At you and your collaborators level of skill, I can only critique this song on a personal-taste aspect and not on a technical aspect. You guys really know how to make a quality song in terms of mixing, sound design, synth design, and other technical whatnot. This track (and your other ones as well) are of the highest quality and I can't imagine you making anything other than quality music.
If I am to review this song based on creativity and originality, I don't think it brings a lot to the table. At six and a half minutes, it overstayed its welcome. I feel that there isn't enough content to justify such a long song. There are some great ideas in this song; specifically I liked the guitar at 0:32 and 4:17, though these cool ideas are spread out and repeat themselves infrequently. I get that the motif established by the guitar is carried throughout the song on different instruments, though it's not an interesting enough of a motif to carry the whole six minutes. I completely understand that this drawn-out style could be the nature of epic trance and I just don't understand the genre a lot.
A minor criticism is that I don't particularly like songs with sampled movie quotes. This is a rather petty critique, but I still think that quotes don't add anything to a song. I do appreciate how you tied the quote back into the song at the end to remind the listener of the theme. It just seems to me that if you want to control the imagery a person gets from a song, you should add lyrics, not quotes. My final petty critique is that I thought the "pop" sound at 1:46 was dumb and out of place. I would refrain from using sound effects that could break the mood you are building.
Please don't get the wrong idea from me, you really do make amazing music. "The Bard" is a genius song and I think it is a perfect example of excellent songwriting and technical proficiency. This whole review is mostly based on personal preference and is not to be meant as an indictment of your skill as a musician. I would love to hear more of your music in the future. Never stop creating!!
Thank you so much for your review! All of the 'petty critiques' you stated were risks for us in terms of songwriting. I very much appreciate this kind of criticism, as it gives me room to grow and improve areas where I may not be as strong. It means a lot, thanks again!!!
Not bad at all! There are some really awesome things happening in this song. However, I listened to your other songs and I think this is the weakest of the three. That being said, it is still a very good song and I think you make amazing music.
You really know how to make a thumping bass line and the drums are driving and rhythmically interesting. Also, I love how you mixed synthetic drum sounds with real drum samples as you did with the first 16 seconds of this song. Another great part is the build-up, especially between 0:49 and 1:05, then again between 2:35 and 3:07. Those parts really got me pumped, however when the drop came I was disappointed. Instead of continuing with the same energy it fizzled out and sounded more like an outro than a drop. To improve it, try placing the drums and bass from 1:05 through 1:21 under the synths from 0:49 through 1:05. This is just a suggestion, you do what you want.
It seemed that part of your intro was backwards in terms of the tension build-up. What I mean is 0:32 to 0:49 sounded like it should come after 0:49 to 1:05. If that was how you wanted it thats ok, but it does come across as confusing. Also, there is a very abrupt transition at 0:32. I would try to smooth it out somehow, possibly by adding some synths shortly before and swell into 0:32. In fact there are several places in your song where there are abrupt changes that could be smoother. These rough changes are at 0:32, 1:38, and 2:18.
You are obviously a very capable and creative artist. Your synth design is awesome, the whole thing is mixed very well, and you have great ideas that really created a strong emotional reaction. Your song "The Force" is a superb example of that. It is simple in its concept, but it is extremely well executed and kept getting better second to second. I can't think of a single critique of that song.
I hope to hear more of your music in the future.
Hello, I saw the post you made in the review request club forum and thought I would give your music a go. I took a listen to all of the songs you have submitted, and all I can say is holy f**k, this is some good s**t. I can't leave a review for every song, but this review can apply to all of them.
I can't point to a single song of yours that I didn't like. Each one is professional and mixed extremely well. I also enjoyed the subtle use of panning various instruments around the aural stage, which is something that is almost never done here on Newgrounds. I can tell that some of these instruments are sampled, but they are high quality samples and it doesn't detract from the music one bit.
Every song here is radio ready. Even as instrumentals, they are unique and interesting enough to keep me listening all the way through. The fact that you specifically labeled them all instrumentals leads me to believe that there are versions of them that do have lyrics. If that is the case, I would kill to hear them. Each song has a distinct feel to them, and I agree with how you arranged them into playlists as each list had its own overall attitude similarity. Something that you managed to do that most professional have never figured out is how to create music that is different enough from song to song and but still remains squarely inside their style. You, on the other hand, have created music that keeps me listening while continuing be original every time and yet distinctly your own.
To make my compliments more clear, I'll use this song as an example. It starts off with a sexy all-the-boys-want-me bass and drum intro and a few synth accents to keep it interesting. The hi-hat comes in and I can feel it leading up to something, and with a simple 2 beat drum fill the guitars start with a cool and retro surfer tone. Now its back to the sexy beat and a repeat of the guitar part. At 1:40 is where the song went from good to great in my opinion. The whole attitude change was super effective, and the choice of instruments was just perfect. It is an unusual sounding kick drum you chose, though I think it created great dissonance with the simple and music-box-like style of the keys. Your song concludes with one more verse of the guitars and ended on the sexy beat. It was creative and satisfying, and the perfect length as to not overstay its welcome. 5 stars.
