Review Request Club
Nice dramatic piano introduction. The synths work really well here mostly to add that little bit of place to the slow piano part and make it that much more emphatic. I think maybe the piano was perhaps a little more strongly played than it needed to be, but that doesn't detract very much from the introduction.
The next section with the drums is good; you've got a nice beat with the drums and piano, and new pad synth that comes in does really well to thicken the texture. The way you slightly variate the harmonies as well lets the track keep fresh while still remaining coherent, which again works well.
The one synth I perhaps didn't like was the one that came in at 1:17 or so. It felt too sharp for something so high a frequency; I think you'd have probably been better off just using the high piano, or manipulating it slightly so it didn't have so much attack; at that height of frequency, it could be a soft pad and still come way out of the texture.
The next section had a nice sense of slow build, which was really cool, but what it eventually went into was pretty disappointing. 2:10-2:28 just seemed like something of a mess of high frequencies, to the point where I'd suggest cutting it out entirely, because it does you no favours. The ending is nice, but I think after the massive buildup you had it could have gone into a stronger climax and then had a slightly shorter fadeout, just not to labour it too much.
In general, this is pretty good. Definitely the section at the start of the 2:10 needs another look mixingwise, and some of the synths could do with a little editing...but it's a pretty solid track, that besides. Keep it up.
-Review Request Club
Yay, indie song! We like indie songs!
Again, you've got a really catchy song here. The guitar's got some nice chords to it, I also started hearing parts of a sort of acoustic-guitar melody in places, which was nice. you did a solid job of miking this in general, although as has been said, you probably could have done with a little more bass in places (Although that's not much of an issue, given the upbeatness of the song)
I notice this time you've got the piano behind the guitar, as well as the lead guitar which comes in, which both work really well and compliment the voice really well. The voice again, really unique and a great strong point for the song. The way there's harmonies recorded in the voice as well also shows a great improvement from last time...the production value in this is just really spot on on so many things, which is pretty damn cool.
Having just got to 1:35, the way you use clapping instead of the the more conventional percussion works really well; it's a point where drums would've probably been to heavy, and so it's a great alternative which works really well, and again just adds to the reasons this is the kinda song you have to smile whilst listening to.
In general...I don't really have anything to say to fault this. You've got good guitar work, nice choice of the different instruments, good voice...and a nice individual song, which there are by far not enough of on NG. So keep it up, for sure, cause you've definitely got a talent here.
Like the introduction, the amount of filters you put on that piano meant that even for a 4-second music loop, after 30 seconds it still didn't feel repetitive, which is quite a feat in itself. The reverb off it also gave a nice sense of magical atmosphere, which was a good touch. The entrance of the bass and drums is also really nice and subtle, so you have that tiny thickening of texture without wrecking the pretty ambient mood you've set up. So much so that even when the drum beat starts coming into its own, you've still got quite a relaxing vibe going on throughout. It's pretty impressive how you keep the same melody throughout and yet don't really make it sound repetitive. I think as a point of improvement, despite it not sounding repetitive, you could think about maybe moving onto another melody, simply so you don't have to continue to use filters and automations on the main tune just to keep it varied. A second melody would probably be a much easier path.
That being said, this was a nice upbeat 100 second listen. Pretty simple, but not repetitive for it. Has a good atmosphere, the entrances of the instruments work well...in all, was a pretty cool listen. Keep it up.
Thanks allot for the review
As you were so nice to outline the sections, I'll review each section as it comes.
0:01 - 0:38 Intro (to set the mood)
The parts either side of 0:24 seem unrelated to eachother. To the point where I'd say you could've started the track at 0:24 and been no worse off. What you had at the beginning was nice and added some ambience to it, but it just didn't really fit with what came after the pause, to be frank. But what did come after it lead into the next section nicely.
0:39 - 1:20 Main theme
Very nice beginning; quite down-toed, but you still get this very subtle sense of build. The use of the more static-y synth playing by the guitar was nicely done, though I think the guitar itself could have been a little sharper, just to bring it out of the texture more, because as it is there's quite a fuzzy nature to this section given the static and the distortion.
1:21 - 2:03 Melody comes in, full instrumentation of theme
Like the new lead synth, there's a nice sound to it and the melody it's playing is simple, but strong. The drum beat is also nicely done, has some interesting sounds in it as well which is always nice to hear. The section in general is perhaps missing a really bassy synth (Or just bassier drums?) to give it more of a frequency range.
2:04 - 2:45 repeat of theme
By this point I was expecting something to come in as an addition, just to keep the variety up a little more. And here especially I start noticing the muddiness of the guitar again because it feels like it's being turned up or the melody's being turned down more. This section could have used an extra synth just as a point of difference from this one and the last, to justify the repetition. Even a nice harmony line below the melody synth would've probably done it.
