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I had a very smooth listening experience until the 4:07 point. I love the build up, arrangement, and instrumentation. Despite your setbacks, I think you did a remarkably good job. You're improving quite quickly, and I think that when your mixing, sound quality, and humanization skills improve a bit more, you'll create masterpieces. It's no easy feat to create a song structure like this that is so engaging.

AlbeGian responds:

Thank you Everratic!! Yeah that weird kinda-unfitting key change at 4:07 was my last attempt on trying to go back to the main key that the song had been holding on until that key change at the climax hahah
I'm flattered that you think I could create masterpieces, thank you for that too. I always seem to be stuck with my non-perfect mixing & mastering knowledge and never achieve an improvement which may be a bit frustrating for me, but I'm sure I'll someday have that eureka moment that makes me realize how to do it well. Glad you liked the song, thank you again!!

I really enjoy listening to this. There are many awesome melodies and solos, and the leads sound extremely expressive. I like the 2000s video game sound quality for the most part - it's indeed charming. There's a lot of variation and complexity, so the listening experience is constantly stimulating. 3:30 is one of my favorite moments.

Mackievellian responds:

Thanks Everratic for the nice comments. Glad you enjoyed it, man.

The song makes me feel like I'm dreaming of my childhood, a time when life was so simple, and I was oblivious to the world's problems and all the unnecessary suffering people must endure.

After a perfect track record of being wrong, I think I know who will win the competition this year.

Phonometrologist responds:

Then you and I are on the same wavelengths. Thank you for being so consistent in letting me know your thoughts. Hopefully you're thinking AlbeGian or Mackievellian is going to win so as to keep your track record perfect ;)

This is so lively and fun to listen to! The drumming is excellent, and the lyrics are sung in a way that perfectly matches the mood of the composition. The very ending is perfect.

LunacyEcho responds:

funny you say that about an ending! originally, we never actually recorded an ending, but this was for an ohc, so in the last few minutes, i spliced together clips from what i had and thought it actually didn't sound too bad so kept it in for this updated version. thanks for listening!

I find this to be an interesting contrast to some of your other recent work that seems to transcend the concerns of individual humans.

The piano playing is excellent, and the violin has a rich tone and highly emotional vibrato at times, like at 2:39 - 2:44.

Although I understand the importance of the chord progression to you, it's too familiar for me to have much of an emotional reaction to it. I think you did a great job with the piece for what it is though.

I'm generally anti-religion due to my horrific experiences with orthodox Judaism, but I can appreciate art influenced by a more positive and healthy religious philosophy. I'm glad you shared such a personal song.

Phonometrologist responds:

This piece reflects a time of where I was a decade ago as I mimic my older style of writing when I was young in terms of tone. The progression represents that certain musical zeitgeist of the mid-2000s so I know what you mean about being familiar with it.

Regarding religious influences, it isn’t my purpose to convince anyone. If I were to be honest about who I am to people through music, it is only natural to reveal my identity that is in Christ. It merely reflects that, and if I would say anything less that would be to deceive you. Something as intimate as music requires honesty. If I were to be honest, all my music reflects the world I see through the lens of Christianity even in atonality. Thank you for being gracious in your transparency. Regarding treatment from people with different backgrounds, all we want is respect and kindness. I feel shame when I meet people that grew up in households of abuse under the guise of religion. Brutes do that and sometimes it is out of fear for that is the opposite of love.
If I had a music teacher that scarred me, it would be difficult not to have a negative connotation toward music. But just as in everything else, music requires self-study. We cannot rely on others to give us an understanding of why we should like music. We simply ought to listen and play music for ourselves. Eventually when we develop that relationship and commitment to music, we begin to find others with the same love and commitment to the music that we have also loved and were committed to first. Music was my first love, but it isn’t my greatest.

This is very fun to listen to!!! I like how expressive the saxophone sounds at times, and the choir adds a lot of excitement.

