There is some really catchy stuff going on in this track, at least from my perspective. Admittedly, some of the instrument combinations are highly unorthodox, but since I tend to believe that one of our jobs as musicians is to break free of the normal schema of ideas and try new things, regardless of how well they may or may not work, I applaud your quite obviously extensive efforts. If I have learned anything about you at all over the past several months, it's that you have a lot of unique ideas percolating up inside your gray matter.
Let's start with your choir, for instance. While many of those quite sudden note shifts are jarring and decidedly unreal early on in the mix, when the other instruments start filling things out, it becomes much less noticeable. Next, the saxophone. That tends to be a pretty undervalued instrument, and it can admittedly be hard to make sound convincing, but I felt that you used it to good effect most of the time. The only part that I found to be particularly jarring was the sax that comes after the pause around 5:50, and while it's certainly a novel idea, it just doesn't really work for me as an effective transition.
There are so many different elements found herein, it's really difficult to even know what to focus on in a review. I do see that the more dissonant string ideas have been touched upon, and I find myself being of two minds about them, myself. For instance, the one at 3:05 sounds okay as it is, but I can't help but think that an extra note between the other two might have sounded even better by alleviating just a little bit of the dissonance.
As far as the percussion goes, while I do believe the early drums could have benefited from a bit more presence, listening with my headphones the only spot where they really feel too soft is between 1:44 and 1:55. At that point, the percussive velocities have increased enough to compensate for the louder instrumentals. The rock drums have no trouble owning their presence within the mix, whatsoever. I find myself quite enjoying the drum beats you've got going on, from front to back.
Well, I ultimately don't want to bog you down with too much exposition, but you've done a pretty darn solid job here in my estimation. Is it your best? Probably not, but it's an important stage in your musical journey, and a very nice addition to your repertoire. Besides, your best is yet to come!
7.72 out of 10
Strange sound palette here. I can tell that these choir synths aren't organic from the extremely sharp attacks, but when padded, they aren't much of an issue. The violin sounds quite thin and synthy, but it seems to be doing its job. Drum mixing is really hurting you here with these patterns. They're starting to overshadow each other in their pensive droning. Need to be panned out a little more, pushed back in the mix somewhat, given a little more dynamic contrast.
Actually, ignore that for a second. Your instruments are overshadowing your percussion shortly after they come in. I really want to like this piece, but that sudden style change was really unexpected, didn't flow well, and loses the charm of all of the above. It comes off as trying way too hard with the synths, even some wrong notes here and there like at 3:05. The drums are all very dry, soulless, and lacking in punch. Compress those suckers. EQ them well. Bring them up in the mix. They sound like tepid water.
Sax coming in with the piano for a unison solo then fading away struck me as odd. That should have been repeated once, then slooooowly faded into the next phrase. Your brass samples are also abhorrently weird. Better mixing and attention to attack would have helped them sound more natural in relation to – there's that wrong note again at 4:52. Pay attention to your chords and resolutions Ectisity! Would have been so much better if the brass were more muted and pensive. It sounds like you're trying to bring something up that isn't there as is.
Also, that ascending raindrop transition annoyed me. Why so heavy on the right ear? Why not delay and pan it alternately?
This piece is an amalgamation of a lot of instruments, sounds, and styles that just refuse to work together, piling on top until it becomes obnoxious. If you had spent more time on each section rather than trying to cram 4-5 different styles in, it would have been much better. The transitions were weak and forced. Leads were glaringly flat and un-dynamic, sticking out of the mix rather than soaring and flowing. Certain instruments were overly synthy and inauthentic sounding. Wrong notes every couple minutes took me completely out of the jive, and style changes felt so superficial – not to mention the drums were crushed through the EDM genres and magnified to the point of absurdity in the classical/world genres.
