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well

the guitar riff is pretty neat, but there are some flaws.
the toms have too much reverb, well, thats how they are, slap a compressor on them.
the creash or whatever you used as a hi-hat for the entire song, it seems to fade out and back in or something, messes with the beat.
the snare could use some compression and an EQ boost at about 10kHz to make it a bit louder
the kick, well, is there a kick? if there is, i cant hear it. slap a bass boost on it, as well as a blood overdrive (if this is FL, which i think it is)
aalso, sidechain your ckick with the guitar, not with its volume, but with the 500Hz range of it.
oh, also put some reverb on the guitar/piano before the distortion, and eq the guitar up at 5kHz
the strings are nice too, EQ them up at 15-20kHz

OPQC responds:

agree with the drums. the crash thing was under controll... too loud and the same things u said... (damn me) i did quiet down the snare a little bit. so i noticed that thing now. and there's the kick... but it's so poor one. i have to edit it louder.
yea, i don't use FL. and the every guitars are that piano. edited ones. i could add the reverb there, it's possible, and i think it could be better then. agree.
u noticed the strings? i tought no-one doesn't never hear the strings.
thanks for so good comment! and thanks for those kHz informations. they really help me.

alright

you have a good idea of what a good song has. A lot of echo and tricks used with it. First things first, for the beginning of the song, it came off a little loud. For at least the first couple of hits you may want to slap a filter on it, would really help.
Also the delay you have going off your first 2 instruments, there should be an option to reduce the volume of the initial echo by a certain amount, I recommend you use this. I know you wont want to, but it helps distinguish the beat a little more, and if you want it to last as long, just reduce the decay a little bit.
I notice yes, a lot of delay, but not much reverb, with a song like this, you will want a reverb. Reverb will fill in those empty spaces in the song, and just make it feel that much more fill. Lead instruments will want about 6 ms of reverb, low and high shelf reduced a bit. The more background instruments probably want 1.5 seconds or so of reverb, and have a lot of low, or high, depending on what the song needs at the time.
I really like the high BP'ed echo on that one instrument, I'm guessing its a preset installed into the instrument, i don't care, its awesome.
Your drums are fine for now, very minimalistic, and fits the song perfectly. your high hat seems very out of place in parts, sometimes you need to EQ the shit outta that bastard to get him out of the way, and usually chorus/flanger/phaser it back a bit, adds a nice bit of LFO diversity if you do the latter.

finally, the Slayer. Please don't.
Use one of the string samples, or even the Sytrus, and add some distortion to it.
You will want to DL some different distortion VST's and try em out, one of the keys in your distortion is to not actually distort it too much, just enough to make it sound like a guitar.
i suggest tubeBaby for high high guitars, fuzz plus for pretty much anything.

also, fade outs are cheesy and from the 80's, don't do it, its a trap.

Oh, and thanks for that review you gave me. Probably the most useful review I have ever gotten.

SFaPiL2 responds:

Wow, thank you VERY much. This review's a gold nugget of info. I'm taking notes and trying to imagine where I was supposed to do those things in FL. Unfortunately the demo FL studio 8 doesn't let me save projects so this one's over and done with :'(.

Replying to some parts:

"...there should be an option to reduce the volume of the initial echo by a certain amount... I know you wont want to...": Oh, trust me, if I had the chance to modify this project I would've at least given it a try :o).

Regarding the echo delay and reverb bit, I'm still new to that stuff. I must learn from some tutorial somewhere. I'll definitely keep those tips in mind for future creations, tyvm.

Regarding the Slayer generator. Really? Does it sound that bad? I thought that everything else (guitar-wise) except for the electric guitar in sytrus sucked ass.

Last thing. About the fade out... I ran out of ideas ;o). Consider it was 2:30 AM when I was still on this and said to myself "fuck this, I'm done."

"thanks for that review you gave me. Probably the most useful review I have ever gotten.": I believe that music reviews should help the artist evolve. This review you wrote is the best example of what I aspire in a review I write... thank you.

well

the bass needs to be an octave higher, you dont really want too much below 100Hz, due to the insane amounts of dB it kaes up from your song, eats up all the volume, ans hurts the head.

Arnman16 responds:

Sweet! Ill keep that in mind for next time. thanks for the review!

nice

I can tell you are using some sort of pitch modulation program, what is it by any chance? (dont really care much for the vocoders)
I'm using powerTracks, and it really old, and ghetto, im looking at new stuff.

the panning with the drums is a little much with the minamalistic type of song, though the drum beat IS pretty awesome, and the suble saw is pretty awesome

Arnman16 responds:

Hey! another review? your on a roll. Thanks for the time!
For the verses I used a Pitch Corrector called Gsnap. For the Chorus I used the Vocoder plug in that came with FL studio. :)

wow

to be honest, i accidentally clocked it, the name was dumb, your picutre made in paint makes you look like you are 12, and im impresed by the quality of this song, pretty decent eqing, the bass of one of the later clicky background isntruments is a little high for about 4 hits.
a little too much reverb on one of your lead instruments, but aside from that, i really like it, good job.