It's obvious you are not a novice to music. The production is excellent, the playing is clean and practiced, and the song-writing is fresh. I can bet this is not your first musical debut. You and whomever you may have worked with are professionals - who if doesn't do this for a living - has spent a good deal of their life dedicated to the craft. This leaves me wondering why you are bothering asking around Newgrounds of all places for reviews. You know you are good, and you don't need the approval of slo-mo-joes like me.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on any more music you might release here. Thanks for the wonderful music and never stop creating.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write such a detailed, relevant (and very uplifiting) review! This is much appreciated! :)
I actually do all of this by myself. I wouldn't label myself as a professional as my music is far from paying the bills for now. But yes, I have and still put a lot of time, efforts and heart into it and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
I originally put some of my songs on here hoping that some people could possibly be interested in using some of them for their project as I have always loved gaming and animated series.
Having some more reviews from "slo-mo-joes" like you and me would actually be great (but not that easy, it seems).
Regarding songs with lyrics, here is a link to my website in case you want to hear these:
Don't hesitate to let me know what you think.
Thanks again for everything,
I think you have the start of a great song. There are good ideas in here, but as a whole, I can't say I like it very much.
The first 30 seconds is not too interesting, but I was curious to see where that idea would go. I think the sparse piano and drums is a cool style and it has room to expand into something pretty dope. Then the drums started a double-time thing and I was a little surprised, but not much because changing the groove of your song isn't illegal or anything. However that lasted for only 15 seconds and you switched up the groove to half-time again. This struck me as awkward and unnecessary.
Once the build-up ended and the beat began, I was really surprised at how awesome it became. The difference between the intro and beat is quite stark, The use of horns and synths were unique and I loved that awesome sound at 1:20.
However, this kick-ass beat lasts for only 30 seconds, then the song goes back for another full minute of that awkward piano and drum beat that changes from half-time to double-time and back again.
If I were to improve on this song, I would decrease the length of the intro by half by removing the double-time part from :30 to :45 and starting the build-up right there. I would do that same to the second half of the song.
Like I said, there are some awesome ideas in this song. Its just that the intro and middle bits dragged on too long and were relatively uninteresting and sparse.
I look forward to hearing more from you. Never stop creating.
Thanks, i know this is kind of bad since im not really that good at FL Studio, but my next song will be pretty good (in my opinion).
Woah...Her voice is profound. I must say she put me in a trance the whole time, especially when she started to multitrack her own voice, or should I say, when YOU did that technical fiddly-bit stuff. Not to mention she is also a very talented guitarist, very solid performer. Did she record and sing at the same time, or was everything multitracked?
Only criticism: I really didn't like the filter you used on the guitar in the beginning and all the other parts that were similar (or was there even a filter? Maybe I was hearing something else). I felt like it wasn't necessary, but that is just a judgment call.
Very good job and I will definitely be downloading this and checking her other stuff out. 5/5, 9/10.
Cheers, SipherMT! In answer to your questions, everything was multitracked. There were 3 guitar tracks (not all of the time, 1 in the quiet bits and 2 more in the louder parts to thicken it up and add stereo width) and 5 vocal tracks (1 lead and a max of 4 harmonies). Interesting, there wasn't any filters on the guitar parts in the bits you mentioned; she was just playing REALLY quietly fingerstyle XD I'll pass on your comments to her as I'm sure she'd love it :D Really glad you liked the piece!
Hits the spot
What a strange and unique song, i must say. The style and tone is both haunting and charming at the same time. In my mind i saw a cross between a carnival with a sense of magic and mystery about it and the streets of Paris on a dreary, rainy day. Again, great imagery in your song.
This was a shorter song than i would have expected, but it worked well in that length of time. If it was longer i might have gotten tired of the repeating chord progression; any shorter and i would feel that it was incomplete. If you were to make this any longer, i would suggest to play around with an alternate chord progression to act as the bridge of the song. But i like it the way it is at this length. (have you considered ending with a different chord?)
If there is any criticism i have, its that now you have created this great song, you need to find someone who actually plays the accordion and record them instead of using the horrendously fake synthesized accordion. Your song is written, now it needs a soul.
I know what you mean when you say that you have put everything about you into your song. The music you make will most always have meaning behind it-a story or image or emotion, but in any case, your music should always reflect a part of you. I would say the main reason i like your songs so much is that they seem so sincere and deep. I would be severely disappointed if you started producing music that was as artificial and soulless as most things i hear on NG most days.
Again, fantastic job. Never stop creating.
