going to say the same about the sound design. Reading the description, you appear to have done some pretty complicated stuff, at least on the surface. Clearly there was effort put into the sound design! And it pays off - the sounds work together to create a beautiful mathematical atmosphere. Great work!

The mix feels very... heavy. In a way, I kinda like it, but in another way, I wish the mix was lighter. I don't know squat about mastering, though, so I can't say what exactly should be changed, but right now it just feels very weighty when I would have liked it a bit more airy. Does that make any sense?

You could also probably do with more variation. As it stands, the sound is pretty much the same the entire way through. I would have liked to hear some unexpected twists in the sound, especially for a mathematical piece like this. :)

But it's not bad! Overall, the piece sounds very solid, has very unique and awesome composition, and although the sound could have more contrast here and there, as it stands this is a pretty solid sound! 9/10, 5/5, i wish you luck!

Also, you seem to have been 2-voted. Lemme fix that for you :)

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Credits & Info


3.69 / 5.00

Jul 29, 2016
2:17 PM EDT
File Info
8.6 MB
3 min 45 sec

Licensing Terms

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