A Zombie Survival Roguelite3.91 / 5.00 27,150 Views
Explore the mysterious dungeon in this idle RPG.3.78 / 5.00 15,773 Views
2D Top-down Shooter focused on bullet blocking mechanics.3.87 / 5.00 6,382 Views
Madies and Lentlegen.
Twelve brave souls have submitted music to the first round of the NGMT. Now it's time to see how they did. It's time for the voting!
You now have until 11:59 EST of the 20th to vote for the best pieces that you like!
1. You may vote for up to 3 pieces.
2. You may not vote for your own piece or state who made a piece - or yours and the other piece will be disqualified (no cheating, please).
3. When you vote, clearly state which piece is your 1st pick, your 2nd pick, and your 3rd pick - they will get 3, 2, and 1 point, respectively. (1st pick = 3 points, 2nd pick = 2 points, 3rd pick = 1 point)
4. Please PM all of your votes to me so that they can be tallied anonymously.
5. You may only vote if you submitted a piece.
Beyond that, I highly encourage you to also write at least a little bit of feedback on every piece (including your own so that you don't reveal which piece is yours!) - after all, everyone worked hard to make their pieces, and that way you can get some good feedback yourself!
Remember: Vote according to the theme, the challenge, and the quality of the piece! Did the piece fit the theme well? Did the artist really push themselves to take the challenge in full? Did they make a fantabulous piece that you feel shows genuine skill?
So, without further ado, all of the submissions are right here!
Thank you all for joining! The victor of the round will be announced after the 20th, once I've tallied all the votes. At that point, you'll also have your next challenge and theme!
My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.
i didn't submit anything so my vote doesn't count but i think 5 and 12 totally nailed it, both restriction and theme-wise. fantastic work, whoever you are!
p.s. i am gay
At 11/18/15 01:57 AM, LucidShadowDreamer wrote: Awesome!
Time to vote then :D
It'll be cool to see what kinds of tracks people have submitted :3
As soon as I can manage to get the page to load properly...
I had issues too with chrome. Would only load a few tracks, Internet explorer loads the lot without issue. Loads of awesome tracks here! Will review soon!
I have my vote. But my vote doesn't count.
Good luck to everyone!
In terms of criticism, do we post it here or what? Just listening through them all at the moment and taking notes. Still not sure where my votes are going to land :)
The bass line is oddly familiar. I don't feel as though it fits the actual mood that I feel looking at the piece particularly well, but, standing as a track on it's own, it certainly had a degree of catchiness to it. Good job!
I like the jungle feel here. Nice tempo change! It's dark and I feel like harmonically it fits the mood very well. More sustain-like sounds than I expected, but whoever did this one did a great job as well.
Didn't expect clavi by any stretch! I generally don't associate jungle with clavi, but when I think about it if you view the art as a "forest"-like realm, it totally makes sense. In that regard, good for you! I really like how everyone is exporing some interesting rhythmic concepts.
I like the mix, I like the idea of it, but it feels quite "happy" overall, and I didn't get a a particularly happy mood from the artwork, but that is just ME. It wasn't too overdone, it wasn't too gripping which is a good thing. I feel like the different instruments represented different color realms of the art. I think the tell tale sign is that I find myself headbobbing to this song, which doesn't make it a bad song by any stretch, just in regard to "fitting the theme", not as much as I would have liked to hear!
More jungle! I do like me some jungle. It doesn't sound very mysterious to me, I feel like the art was quite mysterious and I think the beat could have been played with a bit more. I feel like the ideas you are presenting were "gridded" out, but would have sounded very cool in a style that is more so free-time if you pushed and pulled the tempo just a bit.
Cool six eighty feel over the four or vice versa. It was mysterious enough for me personally! Not too complex, just a straight forward jungle vibe which I definitely think fits the criteria and theme. Great job, not too busy!
This is where I'm really starting to notice an overlap of instruments and VSTs being used in this contest, which is totally fine but for some reason since I'm listening in order this is where it stands out. Little bit of that jungle vibe, little bit of that electronica vibe. Overall pretty cool! A bit too sustainy with a few hits, but what I REALLY enjoyed, is the delay effects that get brought in around 1:07 ish. I like how the writer here played with a lot of different instruments. I don't really know if there is a way to gauge "where" the artist had in mind, but it's like it definitely brings you onto a journey.
Very freakin' cool! This one, to me, represents the warrior like figure on the left actual exporing the field in front of him. The guitar didn't sit well with me unfortunately, eek. But I mean, it's still cool! Certainly milked the reverb effects nicely, and I personally did enjoy it.
Mmm baby, you sure know how to treat me right with those funky fills <3. Baby you treated me so damn right with those funky fills. Then we really start swingin' it. Oh baby, but the vibe definitely doesn't match that photo. I don't even care though because this was fuh-reak-in COOL. It hit me personally, just right.
The mix definitely sounds a lot dryer than the other songs I just heard which is kind of strange to hear by comparison. I'm counting this one in 9 which is kind of cool too, I didn't hear that many grooves based in 9 yet. The piano dynamics were subtle, but if you listen you can hear them! Rhythmically unique I would say, pretty minimalist considering the art is as dark and deep as it is, but still cool, I enjoyed it!
Definitely swaying back and forth to this one! Love a lot of the percussive fills and runs going on and that xylo sounds very very good! It just gets to the point and represents the art like BAM. Super awesome!
Super super jungle here! I love when percussion that isn't really melodic can be made me melodic by pressing into the drum. Tempo variation was excellent. It's very experimental, that is for sure! It feels very real, like I doubt it was sequenced, but it very well could have been and if it was, THAT is certainly impressive.
Great job everyone! I guess I had a bit too much time today or I wanted to evade some other urgent things I had to do and wrote reviews instead :)
I have to say my main points of critique were regardings the jungle theme which I missed a bit in some of the tracks. Also you will see in a lot of my reviews I wrote something about humanizing, which is in my oppinion very important in an accoustic sounding track if you program it and not do life recording or play it with a midi keyboard without strong quantization afterwards.
Otherwise I think every track was unique here so I had a lot of fun going through it. I also still don´t know how I will vote but I guess I can nail down my favourites to six tracks, now (which is a lot out of 12). Since it were quite a lot of tracks to review at once, some reviews (especially the last ones when I got tired) are not that detailed anymore. I guess in a R4R or as a contest judgy I would have gone into a bit more detail but it hope what I wrote will help someone. I have to regret I´m not very good in mixing/mastering so I´ll leave this to other people and just wrote anything regarding that if something stuck out to me. Although my critique points probably often are subjective and a matter of taste at the end. Have fun ;)
And thanks @SkyeWint for hosting this.
The limitation definitely has been fulfilled by just using plucked instruments, piano or percussion. I have to regret I don´t really hear the jungle theme in this track... I could see this track as some kind of beat for a pop song, or even some background music in some lighthearted game. For a pop-beat it might need a bit more drum work but I really could imagine somebody singing over this. The instrument choice is relatively accoustic but everything is harshly quantized and played with the same velocities. Either I would humanize the track a bit by velocity editing and less quantization or I would rather use synth sounds directly. The mixing and mastering is not top notch but okay IMO. I would extend the stereo field a bit and the drums, as well as the guitar in some points are a bit too quite for my taste but that´s just a matter of taste I guess...
I have to say this was one of my favourites I heard in here. The percussion indeed sounds like jungle. The mix of the dark bassy piano and the vibraphone like mallets give a kind of dangerous/scary feeling to the track. The instrument samples sound pretty good and mixing/mastering, too. Also good job in humanization. Maybe the end is a bit too sudden... It feels like there was no time left to find a proper ending ;) The transition between the two parts might have been done a bit more smoothly. I enjoyed this track because it was one of the few tracks, that managed to fill the jungle percussion theme also with some actualy tonal content. The only critic point here might be that the percussion sounds very jungle like but the melodic/harmonic structure is not really what I would expect in a jungle setting. It´s more like... Noir/Crime like... Anyway, cool piece!
That is definitely a nice baroque harpsichord piece ;) In this matter it also fulfills the limitations of this challenge. But... Jungle? Hmmmm...
Nevertheless, nice counterpoint work here ;) The master could be a bit more clear. Maybe the cadenzation at the end feels a bit seperated from the flowing bach like semiquavers. I like the change to the triplet feeling at some points!
