I don't have a ton of time to write a review at the moment, so this one won't be super long.
Mostly I agree with what Chael said. The melodies really need to resonate more with the listener. The first melody is really strange, and some of the notes don't fit in with the chords. It seems almost open at the end of the phrase, which really shouldn't happen. The melody should lead into itself without a crazy transition. Also, the melody has a lot of outliers, which make it jump around a lot. I find that an octave is more than enough space to make a melody. When it starts going up to the next octave, there's only a few exceptions.
The mixing isn't too much of a problem, but that's because it's too empty. Most house songs have a bass of some sort, some base chords (usually playing the chord progression), a color instrument (something that catches instrument) and a few lead elements (leads, pianos, strings, etc.). You can add even more without it being too cluttered, but it's probably best to keep it simple. Another thing you may want to think about is better sound design. I have really been experimenting with it lately, and the sound creates the texture a piece has. Piano and saws really don't cut it for a house track.
The drop isn't as energetic as it should be. The drop should have the most energy, and everything else should be building towards it. It's really basic in this song and has no hook to it.
Mostly just work on melodies, especially if you want to make house. They are a large part of the reason I make house. I find that melodies will really just come to me, and if I force them they never fit, no matter how hard I try. There are a lot of things that will invoke it, but a big one for me is emotion.
Keep working on house. This was okay, but there are definitely points where it can be better. (And yes, this review is harsh because it's house.)
Thanks kyron! well first of all, this is my first attempt of making a prog house, i was acctually looking up tutorials on how to make a prog house, it kinda helped me a bit on how it would sound like, but mabe it wasnt too right, i guess i can tell that for the chords.
Let's get this over with...
The beginning of the song is an obvious copy of Xtrullor (Jnana in particular) and lacks originality and creativity. I can also barely make out the words due to the amount of effects that were put on the audio. There were also fluctuations in the level of the audio, which made some parts especially hard to hear. Technically it's not a mixing issue, but better mixing and more careful usage of effects could have prevented that.
At 1:21 there's too much going on. There are too many 'main' elements which scrambles the focus which should be placed on one or two instruments, not a whole cluster. The mixing also adds to the confusion, as the elements I assume to be main are buried under chords and pads. There are a lot of things that can be fixed with better mixing, but there's just too much going on and the current mixing isn't cutting it. I think some of the problem is reverb, and to fix that you need to use low cut. Almost everything that has reverb should use low cut, and if you're not using it already, you'd best start.
Another problem I had with the mixing was the percussion. Where is it? You need your percussion to pierce through everything so much more. Your mix should be especially transparent for the percussion, otherwise it's going to get crushed under everything and it'll be barely audible, much like it is in sections of this track.
I really don't know how I feel about the drop. It seems really empty. There's a few lows, a higher screechy sound and percussion. I can't pick anything else out. Even with the few things that are happening here, there's still problems. First of all, there should be at least one mono bass, whether that's a sub or something else. It helps hold songs, especially drops, together. Second of all, there's way too much reverb, which I'll address later. Lastly, there just needs to be more.
Reverb is a very delicate tool. It will either enhance what you're making or destroy it. In this case, the reverb caused so many issues. It's applied to almost everything, which is normally good, but it was applied in a crude way, which made the mixing worse overall.
I don't mean any disrespect to the creators, but this song is a prime example of how overrated dubstep is on Newgrounds. This song is average and it's being treated like one of the best songs on this website at the moment, again, no disrespect. There were some pluses, for example, the sound design was much better than on earlier songs, but in this case I just felt like the negatives were more overpowering. This review may seem especially harsh, but I feel the need to make it a bit more harsh than usual due to the amount of positive feedback (and no, this isn't affecting the score I give you).
I can hear the potential. This song was pretty good, but the execution was poor overall, which caused me to give you a lower rating.
I see what you mean there, its a little bit of similar to jnana but it honestly has its own mixing and different sounding.
Anyways i do agree that this has alot of reverb, but we were hoping this wouldnt sound a bit empty and could focus more on power on it.
Im also quite confused how this got so many plays and downloads, 2 days ago it had 29 downloads and 600+ plays or so, when i woke up yesterday i simply saw 1.6k downloads and 2k plays now, i simply dont know how could this get so many and featured so early, but thats probably just the GD that enjoys the song.
