This is an official NGUAC 2017 Audition Review.
Thank you for your personal message regarding a review on your track.
The following is an evaluation with critical analysis regarding your audition. This analysis should not reflect negatively on you as a participant but should be used to critically weigh your strengths and weaknesses which were perceived in this track. This review should be used to further your ability. Through isolation of what is important to you, choose the areas that are discussed below which you believe would advance your skills for future music production. This review is of subjective opinion.
The themes created for Waves of Color are superb. They are captivating, charming and provocative. When listening I felt they instill a colorful palette which explores large vastness and then switches to the intricate and personal. The melodies are prominent and evident, with a perfect amount of variation without diverging or drifting into the unfamiliar. These variants of the main melody allow the revisit of the focal theme to be so much stronger.
I absolutely love what you have done with the themes. In short, they are just perfection of fun, evoking the draw of a smile which could be summed up as the perfect as a moment like flying a Kite.
The choice of instruments compliment the main melodies portrayed and sensations you look to induce. They are bright, snappy and indicate skipping with their quick releases. The break in your track at around two minutes in where we received a sustain portrayal of the theme is where minor issue occurs. Sustain synths which were used contain little dynamic variation. Such as at 1:33 when we hear that melodic line complete, the sustain is solid and stop's dead with little release. Some of the concepts of freedom, openness, vastness are emotions which promote soaring and breathing. Therefore these Synths sustain lines would be better suited to have a release which blends into the next section, not suddenly stop dead. Use dynamics and volume automation over a duration to slowly increase and reduce attention to specific notes. Adjust dynamics to create headroom for other instruments to take focus.
The drums are nice, but they are far too repetitive in tone. The same strike is being heard, again and again. A suggestion would be to create variation in this percussive instrument. Such as by layering two or more percussion snares together. Then vary the strike time and volume of each throughout usage. Give it a human element. It's not uncommon to build percussion instruments that can become the signature sound for your track, or multiple tracks. Take time to build nice and bright snares, strong weighted kicks, complimentary toms, and varied hi-hats, etc. The concentration in creating these mixed and custom drum kits will give your percussive an original edge. For instance, it's not uncommon for me to layer 8 or more different drums for a single hit, choosing the frequencies which I like most in each, build my own kits then use them.
Composition and Consistency:
There is a lot going on, and the time signature is a great change to the 4/4. I find no problems with your structure, it's perfect imo. You have an intro, you build to theme. You then take a break from the theme with a sweet moment and then you build right back up to the final chorus.
Production is great with only minor areas to cover. The frequency mix is spot on for modern EMD production, and I mean Spot - On, because I downloaded and isolated the track. Subs and bass right in the middle. Low mids are wide, they could may be a bit less wide, but I'm not going to complain, mids and highs are nice and wide. In mono the track is closed to perfectly balanced, club ready, with just a few minor audible high frequencies around 3:30 min which could be considered borderline piercing. So take some attention to that. I love the small intricate part in your track, which sat more central, then as soon as you brought it back it was nice and wide again.
Instruments were well balanced and channel weighted appropriately. The channels communicated very well, so keep all that up! Consider EQ scanning up and down to hear those unwanted piercing frequencies to then notch down, sometimes there's elements just a touch (and I mean a touch) too tinny that need pulled down on the instrument. The kick is somewhat a bit lost, and it doesn't really come through on the low end. So although I can hear it, it makes little impact to the track, it should be a bit lower, and a bit heavier hitting partnered with your sub.
Overall this track was captivating, joyful, and fun. It said adventure to me with the beauty of intricate details and relationships. For someone who works on fairly emotional tracks, something that is full of life, entertaining and portrays a whimsical and joyful melodies, I believe it to be nothing less than fantastical. You would have score fairly high from me if you were in my category.
Keep up the great work, you are one to watch! (Sorry if any of this is incoherent - it's late)