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Emotion Creator

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Retrowave Metal Track
I used:
- Ableton live 10
- Guitar Schecter Omen Extreme FR and Bass Guitar Clevan
- Casio Privia PX-5S as MIDI-Device
- VST Plugins (Bias FX, Steven Slate Drums 4)
- Ableton sounds (Brasses, Keys and Pads)

Artwork by https://www.deviantart.com/thedifferentusername/

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This is mixed pretty well. I like that you didn't brick wall it in the mastering. The piece has some room for dynamics and there's room for things to pop through the texture without relying on sidechaining. Everything is present and it never feels squashed.

I think you could have done more with the melodic development. As is, the track sounds like a great background but I was waiting for something to pop through. Either a lead synth or perhaps a guitar line. Not necessarily something as noodly as a solo, but just something that the ear can glom onto and interpret as a centerpiece. The 3 note motif is fine, but when it's repeated like that it becomes more of an ostinato than a melody. Even in the minimalist music of the 60's, the cells that seem to repeat over and over don't ever actually repeat verbatim, and it's the microscopic changes in multiple layers that create forward momentum and textural interest if not motivic in the traditional sense.
1:26 is a nice moment because it breaks up the repetition
2:47 - this stands out because we finally get a focal point. The guitar playing is really great here. I think you could have done more of it.

I like the ominous atmosphere at the beginning. The synths are a bit cheesy, and I think the intro could’ve been shaped a bit better (as the melodic riff at :05 comes in a tad suddenly). I really like the guitars at :25, and the drums start getting really creative at around :45. The kick could’ve been a tad stronger, but otherwise the mixing is very good. Strong, clear, and well-balanced texture throughout. The riff at 1:26 is really catchy. I would’ve liked to hear some stronger melodic content in places, though. This patchwork of riffs works well as a harmonic framework overall, but the piece was missing a distinct arrival point at an emotional height where everything comes together. The solo at 2:48 was definitely one of the more memorable parts of the piece, but it also functioned more like a bridge structurally than anything else. Otherwise, the piece gets a bit repetitive, and lacks compositional risk-taking. That said, I liked the coda. The strongest elements of this piece are the production, lush texture and atmosphere, and the guitar solo. The composition just needs to be a tad more dynamic to hit it home imo. Otherwise, keep up the good work, Denza91!

Mixing, mastering, and balance
1.75/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
1/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
1.75/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.5/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
1/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
8.75/10

I've gotta say, I'm not a huge fan of the opening lead -- I'd have liked a portamento. Right now, it sounds almost like a synth brass.

Steven Slate drums are being used to great effect here. Great tom rolls and organic snare sound, and those rides and bell hits are gorgeous. I'd have liked a bit more volume on your kick.

1:30 section is great. I'd have liked it condensed into about half its current length. 4:43 is a bit long for the very little lead/solo we hear here. Each time you repeat a section, perhaps think about having an overarching melody like you do at 2:45-ish. That was very well executed.

Bridge section after is a great transition as well into your chorus. Though the section itself feels empty with that thin lead, you do manage to pull it off, and the song retains a strong sense of purpose throughout. If I were not writing this review however I might actually have time to get bored. Watch that.

Level wise I could probably use a bit more on your kick and snare, as well as possibly the bass, but I feel the mix is already being pushed somewhat. Maybe back off the lead and rhythm guitars about 1 to 0.5 dB and see if it does the trick. Rest of the mix sounds pretty balanced.

Overall, great work and solid composition. Having just finished the first listen through, it's still stuck in my head... along with imaginary solos, which are what I think the track is lacking. That stabbing lead isn't as creamy as your alto lines on that lead guitar, so instead of processing it as a lead instrument, my brain is hearing accompaniment, wondering where the lead is, if that makes sense. Also, it had the same sort of rhythmic texture as the rhythm guitars, which is something to think about. Notice how your lead guitar licks flow over the rhythm rather than into them, then contrast that with your opening synth lead throughout the track.

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

MisledSatellite responds:

Thank you! I'm glad to hear that)

Metal is my thing but synth isn't. Hopefully those biases cancel out and I'll give a good vote.

First off all, the fake 7/8 riff (count 7 then count 9) does a phenomenal job of building tension. I'm sure you just wrote it as 4/4, but it's pulled off very convincingly to great a galloping feel, while the "real" 4/4 signature keeps things feeling nice and smooth. Guitar solo is also a big plus.

The main negative? Repetition. You seem to know which melody is the most compelling because you reuse it an awful lot. Which is nice and dandy, except that it does too much work in carrying the piece. Some of your other sections just aren't that interesting, but continually going back to the same few measures prevents the song from really progressing.

MisledSatellite responds:

Thank you for the review)

Credits & Info


Listens
766
Faves:
3
Votes
10
Score
4.10 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 26, 2018
3:32 PM EDT
Genre
Heavy Metal
File Info
Song
10.8 MB
4 min 44 sec
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