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This sounds uplifting and quite beautiful at times. There's a fantastic main melody as well. The transitions are wonderful; I particularly like the use of piccolo and harp. Although the song has plenty of awesome moments, I think much of it feels too empty, and the great momentum that emerges from the transitions into the climaxes quickly diminishes. I think the song could benefit a lot from having more instruments, not just to make it sound more full, but also to help define the melodies more during the quieter sections. It's clear that you're not using high-end libraries, and it's most evident in the awkwardly-slow attacks in some notes of the melodies; at times the melodies' short notes sound slightly out-of-sync with the forefront percussion. Adding some melodic percussion, such as a glockenspiel or celesta, could help a lot with that. Furthermore, I noticed a lack of high-frequency percussion; I think a tambourine would work well here. Lastly, I think some parts could benefit from some bass fx, which is basically an almost inaudible note that provides additional warmth to give certain transitions greater impact.

JessieYun responds:

Hey Everratic,
Thanks for the constructive criticism. Yes, this quite lacks in many ways, and I mostly agree with your opinions on this track. I'm planning to re-make this track with better orchestration & more story involved, probably in the future.

This song is so charming! The instrumentation is excellent, and I love the drones - they give the song lovely mystical vibes. I like that there's a clear and sweet climax; I didn't see it coming, and it was executed very well. Etherealwinds is quite a suitable name when you make this kind of music!

I got used to it after a few listens, but at first I thought the vocals sound a little thin compared to everything else. This might just be my headphones, but I also sense that the high end of the vocals has been boosted a bit. It's usually fine, but during the parts when there's a lot of layering, it stands out to me.

The fx are a nice addition, and at the end, they help return the song to reality after the ethereal experience.

etherealwinds responds:

Thanks so much for your review and high rating! I'm really glad you liked it. It's funny you say that about my username, because in 2011 when I made 'etherealwinds' on YouTube, I was starting to create more ambient music in the realm of fantasy and Celtic - the first video I uploaded was an acapella arrangement of Pippin's Song from LoTR; a song which evoked in me the exact same vibe and feels as this song did when watching GoT!

You're right in your sense that the high end of the vocals has been boosted a bit. Especially in tracks like this where I want the vocals (and especially the harmonies) to have a lighter, airier more ethereal tone, I raise the highs of the main just a little, reduce the mids of the harmonies, raise the lows a tiny amount but raise the highs more (to position the harmonies around the main, yet above the mains in terms of airiness) :) it has yet to sound too thin on any of my headphones, but it may well do on your end as technology is funny like that!

Really glad you liked it <3

The composition is lovely and very emotional. I really like the background instrumentation. That said, the instruments themselves sound a bit uncanny to me; they're not blatantly midi-sounding, but they don't sound very expressive either. There is a lot of emotion in this song thanks to the composition, but I think there's opportunity to enhance the emotion further by using more expressive instruments. I think a celeste could work well here; if you have kontakt, then you should already have a decent one.

endKmusic responds:

Yeah, totally get what you're saying.
Was thinking about Kontakt while I was composing this one and had the same thought.
Thanks for the review, I agree with everything you said.
Glad you dig the composition. :)

I love the main melody!

This sounds utmost professional. I can imagine this being very useful as background music in a video game or movie. While listening, I envision a character walking through a dark, barren landscape. The mixing seems to be flawless. I intended to write more, but that's all I can think of right now :P

Deemo-R responds:

The way you envision it is very close to what was described to me! I didn't get to see much art, so I took a lot of inspiration from the visual style of The Swapper, which had some similarities in the tone and atmosphere. The mixing was luckily very easy since much of the godsend that is Omnisphere 2 sounds great out of the box (and I highly recommend it to anyone that asks). Kumakin helped me to solidify the final mix so that it would sit in the same room as his material, so I also have to offer credit to him for helping with some cleanup!

While I'm definitely not any sort of expert on this genre, I feel that a lot of mileage comes out of letting sound(s) sit for a while and evolve, which turns the focus from developing melodic or harmonic content to shaping envelopes - things like moving cutoff filters at the right time to give the kind of swells that people seem to love, which I abuse a lot in this track. The way you filter sounds really means a lot, and that's probably the most valuable aspect I think one can learn out of electronic music, which is why I'm hoping to look into it much more in the near future. I'm a bit too dependent on traditional melody and accompaniment, so there are still aspects of that in this track, but I hope they come across organically and more "idiomatic" to my style... though I'd say it's likely that I'm still working on that part. Glad you liked it! :D

This is pretty catchy. I like the jazzy chord progression and use of the saxophone juxtaposed with the electronic instrumentation.

endKmusic responds:

Thanks for the kind words. :)

The mixing and mastering was executed well. When the mix is full, it almost sounds like its played by an actual orchestra. i love the main melody, and the orchestration is phenomenal for much of the piece.

During the quieter section, I felt that there wasn't enough contrast between that section and the other two other than the difference in volume. Also, I think you should have used the most realistic instruments there for the leads since they're so exposed. The melody here could benefit from syncopation, I think. Maybe I wouldn't mind the lack of it if the leads sounded more realistic.

I liked the way you ended the piece, but I think the very last note would sound more conclusive if it was noticeably more powerful than the previous one.

I think you probably could have added some more countermelodies, adornment, and flourishes. The mix sounds full, and the melody is solid, but once I got used to it, i wanted a bit more stimuli.

I really enjoyed this, and I hope you make more marching songs!

JessieYun responds:

Hey Everratic,
Thanks a lot for the comment and a suggestion. I tried to cover up the problems you've mentioned, but I guess it didn't work well eventually. I'll try to improve much more in the future!

I really love this piano. It suits your style better than the NI ones imo. The song has a very pensive mood, and it spurred me to have a daydream during my first listen :)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

I really like it too! As I mentioned, I'll just have to get used to it. But when it comes to the heavy and powerful dynamics, this piano definitely is able to capture them better. If I ever get to my project or releasing an album with my best piano works, this is the piano I'm going to use.
I hope the daydream was enjoyable! :D

This is one of my favorite songs of yours. I think I criticized your melodies several times in the past, but you really nailed it this time :) The melody is simple, super catchy, well-orchestrated, and it fits with the background perfectly. I love the melodic adornments too; you're really good at that! I think this song is close to perfect :D

endKmusic responds:

Hearing this from you means very much.
Your constructive criticism indeed (especially about melodies) had an impact to my musical thinking in general. Glad it came to this moment. :D
Much thanks! <3

There are many lovely melodies in here, and the orchestration is mostly good. I think the secondary melodic lines (I don't really know what to call it) sound divergent and distracting at times, but there are some instances of nice countermelodies. I like the layered leads. I wish the drum beats were faster, but the song sounds pretty relaxing and enjoyable nonetheless.

ChronoNomad responds:

Thank you for taking the time to review, Everratic! Your feedback is appreciated. Interestingly enough, the track itself runs at a fairly steady 150bpm until the ritardando (decrease in speed) at the end.

The rhythm of the drum beats is pretty much by design, and I'm personally really happy with the percussion, but music is nothing if not subjective. Regardless, I'm glad that you still enjoyed my little musical tale! ^__^

Hi. I'm a self-taught orchestral composer. For commissions and other inquiries, contact me here or at everratc@gmail.com

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