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Circutronics - NGADM

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Author Comments

Hello again Newgrounds.

I got this fresh track made for the third round of the 2017 NGADM.
Not much imagery went into the inspiration for this one. I just started making chords and took off from there. Hope you all enjoy it.

Some details:

Created in FL Studio
169 bpm
Made with custom made and default presets in Massive
3x OSC
FL Drums Metal Kit

As always, I hope you enjoy it. And good luck to RetromanOMG

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Man, you bring some really interesting ideas to the table here! Your note progression and chord choices tend to feel fresh and different, and you seem to have no problems bouncing from the minor to major scales. Overall, the track has a weirdly fun sort of darkness to it, even if it does come across as pretty chaotic much of the time.

I feel like the main issue is that the overall mix is kind of muddy, but with so much going on it's really difficult to tell which instruments are the main offenders. There's definitely a lot of reverb attached to those sweeping synths and, from what I can tell, quite a few others as well. Dial back that reverb for a clearer sound. And hey, my older stuff is positively swimming in mud, so I know the struggle is real.

The drum samples used here are pretty low in quality, and that random tambourine hit at the end of the tom-drum break riff at 1:29 sounds wildly out of place. Maybe that was your intention, maybe you just didn't know what else to do there, or maybe it's just me and you totally love it. Either way, every single time I listen, that random tambo distracts me completely and just leaves me scratching my head.

To me, the whole thing sounds like some kind of space-y carnival of doom. I generally like the 8-bit elements you've mixed in here, and there's some really fun arpeggio work going on. But the ending tricks me into believing that it's gearing up for something more, then it all just ends very abruptly. Ah, well. Still a really fun, weird, and chaotic ride through your imagination!

8.98 out of 10

Spadezer responds:

Hahaha, space carnival of doom

Yeah I guess having a careless amount of reverb will make the track genrally muddy. I was hoping that it would help fill more of the track but it's good to turn it off every once in a while right? I usual tried to stay away from reverb but experimented with it this time.

I like the different aspects that you were able to point out and I admire your observations. Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I promised a review explaining things - time to share. Also, another person who has a similar weirdness and difficulty to review is dem0lecule, if that helps at all.

Stuff that's great:
- Your instrumentation is actually really neat with this and the sound palatte is fascinating to analyze.
- I really like the sound you use for the bass at 0:40.
- The passage at 2:19 is one of the best passages in the piece, and has a really awesome sound with the chords.

Stuff that can be improved:
- I'm actually not really a fan of the chord progression at the start, which is a shame considering how much it's used.
- All of the chord-based melodies end up sounding a bit *too* chaotic imo, they tend to not make much sense even if they are easy to follow.
- Ending is a bit too sudden.
- The drum samples are, eh. Kinda really bad, sadly. They sound like vanilla FL samples without any processing. The kick is particularly bad.

So, this piece. I think the best word I can use to describe it is "awkward" - it has some really neat sounds, I can hear the arrangement in there, I can hear the echoes from previous sections, but it just doesn't fit together in a way that really WORKS. I'm not sure how to really express this in the above two categories, so I'm putting it here. You have everything that you need in the technical details, but there's something about the ideas and the instruments and everything that just don't quite fit together properly.


Spadezer responds:

Hmmm... more woes of the bad percussion samples.

You note the ending, which was hard to conclude the A theme without sounding "awkward."

Again the feedback is much appreciated and at least I got above an 8 lol. Thanks

The synth at the beginning was cool, but had a tad too much reverb. Between :30 and 1:30 or so, the pacing is really fast. It seems like you change up the texture a lot every 10 seconds, and quite predictably every 4 bars at that. I think you’d be better off gradually leading up to the chorus at 1:31. I also thought the clap at 1:31 sounded a bit too thin, with not quite enough low-mids. Some layering or perhaps just different EQ’ing could really help give the beat a little more punch there. Overall, the arrangement just needs a little more connectivity. Crossfading could potentially help you a lot here. There are just a few too many moments where the instrumentation is very different on either side of a transition, and that bothered me. That said, I’ve been tough on you in this review. The sound design is really cool, and I love the tension and apprehension that pervade this piece. Well-crafted mood, atmosphere, and melodies, too. Keep at it, Spadezer! ;)

Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the above elements interact?)
Composite score

Spadezer responds:

Thanks TaintedLogic. It sounds like you enjoyed which is good enough for me. It's not to say I'm ignoring your observations, they're things I haven't thought about.

Thanks alot and godspeed with the rest of the judging.

Wow, the atmosphere is spectacular! I like how the song sounds somewhat chaotic yet the melodies are easy to follow. The ending deviates from the rest of the song in a way, but it sounds smooth and conclusive.

The only thing I dislike is that I find the drums to be fairly weak. This piece has the potential to sound much more energetic and catchy. It's not that the drums are quiet, I think it's more that the layers of synths are about equal in volume.

Spadezer responds:

Hmmm, you bring up an intriguing point. Thankfully that''s not a difficult thing to adjust before the round ends. I'll see if I can play around with that, and then I'll likely PM you with the changes. I am quite pleased with the rest of your reaponse.

The feedback is good and thanks for the kind words.

Very full arrangement you have here, but it's mixed really nicely so it fits together. The parts where you automate the low passes and the song dips down before building up are great. I also love the progression that hits at 1:17. And that drum fill around 1:28 is juicy as hell.

Good luck this round and great work with this track! :)

Spadezer responds:

Alright, all kind words from you. I got a little nervous seeing all of that text from you lol.

Again, I wish you luck. This is shaping up to be a great round

Credits & Info


4.46 / 5.00

Aug 14, 2017
10:33 PM EDT
File Info
4.4 MB
3 min 49 sec

Licensing Terms

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