Thanks for the kind helpful feedback kyron, anything that you review improves.
To start, I don't understand how the Zelda ambience fits in with the piece. Why not just start with the piano?
My first actual complaint with this song is the strings. They sound so dry. Almost every element of a song should have at least a little reverb put onto it. I usually like to take the regular Fruity Reeverb 2, turn up the decay a bit, turn up the size all the way, turn the low cut up to about half and then mess around with the wet knob. This solves most things pretty easily without destroying your mix. It might even be the samples that are making it sound dry, and reverb isn't the issue.
The next complaint I have is the percussion. The kick sounds empty because of the lack of sub and tail. While it might fit in something else, the kick really needs more presence in this mix, and the sample you used isn't cutting it. The snare is the other problematic instrument. It has a high tone to it, which gives it a strange sound. It also cuts through the mix way more than it should, and it's pretty distracting in my opinion.
The main issue with this track is the drop. There's three or four elements to it that actually do something, and then there's a bunch of random, unnecessary percussive samples thrown in. I wouldn't normally mind, but the rest of the elements get out of the way completely to make room for the samples. Another problem I had was the way the saws were automated. It sounded like a really bad compression issue due to the location and nature of the kick, or a completely over-the-top sidechain. Remember, (if you were trying to sidechain) only lower elements should be extremely sidechained, and the main elements should only have a little bit. Speaking of lower instruments, this song had none that I could hear. It contributed to the drop sounding empty. Even a little bit of bass would have helped, but there was no (audible) bass. My final complaint about the drop is the faster lead you chose. I would have appreciated better sound design with it, as it sounds very generic and I feel like I've heard it a million times already.
The end was completely out of nowhere, and there wasn't even a subtle hint to what happened there. A new snare was introduced, hi-hats were also introduced, and a bunch of wobbly basses were introduced. If you're going to do something like that, either make it predictable or introduce it earlier. It also seemed like it switched genres twice there, with dubstep being introduced first and then having a trap feel right before the end.
The last thing you might want to check on is the amount of distortion that I could hear, especially near the end. It wasn't necessarily a clipping issue, but the texture really didn't fit with all the other instruments wherever it was. Just make sure to look at that a bit next time.
In conclusion, I heard quite a few mixing 'mistakes' that could have been fixed pretty easily. There were also some questionable choices made, especially during the drop, but overall the rest was generally solid.
idk why i put zelda, kinda just for fun tbh xD
the strings definitely were a little to dry, they seem to stick out weird on the piano.
the composition definitely keeps needing work, I enjoy music that goes fast so sometimes I overdo it. I need to work on the bass, as you can tell they are usually absent in my songs xD.
Thanks for giving me actual criticism and not just a "I love the song!" post. I'll try to improve in future songs
I haven't really ever heard an ambient song on here that I really enjoyed, needless to say I was quite surprised when I heard this. I don't know what it is about the notes used, but they make me feel calm and they take me back. There were a few games I used to play when I was younger that had a melody much like this one, and I can always remember how calm it made me feel. You did an amazing job with the feel that this gives. You really painted a picture with this piece, and I can almost see the forests you imagined.
The sounds you used really made this piece for me. I can't think of any better instruments than soft strings and bells for a piece like this. I would love to have the sample library you used for the bells, that is, if they're not synthesized. The guitar was a nice addition, but most of the time I didn't notice it was there. That's okay though, because most of the time it's the underlying elements that make the song. Speaking of underlying elements, I thought the ambience really helped paint the picture for me. The birds, water and rain(?) really were great additions.
I'm not a huge fan of the percussion, but I can see why you added them, so there's nothing wrong with them. I just feel like they weren't fitting for the style, but no harm done. You have to advance the piece somehow, right?
The one issue that I had with this was one of the bell sounds. It sounds like the velocity was turned up too high, and it used a higher velocity sample than the rest. Whatever it is, it sounds kind of like it's clipping, or it sounds more harsh than the others. To me it sounds like it doesn't fit in very well with the rest.
Overall, this piece had an amazing feel to it, great mixing, and intriguing samples. The only reason I can't give this a perfect score is because that one bell is bugging me. Besides that I had no problems with this track. I can't wait to see what you do next!
