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Reviews for "Velcro"

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review


I have been itching to review this one. God, you really outdid yourself. I liked your other music but admittedly never regarded it as music that could win a whole contest. On 24th August, 2015, the day I listened to this track for the first time, you, my friend, blew me away, and I'm happy to say that you totally changed that mindset of mine. This is one of the strongest tracks of this round and it's a damn shame you didn't make it through, but I'm going to leave a nice, juicy, long review to make up for it, and explain exactly what I loved and didn't quite like. Here we go.

So, what I absolutely must commend you on is your brilliant creativity. This is boldly unique, catchy and chock full of really neat ideas that find a cosy place in the listener's head and stick right there for weeks to come (can confirm). There are so many cool things here, and I certainly can't even begin to list them all.

My definite favourite, and a crowd favourite as it would seem, is 1:29's switch to triplet time. And man, you don't even instantly play your main hook, despite making such a drastic rhythmic change. That's a temptation I would've probably fallen for, but nope, you play it cool and throw in a sweet synth solo. THEN, at 1:52, after teasing us for about half a minute, you finally treat us to your primary tune, adapted to your newfound triplet tempo of course, and it sounds so good. Brilliant!

Then you decide to explore half time, playing your hook in yet another new rhythmic setting and with some likeable synth noodling. That's another clear sign of solid musicianship and great ideas. Finally, at the end, you bring us back to 1:52's pace, but adding more synths and melodies on top of everything to emphasise the climactic nature of the ending, and wrapping everything up with a nice bow (or velcro, even).

I could spend all day praising this track, but I think explaining why I gave you a 9 and not a 10 will be of more use than you. So, basically, while I love your composition and ideas, your sounds and overall sound design... eh, they could use some work. Some of the synths are really cheesy, especially the ones in the intro (which REALLY didn't give me a good impression of the track at the start). You have some really cool lead synths with an enjoyable VGM style to them, though, so it's not all bad. Plus, crystal clear mixing with punchy drums and decent levelling!

So really, what deducted a point was some of the sounds you used. Oh, and I also feel like you could've had a stronger, more hyped-up buildup to the last part, but that's a small thing. Otherwise, this is incredulously catchy, fun, and universally likeable. Thanks for such a killer track, and you absolutely must keep it up!


SCORE: 9.0/10

LunacyEcho responds:

=> 24th August, 2015 =>

Memorable first date? :D

=> nice, juicy, long review =>

You're right about that o.o Thanks so much!

=> you don't even instantly play your main hook =>

I guess my mind went 'I've just played the main melody, why would I play it again so soon?' :P Variation and maintaining interest was definitely a big part of my decision-making in this song!

=> primary tune, adapted to triplet tempo =>

I really wish I could say that I wrote the hook in triplet time first, since it sounds so much better than the one in non-triplet time, but it sort of all evolved from that first melody at 0:31. Glad you liked the tripleted version of it!

=> likeable synth noodling =>

Thanks, Step. Now I'm hungry.

=> (or velcro, even) =>


=> sounds and overall sound design =>

You and johnfn are just two peas in a pod, aren't you? Cheesiness is my bread and butter! But yeah, sound design is something I definitely need to work on. Interestingly, I also got some critical feedback on the opening bells, which I really should've changed. I arrogantly kept them in, and I guess I paid the price. :P

=> stronger, more hyped-up buildup =>

I really regret not going for that now! I remember thinking that I ought to add something to make it even more climactic, but it was so packed with synths already that I didn't want to disturb the mixing! :D (also, it was like 3 am and I had to submit it during school the next day so that was basically the last time I would have to do any actual work on it)

Thanks so much for the entire review! And thanks a lot for letting me be a part of the NGADM. It's certainly taught me a ton about how to write better music, from the reviews of my song and from everyone else's music too! If there's anything you ever need for the NGADM, I'm ready and willing to help out. :D