2:46 - 2:55 Short break
Definitely could have done more with this break, it felt kind of half-hearted, like you just needed anything to break up the second repetition of the theme and the third. Nothing much happens in it, and so it feels somewhat superfluous.
2:56 - 3:38 repeat of theme
Same as before; needs something to change it up a little more; this is the third time of hearing what seems like the exact same thing, and that's not really all that necessary. You could have taken 1-2 repetitions out and probably been not much worse off
3:39 - 3:43 Short break
This length of break works for the little that goes on in it; the shortness of it means that there's no real need to cram it full of things, so the break works better here.
3:44 - 5:07 A little 8-bit(ish) sonata
This section was nice...but felt unnecessary when it came to the track, like you'd thought of it, realised it used the same kind of chord progressions, and stuck it in the middle of the track because you needed it to move somewhere else. I commend you for moving out of the main theme, but here I think it's a step too far and it loses the cohesion.
5:08 - 5:15 Intro teaser
Felt a little random; the transitions in and out of this little section were quite awkward, though I sort of see where you were coming from. And I'm running out of characters, so I'll be more summarisey now.
To be frank, I skipped through the final sections as I saw it was the 4th and 5th repeats of the main theme. I think definitely, _definitely_ this could do with fewer repetitions, because it makes the song drag to no end. A song this length needs a way to justify itself, especially as you had to lower the bitrate so much to fit it in. You could have easily stopped at 3:44, and had the 8 bit section be a new track, and then you wouldn't have had to worry about bitrate or repetitiveness that much. There's a lot of good ideas in here, but I think in a more condensed version those ideas would have been a lot more powerful, instead of the slight over-use they have here. You had a cool main theme, the ideas were there...just don't repeat it 5 times next time and all will be weii. And I'm out of characters, so I'll just say keep it up.
Yes, repeats and variation. Will fix later.
I don't know about the 8-bitish section. I like it and a lot of other people like it too. But hey, to each his own.
Thanks for the thorough review!
I get the idea that you just kept writing until its done, but at least for NG you have to take the size limit into account; it's better to have two higher-quality tracks that were meant to be one than to have one lower-quality track for the sake of keeping everything together, sometimes. That being said, onto the track:
The opening synth was interesting, had quite an unconventional melody to it, but I think it wasn't supported enough by other synths; it needed a bass line or a warm pad behind it just so it wasn't playing by "itself" for the first 40 seconds with just the drum underneath. The drums as well...didn't really work in my mind, it felt like they lacked a sharpness or any kind of attack to them, so it was just some form of wishy-washy percussion in the background, instead of the kind of backing you'd expect in a DnB song.
The change of melody at 0:40 and how it developed further at 1:00 was nicely done, but the lead synth wasn't quite loud enough; it needed that extra volume to bring it out more in the texture. That and I keep hearing these incidental synths which are again, too quiet to really be heard completely. I think in general a second look at the mixing wouldn't go amiss.
The section at 1:40 was a nice change because you started getting more depth with some pad-like synths, but again I think the levels were a little low, and by 2:10 you almost completely lose me because everything changes into this kind of whole jumble of different things, and into what sounds like something entirely new by 2:30. To the point where I'd say you could have split it at 2:10-2:30 and make two songs.
The new section is quite frantic, but it works for it, because you've got a depth with some bassier synths and the drum beat is a little more conventional...if very fast. There seems to be an odd silence at 3:22 and 3:42, for about a second? Might just've been the computer slowing down, but it seemed quite awkward. I think I'd agree with the previous reviews and say you need a slower section in this just to even out the drums and keep the pace a little less crazy; 8 minutes of fast pace, especially 8 minutes of fast percussion, can get quite tiresome.
And at 4:45 again it seems to go into an entirely new song again for at least 50 seconds before reverting back to the previous section...ish. I think if you'd said "I put three tracks together to see if they'd work", I wouldn't have called you a liar.
The section at 5:20-6:40 seemed quite lost in itself...like there wasn't as much choerency as there could have been between everything. In a sense I think the drums could have done with being less frantic then, because the synths themselves are quite laid back and creepy, so it would have worked well as a slower section. The ending minutes seem quite drawn out in themselves, I think you could have halved the ending and not down yourself much detriment.
Annnd i'm running out of characters. So...in general, I think you could split this song up into smaller chunks. That'd let you increase the bitrate, and maybe polish off each section a little more. You've got a LOT of variety in this, to the point where I think there's too much; there needs to be something that links everything together in some way, and it seems like in parts it moves onto completely different areas. There's some good ideas, I think they just need to be condensed into a smaller timeframe so you have a chance to pick out the best ones and make a really solid, shorter track. You've got some nice elements of frantic and creepy, so just find a way to bring them together in a shorter time and you're fine. Sorry for the ramblesome review.
