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Hey, I saw your post in the nguac thread and decided to leave a review.

I think these competitions should be seen as opportunities to gain exposure, motivate yourself to make more and better music, and indeed, have fun. Judge biases will be a major factor in every competition - it's inevitable and one will feel bitter much of the time without accepting that fact. I've had the same reaction as you in the past.

On to the actual review...

There are some nice lines of music in here. The percussion is solid, there are some interesting sets of chords, there's some cool synth design, etc. But I'm afraid I do not see how these lines of music work together to create a cohesive message - what is the purpose of the song? It feels fairly repetitive, and the meat of the track is not that stimulating for the aforementioned reason.

The piano library is clearly low quality, and piano keys aren't usually slammed like that. It's not pleasant to listen to sound-design-wise.

The mix is fatiguing to listen to. If you EQ certain instruments, and perhaps the master channel, around the 3-4k range, you could remove some unpleasant frequencies. I also suggest using a dynamic EQ on the piano to control low-mid resonances.

I know the score I gave you isn't pleasant to receive, but I wanted you to know that I did recognize some positive qualities of your track. From my own musical journey, I've found that improvement is not a linear process at all; it's usually revelations about music composition that lead to abrupt, drastic improvements. I'm saying this because I believe that with a bit of studying (and maybe making a small investment into a proper sample library), you can see significant improvement quickly.

Another thing: unlike some other judges, I did not factor industry standards into my judging. I don't care much about that.

I hope to see you return to future competitions, but I'll understand if you don't.

Nice sound design :o

Zoonotist responds:

Thanks EverErratic :)

Also thanks for tagging me on the NGUAC thread, else I'd have forgotten about it.

This is so catchy and cute. I love the use of chimes.

The sound design and percussion are lovely!

I would have liked to hear a melodic solo at some point.

FateModified responds:

Thanks Everratic! I actually was trying to add a JBV solo but it didn’t quite work out. My piano skills are not so great and when I try to program solos on JBV they never sound right for some reason. Thanks for the comment and good luck in the contest! :) <33

Wow, this is a masterpiece! Every note sounds gorgeous and highly emotional.

I feel like you transported me into a timeless musical world where many emotions are totally transparent. It’s quite heavenly.

Phonometrologist responds:

Hi EverErratic. You are very generous with your words; I don't take that for granted. While working on any piece, one is never quite sure how it will be perceived so I appreciate the encouragement. Your description reminds me of a story I once heard when another visioned what heaven is like and in that even the walls surrounding us were singing.

You’ve improved a lot! I think this is the best song of yours from the ones I listened to.

My only gripe is that some instruments can sound much better with EQing, including dynamic EQ.

I really like the atmosphere and percussion. The structure is good and you nailed the ending.

AlbeGian responds:

Thanks! I was fearing that it was gonna be a bit too repetitive cuz 4 chord progression, but I'm glad that it was enjoyable

This is beautiful! <3

What cello did you use?

IglicaV responds:

Thanks a lot! It's Tina Guo Solo Cello Vol 1 with the legato patch update

The composition is lovely!

Your voice sounds heavenly side by side with the flute. I think this is one of your most beautiful songs. I really like the scale changes - they greatly enhance the emotion.

etherealwinds responds:

Thank you, I'm glad you think so! :)

I like the bittersweet chord progression, and the orchestration is pretty good. I especially like the solo cello and choir lines. The transitions and pacing of the song are excellent.

I think the main thing that's missing from this track is a strong, thick bass line. I'm not necessarily referring to bass frequencies - it seems you covered that. To achieve the desired warmth with this type of music, you need a strong underpinning that could just be a single bass note per bar played by multiple instruments.

You might want to reduce the high-mids in the master channel to get a more dreamlike and less in-your-face sound. Here's a picture of what I mean: https://imgur.com/a/qinVPr3

I first listened to this with my phone speakers, and the sound was very distorted. That can be fixed somewhat by using dynamic EQ on certain instruments such as violin and piano or using a plugin such as Gullfoss.

Nice work!

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks for the review :)

Those are some great tips and I'll try to consider them next time.
Thanks a lot!

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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Joined on 10/9/10

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