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Not really impressed, sorry

First of, I'd like to say sorry beforehand, as I might sound a bit harsh when you're reading the rest of the review. Keep in mind though that this is all constructive criticism, and by no means intended to trash you with rough commentary.

Anyway, the first thing I'd like to say is: work on mastering! This is critical when producing music. The track in general is way too loud (use normalization / limiters to fix this) and the hi-hat is a bit too 'clear' for my ears. There's way too much bass as well. I know a bass boost is common in these kind of songs, but the amount you have here is just overkill. To keep things short: balance is the key to success in this case.

The title you chose is quite fitting. Though a more complex song does not mean a better song per se. There's quite a bit of dissonance in here, which is, sorry to say, just a beginner's mistake. I looked at your other submissions, so I know you're not new to music production. But if you write music, please take your time to find out which tones/notes/frequencies work well together and which don't. If complexity doesn't work for you, that's okay: stick to simple melodies instead. A lot of great songs out there are actually very simple!

As Nerosin noted, the piece is fairly monotonous. In other words, it gets boring. The last thing you want to do, is bore your public. Change the chord progression every now and then, that should do the trick. You need to look at every seperate section of your music as chapters in a book. They are all independed stories that are somehow connected to form a whole. Use this way of thinking to your advantage.

All in all, 3/5 & 5/10 for the effort. Don't worry though, I'm sure we'll hear many great things of you in the future ;) Keep it up!

carl565 responds:

dude, thank you so much! i really really appreciate this man. every single thing you posted will definitely help me with further project. I got a new computer, which for me is hard to tell how loud I should make the songs. If you think its too loud, then the perception of loudness that I have with my computer is too quiet. Thanks again, and I will definitely try to improve my work in the future.

Great!

The sense of 'loss', as Draganoth said, is definitely there. But why did you use the Dutch word for 'lost' as the title for this piece? Not that it's a bad thing, it's just a bit strange to see something in my own language on an international website =p

The first few moments are brilliantly mastered. You really get 'sucked' in at the beginning. Everything sounds nice and clear and the instruments are well balanced. However, after that (at around 00:35 and on) it doesn't sound as good in terms of mastering. It doesn't really capture the same 'surrounding' feeling of the first beginning. Perhaps some more panning/equalizing is needed here. (I listened to this with my headphones on, by the way.)

Apart from that, I can hear a bit of clipping when the drums kick in, which is something you should avoid at all costs. Implementing the drums was a good idea, but you should work a bit more on making them fit in the overall mix. Also, the guitar part doesn't sound quite as realistic as one could hope for, but that isn't a huge issue. If your DAW is capable of loading VSTis, RealLPC by MusicLab is the way to go if you combine it with an amplifier VST such as Guitar Rig. That's just a small suggestion though ;)

There's a lot of variety in here, which is good. The melodies are well thought of and harmony is good as well. As I said in the beginning, the sense of 'loss' is really captured here, and overall, it makes for a fine piece of music. Not really a lot I can say here, apart from the fact that I just like it a lot =p

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

Keep up the good work!

Kreos responds:

Thanks!
Well, I've chosen the Dutch word for "Lost" because there was probably already a piece of music with the title "Lost" here, but I also like picking different languages for the titles (so far I choose dutch, english, italian, japanese, latin, spanish; not that I know them, but I've done a little search... taking the risk of making mistakes when picking titles).

Well, I don't really know anything about mastering... but I'm going to (soon or later) take interest on it as I will need to do more quality pieces.

I saw one peak in the drums part, and hear a kind of clipping when they're just entering (yet I don't know why, the audio doesn't really peak). I'm going to check those VSTi out if I can :D

I'm glad you liked it ^-^

Excellent piece of work!

I was tempted to join that Orchestral NAC as well, but when I heard the other songs (including yours), I was quickly discouraged =p

I like the Arabic feel it has to it. You don't hear that very often, and it's not one of the easiest things to master.

There's a good amount of variation and the melodies are interesting and nice to listen to. Harmony is good, though not extraordinary. Percussion is nice, though it could've used a slight boost now and then.

Something it does lack however, is a good climax. I was expecting one at 2:14 and onward, but it just wouldn't come... Instead it was followed by another build-up, and another... That is however my personal opinion =p

Tempo changes are nice, which I rarely use in my songs xD Although you say orchestral isn't one of your main genres, I think you're very talented. Too bad you're deaf in one ear (then again, look at Beethoven). No panning isn't necessarily a bad thing though ;)

All in all, a grand piece of music. 9/10, 5/5!

