hey this is really good
i feel like the soundscape gets cluttered and claustrophobic at ~2:31-3:10, i think spacing out the crunchy synths more, or maybe just more dynamic mastering in general, would help keep the atmosphere of oppression (a good thing!) without physically sounding oppressive (not as good a thing!).
really like the intensity of everything. there are a lot of subtle details, though i think some of those higher string pads towards the end feel a little overbearing in conjunction with the vocals (e.g. 4:17-4:27). really like the variety in the sound design, good use of complementary tone colours.
structurally, i would've liked stronger theming. the piece develops in an interesting way but doesn't really seem to sit around a tight idea - i have a lot of ideas about musical storytelling that i'm not super good at articulating though so i might leave it at that. i will say the flowy vocals are a really good glue to hold the piece together, but i don't get a strong sense of melodic cohesion. this is the part of reviewing that i hate cause it's all subjective n shit :v
anyway this is fkn good, keep it up. here's hoping your living situation improves so you ain't bangin tracks out of a car anymore!
pls quantize stuff that you record yourself playing, the timing is not very good
also why is the main part of the song why quieter than everything else?
royalty free samples are fine btw
Thanks for the response, but this is not finished yet. I quantized a lot of the recordings and finished the mixing, but understand this was hard to mix because of how much drive the whole thing had.
the resampled vocal parts are totally my aesthetic rn, just need to smother them in reverb right before you hit the drop then cut it right out when the beat comes in :v
actually i think this could generally use a little more reverb/delay, it definitely feels a little too dry to me (although i've been overusing reverb lately :v). i like the panning on the harpsi, would be good to give the bongos the same treatment! try combining a really short reverb with the one you're currently using for some of the drum sounds (mainly the bongos and clap - maybe the hat as well?) just to give them a bit more space and help them feel a little less dry and tinny.
i feel like the slow, flowy downtempo trap part works better than the 4 to the floor section towards the end - i think it's just that 808 hihat, it's not strong enough to carry the offbeat on a strong dancey rhythm imo. also maybe sidechain the bass synth volume to the kick, or at least the low band of the EQ, cause it tends to intermodulate with the kick tone in a bad way when they play at the same time.
i like that your melodies aren't overly elaborate, but the fast harpsi riff is a little overbearing - just needs to come down in volume really. overall this is a pretty good track, keep it up
if you uploaded this here 8 or 9 years ago it would've probably been very popular :v
feels a little needless to critique something you made a long time ago. the vocals definitely carry this track though so it'd be cool if you revisited something in this style with more aggressive/dark sound design. thanks for sharing!
Yeah, the song itself is a bit simpler than what I normally compose. I did have more aggressive and dancier work in the past that was privileged to be played in clubs/compilation, but that was another life. Thank you for your review! I was going to return the favor, but realized I'd already reviewed your kitty song.^^
this has a really nice megadrive aesthetic, would be cool if the soundfont had more interesting pulsewave instruments but the sound design is still fairly solid - i like the use of low noise in some of the quieter sections, builds a really nice atmosphere without being obnoxious. would've been good to have more stereo range, even just a ping-pong effect on the lead echos would be magical.
i like the chord progressions and the way you develop the piece structurally, there's some really nice modulations here and there (especially at the end before it loops, so good). none of the melodies struck me as being particularly memorable so it felt a lot like a bunch of different solos rather than a cohesive theme. this isn't even necessarily a problem with the piece, i just generally don't gravitate towards long and elaborate melodies :v
anyway this is good, keep it up!
Oh wow, thanks for the review! PxTone doesn't really allow for advanced mixing, but I could probably mess around more with it post-export.
Hmm, I'm not really sure how to make memorable melodies without being overly repetitive about them. I guess I had progression in mind more over memorable parts. But thanks again for your thoughtful feedback! :D
o wow that bass is bassy. too bassy tbh, doesn't give the kick any room at all. i don't really like the way this beat plods along but i appreciate minimalism. might be cool to bring those hats down or filter them a bit, maybe introduce some syncopation to the kick/snare pattern - even a delay effect on the clap would go a long way towards generating interest in the rhythm, and really add to the classic dub kinda sound you have going here
the instrumentation is pretty unique and i like the dark deep-house kinda vibes. feels like everything's been run through this really harsh plate reverb - got that concrete bunker feel and it's kinda claustrophobic. i think you could add a smoother, longer reverb under some things and dial back the wet mix on the current reverb to open the mix a bit more and give the pad synths a bit more life.
