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Serrated Shadows

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Second entry for NGUAC 2020. I spent a week and a half trying to figure out what to do and less than a week recording and mixing. Let's just say it was both stressful and fun :P

I'm not used to making songs in 2 weeks, normally i'd spend an entire month on a single one. At some point i thought i was not going to make it and i even considered giving up like other contestants. But after i got together with a friend, we somehow managed to pull this off! Who knows if i'll pass to the next round, but this was such a fun experience, and I'm proud with how this song turned out :D

Also the acoustic part was supposed to be longer and featuring a good-for-the-soul solo, but in the end we figured it was too much, as it would take too long to enter the "real" part. In the future I'm planning to divide this song into two interconnected songs.

Anyways, hope you like it :)

Art used:

Edit (11/30/2021): Who would've known, making songs in 2 weeks is all i do nowadays! This was made for a band called Amethyst Road, who composed the riffs and I made most of the arrangement. While I left that band, I'm still keeping this up to showcase my experience in sound design.

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Ah yes, this intro gave me very high hopes! i really enjoy the intro, good little harmonics happening, reminds me of a little bit of hair metal in the beggining, it sounds like you are moving power chords around and the instruments behind the guitars give me a bit of a dream theater vibe, by around 1:00, the chords get a little repetitive, the reverb you have on this track are fine up until the where all the instruments come in, Then you have to much reverb on everything its very hard to hear anything happening. At this point you should automate a lot of your reverb out. The guitar ends up getting over ballanced. I really love the design of the drums but after a certain point i can barely hear them. The melody youve written is pretty darn good but again, after a certain point, the reverb, and compression, just gets more and more reverbed until its just a bunch of noise in the 2k-5k hz ranges. You have just these great voices, and then your guitar is so loud and over reverbed, it just crushes everything. I love what was written here, but the mixing is takes away from the song entirely. Chord progressions do get a bit repetitive at a certain point, but i really love your melody, even though its repetitive, it could sond so good. I feel like your effects might be routed weirdly and you have your reverb BEFORE your compression, in turn compressing all the reverberation. Your solo I feel like is really good too, but again i can barely hear it.

Definitely take a look at your effects chain, and never ever put reverb before compression if you did it, always after, and when there is a lot going on, clarity is key, automate your reverb to go down a lot so all of that beautiful guitar playing can shine through. It was heart breaking to hear just this great solo guitar and melody guitar, overshadowwed and almost cast aside by the mixing. ADR3 said a lot of stuff i did and said it right.

EDIT: also, keep in mind, OVERDRIVES are a form of compression, i feel like you put your reverb before your overdrive, because you used clean guitar in the beginning and it sounded pretty good. Make sure your overdrives or other forms of effects are always BEFORE your reverb, never ever after.

This was a great submission though!

xZiriusX responds:

If only i mixed it right, dang. I'm glad you gave such a detailed and constructive review. ADR3 gave a great one aswell but i guess i was too shocked when i saw it hehe. I just realized i'm going too crazy with the reverb and just not controlling it at all. Maybe it was the pressure of releasing the track in less than a week, or maybe im just a noob still :P. Thank you for taking your time on doing this, people like me really appreciate it :)

Credits & Info


3.58 / 5.00

Aug 24, 2020
2:17 PM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
12.7 MB
5 min 33 sec
  • Synth1
  • Reaper
  • Hybrid 3
  • MPK Mini MKII
Misc. Kit
  • MT Power Drum Kit
  • Virgin Choir

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