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605 audio Reviews with Responses


Hope Hope

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 13 hours ago

This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.

--

First things first - sorry for your loss! It was bad timing to have this tragic event happen when halfway through the contest but somehow you pulled through and made him a great tribute indeed. This has the usual fantastic aspects that I've come to expect from you, having listened to more of your tracks than I have fingers. The production is meticulously and masterfully executed, the guitar playing is phenomenal, and, of course, it has the beefiest and meatiest snare I've ever heard in a metal track on Newgrounds.

One thing I particularly liked over here would be some of the absolutely incredible lead guitar sections you've thrown in. You have this style of playing that I think you've been incorporating more heavily into your more recent music. It's a tendency to make these very upfront, soaring, high melodies played by the lead guitar. Parts like 1:03 and 2:35 really make this style shine, and it's an absolute pleasure to listen to, especially when paired with your beefy mix, suitable rhythm guitar accompaniment and powerful drum work. It's a listening experience you can't achieve nearly as well in any other genre, and you represent it fantastically.

There are a bunch of other sections here that I think you did a great job with. The mastery with which you play the solo at 1:41 is no less than awe-inspiring. I also love the transition at 3:02. The momentary pause was a great idea, but what sold it was how you brought in the intense pace once more. You also have a solid transition at 1:26, followed by a section that plays familiar material, which was a nice touch. You also once again nailed the intro, which is in the same vein as your previous track's intro, what with the filter you put on it.

The reason why I don't think this is quite as good as the near-masterpiece you gave us in Round 2 is that I feel like it sounds a bit less inspired. Perhaps it was time constraints or simply lack of inspiration, but I feel like the melodies weren't very interesting, save for perhaps 2:35. Sections like 2:04 or so feel less like meaningful continuations to the track and more like filler to showcase some new riff or rhythm. The ending also isn't particularly satisfying or suiting. Couple that with your brickwall mastering which eats up a lot of the dynamic range and you've got a listening experience that sounds quite samey and flat throughout. You got away with it mostly in your previous track with really fantastic sections and solid, exciting foreground melodies, and while you still retain some of that stuff here, it's been taken a notch down from what you've shown you're capable of.

And that's all I have to say about it. You did a phenomenal job with this track! Great work.

SCORE: 9.1/10


PirateCrab responds:

Really didn't expect to get as high a score in this round but I certainly didn't expect to get through due to how rough those two weeks where for me!

Firstly again, thanks for pointing out the bits you liked. I'll 100% be incorporating them into my next track, but only with more power and more emotional content!

In my defence, I worked on this piece for 2 days. When my friend passed, I spiralled for a good week. Unable to work, write, play or generally do anything. Once the shock had worn off, I was extremely time limited with regards to what I could do and pull out of the bag.

I already have some new ideas I've NEVER incorporated in my tracks before. Stuff that's gonna bring a whole new bag to the table. All I'm gonna say is just you wait ;)


There There

Rated 5 / 5 stars 13 hours ago

This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.

--

Oh wow. To me, your music is a PRIME example of what I personally look for in the electronic genre. Flawless production value and sound manipulation, but on top of that, super creative ideas and original concepts. You've got the habit of making each of your tracks so memorable, whether through catchy melodic hooks like in your Round 1 track, through unique instrument/synth choices like in your Round 2 track or through crazy sound manipulation and glitching like in this one. And let me tell you; this is a very, very good habit to have.

I think what I love the most about this would definitely be your sound design. Your synths are extraordinarily good, and there's a huge variety of them too! You treat us with a lot of new sounds throughout the length of the track. Even at the end, where most artists would lazily keep using the sounds and patterns they used before, you treat us with this awesome bass section at 3:43! Honestly, there are so many awesome synth patterns here, like the 0:33 arpeggios or the 1:06 lead sound that you layer on top of everything else. Another pretty small thing I quite liked was the reverb tail at 2:31. Perfect way to end that section.

