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Supernova Supernova

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

ngadm round 2 review m8

OK so when i'm producing or mixing anything, i always run it through what i call the "car test" because i don't have a proper monitoring system set up and mixing in headphones means i don't get a real sense of the physical energy behind a track.

basically what i'm saying is that this track failed the car test :v

i can hardly fault this track in any aspect. it's a bit generic in some ways (dat vocal haha), but at the same time it just really grabs me for some reason. everything is really well separated, the sound design is A+, basically it sounds like pendulum got back together and rob swire got his shit together. it's even got that sweet drumstep breakdown at the end. so why is everything under like 150Hz rolled off?! whyyyyyyyyyyyyy

that's basically it. it's kind of a big deal though!
also i guess it IS kinda generic. just a bit.
seriously tho where's da bass m8
for real


SolarexMusic responds:

Yeah, I've been mixing and fixing it for the past week, trust me when I say it sounds a helluva lot better. I wish i had spent more time on the mixdown, cuz now it definitely sounds bolder.

I also know what you mean with the bass. I tried to push the drums harder in this track (as you can probably tell), but I ended up drowning out the sub bass. I went back with parallel compression and all that fun jazz and boosted the low end, and now it sounds a hella lot warmer.

And jesus, that pendulum comment doh <3 totally flattered man, I really appreciate it!

Thank you for your review!

Deflect Deflect

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

round 2 review ngadm balls whatever m9

i really like it! so playful, actually very french sounding haha. like if justice did drumstep.
speaking of justice, it's really fuckin loud! probably too much for me. really need to pull that rolling bassline away from under the kick with a sidechained HP filter or something, i dunno. generally the mastering just feels too aggressive and doesn't match the tone imo, needs a longer release time on that limiter i guess?

mastering aside, this track is pretty close to flawless. i'm really into that synth brass sound. the melody isn't super memorable but it fits everything else. i love that this one doesn't overstay its welcome, doesn't stagnate or get boring. hardly any hats or cymbals though? i guess the mastering doesn't give you much room for them haha :P

one of my favourites from the comp so far, just wish it wasn't brickwalled hehe

garlagan responds:

Justice! Whoa thanks!
Thanks for the tips as usual!
Tried a lot of things in the mastering process. Longer releases made it too bouncy/ducking. It's all probably coming too loud before the mastering process or something. Got it to sound somewhat close to what I like though.
There are no cymbals in the heavier parts! Felt they were taking too much space in the higher frequencies, and those pads needed all the space in the world lol.
Thank you m98989

Time to Fly - NGADM Time to Fly - NGADM

Rated 4 / 5 stars

ngadm round 2 review

got that new wave vgm vibe down! almost sounds like something you'd hear on telefuture records. suffers from kinda messy mixing, that super round 4-floor kick doesn't cut through like it should, lots of lost energy there. generally there's just not enough separation of instruments, either through EQ or panning. especially during those big buildups like 2:10-2:20. cutting the reverb off of some (maybe all?) instruments at these points will really help tighten things up i think.

generally good instrument choice though, a bit on the cheesy side but fitting. would've liked less brightness in the main chords in exchange for a super twangy bass sound. the percussion is particularly nice, good mix of vintage sounds with some modern glitchy flair. would've liked a more solid melodic theme, but the solos are good enough to carry the track. loved that last breakdown, real nice breath of fresh air, but i'd prefer it to end there instead of running through the repeat of the middle build up.

overall it's a great improvement on your round 1 track and a really solid effort with minor flaws. good job!


Spadezer responds:

Thanks for the review. You've given me a lot of good feedback to look through and work with if I ever re-visit the track and remaster it. And I'm glad you think the percussion are the best (or at least pretty good from what it sounds like you're saying).

And I'm glad you've finally helped me decipher the genre I use! In all seriousness I've had no clue what genre my stuff fits in so that also gives me some thoughts.

Anyway, thanks for your two cents. It's worth more than it's weight in gold.

