This is awesome. I look forward to your ngadm songs :D
This is awesome. I look forward to your ngadm songs :D
Wow, much of the sound design is sublime. The percussion is mixed perfectly and it's so satisfying to listen to. The synth leads sound very expressive. The song is loud yet smooth - I'm curious what you did to the master EQ, if anything. Would you mind posting a list of the libraries used?
I have a few trivial gripes:
- The kick in the section starting at 1:08 has too much high end imo. I would much rather feel it than hear it.
- I think the very-high-end of the mix could be reduced by a tiny amount because some elements sound slightly too sharp. When I say tiny amount, I'm thinking of such a small change that it would be difficult to notice.
- The piano notes at 3:47 sound misaligned with the strings because of the different attack times.
This is a fantastic entry and one of my favorites :D
Hi EverErratic. I'm glad you enjoyed this! The track is mixed with a combination of plugins. From SoundToys5, fabfilterProQ. waves, etc.
The mastering is just really a bit of balancing and some slight clarity in the sound, I've been learning to not colour it too much on the mastering. But I used Izotope Ozone 8 Advanced, Fabfilter Compressor, ProQ3 and Limiter on it too.
I agree with your comments and you are spot on about the kick in section 1:08. During composing it was more subtle on the high end, and most likely this has changed during the mix. I should have spotted that - I will most likely change this in the future.
The high end should be alright overall. I have checked it against Tonal Balance during the mix, although I'd be interested in what you are using to listen to this. I have uploaded an image of the balance within the acceptable spectrum, and if anything it tells me it's a little low on the high end. https://www.newgrounds.com/dump/item/7ce83e73d81a23b7fb115adeb9fd7e63
You're right about the piano notes and CSS. I maybe should have considered aligning it, sometimes I leave the piano a little loose, a bit of instability within the scene I was thinking with a bit of realism. But you might be right, it could be too misaligned.
Thank you so much for your comments, this sort of focused feedback is absolutely appreciated, and very helpful for moving forward!!
Edit [Libraries used]
Per request, libraries used in this track:
Strings: Cinematic Studio Strings, Music Sampling Soaring Strings, Spitfire Hans Zimmer Strings, Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 1
Brass: Cinesamples CineBrass Pro, Cinesamples Cinebrass Sonore. Audio Imperia Talos Horns and Talos Low Brass. Orchestral Tools JunkieXL Brass. 8Dio Majestica Brass.
Choir: Ethera 1, Jaeger Merethe, 8Dio Lacrimosa, Performance Samples Oceania. Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 1.
Piano: Native Instruments Giant and KeepForest Evo Dragon.
Synth Libraries: Music Sampling Boutique Drums Medusa, 8Dio Phenex Bundle, KeepForest CyberPunk,
Drums Lib: Sentinel Titan (Custom Made drum from several libraries). Cinesamples Drums of War, Gravity, JXL Percussion (Custom made), Keep Forest Classic Trailer Toolkit, Action Strikes, KeepForest Cyber Punk,
Effects: Keep Forest CyberPunk, DosComp Whooshes, 8Dio Phenex Bundle, Keepforest Cinematic Downfalls, KeepForest Classic Trailer Toolkit, Zero-G Impact Designer, Keep Forest Devastator, Sentinel Risers (Custom Risers from recordings I made).
Synths: U-He Zebra, U-he Dark Zebra, U-he Diva and Native Instruments Massive.
I love it! It helped me get through an otherwise boring workout :D
I like a lot of the effects such as the delays and weird vibrato. The energetic percussion and chord progression gives the song many happy vibes. I kept hoping there would be a IV>iv because the song reminds me of my song "Reconstruction", and I used the IV>iv there, but I know that wouldn't be appropriate here. My one gripe is that when there is extreme opposite panning on two vocal lines, the left side feels heavier because the vocals are in a lower register. I'm not sure how that could be done differently though. I enjoy this a lot :D
Nice, you chose the same art as I did last year :D
"Departure" has some Starwars vibes, which is not an easy feat to pull off. I like the use of runs and the orchestration in general. The loud cymbals make the track sound very open.