A lot of inattention and self-pride went into this piece, and I can feel it the whole way. Humble yourself. I don't want to hear Ectisity's ode to self and skill. I want to hear emotion and movement. Remember the power of FX, panning, reverb, delay, and other simple FX. Also, make sure your leads and harmonies are out of the way of your bass, which I could hardly hear for all the cheese laid up in the heavens – leads.
Key change was fine, but that sax felt so overdone, I had lost my attention by that point. Also, different FX felt like adding more cheese. I just really do not like your leads and harmony. The synths are so flat and distant from the rest of the mix. I could have gone without the guitar tone, really, as well as a lot of the other flourishes in this piece. It's fairly well written, but I just sincerely did not like your execution.
All your comments mixing wise makes sense, and the drums are something several people have pointed.
The "wrong note" you keep pointing out is not a wrong note imo. It's off key, but I added it there for the interest. Might not have worked as well as I thought.
The transitions are a bit too sudden at times, had some trouble getting them to sound good. i'll work on that.
Please, I really, really appreciate the feedback, but be careful when you label others work as "self pride". I tried to be original with this, not feed my own ego. I didn't want to make a dime-a-dozen piece, so I tried to make something special. I respect the score I got, and I really don't care too much about me not getting through, but it's a terrible thing to tell a musician to "humble yourself" instead of respecting that they tried to be themselves. Was this piece overambitious? Absolutely, what I gunned for is something that still beyond my abilities, but that doesn't mean that I'll sit on my arse and make safe "emotional" pieces. Music is more than just emotion and movement. If you feel like this is my "ode to self and skill" then every track I make from now on will be exactly that. Also I guarantee you that no form of "inattention" went into this piece
I'm got to emphasize again that I'm not complaining about the score or the critisism, but telling a musician to humble themselves is something that's just too ridiculous to be written in an elsewise really good and serious review, and I really hope that you won't be telling other people the same.
Thanks for the feedback, I really do appreciate it :).
Ps. Can't stress enough how much I appreciate your detailed review. I ended up writing a lot about the one thing I didn't like about it, but that's only because I felt like it's important to point out for future reviews. I never get offended by feedback, and I really don't want it to come off as you insulted me or anything :/.
I'm with Jordi. I enjoyed this piece a lot! :D
Thanks Lucid, glad you enjoyed it ;).
One of my favourite tracks this round! Really enjoyable. Hopefully you've gotten some good advice on how to improve your track - sadly I can't offer any as I know nothing about what EDM or chiptune or w/e should sound like. Sounds good to me :)
Thanks for the nice feedback :D. Most important thing is that you enjoyed it. Good luck in the NGADM :).
Ectisity - Endowment
Hello! Time for your review of a few points I think could be improved.
Points of Goodness:
-Really nice orchestral intro, good vocals.
-2:50 is a good mix of orchestral and electronic! Nice!
-The ascending notes at 5:10 are great, along with the drums.
Points of Improvement:
-First thing that strikes me and continues through the whole thing - this song isn't mastered that well at all. This *really* needs some compession to make it a stable and clear volume. (never thought I'd be saying that I'll tell ye wot)
-The snares are pretty poor.
-2:29 what in the hell happened here what. Okay, so, I hear what you intended to do, but what happened was switching out the instruments - NOT melding the style for a transition.
-Similarly, the transition at 4:50 was great until 4:57 where it just suddenly threw itself headfirst into the electronic again. I think it would have been better without the silence that.
-Your electronic sections are really suffering from poor mixing. They desperately need compression to solidify the mix there. This also hits the final climax bit very hard.
In the end, the mastering and transitions missed the mark very hard, which is what brought this piece down so much. You can do it!
Thanks for the review :). I wanted to have sudden and surprising transitions in this, something which has become used a lot by EDM artists lately. Personally I feel like a drop has more impact that way. Agree that it's still too sudden of a change though, I should probably have looked at other possibilities. The mastering and mix is weak, I really wish I had the time to work more on it before I submitted it, but sadly I had to travel :(.
Thanks for the feedback Skye :)
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