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Into the War Into the War

Rated 3 / 5 stars

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


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MrStr8face responds:

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

Glitchy Grindy Stuff Glitchy Grindy Stuff

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

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.


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Don't Know How To Go On Don't Know How To Go On

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

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.

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Lethal-Input responds:

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.

Only The Beginning (Extended) Only The Beginning (Extended)

Rated 4 / 5 stars

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?

Back-From-Purgatory responds:

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.

Hotline Hotline

Rated 3 / 5 stars

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

Lethal-Input responds:

Thanks for the feedback!

Powerful Dream Powerful Dream

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

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!

BlueOceans responds:

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!

Huge Monkey Huge Monkey

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

reminds me of older hardcore like nasenbluten and other bloody fist stuff.
wasn't really feeling it until the amens dropped in, but really liked the glitching and retriggering after that. yeah really has a tracker feeling! cool stuff.

Former Motive Former Motive

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

way too much compression/reverb on the piano, probably need to compress before the reverb
piano is too loud throughout actually.
usually you should take all the bass out of everything except the kick and the main bass instrument, and then make it so the kick and bass don't play at the same time - either through sidechaining or only playing the offbeats. like that piano and phased saw lead don't need any lows at all, really.

one thing that kinda helps everything sound grrreat is if you turn off the limiter on the master channel, mix with the instruments all at a lower volume than the kick, then turn it back on. usually. depends on genre and stuff!

Lethal-Input responds:

Thanks for the feedback man! This is great info. I knew I couldn't get the volumes/sounds right. everything all most feels like it's blending in with each other too much. That's the main reason why I don't like how it turned out lol. I'll definitely take your advice and try to adjust for my next song!

Fly, Dammit! (NGS Cut) Fly, Dammit! (NGS Cut)

Rated 2 / 5 stars

it sounds like you're still learning how to use FL so i'll be gentle (sort of)
the different bass synths that play together are out of key, the crash sample doesn't really fit with the kick/snare basic samples. needs more interesting percussion elements and syncopation (i.e. percussion not just hitting on the beat)

oh, but i like the little lasery sound on the off-beat. maybe you could try to make some more minimal acid/electro style stuff?

Unfairy responds:

I think that's the right amount of cruelty. I really need to read into percussion theory, I'm flying blind on that part.

I got the offbeat idea from reading how a guy does his UK Hardcore. I enjoy playing with offbeats when I'm not overwhelmed.

the fight the fight

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

the first half of this is actually kinda boring and drab (in terms of sound design and development, the melodies are p fresh tho). particularly hating on the drum sounds. if you have access to famitracker then you could've gone to town with DPCM-ing your samples instead of just bitcrushing them.generally when i hear those kinds of percs alongside chippy synths i feel like the artist was like "i want 8-bit drums but i don't really know what 8-bit drums sound like so i guess this will do!"

the second half is off the fucking chain though. literally cannot fault it. maybe more PWM on that lead would be cool, make it more SID-like? i dunno. good stuff!

johnfn responds:

Thanks a lot for dropping by. I have a lot of respect for your opinions, especially about drums since yours are pretty much always faultless.

I take your point about the authenticity of the drum samples. I was lazy and just tossed some redux on some drumbeat I had lying around. But I kinda wish I didn't have to worry about that stuff, you know? I wish the melodies could just speak for themselves. I've actually been thinking about moving towards more organic sounds for that reason. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of other issues involved with organic sounds too though... sigh.

Anyway, thanks for the review and I'm glad you liked it!