AIM - Digital Blackout

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Inspired by eatslugs "Blackout" piece which you can find here -->https://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/eatslugs/blackout

Despite the ambient/surreal vibe the piece gives off I wanted to try experimenting and doing something different as opposed to a melodic soundscape, so after making like 3 different demos I thought that a trance/house vibe would fit best to what i was going for.

I tried mostly focusing on digital sounds with a few orchestral elements here and there underneath most of the track vs what I normally do which is the opposite, orchestral with digital sounds underneath.

Its also been a long while since I last made anything trance/house (last I remember I was in 11th grade) so I wanted to give that a go again after all these years.

For the most part I like it, but hoping it turns out good for AIM2019. Was a lot of fun to work on, and already cant wait for next years.

10MinutesLaterEdit: Found the bass to be a little too loud in the export so tried lowering it and re-exporting

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This is based on my own AIM scoreboard alongside with first impression when I first clicked on your track, which is very important for your new listeners who will listen to your future tracks. For Upside/Downside reviews, I listened to your track twice to pinpoint a bit more, the scores(points) are from listening only once. Take this review as a grain of salt, please don't take this personally. I don't want to tore anyone down, I want them to become stronger. The judges have different views on your same track, so just take it as another point of view. Like I mentioned in the AIM Discussion Thread, a badass judge here, giving you a constructive review.

'Comments' section on the overall track (From Scoreboard) : N/A (I'm very sorry, I haven't got the time to write it down for you.)

Upside AND Downside:
Basically in my headphones, it was very comfortable to listen, very nice mixing among the contestants in my opinion. No clippings, clean instruments, full-sounding synths and bass, nice drums. The melody was not very memorable unfortunately, but you did a good job with variations, so there was at least something to explore in this track. The interaction with the artwork was very nice too, connecting nicely with the cyberpunk night feeling from both the artwork and the music. The chord progression overall wasn't bothersome, but I don't like the chord progression in 3:12 section, I think you could create better root chords in that melody. Need specific pinpoints? The most "meh" chord I found (in my ears) was in 3:32 and 3:36 (honestly that one was tolerable, but the next one is not good imo), going further into 3:38-3:41. That really perked up my alarm ears. And overall, the music doesn't seem to tell the story. Like... It does goes on with musical sentences, but it doesn't have a specific idea of what this music is about. If it had some kind of musical storytelling based on the artwork, your score could have been much more higher. Congratulations on making into my Top 20, nonetheless.

ETA : I forgot to mention, you gotta fix that click sound at the beginning.


Art Interaction : 2/3
As I said, the relation with the artwork and the music was nicely fit, but only mood itself, not the story.

Overall Music : 3/4
Comfortable mixing, nice instrumentations, and good variations. The score clearly cut off in some uneven chord progressions and not very memorable melodies, as I've mentioned.

Structure & Variation : 3/4
Good variations, telling you thrice haha. The drums are bit repetitive though, and it doesn't have a very surprising variations, but you had good general structure so nice work on that, nonetheless.

Mixing & Mastering : 2.5/3
Honestly, there's no participant who eventually received a perfect score, so consider yours as the highest score among the contestants. For you, the reason I took 0.5 away was the mid-range sounded a bit squeaky, there's bit of a too much compression/EQ, I think.

Instrumentation : 1/1
Nice instrumentation, as I said. Perfect score on that one.

Total : 11.5/15

I like the mood and the overall sense of progression. What's with the click at the beginning of the track? :P

I'm very curious: what orchestral elements did you use, exactly? I thought you meant orchestral instruments, but I didn't really hear a lot of that.

The trance vibe works well for the most part. I think the choice of chords and instrumentation fits the mood I get from the artwork and the progression is fine.

I notice that in the few instances where there seems to be a melody, like at 1:04, for example, it feels like it should be using the pentatonic scale, but there's very clearly moments where non-pentatonic notes are present. Perhaps it wasn't your intention to use the pentatonic scale, but to me, the non-pentatonic notes felt really out of place in the melody that otherwise would have fit to the mood and soundscape comfortably.

Honestly, I felt like it could have used a bit more bass. Personally, the instrumentation felt too light and thin. But that's just me. Overall, I think you took the right approach for this theme and I thought the structure was great, as well as the melody (for the most part). Good entry!

RabidAutopsy responds:

Thanx for the review!
-The clicking at the start I actually have no idea where it came from, in the FL file it doesnt play that but somehow that ended up in the export. I wanted to fix it but the deadline was just around the corner so I didnt have time to get it out otherwise risk editing past when the entry was due.

-For the orchestral elements, theres stuff like sitars, violas, violins, cellos, basses and pianos about in the track, but I used them more to boost elements of the electronic instruments instead such as using the violins to add bass or the pianos following the lead synths to make a chorus of sounds.

-For the notes in the melodies, I never really thought of using any kind of scale, as I haven't really studied up on them enough, but knowing had I done that it could've fit better Im definitely gonna look into that and study up on it properly

Just again, thanks for taking the time to listen and review my track, I appreciate all the feedback and it really helps!

Credits & Info

4.04 / 5.00

Jun 17, 2019
12:17 PM EDT
File Info
11.8 MB
5 min 9 sec

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