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Dust Sweeper

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EDIT: Song was updated July 12; if you've been here before then, please clear your cache!

This is a submission to the NGADM '17, and you can find all the other awesome submissions here! — http://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/topic/1424090

And that title *totally* isn't a response to Techmo-X's amazing electro piece, which you can find here! — http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/754445


God, I haven't worked this hard on a song in a LONG time. And in the spirit of the NGADM, we've got so many artists writing in genres out of their comfort zones, and so many artists who are burgeoning singers... so why not both?

In terms of genre, this song was inspired by artists such as (but not limited to) Dream Theater, Rush, and Kor-Rune. I'm actually a bit anxious about how this song will be perceived, since I've never written anything like this before—but if the NGADM isn't about pushing musical boundaries, then I don't know why I joined it in the first place! I hope it tickles your earholes.

The lyrics themselves are about something that's been on my mind for quite a while; they're the kind of thing one might stay up late thinking about. I hope they mean something to you.


praise a name
fallen down
grace in flame
call it out

i can’t afford to go on
any longer in honesty

i can’t ignore what is lost
be forever an oddity

try to deny
there is no
happy ending

try to defy
there’s no use
in unending pretending
remember relenting it

days erased
gaze in space

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I really like the organ, chord progressions, and synth hook. Good job with the drums, and nice BPM change around halfway through.

Only complaint is the vocals, for some reason they feel too bland and lack energy.

But otherwise, great job and keep it up!

Oh, some kooky drum solos and arps here. Must be fun ahead. Although, I can't say I'm a fan of your instrumentation, or at least how dry it sounds. Vocals are also muffled and a little hard to pick out. Kinda pitchy too. The song honestly probably would have done better without them. They sound kinda meandering, muffled, and just don't sound great. I would probably chorus the harmony. The vocals are sitting in the middle of the mix like a sad sack, making everything else also feel sad and sick.

You may just need a better mic, but it sounds like you're singing through a bunch of socks rather than with a windscreen or something.

Key change at the very least provides some fresh interest. You've got good melodic offerings, but that one thing makes the whole thing fall apart like a wet paper bag in places. The vocals don't cut off at the same times as the instrumental, kind of drag in places, and then FX make the release even muddier!

The song does grow on me, though. You'll get there. Just look up some vocal mixing tutorials to help you. You may benefit from ReaEQ from Reaper's free plugins. Compression and EQ would eliminate a lot of that wavering volume you have going on here.

All of the hits during the first 10 seconds are a little cheesy, although I did enjoy the rhythmic elements at :10. I LOVE the lyrics - they have an air of mystery about them, yet they feel so relatable. I’m curious as to what exactly they refer to, but if you don’t want to share that’s fine. I commend you for trying something so new to you stylistically. Your voice is great - the vibrato is amazing, and it has a cool retro vibe. Sometimes the vocals feel a little strained, though, like you ran out of breath. I think the mix might need a little cleaning up here, too. The drums need a bit more pop, and lose some distinction during the refrain at the 1-minute mark. I also wasn’t really sure the synth at :47 had a place in the texture here. The instrumental was a bit of a hodgepodge in general, actually, but again, I commend you for taking some risks in that regard. I think you could also use more bass in the piece, especially during the verses. After not much textural variety for the first couple of minutes, the pace changes almost without warning at 2:45. That drum fill didn’t quite do enough to foreshadow it IMO. I did enjoy the frantic melodies there, though. The tempo automations at 3:40 or so are amusing, but I would’ve liked to hear you do a little more with that final refrain at 3:55, just to give the piece a stronger sense of development. You’ve clearly put a lot of effort into this piece, but unfortunately I don’t think a lot of the risks you took here paid off for you. I think my favorite elements of the piece are actually the rhythmic elements, most notably the creative drum part and pulsing solo at 2:45. Overall solid work. Keep at it, LunacyEcho! ;)


LunacyEcho responds:

=> first 10 seconds =>

Haha that was inspired by "404", an NGADM '14 track by SkyeWint and camoshark!

=> lyrics =>

Your interpretation is up to you ;)

=> mix =>

Yeah I think that's the biggest downside to the track—I mixed with 1. terrible earphones and 2. no knowledge on how to do a good mixing :P

=> changes without warning 2:45 =>

I was wondering whether to lead into that more, or just to jump into it. I eventually settled on this because I was modeling it off of prog rock bands like Rush or Dream Theater, who do this kinda thing rather frequently.

=> final refrain =>

That's another thing I was considering doing! I was going back and forth about whether or not to play the chorus one more time with some variations, but eventually decided the song had dragged on enough as it was.

Thanks for the review, and apologies for responding a month late! :) And keep up the great work you're doing for NGADM :D

lovely vibes lunacy
the first few seconds effectively reminded me of some final fantasy boss fight
i like the many sections and how they're connected.
2:46 is fun
the entire comp's got a sort of old school progressive taste which ain't easy to achieve
the mix needs a bit of work tho. the organ is delicious but is at the same level or louder than the vox, which is a pity cause it's masking your comfy timbre
the chorus is genius btw and the lyrics are extra nice there

LunacyEcho responds:


=> final fantasy boss fight

Haha you're not the first person to think it sounds like a boss fight! I had a friend who described it as 'Bowser's Castle music'.

=> 2:46

Ahhh glad it works! I think I said this somewhere else as well, but I was considering cutting it because it felt a bit random—but then I listened to some more Dream Theater and decided to keep it.

=> mix

Yeah, I definitely need to work on my mixing. Listening to my song side-by-side with tracks like yours or johnfn's really show how much more my production skills have yet to go :P Thanks for the suggestion though! Matching levels isn't usually my first instinct when writing music but I'll definitely keep it more so in mind in future songs.

=> lovely/delicious/comfy

I reaaaaaaally like your adjectives.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a review! And good luck in the competition—that Phonom's a tough nut to crack, but your piece is super strong as well. I'll leave a review for it soon! :D

hey man :)

I've not really heard your other stuff (i'll amend that today) but compositionally, this is really nice. I see what you're trying to go for and I think you were definitely successful.

I love the part at 2:46, switching it up a little which is always nice! I love your tempo changes. What microphone are you using to record your vocals? I'm not sure if it's your mixing or not, but your voice sounds a little muffled in the mix in my opinion. If it's just that you're using a lower quality mic, then I'll let you off ;)

You have a very nice voice. Glad to hear you pushed yourself this round. This is a strong track - good luck!

LunacyEcho responds:

Hey, etherealwinds! Thanks for dropping by! :D

=> composition =>

Glad to see it worked out! Especially to see that you liked 2:46—I was considering removing the section for consistency's sake, but I'm glad I didn't!

=> mic =>

I'm using a Snowball mic, which isn't the best but is DEFINITELY a step up from crappy laptop or earphone mics. I'm sure that my mixing also has room to improve! So don't let me off that easy XD

Thanks for the review! And good luck in the NGADM! :D

Credits & Info


4.73 / 5.00

Jul 9, 2017
11:55 PM EDT
File Info
5.3 MB
4 min 38 sec

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