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i think it's really cute how kwing is like "omg this is MIDI music??!" - like how do they think DAWs work lmfao

anyway this is cool. in a weird way it feels kinda repetitive even though every instrument does a lot of noodling. the big slow down into the last section and the 90s-sitcom-scene-transition ending were really dope though!

please use less reverb - simulating a hall with a close-mic'd drum, bass and sax sound is kinda unintuitive. the particular reverb algorithm used emphasizes the mids in a weird way so i think bringing the wet mix down a little on that one and mixing it with a tighter and brighter small room sound would help make the mix sound less like a .mid file played out of a karaoke machine.

great work, congrats on your 3rd place finish :)

AzulJazz responds:

thx for the review, the tips and the congrats!

stop flexing on NGUAC lmao

etherealwinds responds:

soz m8

yesss this is my jam. getting big toro y moi vibes from this

main criticisms:
- drums are a bit too dry and cheap sounding even by chillwave standards. that clicky kick could be more rounded and i think damper hihat/cymbal sounds would fit better than the brittle 606/808 style ones used at the moment

- as sleepfacingwest said, the vox have been too aggressively de-essed. would've liked a little 1/4-note delay on the vox just to give them extra some sparkle. some more of those cool pitch/dubdelay effects like at 1:17 sprinkled throughout the 2nd verse/prechorus would've been good too because...

- the 2nd half of the song feels too similar to the 1st and really needs some variation or extra layering to beef it up and make it feel more climactic. really feels like it wants to end big like on that chord at 3:57, with the "fine" just continuing to get lower and lower as everything fades out.

overall i love this and from a purely personal/subjective standpoint it's definitely one of my favourites from the competition. sounds better than some of the commercially released stuff in my chillwave playlist on spotify tbh, make of that what you will :)

icantpronouncethis responds:

Thank you for the review. I think this was my first attempt at a vocal centered song, I was kinda taking the safe route. Now that I listen to it again, I should've vary it up a bit on the second half. Compression has always been an issue and I'm still trying to get used to it. I also shouldve created two different version of the drum track and pick the best one. I got so used to it hard hitting beats, that I didnt even consider the other option.

this is really neat! sounds like you had a really strong idea for the composition to begin with because this oozes with intentionality and focus in the sound design and instrumentation as well.

i think the big setback for this is the lack of dynamic variation throughout - it kinda plods along in the background and doesn't call attention to itself - this is great if you want to make boring stock music but i get the feeling that's not what you're about. carve some volume swells and thicken up the instrumentation a bit in couple places, create some landmarks in the track for the listener to latch on to as they make their way through the journey you've laid out for them! or at least give the bass a more lively volume envelope, hehe

liked this a lot! keep it up :)

this is a cool grungey song and i like the single-climax structure. the guitars and bass are played well, the tone is lacking presence and the guitars are too centered and don't fill out the stereo image very much, resulting in a kinda claustrophobic mix. would be good to hold right back on the volume of the drums and bass in the intro and ramp it up gradually into the buildup so that when the drums kick in properly at 1:40 they REALLY kick in and have all the impact they should have. it's the only climax in the song, so you need to make it count!

vocal is a bit too boomy and fades away into the bass guitar once that comes in. the pitch correction is a bit too "strict" and the lack of vibrato sucks a lot of the life out of your vocal performance - plus it turns all your sss and shh sounds into buzzy Z sounds haha. i actually think the overall level is fine, maybe just a little loud at the beginning. also record with a pop filter or off-axis/across the microphone next time, the plosives are killing me! the big chorusey vocal tone at the end is really great, big alice in chains vibes there. would've been good to put some more layers under it though, like one an octave lower + a higher harmony maybe? at the moment it seems kinda barren.

drums sounds like ez drummer. not the most "human" programming but it does what you need it to. i think the kick sound is probably too aggressive for this kind of song though, very big and in your face like a metal track but the track wants something more rounded and easy going - plus there's some kinda bass boost or something on it? it just woofs out in this weird way that i don't really like. the tom toms sounds like a bunch of wet noodles but they have nice stereo spread. something i like to do is to boost the frequency of each tom's first or second harmonic a bit and then run them through separate compressors with a fairly long attack to get a nice clear punch on each of them. mixing toms is hard! the snare sounds great though

anyway yea, mix and production needs a little more attention but this was pretty good! keep it up!

dude2312 responds:

Thank you so much for making this detailed comment. I'll make sure I take into consideration all of the feedback provided. I did struggle a lot with this song while finding the right bass tone for me. I thought about adding more vibrato but, I don't know why I didn't use that much. Drums are definitely EZ Drummer, although they could be better, they do the job just fine. Midimachine, thanks once again for reviewing my amateur song.

yea basically this was really good and the other guys mentioned every issue i had (esp. the lack of cymbals). missing a bit of high end presence from the woodwinds, the breathy passages don't really breathe enough for my liking y'know? also i feel like it hung on the same chords too much for the first couple minutes but the development coming into the climax was magical. almost every aspect of this is absolutely dripping with intent and subtlety. enjoyed this one a lot!

there's a lot of stuff going on here but i don't feel like the electronic elements sit very nicely over the orchestral parts at all - it's like there are two different tracks of very different quality playing on top of one another. the kick drums get completely lost under everything, the drum sounds are all really thin and play really samey rhythms except for the little trap-ish section towards the start. the eurobeat style synths are cool in isolation but feel very messy on top of the strings.

the orchestral parts are really good imo, very lush mix of strings and choirs. the celesta sits really nicely on top of the piano in those little refrains, these are by far the best sounding parts of the track imo. the mixing is a little dense and stereo-centered, it'd be a great idea to pan out your string sections and choirs to fill out the stereo field - you can use this to give the instruments more separation and make things sound "bigger" without making them too loud.

while i understand that you've put a lot of time and effort into doing a note-perfect transcription of the original, as a listening experience it offers nothing that the original doesn't already. it would've been really cool to hear you double down on the orchestral aspects, which is definitely where your strengths lie. keep it up!

death2go responds:

thanks for the review! ive been told about it should be an orchestral thing a bit by my friends, while i may replace this one to be orchestral i might make an alternate version thats more orchestral. and i wasnt trying to add too much new stuff due to it being amazing to start with, but perhaps i might be able to look at it differently considering i havent messed with it in a couple months.

Thanks for your review man, i really appreciate it!

everything sounds beautiful and crisp until all these dull squarewave leads and arps start fading into the drop. if you want to keep those more "chiptune" kinda sounds i think just lowering the pulsewidth on those square synths to match the main melody tone would help brighten them up a lot without altering the feel you're going for.

the piano sound is also a bit thumpy and unnatural. adjusting the timing so that notes aren't all perfectly in time and move the note velocities around so the important beats in the melody are accented will help this. none of the melodies in this track are very memorable but they're also not really "bad" - they just kinda plod along and don't touch on any of the big emotional ideas that the chord progression hints at. the melody synth is also not what i'd personally use for something so bittersweet sounding - a little vibrato might help it to sound more emotive?

the guitar playing through the drop sucks a lot of the tension out of the first wave of that chord stack, just cut it off with that last finger snap. once the beat comes in it sounds like the transients of the reversed kicks overlap those of the regular kicks? sounds kinda messy! i like how the 2nd half of each chorus has this little refrain leading into it. i'd like the little percussive part on the melody here to be the dominant though.

middle section is cool, i like the soft vinyl crackle and piano EQ after the house section but the piano feels muddy as it plays over the rest of the buildup so i'd either cut it or alter the EQ on it coming into this section. little disappointing that this last chorus doesn't feel any different to the first except for some minor changes in the refrain - would be good to cut all the pads and the melody out under that snare @ 2:51 and then slam them all back in when the chord stack drops back in, just to maximise the tension coming into that final run through of the melody.

the ending felt very awkward and honestly sounds unfinished, at least drop one last kick and crash down if you want to end suddenly like that. it really feels like it wants to drop straight into that middle vocal section again and then end on that.

very solid production and mixing overall. it's mainly sound design and structural issues that hold this back for me, as well as not really finding the melodies particularly interesting personally. i definitely see a lot of potential in this and i'm looking forward to hearing what you can bring to the table in the future!

N1NJA-Official responds:

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it!

I gave It A

zero because ur lame and its 2006 hgaha get REKT son
(for more quality in-jokes pls visit the chips compo discord ft ur boi johnfn and midimachines)

johnfn responds:

i said VOTE FAIR

i mean its literally in caps

what more do you want

rly good, but why couldn't the mix be as big and punchy as the last section the whole way through?! D:

johnfn responds:

actually an intentional choice! i tried it, but it was too tiring to listen to a lot, so i eased up to decrease fatigue.

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