Reviews for "Asperges Me"

I'll just say what I have to say in no particular order... the instrumentation is good here, the piano sounds great especially. The strings are okay - still pretty boxy and obviously programmed. The vocal harmonies are wonderful! So it wouldn't hurt for them to be even more prominent. The mix is decent, nothing gets too drowned out or annoying, but it's still a bit murky. The vocals seem to clip occasionally.

The composition is a lot like your previous submission, with the minor key chord progression being outlines by the piano and the other instruments embellishing that. You're quite great at really getting the most out of a chord progression. You're using the same kind of Vsus-V-i cadence here that you've been using for the last few songs as far as I remember, and it works fine here. The addition of a different part after 3 minutes is a great idea and really helps the track. Unfortunately the climax of the song (around 3:50) isn't quite as intense as you hinted towards with the buildup.
The ending is nice, very appropritate.

Vocals have always been a bit of a weird point in your songs - this time your singing sounds just as sincere as before, but a lot stronger technically than before (the singing is a lot more defined so to speak, and it's also mostly in tune). Unfortunately the sound quality is terrible in this particular submission, the whistling quality that comes with bad noise cancellation is very prominent, and only a very thin band of frequencies get through. This also makes some of the lyrics a lot less clear. I enjoyed the lyrics, the track fits them very well.


This is great. I think this is your best song in NGADM so far, both in terms of composition and singing. The melody is just FANTASTIC... that lead-in to the chorus builds up so much ("just hoping I'd see her againnnnNNNNN!!!"), and yet was so beautifully resolved after ("Slow--ly... slow--ly...").

Ok, I'm illiterate when it comes to mixing (it does sound a bit unpolished compared to some of the better submissions here on NG), but I can nitpick a bit about the vocals.

-- When you sang the 2nd "p" sound in "people" in "the people who love me are with me", you can hear some "mic blowing". This is probably because your lips are too close to the mic. Interestingly, that's the only instance of p's in your lyrics.

-- Many times throughout the song, your voice was half a beat faster than the instruments. I'm guessing you were nervous and subconsciously wanted to "get it over with." This also contributes to the shaky voice many of the NGADM judges have alluded to. But again, it's already much better than in previous rounds.

-- When you entered the chorus for the 2nd time, you took a breath between "please" and "walk". Discontinuation here is kinda bad since that part is when the song EXPLODES. A short breath after "walk" (like what you did in the other 2 choruses) is much more suitable.

-- I think that the volume of vocals during the bridge between the 2nd and 3rd chorus is better controlled by mixing than you trying to whisper, as it's REALLY hard to keep the voice consistent when you're "singing-whispering". Maybe you could have sung in a normal voice, further away from the mic. Or add some reverb or something to make it sound like the first few "Asperges me, Domine"'s are ringing/echoing from afar, and then "close in" and intensify as the bridge goes.

-- I don't know your vocal range, but it would have been SO EPIC if you could sing the last chorus with your "real" voice (i.e. no falsetto). If it's JUST out of reach, I think it might actually be worth it to lower a few pitches of the song to get it done. It would have sounded so direct and powerful, and provides an enhancement of the last 2 choruses. I mean, that would have totally sprinkled me clean.

In general, I'd rather listen to a song I mildly like than a song I super like with some nagging imperfections. That's why I didn't download it upon my first listen about a week ago. But then I found the song stuck in my head, and I kept crawling back to listen to it again. So yeah. Now I've finally sucked it up and downloaded it. You win!

I hope you won't mind my long-winded and nitpicky review, and I look forward to seeing you keep getting better.

The composition and lyrics were wonderful. The voice recording was somewhat dissappointing in that the noise removal seemed to decrease it's quality rather than enhance it. An improved recording environment would probably help your vocal recording much more thqan post processing software such as noise removal.

Here's your round 3 review! It'll be a bit harsher than your previous reviews once more. Harsher the closer to the end we get!

The Good:
-I love how the piano comes in at 0:39. Actually, that piano is REALLY good overall for the entire thing. It's very real-sounding and VERY beautiful.
-I love all the little harmonics you did with the vocals, which are a lot nicer this time actually. Took out the background noise that you had before with Edison, hm? Well, whatever you did, it helps your nice voice come out quite a bit more.
-At 2:37, I like that little break. I feel like it would have been a perfect time for that whale sound you had in your previous submission.
-There's a little overtone drone sound at around 1:52-2:00 and a few other places. I really like it.
-I LOVE the section from about 3:02 to 3:49, particularly the piano at 3:14-3:26.
-Mixing is much better than last time.
-The ending is also quite beautiful, I can hear the emotion in your voice - you're quite a good singer, though it suffers from mic issues. The little echoes of other lyrics are VERY well-done in my opinion.