Acidulus 8 Acidulus 8

Rated 4 / 5 stars

ngadm round 1 review ok

y'know these kinds of tracks with drastic style changes are hard for me to review, cause even though it's tied together with shared melodies it still feels like i'm reviewing two different tracks. the two parts are pretty much equal quality and are both really strong in their own way, but their biggest strengths are the other side's weakness in a way. the vgm section establishes the theme really well and uses pretty decent chippy sounds, but the sounds used are just too basic in comparison to the big drums - was dying for some PWM and more vibrato. but despite being basic they have great articulation which is really lacking later on (2nd lead is too loud and dynamically flat). that 909 snare really needs something behind it too, the 2nd half has way better drum parts and energy.

all faults aside, i was really into this until the vocal chant came in. it's not a bad idea, and it's not sung badly, but the mix is just too midrange heavy. really need to scoop out the 200-600Hz range! there needed to be more voices (either multitracked or cloned) but because of all the power in the midrange there's no real space to fit them in. the end result for me was just too small and kinda dry sounding (even though there's that nice reverb on them) :(

very ambitious track. for all the faults it's a really balanced adventure of a track and the transition in the middle is really well done. great melodies, kinda crap chant part but overall it was enjoyable as heck!


garlagan responds:

Thanks for the review midimachine!
I agree with the faults you mentioned. Working on the track I got into that part where you don't know what sounds good or bad anymore :c
Great tips btw. Thanks!

Solarex - Something Like This Solarex - Something Like This

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

round 1 ngadm review thing

solid mix man. not really diggin the snare, would've liked something deeper i think? maybe more bass overall, but i also feel like that sub osc in the chords could kinda bounce more into each beat during the start chorus too just to make it feel a bit more spacious, then be more drawn out in the second half of the chorus (soz, this is hard as fuck to explain haha). nice dynamic variation otherwise, the drops all had really nice anticipation and there's lots of light and shade between sections. really not a whole lot else to fault on the production.

that melody at the start on the music box is a bit of a drag and doesn't really seem to go anywhere. that first main theme is 100% great tho, but the follow up melody with the next chord progression doesn't have the same catchiness. wasn't sure if i'd like the sample chopping part when it first came but you built it up pretty decently (nice synth growls flashing across the stereo image there). the music box definitely works much nicer as a little filler-inner in the 2nd buildup. wish there was a little more variation in the 2nd section, and the quirky ending was kinda cool but i would've liked a more gradual finish.

anyway, super solid effort. you're gonna be a force to be reckoned with!

SolarexMusic responds:

Thank you for the review! I appreciate the detail of your analysis. I'll hopefully go back and fix this song, give it a better mixdown, and correct a couple of things, and I'll definitely take this into account.

Round 1 Round 1

Rated 4 / 5 stars

round 1 review ok

yea like step i also really enjoyed the vibe of this. it's just got that little something that i can't put my finger on.

the mix was pretty solid, a few moments where the mastering was a bit too heavy but otherwise suitably bangin'. i would've liked a lot more variation in your synth work, not necessarily complextro style but just more morphing and little synth licks (e.g. 1m14s) - it feels like its just a bunch of slightly differing rhythms of the same thing, although the 2nd section is definitely more fleshed out in that regard. nice little middle breakdown, wish the 2nd buildup was a bit more interesting though!

ending is a little disappointing, i think it was acid-paradox on here who used to call that bit of reverb after an unfinished track the "noob tail" :P obviously you know what you're doing, so i think a more dj-friendly ending would've been nice. even just one final crash/boom sound at the end would've been better than just letting it trail off like it does. anyway this was pretty solid work with minor flaws, in need of some more fleshing out and finer details.


Dawnglide Dawnglide

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

more like astroglide amirite?

actual round 1 review though:

intro was kinda promising but then the awful GM lead, floppy bass and flat drums came in. instrument levels are all at the same volume so nothing takes precedence, random super-loud crash cymbals on top of drums which are way too quiet, stereo image seems kinda random and everything's drowning in reverb (relatively, given how quiet everything is). the melodies tend to meander and are generally forgettable, though not technically bad. i think the real weakness in your writing here is when you try to move from section to section or create climaxes, it's just really awkwardly executed every time. that goes for the key change too. generally it's just cheesy as all heck but unfortunately it doesn't sound self aware enough to get away with it, or even particularly good as far as the mix is concerned.


LunacyEcho responds:

=> astroglide =>


=> intro was kinda promising =>




=> instrument levels are all the same =>

That's definitely something I can improve on. My instrumentation in this piece was very subpar.