it also doesn't really follow any structural conventions and the overall dynamics are a bit of a flatline, would be cool to cut some builds and drops in (they dont have to be obnoxious), have some time without the bass at all in the beginning and middle so that when it kicks back in it really *means something* y'know?
keep it up
Thanks for the feedback! The bass was a problem on this, for whatever reason my normal mixing style just shoved the kick and the bass right together and I was scratching my head getting it to try and work. I'll avoid that synth and sample in the future. The plate reverb isn't entirely deliberate, each instrument has it's own delay/reverb effect on it if it has one at all. I do agree on changing them up on some instruments though. Things like the structure and robotic kick/snare combo are intentional, cos I'm going for minimalistic production style. It's my little attempt at being slightly "artsy" and pretentious.
Thanks again for reviewing!
definitely mess with automating the width/duty cycle of pulse instruments, it adds so much flavour to the sounds. the sound design in this is really boring even (or especially?) by chiptune standards, and pulsewidth/duty cycle modulation matches what the hardware is capable of anyway. but as long as you're using a DAW maybe ease up the bass frequencies on that *TRIANGLE* bass (god dammit skye!) and carve some dynamics into the piece to make that last "chorus" really punch through and stand out as the epic conclusion that it wants to be.
Cheers. The plugin I used is pretty basic, no width/cycle options, just 4 instruments to choose from. Still, it let me have a shot at this without getting in too far over my head. Recently been using LSDJ which is great, so I'll play around with some different flavours in there. Thanks again dude.
the sounds are cute and the melody is cool on it's own but those cluster chords don't feel right - kinda like they need to open up and resolve before repeating the chord progression again.
at first it honestly felt like the melodies were playing in the wrong key but after repeated listens it starts to feel like intentional polytonality by way of the strange chord choices. intentional or not, it's super hard to listen to and doesn't really suit the potion shop/happy chiptune vibe that i *think* you were going for. instrumentation is severely lacking too, though this is coming from something of a chip music snob so maybe take that with a grain of salt.
sorry i can't be more helpful. keep jammin' tho
so it's got all the pieces of a really great tune - each individual element sounds really good. but overall i think the instrument mix is a little bloated and a lot of the percs are tinny, like if you did the gain staging the way you wanted it to come across with mastering, but before you actually mastered it - if that makes sense? the kick is having a sad time all the way down there, too :( basically just bring the kick up and the vocals down before you hit that master comp (maybe duck some low/low-mid freqs of the vocal track under the kick and snare too?). the main snare and claps cuts through really nicely though - love that tonal element to the snare layer too.
i'd probably dial back the reverb a little on the vocal, or maybe just shorten the feedback to tighten it up a little - personally i like to use separate short and long reverbs to define the space of the track a bit more. can't fault the composition, really enjoyed the instrumentation and what you're doing with the rhodes especially. would've been good to mix up the transitions/drops/whatever when it kicks back in at 1:50 - cause repeating the first section isn't a bad thing, but you can trick most listeners into thinking it's more different if you change the buildup and drop in a few key areas.
anyway good track, enjoyed it a lot. keep em coming!
That was probably one of the best feedback comments I've ever received. Also, I agree 110% with what you're saying. After listening to it a million times I definitely could've put together a better mix down I guess I just wanted to have a tune done because I hadn't finished anything in a while. I will certainly work on my mix game and try to make the next songs progressions more interesting. Thank you for the awesome comment I couldn't have asked for a better response :)
drums are super tight, i feel like it wants to run a little faster - would be interesting to hear this at 130! every now and then there's a little bit of empty space in the drums (e.g. 1m11s) which feels kind awkward because it doesn't follow or set a precedent for the rhythmic development of the track.
would be good to maybe bring all the synths down before hitting the mastering process cause they do a bit of trampling on each other once everything builds up a lot. the main rhythmic chord thing is getting a bit crunchy on the buildup ~3m43s, mainly when it echoes into the left speaker - if ur delay plugin has saturation you could probably ease up on it
anyway i like the overall vibe, definitely nails uplifting without being too po-faced - actually it's kinda sassy w/ that really blue chord progression under it. good job!
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