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Obstructed Dreamscape Obstructed Dreamscape

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

I hope I will not sound like a pretentious snob, but I kind of have a tip for you...

When you try to emulate a dream-like atmosphere, write down your notes for a certain instrument in a tab editor ( such as guitar pro, or anything you can find free online), then take those notes and put them together from last to first. So for example, if in your head it's ( random sound lol): bim bap prr pok, then input them into your VST as pok prr bap bim at for example 130% the normal tempo ( so if your track is at 100 bmp, input those at 130 bmp) and 6 semitones higher. Then run them through a sound editor such as Audacity and do two things:
1) edit:change the "velocity"/speed by minus 30% ( that way you'll have the sounds back at 100bmp and at the original key)
2) edit:reverse the whole things, such that it's bim bap prr pok again.
Then add it back into the final mix.

That is practically a reversed instrument, and if done well it will significantly increase the eeriness and dream-like atmosphere of the given track, or that is at least how I found it to be.

As for an actual review of this track, I am in agreement with most of what's already been said, only that I don't actually find it all that repetitive, and I must add I'm really fond of its atmosphere.
It's really nice for a day's work!


Rahmemhotep responds:

Once again, it wasn't created with dreams in mind. The title came afterwards.

Thanks for the review!


Collision Course Collision Course

Rated 5 / 5 stars

In response to Blacklawn, it is ESPECIALLY focused, considering its genre ( or rather the blending of genres).

This is a straight 5*! I love how it sounds almost like a track Kubrick could've used on 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This is a well-done experimental, there is not much to review since I believe it's only a matter of taste. I liked the use of bass, percussion, rhythm variance, sound effects, the loops, everything. It is such a beautiful blend, it could almost be a track from the Downward Spiral, maybe even a different spin on The Mars Volta. I hear a lot of talent, will surely check other tracks.

QUICK EDIT PRESUBMITTING: This is just so good, it gets better with more listens.


itbegins responds:

Oh my! Thanks! I'm glad you like the track, I only recently started really experimenting with stuff and got myself a Maschine Studio. This is actually the first track I made with it. The workflow change really lets me just get out there and go crazy.
Thanks again for the kind words, I really appreciate it! You can check some of my other stuff from my soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/itbegins . Maybe keep an eye out for the album too (mid-late summer)? ;)


Warning Signs WIP Warning Signs WIP

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

From the start I'll mention that DnB is out of my area, so everything written here might be a bit biased, but it's up for you to decide! ( not that I find this track seriously lacking at anything, really lol)

First of all, for me, this is very moody, even though it's a very specific mood, I don't necessarily correlate it with DnB so for me that is a big plus, mood helps the listener's ear develop a narrative and that is always something I seek in my music.

The mastering is crisp and with taste. I really dig the atmospheric intro. It has a sort of Mass Effect Reaper-quality about it, and I'm a huge ME fan. So ++

The 01:21 is a real surprise, I like the sudden crush of pacing, and honestly I think it should've been a motif throughout the song, I know you repeat it a couple of times, and that the motif starting with 1:47 is a variation of that, but it doesn't work as well - although to be fair the fact the weirdness in that beeeaaaAAA, AAAaaaeeeb does add to the general mood of the song. Repeating that chord from 1:21 every four measures would be catchy, I think.
You have enough breaks and the pacing is good. But I believe the pacing is good for a longer track. You could definitely extend this piece.
From what I know of DnB, you sort of lack a melody. The whole thing could underpin a pretty strong synth melody. And from there, the track could easily go to 4 minutes with a bit of tweaking, more breaks etc.

The instruments and effects are of my taste.
Hm, re-listening, the atmospheric intro I really like, and the whole piece does hint that this is not your style of choice, and that intro makes me curious what else do you make, I'll check.

But, yeah, I think you fulfilled your purpose, this is a nice little experiment, hope you learnt enough from it!


Crimsonskies455 responds:

Thank you so much for the review!


Break Through the Night Break Through the Night

Rated 4 / 5 stars

I like the overall structure of this piece, and even the final "tam-dam", it really adds a distinct flavor!
But it has a sort of bombastic quality, even in the good sense of the word, that I do not think helps this particular track, though.
The percussion could benefit from a bit more reverb. Maybe add a second layer of percussion, volume both down a bit, add one with a bit of wetness and reverb and let the other be, it would add a lot of space to the soundscape and still remain punchy. But this is just an idea, maybe you like your percussion as it is for it servers your artistic purpose.