Thanks for the comprehensive review. Again, I didn't write this specifically for NG, as mentioned in my description, else I'd probably would've kept the length lower. Also, the quality of the track really isn't so much degraded by the lower bitrate (most of the samples weren't very high quality to begin with) as much as it is by mixing, which I didn't spend a lot of time on.
The opening melody was more of a bassline/chorus riff rather than a full theme, though the instrument was kind of lacking in bass. Agree with the drums though, didn't really spend enough time processing/mixing them to pierce through enough the often thick mix.
The next part the melody really wasn't played on a "lead" synth (that instrument ended up being used as more as a pad throughout), but due to the somewhat limited instrument availability, I felt that it could work there as a contrast since it was a relatively less busy section.
2:10 was meant as a climax/breakdown of sorts, not sure why you didn't get that. The section right after is actually just a quick redux of the 1:40 section but with different instrumentation. Actually, there really isn't a lot of completely new sections throughout, mostly just older ones reimagined. I'll post a full section breakdown at the end of this response.
Drums might be too fast here, but I wouldn't count the parts before and after as fast paced - felt it was of a more moderate pace to me :/. Those silences were intentional, but weren't executed very well. Think I needed to leave some stuff still playing for it to sound more convincing.
4:45 was certainly the part that truly be could called a "new song", since I did recycle the ideas from another piece I started on but abandoned. I did make this part somewhat more busy on purpose since there really wasn't much melody to digest most of the time. Probably could've made it work well with better mixing though.
The ending, though, I actually felt had it more or less spot on. It was really meant as a huge release of sorts since this section has been building up and down for the last 4 or so minutes - making it too short wouldn't serve it justice in my opinion.
But anyways, thanks again for the review. I didn't feel it ramblesome at all and it really did help me better understand your perception of the piece section by section - and also gives me a lot more to respond to ;).
A - B - A - C - Transition/Climax - C' - C'' - A' - (A' + B) - D - D - B' - D - B'' - D - B''' (with modified melody from C") - D - B'''' - D - End
*B', B'', and B'''' sections use a modified version of the A section bassline/motif
After listening through to this a few times, I think it's safe to say what this is missing...and that'd be a melody. To be brutally honest, this feels like a track that accidentally had the lead part muted when you were exporting it out of your DAW. You've got a really solid foundation for a track here, but it feels like everything's been placed in the background ready for some melody line that just isn't there. I think just adding in any kind of melody for the first two minutes would really bring this track up on every point.
Failing that, you need to bring one of the synths further into the foreground to act more like a lead synth, because everything's pretty quiet and distant so it feels incomplete. No more so than the drums, which are so distant you can barely hear them. The beat it's playing is also pretty basic, it definitely could have done with a more complex part to play.
It's a pretty laid back, relaxing track, but it needs more to it just to bring the variation up more, because as it is it doesn't really go anywhere for more of it, and its only right at the end where the arpeggiated synth gets louder that it starts sounding like a real track.
The mixing's pretty good and the production's alright, but you should really consider adding in a strong melody line in this just to flesh it out a little more. You've got the scenery, now add the foreground.
Damn, I love people who aren't afraid to use odd time signatures. You had me sold with this track within about the first 3 seconds with that alone. The piano could possibly have had a little less reverb on it and the drums definitely could have done with more (just to give them more of a bassy feel to it)...but in general you started this track off brilliantly; even though you used the same idea for the first 47 seconds, it didn't sound repetitive because you kept adding new things in, giving it a great sense of build for that new piano part at 0:47.
By 1:00 or so it sounded like there was _something_ underneath the piano that my ears couldn't quite pick up. Maybe it was me imagining it, or maybe the mix needed to bring whatever that was (If it's there at all xD) a little further into the mix. The next section with the bass/drums/what sounds like sax was nicely done, although I think the sax line could have been a little more fluid and followed the main theme a little less; even if it was just some kind of scale above it, just to give it a little more life, or just have what came in at 2:17 come in a little earlier, because that does sound cool. The bass also could do with being a little bassier, just to balance out the frequencies more, because you've got the mid-hi covered well, but the lower frequencies are lacking somewhat.
At 2:37 or so you lose me a little because the harmonies change pretty quickly, it sounds like its wanting to go into another section instead of ending. The last 40 seconds or so for that felt a little repetitive as it ended up not going somewhere new as you'd almost expect. However, it's not of much detriment to the track.
In general, this is really nicely done. You need to take a second look at the mix and the bassline, and perhaps vary the solo a little more, but for your second stab at FL this shows really huge promise, so definitely keep it up, whatever you do.
