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Cicade

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Author Comments

EDM / Drumstep influenced by the end of summer!

The echoing ring modulated song of cicadas fills the air. It's their call for us to enjoy the last few weeks of the season :D

This track was made from scratch within 2 weeks using FL Studio in celebration of NGADM's 10th anniversary.

I hope you enjoy!

---

Production thoughts:

It was fun to make this! I learned a few things about getting around creative barriers, and it just really felt good to finish a track for the first time in years. It inspired me to consider finishing more of the WIPs I have laying around.

Interestingly, I'm fairly sure I've never placed the snare anywhere but on the 2nd and 4th beats. Strange, considering how often I beatbox the snare in all sorts of places!

Speaking of which, the basses during the drops were made with my voice (and chains of effects of course). I can't think of a more convenient noise generator than that!

Working time: 24 hours, 24 minutes
Plugins: 72 (8 Serum, 5 Sytrus, 2 Harmor)
Channels: 100 (lots of automation!)

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I like the glitchy content at the beginning and the cute synth riff at :14. The mix is really tight and well-balanced, and there’s a nice sense of climax into :54. The drop is strangely atmospheric, but I like the gritty underlying bass and smooth synth riffs. The melodic content here is nice, but I think it would’ve helped maximize the emotional impact of it to make something more legato and dynamic. I like how you varied the drop the second time the refrain came around (at 2:04) and, despite the relatively cliche arrangement, I think you have a really unique, refreshing sound design and mood to this piece. It sounds both blissful and somewhat ominous, and I really like that ambiguity. Keep up the good work, Zanzlanz! ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
2/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
1.25/1.5
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
.75/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
9/10

Zanzlanz responds:

First of all, congratulations on 3000 audio reviews. A bit arbitrary of a milestone to congratulate maybe, but it's no less amazing to me!

I'm interested about your review because track was partially inspired by your criteria and previous feedback (I do wish more judges could do what you do; it's so helpful).

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised about this, but you totally caught me having the typical arrangement! Though it did really help me piece things together, so the tradeoff was probably beneficial in the end. It may have helped sell the intentionality of the more risky choices too. :) But yes, it was comfortable for me and maybe I should be more bold in a competitive situation.

I'm super surprised people like the mix! I struggled with it a lot, so it's a big relief to have direct thumbs up there.

I really love and appreciate the description of "both blissful and somewhat ominous." Perhaps making things "more legato" would have reduced this aspect, but I can see that you're pointing out there are ways to consolidate some of the ideas better.

Also, varied drops: there's no other way man! It's a waste of music to do the same thing twice! :D Thanks for acknowledging that.

And again, thank you for the thoughtful review! Good luck with the next rounds, and do enjoy your couple weeks off!

Doesn't sound like dubstep, but a good song nonetheless

Zanzlanz responds:

Thanks! :) Wouldn't say it's any of the given genres, so I chose what similar producers default to as well.

Clever arrangement. I don't listen to Dubstep, but I can tell when something is put together well, and I mostly wanted to listen to my "opponents" music. You have my respect. Everything in between the typical drops that people enjoy is what I tend to like. This one is clever, and the mix sounds great.

Zanzlanz responds:

Hey thank you sir!

I was worried forcing melody into the drops would muddy the sound, but I knew people like you would be listening critically, so I risked a trickier mix in favor of that added emotion. So it's wonderful to hear you say the mixing was great. It reassures me that those decisions weren't damaging :)

THE DROP

Zanzlanz responds:

OH BOY IT SURE IS

(Thank you!)

That part at 0:58 when finally everything drops conveys a ton of emotions. Gives me some 'Faux Tales - Atlas' vibes here!

Zanzlanz responds:

YEAH I don't usually go that route with melodic sections with the drop, but I didn't want to throw away the potential for that type of emotion. It's cool of you to pick up on it, thanks!

Atlas is woah. Didn't expect the contrast there.

Credits & Info

Zanzlanz
Author

Listens
697
Faves:
10
Downloads
22
Votes
20
Score
4.64 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 12, 2019
6:25 PM EDT
Genre
Dubstep
File Info
Song
6.7 MB
2 min 55 sec
Software
  • FL Studio

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