You know, I keep praising you for your unique ideas and sound design, but your composition is actually pretty damn solid too! You have some awesome chord choices and make use of motifs really well to tie the track together rather than have it a directionless showcase of awesome sound design (which, I think, is a tempting route for a lot of electronic music). Plus, The vocals, unlike in Acidulus 8, are perfect here. I assume that's you singing, but whatever the case they sound really professional and funnily enough, give me these strong 80s vibes which actually work hilariously well.

I'm not the first to mention it, but some of the glitching didn't do it for me. I mean, it sounds badass at some parts. For instance, the glitching at the start and at the end, while taking a while to get used to, kind of grew on me and now I feel like the intro and outro shouldn't be done any other way, but 0:50 (and to a lesser extent 1:53)... still can't understand it! It SOUNDS pretty insane and memorable, but it really destroys the whole buildup you had going and ate up all the tension that rose through that buildup, making the more dance-like, busy section that comes right after sound much less satisfying.

Apart from that little quirk, which may even be personal opinion, I absolutely love this. You are so ridiculously good at what you do, and I look forward to your submission each round. While your Round 1 submission is still my favourite (purely because of how addicted I am to that melody you made), this comes at close second. Absolutely PHENOMENAL work.

SCORE: 9.6/10


People find this review helpful!
garlagan responds:

Gosh your reviews Step, they're golden!
SO glad you liked the track! Wasn't sure at all about it. And actually you mentioned one of the things I wasn't convinced of either; which is the last seconds of the buildup. I got used to it though and thought it kind of worked. It was the effect of wanting to stay away from the typical sweep up tension cliché thing and what not.
You're right about the 80s vibes! It may be because of its disco feel or some vocal notes, not sure.
Anyway, THANK.YOU.STEP.


Aurora Dawn Aurora Dawn

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 11 days ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

--

Oh damn that voice. I've listened to well over half of your music library, and I still spend most of it searching for my jaw. Your voice just gets me every time. I mention it for this piece in particular because I want to stress how good the vocal performance is here - one of my favourites from you. It's not over-the-top with complex vocal techniques but has just enough to impress, and the vocal harmonies/echoes at the end are simply to die for. And wow, from English to Danish to Greek to Chinese and now Esperanto. Don't forget to hit me and Echo up whenever you want to sing in Maltese! But yeah, fantastic job in the vocal department. I feel like vocals can easily give a musician an edge since voice is inarguably the most expressive instrument, and when you sing this well you really can't go wrong.

I'm not just here to gush over your vocals though. If there's one area you excel at more than you do at singing, it's building an atmosphere through strong compositional elements. For instance, after a fairly run-of-the-mill string intro, you instantly pull the listener into your deep atmosphere with the bassy piano notes. Your heavy amount of reverb makes this a track you can easily space out to, but instead of taking the tempting route of washing everything out with reverberation you keep the track firmly rooted in your spectacular composition with absolutely beautiful passages like 2:02's string run, 2:24's melodic piano passage or your piano outro. Major props for adding in such a suitable key change at the end too! Love it.

Honestly, the only reason I deducted 0.6 from what would otherwise be a perfect score is your mixing. It's not that it's particularly bad, but I have a complaint that I remember having on the first piece of yours I ever reviewed; Blind Maiden. There's too much focus on the vocals. There are some nice instrumental passages, but when the voice comes in it's too loud and drowns out a lot of the other instruments. I also feel like the instrument section could do with more mid and low frequencies, especially from 1:27 onwards. You'll have to strip down some of the frequencies from your voice first of course, or else it'll sound muddy as hell, but basically what I'm asking for is more balance in your mix, where the depth comes from the instruments rather than your voice, but where your voice is still clear.

Mixing quirk aside, this is really good stuff, as I've come to expect every single time from you. 9.4/10 would lose jaw to again.