This song is okay, but it's still far from perfect. First of all, it's repetitive. It's the same 5 notes playing for about two minutes of the song, and then later it comes back and plays for a bit longer than it needed to. It's good that you used more than one melody, but the majority of the song was filled up by the first melody.
I don't know how I feel about the mixing. I can tell you used compression pretty heavily, which is good and bad. It helps the instruments that need to be in front come out more, but I also hear some ducking and some sounds just sound unbearable with it. Maybe turn down the compression a bit, and rely on the volume sliders before compressing. Besides the compression issues, the mix was pretty good. Because of the compression, it did feel like everything was fighting for attention, but the main elements stood out enough. I know you didn't use a lot of compression, but where you use it really counts towards how it affects your track.
The sound design was okay. I know you used presets, but even then they sound like very generic techno presets. Something I'd recommend doing is learning how to synthesize your own sounds. Even if you're not amazing at sound design, if you have a basic idea of what each sound wave does, you can make a large variety of sounds.
Overall not bad, but not amazing either. There's a couple things you could work on, but otherwise it sounds pretty solid.
Thanks for your tips, i know, well as a musician myself, i still need to learn alot of stuff to improve on, i heavily mastered and eq this piece so it doesnt sound awful or anything, but as for sound designing, i still need to improve on that and learn alot more about plugins like Serum,Fm8,etc, in other words, thanks for the review dude!
I just want to address a couple things that won't affect the rating first. I completely respect, understand and am in no way opposed to your decision to remove your songs from Geometry Dash. I wouldn't want to be associated with the majority of the community either. However, I saw in one of Lockyn's streams that you said you wanted to be world class, and that calling your music "game music" was insulting. I may be misunderstanding because I didn't get the full context of what you were saying, but these things combined are all somewhat contrary. Most "world class" music (depending on how you view it) is, in fact, game music, for one. Two, I don't know what the qualifications are to be "world class", as there are really a lot of things that could go into the standards for world class music. If it means being acknowledged by the people who are considered some of the best, throwing more than half of your fanbase out the window was a bad idea. I know you thought about it more than I will, but with the thing you're aspiring for, it just seems like a step in the wrong direction. I know the more dedicated and important fans will stay with you, but it just seems counterproductive. Otherwise, if it's just very high quality music, you're just about there. Again, I may be completely misunderstanding and taking everything out of context, so please correct me if I'm wrong. For all I know you were being sarcastic and it completely went over my head.
That aside, I really enjoyed this track. I liked how more electronic instruments were mixed in more with the orchestral instruments instead of exclusive orchestral and electronic segments. I also liked the slight Middle-Eastern style some of the elements had. That said, I felt like there were less orchestral instruments than in the rest. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it has a more whole electronic feel to it, which can be taken as a good or bad thing depending on who is listening. I appreciate you taking risks and not taking the safer route that you have carved with your 2016 submissions.
Everything was mixed very well. Nothing was too loud or too soft. Some of the panning was a bit strange to me, but that's a matter of opinion. Otherwise I enjoyed how everything was mixed.
This song starts a bit slow, but not slow enough for it to be too slow. It could have been introduced just a touch faster, but again, that may just be me.
During the first section from 0:28 onward, the snare seemed a bit high. The pitch threw me off and personally I thought a better snare sample could have been chosen. It drew my attention away from the main elements, and for that I think it could have been improved upon.
There were a couple sections in the song that seemed empty and it was more just ambient noise instead of music. There's nothing wrong with that by itself, but in my eyes it was overused and there were some parts of the song that didn't catch my attention enough. The ambiance was mixed in well and added to the feel of the piece, so I'm willing to overlook my previous issue.
As always, your instrumentation is beautiful. Every sound is used so well and really immerses you in the music. The sound design is very well done as well, and I am really intrigued by it. The bell, which I assume is synthesized really compliments the texture of the piece. The basses you use make your dubstep very unique and unlike anyone else's work. The mix between smooth metallic sounds and rougher, more common dubstep sounds really creates a contrast I enjoyed. The stutter bits really caught my attention and made the drops that much better.
I really didn't think the spoken bits were very appropriate. You have a very composed majestic piece that really takes you into a different mindset and world and then you have vocals which sort of take you out of it. I did listen to what they were saying, and although they were relevant, I just didn't feel that they belong. I believe a better way to do it would to be putting them in the description rather than the piece itself.
