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
in closing, my new track is better than this crap
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!
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.
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.
Fair enough. Yeah, I don;t often hyper compress like I did with this.
this is ALSO an NGADM round 1 review
why does the song loop and fade out? would've preferred a 3 minute song with a repeat of that great opening theme and a proper ending. not a big fan of the snare (too dry, too shallow, not multisampled), but the guitar and synth lead are great. really good playing. middle section ("middle" assuming the song didn't just loop) is kinda bare though, keys could play a nice string/synth pad patch here. more bass guitar variation would be really nice. the transition out of the middle into that "pre chorus" is really nice, like someone else said very DT. so TL;DR great main theme with most instruments mixed quite well, would benefit from stronger composition throughout. however, the loop and fade out combo is a real disappointment - really not what i want to hear from the NGADM's competitors at this stage.
Damn! I wish I got more reviews like these! Thanks for the detailed review :)
hi, you're not in my review groups but i wrote this before i decided that i cbf writing everyone a review
intro/outro is kinda dumb and awkward but it's not necessarily a bad idea. it just needed a more posh speaker rather than a noel fielding impression, and a better recording with a decent microphone (clips pretty bad at the end). that really bright electro piano is too muddy to sound nice and not cheesy enough to be properly cheesy, but i guess that's FL keys for ya. having said that, the
composition is nice and typically "classical" sounding - i hope it's original and not ripped from mozart or something, but you get the benefit of the doubt because i'm way too lazy to check haha. drop is ok, needs a little more anticipation though, like a reversed kick into the first beat or something (maybe a speaker sim/bp filter combo on the piano in that last bar would sound nice?). pretty standard FM wubs, would've been nice to hear more unique synth work - the string/piano stabs are a really nice touch though. second section is much more interesting, i LOVE what you did with those cymbals and the space they create for the beat to really smack down (that's the anticipation i mentioned earlier). the syncopation is a nice change but sometimes the downbeat gets totally lost. so if your intent is to change time signatures then emphasize your accented beats more clearly, and if you wanted it to sound like 4/4 throughout then make sure that some other instrument is still driving that rhythm loud and clear.
would've liked a more typical structure. wow, that's gotta be the first time someone has said that in an NGADM review. for real though, another breakdown-buildup-drop into a new variation wouldn't hurt. as it stands the track doesn't really feel completed - like it's been rushed out of the door by the guy at the end :v
Thank you so much for your review! And thank you for the constructive criticism. I know what I need to work on now and I will come back stronger and better next year! Thank you for listening! :D
hi, you're not in my review group but i already wrote this before i decided that i couldn't be bothered reviewing everyone.
so, really cool sound design and use of filters. mix is stupidly bassy in some parts from all the granular ridiculousness so maybe a high pass filter somewhere woulda been good. there's just enough melodic/harmonic progression to carry it through to 2m30s, but there really could've been more instrumentation on top - the fade out ending is a massive cop out and is really poopy in comparison to the nice reverb freak out section before it. great use of a kp, but i would've liked to hear more than a kp jam for the NGADM.
sounds like you bit off more than you could chew with the 3-part harmony. you have several distinct sections running back to back when really you could pick one part (the first eight bars are the best imo) and build a whole track around that.
if you need help with picking bass notes you can consult a trusty chord chart, since your "melody" is basically just a chord progression with a gate.
Yeah lol I intentionally tried to go for a longer melody than I've ever done before. I guess I'll keep experimenting with it and try a lot of things.