SCORE: 9.4/10


etherealwinds responds:

Thank you for the in depth review!
I actually spent a lot of time trying to separate all of the frequencies so that they didn't clash. Also, for the first time, I added a separate volume gate envelope and manually adjusted the volume throughout the vocals at different parts to try and keep the vocals from overpowering the instruments. ^ ^

I remember when it was first pointed out how loud the vocals were in Blind Maiden last year compared to the rest of the instruments and how before that, I had never noticed. To my ears at least in this, the balance in volume sounds okay. The gain of the vocals in Blind Maiden was probably about +6.5db higher than the vocals in this in comparison to the instrumental. I'm afraid I don't hear the vocals as being overwhelming. ;_;

Thank you for your kind words Step!! I always appreciate your honest critique and really, it's invaluable.


The Valley of Apples and Hope The Valley of Apples and Hope

Rated 4 / 5 stars 11 days ago

Heya! For starters... man, the Ōkami vibes I'm getting from this make me miss that game so much. Right from the start I knew my review would instantly be biased positively, since I love that game's art direction, from its graphics to its soundtrack, and I'm getting strong vibes of that style over here. I don't know if it was an intentional nod to the style or not, but whatever the case, you really do it justice. Either way, biased or not, I think this is a very solid and well-developed piece.

I'm going to get the bad stuff out of the way first, and I'm starting with the glaringly obvious. The samples are bad quality. You can't go very far with soundfonts. Naturally I'm not going to deduct any points just because you don't have expensive sample libraries but I feel like it's worth mentioning since a lot of the sounds are pretty artificial-sounding, dry, or lacking power, especially the drums, and that unfortunately detracts from the listening experience. You deserve better samples, but yeah, money is a harsh mistress.

I feel like your intro and outro could use some work. My thoughts on the intro are more opinionated. While it isn't a bad intro by any means, you have a very fleshed out piece here, and starting it straight off with a lot of movement doesn't really do the piece justice. If you started with something more low key and subtle and built gradually into the busier sections, I think it would leave more of a suitable effect, especially in such a dynamic piece like this. The ending on the other hand sounded a little unfinished and consequently unsatisfying. I personally would've liked some more closure, rather than a fade-out into a chord that isn't even the tonic.

One other thing I want to critique is your sense of dynamics. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of moods and dynamics here, which I was very pleased to hear, but some sections fall a little short of what they could be. To me it's almost as if the track is constantly building to a high point which never actually comes. For instance, at 2:09 or 2:36 I was expected a climax to come in, but it never really came. This left the track with a lot of tension/excitement, but never any means to release all of that buildup.

Finally, on a more minor note, 1:21's harp section (and its repetition later on) are a little empty-sounding. You don't need to add more instruments there, but some additional bass accompaniment from the harp would seal the deal. Perhaps even an exaggerated amount of high-end reverb on the sparse drum hits you play in that section would give it a nice sense of depth and space.

Now that all that is mentioned, let me just say that the composition here is simply wonderful. I think your melodies and harmonies are a definite selling point. I can't begin to express how much I enjoyed your energetic arpeggios played by the pizzicato and shamisen, the gorgeous melodies played by the flute and the emotional little harp solos that play during the breakdowns. Care and effort were put into the melodies, and it shows.

A lot of other compositional aspects don't fall behind either. Your transitions are smooth, and your instrument choice is spot on. You went for a definite ethnic/eastern instrumentation with the shamisen, heavy use of flutes and array of different ethnic percussion such as the tam-tam, vibraslap and finger cymbals. What we're left with is a set of instruments where each instrument sounds complementary with the next. Props on having a mostly clear mix too! I agree I would've liked some more bass, as the piece did have that occasional tinny vibe, but I didn't find it much of an issue.

All in all, the critiques I mentioned don't significantly deter from what the focus of this track is - a fleshed-out, lengthy listening experience with fantastic composition and a clear ethnic direction. Good job!

8/10
4/5


Krichotomy responds:

No, this is not a nod to Ōkami, but I certainly don't mind that impression! I love everything about that game.

