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Hm... is that Edirol Orchestral you used here? It's not a bad library, but its instruments are quite easy to recognize, as they have a very specific tone to them. That's not a bad thing though, but it's always funny to recognize other libraries. That said, here's my review (second time I write this, because Flash Player decided to die on me right before I wanted to click the submit button).

Let's start with the mixing aspect. There are two things I'd like to point out here, both regarding the percussion. The bass drum is a bit too overpowering, in my opinion. It would be good to cut its lower frequencies, so that it fits the overall mix better. The other percussion elements are a bit too 'sharp' sounding, which sadly makes the piece unfit for ambient settings.

The composition itself is also not without its flaws. To be honest, the piece is a bit chaotic, and because there is no clear melody, it is also quite difficult to listen to. The arrangement, however, is the big selling point here. The image you describe (the clouds and all) really comes forward because of the different instruments you used. Good job there!

All in all, it's a decent piece of art. If I were to give you some advice, it would be 1) to spend more time on the mixing aspect of music production, and 2) to invest some more time into studying music theory.

Good luck with your future productions!

First of, I apologize for the low score. You wanted a constructive review, however, so I'll try to be as honest as possible.

The biggest issue here, is that the song is atonal. It sounds as though the notes were placed at random in a hopeful attempt to make it all sound harmonic. This is, unfortunately, not the way to go. In fact, it creates a fairly unpleasant listening experience.

Apart from that, the song is fairly repetitive. I can hear you've tried to put some variation in the song, but the small amount of patterns clearly shows that you basically looped things over and over. Again, not the way it should be done.

Mastering/mastering-wise, the song was okay. There was no noticeable clipping and every instrument could be clearly distinguished from the others. This is, however, most likely the effect of using preset synthesizers, which have usually already been optimized and require very little mastering knowledge to use effectively. Apart from that, the piece is quite 'crowded' with instruments.

If I were to give you a single piece of advise, it would be to study some music theory first. A lot of people start writing music with no music theory knowledge whatsoever, hoping it will come to them simply 'by experience'. While this is slightly true in some regards, you can greatly improve your skills simply by just immersing yourself in the technical things 'behind' the music.

That said, I wish you the best of luck with your future productions!

All in all, 2/5 stars.

BFeltMusic responds:

Thanks for the constructive review. I am still what I consider to be a beginner and I do this mostly in my free time which I have very little of so I'm trying to learn through experience. I wish I had the time to study musical theory, but right now I don't. I do things by ear so I basically try and play off what sounds good to me in the hopes that it will sound good for others as well.

Thanks for the review. I may have to send you a message with questions.

I think this is the first 10 (or full 5 stars after the redesign...) I've ever given to anyone... You've created an absolute masterpiece, which is absolutely astounding considering the fact that you're still fairly young! The climaxes/crescendos are sometimes a bit unexpecting, but that's just a small point. Other than that, there isn't a lot more criticism I can give... I like the melodies, the harmony, the overall feeling, the flow, the tempo changes, the mastering... Yep, pretty much everything! You've really made it sound 'natural', which is a great achievement. Well done!

All in all, 10/10 (screw the new rating system) and 5/5! Sorry my review wasn't as useful this time though :)

Step responds:

Hey man, long time no see. Thanks for reviewing!

"I think this is the first 10 (or full 5 stars after the redesign...) I've ever given to anyone... You've created an absolute masterpiece, which is absolutely astounding considering the fact that you're still fairly young!"

I'm flattered, honoured and speechless AT THE SAME TIME. Thanks :3.

"The climaxes/crescendos are sometimes a bit unexpecting, but that's just a small point."

Haha you might be right! I see where you're getting at. Thankfully after the first listen you'll know when the crescendos are and can expect them, so I guess to a new listener this is only an apparent problem for four minutes :P.

"Other than that, there isn't a lot more criticism I can give... I like the melodies, the harmony, the overall feeling, the flow, the tempo changes,"

Thanks, that's good to hear!

"the mastering..."

Wow that's a surprise! A pleasant surprise too. I'm not usually very good at mastering, lol.

"Yep, pretty much everything! You've really made it sound 'natural', which is a great achievement. Well done!"

I'm relieved to hear that since I did work on getting it to sound more real than my other orchestral submissions.

"All in all, 10/10"

:D

"(screw the new rating system)"

Haha, agreed!

"and 5/5! Sorry my review wasn't as useful this time though :)"

No man it really helpful, and a lot more detailed than your average NG review.

Thanks a LOT for going out of your way and reviewing this. It's much appreciated!

Great!