NGADM review

That melody is so awesome dude. I was smiling the entire time for this track. It’s a really nice change of pace to hear something as happy as this in these reviews. And I’m really glad I was assigned to review this one! One thing that I find very difficult to do in music, as well as what I hear in other peoples music, is to make really complex and quickly played melody sound good like it does in your track. Not only sounding good, but memorable as well.
This whole track has an awesome personality. I do have to say that the synths used are fairly generic and I feel like I’ve heard them a lot before. And usually the instrumentation in a track can really be a huge prediction in the general atmosphere and personality of a track. However, your rhythmic and melodic elements really overshadow the generic synths and by this you have created a super unique personality for the track. It really reminds me of something from the later Megaman games.
Right from the start, that melody kicks in at 0:22 and I feel like I’m being pushed against the back of my seat from the G-force on a rollercoaster or something while this song plays. The first melody caught me off guard honestly and was a pleasant surprise. You have really nice structure throughout this track. You keep it all really diverse and the fact that most of this track is a solo is pretty badass as well. It’s a pretty cool feeling to look at the time of the track and realize that only 1 minute has gone by and SO much has happened, and then I have almost 3 more minutes of awesomeness! You nicely incorporate more instrumentation appropriately to make the track more enjoyable and immersive during certain points as well.
The mixing is pretty solid too. Everything sounds really clean. I think that the mastering could use some work though. It sounds really nice on all speakers, however I noticed that on certain sets of speakers and headphones it sounded way better than others. I won’t take off points for this, but it’s something I thought I should mention. It’s really that it’s way more enjoyable when I listen with my computer speakers as opposed to my mixing headphones. The drums… which some other people have commented on, I’m a little indecisive about. I actually don’t think it took away from the track that they were at this volume, but the sound of them was totally fine and fit the track. I think it was fine whether you left them at this volume or raised it.
Also, the triplet section that you went into at 1:29 is SO awesome. You had such a seamless transition into an entirely rhythmic section that still fit really well with the rest of the track. Also, what taintedlogic said about winding the piece down at the end was REALLY awesome too, which I overlooked. Each part is super unique from one another, and presents a new rhythmic and melodic element all of the time, and each part still flows with eachother so well. You really did a great job on the compositional structure for this.
So I keep coming back this track while I’m doing these reviews over a course of a few days. There isn’t a single point in the track where I get bored or feel like I want it to be over. The judge skype chat was loving this song so much man, including myself.
Thanks for this track, I had a ton of fun listening to it and reviewing it. This is definitely my favorite from round 1. Sorry you didn’t make it to the next round :/ I’m not familiar with your other work, but the judges all said that this is a huge step from your previous work, so congrats on that. Seriously, great work! And favorited.



LunacyEcho responds:

Hi stunkel! What a review! o.o

=> That melody =>

Aha, funny thing about the melody. When I first came up with it, it was really slow and somber, and I thought about doing some epic orchestral theme to go along with it. The thing at 0:31-0:41 was actually my original melody, and in my head, it was originally much slower and played on strings. I fiddled around with it in Logic until I remembered I don't know how to orchestral, then sped it up and made it electronic. Turns out, it was an awesome melody!

The "chorus" melodies at 1:06, 1:52, and 3:15 all come from me misremembering and misplaying the first melody, lol. Funnily enough, they turned out to be more interesting and memorable! Go figure. :D

=> fairly generic =>

I'm pretty bad at sound design. I guess I sort of get used to hearing certain instrumentations in my melodies, then I get so fond of them that I don't bother changing them post-composition! :D johnfn's right. I should do chiptune.

=> later Megaman games =>

Ooh, I need to check this out! :D

=> SO much has happened =>

I actually took a few tips from johnfn about maintaining listener interest. :P According to him, if you switch something up every eight bars, the listener won't get very bored, and I tried to do that here!

=> most of this track is a solo =>

Solos are badass, aren't they? ;)

=> mixing/mastering =>

...aaand here's the moment when I admit I know very little about production. :D Interesting how it turned out to sound different on different speakers. I mean, I only used my computer speakers and headphones to mix this, so I didn't have that many points of reference! I'll try to do something about that for future music :P

=> drums =>

I feel like my drum mixing is notoriously bad, since in my headphones, I tend to hear drums louder than what most other speakers display. Maybe that's why I always mix them too quietly. Glad you liked them at this volume, though! Gives me hope that maybe I'm getting better. :D

=> judge skype chat =>

You guys keep mentioning this mysterious Skype chat! It's really piquing my curiosity. ;)

=> favorite from round 1 =>

:O Thank you for such high praise!

I guess I'll just sit here, hoping that someone from the group of 16 drops out. :P But even if they don't (which will probably happen lol), I'm still completely satisfied with what I've accomplished. I'm also slightly scared of this being a one-hit wonder and all my music going downhill from here!