I look forward to the day that I can play with some of those hefty orchestral VSTs.

I wanted this piece to feel high-energy throughout (hence the chosen intro and outro). It is part of a bigger picture and anything overly low-key would end up as a preceding track rather than part of this track. That is how I presently feel, anyway. Perhaps that is not the best mentality for a stand-alone track.

I had actually initially been working on what I thought would be a more widely-accepted outro, but this one is really the one /I/ wanted for the track. I was already thinking of the criticism I would get for it before I even finished it. ;)

And I particularly like the ending chord I chose. It's common enough for songs to end on a chord other than a tonic to convey a certain feeling, and I actually see ending on the tonic as a lazy default, good in most cases, but not all. If I could show you the images in my mind, I think you would understand my choice of ending chord, but I find it difficult to express those images with words.

The 2:09 "fake climax" is exactly as I wish it to be, but I totally agree that the 2:36 part would do well to actually rise to a climax, especially as a follow-up to the fake climax. I hadn't realized that before.

Regarding emptiness, I feel that everything before 01:39 and some other parts of the track feel rather empty, but I couldn't figure out ways to fill them out without muddying the sound. I think your advice for the harp parts is good.

I'm glad that you enjoy the composition. My favorite aspects are the percussion and the shamisen- they really helped to add character to the piece. (Some of the percussion idea actually came from your piece, "The Festival".) This piece wasn't even meant to sound Eastern until I found that there was a shamisen channel in my soundfont and it didn't sound crappy and synthetic like half the other instruments did. I do have a soft spot for ethnic instrumentation and percussion. :D

Thanks for the lengthy, valuable, and encouraging review!


Survival of the Hungriest Survival of the Hungriest

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 12 days ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

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After hearing your pieces The SuperBugs Attack, Apocalypse 2012 and now this, I can confirm that you have a certain knack towards making the dangerous, exciting, and edge-of-your-seat type of music. This is truly the most epic and exhilarating piece of music that was submitted to this round, and that's no doubt due to your SUBLIME production value. Really, just like in the previous round, you've crafted a truly spectacular orchestral sound. It's this kind of brilliant execution that gives your tracks an edge, since it ups the professionalism tenfold, and makes the track extremely powerful at high volumes. You are really, really good at what you do.

There are some fantastic compositional touches present in this piece which is a nice change from your previous track which sounded more standard and typical. First off, the atmosphere you created at the start is beyond perfect. It sounds somewhat peaceful but the subtle but tasteful use of dissonant note intervals (whether harmonic or melodic) offer a foreshadowing of the peril up ahead, making for a pretty awesome introduction. Things like the 1:57 piano echoing the melody before it, the various dynamic buildups you've made, the intense tempo change at 3:16 and the unexpected but surprisingly suitable mood change at the end create a wonderful listening experience. 4:25 is such a fantastic little crescendo by the way. I know it's a very specific thing to mention but I just loved it.

My issue the same issue I had with Jay-Turner's Round 1 submission. It feels like each section is purely made with the intention of portraying a mood. I hear a motif you use at both the beginning and the end, which is a nice touch for sure, but everything else feels, purely in terms of composition, like filler. The dangerous parts especially have little melodic meaning to them, choosing instead to play expressionless orchestral hits. During the busier sections, you don't really aim to excite the ears with some compositional complexity and structure, instead choosing to write sections that are there simply to portray an experience. While you do a brilliant job of that, I'll be damned if I don't admit I wasn't disappointed with the melodies!

Having said all that, this is brilliantly-executed stuff. Fantastic work, Peter.

