Not gonna lie, I saw an untitled piece and got worried but this is surprisingly nice. Please come up with some sort of title, it'll do you wonders.
The piece has a very clear motif and doesn't really deviate from that, but for a calm, background-ish piece like this that's not a bad thing. It evokes a pretty nice atmosphere, despite the harshness of certain sounds. I think it's a good idea to have used a mixture of harsh and smooth sounds, because it lends the piece some variety. The slight noisy edge is good for drawing attention without causing discomfort.
What you could work on are small mastering things: sidechaning, more extensive EQ, compression. Your kick drums have quite a bit of high mid to them, but don't really cut through the bass frequencies as much as I might like. It's semi-stylistic but I think you'd benefit from sidechaining your lower instruments to the kick, and bringing up the low mid/high bass frequencies of the kick. That's one example, but I'm sure if you play around with these things you'll find ways to clean up (or mess around with) your sound.
A very pleasant surprise indeed. Well done, please keep going!
thank you! this is exactly the kind of review that i needed. the reason its untitled is because its not fully complete yet, and thats why i needed feedback :)
The transition at 0:37 is honestly a bit jarring. It sounds like a bridge between two separate songs, the section it leads to doesn't sound like it's in the same genre as the piano section before it. The transition at 1:44 has a very similar problem, it doesn't have too much in common with the previous section and for the first phrase it sounds like a different song in the same genre has been spliced onto the end. If you want the song to have more coherence, I'd suggest modulating to different keys over a longer period of time, and having a motif or idea to come back to as opposed to switching completely two times in one song.
The mixing is okay in terms of volume, instruments could be panned out a bit more though to make it feel wider. Not all instruments suffer from that narrow feel, a lot of your drums make full use of stereo but your synths and piano's in particular need that panning treatment.
I'd also considering playing around with the melodies you use. This song, in the second and third sections, repeats a 4 bar melody over and over, which gets a bit stale. You could add some interest by having multiple 4 bar melody sections that you use instead of the same one for each section.
I do quite like the drums you used in the first piano section. They sounded well mixed and interesting, and I'd strongly consider employing variety like that in future work.
4/10 because while each idea on it's own isn't too bad, combining them all together in one song really doesn't work.
Agree with all your points besides the paning
the piano and synth are panned center because they are the center of attention.
All other stuff like guitars and flutes are panned as much as needed
Is this downtempo? I'm not sure I'd necessarily agree with that tag but it doesn't detract from the piece itself so it doesn't really affect my score.
I like the different sections of the piece, and that they maintain distinct motifs' without being incoherent. I do wish you had changed up the string melodies a bit, taking advantage of the beautiful sounds you can get from slow high strings as well as the slow low ones. However, that being said, the run you did make is very nice and catchy.
I'm not sure whether the kick is a bit too "hardstyle", maybe it could have been differently EQ'd to blend a bit better into the mix. Indeed, in the kick sections, the mix does become too bass heavy, and probably requires a different set of levels on the instruments than in the orchestral section. Only a subtle difference is required, but it will help your melodies sound less drowned out. You could considering a more subtle sidechaining with the kick to help it blend a bit more.
Overall, nice piece, could have used a bit more work though in regards to development and mixing.
Thank you very much for your review! Would have to completely agree with you. The exact definition of the word Downtempo is "music having a relatively slower beat" so that's really why I use it. I don't know what genre this is.
Will keep that in mind, thanks! I generally like melody changes during a song but some reason they feel misplaced when I use them in my own tracks. I'm going to research that now because you've brought it to my attention. Maybe even why many people think I'm too repetitive. :)
The kick and bass are probably too hard. I make Big Room and other hard genres of EDM so a good driving bass is usually what I go for in the climax of a track, but it does feel misplaced now that you mention it. I like Alan Walker so I'll look out for that next time when working on another piece like this one.
Thank you for your time, compliments and 3.5/5 rating. Really appreciate it. Have a nice day. :)
The bass is a lil drowned out at the beginning because of that huge kick, but it still sounds fairly well balanced. Vocals appear nice and central to the mix, which is good.
The track is very much a dance track. It's a pretty good dance track though, def could see this getting banged out in a warehouse in London somewhere. Maybe you could have done a bit more with the vocals, brought them back for a second towards the end of the piece. Also having most of the instruments slowly attack over a bar gets a little bit boring but luckily you did well in slowly phasing that out towards the end. Instrument choice is pretty nice too. Could be arranged to have more dynamic and contrasting sections, but that would take away from the "dance" feel that is has.
Well done, mate. Hopefully you can produce stuff this well for original pieces as well as for remixes.
Thanks for the review! The kick was a huge issue to deal with here, I think it has 3 automation layers over it, to try to fit the intensity of the chords while giving it enough punch to be noticed. I usually tend to leave behind the kick in other songs, but here I tried to fix it the best I could. Glad you liked it! :D
That lead needs to come down a lot in terms of volume. You can hear it clipping badly. The bells have a similar problem. The mixing on the piece makes it really difficult to listen to. This is contrasted by a really drowned snare and a kick that doesn't like it was EQ'd or compressed. I think your lead instruments take up way too much of the mix and need to be turned down a lot and EQ'd moderately, while the drums need heavy equalizing and a good compression on them to make them pop. Also think about sidechaining, which you can google if you're unfamiliar with.
Regarding structure and performance, the piece gets boring quickly. You do have quite a few instruments, but they all play the same melody. The bassline is based on two notes, and is also remarkably similar to the leads. Though you build up to drops fairly well, the lack of dynamic change leading up to them takes away from their impact. These elements add up to form a piece that feels incredibly repetitive. In the future, vary your instruments throughout the song rather than throwing them all out at once, and employ a more interesting chord progression. Also, widen your range of percussion if you can, using stuff like interesting hi-hats and hits really helps bring a piece alive.
