Don't Sleep On It

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This piece was a really fun one to make, mainly because of the amount of time I put into fine-tuning loads of MIDI stuff.

First off, the swelling in the beginning of the song was probably the trickiest part of the entire piece. I honestly didn't think it would take as long as it did, but balancing the levels between all the layering instruments took a good amount of time. In the end, I think it all worked out pretty well!

Second, the drums. Oh boy, did I have fun with those things. This was the part that I saw as THE challenge. I wanted that drum solo to sound as authentic as possible. The main thing I messed around with was the velocity of pretty much EVERY midi note. It was tedious for sure, but I think it paid off in the end! Btw, for those who are wondering, the song, up to the last big fortissimo moment at 1:55, consisted of a 4 measure phrase with the first 2 measures in 7/4 and last 2 in 4/4. I REALLY like odd time signatures and syncopation XD

Lastly, the ending was definitely the least worked on. I wish I had more time to adjust some levels and even add some variation in some layering parts (I might just reupload a better version...might be longer too). I think it sounded alright even though it was kinda rushed together, but idk, the perfectionist in me is scolding rn :'(

All in all, it was a really fun piece to work on! I learned some interesting ways to be more efficient towards some tedious tasks, and I feel like I'm getting better at working under pressure as well. This piece was basically a really good learning experience and I can't wait to apply what I've learned to future tracks!

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Good luck in the next round ;) judging by the quality of this this is gonna be tough haha

heck 1:55 is so effective

I like the dreamy quality at the beginning and the instrumentation. There’s a distinct emotional quality in the texture, and I really like the string swells (like at :38). The piece is a little slow to progress, and I was a little thrown off when the texture thins out so suddenly at 1:06. The crisp drums and string harmonies are nice, though, and the production quality here is really sharp overall. I would’ve liked to hear a more dynamic composition here, though. The texture falls together nicely at 1:58, but I think you could’ve done a lot more to give the middle section (1:06-1:57) a more distinct sense of direction. The dreamy mood, sound design, and progression of the piece are all really nice, but I think you needed to do more to hit this piece home. Still, solid work for such a short piece. Keep at it, vocaloutburst! ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
Composite score

Zelazon Official NGADM Super Review!


Is the song constructed well or avant-garde?

I’m going to say that this song is both constructed well and avant-garde, since the approach from this song is to utilize both major and minor chords, which sound nice to listen to. Each part leads into each other well and provide a fluidity to it that makes it enjoyable to listen to without sounding random or forced.

How creative are you with your melody?

This was one of the big issues that I had with this song. From 0:00 to 0:53, the song seemed to build up to something that was going to be an exhilarating melody that was going to hit me with some sweet yet smooth melody that I was expecting to enjoy, but I get to 0:54, and it more of a drum solo with a heavy approach in minimalism, which did detract from the song for me a bit because that melody could have been the defining factor of the song.

Are the drums and percussion, if used, varied?

The drums appear around 0:54 and are varied to the point where you have no idea what is coming next. The approach taken to focus on the drums like this is excellent when most would go the typical route of creating a simple pattern without thinking about this particular aspect.

Is there more than whole notes with the bass?

The bass in this song is varied and remains interesting to listen to, which is nice to have the variety that goes on with this particular song. This is one of the stronger aspect of this song, and I think you did a great job with it.

How’s the ending?

The song ends well. We are given violin harmonic chords that really emphasize the point of the song and to drive it home in a way that will give memory of the songs presence in our lives. While the melody was a missed opportunity, I think what is given at the allows for the listener to be able to enjoy the song in one way or another.

Score: 8.5


How does the waveform look?

This one is an interesting case as on newgrounds, the waveform looks good, but importing it into my daw, it looks like there is minor issues of clipping happening at 1:04 to 1:07, and significantly through 1:54 to 2:29. Additionally, looking at the spectrum analyzer for this song, one of the things I did notice right off the bat is how much more strength the mid and the high frequency had in comparison to the low frequency or bass section when the violins are introduced. While this isn’t too much of a big deal, it does seem to point to some weakness around this section and need more focus on maybe volume automation or compression to ensure the balance of these parts, ensuring that one does not overwhelm another.

Is there any peaking happening at any parts of the song?

From my observations, the song is not peaking, which is very good.

Are there any parts that sounds muddied?

What I’m hearing right now, I’m not hearing any muddied parts which is a testament to the ability to get the sound to sit right in the mix. For the majority of the song, it sounds well designed and intentioned, which makes it more enjoyable for me as a listener to engage into the song.

Are there parts that are too loud or too quiet?

Aside from the issue where the bass is slightly imbalance with the violins, it not too imbalanced or has too much of an issue that would cause listeners to be overwhelmed by the parts specifically. Overall, it sounds very good on this front.

Score: 9

Sound Design

Has the balancing between each part allow the listener to understand the song well?

The song does fine with the balancing of each part, as I can hear clearly the orientation of each part.

Are there any sounds in the background to provide variety to the song?

From the violins in the background, to the minor piano playing lightly in the background, there is a substantial amount of variety happening in the song that allows the user to be constantly engaged with the song. The variety here is nice and I think a great job was done to ensure of substance within each portion of the song.

Is there any elements that could be added to create a fluid design?

Once again, the melody being missing does provide to be a missed opportunity, but one that I will not go into for reasons of overstatement.

Score: 8.5


What is the artist doing to keep the song interesting?

As mentioned above, there are many things going on with this song to create both variety and structure without sounding too far-fetched. Additionally, this is the type of song that falls far on the repetition scale, allowing listeners to be able to enjoy it many times over without getting tired of it or wanting to turn it off due to staleness.

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?

As this song is in the experimental category, it was to be assumed that the structure was going to be original, and in my opinion, it follows the category well.

How enjoyable is the song?

The song is enjoyable to listen to and it does not become repetitive to listen to after multiple plays. The variety in the song structure, the approach with the drums, and the chord approaches by the synth in the background and the violins allow for there to be engagement from multiple aspect of the song.

Score: 9


Is there more than one chord progression being used?

There is more than one progression being used for this song, and the chord structure from what I can tell is pretty irregular. I do love the variety that this song presents and does so in a way that doesn’t seem off-putting or odd. The violin chords in the background also help to keep engagement in the song, which is a thoughtful approach to handling this type of music.

If no chord progression are being used, what is keeping the song cohesive?


Does the artist push their boundaries or stays safe?

I would argue that this song does push boundaries, which is nice in this aspect because a style or blend of a song like this is appreciated.

Score: 8.5

Total Score: 43.5 x 2 = 87

vocaloutburst responds:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this really in-depth review, it really means a lot!!!

I like the lush strings. The drums do a really great job of breaking up the calm stuff too. Its almost like a Drum concerto! Beautiful composition!

vocaloutburst responds:

Thanks! Never thought about it being a sort of "drum concerto" but I love that!

Wonderful feels all around. I really love the use of strings too. Great work!

Credits & Info

4.69 / 5.00

Sep 9, 2019
1:04 AM EDT
File Info
3.9 MB
2 min 52 sec

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