I really, really like this track a lot! It´s exactly the music I like to listen to by myself. It is a pity that I have to say this, but as a some other tracks here, too, it lacks a bit more prominence of the jungle theme. There are some drums in the background (especially at the beginning), which give a bit of the jungle feeling sometimes. After 40 secs it looses a bit of this feeling and just sometimes it shines back through.
Otherwise this is definitely one of the pieces, if not the piece with the most melodic and harmonic content here. It is also very well structured and uses some really cool and unique sounds! I could also definitely see this in game! Maybe in some kind of psychedelic jungle with shiny leaves in weird colors... Also here the end is a bit sudden but I could imagine it as a loop as well, especially since it is quite long...
Midi is definitely right here! This track has some awesome percussion work, which definitely sound a lot like jungle! I definitely like the small amount of distortion on the percussion at some points because it gives a quite unique color to it. The flow in this track is very good and it manages to the transitions seamlessly but constantly variates the beat by adding removing instruments and polyrythmic layers. The samples sound very good and some of the drums actually really sound like they were played live. Some other layers on the other hand sound like they could use a bit more humanization... Main critique point here is the complete lack of tonal content. I think some wooden tonal percussion could still have improved this track (which is already quite awesome). Nothing to say about the production here. Sounds good IMO...
This is the first track in my oppinion which managed to fill the jungle theme with both percussion and tonal content which I could both completely imagine in a jungle setting. The melodies are actually very nice and although large parts of them do not really have an "exotic" feeling in the melodic content itself, the choice of instruments give them a bit of the jungle touch ;) Main critique here is also the complete lack of humanization... Especially the very loud kick drum which nearly has no variation in sound and pulse at all gives this track a very mechanic and a bit repitative feeling, although it variates a lot in other parts. A bit more variation in the kick drum and a lot more human feeling would have made this track perfect. Otherwise: Good job!
Actually my comments here are quite similar than to track 6, although they sound very different from each other. So... Jungle theme in both tonal content and percussion: Big plus point! The melodies in this track sound even a bit more like jungle, although I have to regret, the use of the pentatonic structure, which definitely fits to a lot of different jungle settings had a bit more asian feeling here. I don´t know what makes the difference here, since a lot of African music and actuaally all native folk music in general is pentatonic based, too. Maybe it´s the rythm or the choice of instruments. The beginning sounded also a bit less asian... I don´t know if this is really a critique point, since there a re jungles in east asia, too ;) Anyway, really nice track! The ending is also a bit sudden here. For the production: Mixing and mastering sound good and clear but... I have the feeling it is a bit overcompressed and a lot of dynamic/human feeling got lost through this...
Definitely outstanding values of production with very epic cinematic feeling. Main critique point here is also the lack of prominence in the jungle theme. In this case to give the percussion a bit more of this feeling I think there could have been some more polyrythmic layers. The tonal content is really awesome here, but it felt a bit more like some kind of spanish guitar, with some flamenco elements... I really like the dramatic, climatic ending . Nothing to say about the production except that I whish I could sound like this, too ;)
Follow up post:
Nice drum work! It actually sounds like a life recording! If you read my other reviews, you probably know what´s coming, now. Jungle theme? Except the marimbas in some points it sounds a bit more like an old school rock piece, which has been a bit mixed with some lightheartened video game music (which is not a bad thing in general). I really like how the motivs are variated in the different parts, which gives them a complete different color. I think you the track rushes a bit too fast through the different parts, which makes it appear to be a bit short, although there is quite a lot variation. Maybe some parts could have been repeated a bit more or a simple chorus which is repeated sometimes would have helped the arrangement. Some of the other instruments(not the drums) sound a bit too mechanic in my oppinion and I can just repeat the humanizing point I wrote in some other reviews here.
This one has a cool progressive vibe. In some points I really wasn´t sure if the meter indeed changes or if just the syncopes are shifting all the time within a constant 4/4, but I´m usually bad in all these things which have something to do with music... I like the bass syncopes. The ritardando at the end sounds a bit mechanic although I like that the resolution to the tonic is missing keeping the tension unresolved. Lack of jungle theme is obvious, so I don´t write much about this ;) I have the feeling that the track in general is a bit repitative. Although there is quite a lot variation in the drum and bass rythms, the piano in main parts of the track plays that pulsing rythm without any variation... Maybe this gives the feeling of repittition. It feels like minimal music with prog rock. From the production point of view the piano sounds a bit mechanic. A bit velocity editing here and there would have definitely improved this track a lot! I think it felt a bit weird that the bass was panned to the left. As far as I know the bass should usually be centered. If you hear bass frequencies in a concert hall, they usually fill the whole hall and you loose a sense of the direction of the sound source (except for the high frequency parts of the instrument). This is different on headphones or small speakers at home and that´s why people usually centre the bass in a mix. Anyway, nice prog track which gives definitely a different color to all the other tracks.
Jungle theme: Check! Tonal content: Check! But... Too short ;( I really whish that could have been longer. Composition wise I don´t have much to claim here. Maybe I would have taken a different choice of melodic instruments but I guess this is just a matter of taste I guess :) I guess if the melodic instruments would be a bit more quiet it would make a really good loop for a game or something... Mixing and mastering sound good to me. Maybe that bass koto like instrument appears a bit close but otherwise: Cool piece.
Jungle theme: Check! Tonal content: hmmm... Could be a bit more... I guess. Except in the middle part there is nearly nothing and the melodies in the middle part sound a bit ..."improvised" I´m also not sure about the blues like structure in this part although the pentatonic also might fit to the jungle theme. Anyway... Main critique point here is probably the large contrast between the three parts. Although the transitions work quite well, they feel a bit separated. Percussion fits the jungle theme quite well.
At 11/18/15 11:58 AM, frootza wrote: Feedbacks
Damn you were faster than me... And damn... Nobody tubaed (not even me...). ;)
At 11/18/15 04:03 AM, midimachine wrote:
also @LucidShadowDreamer try this link if you're having trouble loading the page
Thanks, dude! I got it to load eventually though.
Now, I'll leave some short comments about every track, before I read the other reviews :p
I like the general mood of the track, as well as the intrumentation; definitely fits the theme. I'd like some reverb on the track too; at this moment it sounds very dry. Also, the velocity levels of the intruments could use some varioation. Finally, the notes feel a bit mechanical. Part of it is because of the velocity levels and reverb, but I think that what would also help is a bit more movement in the bass intrument :)
Other than that, good job!
Nice use of percussion, and with the right amount of reverb too. It definitely builds up a good jungle mood, which becomes more mysterious (like some of the old Crash Bandicoot levels) when other intruments are added. I think that the bassnotes on the piano have too much reverb for my taste though, and they distract me a bit from the rest (also, same thing here, velocity levels). I like that this piece gets new life after the middle too. Nicely done!
You know. I really like the classical feel of this track. The compositional aspects and instrumentation is fine. That said, I don't quite see this reflecting the jungle theme as much as the other tracks. THAT said, I could see this being what one of the famous classical composers would've composed if he heard the word "jungle", as in the past, we didn't have the same type of idea of what a jungle would sound like. Also, I have a sneaking suspicioun you forgot about the jungle theme (I actually did the same at first) :p
Now this, this is really nice. I love the atmospheric intro, and the melodies absolutely give me a jungle feel (the percussion naturally helps too). What I really like with this piece though is that it's a bit different from the other tracks in its intrumentation, and I think this might well be the most or second most varied piece on the list. It has a lot of different sections, all of which I like. In certain parts of the piece, I get a Yoko Shimomura feel, which is definitely a good thing. In my first listen, I think something with the mix felt very slighly off at parts. But upon listening more, I don't get that at all. I think it was just the simplicity of the certain parts, but actually, I think that adds a lot. Great job!
This track does well in its execution of percussion. It reminds me a bit of "Croc 2", which is one of my favorite Playstation 1 games (Same goes for a "Tarzan" feel :D, which is also a good game for the ps1 as well). But what this track makes up for in terms of drums, it lacks in melodic content. As much as I like the percussion, I think I would've enjoyed the listen even more if you would've havd more melody and harmony to add to the track. Other than that, everything is spot on, so nice job!
Wooh! The start pulls us right in :D Nice instrument use, and heavy percussion. I like that there are several rhythmic layers of melodies on top of each other, without them distracting from each other. A minor complaint would be that I think the velocity levels of the individual percussion could use some more variation. I also think that certain aspects of the track feel a bit too repetitive. Either way, neat stuff!
