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Dakota Rineer-Bloom

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Author Comments

This was made for the knockout round of the NGUAC. This one was really fun to work on, and messd around with some things i haven't before like slide notes. I also made some signature future bass sounding chords for once, so thats pretty cool :)

The majority of the sounds we're based from presets and altered. All the sounds in the drop we're made by me other than the drums, and one of the saws in the chords. In the verses, the piano and the sound used for the arpeggios were presets from FLEX. The pad sound and base we're made by me.

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Alright so right of the bat, I love your chords and that weird rhythmic synth fading in, good uprisers and good intro overall!

First big thing I have to say to you (and I'm half surprised I havent talked about this yet in my other reviews) is layering your snares, and sometimes spreading them on your stereo image with some simple panning, or a stereo shaper. You have a very flat and slightly punchy snare. sounds like a chunk of white noise. its not terrible per say, and might be two different snares but by itself it comes off as a bit bland, and id bet that it is just one. One of the best things you can do to make your snares stand out above the rest is layer it with 2-4 different snares to get just the right sound that you want, pitch bending them as if youre tuning the drum, and mixing them to be balanced right where you want it, often times ill add a snare sample that has a slight ring around 250-350 or so Hz, then boost that ring a bit in the mix to get that nice snare tone in the layering. Then ill add a body snare to thicken it up a bit, then a clap or some other high pitch snare or percussion sound, ive done a water droplet, to add some CRISP snap. Spicy crispness can help it cut through the mix, as well as sidechain compression on an eq or something. BUT thats just me.

The "ring" of your snare almost sounds to be in an almost kick range, which is actually normal ish for certain snares, but with yours, there isn't an accompanying crispness to it. Layer Layer Layer stereo image stereo image layer.

I like what youve done with your bass voice and then introducing an accompanying melody that bends sometimes up when the bass goes down, and then vise versa or the same direction. that is very fun. good synth stack you got going on but it does leave something to be desired. Sounds like you layered a couple super saws with plenty of chorus and lots of voices. Your Kick isnt terrible, but could use some sidechain compression with the synth chords.

Sidechain compression with your kick (and sometimes snare depending on your track) is the bread and butter of producing in my opinion.

Back to your synth chords, i would also like to hear more layers in those. what i mean by that is just copy those chords to another voice to add some harmonic and tambour flavor. Take literally any song by Seven Lions for example. Dude uses like 10 synths with all of his big drop chords. But they sound so FULL. No need to bring them into different registers, keep that range open for your lead.

Lead is really well balanced, and i like it with the saw synths.

Little repetitive overall but i love your dramatic style, and i also love your overall structure, transitions could use some spice and flare.

Pretty good mix, i just want a bit more crispy crispy things to give me the music tingles.

Overall great track!

Chord progression is nice and smooth. Transition noise is just a little loud.

Nice work with portamento here. I would take down your saws by about 1 to 2 dB, cut off an sidechain the sibilant frequencies more, and take down the reverb sends on everything by a lot. Low cutting them to 250 hz also helps a lot in making room for everything to lay in with the bass. As is, it's really hard to hear the bass and percussion.

Hi-hats and or shakers, I can't tell, are very sibilant and could use much less reverb. They create a high wash that makes the track a bit hard to listen to. Harsh sounding. If you want to keep the same reverb, I'd gate it pretty hard. There's just so much sibilance in this track, it's hard to listen to your drops.

I may have mentioned already, but the accompaniment -- non-melody -- synths are covering up your other elements, especially the bass. It's a tendency I suffer from a lot too in trying to make massive sounds. Try just spacing them out more. It'll help. Your percussion should be the loudest part of your mix -- kick and snare. Those carry you through. Those massive sides, they can be up there, but here they're probably 1 to 2, maybe even 3 dB too loud.

Writing wise, this piece was pretty repetitive, but nothing offensive. I would recommend taking a minute to study transitions -- there's a great video, the rule of pairs, by Kush After Hours, that I think you should watch, and I say this because nothing was inherently wrong with anything you wrote, or boring, but it felt like a lot of the same. I think you may benefit from less is more -- rule of pairs, take away two elements, add or change two elements transitions. Because by the end, even though we had a big wall of sound, I felt like we had been sitting at the height of your piece for basically the whole track after the intro. There were no real peaks and valleys, not a lot of tension. Feel me?

Still good work pulling through to this stage of the competition, and thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

Drak02 responds:

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not surprised by a lot of your comments, especially about mixing, as thats something i'm still very, very much learning. I had a lot of fun participating in the NGUAC, and I'm glad I joined.

Slide notes. I can see exactly what you've done and it sounds incredible. Really nice and simple touch to improve a melody ten fold.

Main thing that stands out to me is the percussion, it's lovely and that kick hits nice and hard.

Other than making the melody slightly different in each drop. You could have just shortened the track to get rid of any repetitiveness. Hope the judges don't take any of that into account because the track is fantastic.

Good luck in the round!

Drak02 responds:

Thanks for the feedback! I’m pretty proud of this one. I’m thinking of maybe shortening the first drop cause that’s the most repetitive one, and it doesn’t need to be that long, and then reuploading because I still have a lot of time before judging starts

EDIT: made it shorter

Credits & Info


3.69 / 5.00

Aug 14, 2020
11:36 PM EDT
New Wave
File Info
6 MB
4 min 24 sec

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