Don't be discouraged by the low rating, we all started somewhere. Music is a lot harder than anyone thinks it's going to be, and I encourage you to step up to the challenge and practice enough to make some really good stuff. I noticed you said you tried mastering without presets, which is good, and you should use the mistakes here to improve your mastering for the next song. Good luck!
Thanks for your review :).
I actually tried mixing all this myself to see if it was better...
I put a side Channing VST on them... Guess it didn't have an effect...
I even tried keeping the levels balanced...
Maybe next time ill reduce everything that isn't a drum...
Please bear in mind, at time of writing I have a cold and the pressure in my ears is uneven, so I'm really bad at registering panning. I don't think there are any big panning issues, but I'm registering a lot of the main instruments and vocals a bit to the left. I'm chalking that up to my ears tho, so I wouldn't worry.
I really like the structure of this piece. It evolves really well, stays interesting for it's runtime, without changing drastically or straying from its central motif. The good mixing helps that our as well, as each instrument is given adequate space to do what it needs to do. I do kinda wish the outro returned to the beginning "style" for a brief bit to give the piece that nice circular feel, as if it's arriving at a similar place to where it began.
The only real criticism I have is the lone vocals at the beginning sound the smallest bit muffled? I don't know if that's the ears thing again, but on the lower end of your range it appears to sound the smallest bit covered. Not a big deal, especially since later in the piece that problem isn't even there.
Really nice job, I love the almost narrative quality it has and your choice of instruments was impeccable. I hope I get to hear more of this stuff from you.
I get the sense this was inspired by that one Resident Evil song. While atonality and very very heavy rubato in and of themselves are fine, and can contribute nicely to an experimental piece, attempting both in one shot is questionable. A lot of what I have to say is heavily contingent upon "I don't know whether this is intentional or not" so next time try to describe what it is you wanted to do with the piece.
It sounds like you're going for a really strange and unhinged atmosphere, which this piece accomplishes with aplomb. I would say however, that at 1:29, after a long and subtle decrease in volume, the sudden jump in volume could be controlled a bit better. Maybe build to it as opposed to immediately reaching it. Several of your instruments appear to clip as well in this area, so ensure you take a look at mixing at some point in the future. You could also benefit from panning your instruments, as having them all centered really detracts from the pieces atmosphere. The outro as well is a bit sudden in volume and rhythm, it might have made more sense to end at 2:49 or 2:52.
It's not my thing but it's definitely interesting. Just remember that even experimental music doesn't escape the obligation of good mixing. Also, explaining your experiment might give it a bit more meaning to others. Keep going though.
Thank you that was a very helpful reveiw
The mix needs a lot of work. Your drums, kick and snare in particular, are much louder than your synths, and they completely take over the piece. I think you can easily afford to bring them down and still have them carry decent punch. You also need to EQ all of your instruments, this will help avoid crowding the mix as well. You pan your synths very wide, which gives the piece a bit more of a spacious and nicer feel, but your drums could stand to benefit from a similar treatment, as well as variety in rhythm. The two build ups to each drop are exactly the same and it gets a bit repetitive.
Your choice in synths is pretty nice and varied, nearly all of them contribute to that industrial grinding atmosphere you seem to be going for (except the piano of course). There are two synths I don't really like, that being the chorus lead and the beginning chordal synth, because they don't fit the overall tone as well and the lead in particular sounds very boring and undeveloped.
Not a bad effort overall, though, it's got coherent structure and doesn't stray from it's theme too much. The ending crescendo is questionable but I'll leave that up to you. Keep it up, look up EQ, compression, and sidechaining.
Allright, Thank you, the drums were made louder on perpose, but ill see if lowering them makes better.
And yes I do feel the pad at the begging is eh?
Writing this as I listen so I'll give an overall conclusion at the end.
From 00:29 to 00:57 I think the piano melody gets a bit too repetitive. It's a shame given how the melody before (and after) that is so much more interesting rhythmically.
The synths that come in around 02:20 are really nice at broad, out of all the instruments you use here they're probably my favourite.
I like the progression of the drums a lot as the piece builds to 03:07, but again you've got the problem of that repetitive rhythm in the strings and piano until about 03:35. I think that varying the rhythm, even just a little bit, would seriously improve the piece.
Overall though, nice job! It has a nice structure and overall mood. Honestly I wish you used something other than Garageband because I feel like you're at the level where it would benefit you, but that's not an objective fault so I won't criticise it. Maybe in your next work try playing around with drawing out the strings as opposed to using them for stabs.
Hey thanks for the review Kalv' ! =D
Thank you for the kind words ! I really see what you mean by the repetitiveness of the song, I totally see it now with hindsight. I won't do the same mistake again ! ^^
Yes I think I might buy a Windows one day in order to use FL Studio.
Thanks again ! =3
The synth playing the melody at the beginning sounds like it has way too much filter and reverb on it, which washes it out completely. In general the piece is overly bass heavy, so considering mixing it properly by eq-ing all your instruments so they clash less. There are many tutorials on how to do this online.
Also consider restructuring the piece. The drop in particular is glaring and gappy, due to the lack of any delay on the snare, although a snare is an odd choice of instrument to bring in a drop. The melody is aimless after the bass comes in and doesn't mesh with the rest of the piece. It's also a very bare piece, with few distinct instruments, and your bass synths all clash together and don't give each other room to breath.
It needs a lot of work, but don't be discouraged! The more you practice and act on the feedback you receive, the better you'll get. Also, listening to all different kinds of music helps a lot as well, it really rounds you out and improves your ear.
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