This is an interesting track. I feel that the melodic parts of this track could be a bit louder compared to the percussion than they currently are, but that may just be my headphones. I love the atmosphere and harmonies. I think the rhythm could use a bit more variation than there currently is though. There is some variation later on in the track, which is good. I also like that you added something entirely new to this part. I'm not so sure about how well the string instrument that enters at 2:07 fits with the other intruments though. It could use some velocity and note changes (a more varied set of notes played), but also, it feels a bit off in the mix. But overall, it's a good track, so keep it up!
I love the intense feel this track offers. It's a very varied track, with a great amount of tension. I like the use of guitar and piano. The dynamic volumes and interactions is what really brings this track home. Good use of percussion throughout the piece. I think the piano could probably be mixed to feel a bit farther away at points though, but that's probably more of a personal preference. I'm sure that there is something that could be improved with the piano at some parts though. The bass notes especially feel a bit overtaking; it's nice that they're deep at points, but it also gives the track some unclarity at those parts (especially as the same key is mashed so maky times to give an intensity effect). The jungle theme is felt throughout most of the tracks, but I also get an "Arabic desert" feel here and there. Maybe it's an Arabic Jungle, hehe? Anywho, splendid work!
I really, really like the feel of this track! The chords are nice, the rhythm is great, and the fast drums are awesome. This too feels like it would fit perfectly in some retro video game with a jungle theme. I think certain parts are slightly muddy, but only to a very small extent. The melodies are very catchy as well :D
One other complaint would be that this is one of the shorter tracks, but I don't hold that too much against it. Here too, I think that the velocity of examplewise of the piano could vary more, as it carries the piece to quite an extent. Awesome stuff!
This is another really interesting track! I think that the intruments could probably use some better coordination, as they feel a bit simplistic in their use (especially in terms of interaction) at the moment. I like how this gives me both a jazzy and a jungle-y feel. I think that more reverb would've helped a lot for the piano and the bass, and even the percussion. I actually quite enjoy the melodies and the bassline. But I do feel that the mix needs some work, and there could be more variation in the instruments used :)
Nice stuff, nonetheless :D
(P.S. I like how this piece ends one note earlier that I would've imagined XD)
Well, in general I think this track is pretty cool. The percussion immediately caught my attention. The string instrument (whatever it is) and the celesta? have really nice and catchy melodies. I had trouble hearing some of the deepest notes played by the bass-string-thingey without my headphones though (it was fine with the headphones). Unfortunately, this track is rather short, while it could've easily been expanded upon. Also, the percussion, while catchy, could use a little bit less repetition, especially for such a short track. Other than that, the piece sounds neat!
Atmopshere would be my key word for this track, because it has a lot of it! And it's a really awesome jungle atmosphere too :D
I like how this track isn't afraid to make drastic changes both to pacing and mood either. A slight lack of melodic content, but that which is in there, is good stuff (I get the "Lost Ruins" Crash Bandicoot feel from it).
Amazing job ;)
It'd be so cool if these tracks where combined together to make up an awesome jungle soundtrack, which could be used in a game or something >:D!!!
Also, I won't spoil anything, but I have a funny feeling that I know who has made some of the tracks. But naturally, I won't let that influence my voting. Great job everyone! I had a blast listening to your compositions :)
And of course, good luck :3
To honor the WOTs of the last time, I decided to take a stab at it myself. I'm blunt, so if I say something that makes you sad, don't be, I'm not flaming you down on purpose or anything.
The thing I instantly notice is the sample quality and production, with absolutely no bells and whistles to hide it. Sounds very artificial, everything is center-panned, samples have a very noticeable end. There’s not much to mix, but that “plonk” sound playing in chords could be quieter. The guitar playing in the last half could also be more noticeable.
So let’s just leave production at that and let most of those things slide. The song itself has barely any drums, which is surprising, considering this is the percussion special after all. The only real percussion instrument, which is the hat, has a nice rhythm and timing to it. Whatever, that is a perfectly valid choice, just worth pointing out. The song itself lasts about 1:30, with the intro and about six variations of A. That is… underwhelming to be honest. What I’m trying to say, the song never goes anywhere. The guitar never plays more than those 4 notes, the plonk thing repeats the same 4 chords, and the piano has like 2 different melodies. There is a faint guitar sound, technically bumping the amount of melodies for the guitar up to 2, but in reality that's not relevant to what I'm trying to say here. This is clearly someone new, but there are some individual melodies exhibiting the feel that the author tried.
I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that it’s not very jungle-y. There’s a faint… percussion thing that sounds like a high-pitched kick in the background, which I just noticed about five plays in, and… that’s it really. I almost feel bad for ripping this apart, but honestly, it’s not difficult to hear all I just said by yourself. All in all, the author needs more experience, practice and better sample libraries.
Here we have a safe take at the jungle thing, which I’m not saying as a bad thing, just want you get the basic image of what this track is like. Just imagine your basic video game jungle/temple environment and the music should already be playing in your mind. Not much to gripe about in terms of production, it really is like straight from a jungle level… Crash Bandicoot maybe? I dunno.
The percussion in this song is represented by exotic drums, bells… a piano playing bass notes? Not much in terms of melody, which is fairly freeform and inconsequential. The emphasis is clearly on the background percussion thumping and thudding away. The song seems to be split into three parts, the intro, a fast-paced A-part, and a slowed down B, excluding any transitions. It’s fairly good, if a bit cliché and not too memorable. We’re two tracks in, and I’ve found a candidate for the most average track in this competition haha.
Jungle? Yes, there’s no slightest risk at compromising the theme –again, not a necessarily bad thing. It’s just all this is. While I don’t see much to hammer down, I don’t see any eye-sticking things to praise too much either. It’s technically well-crafted. It’s good. It’s there. Honestly, I don’t find much to say about this track.
So… a harpsichord thing. Baroque? Production-wise I’ll just say this could be louder, since the only thing playing here is the harpsichord, so… why not. It’s kind of annoying to turn up the volume just to listen to this one track. Sounds a little bit artificial, but guess it doesn’t matter. Not much else on this front. It lasts for two minutes, which I guess is good enough.
As it is just the harpsichord, it better be well composed. Turns out it… kinda is. The melodies and harmonies are there, it’s fairly free in form, so the composition is not at fault. The rhythm though... It’s this constant *tock-tock-tock* with almost no breaks or variations before the end, making for something very easily forgotten, even in the midst of listening. It almost physically hurts me to say it, because I love my melodies, harmonies, classical/jazz-y compositions and such. The never-ending rhythm takes all the feels away from the song and all we’re left with is this Monorhythmic clusterfuck that kinda sorta gets it, but at the same time leaves this feeling of “wtf am I listening to?”
Jungle? Surprise surprise, not even remotely. Not the first thing I imagine when someone says “percussion”, but that’s irrelevant, because it does adhere to the limitation somewhat. This is a baroque thing that belongs strictly inside for someone to play in a concert or casually for practice. In a jungle with all the exotic shit? Vibrant colours? Rain? Hidden temples? I’m trying to think in which world this piece belongs in a jungle, but nope, not in any quickly conceivable ones. Unfortunate, given this is a really different take that just didn’t work. Better luck next time.
So we’re 4 tracks in, and this is the first cheerful “COLOURS MOTHERFUCKER” type of thing. This really reminds me of Terraria for some reason. Lo-fi sounds, maybe? Oh, now we’re into Rayman territory? Also the longest track so far with whopping 3:40. After listening to this twice, this is the first track I consider a contender for top 3. It does a great job at combining the lo-fi and melodic percussion, the bells, plucked strings… all of the things I’m too lazy to list. Not much to gripe about here.
So I had to stop writing there for like 10 minutes, just so I could pinpoint what I want to say about this track. The way no fucks are given in the transitions, are these the results of careful thinking or “Eff it, I’m out of ideas. I’ll just do it like this”? Prime example around 1:30 with the bells. I’m not even critiquing at this point, I just want to find things to say about this track, because it really deserves it. Almost feels like a crime that I have so little to say other than praising. I’m just caught by this euphoria that I can’t find the smallest nitpicks to cry about. I hope someone else does it better for me.
Absolutely jungle. Reminds me most of jungle themes the first Rayman had.
