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3MBER - Strawberry Sky

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Author Comments

This ended up placing 5th in the contest. I guess I misunderstood the rules, because none of the top 3 were from the underdog section? Eh, whatever I still managed to pump out two decent tracks out of it so I guess I'm alright with my standings. I spent the most time on this track than any I've ever made before, and I'm not sure if that helped or hurt in the end. Either way I can't help but feel a little salty.

Lots of nintendo sound effects and drum samples. I used Ableton 9's audio effects and all synths were created using either Sylenth1 or Serum... And one bass sound in massive... hm


x3MbeRx - Strawberry Sky:

The Good:
-Absolutely fantastic introduction! The supersaws are strong in it, but they're very pretty along with the background piano and sfx!
-Very nice clean plucks! I like.
-I feel some Porter Robinson influences in the main climaxes. Those arpeggios are pretty neat.
-Really cool background SFX in the climax sections as well.
-Very nice soft melodic-ish sounds around 2:20 on.

The Not-So-Good:
-Not sure about the actual transition at 0:28. I feel like it could use a bit more of an ending to the intro leading into the plucks.
-Fairly big audio glitch is one which sounds like it's coming from some sidechaining at 1:12 and around 1:15.
-I'm not sure what exactly you were going for in the drop. Was this meant to be some kind of anti-drop? The problem is that after the arpeggios and quickening drums, the drop ends up being really underwhelming in that it has very dramatic sounds and then just drops the tension like a hat without doing anything with it. Part of it is in the way the bass/kick and pads work together to leave gaps - these gaps make it feel like there isn't really a point to the piece in those sections. The high-hats do improve this a lot though!
-In the second drop, there's a new lead - which is a decent improvement, but it doesn't really seem like it knows what it's trying to do melody-wise - it suffers from the same lack of direction that the first drop had. Unfortunately, it also seems to throw off the mix in that section, making quite a few details far less distinct.
-There isn't an ending. The climax reaches the point where it stops timing-wise, and it leaves a bit of reverb and subtle delay from the beginning, without any conclusion or finality to the piece.

The Result: 7.8/10.
-Overall, this is a really well-produced piece with an excellent midsection and drops. The main issues are the aimless climaxes and the ending. Your sound design is top-notch, especially among recent popular EDM. I think that with a few tweaks to the climaxes, a bit to really finish the piece, and just a bit more direction to your composition, your pieces will be absolutely fantastic. Good job!

People find this review helpful!
x3MbeRx responds:

I'm glad you liked my sound design for the most part, since it's what I spent the most time on. As I've said previously time constraints led me to kind of improvise transitions, which is why theres no ending and some parts may seems to not flow into eachother that well. I'm afraid I don't really understand what you mean about the drop? That it's underwhelming? These pauses are pretty typical of future bass tracks and I felt like they added some relief after the first heavy hits of the drop. I struggled coming up with decent leads for both drop sections, honestly. Also, the "audio glitch" you noticed was completely intentional believe it or not, and you're right it's a side chain to a ghost track.

Thanks for the in depth review :)

This is an official NGAUC Review

My personal rating for your piece is as follows:
Production: 26/30 (Great)
Composition: 25/30 (Above Average)
Instrumentation: 11/15 (Above Average)
Originality: 9/10 (Great)
Interest: 11/15 (Above Average)

Giving a total of 82/100, or 4 stars. (Above Average)

Please view your rubric for comments-

x3MbeRx responds:

Thank you! <3

I like the pensive atmosphere at the beginning. It has a good sense of climax starting at :31. I wasn’t a huge fan of the vocal samples at :56, although some of the subtle filtering (1:12) was enjoyable. I like the drop at 1:22, and I think the mixing and mastering are generally strong. Those loud, crisp hats at 1:37 really added a lot to the texture as well. I think the drop is a little drawn-out, lasting for very nearly a full minute, and then you transition into this re-intro section at 2:17 rather abruptly. I appreciated the variations you had on the melody at 3:12, but that instrument is not my favorite and also gets a little distorted by the drums. I think you needed some side-chaining there. The piece also lacked conclusiveness IMO and needed more of a substantive outro to tie it together at the end. Still, I enjoyed the piece a lot overall. It has a lot of really cool percussive sounds and, perhaps with the exception of some minor structural and transitional details, the composition is really strong. The quirky mood is a big plus, and you did a good job of maintaining a full texture throughout. Keep it up, x3MbeRx. ;)


x3MbeRx responds:

I focused very heavily on sound design and mixing for this piece, and the arrangement suffered slightly because of it. Making a completely original track in just two weeks time is hard work for sure. Thank you for listening :)

Hey, 3MbeR! Now that the deadline has passed, I have time to drop a review.

You're reserving your description until later, so sadly I can't really comment on anything you've said. But you did state you used nintendo sound effects, so that sounds pretty awesome

Let's start from the beginning and work forward. Right off the bat there's a nice pad sound that I kinda wish was more sine based than it is right now, but that's just personal preference and I won't criticize your choice of sound for something petty like that. You've included some pretty subtle and nice dynamics on that high voice (which I believe is a piano) which really adds to the phrase as well!

I've always been bad at chord builds like the one you introduce next. I understand that you're supposed to take the filters off the sound, but the sounds I have never eventually reach the intensity that yours get to. At any rate, nice sound design in the next section!

Your drum design also sounds pretty good. The drums in the buildup drive the effect, and then the drop is spectacular. I'm noticing that you decided to put a crash cymbal on pretty much every single kick - I'm not sure if I like that or not, but it seems like a nice decision on the surface. It's certainly not muddying up your very pristine mix, so that's good!

2:17 has a very quick and possibly sudden transfer of energy. Perhaps you could have guided my ears in that direction first and then went for it.

You've differentiated the second section from the first with faster rhythms and slightly different sounds than previously. While that's good and provides a level of variation, I would have liked to see some compositional variance as well. Maybe change up some chords a bit, introduce distinctly new melodic lines, even add modulation and tempo changes.

But hey, in all this piece is a solid entry! Excellent sound design and mixing, and energy flows well from one section to the next! 9/10, 5/5, good luck!

x3MbeRx responds:

Time constraints led to some not so good transitions and problems with composition :/ Turns out it's a side effect of the way I go about arranging my tracks. Oh well, Thank you for your review! :)

this is great <3 the only real complaint is that sometimes the drop can get a little muddy. it also felt like the chords at the start were a little random. still this is an amazing track from you :3 Cheers

x3MbeRx responds:

I completely disagree XD thanks karasex

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Credits & Info


4.63 / 5.00

Aug 18, 2016
3:50 PM EDT
File Info
3.9 MB
4 min 18 sec

Licensing Terms

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