SCORE: 9.4/10


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PeterSatera responds:

Thanks step. The lack of melody seems to be a common point made, i'll be returning to make sure I do have one next time around. :)


~SW~ Magnet Subway ~SW~ Magnet Subway

Rated 5 / 5 stars 13 days ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

--

Oh yes. This is my second favourite submission from the whole round of the contest, and in my opinion it's well-deserving of that rank. I believe that you did an absolutely splendid job with this, and your insanely careful attention to detail simply solidifies that belief. You have a decidedly diverse and distinguished amount of details scattered throughout the track, backed up by the skillful execution I've come to expect from you. Details like the miscellaneous subway ambient noise that plays at the start/end, the brief visits from that silky synth at 0:42, or the subdued reintroduction of the guitar at 3:29 are subtle yet very welcomed gifts to the ears. However, it's when I heard the subtle sonic variations on every iteration of the snare hits that first come in around a minute and a half in did I realise that this is no ordinary attention to detail, but an undisputed "Skye" attention to detail.

There are so many things I love about this track, but I'll mention just some of the more notable ones over here. Your intro is simply glorious. The plucked synth you introduce eight seconds in sounds great and, just like your snare, has a subtle variation on its sound each time it's played, probably done with a flanger or phaser of sorts. The best thing about it would be how it throws you off rhythm until your (absolutely awesome and clean-sounding) bass pattern and four-on-the-floor kick beat are introduced. Progression from then on was very enjoyable (and flowed well thanks to your almost always faultless transitions), and you have some fantastic compositional ideas that really bring the track forward.

One of the main issues I have with this track is the clutter during the climax. The lead synth is very upfront and heard clearly, but everything that's supporting it (save for maybe the plucked synth sound) is just buried and hard to follow, creating a lot of clutter and muddiness. After hearing such clean and airy sections with just the bass, drums, plucked synth, guitar and effects, taking such a messy route in terms of mix was a bit of a disappointment. I also kind of think your ending is a little lame. I like your idea of ending it in an understated manner, but the reverse effect personally throws me off, since the song keeps on going for a fraction of a second after the reverse effect is played. I thought that was an odd choice, and it made the ending sound a bit unsatisfying. Mostly a stylistic and opinionated issue, of course.

Overall, unlike your Round 1 submission, this is full of great compositional ideas, yet just like your Round 1 submission it has super enjoyable sound design and a unique sound palette. I genuinely can't wait for what you guys cook up next.

SCORE: 9.5/10


SkyeWint responds:

I talked with you on Skype.

Mixing this was a bitch and a half. :D

And I didn't have many ideas for the ending which didn't sound worse than this, so. Satisfied with that.


On The Glass Edge On The Glass Edge

Rated 5 / 5 stars 2 weeks ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

--

OK I'm going to get things on the road by saying that this is your best work from all the tracks I've heard from you. I knew you had loads of potential. Back when you didn't make it in the previous NGADM, your lack of foreground was what put you down, but now that you've made what, in my opinion, is a more balanced track with careful attention to both the foreground and background, I feel like you've reached the pinnacle of what you're able to make, and let me tell you, that pinnacle is pretty damn HIGH. This is brilliant stuff that excels in almost all of the areas I look to criticise in an NGADM submission, and it really opens my eyes at how far you can end up going in the competition.

One thing I particular liked about this would be your use of effects. The high pass filter on the guitar kicked the song's intense mood off pretty much perfectly, and the generous helping of tasteful sonic tidbits here and there like the guitar tone at 0:54, or the glitching at 1:36 and at various other areas. One of the aspects of this which I was glad you worked on would be the composition - now this is more like it! I felt like in Orcus there were certain sections that just kind of sounded like aimless chugging. Conversely, thanks to its melodic nature, this particular submission feels a lot more cohesive and memorable. I especially liked your 1:12 melody which is so expressive.

Issues with it... well, this is where I'm at a loss. You've made something very special here and as I said, succeeded in nearly every area of music production. My only issue is now something which is more stylistic than anything - the dynamic range. You heavily brickwalled this track like you do with a lot of your tracks. It adds a lot of meatiness and loudness to the mix but at the same time, you're really limiting yourself. There was a large lack of dynamic contrast, which would help so much especially in the sections building up to the main (1:13) melody. Having an audible shift in power from one section to the next is vital if you want to make something as climactic as that, and by brickwalling so hard you've limited yourself from providing that contrast, making the dynamics of this track mostly very samey.