So… absolute percussion it is then? I knew I’d come across this in some shape or form. It’s a very interesting piece. I’m not opposed to the idea of drum-only track, so we’ll see how it fares. Topping the length leaderboards with a little under 4 minutes of *badaboom-tock-a-tock-a*. For some reason I’m not exactly feeling the percussion sounds. That bass drum just sounds so out of place it almost hurts. A meatier or a less THUMPy kick could have been better. Other than that the sounds mostly work.
I’m not sure how exactly I approach this. There’s not much composition involved in the making of this. Drums blend together and the little melody those melodic drums provide works. It varies itself nicely. Other than that, it’s incredibly difficult to say anything about this.
Sure, I’ll give you credit for making it as jungle-y as possible. Sounds exactly like you’d expect.
TO BE CONTINUED
So… absolute percussion –It’s not? Kinda? Technically all these instruments are percussion, but with more melodic ones scattered in. Not convinced by the bog-standard stock sounds with no bells and whistles… this is becoming a reoccurring theme, isn’t it? Oh well, mark it down as “it works”. 2 minutes, pretty standard so far.
This thing has a melody while keeping itself all percussion. Nowhere near approaching the challenge limits, which I can respect. It’s a marimba tocking away in ¾, with a melody that can be memorable. I just feel marimba wasn’t the optimal choice for the lead instrument, instead some glockenspiel or just anything could have made it that... Oh well, it’s a working melody, which have been scarce so far. Maybe have marimba lead, but some other percussion instrument(s) back it up? Dunno, something about it just sounds so off.
Yes jungle. This is the first thing that springs into mind while listening to this (aside from the intro maybe sounding like a hard rock song intro tom beat… that’s a lot of words strung together), and that’s what matters, isn’t it.
This here is has a very industrial-ish feel to it, and no, I’m not talking of the music genre. It really just sounds like it should be playing in a factory or something. 3:50 minutes long, excluding the end silence, falling just short on the scoreboard. Things work together, though –wait a goddamn second, IS IT FUCKING CLIPPING? Listened to it again, downloaded and looked at the graph, and yes, it is, in fact, going ham at the sound card. Big minus right there. Also, why does it have 15 seconds of silence at the end?
This is another one of these tracks with exotic beat with a melody played with marimbas and shit. At this point I see a pattern emerge across this competition, which is not unexpected, just gets a little boring after like 4 tracks. After all, most people think of jungle and imagine exactly this… Anyway, back to the track, it sounds fairly cheerful, though not in the same scale track 4 did things. I like the electronic snare with a fairly long decay, and I like how the string instruments give it almost an eastern vibe. The main melody on the marimba isn’t bad, but the biggest problem I see is that this doesn’t evolve much. Beat changes, instrumentation changes, chord progression doesn’t, melodies barely do. Suppose you could make that up with everything else, but in this case, it is a bummer.
While I did say this reminds me of a factory, I don’t mean it’s not jungle. It is, it has everything it needs to be a jungle theme. It just has this weird feel on the percussion that is usually linked to industrial genres. The hats? Maybe, I cba to spend time pondering that.
Hmm, so it does have the cinema drums, but doesn’t go into any of the categories we’ve seen today, closest of which is percussion and melodies. No, this sounds like some kind of cinematic acoustic rock with electronic elements on it. This has a sad feeling to it, fighting yourself out a perilous jungle perhaps? Though I’m not sure if I’m looking at an action film sequence or a jungle-themed song. I like the soundscape, it goes away from this ultra-safe marimba tribal thing that about 70% of people thought up, and opts more to something more cinematic. Also, new record at little over 4 minutes. At this rate we might be at 5:00 by track 12.
Melody-wise it sounds like a melodic/symphonic black metal band (*cough* Aquilus *cough*) with more orchestral drums. Not even kidding. Other than that… Maybe it retains the same feeling throughout the track? I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Having trouble picking apart this composition, so let’s not. Shame, but hey, I guess I’ve been fairly blunt with getting my points across, so maybe it’s not even that bad a sign.
Jungle? Yeah. Though it also works as an action movie type of thing.
Oh boy, we have an upbeat thing going on here. Holy shit, those drums. It’s not much like the other things we’ve seen here, but I will ask what the fuck that marimba is doing after the intro? That kind of ruined a basis for a unique take at the jungle thing. Otherwise, I’ll not complain much of the soundscape. Very short at under 1:30, which is below the acceptable minimum.
One thing I wanted to say after listening to a minute of this is that the drums are FUCKING GODLIKE. It’s like someone hired Mike Portnoy to do the drumming. Unfortunately, the other guys were from Nickelback, who didn’t know what to do with all that drumming prowess, and this here is the end result. Maybe if this was twice as long, it could be salvaged. As of now, however, it’s a disappointing showing. I’m almost mad that this song gets off to a good start, manages to hype it in the end, and… that’s it. It’s building up to a climax, then abruptly ends before it. It’s also criminally sad that these drums are in a track like this. In any other song, I’d be dancing around the room, smiling, tapping my toe, that sort of thing. I love a good drum track, and I love unique takes, unfortunately this just makes me sad. Feels unfinished.
Our 5-streak of YES JUNGLE was broken. I don’t think this qualifies for a jungle track, no matter from which point I look at it. I guess barely? No? Really don’t think so.
TO BE CONTINUED AGAIN
So here we are with what sounds like another upbeat track. Hi-hats going ham, bass keeping some kind of rhythm, piano playing the melody. It’s not really complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Almost 3 minutes long, which is a good amount. I will say that all the instruments sound really far back, and biased towards the left ear. Sound quality is not a problem though. The sounds aren’t super realistic, but they do sound nice together, so it’s a good stylistic choice in this case.
Not very formal or limited writing, sounds almost jazzy in fact. Progressive? Guess it works, even though there’s not much progression if we’re honest, haha. The rhythm is inconsistent, but I kinda like that you went for that. I’m always up for free-flowing, crazy compositions, which give no fucks about established habits or rules. Unfortunately this might choke on the other end of the double-ended sword of free form. It doesn’t have any kind of memorability. Literally zero. I listened to this like 5 times, and I still remember fuck all about this track. Guess that’s the risk/sacrifice attached to it. Overall, no negative feelings, not much positive either.
Jungle? Eh, barely. I’ll let it pass, just because it is vibrant and exhibits heaps of color. It just fails in that it’s empty, while the jungle should never feel empty. That I just can’t connect with a jungle in any way, shape or form. Unless aliens attacked and eradicated life, but that’d propably sound more like Track 8.
Well, back to jungle soundscape we go. This differentiates itself with that string instrument playing in the background. It also uses excotic drums and a bell. Shortest track yet, with a borderline unacceptable 57 seconds.
Has a very bouncy feel to it, mainly due to the “bass”-line having so much groove to it. I love that. I will say that the bell is pushed FAR too back in the mix. It could as well be coming from the outer space, that’s how distant it sounds. At times it also sounds completely unrelated to the song, partially because of the aforementioned. Other than that, it’s short, so have a short review. What else can I say?
This track gets the jungle.
And we end this streak with exactly the thing you expect from a jungle: drum-only. Yay! This track has a nice soundscape. There are no straggler sounds, which sound like they don’t belong, unlike some of the other tracks which were plagued by those to a degree. In this, never did such a feeling reach my thoughts.
About 2:30 minutes is a decent number this track can proudly present to its audience.
You’d think I couldn’t pick apart composition in a percussion-only track, but the slowdown in the middle of the song might be just a little too slow. It’s not some 2-3 second break, it lasts like 5 seconds before slowly going at it again. “Did the song just stop?” gets me every time.
No doubt jungle-y. For some reason appeals to me a bit more than some of the other drum-tracks. Maybe because there aren’t many obvious mistakes.
And there we have it! Took like 3 hours to listen and write down all that stuff, hopefully there's something of value here.
Yeah folks, for some reason there's loading issues in Chrome due to the player I used for some unknown reason... works fine on IE and Firefox, though, if you don't mind hopping over to either/or for a short bit. :)
BTW, great entries to all of you! I don't think there was a single entry that didn't have some cool thing here or there and a nice sense of personality. :)
Track 1- No reverb to speak of? I know they said don’t use reverb to sustain sounds, but sheesh this piece could have used some lol this sounds like a dry MIDI file. Structurally, the chord progression introduced by the guitar is okay and the piano melody was kinda awkward, but it all fit with what you set us up for. Then, everything trailed into nothingness at the end as an anti-climax, and I wasn’t getting the feel of a jungle scene either…perhaps your train of thought was focused on the aspect of the challenge more than the music-making. Even though there was a somewhat small time bracket, I think you could have done better.
