Zelazon's Official NGADM Super Review!
Is the song constructed well or avant-garde?
Masterfully constructed. This is as close to professional that I think really encompasses great composition that shows a level of expertise and education in a way that many artists here on newgrounds could dream. Where it goes into the nitpicky territory is how strong octave (C4) is in comparison to the rest of the octaves used in the song, which I will go into more detail about in the production section. The video on youtube showing yourself playing the song is a nice touch by the way.
How creative are you with your melody?
The melody in this song are both solid and complex, which engages the listener in a way that evokes an emotional response to the design of the chords and melodies together.
Are the drums and percussion, if used, varied?
There is no drums or percussion used in this song.
Is there more than whole notes with the bass?
While there is nothing easy about this song, as a solo instrument, developing the bass notes is not as challenging as working with multiple instruments or having to balance the sounds together in a way that most orchestra music would encompass. In this case, the bass is doing its job well and I think that there is enough going beside just being whole notes.
How’s the ending?
Provides a nice fluid ending that show both skills and expertise in designing a song that takes a masterful approach in composition. Overall, the song is designed nicely, but there are a few issues that hinder it from being a perfect 10.
How does the waveform look?
This is where some of the issues begin to appear with this song. From the 400 to 3k hz range, the song shows a bell curve that is amplified quite a bit that makes the mid range sound overburdened and detract from some of the higher notes that are playing in the song. I’ll get into this more on the question of muddied, which will share some of my details about ensuring listenability for each range.
Is there any peaking happening at any parts of the song?
Peaking in this song happens around 1:51 to 1:52 and around 2:28 to 2:29. While the peaking isn’t necessarily troublesome, it does show that the song was not properly mastered to the accepted levels of either -0.1 db or -1 db that helps to keep the frequencies in check. However, because this is a solo instrument, it’s not as impactful as it would be if other instruments are present, but it is something you have to pay attention and address when you see it occur.
Are there any parts that sounds muddied?
The question of muddiedness is one where I feel like the song slightly struggle since the song feels mid heavy. This isn’t strictly limited to the octaves of the song, but also the frequency that encompass that range. When I look at the spectrum analyzer, it tells me that either if it was recorded on an actual piano, that the mic was centered on the mid range of the piano, or if it was recorded with VSTs, that the vst priorities the mid range. I would recommend that you look at focusing allowing the melody or high range to have its own space to give it more of a distinct sound and ensure that some parts are not overwhelmed by other parts.
Are there parts that are too loud or too quiet?
The high range feels a bit overwhelmed by the mid range, and not as significantly by the lower range. This was discussed in detail above.
Has the balancing between each part allow the listener to understand the song well?
For this song, being a solo instrument, I think there isn’t too much to balance aside from the frequencies issues discussed above. With the spectrum analyzer, I can see that the panning of the notes corresponds with the keys being played, which is a nice touch to make sure that the listener feels each of the notes in their respective spot. However, the issue of balance with the frequency blend into this area as the overwhelming aspect of the mid range provides to be a burden on the other aspects of the song.
Are there any sounds in the background to provide variety to the song?
Not really, and it’s hard to argue for or against where background elements should be added to a song like this. The reverb on this song is minor and maybe could have used a bit more than what it is currently doing. Right now, from what I hear it does sound a bit flat as well, which can detract from the wholesome feel that the song is trying to give.
Is there any elements that could be added to create a fluid design?
Aside from the extra bit of reverb, I’m hard pressed to state what other elements could be added to it.
What is the artist doing to keep the song interesting?
Aside from wonderful piano playing, what else do you need? This is the kind of music you can continue to listen to without having to take a break or figure out if you really like it. However, since the song is heavy on the mid range, the issue starts to become one of fatigue since the chords are pretty heavy on the ears and maybe aspects of lighter playing may have helped out on the dynamics of the song.
Is what’s being done with this song original or similar to the same genre of music? If similar, is there anything being produced that stands out?
While this isn’t the first time I’m hearing a solo piano (it’s been done for many years by professionals throughout the ages), the skill with the composition makes it one that’s easy to understand and appreciate.
How enjoyable is the song?
I don’t think anything else aside from the dynamics could make it more enjoyable, but the dynamics is something holds the song back from reaching its true potential. I’m not sure if it’s an issue of automation or just making that microphone capturing the music is properly placed, at higher levels of the competition, it could be the difference between a win or loss.
Is there more than one chord progression being used?
The chord progression is dynamic and always changing with this song. This allows the listener to retain attention with the song and ensure that they are constantly engaged. While there are many different directions that the progression could have gone in, I think what has been done here is masterful in itself.
If no chord progression are being used, what is keeping the song cohesive?
Does the artist push their boundaries or stays safe?
As a solo instrument, I’m going to go with safe. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is noticeable.
Total Score: 43 x 2 = 86