The last nitpick I had with this song was the unusually long space at the end. That could have been cut off, but a bit of silence never hurt anyone, so I'm not going to let it affect my perspective of this piece.
I'm giving this track four stars because I really did enjoy it, there were just a couple of things that distracted me from the mood and immersion of the piece, and while relevant, they felt out of place. Besides that I can't find any issues with this song. It was a very composed, almost intimate piece, of which I haven't heard the likes of in a while. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the awesome review, I'll take everything you just said into account with the next release.
This is a pretty good track, but there were a few things I had issues with. The beginning felt fairly dry. It could have used a lot of reverb. I thought the piano was also panned a bit too far to the right, and you could have cut back a bit on the velocity. The notes seemed quite harsh, even for a track like this. It sounds like a Nexus preset, which are pretty harsh out of the box. Editing the velocity will really help make it sound more human.
The mixing was okay overall. The riser up until 0:44 was an example of one of the mixing errors. It sort of drowns everything else and distracts from the rest of the music. Make sure to keep your risers below the main elements of your mix. After the riser, the drums seemed to lack power. The synths sort of push the drums back.
The sound that comes in at about 1:13 is dragging a lot, which creates a lot of clashing notes which sort of ruin that section of the song. After 1:13 the song feels like it's just dragging on for a bit. There's little variation there and there are quite a few musical errors. The dragging instrument seems to be playing some strange notes that don't fit with the chord progression very well.
The strings sort of add to an existing chaos in the end. It just makes the number of things going on too much and makes it confusing to follow. Because the strings are a dragging instrument, they doesn't play with this song nicely, and they always seem a note or two behind.
The melodies were pretty solid, and the tempo fit with what you were trying to convey. Everything sounded pretty dry, so make sure to add reverb, even just little bits, to everything (especially the piano and a tiny bit on the snare). The instruments were really what brought your score down on this one, as they didn't work very well with the tempo. I look forward to seeing you improve!
Wow, thanks so much for an awesome review kyron!
I agree with the riser, i should had acctually made it a bit more silent and a bit more fresh and solid, i guess i forgot about that, i agree about the voices, the voices i should had honestly edit and remaster them alot more to make it sound way better, i guess i was just meh.
Also for the strings i agree, the strings what i usually did there were just a little playing to be honest, i've just tried to put the notes to right minors how they sound like, but i will try to do better next time.
Thanks for the review! =)
I didn't notice you uploaded this until just now. This has a really fun twist on all of the instruments that you used. I felt the main melody had sort of an Envy vibe to it, which I though was pretty cool, intentional or not (I'm assuming not). The mixing was pretty good, I didn't hear a ton of issues with it. The drum samples were a bit cliche, especially the claps. They weren't super cliche by themselves, but when mixed in they sound more like a stock clap. There was a series of claps 1:37 that could have been changed a bit.
This brings me to my next point, which is editing the velocity of notes. If you want an even bigger contrast between organic and electronic instruments, editing the velocity of the organic instruments will make them seem more human. With the claps, this would have helped a bit, but is in no way necessary. The piano could have really used it though, and so could the plucked instrument. The piano more so than the plucked instrument. They don't need to be big changes, but they can make a lot of difference.
I really enjoyed the key change, and I thought it helped carry the song along. One last issue I had though was that the song was fairly repetitive. It used the same melody throughout the whole piece. The variations and breaks you included helped it be less repetitive, but another pattern for the main instruments to play through would have been nice.
The ending could have been a bit better, but the last few notes made up for that. It was quite a surprise, but was in no way unwelcome. The drums didn't quite fit there, and I would have added pads to support the lead instead, but that might just be me.
All in all, this song was pretty good. Most of the issues I had were easy fixes, and they didn't detract from the quality of the song. They could have added a little bit, but they weren't necessary at all. Keep up the great work!
(Sorry for late reply, I was away)
Thanks for the lengthy review Kyron, I can always count on you for that! Good catch on the Envy vibes, that was my inspiration for the original (though I forgot until you mentioned it). Sorry about the claps... they were in fact stock claps...
Working with velocity is a good idea. It always seems like such a pain to edit individual notes, but it really does add a vivacity to the piece, I'll try it next time I guess. Steady improvement is what I'm going for, glad you liked it overall.
In short, to answer your question, no. This is not a good remix.