The transition to "In the Storm" is smooth. I really like the use of trills in this section.
In "Clear Waters", I think the arrangement could use some work. The choir sounds a bit awkward carrying the melody because it lacks definition, and the glockenspiel also feels inadequate for this task as it lacks sustain and a strong pitch. I notice an absence of bass frequencies in this section, which diminishes its impact.
"Seafight" reminds me of "He's a Pirate". I like the huge percussion here. I still feel a lack of bass, which reduces the power of what seems to be the song's climax? The percussion seems like it's above the melodic instruments frequency-wise. Although the loud percussion is nice, I would also like the melody to be the main focus. And speaking of melodies, the melodies in this section kinda feel like placeholders to me. You clearly achieved your goal of depicting a sea fight, but I think more could be done to make the section memorable and striking.
"Farewell" doesn't evoke much emotion for me. The chord progression feels one that would be used in ambient music. I do like the instrumentation and the contrast in this area though.
This was an ambitious challenge and your composition lives up to the section titles for the most part. I enjoyed listening to it and look forward to hearing more from you. This review might seem more negative relative to my other AIM reviews, but that's mainly because I'm much more familiar with your style of music so I naturally have more to say.
Thank you very much for this detailed and very helpful review. I really appreciate it!
The absence of bass in "Clear Waters" is somewhat on purpose, as it provides contrast to the very bass heavy section "In the Storm".
You're right, I should definitely work on my pirate melodies :)
Farewell was intended to sound like it's played by the crew onboard, using some traditional instruments like the Hurdy Gurdy. I strived a bit of this path, because I've never really worked with non-symphonic instruments, which is possibly why the sections' intention is a bit unclear.
I'm glad you liked it and I'm thankful for the advice you gave me.
You captured the futuristic city vibes very well! It feels like you even captured the absence of charm and individuality one often finds in older cities. In your interpretation of the art, I'm wondering if the character has lived there for a long time or if she's visiting and perhaps the song embodies her first impressions.
I like the eargasmic expression of the leads. The sound design is excellent.
There are some awesome countermelodies, and I like the way the main lead is highlighted with panning effects.
The bass that comes in around 0:36 doesn't seem to fit comfortably in the mix. I wish I could comment more on the mix but I'm not remotely familiar enough with this genre.
Congrats on a great entry!
Hey, thanks for dropping my first review on this puppy, EverErratic! As I recall, you also reviewed my previous Synthwave excursion, so I really appreciate it. Even if you haven't delved into this particular genre yourself (yet), I'm glad that you enjoy it!
I personally feel like she's used to sprawling cities like this, so even if it's a new environment, she just knows how to adapt. While many people feel uncomfortable being in a new place *cough* like me *cough*, she can just make herself at home...wherever! Even living on the literal edge holds no fear for her. I kind of admire that kind of nonchalant recklessness, even if I don't necessarily espouse it.
You had me at "eargasmic expression of the leads." Thanks a million, man! The leads are vital, and if they're solid, well...then I deem that a rousing success! Everything else is there to be heard, but it's for the sake of caressing those luscious leads.
I put a lot of time and effort into fleshing out those countermelodies, and I'm glad I did. Honestly, I can't believe it took me this long to complete the project, but I guess a world in turmoil can make it more difficult to find and maintain one's focus. Really happy to finally put a pin in it.
Not really sure how to address the bass changes around the :36 mark. It sounds great to me, but maybe it's just a difference of artistic opinion. I wanted to start the bass off pretty simple, then ramp it up a bit when I added the percussion and various other layers. Maybe others will weigh in on the bass, 'cause now I'm curious!
Thank you once again, my man! I haven't really checked out many of the other entries yet, but now that this is finalized I can give some more attention to the listening side of things.
Look up "Ben Osterhouse" and more specifically "Sospiro Strings". I think you could find it very useful and it's inexpensive.
This sounds nice as usual.
Your songs with lyrics are always so amusing. The "denile" line made me laugh. The melodies are all wonderful.
This is wonderful. I love the luscious reverb. The vocal harmonies are quite pleasing.
I enjoyed this a lot. I’m glad you’re making music again!