The Not-So-Good:
-That initial violin sound doesn't sound good. :c It's REALLY soundfonty, probably because I recognize it as a soundfont. Also, the tune it plays initially doesn't sound too nice at about 0:14-0:15 (which is partially due to the soundfontyness, but the tune itself seems a bit rambling and "I wasn't sure what to do here").
-Even though the vocals are better, it's still obvious that they were done with the integrated PC mic. You need a better mic, definitely. One that doesn't have the sound distortion and poor recording quality of a normal mic.
-At about 3:02, there's a little blippy sound which obviously has a delay on it. I have to be honest here, it sounds very bad. You may want to edit it a bit, though I would completely take it out and replace it with that whale sound you had in Supplication.
-Also at about 3:02, the vocals are almost nonexistent in how I can hear them, they only clear up enough to recognize at around 3:30.
-Also also starting at around 3:29 (well, that's when I first noticed it), distortion can be heard in the vocals. You might want to either EQ that out and/or edit it out altogether where you can.
-0:51 there's a random wooden "chuff"-like sound in my left ear, probably in the recording. There are a few other sounds like this as well.
-1:30 little off-key sound in the vocals. If I remember right, you record all of the vocals at once... Try recording each individual part several times, then picking the best.
-Unfortunately, the mixing could still use some work. Especially at around 3:49, where the piano gets drowned out almost completely - it also sounds 'muted', as if someone has the mute pedal on dulling the sound. Remember, use the stereo shaper and panning to move your instruments from left to right and front to back! Both things help keep frequencies from interfering with each other. EQing is probably the biggest tool - learning to do that properly would help a lot. And the last thing about mixing - reverb is awesome, but you really don't need it on EVERY SINGLE INSTRUMENT.
-Hate to do this to such a lovely ending, but I think the note at 5:00 could (A) be up an octave and (B) be about half the volume it was at. It seems like it was trying to be subtle, and in most other places it would be, but everything else is so quiet that it fails and sounds more like an elephant lightly tapping a key.
-At the end of 0:41 and the main part of 0:42, I don't think it was a good idea to have the piano do the same rhythm as it had been doing. I feel as if it would have been better to simply give the entire chord at once, then pause for a second before picking it up again at 0:43/0:44. You do this at 1:50, so I know you know how to do it.

Overall: This is very very very very very nice, I think it's your best submission of all three rounds so far - after all, I was nitpicking a ton more rather than pointing out general things! I'm going to give this a 8/10, because as I said. I really liked this. Good work!

This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.


OK so here we've got what I feel is an improvement over both your Round 1 and Round 2 submissions. As usual, you've got some very strong aspects here... overshadowed by bad mixing AGAIN, sure, but hey, you're still really good at this.

Your singing was an improvement. Your voice isn't as shaky as was in previous rounds and while you bounced in volume a bit too much on certain words, I feel, it's not much of a problem and in a way if it wasn't fluctuating so drastically in volume it'd really add to the flow. You go in a pretty high register and still manage to hit the notes correctly, so kudos for that. The high notes pretty much sounded angelic; not sure there's any other suitable adjective to describe them. And harmonic vocal lines? Damn, those were amazing. They're hard to get right (hania is one of the few people on Newgrounds who does it really well IMO) but you pretty much nailed it. So yeah, good singing.

And your composition is just superb, yet again. Very clearly sad and conveys a deep message, which I'm not emotional enough to appreciate fully. But that's just me. Cool lyrics too! But I've never cared much for lyrics so I don't usually let it affect my score. Your orchestral instruments sound pretty warm and while I'm hearing some generic chord inversions that you even used in your Round 2 submission, overall your composition is brilliant. Your vocal melody is amazing too. And unlike in your Round 2 submission you actually make an effort to change things up this time. I'm talking mainly about the more staccato singing style that can be heard pretty clearly at 3:26. I love that part. And fantastic transition to the following part too.

But yeah as I'm sure you know, your bad mixing strikes again. As much as I like the fact that despite your bad mixing you still manage to make this sound so good, you've still got pretty obvious mixing quirks, lying predominantly in your vocals. The noise removal may be a pain in the rear (which I agree with) but unfortunately it wasn't worth it because while I'm not hearing much static from your bad mike, your vocals sound really weird now, to the point that I would've preferred the noise and voice to remain untouched.

Also, my next complaint is that I feel it's missing something. I don't usually make these kinds of complaints because they're vague and aren't productive at all but I honestly feel that at times this song is missing certain vital elements. Such as the part at 3:26. I loved it but you really didn't go the extra mile to compliment your staccato vocal notes with, perhaps, a bass drum? Some staccato string passages would work too. And you remain with a pretty static instrument choice throughout, similar to your Round 2 submission. I would've loved to hear more variety in instruments, and more instruments carrying the melody. Maybe some woodwinds? And a harp! That's exactly what I feel this song needs. A harp would sound amazing here. My point is, I feel this is lacking in certain elements that could really realise the song's potential.

However, overall this is a very impressive piece of work and despite some bad mixing, somewhat low-quality sounds, and conservative/limited instrument choice, this is a very good piece of music and you should be proud of it!


SCORE: 8/10