Here's the long answer, because everyone would be fairly disappointed if I left reviews as short as I could. This remix is honestly really bad. It sounded like it was thrown together in a matter of minutes. I'm going to blame it on a couple of things that you did that could have been vastly improved upon. First of all, the mixing is awful. There is almost no difference in the volume of sounds. Maybe work on making all of the sounds audible, but not overpowering everything else which is also fighting for attention. This needs way more than just "slight tweaking" to fix it.
Second, your sound design is mostly what makes this song as bad as it is. There is no variation whatsoever. Everything is a saw and it's all in the same octave as everything else. Maybe spread out your instruments across the frequency like you're supposed to do? I'll give you a hint: the main lead in Time Leaper is a square wave, not a saw. There's a starting point.
Third, there are notes that have no place in the song. The instrument that's panned all the way to the left (which you're never supposed to do) is playing wrong notes all over the place. If you want to make music, maybe you should think twice before skipping to buying a DAW and learn some music theory first.
Lastly, the samples you used sound like the stock FL samples. Never use those if you want a professional sounding song.
A few other things that I need to say, but haven't affected the rating:
One, this isn't dubstep. Not even close. It's electro-house. If you're going to make electronic music, you need to stop diminishing every electronic genre to dubstep.
Two, people here aren't giving you very valid feedback. They're rating according to their knowledge, but trust me, the feedback they're giving is coddling you way too much. There is pretty much nothing good about this song. I know it sucks to hear that, but it's the truth. I can't be nicer than I'm being, otherwise you won't feel a need to improve.
There are a lot of things you could fix with this song, and it really doesn't deserve featured at all. The only reason it got that is because it's a Geometry Dash song, and I really hope you understand that.
That review could have been extremely helpful if I were using a DAW such as FL, where all that stuff could be controlled. Unfortunately, I'm using Caustic 3, which means I have limited instruments which I cannot edit and I have no clue how to make my own samples. I appreciate all that you have told me. As it happens, I am taking a very basic music theory class in school this year, which is helping me. But I agree 100% that people who say this remix is good are delusional. I understand it sucks. Even I don't like it. But with every new thing I do, I slightly, barely improve. At this point I'm just focusing on making junk that I can learn from instead of art that I can show off with.
I'm going to rate this honestly, since everyone in the Geometry Dash community will not.
The mixing is subpar. I hear some clipping, which is quite easily avoidable depending on your DAW. FL has a really nice algorithm that keeps the sounds from clipping as long as you don't raise them above 0dB, or the place that they lock at. If it's still clipping, don't be afraid to throw a limiter on. It should prevent all clipping if you don't do anything crazy. The low chords are much louder than the main melody, which should stand out more than anything. The drums also need to cut through the mix more, as they don't really have much presence in this.
The sound design could also be better. I understand that you don't have the VSTs to have great sound design, but FL still has some pretty nice stock plugins. If you just got the bare minimum FL version, I would suggest maybe buying a plugin or two. Image-Line is selling all of their plugins for half off, and many other VSTs are probably on sale as well. After that, just play around with the waves you can get and figure out what they sound like and how they can be modified. With listening to the type of music you want to create you start to get a feel for which sounds should be used. Using presets is also fine, but learning sound design will help you customize your tracks more.
The last thing I'll tell you to work on for now is variation and filling space. I can't stress these enough. You always want to have something new or different happening. It helps the listener stay interested and come back for more. Now, while more is better, like all things, too much is bad. Make sure you still have a clear mix when adding new elements. New melodies also help keep listeners listening. I only really heard one overarching melody in this and I would have liked to hear more.
This track was okay for a second track and at the level I'd expect from a new music producer, however, now is the time where improvement should start happening. I've given you things to work on that will make your future tracks better. I've reviewed a bit harshly, but it's better if the blows aren't softened because you're new to making music. In the end, there are many ways to improve.
Thanks for the feedback man :D
I know I'm absolutely terrible with creating the sounds that I want, and i probably don't have the ear for things like that. (Also btw three of the instruments were defaults, because when I try to make my own sounds they sound worse lol)
I also tend to have problems with clipping (as you said above) a never really knew how to stop it.
I've got the ideas for songs I wanna make but its a lot easier said than done xD
In the end, I guess FL is just experience, you have to take time to find the sounds that you want :P
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