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The mood you set with your piece greatly fits the title. It sounds really cheerful and feels like the start of a new beginning, just like you'd expect from New Year's Eve. Although the theme you set and the orchestration in general are both fine, there are a few things I'd like to point out that you could work on.

First of all, the start of the piece is a bit too unexpected and bombastic to my taste. Although this can work in some pieces, it didn't really seem fitting for this one, especially since the tone lowered quite dramatically right after it. Perhaps starting the first few bars with a crescendo and ending it with a decrescendo would be more fitting?

Furthermore, the melodies are really hard to follow. This is probably mainly due to the amount of layers playing different things at the same time. Right now there's more harmony than melody, which is a shame, as it makes the song less memorable.

The chord progressions in general are quite nice, though. However, the one chord progression that does bug me a bit, is the one from 01:37-01:47, which sounds too much like Pachelbel's Canon. Also, the part from 00:51-01:17 sounds a bit too monotonous. Furthermore, there seems to be a bit of dissonance @ ~ 01:46-01:47.

Be aware of clipping, as there's quite a lot of it throughout the piece. The moment the volume passes the 0.0 DB threshold, your signal starts to clip, which is especially noticable starting @ ~ 02:52.

Lastly, that sustained note near the end might be a bit too much for some players, so it might be worth shortening that section a bit.

I know writing music for orchestras can be quite difficult, so you definitely earn credit for that. It was a nice piece to listen to, but there are a few things you may want to keep in mind for future works. All in all, a 3.5/5!

DavidGrossmanMusic responds:

Thank you for your review. If there are any issues with the harmony drowning out the melody or clipping, it is likely from either the site or the conversion from wav to mp3 - I listened to my own mix on several different playback devices (two laptops, one with headphones and one without; a home stereo system, and the iPhone playback), and don't hear any imbalance or clipping, and my mixing software doesn't show any clipping.

The chord progression from 1:37 to 1:47 may be similar to the progression Pachelbel's Canon, but is a common pattern throughout classical and pop/jazz music (especially from the 60s to the present) and hasn't bugged anyone else that's heard this. I agree that it sounds a little monotonous and static from 0:51 to 1:03 (not past that, though), but as I mentioned in my reply to Lethal-Input, that comes from issues in the VST library. Also, there is no dissonance at 1:46 in either the sheet music or that I can hear in my original mix (just an A9 chord - the doublings are slightly unusual but necessary for where the different parts go in the next chord).

While I respect your opinion in the last paragraph, I have been writing orchestral music for more than three years. If you check the other orchestral music on my profile or my website, you will see that I have quite a bit of experience writing for orchestra (even before being taught composition and orchestration at Westminster Choir College), although I do not claim to be an expert yet. I have had some of my works (including this one) used as composition and orchestration examples at Westminster Conservatory in theory and composition classes for their Honors Music Program and evaluated by composition faculty at Westminster Choir College and the Hartt School of Music. Some of the things you had mentioned are either things that I can't control without a live orchestra or are slightly less common but done for a very specific reason.

I know that every piece I write can't please everyone that might possible listen to it, but I hope your less than satisfactory experience with this piece won't cause you to not listen to more of my music.


Quite an interesting piece you have there, with a very mature theme as well. Although the song as whole is a bit on the simple side, the chords you used work well enough and complement the lyrics quite nicely.

The solo @ ~01:00 was a nice change of pace, though the part @ 01:10-01:15 sounds a bit off: it sounds a bit too cheerful to my taste.

I think it might really be worth recording this with a more elaborate setup. The song has lots of potential, but the mediocre production quality is a limiting factor. At the moment it sounds more like I'm listening to a proof of concept, rather than an actual song.

What I'd personally suggest is to have at least three seperate channels: two recordings of the guitar hard-panned left and right to create a stereo effect, and have a seperate recording of the vocals panned to the centre. You could always opt to add things like percussion to add to the sense of rhythm. Even these simple changes could improve the production quality drastically.

All in all, I quite liked the song though, so 4/5 for you!

Stereocrisis responds:

Thank you Eagle! Much appreciated, and good food for thought. I'm heading in to the studio soon, so I'll definitely take what you said into consideration. The lead does sound too cheerful. Agreed. lol Some girl getting raped shouldn't be paired with a happy solo. Although, that could be interpreted as the people around her having fun, and going about their happy lives while she is suffering. Or it could be happiness she strives for, only to be dragged back down again into the chorus. I don't know. That's just some bullshit I made up. The solo is way to happy. :)

Wow! I must say I'm pleasantly surprised with this particular song of yours! I'm probably a bit too biased to write an "objective" review, because this genre just so happens to be one of my favourites.

I really like the different chord progressions you used. Combined with the excellent 'roomy' sound of the piece, it creates a really nice 'warm' atmosphere. Especially the lows are perfectly present! Gotta love that bass-line :) The arpeggios you used for the strings sections are very nice as well.

