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Coarse Sand

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Author Comments

Welcome! I'm very happy to present to you my song titled Coarse Sand, that features complex instrumentation, composition in the D Phrygian dominant scale, and my first deep dive into the sound design of Serum. No particular inspiration in mind that lead me to this piece, but is also my formal audition piece into 2019's NGUAC competition. I hope you enjoy.

Fun song statistics:
93 BPM
Time spent 28+ hours
Various percussion samples from cymatics
Utilized Serum, Sytrus, Massive
Rattlesnake sound effect made from scratch in serum

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I like the ominous mood at the beginning. The gritty synths near the beginning are a bit cheesy, especially the bass, but I like the punchy drums and sense of build into :51. The production quality is really sharp, and the chopped vocals and grimy mid-range bass at around 1:40 hits the spot. The melodies during the breakdown at 2:13 were nice, and you did a nice job of transitioning back into the more energetic section at 2:53. The drum samples are a bit generic, but I like the middle eastern vibe of the harmonic content. You hit the piece home nicely with the dense rhythmic texture at around the 4-minute mark. The piece is dragged out a bit towards the end, and also cuts off a little suddenly without much of a proper outro. There were times when I thought you could've had more higher-register frequencies in the mix, but otherwise the texture sounds rich, full, and well-balanced. Nice work overall, Spadezer! This is a fun, catchy piece with some solid melodies and strong mixing. Good luck in the finals! ^^

Spadezer responds:

I'm always pleased to get a TaintedLogic review :)

Dang, even after spending some cheap money on cymatics percussion they still sound cheap lol. I'm curious where you think it could have had more higher frequency stuff. I also wonder if some of the lack of that is me somewhat unconsciously leaving space for the melodies too. I'm a little sad you thought it dragged out a bit, and I think I can see where you're talking about that. I've found lately I enjoy somewhat longer songs to groove along with the good moments more, so I think some of that is reflected here.

Otherwise, I'm really glad you enjoyed it! :)

The intro is good and gives a mysterious build up that immediately familiarizes you with the D Phrygian dominant scale and the Egyptian theme of the song.

I like the Egyptian sound of this song. Even though it's still very much a dupstep song. It's enough to set it apart from other dubstep songs. Although the way you go up and down the Phrygian dominant scale comes across as a bit of a cliche, and the melody is not strong enough for me to be memorable. The sounds are quite well chosen. The synths fit the style and theme of the song and are all quite diverse. That rattlesnake sound you mentioned sounds good. The short plucky synth that's panned to the right I probably like best. It has a very Arabic feel that still fits an electronic dubstep song like this. Mostly I just like the diversity of the sounds and how they combine. Very well panned as well. You create a very transparent and powerful mix.

The structure is quite good. It's quite a long song, and it's difficult to keep a song interesting for this long. The mysterious intro and the quiet middle part help to create much dynamic. You also use a nice build up. You only go all out at the end of the song, and you use lots of variations and do interesting things with that base to keep the listener's interest. Maybe it's because I'm not that much into dubstep or perhaps my attention span isn't long enough, but to me the song still feels too long. It starts to feel somewhat repetitive. I'd need a stronger melody or perhaps some things I really never heard before to maintain my attention.

Production is great. You create a very loud powerful sound without making it sound that compressed you can't hear what's going on. That's difficult to do, and you pulled it of very well.

To put some numbers on it:


Sound Design:




Good luck with the NGUAC!

Spadezer responds:

Thanks SourJovis for the in depth review! I highly appreciate it. I also enjoy getting to know what people think with their different tastes in music so to me this is also an added treat. I find I tend to like longer songs since I can enjoy them longer when there blasting in my car lol.

I also find it interesting, I thought the production could have used a little more work than the composition, but I definitely see your point. Melodic composition wasn't were my main focus was compared to the atmosphere of the song. Either way, it still sounds like you enjoyed it and that's the part that matters the most :)

Thanks again for the review!

This is clean while also being dark. I love the timing of those growls or rewinds or whatever you used!

Spadezer responds:

Thanks. Yeah those are bass growls from Serum

sounds cool

Credits & Info


4.74 / 5.00

Jul 5, 2019
7:23 PM EDT
File Info
6.1 MB
5 min 19 sec

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