ALESDA! - Wake Up

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My final submision for N G U A C 2018 Final Round Thread
I really like the final result, im sorry for cliping in some parts :(
i hope you enjoy it guys

DAW: Ableton Live Suite
BPM: 145

Serum, Massive, Omnisphere, Spire, Kontakt, ABPL 2.3 Lite. Manipulador, VolumenShaper4.0

Ableton Plugins:
EQ, OTT, Reverb, Delay, Saturador.

MASTERING: Izotope Ozone 8

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Amazing Work Alesda your work never fails to impress me. To me it feels like all of your songs make me peaceful and calm. I love your work and you have a real talent and I love your music. Also I would like this song way better if it had more buildup but that doesn't take away much from this amazing music. Keep up the good work my friend <3

K so number 1 AMAZING and number 2 like sleepFacingWest said the synths fit perfectly and mix well into the song and also about at 2:00 it's peaceful and then at 2:12 a nice buildup but cud'be adder more idk... Just a 15-30 second buildup would've been nice but I like how I did it so it's fine very NICE SONG 5 STARS :) ;) :D ;D

The mix is pretty tight. Everything sounds like it sits well in the mix and the synths are super clean. I can hear individual parts, but they gel incredibly well as a whole.
Most of my critiques regard the actual composition, specifically the form.
I think you could have done more with the section starting at 2:00. It's a nice moment that gives us a break from the brick wall mixing that came before it (and after), but then everything comes back suddenly at 2:12 at full force. This doesn't allow the track to build in the way I think its supposed to up to 2:43. That section could really pay off a lot more if you had made the quieter section work harder for you. I'd extend that section, and slowly build into the next section so by the time you get there, you absolutely can't wait for that big moment.
Compositionally, by 3:09 I definitely needed another layer of some sort to add variety to the sound world. In general, the riff is good and does what you need it to, but I feel like you could get more mileage out of it if you held your cards a little closer to your chest for the rest of the track. The track feels like it should peak at around 3:20 (the golden section or 2/3rds of the way through the track), but we already got that climax at 1:20. Because it was so big so early on, it doesn't leave much of anywhere to go. I'd suggest either starting smaller, or make it bigger at 3:20 (the mix is pretty brickwalled throughout, but you can create melodies that play against the lead synth to create a greater sense of density/excitement). Then it will feel more like there's a semblance of a story to the music.
All in all, it's a super clean mix. The form needs a bit more work to make the big sections actually feel like an arrival. The melody works for the genre, although I think taking some more risks would help your music stand out a bit more.

I like the pensive mood at the beginning. Has an atmospheric flair too. The guitar riff at :15 is really smooth and satisfying. The percussion at :27 is creative. Not sure I liked the instrument that functions like a snare there. It sounded a bit flat and strangely eerie, which doesn’t really fit the character of the rest of the piece. Overall, the blissful mood is really great, though. Nice sense of climax into 1:06. Sidechaining is really heavy, but I can still trace out the form of the melody during the refrain. Nice job with the structural relief provided at 2:00 and the subsequent transition back into the more climactic part 20 seconds later. I also really enjoyed the filtering work at 2:40. The details here are what’s really admirable, though. The fun rhythmic elements and electronic effects during the melodic sections add just enough variety to keep me engaged throughout, even though the emotional heights last a really long time in this piece. Nice job with the emotional appeal of the outro, too. The vocal samples are used really well here, and the bright piano at the very end was a fitting way of concluding the piece. Overall, this is a very enjoyable piece. Only things I docked you for were the overuse of compression, a couple of sound design details I didn’t like, and some generic aspects of the arrangement. All of these are really minor things, though. Great work, Alesda! ^_^

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 elements above interact?)
Composite score

Intro really does sound like freshly waking up. Watch for boxy low mids when your piano comes in. I think I hear a hint of overdrive but I don't trust my monitors right now; had to reinstall audio drivers.

I do hear a lot of sub in your mix, cutting off somewhere around 250 hz.

Overall, tasteful use of sidechain and some SFX. I do feel like your leads and pads may just be a bit much for your perc/sfx/bass to sustain. I may back off the sidechain a bit. Your chorus is a bit cluttered.

2:00 section is a nice clean bridge. 2:11 comes in just a bit too hard here. Back off those strings/perc/pads. Maybe even strip it down a little. It already feels just as intense as your chorus, when I can see you were backing off a bit here. I also think I hear a bit of distortion in... Is that ABPL down there? Slap a cab over top if it is and that may help. Something down there is extremely fizzy.

For reference, any time you use an amp sim like, say, Emissary (free), you want to use a cab sim like NadIR (also free) to emulate the traditional setup of amp and microphone rig to capture the amp sound. Some other amps like Dominator/Grind Machine do this for you, but it's not hard to find nice Mesa impulses to load cabs with. Also, don't feel bad -- I've accidentally dropped cabs before an amp and still been frontpaged; quality music transcends its flaws more often than not.

2:45, that perc sample stands out very hard in that particular arrangement. I would recommend shifting away from it or chopping it differently, as it's now gotten a bit stale -- and continues to the more I hear it, especially with brick-wall hard compression.

Outro was gorgeous. I'd like to hear a little more high end on that piano though. Sounds like the frequencies past 5k have been gradually rolled off.

Overall, solid piece, nice melodies -- mix is a bit over-compressed to my ears, and there were some hiccups with your SFX, but you come out the other side pretty solid. Nice work!

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

Credits & Info


4.36 / 5.00

Aug 24, 2018
8:29 PM EDT
File Info
11.1 MB
4 min 32 sec

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