Track 2- Nice job making the drums fill out the space. It’s nice how the drums got thicker as time progressed and it was a refreshing change to have the tempo slowed. But…this piece didn’t necessarily make me think of a jungle. The choice of using a piano and bell wasn’t utilized in a way that emulated a jungle to me. And the way it ended made it sound incomplete. It’s a nice little piece for an avant-garde art performance, but it could have painted much more of a picture. It fit the requirements more than it blossomed into music.
Track 3- Harpsichord? Okay…seems the whole thing is just a solo harpsichord piece, so I’ll just skip trying to evaluate this as a song that’s supposedly depicting a jungle scene. I mean…I suppose it can be pulled off, but that would require a whole lot of convincing context. So I guess basically, the harmonic progression was extremely jostled, thereby making the melody unclear. Counterpoint was somewhat happening, but nothing seemed to be an exact variation of the beginning theme, so honestly I wasn’t entirely sure there was a beginning theme. It was an okay classical piece, but it sounded like a dog let off its leash; it needed more control.
Track 4- Oh yay, something I can melodically follow. This makes me think of the Kokiri in Wind Waker and how squishy they looked hopping around, even though they’d probably snap in half if you tried to squish them. Love how it variates in an effortless way and the choice of intriguing sounds. Not sure if the 8-bit elements were exactly jungle-like, but I guess for a video game level in a jungle it could work out; it coincides with how robotic the pulse of the song is, which I think is both a good and a bad thing…well it’s more a bad thing with how it makes you unprepared for the ending. But overall, this is a catchy song and it fits the jungle theme while being a bit of an other-worldly surprise as well.
Track 5- Now THIS is a percussion piece. It constantly develops and transforms in ways that give it a solid structure; each sound acted like backing harmonies and solo melodies in a tonal piece, and you can’t really go wrong with pure drums to depict a jungle atmosphere. I suppose the judges really set that one up for us, and you took that exact route and developed it in a very creative way. I also love the bit-crushed additions and the use of distortion at some points. Very well done!
Track 6- DK reminiscent. I particularly enjoy the wood block panned right for some reason. That’s nice how the wood xylophone develops through the piece, and through the constraints of the rules you definitely used most of what you could. But, I’m not sure if this is just my mind yearning to push this song through those rules, there’s something missing from this…it was just so perfectly concise that I wish there was some more of a climax or an atypical percussive sound to cut through the generality. Anyways, this is a great piece honestly. Nice work!
Track 7- Oh my, that was suddenly loud lol. Sounds like the mix is sort of limiting. Well, nice choice in drums; they’re quintessential while being a little bit unique. The xylowhatever had a nice recurring melody that I didn’t find to get old. Oh my, Asia stepped in lol. I’m a little surprised by how well the two instruments blend together. And don’t think I forgot the electric bass part, it’s a nice underline to the piece. Oh cool, clappy claves, but oh no…it just fades out at the end. I wish there was a sudden, climactic boom and then it ends, but the fade out is okay too. Overall, that was a nice piece. It fit the theme and it still developed despite its minimalistic nature. Great job!
Track 8- Okay okay, guitar leading me…and then yeeesssss epic piano introduction. Very in-your-face percussion, which is cool, but I’m not always hearing them as a jungle palette, more so as the miscellaneous cinematic elements to a soundtrack of any genre. Maybe it’s the electronic elements that were also included that set that up. But wow, nice variation with the guitar and piano. Perhaps if the piano part was replaced with some wood xylophone at certain points, or if a wood xylophone was used period, the piece would be more reminiscent of a jungle and I would have enjoyed it that much more. But, still a nicely done piece of work.
Track 9- Interesting choices at the beginning. I’m liking this groovy feel. This does make me think of the coolness of DK. I really enjoy that honky-tonk instrument and how it’s implemented through out the piece. I think the echo used on some of the spots jumbled awkwardly at some points and made it sound like there was a rhythmic glitch. And oops you kinda cut it off too quickly at the end, but that was pretty cool. Could have been longer, but its conciseness worked out here. Nice job!
Track 10- Hmmm…breakbeat rhythm, that’s a cool changeup. Something about the mix sounds really hollow, like both mono and stereo at the same time. And it seems the piano is trying to fill up most of the empty space by flittering everywhere. You could have definitely used waaaaay more percussive sounds than mainly just those cymbal taps, and y’know, a marimba or something to make it paint some image of a jungle. The slowing at the end was awkward…but yeah…cool rhythm, but nothing else really grabbed my attention.
Track 11- Mmmmm guitary instrument is nice, but the glock kind of ruins it for me. Wait what…it’s already over? C’monnnnn there could have been way more to talk about in this piece. The drums with the guitar were a great start, especially the rhythmic pattern of the guitar’s melody was catchy. Well…it’s so short that I didn’t have enough to go off of to even try to imagine a jungle scene, so I can’t say it really depicted the theme…this piece obviously needed more time put into it, and though there was a construed period to work on this, there was enough time to do way more than this.
Track 12- Mysterious! Nice choice of percussion! That’s really a great buildup at the beginning and the mixing on the drums is fantastic, some are up close and personal while others are trailing in the background. Oh my, a meter change? Oh! And the soft inclusion of a melodic instrument. Oh my, now it’s speeding up?! How exciting! What an extremely versatile piece this is! It’s really great that one of the best ones are saved for last! This song told a vast story in a concise amount of time…excellent work! A true percussion piece constantly turning through the jungle!
Absolutely loving all of the feedback all over the thread here, guys!
I also already have 8 people's votes so far - if I get all 12 people voting before the time is up, I'll post the next challenge early!
My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.
Not to be, "That guy" but, in the guidelines, Skye included...
"Your challenge is to only use percussive and one-shot instruments. Pianos, plucks, hit things smack things ping things pong things,as long as it cannot sustain a note in some fashion, you are good to go."
I feel like there were a lot of submissions that unfortunately did not follow THIS specific challenge area, or made serious side steps around it, which is a slightdowner, but not THAT big of a deal really.
Thought I would just mention this. But everyone, please remember...
It is just a contest! Learn stuff!
At 11/19/15 12:39 AM, frootza wrote: Not to be, "That guy" but, in the guidelines, Skye included...
"Your challenge is to only use percussive and one-shot instruments. Pianos, plucks, hit things smack things ping things pong things,as long as it cannot sustain a note in some fashion, you are good to go."
I feel like there were a lot of submissions that unfortunately did not follow THIS specific challenge area, or made serious side steps around it, which is a slightdowner, but not THAT big of a deal really.
Thought I would just mention this. But everyone, please remember...It is just a contest! Learn stuff!
You're right! This is why I pointed out, pick your votes based on the theme and quality, but also the challenge.
While all of the pieces were technically valid (and I double checked on a few iffy ones), there are quite a few that did not truly challenge themselves, and pushed the limits of the challenge rather than embracing it.
Not to name any names, of course.
Azhthar how could you do all of those heavily pedaled piano chords why would you do that
My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.
Before anything else, let me congrat you all. In my humble opinion, the wasn't any bad track.
Not all of them stuck to the theme and challenge, but that's another story :P
There isn't too much I can say about the tracks that haven't been said, great feedback from everyone too.
So, I'll keep it brief here I go:
TRACK 1 : I didn't fell the jungle theme on this one, but it did on the challenge. I think this track needs some extra mix as well a little reverb as a "general makeup". Also a better ending could improve this piece.
TRACK 2 : Jungle theme is here, and so is the challenge. I like the instrumentation and overall "mysterious vibe". Some extra volume would do good to this piece
TRACK 3 : I really like this one, I have a thing for clavichords, virginals, spinetas and stuf like that. But unfortunately, the jungle isn't on this one, and a single instrument doesn't work well (imo) for the challenge.
TRACK 4 : I think on a happy jungle full of spider monkeys with this one. Well done on the challenge limits, lots of sounds and variety, interesting combination.
TRACK 5 : Nailed the jungle theme. Great variety of percussion instruments all into the challenge and plenty of rhythm. The only thing this one needs is some pitched perc once in a while to make it better.
TRACK 6 : The jungle feel is here too. Instruments do well into the challenge. A little repetitive, but the melodies are nice as well as that bridge (?) in the middle.
