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AIM - From The Sands

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Author Comments

Hey there,

Here is my second submission for the 2018 art inspired music competition. This time I was inspired by the naga filled piece by themefinland titled, 'Devorasu nagas'. Great art pice, please check it out.


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This is a pretty late review compared to the initial post but my mans, you are a dubstep god.

BeauXuan responds:

Haha! Thanks so much dude. :P Haven't really done much since this one but I'm happy that you liked it. :D

Official AIM2018 Review!

Super quiet intro (compared to the rest of our track). Enjoyed the dark, dead, sinister, mysterious atmosphere you crafted in the hollows between those somewhat distant hits, complete with that dissonant stab. I like that rather than using the dissonance to draw us away from the spooky i chord or even defining it with a third, you move us toward i.

SFX and transition was done tastefully into our riff at 00:11. I would have preferred our percussion was just a bit louder. The melody overwhelms it a little. Also sounds a bit boxy in those low mids. You might touch on them with a multiband compressor if you want to keep the low mids strong but under control. Sibilance is fine as there is really nothing else in this range.

By 00:21 the mix is starting to sound a little cluttered and mid heavy, with snare coming out a bit too hard and dry in the mix. Might apply tape saturation to it. Hats are super sibilant and are hiding in your mix a bit. Recommend either a lower sample or a bit more compression on them.

At 00:51 we seem to be approaching the limits of how much bass/sub the track can handle without distorting. I would hi-pass your bass up to about 20-30 Hz if you're going to sustain it just as a hard rule, especially with any FX such as reverb. You'll want to check it out on a spectrum analyzer (fabfilter has this built into its plugins such as EQ and multiband compressors but there are many freeware analyzers as well and ReaEQ is just as good).

Transition at 00:55 starts out strong then devolves into 1:04 with that unsupported back-beat snare. I'd have liked a little switch-up, maybe some other percussion instruments like chimes, crashes, china cymbals, or even toms to make that bit a little more natural.

Swooshy transition probably should have lasted a bit longer into the string build to give those 16th notes some more energy. They're very lonely out there.

Now, to our drop. 01:15, this drop is face-meltingly in loud, in our face, and if I had my volume all the way up I would be tempted to turn it down right about here; kinda wish the rest of the track were this loud and compressed just so I'd be prepared. It's very well written, and I like what you've done rhythmically in particular. Those over the top loud drums, snare included, fit perfectly in with the soundscape. Good choice.

What I don't like is the sibilance. It's so fizzy I actually did have to turn it down to better enjoy it. Sounds like your leads and growls were mixed too loud, so much that going back into our opening riff at 2:19 is almost an anachronism by comparison. Sounds like your sub may have been overly loud and thus everything else was mixed loud to compensate.

That said, you've done a great job keeping a consistent theme -- and by 3:00, we're ready for another face-melting drop. I actually like this one better, drumstep fan myself. Extra half-star for combining two styles in the same piece cohesively.

Your structure is strong here, consistent with the genre, and you show great knowledge of texture and rhythm. Tribal elements complement the art well. Nice work!

Thanks for turning out to this year's AIM!

---Official AIM review---

Bold choice with the dramatic hits at the beginning followed by notable periods of silence. I like the crisp drums and creative sound design choices. The distorted vocals that come in at around :30 add a lot to the texture. Production quality is really strong, btw. Mix is loud and clear, and you use the range of frequencies quite well. The drop at 1:12 could’ve used more of a climactic build-up, and also dragged on for a tad long without much room for space and contrast in the texture. My main complaint, however, is that the piece is seriously lacking in melodic content. The repetitive, staccato-y riff at 2:18 is probably the only notably prominent pattern of moving notes in the piece in a mid-range instrument. I think that’s a problem. The second drop also kinda comes out of nowhere. You nailed it with the mastering and sound design. But I think elements of the composition - the lack of melodic content and textural fill in particular - are a bit underwhelming. Overall, still an enjoyable piece. Keep at it, BeauXuan!


Wow! This is really good! I don't have any advice because I don't do dubstep. But can you check out my latest?

BeauXuan responds:

Thanks dude, I'll give your work a listen. :3

Credits & Info


4.27 / 5.00

Jun 26, 2018
5:09 AM EDT
File Info
10.3 MB
3 min 54 sec

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