Saw you needed some feedback in the audio advertisements thread, so here goes :)

Let's start with the positive. There's a nice uplifting feeling to it, giving it that extra bit of epicness. That said, it also sounds a bit 'cartoony', which is not bad, but I think the title is a bit too serious for the mood you've actually created. It reminds me more of pirates than of the need to fulfil my dudy, but that's just my opinion!

Anyway, you've also put a lot of variation in this piece, which is usually a good thing to do. Though some transitions seem a bit inconsistent because of it (more on that later), the different parts in general sound good.

Then there is the mastering, which is well done overall. Nice use of panning and velocity! Not many pay that much attention to the little details, and I'm certainly glad you did. That said, there are some parts where some of the instruments are really hard-panned to one side (timpani to the left, for example), which could use some work.

The quality of the instruments isn't really that high, which is quite a shame, and not all the instruments go too well together. It's not a huge problem, but you may want to look for some higher quality samples for your future projects. Your music deserves it!

There are also a few awkward transitions. Apart from that, the intro sounds like a build-up to some amazing climax, which sadly doesn't come untill later in the song. Try to make your transitions as smooth as possible.

Lastly, there's the rather unexpecting and slightly disappointing ending. Of course, this is still a work in progress, so I'm sure you can think of something clever for that :p

All in all, I quite enjoyed your music! So here's an 8/10 and 4/5 for you ;)

Special-Ed responds:

(/*[]*)/ thank you!

Know anywhere to get good quality instruments free? Keeping in mind I don't know the first thing about samples...

Very inconsistent...

Well, you promised me "its very kind on the ears this time", but to be honest, I find this very hard to listen to. The song is unpredictable as heck and has no consistency whatsoever. This is probably going to sound downright cruel, but it sounds like you simply used one random chord after the other, combined with melodies which are just as random. Sure, there's no dissonance, but there isn't any structure either.

Apart from that, and this is me being nitpicky, this isn't true 8-bit. When you say that your song is 8-bit, at least try to make it follow the limits 8-bit music has. It may sound 8-bit, but in reality, it's not. Apart from that, it would've been nice if you actually elaborated your choice for the title "Im still alive". Sure, I'm still alive as well, but apart from the world possibly ending in 2012, what's it got to do with New Year?

Hope I haven't ruined your day with my commentary. I'm just being as honest I can be. Perhaps it's just not my taste, but keeping various factors (general rules of music theory) in mind, it's just not that good in my opion... All in all, 5/10 and 3/5 for the effort.

Despite the 'heavy' review, I wish you a happy New Year ;)

Calamaistr responds:

1: im sorry to read that you cannot hear the structure and melodies and percieve them as random, i can only say about this that youre simply not used to the form of the instrumentation wich to some people 'needs time to get used to', even i sometimes need to sit through a loop or two on certain tracks in this instrumentation before i hear the composition again and until that moment it sounds like a chaos or clutter of sound without direction, however that is also the beauty of this. eventually you hear the absolute order in the chaos when the chords and melodies are ..individually noticed and its worth it.

2: it is true 8bit as i made this with two 8 bit librarys, one being magical8bit the other being famiconchip. if you mean how the background sounds like a harpiscord its because i balanced two seperate instruments on the same patterns to create a unique sound.

you dont ruin my day when you fail to grasp the music, just my time writing a review of its size for it, you couldve just said 'i cant hear the melodies and harmonies, sorry' and it wouldve been enough.

thanks for reviewing anyway, youre the first in a month or so that does.
and happy newyear back.

Great!

Don't worry about your obsession with low notes on the piano: I have the same thing with high notes on the piano ;)

There's a bit of clipping here and there, so you might want to lower the volume of the entire mix a bit next time. Not a huge problem, but it's more pleasant to listen to a piece without the 'crackling' in between. Apart from that, mastering is fine as far as I can tell. The guitar (?) at 00:08 is a bit unexpected though. Perhaps it would've been better to let that blend in more with the rest of the piece, like you did with the piano at 00:20, which was a great implementation.

The piece has very 'grand' feeling to it, perfect for an ancient Roman setting. You don't hear music like this on Newgrounds very often, so I'm glad you decided to write it. I like how it also has a mysterious feel to it, which perfectly fits the 'sanctuary' part. Melodies and harmony are good and go well together, so a job well done there.

The arpeggios played by the piano go on for a bit too long, to be honest. Perhaps you should've alternated it with regular chords instead? That's just me being nitpicky though, so it's not a huge problem :P

All in all, 8/10 and 4/5 ;)

Keep up the good work!

samulis responds:

Thanks man,

I still don't know why I picked the guitar anyway... it's not even remotely Roman. I just think it sounds good. As for the piano, I might actually go back and change that right now... it does get annoying indeed, and I think some chords would be nice.