TRACK 7 : Interesting take on the jungle theme, pushing the limits of the challenge. A nice combination of sounds, the mix sounds a little strange and also could use a more solid ending.
TRACK 8 : This is a great piece I like it a lot, but it has a more epic feel, not so "jungley", also there are things bordering the reverb specifics of the challenge.
TRACK 9 : I don't get the jungle theme here, and I have my doubts about the challenge limits, but one thing is for sure, this piece is funny as hell and I'm loving it.
TRACK 10 : Didn't got a jungle vibe from this one, I think some percs could have helped to have it as well as taking more advantage of the challenge limits. Dig this jazzy tune.
TRACK 11 : I get the jungle theme here, nice combination of sounds but a flirting with reverb bordering challenge specifics, the fact that is short isn't a problem, would work nicely as a loop.
TRACK 12 : Great piece, can feel the jungle on this one too, but in the challenge specifics, reverb is more on the heavy side, I like the rhythms and experimental (?) character.
At 11/19/15 12:52 AM, SkyeWint wrote:Azhthar how could you do all of those heavily pedaled piano chords why would you do that
Now you spoiled me :( Am I disqualified? I really tried to keep my layered string-pads in the background and nobody found them, yet, as I read in the reviews. And I didn´t even mention the epic choir parts ;)
Damn, guys. It's barely been over 24 hours and I already only need one last person to submit their votes. Hint hint, friend, I've already seen you post in the thread, too.
My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.
A quick comment thanking everyone who has posted feedback so far, even those who never participated! I have found it extremely helpful and appreciate the comments. Thanks! So here's some reviews, and thoughts I had. All subjective of course.
Track 1: I like how playful this track is. I get the impression the user could do with more instruments to play with though as some of it is sounding a bit primitive, so I suggest trying to expand you palette a bit. It's like a character is relaxing in the depths of the jungle. Some mild panning and spacial positioning will help on the production side. Themes created are nice and lighthearted and have a cute factor, like a little furry creature sitting in the trees.
Track 2: I like the choice of percussion in this. It certainly says jungle to me! Some of the themes explore a nice array of wonder then lurks into the darkness and mystery which is quite nice and progressive. It seems a bit walky at points, like the theme doesn't really reveal itself or hold enough footing making it recognisable. I actually think some additional instrumentation would waken this piece right up, and give it a bit of diversity.
Track 3: This track took me by surprise. Although its a great piece which has some nice melodies I think the jungle sound needs to be more apparent. It feels more renaissance which is a bit jarring. The melodies are quite interesting when the context is ignored and are completely enjoyable. It's fun as it rides up and down and without the need for percussion has great pacing that I found my head was swaying quickly too. So it's a good piece.
Track 4: A great springy piece. It actually does work very well I think with the jungle concept. I love the theme in it, it's so cute and catchy! I really like how it lends to the jungle idea but jumps in and out of the instrument choice that shouts jungle setting. So it grounds itself but doesn't let that derive the main forefront of the piece which is the experience. Love the melodies.
Track 5: The percussion in this is awesome, and the instrument choice is spot on. It feels like i'm swinging with dem monkies! Good work. It's driven really well and even though repeats quite a bit, it doesn't get repetitive. Something like this would be spot on for a game imo. Totally screams jungle imo, which is interesting as the percussion is driven by a drumkit. Percussion is nice and not clouded even though it builds ontop more and more, which is testament to good mixing. I like the little shake at the end, and after hearing that I wanted that fed through the rest of your piece. Just to change the dynamic a bit.
Track 6: The instrument choice in this is great. It definitely fits the theme. Your track has great pace and tempo, it's very cheeky sounding and creates a nice feeling of whimsical fun. Like a character is up to no good but as the audience we want that. The melody is nice and apparent and its another one which gets my foot tapping and head bobbing, its memorable too imo, and found that I was reciting it in my mind once the track had ended. An adorable track.
Track 7: The melodies in this are really nice, I like how you have taken what you have, and then build on it with an additional spin. The instrument choice is good, and it does feel grounded in its jungle setting, I think around the 1minute mark you have some nice clarity, but it seems to get lost a bit near the second half of your track, becoming very compressed. It's an odd thing to point out, but I felt it got in the way of a great track. Don't feel you need to go really loud, keep the clarity of your instruments and reduce the amount of compression on it. The wave form was like a wall of sound yet your instrumentation and themes called for a more subtle approach. Other than that it was a great track which had a lot of appealing qualities to it.
Track 8: A great track which has nice driven percussion. I like the ideas portrayed, but I think the jungle concept is lost in it. I actually think it sounds more spanish like than the jungle, especially with the guitars - piano combo. At times it does have jungle elements to it though and the melody has a bit of a romantic theme in it which is why I think it sounds more spanish. It has some great percussion points where I found it enjoyable to being driven by the stomping drum sound but the overall instrument choice created a different setting. It's very cinematic, but it can be a little overbearing for such an intimate theme.
Track 9: This has an old console vibe! I really think this sounds like its composed from The Megadrive era. Although the jungle theme isnt super apparent I like what you have done as it's still a great track. The melody and riff is good and upbeat but it all ends too soon. I felt that we could have had an intermittent part and then revisited the melodies with a bit of a twist. Damn it, we neeeed moar! Unfortunately some of the instruments don't scream jungle to me and I think that without that defined it was hard to place it in a natural setting. Otherwise a great track.
Track 10: Interesting use of piano, and Interested in hearing your style evolve. You have a very dashy track. I think some of the instrumentation is a bit simplistic and would have loved some stereo width and more of your instruments playing off each other for variety. As others have said, it actually does have a jazzy edge to it which is quite different. I would have loved some percussion in there other than the basic drumkit, something with a bit more warmth and drive would of helped nail that jungle theme as i think it's somewhat missing. The melodies are fun but a bit hard to define which is meant to be at the forefront of your track. Give the audience something to latch on to. Good work!
Track 11: This has groove. I like how you have a swing to it with the melody. It's rather short lived which is a shame, as I would have loved to have heard more from you. Given the opportunity definitely give us some variation in melody with extending that out. If you have a theme, you can always let us revisit it later with an extra twist. The tuned perc pulled the track out of the jungle, but the percussion derived from it, but it wasnt a bad thing. It actually gave the track charm and originality. I think you have great ideas put into this, i just wish it had a chance to change and evolve into something that we can gravity toward . Great fun to listen to, brilliant for a game menu imo.
Track 12: You've pretty much nailed the percussion side of the jungle, absolutely fantastic there. You have a melody which comes in, and it gives some great character throughout the remainder of the track. The reverb is a nice touch widening the stereofield and giving us a concept of vastness. The percussion and pacing drive the track up and down, and the changes in timing are very appealing. I really liked the percussion at the end although it had reverb it didn't muddy up the multiple instruments going for it. Great track.
So, here are my thoughts, first time ever really intensely listening to such specific music, so I'm not sure how well I got a handle on what's important or not. To me however, the theme was one of the most (if not THE most) important in this challenge, aside from, of course the technical challenge.
Anyway, here goes!
May have taken the ”no sustained notes” a little too seriously. Notes cut off very abruptly. The melody could have been better, there are some good ideas, but there are just too many things going on in the last part of the track. The instruments themselves sound very synthetic. I don’t really hear the jungle in this track. Has no real climax or progression.
The intro is good. The drums sound very organic. Melody is somewhat undefined or unstructured overall, it’s like the drums were the main focus, and then a melody was just quickly slapped on. I like the break, every time I’ve listened to this I always though the track was over, but then it just keeps going! The tempo shift is also interesting, but the melody leaves a lot to be desired. The drums are very jungle-themed, but the melody really isn’t to me. I would have liked a more structured melody, simple even, and then just with some variations. Maybe some supporting instruments underneath the piano and vibraphone would have helped this track too.
This one really surprised me, both in a good and bad way. I really think this is a very well composed track, can’t really say much for the production as it’s just one instrument. However, it doesn’t have anything to do with jungle as I hear it. Big fan of harpsichord, but the instrument clashes with the theme in my opinion. This song reminds me more of the Alexandria portions of FFIX than a jungle. Again, well composed, but doesn’t stay true to the theme. Big points for the composition, but the lack of anything jungle-related is really a big minus.
