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Reviews for "substructure"

This piece is pretty chill overall, and I dig how it picks up between the 1:50 and 2:45 mark with some tight percussion. The electronic style and progression of the instruments is fun and - to me, at least - a bit reminiscent of Daft Punk. I found just one thing to be decidedly negative, and that's the way your stereophonic cymbal echoes are so abruptly cut off at the end. It just doesn't sound good like that, and I don't know if it was intentional or not, but in my opinion it would sound much better if they were allowed to taper off completely.

Best of luck to you in the NGADM! Keep up the awesome work (like you need me to tell you).

johnfn responds:

Thanks for listening, and I'm glad you liked it! You're completely right about the crash, and I've since fixed that problem. I didn't have enough time to do the once-over listen after I finished rendering it, so I just uploaded it to NG, figuring I'd smooth it over later. But then you guys came and left reviews that did pretty much the same thing. Thanks! Will keep up the awesomeness :D

I love the use of the piano that comes in around the minute mark. (You know how I feel about piano.)

After waiting from the buildup for the beat, you did not disappoint. Have you ever listened to William Orbit? This reminds me of a modern "Water From a Vineleaf". Very beat-heavy, a driving synth, but not overpowering. Takes you up into a Tron universe, and offers a relaxing dip back towards reality.

The only critique I have would be to soften the voice a little bit, make it somewhat more blended into the background. It caught me off guard at first. :)

Anyhoo, I downloaded. Gonna listen to this while I go for a run. Makes me think I'm in the Matrix. Good work!

johnfn responds:

I really like piano. Will probably be using it more if I get further into NGADM :p

Wow, Water From a Vineleaf sounds very similar to my song, down to the repetitive electronic melody with 7ths and spoken word female vocals! It's also totally awesome. I really love songs with the groovy bass guitar :D

I think you're right about the vocal, so I turned it down just a tad when it comes in. Thanks for the review!

Nice! Sounds really clean. The intro is outstanding. Then it's lacking a little bit of loudness on the drums imo (but it's minimal). Length is pretty much perfect. Listened to it many times and really enjoyed it.
Keep it up man!

johnfn responds:

Thanks man! I will be sure to properly louderize my drums in my future tracks :-)

This is an NGADM Round 1 review.


Oh man, I wasn't sure about this at first, but I actually love this a lot more than I expected, and let me tell you exactly why. The atmosphere, for starters, cannot get any better than that. I'm surprised and impressed that you managed to create an atmosphere with so much character and relatability while still making it sound unique. Your composition, while being mostly comprised of crazy quick (and badass) synth solos in the blues scale, was highly enjoyable. Fantastic ending, I love your percussion work to bits, and your production value is very good, just like Biohome! You've got a real knack for making really clean low ends by the way, and it shows in this piece!

My only production-related complaint is that I think your mix is a bit too spacey. This is often a good thing, and during the softer parts of this track it definitely is, but during the parts with the drums I actually wished everything was a bit more tight and compressed, so I could feel a bit more of a punch. In fact, the track is MUCH more enjoyable if I turn my volume up a little bit more than I usually do. This is a ridiculously small complaint though, and I might be wrong about it. What I think needs work is the intro - while it is really cool, it's a bit long and gets a bit boring. The piano also doesn't really work for me. It feels a bit bare and didn't feel as successfully integrated as it did in Biohome (sorry for always comparing this track to that one haha, I just consider this and that to be your two best tracks). Oh and one more tiny thing. Reverse cymbal is a bit loud.

This is overall a highly polished and detailed track which I enjoyed a lot. Excellent work.

Score: 9/10

johnfn responds:

Step, your reviews are so baller. I'm really glad you liked it 'cuz I have a lot of respect for your opinions and I think you hit the nail on the head with the stuff about compression. I kept on wondering how people could call this a chill track until I listened to it at a moderate volume and realized that a lot of details can fly under the radar. I seem to run into a tradeoff between how loud the mix is and how clear it is, which is why it's a bit quieter than other people's tracks, but compression could be an easy fix.

The other nitpicks are appreciated as well... you're right about the intro - I was finding it hard to judge the arrangement after I had become desensitized to the song at the 20some hour mark, so here's hoping that I can learn to improve through practice.

And finally can I say thank you thank you thank you not just for the review but for all the work you (and the other judges) do to set up NGADM? You guys are seriously the best.

And P.S. I totally get the comparisons to Biohome - this and that track are my clear outliers in the 'hours of work in a single track' category. My normal approach is to shove tracks out the door - I'm a quantity over quality sort of guy ;-)

yeah definitely hearing some of that shpongle influence! less intricate, but more driving and jazzy.
was not expecting those techy breakbeat drums, nice. would fit really snugly in a kid kenobi set i think.

i think 7 minutes is warranted tbh, maybe even necessary. would love to be able to mix this but that sudden ending is a bit disappointing :< (i can see why people didn't like how i ended my round 1 thing now though)

johnfn responds:

Thanks for dropping by! I think the true talent of those Shpongle guys is that they can just have a single melody going for 8 minutes or something and yet the song will never feel boring or repetitive. I struggle with repeating the same melody more than once or twice! When I cut down from 7 I was actually cutting out a bunch of extraneous stuff. I think you're right though, in an ideal world I could get that core idea going for much longer.

Endings seem to be my downfall - I save them until the final day and then botch them, haha. I need to learn not to do that, but apparently round 3 was not the time.