Sorry for the late reply, AP tests had me busy for a while.
I realized how muffled the piano sounds compared to the settings I use now. I like to add on for steady growth because I'm an "Octavarium Person," where I want to eventually use that skill to write long, flowing pieces.
There's the bass underneath, it barely crescendos so that the piano is the main focus. The sax is actually a modulated Electrik Guitar in Kontakt that gives it a sort of synth sound, I was sort of experimenting with tone because this is only my second piece that uses FL studio. I'm actually using this as my composition for AP music and intent to cut down the repitition and attach the second part. I kept the bass standard, because it started sounding muffled when I turned up the bass frequency.
Like I said the last 40 seconds are supposed to lead up to something, it was split up because I didn't know what the filesize limit was (now I do) and thought it might go overboard.
Thank you for your review :D
Bearing in mind this is a cover, I'm going to focus on the actual playing and execution of the track, because that's the real test of making something your own, is if you manage to play it and make it your own. Having listened to the original, I can see you've easily and comfortably made it your own here.
There's a nice technique with your playing that instantly makes it seem very emotional and personal; something you'd not get with a simple MIDI piano track. There is a very beautifully subtle string part in the background from what I can hear, which is really nice (They're two things which always go so well together), but I think it's almost too deep in the background to be truly appreciated, as you only start to hear it at certain points. I think making more use of the stereo in the piano would be a nice remedy to this, just so everything's a little more spread out in the channels.
My only criticism would perhaps be that it was often in a quite loud dynamic, and I think you could have perhaps played with the volume a little more than you did, even though as it is you have a really romantic feel for most of the end of the piece, which is really nice. As well as that, given the broadness of the piano you could have used a few more octaves than you did just to really use the range a bit more, because everything sort of sat in the middle frequencies. As sixflab said, you could even get away with adding more complex instrumental lines to give it even more of an emotional feel. But as it is, this is a really nice track, well played and put together. Definitely wouldn't mind seeing a few more of these kind of requests in the RRC.
Hi there Animith! thanks so much for your review it's greatly appreciated! yeah I'll work on adding new instruments to future pieces, and recording in stereo so the notes can drive the music while listening, some pieces I heard with stereo sound are beautiful so I'll get the cables for it =)
Thanks again for commenting, it means a lot!
Nice sounds, but too repetitive for me.
Nice intro, though I think a touch overdone; I think the change at 0:15ish could have come at 0:08 and been of no real detriment.
That being said, the change at 0:15 left the lead synth perhaps a little too agressive, especially as there were no other synths beneath it to support it, I think definitely it could have done with even just a bassline underneath it just to thicken it out a little more.
Generally throughout, I think each section is a little too long. The section at :20-:50 doesn't really have many variations to it, and so could deal with being maybe half the length. In the same way, when that section comes back at 1:10 for another 40 seconds, there's not much variety in what's being played, and so it feels very repetitive. Even changing up the drum beat would have really helped here, as you've got the beginnings of an interesting beat, but it doesn't change throughout the section.
While the synths do morph a little bit, they stay at the same level throughout both these sections. It feels like there's a synth or three missing from this, to be perfectly honest. Because this is a great foundation, but it needs to be built upon further because at the moment it's very repetitive and needs something added just to bring it out of that.
The sounds themselves are nicely made, the synth modulation is well done and the drum sounds good, but this doesn't move enough or vary enough to justify being 152 seconds long, in my head. Maybe this is the kind of track you'd expect for this style of song, but to a dance/techno n00b I think more needs to happen, and from listening to your previous tracks I KNOW you can make more happen in this.
Nice work on the intro, the first 12 seconds really help set a pace and buildup so you have that sense of anticipation right from the offset. So even when it goes into the calmer section at 0:12, that anticipation still remains as you've given the listener a chance to hear what the heavier section sounds like.
The calmer section iself is really nicely done, there's a great depth to it, and yet still that sense of build, so even by 0:40 or so it still feels like it's building back up into the more dance-like section. The drumwork there is also nice; it's quiet enough not to cut through the calm texture, but prominent enough to be heard. At 1:05 I think the drum could have done with being a bit bassier just because the bass itself isn't all that prominent, just to even out the frequencies a little more.
You bring it back into a heavier section nicely, though I think you could have gone even more overboard than you did; maybe that would be an easier thing to achieve with a longer song, but I think in general by the end you could have had a really majorly heavy beat if you'd wanted to and it still would have worked because the beat's been building up throughout, just to give more of a sense of climax.
In general, its a really nicely crafted track. Could use a bit more bass in places and maybe move onto a heavier beat by the end, but in general there's some really nice work done, here. Keep it up.
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