A really well made track, the instruments are pretty well chosen, although I’m not seeing the connection between a plucked violin (or whatever it may be) and the jungle. The melody is really good, very uplifting, but in a sense, this track is also too “songy” for its own good. I love the track, but thinking of the theme, there are some things that in my opinion fall a bit outside what I would call jungle related, most specifically the punchy drums/percussion that first comes in at around 0:40, it is just waaaay too digital for anything jungle related, sorry. Again, I don’t hate this track, I actually like it a lot because it’s just so well made, but the track in itself is just a little too neat and clean for something that is supposed to have to do with jungle. Great work though!
I really like the work that’s been put into the drums in this track, aside from the punchy sounds that fade in and out from around 1:05. They sound way too digital for a track like this in my opinion. What I personally would have liked is a more clearly defined melody at some point, but I can however appreciate the idea of having a track with no real melody at all. The effect at the end is not my favourite, but I see the idea. Really well made drums, and track overall, but I feel as if this track could have benefited from a little more melodic content.
Drums sound quite mechanical, and something in the underlying marimba tones at the beginning seem to me to clash with the melody. Speaking of melody, I quite like second part of this track, from about 1:20 onwards, but the first part of it could be better, melody-wise. Other than that, the melody has a great thematic feel to them. Production is okay, I know two weeks can be a short amount of time for some people, but the drums especially didn’t sound very appealing to me.
The track overall is a somewhat overblown, which in particular makes the bass sound a little too punchy. Drums are pretty good, and the melody is okay too, although a little more variation in both would have been nice. The marimba especially makes me think of a game like Crash Bandicoot for some reason. Conforms to the overall jungle theme quite well, although the instrument used in the break might be a little far-fetched.
I like the dramatic-ness of this track. Very orchestral and movie-like. I was going to say that the majority of the guitar sounds like a sample, but after hearing the ending part, I am not sure what to think, as the last ~30 seconds of this song sounds like at was actually recorded with an actual guitar. Really well-produced aside from (maybe?) the guitar. Honestly, I guess you could have recorded each part and then just looped it, I dunno. Could hear this in a game/movie where people are rushing through a jungle, but not in a game/movie where you observe the natives. Does that make sense?
Drums are very good on this track, however, the honky-tonk piano isn’t really a sound I personally like, especially how it’s used in the start, it’s a little too goofy for the theme. The guitars in the middle part sound a little too mechanical, but overall the melody is good, especially in the latter two thirds of the song. The ending is a little disappointing, I feel like the track was just getting ready for about a minute or more of… something. Doesn’t really have any jungle in it, which to me is a shame and a minus.
Seems like this track doesn’t really know what it wants to do. What comes into my mind when I think jungle is first and foremost drums, and that’s probably where my biggest gripe with this track lies. The drums are fairly non-existing. On the melody side of things, there is, I’m afraid, not praise from me either. The composition is okay, a little busy for my liking, but the biggest problem is that it just sounds way too mechanical for what is supposed to be a jungle themed piece. A little more variation and supporting instruments would have been nice, instead of just a bass and a piano.
Very lovely drums. In my opinion, there is a clash between how smooth and organic the drums sound, and how cut-off the melody is, both the bass and vibraphone-thingy. I’d much prefer it if you let the notes ring out a little longer, so as to humanise the track a bit more, with how amazing the drums were on this, I feel the melody was a bit of a let-down. Very jungle-y. A bit short, but pretty much all good stuff in there.
Drums are very well produced on this track, however the melody (?) in the first half of the song is barely audible, not sure if that is intended. Second part is also really good, although I’m having trouble figuring out what the instrument actually is. The ending is awesome in this, I really like how this track goes somewhere. Conforms to the theme very well, really a good track overall as well, outside of the theme. The drums alone in this make this one of my favourites in this round.
I'm at the bar witing for the girl to show up
But suddenly i'm going through the jungle in search of the artifact of hyperdeath
Going through a portal and now I'm in Vienna, forced to endure a full piece played at the harpsichord (I don't like the harpsichord.)
Fortunately, this was only a dream and I'm relieved to be able to start digging again for ore and i'm building a giant airship from which I will conquer the entire land
Before I can do that, I am captured by the Order of the Drum, savages who haven't been blessed with the Western tonal music theory
Oh no they have brought marimbas :(
Now they are making me eat mushrooms that distort my sense of reality D:
Finally coming to my senses, I ponder the meaninglessness of existence. While running. In the rain. In slow-mo
Having lost them, I experience a bad mushroom crash. It's the 70s all over again.
Everything feels so unstable, I can't seem to think straight. But time just slows down...
And the villain makes his entrance, he's got the girl ! and the artifact. Ugh, I hate when he brags like that.
Now, it's kill or be killed. The legendary showdown everyone was waiting for ! I lose him for a moment but he comes at me harder. Fortunately i manage to strike him down.
TL;DR BEST CONCEPT ALBUM 2015 AMIRITE
I bet the next theme is going to be ocean.
BONUS REWARD FOR ALL OF YOU VOTING!
Track 1: Jungle Zechnition | @Zechnition
-Interesting introduction. Nice beginning for the background synthesizer.
-This definitely fits the "no percussion or sustain" challenge.
-I actually really like the syncopation and rhythmic contrast in this piece.
-Unsurprisingly, this doesn't fit the theme very well.
-The mix, while clear, buries several aspects of the piece which do not sound like they were intended to be quiet.
-Instrument quality can be improved significantly. You may want to look up some VSTi from DSK and through the Versilian website. This, along with some light reverb and panning would have made the piece significantly better even with minimal adjustments to the composition.
-Speaking of the composition, while this has very well-organized composition it is also fairly repetitive and follows the same four chords throughout. This would do very well with some variation in the feeling and some variation to the melody. Try adjusting the melody to fit different progressions and moods, as it can really show skill in composition and makes for a much more interesting and engaging piece.
Overall: A very nice little idea for a piece. Composition, mixing, and instrument quality could use work - but there are also very good foundations here.
Track 2: Newgrounds percussion | Kyero2015
-Very nice percussive sounds! I appreciate the panning of the instruments. They also form a very strong background for the piece.
-The initial melody is very interesting, and has a nice flow to it. It actually reminds me a lot of Earthbound. Specifically, Belch's factory full of the little pink dudes.
-It's extraordinarily rare when panning an instrument entirely to one side is actually a good idea. This stuck out to me very strongly as I listened on headphones. The main reason why is so that there is a balance in the frequency distribution on both sides. Much of the lower mid to bass frequencies are concentrated on the left side, which causes an imbalance in the piece's mixing.
-The second half of the piece seems very disconnected from the first, with a very different style (despite having the same percussion and instruments).
Overall: An interesting and highly percussive piece. It fits the challenge very well (with minor flowing bass in the piano), and demonstrates quite a bit of skill with percussion. OVerall compositional organization could be improved, as could some of the panning and balance issues in the mix.
Track 3: Contrapunctus I | @Chris354
-There's quite a bit of harpsichord here, which is often very tricky to make a piece for.
-There is also quite a bit of compositional complexity, which is fairly impressive given the length of the piece.
-This does tend to begin to drag on after going on for a little while. This kind of music could very much use a break through some of it. This is partially due to the lack of a clear melody and the constant notes with minimal syncopation or changes in the way that the notes are played.
-As stated by many others, this doesn't really fit the theme particularly well - which is likely why it didn't receive votes in the contest.
-This also isn't really pushing your abilities to use primarily percussive instruments, as it uses a harpsichord in a very classic way and stays well within what seems to be your comfort zone for music. There's no harm in losing a round if an experiment doesn't go well, and trying out new things can be really helpful for your style and overall quality of music!
-Last point is simple and I'm fairly sure it's been beaten to death, but the mixing could definitely be better. It's clear with the one instrument, but can easily be mastered more cleanly and have more presence than it currently does.
Overall: A very nice classical piece which doesn't push very many boundaries in how it's written.
Track 4: Naptime Near The Forest Floor /01NNTFF | @ZipZipper
-Okay, I have to admit, I *loved* this piece. It's probably my favorite out of all of the ones submitted. It epitomizes the kind of adventurous experimentation that I was hoping for in this round, which personally gets massive brownie points from me.
-Excellent melodic content and development, with a very playful sound to it. I initially thought it basically looped the same content twice, but I can say with certainty that this is NOT the case after listening more deeply. Excellent!
-Mixing is very solid, and even the lower bass notes are very clearly and audibly drums.