It's a shame some of the samples are of relatively lesser quality... I can hear you used Edirol Orchestral again, which is not a bad library per se, but it is very recognizable. The choirs sounded a bit too artificial and bright, but again, there isn't a lot you can do about that. The drums were of nice quality, however, though you may want to mix (in terms of variety) them up a bit more in the future.

The only "error" I could perhaps postulate for this piece, is that there isn't a general melody to follow with your mind: it's mainly chords and arpeggios, though I don't think that's much of a problem considering it's video game music.

All in all, a 4.5/5! Keep up the good work :)

ThatJohnnyGuy responds:

Thanks, this was mainly based on what the past client told me to do. I'm happy with the result but sadly Edirol is all i can use at the moment. But I shall keep these things in mind :) thanks

Alright, I'm going to be brutally honest with you here: I found it quite hard to actually listen through this piece. Although combining orchestral music with EDM is an interesting combination, it is a very delicate one that must be approached with extreme care, and unfortunately I found the quality of both elements to be quite lacking in this piece. I'll break it down into two sections.

- When using classical instruments (including choirs), try to consider the position of the players themselves. Right now it all sounds very robotic, and lacks any form of human emotion that is so important for orchestral music.
- You used the same melody over and over again. Don't do that.
- You used the same harmony (chords) over and over again. Don't do that.
- There was quite a lot of dissonance, which made it sound "unpleasant".
- There isn't really a common thread to follow: the sections all sound very arbitrary and random.
- Be careful with the amount of layers you use: too many of them and your mix will sound cluttered.
- Voice clips can sound gimmicky really quickly. Use them only if it adds value.

Mixing / Mastering / Other technicalities:
- Clipping (sound levels too high; lower the output volume next time or use a limiter).
- Compression levels are too high (when side-chaining is active?).
- You should give the EQ another look: not enough spacing between the instruments, and the highs are too... high.

Pardon the wall of text, but I hope it'll help you improve for future works. If I were to give one final piece of advice, it would be to study some more music theory: that can really up your level and understanding of music quite a bit. That said, all in all, a 2/5 for the effort.

Excellent stuff! There are many good things that can be said about this particular piece: the overal composition, the mixing, the arrangement, as well as the overal 'feel' of the song. Heck, I could even picture this being used in a film!

There are a few minor issues that could be improved upon, though:

1) The ending is a bit too sudden in my opinion. I was waiting for that final last note to come, but it didn't: it remained silent. It's a small thing, but an important one nonetheless.

2) Although the mixing in general is excellent, the vocals are somewhat hard to hear at times, especially during the busier parts of the song.

3) I get the idea that there is a little bit too much compression in some areas. Although it is an interesting effect on its own (and greatly subjective, too), I think it would've been better if the compression were more transparent.

Like I said, these are just small issues in an otherwise amazing song. All in all, a 4.5/5! Keep up the good work!

newhansen responds:

That's a great review you wrote. I'm glad you like it. Some of your points are helpfull to me. If i would record this a second time, i'd probably rewrite the end. I'd have given it a long ending chord in G-minor.

Although I expected it to have a slightly more Eastern kind of sound to it (looking at the art, that is), the style on its own is quite nice! Kind of reminds me of Mega Man and that sort of stuff.

Since this is 8-bit, there isn't a lot I can say about the mix. All I can say is that some of the pulse waves (I think that's what they're called, feel free to correct me on this) are a bit too high-pitched. Apart from that, the kick drum appears to be hard-panned left and right, instead of in the center. I personally prefer having the kick somewhere in the middle of the stereo spectrum, but to each his own.

I really like the composition! As I stated in the beginning, I can clearly hear some influences from retro video games. Apart from that, there are some classical-sounding parts as well (which is always a good thing). The ending is a bit dull, though, and could use some work.

All in all, a very good job!

ThatJohnnyGuy responds:

thanks bro! :)

I find your description a bit confusing. Did you use somebody else's melody (with or without permission) to write this song? Though it's not directly part of this review, a detailed description is always nice.

Anyway, now for the actual review. Let's start with the good. As others before me have stated, the song in general is very uplifting and catchy, and has a "solid beat" to it. If you were to change it into a loop, it'd work great for certain types of Flash games.

While some of the melodies sound really nice (combined with harmony), others are a bit too random for my taste (e.g. 00:44 - 01:13). The chorus is great for example, it's just that some of those in-between parts could've used a bit more work. Perhaps it would've been better to actually cut a few layers of instruments here and there, as the song can be a bit "messy" or "too full" at times. This would make the melodies stand out more, thus reducing that "randomness" effect. Another option is to alter the mix through additional EQ and / or compression.

Speaking of the mix, in general I thought it was good. Be careful with those high-pitched instruments though, as they are just about nearing the "danger zone" of listener fatigue. Also, the bass drum could stand out a bit more.