I had no trouble getting the bass melody down, it's just what I was trying to do with it the rhythm of it that was messing me up. Also I couldn't quite get the synth down. I did get the bass to sound decent though, but my main problem was getting the percussion down.
love the thin pulse leads at the start
really need to hold off the kicks towards the end of those buildups. that first on beat after your buildup has to be immense; the continued kicks through that filter sweep are too predictive of that first kick in the next section so there's not as much anticipation and not much energy once you're out of the build.
not a fan of the really brittle backbeat sound either, got that big kick but hardly any snare.
all the melodic and complextro elements are kinda way too loud and the kick doesn't really seem to cut through it. the super saws are way overpowered!
so it does the whole slow down thing but i feel like it comes in way too soon, like you could've kept the straight dnb rolling for a lot longer. the buildup is nice but not really feeling the transition into the next section, again it doesn't really have that anticipation. as you say, the ending is kind of an afterthought. kinda dumb to do when you can just as easily end on a kick/crash/boom combo - sure it's cheesy but as far as abrupt, undecided endings go it sounds pretty good!
overall, really good sound design on the individual elements but the mix isn't super tight yet. structure is nice and different but needs a few variations in arrangement/dynamics carved in to make the transitions really moving. also maybe some more structural repetition?
Yeah, I'm still struggling to really get that big sound after a build up, where when the build up ends, it's like, "Whoa" sort of thing... I've been experimenting a lot with ways of achieving that, and I'll clearly be experimenting a bit longer yet to try get that down.
About the snare, I actually completely forgot to beef that up before I exported it... I had it in mind to add some more punch to it... then completely forgot to. I might go back and fix that and reupload a bit later.
The complextro stuff is completely new to me, I was debating sidechaining it a little bit to help the kick cut through because that's really the only way I could think of to get it to punch through the mix at that part short of a shit load of automated EQing on each and every individual bass patch... But it didn't really sound very good the way I tried sidechaining it, so I ended up leaving it as is. I'm certainly open to suggestions though.
I just wanted to stray away from typical ending sounds with this honestly, that's why I opted to go with an unconventional glitch out.
Mixing this was a nightmare, especially with the amount of variation throughout. I admit I could have spent a bit more time on mixing and EQ, and why I didn't isn't much more than me being lazy to be honest.
Thanks for the review.
love your offbeat bass sound! the organ is pretty nice too.
the whole thing is very understated; it always felt like it was gonna build up to a more typical massive sidechained electro thing but it never did. which isn't really a bad thing per se but it ends up being kinda monotonous cause the melody isn't catchy or strong enough to carry everything.
some of the percussion sounds are a bit too dry, but i like your less-is-more approach to things (e.g. the volume of the reverse crash and the sparse hi-hats). a break without the kick drum would've been nice.
decent work overall
Thanks for the feedback!
could benefit from a softer piano sound at the start, i like how you faded it into the synth line
the drums sound funny, like i probably wouldn't have gone with a stadium trance kick haha. but it kinda works with this, maybe cut the decay a bit so it's a bit tighter sounding? i feel like it needs more hi-hat throughout too, even if it's just a soft little shaker-ey thing on every step or something. some fills into new sections would be good too, maybe some variations on the hi-hat pattern. i dunno!
the piano/flute break towards the end was interesting, like mid 90s film score stuff. sup with the ending though? definitely had at least another 90 seconds left in it, like you could've built it back up to the full arrangement with drums and pads but it just kinda coughs and sputters to a finish. killin the vibes!
I'm glad to see you reviewed one my my songs because I really liked that album I bought from you. I think it was a combination of chipstep and pop.
"the drums sound funny, like i probably wouldn't have gone with a stadium trance kick haha. but it kinda works with this, maybe cut the decay a bit so it's a bit tighter sounding?"
I never realized this so I'm glad you pointed it out.
"i feel like it needs more hi-hat throughout too, even if it's just a soft little shaker-ey thing on every step or something. some fills into new sections would be good too, maybe some variations on the hi-hat pattern. i dunno!"
I was never too interested in a song's drums so I rarely put a lot of effort into it, but I need to start.
"up with the ending though? definitely had at least another 90 seconds left in it, like you could've built it back up to the full arrangement with drums and pads but it just kinda coughs and sputters to a finish. killin the vibes!"
At first, I did want to go back to the chorus before ending the song, but I thought that would be too repetitive so I just ended the song like this. I realize now that it was a mistake.
Thank you for the review!
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