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The intro piano sets the mood very well along with the rain. Simple and sweet. I loved the snare and kick drum although the hihats are a little too loud. It would have been cool if you added a second melody to this. Since you lost your project files, maybe take your most recent work and expand on it? Recreate this and add to it!

Good job!

Just had a listen to this to find out what all the noise is about. While the composition is interesting, the production is all over the place. Nothing fits together in the track, some is too loud or too quiet and you turned stuff up instead of finding a space for it with the EQ. That's a bit amateurish. Furthermore many of your instruments are playing parts that are quite unrealistic. When does your flute player get a chance to breathe or are you trying to kill them? Do you want your string players to die of boredom or do you want them to live up to their full potential? Plus the way the flute is mixed it sounds so muted and flat. The percussion in the build up doesn't even sound like it's in the same space at all, especially in the final few seconds.

Don't ever make a fuss over your score like that in public again. It's poor sportmanship and immature. If you want respect, get better and prove everyone that you can do it. You'll get knocked down over and over until you can learn to stand of your own accord.

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
This is a really powerful piece of music that builds and builds. I really enjoyed the melodies, feeling and "epic" feeling but a few things bothered me...

The introduction is lovely and gentle but introduces the theme well and leaves a lot of dynamic room for the louder section. You used all the instruments effectively, the way you played with the polyphony of the strings was very pleasing to me. They payoff at 1:30 was awesome and a huge highlight! Super powerful.

Sadly my experience was marred by the drums not quite fitting in with the rest of the mix (louder and in a different space to the rest) and the strange glitch(?) at the very end. If it's not a glitch then it sounds completely out of place to me and if it is a glitch then it needs to be fixed!

The feeling I got from this piece was greater than the sum of its parts. Congrats - I really enjoyed this.

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 8
Production: 5 (glitch and drums)
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 9

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
I found the intro had a lot of impact! Sadly the rest, in comparison, doesn't quite reach the same height. The intro reminds me a little of the intro to Mass Effect 3 when all the ships are blowing up around you as the Reapers kill everyone. The instruments sound good and are well mixed so it's warm and coherent.

The composition is interesting even if it relies on the very "trailer" typical sound, you've used it to make something different. I found myself getting a little... bored?... in the middle, leading up to the final buildup.

Tells a story of struggle, coherent atmosphere but sadly I wasn't drawn in. Maybe it's a bit long for something so consistently high energy. It could have benefited from a leading melody at times too. To me, it was more background music.

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 8
Production: 8
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 6

AceMantra responds:

Hey! Thank you for your time!

I know what you mean about it not having much impact. The intro is definitely where I put most of my creative juices into, and if time was no obstacle, I would have done the rest very differently.

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
Breath of fresh air! Brooding, contemplative and warm, I can listen to this over and over.

Wow this is lovely. Subtle and melancholic, the intro which chills you followed by the warmer piano and deeper violin. That was a stunning transition and you prepped the listener well. A very well written piece that had enough variation, rhythms, melodies and masterful playing to keep the listener engaged throughout. I really got into this one. Occasionally the violin is drowned out, especially in the louder sections where it plays lower notes but this is so minor I won't drop a point for it.

I can't fault this piece anywhere really. Congratulations!

Comp/Prod/Enjoyment 10/10.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you for the review, as well as for the high score! It's nice to see that you along with others enjoyed my piece. I was a bit worried that the style wouldn't be fully appreciated.

I admit to having some difficulties balancing the piano and the violin, especially since both are so dynamic (and play across many registers). At the same time, I don't think perfecting that is the most important part of the piece, since the melody, progression and emotions are in focus. I definitely want to get better at these kinds of things in the future though!

Good luck judging the next round, and thanks for keeping the competition alive ^___^

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
Thanks for trying to submit something despite difficulties you had. I think this track did suffer from the last minute approach but it's better to do something than nothing, right?!

From a production perspective, I found the intro sounds were shocking and harsh and heavily on the right. This wouldn't be a problem if it was short term or was balanced with something else soon but it happens for most of the track. I even checked and you can see in your DAW that it's not balanced, right? Didn't it annoy you? It did me.
Furthermore, because the backing didn't fit the heavy drums and strumming, I had trouble working out what you were trying to do. More ambient or dubstep? This didn't really do it for me because until 1 minute in you still hadn't made up your mind about the direction of the piece.
I enjoyed the vocal sampling and use of the stereo field in the louder parts where it was more balanced once you had introduced the strings on the left.

I think the rule is to remember that people like to look at things they hear and if something's constantly in one ear only, you're creating psychologial dissonance for the listener and it's not comfortable. Always balance your audio unless it's done on purpose.

From a composition side of things, I can see a distinct structure to the piece and the melodies fit with the feeling and backing. I think you could have made it more interesting with more variation but it works either way. The break down with vocals and strings was really cool.
The final section was a great pay off for the track, where everything came together and you could see how it all fit. Good job with that.

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 7
Production: 6
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 4

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
A lovely emotional piece which builds up nicely, lets the listener rest then builds up further. Mostly well produced, atmospheric and warm.

