NGADM audition review
Remixes were allowed in the contest, but yours initially put you in some hot water with the judges because when you referenced the music in you song, it sounded too similar to the original, which gave the impression that it was more of you copying the other music instead of making it your own there. We let you continue on, but the song got close to being DQ'd because of that section, and where you did deviate like at 2:20, what I hear is just an descending 3 note arp that makes the simple chord progression. In other sections that I can hear what's going on that's still the only thing I can point out is the arp with the chord progression and a couple of other drums maybe. The only thing in terms of melody is the Sailor Moon thing you got at the 1:42 and it's not even your original idea.
That's not what I had a problem with though. Outside of 1:42 - 4:18 which felt like the same thing on repeat, I can't really hear the music. All I hear are laser sounds. At first I thought this was a joke because the beginning started off with what I thought was you making a laser gun sound effect and mixing it way more than what was necessary for it to fit, and it's very piercing and uncomfortable. I had a very difficult time listening to the whole thing because of it. I didn't realize it was supposed to be a kick until I read your description which brings me to two things. Firstly, yes a kick needs a high end attack which helps the attack of it and helps make it pop through the mix, but it's not only high frequencies, and it needs to fall a lot faster. However, it needs to feel more like a click if you want it to sound like a kick and less like some sound effect being warped and shaped into something that it doesn't want to be. Yes "hardstyle kicks" use a lot of distortion and such, but if you don’t have a good sample of something going into that kick, adding a ton of distortion and effects to something just makes it sound like an overly compressed bundle of noise. Secondly, yes a kick can be loud, but it shouldn't be literally the only thing I hear in the mix. Hardstyle actually doesn't have their kicks take up the whole mix to an ear piecing degree.
Which leads me to my final point, which made the judges and especially myself rather cross and aggravated. Clearly you had an idea that this was hardstyle, and I can see what you're getting at, but you may want to tone back on what you think makes good or bad hardstyle. Saying "it has to be like this because hardstyle" just shuns everyone away from you and closes you off from opportunities to improve your craft and learn at a deeper level what makes great music the way it is. You've slipped into a gatekeeping mindset that I personally don't have patience to tolerate and makes you closed off to what you might not realize is good advice. Am I asking you to make your songs something that everyone needs to like? Absolutely not. In fact it's impossible to do so, but you'd be surprised how many of us judges appreciate and enjoy some hardstyle / gabber pieces that are not tailored to be mainstream and popular. But I'm not going to hop onto my soapbox and explain to you our knowledge base and expertise because that's not a respectful thing to do.