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AIM - Jagged

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Author Comments

A piece for the AIM 2018 competition. The inspiration is here: https://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/buriedantenna/signal-noise. It's part of a series called "Our Trash Will Eat Us" about a dystopic cyberpunk-influenced horde of angry robots. Definitely recommend, love the art style.

The vocals are chopped recordings of TTS voices, and were an absolute pain in the arse to make. Rapping robots sound pretty cool in the end, though, so I might lift this technique for future songs.

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Official AIM Review!

Like that 808 in the beginning.

Mixing isn't great, but I've never heard rapping robots before. Extra star for that. Now if that vocal track were compressed more tightly, 808 were pulled down a bit so as not to drown them out...

I'm really liking the mix of what feels like R&B and synthwave. Unique in the extreme. I disagree with TL on one point -- composition. Your chord progression was memorable, strong, and far from most music theory safe-spaces. Bassline did what it was supposed to do, centering the piece. I don't think your writing is weak here, just weird, which was the point.

I used to experiment with TTS rap back in the day. It's a pain to make them musical. If you're looking to take them to the next level and can't or won't use Melodyne, I'd recommend iZotope Vocal Synth.

One thing I didn't like was the hard panning on the vocals. Combined with mix issues, they became somewhat hard to dial in on and pay enough attention to make sense of the lyrics.

Nailed the art, of course. If I hadn't known better, I'd think you'd been commissioned to make the piece. :)

Thanks for turning out to this year's AIM!

Kalviter responds:

Thanks very much for the feedback! I'll definitely look at something like Melodyne or iZotope (The method this time was to use balabolka and chop lmao)

---Official AIM review---

I like the minimalist beat at the beginning. The vocals are not a highlight for me. They sound like they weren’t really customized to fit the song very well. The rest of the sound design is quite fitting and provides a somewhat ominous atmosphere, which I appreciate. I also think the vocals don’t fit into the rhythmic framework of the piece very well. That said, I do like the way the intonation of the vocals fits the contour of the subtle melodic riff at 2:01. Overall, the composition does indeed give off an experimental vibe. I think you could’ve done more to vary the energy levels and dynamics a bit, though. The piece also gets a bit structurally repetitive after a while. Overall, the atmosphere and mood are my favorite elements of the piece. Composition was weak, and the vocals sound stale. Another highlight was the production quality, though. I have no complaints with the mixing and mastering. Keep at it, Kalviter!


Kalviter responds:

Thanks for your feedback! Definitely agree with the choppiness of the vocals, wasn't sure if cleaning it up too much would make it less "unsettling"? Either way, really helpful feedback, thanks very much

Credits & Info


3.69 / 5.00

Jun 18, 2018
11:05 AM EDT
File Info
5.4 MB
3 min 57 sec

Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

You must give credit to the artist.
You may not use this work for commercial purposes. *
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*Please contact me if you would like to use this in a commercial project. We can discuss the details.