All 1,112 audio Reviews


Counterbalance (Bandstep Remix) Counterbalance (Bandstep Remix)

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Writing is good. As usual with Musescore, sound quality could really use work. This writing is far improved from your earlier pieces. I'd still like to see more harmony going on, and not just parallel moving octaves and 5ths! That's your biggest weakness. Also, the transition to pianissimo dynamic was a little unexpected. Develop that some more, if it takes a couple more phrases, w/e.

Again, you're showing a lot of promise, but some of your choices transitionally show a little inexperience. What I'd love is to hear an ensemble play this so I can hear more than the synth instruments projecting much less than you've actually written.



Desistance (Original Mix) Desistance (Original Mix)

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Danceable, but could use a little more compositional variety. I realize house is sometimes antithetical to that, but what makes a good song is not the genre – it's the defiance of that. I'd like to see some of the chordal tones you exemplified in that drop hinted out in the buildups rather than just a drone. Speaking of, your use of an otherwise tame sample is well mixed, and your treatment of the bass is well done. I do feel like the track as a whole is really overcompressed and fattened. The bass feels like it's clipping. Try to minimize the frequency conflict between your kick and other instruments. Side-chain can only do so much.

I also feel like it's side-chained a bit too hard. There seems to be a lot less flow than you intended with those nice pads. Kick is also very tame to be side-chaining as hard as you are. I'm hearing a thwip rather than a thoom or a thump, if you catch my drift. It doesn't really fill the room.

Good work, though. This is certainly within the realm of dance floor blow-out.


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KaixoMusic responds:

Thanks for the great feedback!! I'll take everything into consideration in my next song, which will be a Future Bass I think :D

EDIT: Nope, no Future Bass... Complextro.


XS - Aurelius (NGADM '17) XS - Aurelius (NGADM '17)

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Lots of very synthy sounds, like your guitar, which detract from otherwise pretty good production. I feel like those vocal chops could come down a bit and your drums come up. The hat feels a little dry. The wubbings are pretty chill and satisfying but need some more presence against the guitar and other elements while present. Drums are also just a little bit too subdued. I do laud you for not sounding like everything else I've heard in the past 5 years.

The harmonics on those vocal chops had me scratching my head for a second. Composition in this piece seems well structured but also very restrained. It could certainly be much more rhythmically binding, interesting, and varied. I hear a lot of the same. This is a popular convention of the chorus, but it doesn't really live up to the hype. Also, could use just a bit more compression, me thinks.


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Neurobop Neurobop

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Right off the bat, I really don't like that piano hammering on the same note. It's obviously synthy. When it drops out, it's also a little excessive feeling. What follows is some pretty lit DnB. This is the style I prefer, honestly. Sax and piano could have gone far, far, away during that drop, and I would have been very happy.

The writing and FX on the piano after are not bad by any means other than a little bit of corny synth business. The piano and sax just feel like they should be much less present in the drop and a lot more ethereal, panned around, or w/e as an effect rather than a center piece.

The more subdued verse is not bad by any means, and they don't stick out here. I had hoped for a 3rd drop. That bass though – a marvel. Superb. Rest needs fine-tuning.


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5TanLey responds:

dunno, in this type of music I don't even try to make real instruments sound "humany", it gets lost in the master compression anyway

and piano and sax are really part of the main drop groove, couldn't be very ethereal

thanks for your words :)


Gravity Slam Gravity Slam

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Sounds like there might be some tuning issues here and there. Also, drums sound very thin and synthy. They're panned well enough, but could use some more FX. Solid riffs, but it feels like it's really missing a solo laid overtop at some point. Mixing on the guitars is also really muddy. Also quite hard to hear the bass. At some point it starts to sound really garbled to me. Drums also seem to be hiding in the mix a bit. Compress them harder! The cymbals are only really audible because of the frequencies, I feel.

I can also hear where it sounds like the bass and guitar are mingling and clashing around the 200 Hz range. Need tighter mixing on the guitar.

The whole piece just feels like it's not tidied up. Sounds like a backing track. Ending was well executed though.


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TSRBand responds:

Thanks for the tips! Will definitely have to keep them in mind for the future :D


Endowment Endowment

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Strange sound palette here. I can tell that these choir synths aren't organic from the extremely sharp attacks, but when padded, they aren't much of an issue. The violin sounds quite thin and synthy, but it seems to be doing its job. Drum mixing is really hurting you here with these patterns. They're starting to overshadow each other in their pensive droning. Need to be panned out a little more, pushed back in the mix somewhat, given a little more dynamic contrast.

Actually, ignore that for a second. Your instruments are overshadowing your percussion shortly after they come in. I really want to like this piece, but that sudden style change was really unexpected, didn't flow well, and loses the charm of all of the above. It comes off as trying way too hard with the synths, even some wrong notes here and there like at 3:05. The drums are all very dry, soulless, and lacking in punch. Compress those suckers. EQ them well. Bring them up in the mix. They sound like tepid water.