Finally, a few small things. The "Frootza, Frootza, Frootza" thing is a bit odd, if you ask me. I personally dislike it when people "watermark" their songs this way, but to each his own, I guess. The ending of this piece is a bit too sudden, and this is really a shame considering what could be done with it. Lastly, there could be a bit more variety of instruments. I'm guessing you wanted this to sound 8-bit-ish, but try not to limit yourself too much here!

Whew, I think that was one of the longest reviews I've written... Anyway, all in all, a pretty good job! 7/10 Keep up the good work!

frootza responds:

*Updated Response*

I see the error... I wrote "his" when I meant... THIS! Complete confusion! So sorry Eagle, I really appreciate the PM about it.

Again, very happy that you enjoyed it. I think your critique was interesting, and I see where you were going with it. I actually might tweak the high hats not just the tonality but the rhythm. I was experimenting with a new sound pack and just trying to get the EQ right based on the other instruments.

Thank you for the response! You are awesome. Keep in touch dude!


I'm not really used to writing reviews for covers, so apologies if this isn't the kind of review you were expecting. I wrote this review in the same way I usually write reviews for regular pieces, so keep in mind that in the end, my goal is to provide constructive criticism, not act like the Spanish Inquisition.

Anyway, the first point I'd like to make, is the lack of creativity here. I know this is a cover, but I personally really like it when people add their own flavour to a song they cover, not just copy-paste the original song with a new voice attached to it. Yes, I realise this was done just for fun, but try to look at it as general advice: it's a good song on its own, but in its current state it simply sounds too much like the original.

A few more specific points here. The bass in the original is what made it so epic. Here, however, the bass guitar is rather weak. Apart from that, there's too much compression on the drums. Compression can greatly enhance your mix, but in this case the compression is way too obvious. Lastly, there's a bit too much vibrato in your voice every now and then, and at times I thought you were trying to hold back, rather than 'sing with your soul'. The guitar parts were nice though!

All in all, a decent cover, but there is room for improvement. Good luck!

DivoFST responds:

I agree with every single aspect of your review, i made this cover with a few simple things in mind...one of them was to have fun and i certainly did, i also wanted to train my midi composition so i tried to do this as close to the original as possible in instruments and finally i wanted to have something where i could sing to improve myself vocally as well.
I didn't have a bass here so i used a VSTi and i do realize it takes away a lot from the song, the drums im actually pretty happy with them (considering the objective was to sound like the original), the vocals i once again agree with you they are not great and the vibrato iv been using lately annoys me like hell but i cant control it.
Thanks for the review EagleGuard!

Ah, this piece is already MUCH better than your last classical submission. In a way it reminds me of my own music somehow, but maybe that's because I used Edirol Orchestral myself for a while.

Anyway, first of, massive props for the amount of variation in this piece. There's all kinds of different moods, as well as different styles, which I personally really like. There are some good melodies in here, although they do again feel a bit random sometimes. Harmony is fine, although a bit simple in some parts. I really wasn't expecting that guitar to join in, but it was a good decision! Really ups the 'epic' factor quite a bit.

Now, for a few specific points. The string run in the beginning is actually a bit too fast. Although I am not a violin player myself, I doubt such a fast varied run would be playable. A big part of making your orchestral creations sound realistic, is keeping in mind the limitations that come with the instruments and players. Speaking of which, as with your other piece, you may need to work on the midi-editing to enhance the feel of realism. Lastly, there is some clipping near the end. Always use a limiter (set to -0.1DB to -0.3DB max, not 0DB) on the master bus to avoid such little flaws.

All in all, a job well done! Keep up the good work :)

ThatJohnnyGuy responds:

thanks! :) haha yeah but i've heard some superhero music, some violin players can play really fast, you would be amazed, but i see what you mean lol im glad i improved though, thanks!

Sounds a lot like... Edirol Orchestral...

Anyway, I have mixed feelings about this specific piece. It sounds pirate-ish, but it's not really memorable. It's mostly harmonic (with exception of the final part, which sounds a bit odd; 1:32-1:46), but it lacks captivating melodies. The different parts sound nice on their own, but feel a bit too random on the whole. I think a lack of structure is the main evildoer here. Always try to have some global idea of what the piece is going to sound like to avoid problems such as these.

Mixing-wise, it sounds good enough, although the samples sound 'really' artificial (mainly due to the library, but also due to midi editing). It would've also been nice if you mixed the string sections up with some brass, woodwinds, or melodic percussion.

All in all, a decent piece, but there is room for improvement. Good luck!

ThatJohnnyGuy responds:

thanks, this was one of my very first attempts at making something with Edirol. I really want to improve with it

Hi, I write/compose/create music.

Arend van Stenis @EagleGuard

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Joined on 3/27/09

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