This may just be biased since I come from an orchestral background, but man I really think the brickwalling is working against this track a little. Otherwise, this is my favourite from the whole round. It's simply superb, professional, and well-written stuff. I'd love to hear you explore a new style like prog rock next. Change things up a little! Just a personal request; either way, keep up the amazing work!

SCORE: 9.6/10


PirateCrab responds:

Er, I don't think you was even meant to be reviewing this track according to the judge sheet? But hell am I glad you did! :)

First off, thanks for all the compliments and hearty feedback. It really does mean a lot to have people spot those little tidbits that I put in for a giggle.

In terms of the whole 'brickwalling' thing. Unfortunately, due to the whole loudness war and how important it is these days (Especially in Metal) to have a track that's leveled the same as all the other music in your iTunes library, it has to be pushed fairly hard. This genre is generally the only one I push hard sadly, disappointed that you don't like it but there's no way I can feasibly change it :(

Thanks for the great review Step, looking forward to the next one! <3

PS. You might get lucky with some form of Prog Rock (ish) soon ;)


Can Your Cow Do This? Can Your Cow Do This?

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 2 weeks ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Wow, that has to be the beefiest mix from the whole round, maybe rivalled by the likes of garlagan, SolarexMusic or PirateCrab. But really, the raw thump in the drums, the upfront power of the synths and the inexorable aggression in your dubstep bass are very formidable. Unlike MetalRenard, I think this sounds sweet at high volumes because it really highlights the raw sonic intensity of the sound palette you've provided here. I genuinely love the production value of your tracks, and I'm not wary of turning my volume up just to fully experience the really nifty sound manipulation such as the mini sub bass dropping in pitch at parts like 1:20 or the crisp high end you added to the snare at 3:40.

One thing I think you did particularly well in this track, and definitely better than your opponent(s), is control the rise and release of power through more satisfying buildups. Buildups like the ones leading up to 0:54 and 2:44 are simply fantastic. While it's a tried-and-true dubstep technique to build up a lot of intensity only to let it all go with some vocal sample playing on its own, followed by the bass dropping, I don't think it's ever been done with a cow sound before, or at the very least it's not something you hear everyday, I'll give you that! I admit it gave me a laugh and I will henceforth remember this track as "the cow song" because of it. The way you played a drum roll at 2:44 instead of another moo like we were all expecting, and then got the moo in later, was also very clever!

It's sometimes kind of lame to post a review after so many helpful ones were listed under it since you end up just repeating a lot of the same thing, but yeah... I agree that the actual melodies could do with some work. The only melody which I actually enjoyed was 0:42 but you rely on it as your almost sole source of an actual melody, repeating it a lot when it's actually showcased and trudging through copious amounts of sound processing and effects when it's not. Some more interesting melodies would really take this track places, and really, the melodic aspect is the only thing that's lacking (except I thought your chords were a bit loud at times but that's a minor levelling issue). Other aspects of the composition such as structures and transitions are great, which is a refreshing improvement from your Round 1 track.

That's my opinion on it. Regardless, I think it's one of the stronger submissions this round. Very solid work; keep it up!


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introstalge responds:

Thanks Step for the in-depth review, I really appreciate your encouragement and criticism. I will be working really hard on my composition in the future and hopefully can make some cool stuff/

And thanks for holding the NGADM as always, it was awesome to be able to participate this year!


Voluto Voluto

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 2 weeks ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

--

I think you'll be pleased to know that I don't think this sounds rushed at all. While I kind of preferred your Round 1 submission in that it sounded more innovative and memorable than this submission, you've actually fixed the repetition issue from your previous track. I mean, it's not entirely gone but since I admit that you seem to cling on to melodies for too long, but at least now you actually have a really fun variation on the main theme with the B section starting at 1:23. Speaking of which, all of your themes are earworms! While this doesn't have the memorable style and mood of the original, it has some lovable hooks to keep in one's memory.