Step responds:

Thanks for the quick response, and the lengthy review! I really appreciate it.

"I was tempted to join that Orchestral NAC as well, but when I heard the other songs (including yours), I was quickly discouraged =p"

Haha thanks, but you shouldn't have been. Someone like you could probably make it to the finals with their eyes closed ;D.

To be honest I didn't work on it as much as I hoped I would. I spent a lot of time working on it in the timespan of a few days, rather than spread out my time and worked on it gradually, so that might be one of the reasons why this is lacking intricacies such as the lack of a decent climax and harmony that isn't particularly good.

"I like the Arabic feel it has to it. You don't hear that very often, and it's not one of the easiest things to master."

I agree. Actually I was lucky because I had experience with making use of bongos/congas in my songs so it almost came naturally to me in this piece.

"There's a good amount of variation and the melodies are interesting and nice to listen to."

Thank you! To be honest I thought I could've varied the melodies more, so I'm surprised to see you found it varied enough. Then again I'm obsessed with variety in my songs.

"Harmony is good, though not extraordinary."

Very true :(. I'm musically inexperienced and don't know how to harmonise that well. Harmonising is pretty frustrating for me because I don't know what chords, melodies and keys sound good with each other and when I try and make up my own and see if it works out, I'm usually met with dissonance, and I have to constantly do trial and error to get the right sound, so you can imagine me yelling 'SOUND GOOD, DAMMIT' at my monitor...

"Percussion is nice, though it could've used a slight boost now and then."

Yeah SBB mentioned that too. I'll keep that in mind.

"Something it does lack however, is a good climax. I was expecting one at 2:14 and onward, but it just wouldn't come... Instead it was followed by another build-up, and another... That is however my personal opinion =p"

Sorry :P. Yeah I just half-assed a climax at the end (at 2:47) and I agree it doesn't sound all that climatic. Maybe if I add more percussion elements I could give it more excitement. Too bad when my computer died it took most of my project files with it...

"Tempo changes are nice, which I rarely use in my songs xD"

Hey, you're the first one to mention that in a review. Thanks :D.

"Although you say orchestral isn't one of your main genres, I think you're very talented. Too bad you're deaf in one ear (then again, look at Beethoven). No panning isn't necessarily a bad thing though ;)"

I appreciate the support! To be honest I've always wondered what it would sound like hearing sounds from all directions, but hey at least one ear works so who am I to complain :3.

"All in all, a grand piece of music. 9/10, 5/5!"

Thanks a million man, I'm really grateful for the wonderfully helpful review! Maybe we can trade reviews again sometime?

Good, but could've been much more.

It is close to the original, indeed... But, I think it's also one of this song's flaws. Don't be afraid to improvise a bit! It's good to capture the feel of the original, it's even better if you can combine it with your own ideas though.

I do like how you use the original song in the beginning and then used those drums to make a nice transition. Well done there!

Something that you should not have done, was giving the guitar such long sustained notes. This is supposed to be an action packed song of major epicness! You should've played 8th/16th notes instead of whole notes to make it more fitting. The guitar solos are good, but... there's nothing to take its place as feedback guitar. I think it would've been better if you used two guitars instead of just one so you can fill up those empty spaces.

The drums, synths and bass are all good though. Which drum set is that you use by the way? It sounds slightly familiar to me =p

All in all, a decent piece of music you made there. 7/10, 4/5

Keep up the good work ;)

Great, but too long for most people

I must say, I'm very impressed with what you made here. There's a lot of variation, some unexpected but well implemented twists, and great melodies.

It's very hard to review such lengthy songs as there's so much to cover. So instead of picking on every little detail, I'll tell you what my opinion is on the piece as a whole.

The change from classical to electronic at 1:41 was really unexpected, but it sounded nice, although a little weird. I liked the fact that this song is full of sudden surprises, but that it manages holds that mood of 'true hope'.

There was a little something that I think you could've done better, though. The percussion in this piece isn't exactly top notch. It was ok, but compared to the other elements (melody, harmony) I thought it was a bit lacking.

Another 'problem' is the length. Most people aren't willing to spend almost ten minutes of their lives to listen to a single piece of music. True, you make up for it with lots of variation to keep it interesting, but for most people it's too much to listen to.