=> huge step =>

haha step

But actually, I'd agree with them on this account. :P Personally, I'm pretty blown away at how far I've come in just a year. I was in the NGADM last year, but I completely bombed with a piece called 'Dawnglide'. I thought the judges were being harsh at the time, but when I listen to this and listen back to that, I can really see what the judges were saying and I'm just glad I could improve this much. :P

Thank you for the insanely positive and huge review! And thanks for all your work in the NGADM. Have fun in the rest of the rounds, and I hope to be a part of this again next year! :D:D

NOT a NGADM review... So I can be as biased as I want.
Holy shit this made me happy. We talked about this one for hours in the judge Skype chat, globally loved is what I'd call it. It's a shame you were against other hard hitters.
The rhythm that starts a third in makes me smile every time, the lead is awesome too and just over all. LOVE IT.

LunacyEcho responds:

Wow. o.o

I wish I could wake up to something like this everyday. You're awesome, MetalRenard! :D :D

I love the dreamy, pensive synths at the beginning and the drums. This track has a really cool energetic and engaging vibe about it. The funky instruments and melodic content help it a lot too. It kind of threw me off at :44 when you seemed to creating a re-intro only a fifth of the way through the piece. Typically, I’ll only let things like that slide if its purpose is to create contrast for an epic, impending climax, which wasn’t really the case here. That said, I really like the direction this piece is going in by around 1:30. This piece is smooth-flowing and well-structured and overall has a great, upbeat, and feel-good vibe about it. You create a sufficient amount of variation for your melodies while also keeping it coherent. I also liked the way you wound the piece down at the end. It made it feel very conclusive. I think the drums should’ve been a lot more up-front and prominent in the mix, though. I also think that the last refrain wasn’t the most climactic instance of melodic content here. I would encourage you to really go all out at 3:15 next time, just to make sure you maintain that sense of direction and emotional height. Still, overall this is really solid work. Keep it up, LunacyEcho! ;D


This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.

LunacyEcho responds:

=> vibe =>

That's definitely the feeling I wanted to create! :D

=> 0:44 =>

Personally, I prefer a song that has a lot of ups and downs in its structure, as opposed to just gradual development. :P Perhaps I should have a breakdown, but make it less variant maybe?

=> variation for your melodies =>

After all the repetition in the last piece I put out (which was for the NGAUC!), I really wanted to make a song that could maintain melodic interest!

=> drums in the mix =>

I think johnfn once said that novices in mixing almost always mix the drums in too quietly, and I guess I've shown my novice-ness through my drum mixing here! I definitely have a lot to learn in terms of production. :P

=> last refrain =>

Really? It had the most instrumentation, but I guess it didn't have the most melodic variation within the tracks. I think I can see what you mean, and in hindsight, I definitely should've put more effects onto the synth at 3:15! It sounded interesting at first, but now when I hear it it sounds a little simple. :P

Thanks so much for the review, and thanks for all the judging you did for the NGADM! :D

This is really fun. :>

> You're a lot kinder than johnfn when it comes to judging sound design, it seems. :P

YEP. I still don't like the sound design at all. That's my biggest complaint. Seriously, just write a chiptune song. I would be soo happy :>

Also, I want to take a comb to some of your melodies and tighten them up a little. Sometimes, particularly at the ends of little melodies, you use a few too many notes. It seems redundant, like you're over-explaining the melody. It might be a fun exercise for you to try to take off a couple of notes on the end of random melodies, to see if the point still gets across (or is improved).

This is one heck of a step up, though. The 1:30 transition and then the triplet section is so good :3 Kind of reminds me of Waterflame actually, he used triplets all over the place lolz.

LunacyEcho responds:

=> sound design =>

Well... (tbh though there are lots of sounds here that i don't particularly like, either, especially that chordy synth at 1:51 :P)

=> chiptune =>

Okay, okay! Ironically, sound design is one of the things that scares me the most about chiptune though, since I can never get any of the tracks to sound chippy enough. :D

=> ends of melodies =>

Y'know, I've actually never thought of doing that before. :P Now that you mention it, it sounds like such a natural thing to do! I guess I really like sixteenth notes or something :D I am DEFINITELY doing this for my next few tracks.

=> Waterflame =>

Hoo man, that guy is one of my biggest inspirations (at the top of a long list including you, ofc). I'm honored to hear you say that! :D

Thanks for the review! And I hope you get your musical mojo back soon so you can go back to uploading ear candy into the Internet! :D