yagru responds:

i'm 4

alright

there are 2 different things you could do that could fix this, both involve duplicating an instrument

either make another copy of your low bass distorted thing, or your synth, and get rid of some of the reverb, and eq it high from 400Hx to about 2300Hz
compress the shit out of it, sidechain it to the rest of your instruments (maybe not the synth strings) and then make it come in at around 18 and fade in, to the point at around :37 where it would play that sweet lead tune you got going on there.

heck, i got time this week, i dont know if you wanna give it up, but I wouldnt mind makin a revamp pof it, asnd send it back to you to submit, just put my name in the comments? eh? eh?

i dont know how good i could do, but i think it wouldbe fun to give a try, since your composition is pretty freakin awesome, just needs mixing

LightKeeper responds:

I could give let you have a crack at it if you'd like.
However, I'm not too interested in a resubmission however. I'd probably update this current submission and edit the comments w/ credit given where due to you if you produced a higher quality result. I reall do appreciate the asking to work on this piece. It means I did something right in there.

If you want to talk further on this PM me.

alright

yes, loud is good, but i have actually just learned recently that it isnt as good as i thought (not from you, from testing multiband compressors)

so, first thing i gotta say is quiet it down. The humming buzz synth shouldnt be playing that loud 24/7
pianos in FL cant be raised in volume in any way, cause clipping happens, and clipping definately is happening on the right side of your mix (you can hear it best near the beginning, the scratchy sound)
the song kinda drifts off at like 1:30 and never really comes back, ruining the tune. I do like your drums, quite amazing really, they pull everything together and fit your song.
I dont understand, how is your open high hat so fluid and good? it fits so well
I did l;ike 3:23 on, it was awesome, but again, 500Hz was a little loud, and your phaser coulda been toned down a tad

keep up the good work, and check out my latest song too, woo!

LightKeeper responds:

Thanks a lot for the review. The clipping is something I did notice, but lowering the volume on the piano is not the solution. I'm still learning better mastering techniques and ways to apply them to avoid clipping and getting the best quality out of my music. In fact, the clipping was probably coming from a combination of the piano and that "humming buzz synth." The clipping stops at the end of the track when the piano comes back in. :P

I'll work on dynamics for newer songs. I'm not exactly sure how to quiet the song down and still keep its intensity. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by it drifts off and never comes back on. If you're talking about the new movement I can understand. The piano is really just the intro of the song and the two parts almost have nothing in common other then progression of the scale.

Once again, thank you for the comment on the drums. :) I actually used two drum sets on this song. One is a more acoustic sound and the other is a more electronic set up. I slipped on a blood overdrive and eq'd the set and that's what I get. The fluency of the high hat is mainly due to the rhythmic patterns. I'd recommend listening to Jazz, or music influenced by jazz to get an idea of high hat control, it really does help.

Thanks for the review MusiclsBliss! I'll be sure to check out your latest song. :)

Wow

I love this, it is just so epic, brings me back to the days when I listened to Kamelot, except this isn't corny.

ok, the intro instrument that is high, I am guessing it is supposed to have that squaky pitch shange, but it slightly bothers me, I belive you could find a better replacement instrument for that, seeing as it only plays 10 notes.
at 0:35, the volume fade with the blip effect happens too fast, it should just get silent just before the other part comes in, and it should be a S curve instead of a J.

at 1:16, the slowish breakdown start happening, and personally, I believe thios is too early for that to happen with such an epic song such as this. It needs to have at least 4 more bars of guitars and strings, then go into a breakdown.

C'mon, change that part, and you guys could pull off something better at that part, then you could actually keep doing with the song, you are 2 of the best audio artists on newgrounds!

also, the open high hat sounds silly, and sounds like it is from the set of dance drums in FL library

AWESOME SONG; keep it up

Rig responds:

Thanks for the long review!

Keep in mind that this was the first-of-the-first draft put together a year ago, when we were both still n00bing around. Maestro had just made that thing for fun, and I had added drums unannounced. So yeah, later versions were much more polished, but I can't find my copies :C

That S curve is in the later versions, I know that. I don't know what you mean by "intro instrument that is high"...guitar? Anyways, the intro should be longer, I agree.

The open high hat IS from FL, as this was put together at a time when the FL drums were the only drum samples I had ;P

Thanks for the encouragement!

Alright, here goes

Freakin awesome song, very well mixed in every way, stands out exceedingly well for something that doesnt fill up the audio specturm to 0dB
I am going to try an critique as much of the song as I can.

