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AIM - Mystical Swamp

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Author Comments

Piano classical or orchestral thing.
I think it's my second submission for AIM. Working on this song was so much fun. Really. I've learned so much things about production and worked more time then on most of all my other songs. It's seventh version of it and hopefully final.
It was extremely hard to name this song, but two my friends helped me to do this and left some suggestions on it.
Sry, but I'm lazy to leave full info, so: 29 channels and 46 patterns used. 130 bpm.
I really worked hard for my level of production and hope, that you will like it. Anyway, feel free to leave some criticism or questions.

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Official AIM Review!

Bright piano in the beginning has a good timbre, but the velocity seems very machine gunned -- all 127. Needs humanization as well. Even simply selecting the notes and moving attack/release around 10-20 ms will help this. I'm also not liking that the low chords are so condensed. Try taking some of those notes you want in your chord tones and moving them up an octave. They're very muddy in that low register.

A lot of my critique has already been mentioned by TL. Mix is a bit dirty. Side-chaining seems not to be enhancing the mix any -- and I can't really find the bass all the way up to 1:16.

0:45 we have a fairly good chord progression, but your voicing is killing the victorious mood. Whatever bass line you had in mind, I'd take it out of the brass and move it an octave lower on some other kind of bass. Your brass is really heavy on the reverb too, which is part of the muddy mix issue.

I do like your use of SFX despite an abrupt end to the first movement. Unlike the first intro, the rain is mixed in fairly well.

Essentially, I like the structure of the song, but it comes off as half-finished, missing a bassline, no mastering, not compressed and radio ready.

However, I do see that you have a good sense of melody, and you've been pretty sensitive with your pacing. This is good. Keep doing that. Your outro at 4:05 is probably the strongest point of the song. I'd have liked to hear that on your second build up before a bombastic close.

Overall, despite some flaws, I enjoyed the piece. Focus on clarity of sound, not necessarily big-ness and power, and you'll come out stronger. And remember, the number one thing that makes or breaks a song is your bass. This is the foundation upon which everything else rests. A band with no bass, no matter how technically erudite, is just noise. People will often forgive other mixing mistakes if you just get two things right -- drums and bass. :)

Thanks for turning out for this year's AIM!

FractureClutter responds:

Thanks for leaving review!
Yes, velocity on piano is not done right. It's all standart if honestly. I already have some better updated version, but I'll wait until AIM ends. Reason of some bad sounds is using default FL plugins. Also, I want to say that I hear most of the problems you and TaintedLogic mentioned now, since I have some good quality headphones. And I promise to become better at producing. Promises will become reality someday..

---Official AIM review---

I like the bright piano at the beginning and the vocals in the background. The vocals seemed a bit unpolished, though, and could use some more filtering and maybe flanging work to contribute to the atmosphere. The build-up into :44 was pretty good, although I think there were a few questionable instrument choices there. Those strings sound pretty fake, and that snare isn’t very strong and lacks sounds somewhat hollow. I like the victorious sound of the texture, but I also think the occasional high-pitched string interjections (like at :58) detract from the melody until you get to the somewhat more legato part at 1:01. The mix could use a bit of cleaning up in here, especially with regards to balance of different instruments and stricter equalizing. I like the low-energy section at 1:29 and the emotional appeal of the piano, but I think the transition there could’ve been foreshadowed better. The pause at 2:00 was a somewhat bold compositional choice, but I really like the result. Atmosphere at 2:20 is beautiful, and I like the violin riff at 2:35. The progression works well until 2:50, but I think you could’ve had a fade-in or some filtering there to make the transition a little smoother before the wall of sound at the refrain. I also would’ve liked to see you vary the piece a little more during the second half. The melody at 3:34 was a good start, though. Overall, I think where this piece falls short is in the mixing and the sound design. The refrains could sound a lot more distinct, and I think the melody needs some compression to stay foregrounded. A lot of the instruments sound pretty inauthentic, which is especially noticeable at :44 and 3:34. My favorite parts of the piece included the atmosphere at the beginning and at the breakdown AND the melodic content. Overall, you have a strong compositional foundation, but honing in on some of the production-related elements could really take this piece to the next level. Keep at it, man. ;)


FractureClutter responds:

Thank you for review! I really appreciate it. Your reviews always help me to improve my music :)
Yeah, mixing is still my problem, but I hope to learn it soon. Also I was afraid, that I'll go to far with increasing pitch of snare, so I left it in that way. My fault. And I'll try to get higher quality instruments for my compositions soon. Sometimes I just have to use stock FL plugins. Of course, it's not main problem. Just more work and more practice for me)
By the way, I'm learning in musical school, so it really helps me in my melodies. You have knowledge in compositions, keys and know how exactly will sound one or the another note.
To be honest, I don't really like the second half of the song. First part was written under inspiration. Second one is pretty random and sometimes I just had to put a lot of stuff over melody, because it was terrible, at least in my opinion.
Beginning of the first drop had an idea. That melody part and "Tataaa"you mentioned on :58. It turned out not really good. Neverthelless, it was still pretty intresting compositional element for me. Just like test. As well, that's why it's not used in second drop. From 1:01 it turns better.
Anyway, another thanks for awesome review!

Yeah, this is pretty good. Heads up: you have to state the art you based it on.
Do you use FL?

FractureClutter responds:

Thank you for review. I left art on submission thread. And yes, I use FLstudio.

Credits & Info

2.92 / 5.00

May 23, 2018
10:38 AM EDT
File Info
6.1 MB
4 min 28 sec

Licensing Terms

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

* Contains third-party samples.
Excercise caution when using it, refer to author comments / contact the author for details.