Sax coming in with the piano for a unison solo then fading away struck me as odd. That should have been repeated once, then slooooowly faded into the next phrase. Your brass samples are also abhorrently weird. Better mixing and attention to attack would have helped them sound more natural in relation to – there's that wrong note again at 4:52. Pay attention to your chords and resolutions Ectisity! Would have been so much better if the brass were more muted and pensive. It sounds like you're trying to bring something up that isn't there as is.

Also, that ascending raindrop transition annoyed me. Why so heavy on the right ear? Why not delay and pan it alternately?

This piece is an amalgamation of a lot of instruments, sounds, and styles that just refuse to work together, piling on top until it becomes obnoxious. If you had spent more time on each section rather than trying to cram 4-5 different styles in, it would have been much better. The transitions were weak and forced. Leads were glaringly flat and un-dynamic, sticking out of the mix rather than soaring and flowing. Certain instruments were overly synthy and inauthentic sounding. Wrong notes every couple minutes took me completely out of the jive, and style changes felt so superficial – not to mention the drums were crushed through the EDM genres and magnified to the point of absurdity in the classical/world genres.

A lot of inattention and self-pride went into this piece, and I can feel it the whole way. Humble yourself. I don't want to hear Ectisity's ode to self and skill. I want to hear emotion and movement. Remember the power of FX, panning, reverb, delay, and other simple FX. Also, make sure your leads and harmonies are out of the way of your bass, which I could hardly hear for all the cheese laid up in the heavens – leads.

Key change was fine, but that sax felt so overdone, I had lost my attention by that point. Also, different FX felt like adding more cheese. I just really do not like your leads and harmony. The synths are so flat and distant from the rest of the mix. I could have gone without the guitar tone, really, as well as a lot of the other flourishes in this piece. It's fairly well written, but I just sincerely did not like your execution.


Ectisity responds:

All your comments mixing wise makes sense, and the drums are something several people have pointed.
The "wrong note" you keep pointing out is not a wrong note imo. It's off key, but I added it there for the interest. Might not have worked as well as I thought.
The transitions are a bit too sudden at times, had some trouble getting them to sound good. i'll work on that.
Please, I really, really appreciate the feedback, but be careful when you label others work as "self pride". I tried to be original with this, not feed my own ego. I didn't want to make a dime-a-dozen piece, so I tried to make something special. I respect the score I got, and I really don't care too much about me not getting through, but it's a terrible thing to tell a musician to "humble yourself" instead of respecting that they tried to be themselves. Was this piece overambitious? Absolutely, what I gunned for is something that still beyond my abilities, but that doesn't mean that I'll sit on my arse and make safe "emotional" pieces. Music is more than just emotion and movement. If you feel like this is my "ode to self and skill" then every track I make from now on will be exactly that. Also I guarantee you that no form of "inattention" went into this piece

I'm got to emphasize again that I'm not complaining about the score or the critisism, but telling a musician to humble themselves is something that's just too ridiculous to be written in an elsewise really good and serious review, and I really hope that you won't be telling other people the same.

Thanks for the feedback, I really do appreciate it :).

Ps. Can't stress enough how much I appreciate your detailed review. I ended up writing a lot about the one thing I didn't like about it, but that's only because I felt like it's important to point out for future reviews. I never get offended by feedback, and I really don't want it to come off as you insulted me or anything :/.


Rushing into Deepness Rushing into Deepness

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Opening textures are interesting, with an olskool feel to them. Breakbeat? Nice. Although that bass feels a little flat in comparison to those strings and highs. Needs more grit. I am appreciating the chord structures, as well as the hi pass play. One of the few instances of where it's tasteful. Unfortunately, there is just so much high and mid going on, the track feels extremely top-heavy, no matter how tastefully arranged.

I'm not really enjoying how we reach the end of our piano phrase to come into such a slow and empty buildup. It does pick up later into some good breakbeat with piano overlays every now and then to accent. I can hear some intense focus here, all centering on our tonal anchor. Still think that piano should have been panned hard left and right rather than so centered. Your bass is your focus, or should be. It's very muted in comparison to the drums and even the occasional percussion panning left and right on beat 3. I felt like the strings and rhodes that came in later were in the space where the piano should have been. Piano just takes up way too much space in the mix. It should sound farther off to blend better with the rest of the track. Rhodes were also a bit too loud.

Enjoyed the track as a whole. Felt shorter than it really was.



Seres Seres

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Very soothing, with the exception of your lead sort of shrieking at first. I really appreciate the mixing on your drum kit here. However, the lead and everything else overshadow it just a little bit. Remember, the drums must be the loudest offering. Also, got some wicked clashing on your low end caused by that really long note tail.

