* This is an official 2017 NGUAC review *
Mixing, mastering and production: Generally speaking, all pretty good. Some of the instruments could use a little careful EQ and mixing work - the percussion stands out a bit as sounding a bit low-quality. There are some minor volume balance issues. The bright synth wash that comes in at around 6:40 could be a touch quieter and a touch more reverbed to make it fit in the mix.
Most of the reverbing is good, but there are a couple areas where an instrument doesn't quite fit the others - the percussion is pretty dry compared to the other instruments.
Composition: I personally enjoy a lot of Apoapsis. The chords, the instruments, and the general vibe remind of the song Madness, by the band Muse. All my main critiques will come from length. As a standalone track with no context, having an 8-minute ambient journey is something I totally support and can get down to. But as a showcase piece in a competition, it doesn't shine. As a judge, I'm looking for every single second to add lots of value to the overall track, and the longer a track is, the MORE value each second has to have. There are a lot of good parts here, and if you were to condense the best bits of Apoapsis into a 2-4 minute track I would likely have scored it much higher.
In terms of future composing, don't take this to mean that you should abandon your style - keep composing! But know that if you're in a competition, you have to make every beat count. Subtle tracks are rarely good showcases of skill and musicality because they're such a slow burn.
I like the quirky mood and instruments at the beginning. It has a blissful vibe, yet is also very quaint and pensive. The progression is a little slow, but the sound design and melodic content are both really refreshing. The pad that fades in at 1:03 sounds a bit cheesy and generic, and then that section dragged on for way too long (until 2:26 as I see it). The transition into 2:26 was pretty rough, and the piece sounds pretty minimalistic for significant lengths of this piece. The production is really clean and clear, though. Overall, I think you really need to consolidate your ideas and give this piece more structural cohesion. The track definitely didn’t need to be 8 minutes long, as it simply doesn’t have enough fill most of the time to keep me engaged. All the same, I did thoroughly enjoy the impressive mastering and quirky mood of the piece. Keep at it, TheSpacePunk! ;)
yeah I know it's way too long just for a song, but I made it this long because I made a clip on youtube for it, with some ISS footages, that's why ;)
Thank you for the detailed review :)
The mixing on this sounds amazing! I can't seem to get my songs to sound as clear as this! So great job!!