I think much work can be done to make this sound more realistic and even livelier. I would add more early reflections reverb on most instruments. This helps add a room sound to the samples rather than adding a tail. Adding a tail to a dry sample won't sound nearly as good, and it won't blend well with samples that have a baked in room sound. I think the song could benefit from more high end percussion; there already is some but it's not prominent enough imo. This can help the track sound more open and energetic. The clap sounds overly widened; imagine you're in an audience watching this performance live, and think about where the clapping is coming from and how your brain would perceive it spatially. I think the instruments can be spread out more over the stereo field; you might find the plugin Panagement useful.

I believe some additional EQing could make the mix a bit better. The bass region of the bass instrument can be cleaned up a bit, and the low-mids of the ukelele can be cut slightly for a cleaner sound. I think the high end of the claps, vocals, ukelele, and saxophone can be boosted to liven the mix.

This is great work. Good luck in the contest!

AlbeGian responds:

Thank you so much for the feedback Ev! I've been looking at Panagement and it seems like a pretty fun tool to work it! I'll give it a try. Also yeah I think you're right about the lack of high end in some parts, I wanna experiment with more lively and less muddy mixes in the future to see what's up. Thanks again man!

This is phenomenal work! You met the highest expectations that were set for you with this piece.

The climax is one of the most pleasing moments of music I've heard.

I like the fusion of various influences from the around the world. The part at 5:15 reminds me of jewish folk music.

Like many others, I don't have much criticism. I can only say that I think a greater use of a dedicated-early-reflections reverb can help blend the vastly different types of libraries together. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll follow up with more details.

I hope to hear more new music from you soon!

VociferousMusic responds:

Thanks very much!

I intentionally kept the reverb rather low. I personally like lots of reverb being involved, but I was rather unsure whether that just is my own taste and whether other people enjoy that. Therefore, I kept it all more dry than I usually would do, basically to hit different tastes.

Stay excited about the full symphony (extended version of Halloween Tale) I will release in about a month, with a length of 36 minutes. That will be the longest track I ever composed. :)

@trunotfals

I think the lack of resolution is a reflection of the fact the fight against oppressive systems is ongoing. Considering that, a resolution would sound odd.

Mooke responds:

Yup :) Thank you for your kind words, Everratic.

-NGUAC Review-

I've been enjoying listening to your music and observing your progress since I discovered you around half a year ago. You've improved in many ways. With that said, I have to echo the point that this is not among your best recent songs.

Some things I really like about some of your other recent songs are that they sound much more lively, dynamic, and most importantly, original. They have adventurous vibes and evoke much more emotion.

With this song, it sounds like you hastily pasted together various tropes from epic music; I don't sense any meaning behind the song's structure and development, and it lacks a distinct identity - there are no memorable features. Memorable features can be a catchy melody, interesting sound design, unorthodox instrumentation, etc.

I'm sure that this song would be liked by a casual epic music audience. Unfortunately, by design, my scoring rubric does not reward songs simply for being industry-acceptable, and it greatly penalizes songs that lack originality.

I gave you a score of 6.9. I realize that's quite low, but bear in mind some of your other songs would get much higher scores from me.

If this is the type of music you want to make, don't let my feedback stop you. I'm just an amateur composer who tends to frequently disagree with the popular opinions here on evaluating music.

The production during the climaxes is solid. I like the punchy drums that cut through the mix.

I think tempo automation would be nice in the intro and outro, to change the pace a bit. These sections could also benefit from more background lines (maybe pads) to further fill in the frequency spectrum and draw interest.

At 1:05, there's a loud string sound that lasts until 1:12. It sounds fakes and is therefor distracting. I think it should peak at a lower point and fade out sooner.

At 1:28, you brought in the brass section, and the result is that the section sounds like a psuedo-climax that detracts power from the following main climax. You could have used woodwinds or solo strings to keep the section lighter and quieter.

There's more I could comment on, but you already received some good advice.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I look forward to hearing more of your music!

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks for the review! I understand your points, and I will try to do better next time.

I think this is my favorite song of yours. Nice work!

PredatorMusic responds:

Thank you man :D

Hi, I compose orchestral music. I'm open to commissions. everratc@gmail.com

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