And ya, that clipping is a bit annoying. I already did some major reduction, but it still pokes through.

Thanks for the review,
-Samulis

Unexpecting, but nice!

Quite a 'strange' chord progression you used there, yet even stranger is that it works pretty well in my opinion. I really like the way the song kicks off at 00:07.

The piece has a lot of effects, which all work well. However, I also think it relies a bit too much on those effects. Yes, it's a dance track, but still... Apart from that, the chord progression I mentioned earlier is fine, but you should've alternated it with something else. It gets a bit repetitive after a while.

Mastering wise, not a lot I can say here. Everything sounds balanced and the mix doesn't sound muddy. Job well done there!

I think a big error here is that your 'harmony' (chords) is the same as your melody. Keep those seperated in the future. If you find it difficult to add a distinct melody, try working the other way around: first come up with a melody, then add the appropriate harmony.

All in all, a good dance track! 7/10, 4/5

Great!

I like how 'light' the music is. Don't really have another word to describe it, so I hope you get what I mean with that. Thought Christmas is not the first thing that would come to mind when listening to this (for me, that is), after reading the description, it all started to make much more sense.

I always find it extremely difficult to master piano pieces, though you pretty much nailed it here. The sine wave (I think?) lead goes really well with the piano, and nicely adds to the 'lightness' or 'airiness' of the song. One thing that is really, really bugging me though... are the bass drums. They're too notable and kind of harsh on the ears. It's a small error, yet one with a huge impact. Might be worth to 'fix' that :P I also think there's a bit too much compression here and there, but that might also be due to the drums.

The melodies and harmony sound really good, in my opinion. Not much I can say about, other than that I like it. Sorry! I can imagine this being used in some (short) movie for 'emtional' scenes or something like that. It stands perfectly fine on its own though.

All in all, 8/10 and 4/5 for you! Merry Christmas ;)

TsetsukenMusic responds:

I think I understand what you mean by 'light', Thank you! it took a while to get it down, I had to play it out on my actual keyboard then lay it on the piano roll. I don't do that often but I should start doing it more. The sine wave is my favorite :3

I made some changes to it, I took out the hard kicks in the beginning and the end. Also changed the main drumline kick from a hit to more of a driving bass. plus an extra hihat:P

anyways what do you think?

Thank you again, Merry Christmas as well!! :D

Not bad!

Reminds me a bit of the music I used to write a while back :P

Anyway, in terms of mastering, all the sounds go well together. I couldn't detect any clipping, which is good. No overkill of effects, which is nice for a change.

Now, about the music itself. It's not really 'listening music', and would be better used in a short movie or game. You tend to use the same motif through a large part of the song. That is not a bad thing per se, so long as there is something to alternate it with, which is currently lacking a bit. If you added more variety in between, I think it would've been better. I do like the change at 1:40 though. If you added more parts like that, it would be a huge improvement to the overall piece.

The ending is a bit strange though. I'm not sure what you wanted to do with that? I think it would have been better if you left out the final drum part, and just ended it with that fading delay of the synth.

Also, put some more effort into your description man! xD You should look at it as your own personal business card.

Anyhow, all in all I quite like it, so here's a 7/10 and 4/5 for you ;)

Solisio responds:

I really appreciate the comment. This is definitely the most CONSTRUCTIVE response that I've received on my music, and I thank you. I've been creating music for a while now, and I'm trying to tweak my musical imperfections, which happens to be a lot of tweaking. I really agree with what you said about it being repetitive, and that happens mostly out of fear that I might ruin the entire piece. Anyway, I'm kind of rambling. Thank you so much!

Pretty good

First of, your track has very nice 'warm and soothing' feel to it. Quite relaxing, to be honest. I think it would work fine for a menu or something, though not as much in-game. It's slightly too monotonous for that.

Which is also basically my first point of criticism. There's quite a bit of variety, yet nothing 'spectacular' seems to happen. After listening to it a couple of times, it became mildly boring. Perhaps if you made it longer and added a few new things, it'd be much better.

In terms of mastering, the only thing that sounds a bit off are the drums. The hi-hat and snare drum could be a bit 'softer' to blend more with the rest of the piece. Other than that, you did well!

Not a lot more I can say about it. All in all, I quite like it, though there are a few things that you could work on to make it even better. All in all, 4/5 & 7/10.

Turtlekid1 responds:

Yeah, monotony is probably one of the most persistent flaws in my music.

Definitely appreciate the review, I'll have to keep it in mind. Thanks!

Hi, I write/compose/create music.

Arend van Stenis @EagleGuard

28, Male

Composer

The Netherlands

Joined on 3/27/09

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