Like ear candy
First off, this is a rich and emotionally complex song that i really had an enjoyable time listening to. I usually can value a song by how well it sets an atmosphere. Immersion is key to good song writing, if your song makes people want to punch someone in the face or propose to their girlfriend or take a spaceship to the planet of lesbians, then you have created something worth listening to. Your song really set me adrift in my own imagination and for that i say this is a fabulous work of art. Great job.
Most of the things i find criticism of in your song are very little things that all in all i don't really need to mention but would be good things to keep in mind to avoid in the future. So lets get these things out of the way first.
There were a couple times in your song that i heard clipping, mainly at 0:41 and 0:53, 1:05 and 1:08. Peaking is a bitch to get rid of because it was most likely introduced when you recorded it, so to remove it you will have to re-record that part. Over all it is not that big of a deal that you have peaking in your song. I have heard professional artists have peaking in their music. The biggest concern about peaking in your song is that it broke the mood, at least for me. Maybe because i am trained to listen for things like that, but i bet other people hear it too and think the same thing. I know that in some audio manipulation programs there is a feature that can detect when the waveform peaks. The one i know of is Peak Pro. Another little thing, and i'm not even sure if i heard it, but it seemed like you had some feed back throughout the song whenever you struck certain notes, i can't say which ones because your guitar is way way way off tune. But i am not a guitar player, so i don't know what to listen for in terms of feedback.
Over the whole song i could hear a large amount of static. This was mainly noticeable when it transitioned from the intro vamp to the main song at 0:22 and at the transition to the outro vamp at 2:52 because of the contrast of only one static layer to many static layers playing on top of one another when you multi-tracked the guitar. The part that confused me is that you actually had no static the last 16 seconds of the song...i don't know why. It just very noticeably stopped right at 2:52. This mic static can easily be erased by putting a low-pass filter on all the tracks in the program you use. I know that Logic has a plug-in specifically for eliminating static.
The last criticism i have is your use of reverb at 1:35. The whole piece up till then had none and it was fine that way, then it just completely changed and felt like i was listening to your song in an empty cathedral; that was okay too. The problem i have with that is i think you should probably go with no reverb the whole song or have reverb the entire time (maybe a little less reverb too). It was such a big change and it snapped me from my meditative state back into reality, which was kind of frustrating.
Everything else that i didn't mention about your song you can assume that i loved it. Here are a few of those things in short. The style you have is amazing. You play the guitar with a passion and calmness that really comes out in your melodies. Also your awesome use of the stereo field is fantastic. Most people leave everything in the center which is okay, but is kind of boring and monotonous. You, on the other hand, had every track in its own specific position in the aural stage. It really added life and movement to your song that took and immersed me in your music. And that is what i liked about your song the most, your ability to bring across a series of complex and deep emotions while also displaying your skills as a competent musician. I have heard songs on NG that are just talented guitarists jerking off in your ear for a few minutes that have no depth or purpose to them. Overall, this was a great piece that i will be listening to over and over again.
5/5, 9/10 for the little things.
first of all, i really appreciate the time you took to listen, criticize and rate this music. secondly, i TOO think that the reverb part is...kinda not it's place, right ? yes, but it kinda made me feel like....spaced out, or empty, even empty is a kind of feeling, that's why, even though it's not exactly the place for it, but, i kept it that way. and for the last 10-15 second...maaaaan !! thank you for noticing the static-free zone, i don't know why it kept the static for alll the song, and for the last couple of seconds it disappeared !? anyway, my "equipment" isn't really anything i guess, i would even be ashamed to tell you about it ! but it makes the job done, and i love it...thank you so much, you've been very very helpful, and you gave me a big push forward, i really appreciate it. i hope you enjoy more than one of my pieces, enjoy !
Absolutely terrifying. Not even joking. I came back from getting my ass handed to me by a test for a class i will most likely fail, then i go to NewGrounds and listened to this song for about half an hour while curled up on the couch violently shaking with fear and crying to myself.
The good ol' days, IN STEREO!
After listening to the first several seconds i already made my judgments on your song. I really didn't like it. Then i listened further and my view completely changed. Stylistically it seemed to stay the same, but what you have done that i swear NO ONE EVER does is pay attention to the stereo field. When the happily bleeping synths started to swing around my monitors, i was so excited that i started to do my own little chair dance.
Im not going to lie when i say that i am not a big fan of that type of bit crushed music. The last time i heard anything like that was when i played my Game Boy Color, and that was a while ago. But i enjoyed your fun little song a lot. It made my evening even more enjoyable, so thanks for that.
I'm glad you noticed that, I made a great effort to throw the sounds around like that. Thanks for the review.
At first i was about to blow my whistle on this submission. I couldn't really think how anyone could pass this song as their own. I don't own the original myself, but i have heard it most places whether i want to or not. So i pirated it as fast as i could and did a comparison and i vote i like your version better. Great job.
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