All in all, a great piece of music. This definitely deserves a lot more attention. 9/10, 5/5 ;)

jdh504 responds:

Thanks a lot for the review buddy! Yeah I tried to nail that transition into electronic the best I could, what do you think I could've done to make it better, or at least a little less weird sounding? I see what you mean with the percussion, that's the department I'm usually lacking in. By itself it stands fine, but yeah, next to the music I put to it, it does lack in comparison. Thanks for letting me know that, I'll try to work on it for my newer songs, hopefully can make the percussion in them sound more complex and musical. I definitely see where you're coming from with the length, me personally though, I'm not willing to change the length of one of my songs because people don't like it. Don't get me wrong, I'm trying to make music that all of you can enjoy :), but I'm not gonna sacrifice what I think is a good creative decision or what I think makes a song flow best because people don't wanna listen to a long song. Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on you or anything haha, I just wanted to show you where I stood on that issue. I really do appreciate your review though, thanks for all the kind words and helpful criticism! Much appreciated! :D

Overall good

First off, I am by no means a trance specialist, so please forgive me if I say stupid stuff because of that xD

The intro felt kind of unnecessary to me. It didn't really fit in with the rest of the song. You should use your intros to create a general mood for the rest of your piece. I was expecting something way different because of that intro.

The transition at around 1:15 sounds a bit weird, but that's because of the sudden change of mood (sad -> cheerful). I think it would've been better if you started the song at around 1:20 instead. That would also 'fix' the length of the song.

You used a couple of wrong notes in the last part (4:30 and onwards), which is a shame. They sound bad in my ears. Don't forget that music theory, even with electronic genres like trance.

Overall, it's a typical trance song, but it works well. Wasn't the original by Mario Lopez by the way and not Marco Lopez?

Anyway, it's catchy, it's cheerfull. All in all 8/10 and 4/5.

Shoephly responds:

First of all thanks a tonne for taking the time to write a review.

about the intro, when i started making it I wasn't really sure where i was going with it, and evidently it's noticeable. The transition is something that i dissliked from the begining, but for the sake of making the song i "let it be for now"(which i'll fix real soon), and about the ending, the bum notes couldve been because i rushed it, and now that i've relistened to it, i totally agree.

And yesss... the vocals are from mario lopez xD, dunno why i wrote marco

Yet again thanks so much for your review, much appreciated! :)

Great!

Really a catchy song you made there ;)

The synths are a bit basic (Bass & Lead, Synth Bass, Synth Lead and Square Lead, if I'm correct), but work really well in the context of the song.

You chose to keep using the same chord progression over and over again, which is a bit risky, and can make the song a bit repetitive after listening to it a few times. You managed to keep it interesting though by adding new melodies after each part, which is good.

I could see this being played in an arcade style video game or something similar.

All in all, a job well done! 8/10 and 5/5 (for score boost)

Very good!

Hey there,

Wasn't too sure what I was to expect from this when I first saw the title. However, I was pleasantly surprised. You've succeeded in capturing a "lonely" and somewhat "eerie" feel, which works out really well, even though it's "just" a piano playing.

However, there are a few minor flaws in this piece. For example, the notes used at 0:39 sound a bit out of tune. Apart from that, it was also a bit too short. I think you could've done a lot more with this, to be honest.

I do like how the piano sounds all natural, though, and that the song is well polished. Arpeggios always sound nice too.

All in all, a well earned 4/5 and 8/10.

Keep up the good work!

KKSlider60 responds:

Thank you ^^
At the time, I was experimenting with dissonance and I thought it might gonna work. It is short, because it was meant to be more suitable for Flash. Oh well, old piece, lol
KKS

Great

I like it, very cheerful. It isn't perfect, however...

The melody you used is good, but... You pretty much used it over and over again (with slight differences though). You should've added another totally different melody, and it would've been much better. There is a good amount of variety, though, which is good.

Some of the transitions are a bit too heavy/overkill in my opinion (the drum rolls, for example).

All in all, it's a good piece of work. Keep it up ;).

5/5 (2.94 is nowhere near enough for this), and 8/10

Assios responds:

Thanks :) Yeah, I think I overused drum rolls :p

Great!

The chord progression you used really sounds quite good. It's not like all those standard techno songs. I like the combination of electronic and classical elements, good job.

There is, however, a lack of variety, in my opinion. Also, there isn't really a clear melody either. This could very well be used as background music in games or something, though.

I do on the other hand like how there is a constant tension in the song, well done.

All in all, 5/5 (to give you a score boost) and 8/10

Keep up the good work!

Tecknoobie responds:

Thanks so much EagleGuard!

I'll try to incorporate some of your tips in my music some more from now on!

Hi, I write/compose/create music.

Arend van Stenis @EagleGuard

28, Male

Composer

The Netherlands

Joined on 3/27/09

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