The glitching made me think my computer was clashing, which was disconcerting. Using it as a transition however was a very nice touch. I really like what you've done here. Still think the drums could stand just a little more punch. Kick could use a bit more high end, but my were those solos satisfying!

Parallel motions here speak to jazz. That lead could come down about .4 Db or just have the mid taken down. Boy, am I on a pensive journey here. This may be my favorite out of all the tracks I've judged so far – not many. The room for thought here is much, and it doesn't hammer me with the same idea over and over. One complaint, the stick click could be a little more organic and perhaps stick out less if it had some delay – a little less high end.

And here we are with the main drag which propels us into another satisfying solo section. This is relaxing, beautiful, and nothing is really sticking out. Mixing could be a bit clearer, but your ideas are well-executed and play nicely together. I'm jealous of your ability to weave all these seemingly contradictory ideas together. I was not ready for the track to be over.

Pros, piano mixing – very organic, solo sections were fluid and progressed the track, harmonies didn't stick out over the lead or the bass. Cons, drum mixing could have been just a little cleaner, more precise, and less jerky at some points, but it never really took away from the piece for me.

Superb! I wish I could keep this one forever.


1f1n1ty responds:

aaaaaaa everyone thought it was shrieking when i don't hear anythinggg

also for the glitching maaaaybe i should have considered only glitching some of the sounds

hey thanks for bringing the train like you said you would wait that sentence should have came first

Dang, that's the best stick click I have. Just got it, thought it was better than all my other ones, used it. Any suggestions for better stick clicks?

Drum mixing, my old friend. Frankly maybe I should have considered sidechain, cuz I don't think I used it. At all. Eh it's probably a crap ton more than that

Pianos are one of my strong points I think. They're actually pretty hard to get wrong


War and Peace War and Peace

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Do I hear.. foley sounds and birds? Hmmm... Suddenly plunged into artsy little plucks, nicely panned. Pensive piano. Everything seems to be in about the right place. I think I hear some tapped drums. Singing is surprisingly organic. Reminds me of Final Fantasy in a way, some of the tracks from FFXIII-2. I really like your presentation and the deceptively simple arrangement. Cello line was fantastic, despite minimalism.

Chorus section is quite beautiful and well-mixed. This is going in my favorites. I don't think I have much critique to offer you.

I especially like your 7th chords. Unsure if I hear a 9th chord. Also, not picking up a Celtic vibe. Am picking up a native American vibe. I admire your subtleties through this track. Keep those close at heart.


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Codename: Tom Selleck (NGADM '17) Codename: Tom Selleck (NGADM '17)

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Writing was on par. Progressions standard for the genre. Transitions well done, with the exception that I did not like the sudden cliched glitch for coolsies before the last chorus was nailed home.

Mixing on the other hand is subpar.

Guitars are very flat. Rhythm is buried. Lead meshes in with the rhythm so that it's hard to pick out where your melodies are coming from. There's not much use of melodic space note wise.

No soaring highs, crushing lows, or full use of what the sonic space has to offer. Actually, the lead sounds so much more muted than the rhythm, it made it hard to pick out the pick noises! There's practically no treble to your leads, yet the rhythm is hot on the treble. As a result, the leads sound like they're hiding in a dark room while the rhythm does the hard work of driving the track -- rather than the leads soaring above and LEADING.

I also didn't like the section at 2:00. Really showcased the next area of weak mixing/production I'll be discussing.

Drums are totally buried in the mix, ESPECIALLY cymbals, and all the instruments are flat. Also where are the toms? As slow and ponderous as the drums are here, the lack of them for fills REALLY shows how empty the writing is. Snare sounds flat and lifeless too.

Drums need more compression overall. The only instrument I can really pick out is a poorly tuned snare with a serious ringing overtone that clashes with the key of the song.

Kick is also very tinny and lacking in meat. Compress it. Apply EQ. Kicks shouldn't interfere with your bass frequencies much at all, though.

Speaking of bass, it's almost non-existent here. Remember, the purpose of bass is NOT to be replaced by low-tuned baritone guitars, but to beef up the rest of the track and breathe life into it. I can hardly hear the bass at all. No pick noises, no nothing. Don't hide your bass! It's better to have it too loud and have to turn it down later than missing it almost entirely. I can hear it just on the edge of perception, and that really bugs me. Some of the best metal has a prominent bass line, which it sounds like you've shoved into the corner here.

Think about that. It's the same as if you'd made your drums virtually inaudible. You'd rob one of the essentials of the track!

Finally, this piece as a whole does not excite me, move me in any particular way, or impress me. These are things I already know I can expect from you. The song itself has all the excitement of a backing track for an emo band ballad. This is not to say that it's bad or completely boring, or even without merit. It's just missing something.


JDawg00100 responds:

Thank you for the detailed review