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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
=> astroglide =>
=> intro was kinda promising =>
I GOT MIDIMACHINE TO SAY A POSITIVE THING
LIFE FULFILLED I CAN DIE IN PEACE
=> 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.
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
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