But, hmm, the more I listen, the more I realize that although the composition is at least good by any standards, the mastering could be improved. Instruments could benefit from more space, more panning. Maybe this is just my opinion, but cinematic compositions, if used on a film, must not really bomb you, but be subtler and draw you emotionally into the story.

One can definitely derive a narrative from this piece - as others, such as Paranoidhumanoise already noted - so that's excellent. That's the purpose of music, generally, even more so of cinematic music.
The pacing is ok, harmonies are nice, the only thing I see that could be improved is the mastering. It's too bombastic, but that may be just my opinion.


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LunyAlex responds:

Very useful and insightful feedback. Very much appreciate it and I do agree with everything you said, in hindsight. I'm still pretty new to producing cinematic material, so I need all the help I can get, haha. Thanks you and have a good one!


Ants Ants

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

I like that it's not long, there is only one complete idea and there is no point in dragging it, but I still believe that while it's not that repetitive, it could still be more concise.
In any case, from what I can gather ( *note, I just read your description now after writing this so what I'm about to say is validated apparently) this is just a short essay, and if the purpose was experimentation or sharpening of certain skills, I believe it reached its purpose for you.

The harmonies are simple, but they don't lack in efficiency.

And I really dig the atmospheric touches, the slight delay here and there, the occasional phase etc, and it really drags you into a mood, but I feel that at 1:30 its purpose has been fulfilled, as a track, and there's no need for an additional 30 seconds.

It's a great starting point for something potentially bigger. This certainly made me curios about what other stuff you do, lol.

All in all, yeah, it's one hour well spent!



Trapped in a Snowglobe Trapped in a Snowglobe

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

I know this has many plays, downloads, and favorable reviews, and as a result I'll get scorned for typing my honest opinion, but here it goes...
The pianowork is moody, but it is nothing special, chords are heavy and I like them, but the general pianowork just falls into very familiar tropes, and that is why I believe many people like it - taste is created upon the foundation of familiarity - but it lacks a bit in creativity.
The change of rhythm that comes with the strings at 00:50 is welcomed, it definitely improves pacing up to that point.
I did not appreciate that after 1:00 the piano went into higher registry and it's heavy quality was lost, now the strings draw attention, and by their repetitive nature by 1:15 they get repetitive and really drag the whole composition. The 1:20 strings hardly add anything, and if one thing is clear by now is that the track surely lacks a strong melody. And then the 1:50 brass comes and only sort of saves the day.

I'll add that the mastering is good.
2:30, and the right panned strings are still there, and this whole sections wants to be a bridge, and add dramatic tension, but it does not, sadly.
And then the second half suffers from the same faults, with the added note that a clear low, bass instrument is lacking and it shows.
The end does have its redeeming qualities, but they are not enough.

Now, this is not a bad piece by any means, but it could definitely be improved - it is highly overrated, and what that does is only make you overlook the tracks, and maybe your style's shortcomings, bad for your progress.
You can take this review for whatever you want, there's definitely nothing personal, and it's just my 2 cents.


stunkel responds:

I really appreciate the honesty in your review! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and there is nothing wrong with that. Music is very subjective and you will always find someone who loves and hates certain pieces, and it's a double edged sword because you can get people who aren't very helpful, and there are some people who are helpful. Also you can never know what an artist has in mind, or what their intention for the music was. Regardless of anything, I can't judge anyone for any of these things because it's honestly the best feedback I can get, and I can always improve from any feedback I get one way or another. The best I can do is explain why I did certain things and what the logic was behind them, and perhaps you might have a counter argument or idea to capture the same emotion.

