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Cali Crazed - Need A Beat

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Listen to the full 20 track instrumental album


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This is a good idea, but some things I'm noticing right off the bat -- everything is in the center. Particularly noticeable when you have phasers or chorus/flange on your cymbals. Sometimes I go as far as having hihats panned out different directions for those nice trap hihat sizzles.

Your perc should open up the soundstage just like 1:40's delay synth on the side.

I'm hearing a lot of inspiration coming from the early 00's.

I won't comment on structure too much other than that some of the sections were hard to pick out as "okay, we're hitting the hook now" but instrumentation and samples let me touch on. I'd like to hear you supplementing those claps with a more recognizable 808 snare on different sections rather than just opening up off the flange.

I'm also not sure what section 1:39 is, partly based on that, or is 2:11 our hook? Is it our verse. It sounds more like a verse, so a bridge into a verse. There's just something missing here between these sections that's keeping my brain from processing "Oh, this is the hook."

There's also some kind of quality issue with some of your samples or the way they are mixed, like your beat tag. It's all very low mid heavy and doesn't have a lot of sizzle to it. To stick out against 808 hihats you'll need to fix that. At least bring out the mid.

"We need a beat" has some artefacts that sound like they're distorting. So does your beat tag occasionally when it comes in. This leads me to suspect you might be mixing with FX on the mastering channel and the levels are really high.

I question the choice at 0:49 of putting a bass to that rhythm opposed to a more recognizable 808 rhythm under it, but I recognize that's a build of sorts.

At 01:05 there's a lot of distorting going on in your highs. Sounds like this was mixed very loud and then mastering put on top. There are occasional additional FX you've added, extra hits in the right channel, that are very hard to hear due to the way things are mixed. I would pull every other track down until these were clearly audible, then worry about mastering FX and compression.

I also find myself wanting to hear more of your 808, particularly on 2:52.

All in all, not a bad start. I would work a little more on structure, find some samples you like, and take to YouTube for some mixing and mastering principles. You've got something to say musically, and I'm excited to see what you come up with in the future :)

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!