Production is awesome! I assumed since you had to rush this it'd have a bad mix, but there are literally no signs of rushing in the mix/master. Everything seems considerably well-thought-out and care was taken to ensure that there's both dynamic variety and just the right amount of loudness when needed in the master, and the EQing is pretty much spot on since everything occupies its own space in the mix. I would've liked some more highs, but otherwise it's a good mix!

My first complaint is one I mentioned earlier. Your original track had one main theme but it felt like you were too hesitant to include varieties on it. You fixed that in this track by adding melodic variety, but there still isn't enough. I'm not saying this just because of my orchestral background; having the same melody repeated up to four times over simply isn't fun to listen through after the second repetition, especially when your opponent has such a varied track. Secondly, I feel like stylistically this was a little bland/generic. I mean, it wouldn't be much of an issue if I were reviewing this out of the blue, but for the contest where I have to compare you with your opponent, I feel like johnfn took a less safe route and made something more original.

Anyway, as evident by my high score, I certainly don't think the issues detract that much from this. It's a very well-produced piece of music. Wonderful work.

SCORE: 9/10


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AeronMusic responds:

Thanks Step. Yep, Johnfn did make something more original and he deserved to win. I had little time to finish this. So I rushed it (not that the mixing is bad but I could have put more variety and instruments in it...). It is kind of pity.
Anyways, your reviews are so indepth and these are higly appreciated! Thank you very much!
I'll look forward for next year!


ghosts ghosts

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars 2 weeks ago

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.

--

Ever since we've started using the audio playlists feature on Newgrounds for NGADM submissions, I've taken to listening to all of the submissions of a round in the playlist without knowing who made what. And damn, every single time this track popped up while I was listening to the playlist, I instantly KNEW it was made by you. Those smooth lead synths that you use almost like lead guitars with all their solos and pitch bending (and the classic 1:08 johnfn drum roll) are all instantly identifiable as yours, and that style of synths is one of the many things I always enjoy when listening to your music. Parts like 2:47 are simply a gift to the ears. Hell, all your composition is nailed. There's no shortage of likeable hooks in your melodies.

One thing which I think you did particularly well over here is jam-pack your track with loads of different ideas and make them work together for the most part. For instance, you've got an ambient and atmospheric intro, a 5/4 section with wonderful percussion work and then a seamless transition back to 4/4 with this huge soundscape made up of punchy drums, incredible glitch effects, heavy use of reverb and spacey/trippy elements everywhere. The sounds you use to represent these ideas are awesome, to boot. Highlights would be those looming bassy hits at 1:38 and the spacey glissandi at the end. Great stuff.

Now, I know this might come off as a surprise since it has NEVER EVER happened before with your NGADM submissions... EVER... but the mixing might've been rushed at the last minute. I mean, I've come to expect great mixing from you since I know you're capable of it and in your defence this isn't particularly bad, but parts like 2:47 sound messy and overcompressed, the snare was a bit too harsh at the beginning and could've been mixed in better, and the hits towards the end are obnoxiously loud and drown out the other elements rather than accentuate them like they should be doing. Also, yeah I agree the transition at 1:38 is a little abrupt, but man I need to commend you once more on transitioning back to 4/4 so well, so that sort of makes up for it!

Not your best, but still a blast to listen to. Love it!

SCORE: 8.9/10


People find this review helpful!
johnfn responds:

Haha step forgive me! I normally have a only a single weekend to work on these things (i have a job and stuff...) and it's hard! :p it's especially hard to mix under such tight time constraints... Maybe I should just quit my job!

This song was particularly tough for me for some reason. I think it's because I decided to have it be made out of like 3.5 smaller songs. That was tough. heh

Thanks for the thoughts... I will try to leave some time for mixing next time ;-)