You should know that I was going for a specific mood and had a specific story idea in mind, and a lot of the things you mentioned as problems were great factors to what my intentions for the piece were. And even the most subtle ideas can make the biggest difference. That piano at 1:00 you are talking about is actually a different instrument, and not a piano at all, so that might be why it loses it's heavy quality. You make a good point though, it does take out of the feeling a bit. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

I'm not sure if I get what you mean by the section wanting to be a bridge and build dramatic tension. I think the fact that it goes the other direction builds on the emotion a bit more. Going up throughout the piece and then cutting itself off. And as for the bass... I totally screwed up and didn't realize it until after I finished the piece, but I cut out a decent amount of the mids in the bass for the strings and that really took a toll on the bass and mid area. You were actually one of the first people to pick up on that!

You give some great feedback, and I do appreciate everything you said and will keep it in mind for future pieces that I make. Thanks for the feedback!

-Ryan


Free Floating Free Floating

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Such a tasty piece. It will certainly inspire me when I seek out to groove some funk.
It sounds a bit like Jamiroquai after the 1 minute mark, but not much, and it actually also sounds a bit like Pink Floyd during the The Wall era.
The intro piano is quite good, and the transitions are also good. The mix'n'masters are, undoubtedly, good. The breaks of rhythm and the general structure here is complimentary to the mood it conveys, everything is nice, professionally done, and I also need to praise your keyboard skills. The track has everything.
Thank you for the joy of listening to this.


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Sand Falls Onto Disk Sand Falls Onto Disk

Rated 5 / 5 stars

You already know my opinion on this.

Do you by chance listen to a band called Animals as Leaders? If not, you should check them out. They're more metal, but that's not what they're made of.


secantwave responds:

Constructive criticism is great, of course, but this kind of review makes me so happy. Thank you very much.
I have the first Animals as Leaders album; I like it quite a bit.


Despodency Despodency

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

The panning of the instruments in the beginning didn't help that much, and I understand weird panning, I use it all the time, but I do not think it was required here, the strings would've blend much better without the heavy panning on the left ear.
The chord progression is familiar, but you used it fair and very pleasantly.
I like the percussion, honestly was not anticipating such a nice beat on the whole thing. The chosen instruments are pretty common for this sort of composition, but that is not a bad thing necessarily, especially here.
Contrary to the other review, I do not like the pacing. And he stated the reasons for me. The instrumentation is not for a 4 minute piece. In my humble opinion, you should try to reduce the length of certain passages, because the composition and the instruments simply do not allow for such a lengthy listen, so shorter is better for a bigger impact.
The composition is nice as it is, adding more instruments might do more damage and harm than good, so instead I'd just try to make it more compressed, compact, denser. Sometimes, less is more...
Anyway, enjoyed listening to this! Production was fairly good.


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lemon42 responds:

I'm glad somebody else actually noticed me! Woo~

More seriously, thanks for the review. It's really appreciated!
I guess you were using headphones when listening, when I listen on my monitors I didn't really notice such a heavy panning on the left... perhaps I should take out my headset more often! I do like to play with the panning however, yes! :)

I'm quite satisfied with how the percussion turned out overall, I perhaps feel it's mixed quite dry, perhaps I should have made it a bit less dry and a bit more interesting, I don't know :0

About the instruments... I don't really have great knowledge of orchestral music. To be honest I'm fairly new to the genre, I just experiment and see what sounds good to me! I don't usually use harps so that was something quite new for me, too!

About the pacing... well I'm not sure. Like I said, pretty new to this, I personally don't see any problem with it but perhaps it's just my lack of experience in the field!

I actually didn't want to bloat the track with instruments, I was looking for a very lighthearted feeling, I'm not sure if I succeeded or not, sometimes I feel that way but sometimes I feel like it gives more of a heavy tone to it... again probably just me not being too good at it!

I'm glad you liked it on a whole though!
I hear your critics and have taken them into account, it's rare to see such insightful reviews so I'll make sure to try and experiment some more with this song and see where I can get things! :D

Thank you! I'll make sure to drop by and return the favor by reviewing some of your songs, too! :)


I Swear, this is still science I Swear, this is still science

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Excellent track! Not enough physical time for me to write the review I wish I could!
I praise your style. I read nothing, the title nor the description, I just listened to it and I cracked up. Was not expecting it...

Great master, the way in which you emulate your creations to fit a certain mood, flawlessly, and the which in which you juxtaposed two opposites for comedic effort, it all shows a great mind and talent.
Great sketch!

Will browse for more of your stuff, curious to see if there are more heavy things.