=> super-loud crash cymbals =>

Really? They sound fine in my earphones. I guess didn't mix them well enough. :(

=> drowning in reverb =>

Well, I turned up the reverb by quite a bit because the overall mood of the song was supposed to be a relaxing, dreamy one. Guess it came off differently.

=> transitions awkwardly executed =>

Aw. I tried making them smoother than in my previous songs. I guess it's worth something that you said they were executed at all, I guess?

=> cheesy key change =>

Self-aware? I honestly have absolutely no idea what that means. :/

Thanks for taking the time to review this! I really appreciate all the work you do for NGADM, and I'm sure others feel the same.

Figure 9 Figure 9

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

ngadm round 1 review here we go

so you and cross were the only "EDM" guys to make proper dj-friendly intros and outros. nice! i didn't like how the main kick came in at the start tho, compared to the way you handled the rest of your dynamics (i.e. relatively excellent) it's way too hard and out of place.

ok so the little polyrhythmic breaks before the triplet section are definitely lacking power, i reckon you could tighten up the reverb and phaser and really smash those chords out. the triplet sections are really cool though! didn't expect it at all. loved how you stripped everything right back before the funky little bit in the middle, and the way you juxtapose the triplets and straight 8s is mint.

that 2nd build up blows me the fuck away though, holy shit. somehow you managed to make one of the freshest buildups i've ever heard by entertaining pretty much all the buildup tropes at the same time. the problem is that all that energy isn't carried over into the next section, like there's too much anticipation compared to how liquid the rest of the track is. have you sidechained the reverb send to the kick? try that if you haven't already, and then see if you can pull that kick up a bit more above everything else and get that low saw bass to bounce some more (or take everything else down around the kick, idk :v)

in closing, this sux 0.0/10

nah jk 8.6

Sequenced responds:

in closing, my new track is better than this crap

Future Future

Rated 4 / 5 stars

ngadm round 1review m8

kinda boring intro! the prog house bass synth just kinda plods along with the trancey arps and the drop lacks anticipation and energy (calling it "liquid" or "chillstep" isn't an excuse tbh). really needed a few more things going on.

once it picks up the chords sound really lovely though, the pitchbends are a nice touch too but they start to get annoying towards the end. overall the sound design is actually pretty excellent, but there just needs to be more things happening during the downtime (might be difficult during the main sections cause that super lush saw pad takes up a lot of space in the mix, definitely doable though).

one of the big things that was lacking in a few of the big "EDM" entries was a decently DJ-able structure. now i don't expect 32 bar pre-intros or whatever, i think all the other judges would be taking marks off for doing this sort of thing properly haha. but seriously, this needs a second build, drop and roller. missing pretty sizable chunks of song here: no subdued section w/ full drums before 2nd build, buildup doesn't go right down again - i mean these are just tropes but 2:47 isn't even a radio edit man, especially not with that outro (such a cop-out!)

anyway i still enjoyed it for what it was. i just wanted a lot more!


People find this review helpful!
Pandasticality responds:

well, cant please anyone i suppose n__n; i didn't expect to make it anywhere with the NGADM'14 since it was my first competition and i got put up against pros round 1.. thank you for your review, il keep your creative criticism in mind while creating my next song.
- Pandasticality

Defeatist No More Defeatist No More

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

ngadm round 1 review m8

took a few listens before the crazy aggressive mastering was even listenable for me. it still doesn't sound intentional to me, like when new FL users don't realise there's a fruity limiter on the master bus and make really overcompressed shit. the obnoxious loudness of that first synth bass compared to the pad underneath it is just way too much. i would've preferred a tighter, less deep reverb with the overcompressed mixing style, and some smart sidechaining to stop those low supersaws from colliding with the bass drum so much. try to keep compressors before reverb and delay in the signal chain, and generally try to use the same room size for all your reverbs.

not a fan of the melodies, not very memorable and they often clash with the chords created by the bass notes and arps underneath them in a way that sounds thoughtless instead of intentional. like you picked a random minor scale and just played random notes from it for a while. generally this whole piece quite an unpleasant listen.


soulblud responds:

Fair enough. Yeah, I don;t often hyper compress like I did with this.