Birds, wind, flys, bongos, and reverse bongos:

I gotta say, the birds really complete the song, they give a high end fill for the background of everything else, and just help get that loudness effect across, the fact that you actually made them sound good with the rythm is amazing, but then again, you are RIG: the guy who does crazy shit with sounds. What did you do for that wind sound that the birds seem to hide in the background with them, this also has the same effect, and does it if not better. Were the birds by chance just added to hide people from noticing the wind?
I like the random fly buzzing, it adds to the ambience and character of the song. I doubt the song would be the same without it, even if it seems to contribute little.
bongos are an instrument I have never been able to simulate or use ever since I pucked up FL (like 3 years ago now). I have tried many times, but I can never get the feel of them, or figure out how to utilize their dynamics. You have demonstrated how awesome they really are and that I must learn to use them in music. There was one note of the bongos that I didn't like, at around 0:03.90 or so, it was much higher than all preceding notes, and sounded sharp, but then again, I am not a bongo expert. The reverse bongos really add to it, I have always liked reverse snares in music, they really pull you into the beat without distracting you from the melody, your drum arranging skills are amazing.

bassline, drum progression, trumpets, piano:

I love the bassline, it is quite, not generic, but as if it could fit into any genre of music if it felt like it, i quite enjoy it, and I can tell the EQing of it has changed from your original version, now it seems to onl;y be around 90Hz opposed to over more bandwith. I really enjoy how well the bassline fit into the existing bongo beat, i love it.
The drums coming in are quite nice, I guess because they were the original beat from the song. The drum roll into it was pretty good too. The kick sounds low, but it it really takes up alot higher frequencies than that, That was probably the first thing I noticed about this song. Also, the snare has alot of power, yet doesnt stand out of the mix, I'm guessing this is a result of good EQing, compression, and use of chorus (maybe not chorus, might just be the sample used) But I would really love to know what eq range you used for the snare and kick. The high hat, is pretty high and loud for what I would expect as well, because I didnt even notice it for the longest time, it is quite there, just unnoticable, I cant figure out why, maybe cause of the bongos?
I've never really thought into trumpets either way, but listening to this makes me realise how awesome they are, I downloaded soro's trumpet packs. It sounds quite awesome, but is also pushed just to the point of clipping, but I guess that is what has to be done in such a case. The paino was also vvery well done, in a great minamilistic adding way, I have never been much good with pianos, as I always try to turn it into techno.

breakdown, and further progression of the song:

I gotta say, my favourite part of this song aside from the bass, is actually the rim hit in the breakdown, it has its little introduction beat, and then oncorperates itself into further parts of the song, in a very beautiful pattern.. that has only 3 hits, I always overdo all my beats, so I always add to much, but this showed me how less can be more, I really gotta work on that.
Coming back to the original trumpet tune was quite nice as well, but I havce a major complaint from this end part, which is actually what inspired this review, here goes:

THE CRASH, it bothers me.
Ok, so Im out of characters remaining, lost my last paragraph, so i will be blunt.
The crash is going on too long, and the compression has too quick of a return, causing it to fade in off beat......

Rig responds:

Wow, thanks for the amazing review! I'll try to respond to all your points.

Ambience:

I never had any intention of lining up the birds with the beat, I suppose that's a nice little side effect. The birds and the wind are separate samples (with the flies coming in the wind sample) and I did some high pass filtering and stereo separation to both, to blend them in the background. I added birds not to cover the wind, but to set the ambience.

Bongos:

The bongo loop is another sample, actually, and I ran it through an automatic drum arranging plugin called SupaTrigga, an extremely popular free VST. Some more stereo separation and EQ gave it its own place in the mix.

Bass:

The bass, again, is another sample loop, pitched down and eq'd into obscurity. I tried to recreate the sound with synthesis, but the bass plucking has a live feel that I couldn't reproduce. The bass in Mihai's trumpet solo part was arranged by him, actually - he sent me .wavs of that whole section and I mixed them into my instrumentation.

Drums:

The drums are a mixture of my own sample arrangements and a couple drum loops to fatten it out. So the snare is actually four or five different samples, run through extensive EQing. All the drums run through the same compressor - Compressive Pro (free!), on the "Punchy" preset, I think.

Trumpets & piano:

The samples Mihai sent me were clipping, so there wasn't much I could do there. I did EQ a lot of the highs to give a warmer sound and to take the edge off the louder parts. And yeah, Mihai's piano arrangement is amazing, eh? I wish I knew how to do it :P

Breakdown & crash:

Thanks for the info! Yeah, that crash was giving me trouble - it's part of a different drum loop, and I didn't want to take it out because the rest of the loop really worked well with the song. So I tried my best to do EQing and stuff, but I guess there's still work to be done.

Thanks for all your feedback, it's really amazing to pop online and see stuff like this. :D

WELL...

the thing that confused me the most is why the entire set of drums had a completely different mix than the instruments. It wasn't just the style, as that fit really awesomely. I think it was mainly the types of reveb used on the drums opposed to the (absence of) reverb on most instruments, or delay. The orchestral instruments were very lacking, and even if real, sounded like midi with maybe a tad of reverb.

EQing was aweosme though, instruments could have taken a bit from the high hats for the most part to equalize the feel. Im really curious on if you made the beats yourself or got samples somewhere and maybe spliced bits maybe not.

nubbinownz responds:

i really do appreciate your review but one thing that kind of irks me a tad bit is that the drums had no reverb on them except in the bridge. The beats I made myself.
and unfortunately as we don't have an entire orchestra just lieing around we had to use synthesized instruments :( but either way, 7 isn't bad and thank you for the review.

poop

Shane Jensen @MusicIsBliss

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