This built really nicely up from the gentle strings with many layers which complimented each other well. I enjoyed your choice of instruments and felt they fit the themes and melodies they played. I feel the break at 2:45 didn't quite fit and broke my immersion.

As usual, the production is pretty good with most instruments having their space but as usual, also, I feel a few didn't quite work out. The drums didn't quite fit the mix as they sounded like they were recorded in a completely different space. The soft spacey strings/synth (wide, in the left ear?) didn't find a space in the mix either. You have to be super consisted with your choices of reverb. If you're not sure something fits, mix all the instruments in pairs and then in bigger groups starting with the instrument you feel is the foundation of the piece. For example in my metal tracks, I find the drums get eaten up so I mix against the drums - bass and drums then guitars and drums then vocals and drums, then I do bass, guitars and drums, etc. until everything has a place.

I know I always criticize your mixing, I'm sorry. u_u It's easy to say that this is a very well composed piece of music with a consisted and powerful theme. I hope you can continue to make progress with the mixing side of things!

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 10
Production: 6
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 9

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
It seems I enjoyed this a lot more than some of the others so here I am to share my thoughts on why I believe this was the stronger track in this group.

From the start you've caught my attention with cool sounding synths and percussion which opens up perfectly. You've fully prepared the listener for the next section which delievers. After that, you continue to change it up but at no time does the piece lose its flow which I find super impressive. This is a great example of transitions done right.
You've included so many different themes and ideas in this that there's always something new to hear, a new texture to discover, a new bass and rythme line to tap my foot to.
Furthermore you've peppered this with the occasional slower section to allow the listener to rest. The only repetition I heard was useful to help build the theme.

In terms of production you've mananged to marry so many different types of sounds from synths to brass among others and it sounds super coherent. Nothing takes over the rest. A very balanced mix which isn't too loud or harsh in any way.

On so many levels this was a really impressive track that I genuinely enjoyed. I'm impressed at the attention to detail and amount of work that went into this.

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 9
Production: 10
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 8

endKmusic responds:

I'm glad that you did. :D
This one sarted as a sound design experiment actually, wanted to focus on things like that, but couldn't resist some of the orchestral sounds + fast beat. That's pretty much it.
Thanks for the review and compliments, this one really did took a while to finish. :)

--- === NGADM Round 1 Review === ---
I'm a big synthwave fan and I can hear lots of things I like about this piece. The mystery and longing of the genre is here in spades.

The track sounds good and definitely fits its genre. Sadly it really suffers from trying to be too loud, I had to listen at 2/3 usual volume! At times the compression pumping is too obvious because of this. I also saw that you mentioned side-chaining. I don't think I'd use side-chaining for this genre, it really needs that consistent baseline that would be eaten away at by the drums in that situation.
The drum kit sounds great even if it is drowned out at times. What kit did you use? You also said you couldn't use each sound separately. Did you consider making a track just for the kicks and mixing that?
I love the warm bass and the synths are tasty.

Your track was interesting throughout for a synthwave fan. You have written cool melodies and created a coherent atmosphere which I genuinely enjoyed (I wish I could download it!). It's super catchy and I love how the melody plays with the rhythm. I enjoyed the extra details at times ("AH!" or something? Choir pad? Brushed metal?). It sounded really cool and added a lot to that section.

Over all this is a really cool track that simply suffered from some production issues. I enjoyed it a lot though and I would like to hear more like it. Feel free to send me demos if you want advice on mixing in the future.

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 8
Production: 4
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 8

---=== NGADM Round 1 Review ===---
I really enjoyed this piece, I gave it the highest score among all the judges so I'm here to defend it!

Starting with... WOAH INTRO DAYUM. That was one hell of a start, felt like one of those boosted rollercoasters. The subsequent break-down and build up sounded awesome also. I feel you used texture really well in this, marrying the more classical sounding instruments with the gritty electronic ones. Credit where it's due, that's not always easy to do.

Production is very good as everything seems to fit in there EXCEPT for the low mids which were fighting - the drums and the main synth need a little more work there. Also, TURN IT DOWN. This isn't a night club and I feel at times you sacrificed clarity over loudness (1.09 for example). You made very good use of the stereo spectrum with a nice wide mix.
Despite the loudness, I enjoyed the use of dynamics to break up the monotony. (3:49 - HA! Nice.)

There was a definite theme to this track which I feel was mostly portrayed through the piano sections with the more distorted parts being the action the break up the monotony. A battle of huge proportions happening around an intense drama. As much as people hate the films, this sounds like it was made for the Transformers film franchise (and you have to admit, they get their FX and sound design spot on).

Scores are weighted so that comp and prod are 75% of the score:
Composition: 10
Production: 9
Enjoyment, atmosphere, replay and all the other odd stuff: 9

Guitarist, singer, mixing nerd, fox appreciator, teacher, peace-loving hippy. Currently travelling in Japan so I am without a microphone.

Sam @MetalRenard

30, Male


Joined on 9/19/12

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