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This is fun to listen to! I’m glad you tried vocals — you did a good job!

The tonal balance is drastically improved :D I only have one minor mixing comment: I think you can scoop out more frequencies between 200 and 600 on the instruments with a lot of low mid presence. That can increase clarity and reduce the masking of the low strings.

Benji-G responds:

Thank you Everratic!

This is enjoyable and exciting to listen to :) There's never a dull moment.

The overall mix and use of reverb is much better this time! Mainly, I think the high end is too boosted. I analyzed the the track's frequency spectrum and noticed the high end is loudest by a noticeable margin. With EQ, I added a -4 db high cut at 9khz and another -2.3db cut at 4khz and noticed a drastic improvement in balance and clarity. I'm not suggesting this as a solution - it's better to make changes on an individual level. What I do suggest is being more selective with what instruments you boost the high end on.

Benji-G responds:

Hey thank you! Being more selective with which sounds to boost the high end on is a great advice, and not something I've really thought about. I tend to mix all instruments individually most of the times, which may not be the best way to go about.
I'll definitely think about this in the future.

Every moment is a pleasure to listen to! I noticed your arrangement and orchestration skills have improved immensely. The writing sounds very clean, smooth and deliberate. The structure is full of nice surprises and never gets stale. The percussion writing, especially toward the end, is phenomenal.

Some mixing comments:
- The reverb feels too large and diffused. For this kind of song, I think a more intimate, cozy room would work better and would provide more clarity. If you want a grandiose sense of space, what you could do is use two reverb buses, one with similar settings to what you have now, and one that's more intimate, and divide the instruments into two groups, foreground and background.
- The mix feels too dark for this kind of music. You can boost the highs (10K+) on the sticks, hi hats. and snares. If you find that they poke out too much with this boost, you can try adding some saturation on top. I suggest using saturation either way on the hi hats/shakers.
- I think you can boost or saturate around 200hz on the snare.
- The piano could maybe benefit from some dynamic EQ to tame some spikes, likely between 1 and 2k.
-The toms sound a little muddy. You can probably cut between 200hz and 700hz.
- You can likely boost the highs a bit on some of the more mellow melodic instruments, like the sax on the left.

I hope this helps! Good luck in the NGADM. This is a very solid and fun submission <3

AlbeGian responds:

Thank you for the amazing feedback! I really appreciate it ^^

As usual, I'm impressed by the complexity of the composition and the extensive range of instruments and textures. 3:50 is my favorite moment. I love the gritty sound of the solo strings and the dynamic contrast with the neighboring sections.

LD-W responds:

Those particular solo strings are from 8DIO's Deep Solo Series, alternating between three/four different shorts-articulations (and the Slurred Legato occasionally on the Violin to layer up in other parts of the track, with the Quintet Legato and Adachi also layered behind those two!). In the much busier parts of the track, I've found Deep Solo combo's quite nicely with Angel Strings Vol1's Sautille Spiccato at varying velocity layers for a fine-balance between either 'the big wall', or a more intimate result

This is lovely! I love the sound effects and flourishes.

Quarl responds:

Honesty, I enjoy exploring this kind of stuff because of composers like you, LucidShadow, AceMantra, and many others. Newgrounds has some incredibly potent classically inspired artists, I want a fraction of your glow :)

I think this captures the pensiveness and desolate feeling of the art very well! I like how you reserved a heavy bass presence for the final section. The sound design is phenomenal. I love all the synth textures.

I have some suggestions for the mix. I downloaded the song and put in my DAW to test some EQ cuts. I found a -4db cut at 4k hz to sound quite pleasing. It makes the mix feel dramatically softer and more distant.

I used Gullfoss, an intelligent dynamic EQ plugin, to see what it does and it appears to be compressing many upper register piano notes, and I found this effect to make the mix feel more open and spacious.

Finally, I think the bass pad in the final section is slightly too loud around 200hz, and it appears that it can benefit from mild low end multiband compression for greater tonal consistency.

Good luck! I think you might win :D

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thank you for the technical feedback and your kind words, it is very much appreciated 👍

This is very relaxing. I can imagine it playing in a rpg resort town.

BlazingDragon responds:

Thanks, that's exactly what I was going for! :)

This is very beautiful! It fits the description perfectly.

BlazingDragon responds:

Thanks, very kind of you!

I love the energetic, jubilant feel!

I do, however, feel that the mix is a bit bare and some instruments are masking each other in the high-mids range. Almost every instrument feels up close - it could be nice to have more background elements. I think it will help to be more selective with the allocation of high-mid frequencies, and filtering the reverb at around 7-9k hz could also help tame excess highs. If your reverb doesn't have a built-in EQ, then you can use an EQ after the reverb to undo any changes to the tonal balance. I don't compose this type of music, so take this with a grain of salt. I hope it's helpful :)

Preds responds:

Thank you so much for the feedback! Yeah I agree with you, that’s the thing I struggled the most with, there’s a lot of layering instruments that fight each other for some room, I spent 20h+ just on mastering. But I appreciate this, thanks again!

This is very relaxing! I love the harp line. The climax at 1:08 is very nice. I think it can use a little more support, however. A cymbal crash on the second bar, around 1:10, could accentuate the transition and give the climax more power. I'm not sure if brass is used here, but some horns and trombones can double the strings at a low dynamic to add some more warmth.

The fade out of the orchestra feels a little artificial, but overall the ending is well done.

I hope you compose more songs soon!

Santi-Montali responds:

Hey thanks for listening and the review! I honestly did this to have fun and not worry so much about excellence so obviously things could be better haha

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

Age 27

United States

Joined on 10/9/10

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