-The ending could definitely have been better. It was fairly quick, without much leading up to it. Granted, percussion is difficult to end with - but this could certainly have been improved.
-I'm not entirely sure whether this really belongs in the not-so-good points, but it didn't quite fit the type of jungle shown in the image. This would be much more of a lighter area of the jungle, or even a jungle clearing. Especially given what you named the piece. I think this likely cut down on a few of the votes that you would otherwise have gotten.
Overall: A fantastic piece with minimal negative points to speak of - VERY impressive, and well-deserving of second place in this round!
Track 5: NGMT Round 1 - DMZ | @OkamiChittara
-Excellent clean percussion throughout, with several clearly audible percussive themes. The electronic shakers starting around a minute in are VERY fantastic and give some genuinely good variety to the piece.
-The break close to 2 minutes into the piece is a really nice metallic section providing some much-needed variation to the piece and allowing for a great transition before going back to a few of percussive ideas at about 3 minutes in.
-Really excellent distortion effects towards the end!
-Those tom drums that come in at the start NEVER STOP until the end. Dear god. I think the person drumming those must have gone insane. I know I certainly would have - it drove me nuts just listening to it!
-The ending is very much sudden and could definitely have had a bit more buildup and adjustment to it. ...also, 15 seconds of silence at the end. Why.
Overall: Okay, I'm going to be honest - the first time I heard this, I thought that it wasn't particularly good. But hey, I can be wrong too - this is definitely deserving of the joint third place it has received! It is a very well-made percussion piece with fantastic non-melodic themes (and a few... vaguely melodic ones).
Track 6: Ocelot | @LexaHergon
-Very nice marimba and xylophone ideas here!
-This reminds me a lot of Minecraft. Though that could just be the title.
-This feels very robotic and "square" in how it's organized. It's also very repetitive - the first minute feels much longer than it actually is due to the repetition.
-A lot of the mixing in this could actually have been improved. Much of the percussion is highly focused on the left or right, and it's also very quiet in comparison to the marimba and xylophone. These could be brought out more with some good mastering and a few tweaks to the mixing.
Overall: An interesting mallet piece with some really neat ideas and decent drums, but brought down by a very square and rigid playing style. The biggest things for this are having more variation and more humanized playing.
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My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.
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Track 7: Jungle 2 | @Septyrikon
-Some neat delays on the mallet instruments.
-I do like the more ethnic instruments in the middle. Fuck if I can remember the name of them - shamisen?
-Interesting how it seems to speed up a little bit after the middle.
-This actually fits the jungle theme really well for me - partially because of Earthbound again (man, why am I reminded of Earthbound so much in this round?), in the deep jungle towards the end of the game.
-CLIPPING. You can bring the volume down, man! This actually really detracts from the overall quality of the piece, and hurts a lot of the sounds of the percussion.
-As you know, the bass was extraordinarily borderline, to the point where it nearly had the piece disqualified outright. Careful - if you were to listen to it as someone making sure that a piece didn't break the challenge, and it's hard to tell, then that's a bit of a problem. It's especially obvious in the middle where the notes last very long.
-A lot of ideas repeat quite a bit, and it could use a little bit more variation in its ideas as it goes through the piece. The background is included in this, of course.
-Fadeout ending with no real conclusion. 'nuff said.
Overall: A piece that's actually fairly good - the absolute biggest failing (and what probably kept people from voting for it) is definitely the mastering. Fix that, and this piece would be a fairly strong contender!
Track 8: Jungle Brawlers | @PeterSatera
-Very nice percussion throughout - much appreciated! The feature at 1:20 is also very good.
-That distorted sound at 1:05 is very, very nice. I'm mildly curious about where you got it from.
-I really like the guitar solo at 2:25, though I feel it could have been humanized a little bit more.
-That section around 2:55 was excellent. I would have loved to hear it extended a little bit more or placed in more than the one section - this would have done really well taking turns with the guitar soloing.
-Peter, man... it feels like you definitely suffered from the lack of your strings and horns in this piece. It seems like the normal organization of your music suffered from this primarily in the escalation of drama. The drums were placed appropriately, as was the initial melody, but then around 0:50 and 1:07 it feels like you very much wanted to use strings or horns for additional dramatic flair in it.
-I actually find it mildly interesting - you used quite a bit of percussion here, and it started burying the piano and guitar, especially around 1:40. This also occurs towards the end at around 3:20, where everything peaks.
-The use of percussion in place of the normal strings/horns also becomes apparent in that the percussion rarely lets up, even for a few seconds - it's a constant aspect of the piece, and stays fairly intense even in the lighter portions.
Overall: Classic Peter right here - very powerful-sounding, and heavy-hitting. It definitely fits the title of "Jungle Brawlers" (though perhaps a bit more dramatic than the title suggests). Well-deserving of the joint 3rd-place.
Track 9: Asdfjgsareg | @Jernemies
-Some really neat funky sounds in this. Fairly classic Jernemies as well!
-I actually really like the percussion and use of harpsichord/piano in this. Honestly, every instrument has its own place, and works very well!
-Every single individual section of this is very well-written, and they all flow together quite well, too.
-As much as I love the use of percussion in this, this does not sound like a jungle. Not really much at all, to be honest.
-The organization of the sections could be slightly better. As neat as all of the individual sections are, and as great as the transitions are, this really needs to be a bit more organized and have some more clearly defined themes and ideas fitting it together.
-The instruments could use a bit more work - they're higher quality than instruments you've brought to previous competitions, and you've clearly improved in mixing them. I think it's time to take the next step - some more research into specific placement of instruments and some slightly higher-quality instruments would do you a world of good, I think!
Overall: Man. I think people should be afraid of you next round. Seriously. This round just wasn't a theme that really fit you, but... I think you're going to have a lot of fun with the second one! Either way - about the piece. It's good, but suffers from a lack of overall compositional organization, and doesn't fit the theme too well.
Track 10: Purr Couis | @frootza
-The way the piano is used reminds me a lot of Secret of Mana. It's really neat.
-I find it really interesting how the piece slows down towards the end. I feel like a lot more could have been done with it, but it was a really neat idea!
-This may be a bit too modern-jazz style here. It doesn't seem particularly well-organized.
-This actually seems to lack a lot of bass and some mastering - it's somewhat weak, given it only has three instruments. If the instruments had a bit more frequency spread and were mastered to bring out their subtleties, this would improve the piece quite a bit.
-Unsurprisingly... it doesn't fit the theme very well. I'm not entirely certain if this would really fit a scene entirely, to be honest. That's not a bad thing, it's just not as fitting for this kind of round.
Overall: I'm not really sure how to categorize this piece. I don't think it was that fitting for the round, and have difficulty fitting it in many places. I think that it would do much better if it had slightly more organization and focus on several themes, rather than the way it's organized at the moment. That would be my primary piece of advice for this as a contest submission! (and as a piece in general, I guess - but then, there's not a specific theme outside of the contest)
Track 11: Jumbo Jungle | @LucidShadowDreamer
-Really interesting ideas, and some really neat use of the reverb. I appreciate it!
-Very good mixing considering all of the reverb in this!
-It's short. Did you really expect me not to point that out?
-I'm not sure the jazzy theme fits quite as much - the celeste/vibes didn't quite fit a jungle theme that much.
Overall: Not much to comment on, really - I think the points up there state literally everything that needs to be said. If you need a tl;dr for some reason: It's short and the jazz didn't really fit that well.
Track 12: Temple of the Ancient | @Azhthar
-That intro, though. This easily has the most unique percussion and most well-done percussion out of all of them. I think I'd actually like to get some of the percussion you used for my personal libraries.
-What I like the most about this piece is that it's really natural and tribal in many parts, has both calm and intense parts, and the intense parts aren't overbearing.
-That middle section. I want that melodic instrument. It is *so* good and fits the jungle idea extremely well.
-Everything is fairly clear, even with a fair amount of reverb.
-I very much like how the final section isn't a copy of the first intense bit, but also includes a fair amount of the ideas of the first section.
-The transition between the first and second parts. It just doesn't work that well, sorry. The transition between the second and third sections is great, and it would have been much better to incorporate some of the transitional ideas between the first and second.
-I want more of this. Pls lengthen.
Overall: The very well-deserved winner of the first round, Azhthar! You did absolutely amazingly, and deserve the win! Good luck in the rest!
My AIM piece is found if you clicky the image.