I'm sort of disappointed you didn't tell me this was FINALLY out, but I'll try not to bias my review :')
Okay so! I absolutely love that flute at the beginning. Yes, both of them. They're so perfect, the way they interact with each other is right on. I really like the swell transition, although personally after that I wouldn't have put in the harp in the background, or at least not the lower pitched one! I think it counter balances too much in the bass area. Or is that the guitar? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't have put a plucked string in there. I'm not sure what though, maybe some air instrument? I dunno!
The melody is just... hmm, how could I describe it? Majestic! That's the one. Everything just works... how do you do this?! D:
The lower part right after with the guitar melody, I always wait out for that one. Every time it's just so chill but it has some sort of energy to it, it's weird! Bagpipes fit great, though I think the mixing could've been a tad more balanced (less bagpipes, more guitar!), but maybe that's just because I love that guitar so much :p!
When you start hitting those glass mallets... wow! I'm running out of adjectives. Melody comes back in a softer, calmer tone. Slower... zen. And then those strings! The waves hitting in the background. The little chimes. I don't think I've heard this much attention to detail from any of your songs before. This is a big "step" forward! (sorry I couldn't help myself -- IT HAD TO HAPPEN OKAY)
All in all, it's great. I do think there are minor flaws but those may just be personal taste. Besides, you've worked on this for so long, you deserve to release. I remember when this was just an early prototype, it has evolved so much! I'm so glad it's arrived at this state. Please make more, this is amazing. You are amazing!
Oh man, I read this review like five times over, I liked it so much. Thanks man!
The woodwind at the beginning is more specifically the Jubal Flute VST by Embertone, along with a piccolo by samulis. They definitely do work well together.
I wouldn't remove the harp glissandi. I timed them with the movements of the character in the animation, and I think they're pretty nifty. I see what you mean about the lower-pitched harp though (that's actually a guitar! :p). I personally like how it sounds but I definitely think I could've made it a bit less bassy, since I didn't intend for that section to have so much bass.
Hate to toot my own horn but I actually really like the melodies I wrote here. I'm proud of them. Glad you like them too!
That guitar section is pretty neat, yeah! I was dying to continue it, but in the animation the character instantly lifted off for flight again after that brief moment of tension, so that guitar part was unfortunately short-lived.
I'm glad you like the slower section too! I never thought I was that good at writing soft music, so I'm always insecure about the quality of them.
Ooh, style points for the step pun.
Anyway, thanks for the awesome review.
I really like the tone of the track. It sets for an energetic feel, which is sustained by some epic melodies playing on some really nice instruments! I really like the way it's all put in together. It all works very well, I enjoyed it! However, there's still room for improvement.
Melody-wise, it was perfect. I don't think it lacked anything. The instrument variety was there, it kept things interesting. I liked the way the acoustic guitar and piano came in to create counterpoint at those very moments. It all works beautifully together.
Something that really bothered me is the mastering. The low frequencies all seemed mushed together and it made everything sound very muddy. I think you wanted to create an effect of power, however here it doesn't really work. You seriously need to EQ them out a bit! I think they are clashing with your double bass, too. I could barely hear it!
From what i understood however, you recorded a lot of those instruments yourself right? That's awesome! I loved the tremolo on the violins. They just add so much so musical compositions, yet a lot of people seem to forget about them! I don't really have a whole lot of money, and being a student, I lack time to learn how to play these instruments. If I ever do find it, I most certainly will! For now, I mostly work digitally. I think it's awesome you're playing all the instruments live! I saw the video and yeah. Awesome stuff.
My only suggestion at this point is you try and work on your mastering. The mix was definitely muddy and didn't sound crisp and clear as one would expect. Lower the levels on your drums, make them a tad higher on your violin, add some EQ to add some sparkle (try it on instruments and percussion!). Mastering is though, you'll need to keep a balance while also trying not to squash away the dynamics. I'm still learning too, don't worry! The more you practice, the better you'll get.
I think you did a wonderful job on this. Definitely needs some work on the mastering, but globally the piece is well thought and well put together. Props to you my friend~!
Hey Thanks for the review! I really appreciate it. You are right about the EQing/Mastering on the track being the main weak point (along with a few sharp notes here and there).
This was one of my first multi-track recordings where I used almost all the instruments I owned (along with some brand new ones like the flutes and the french horn) so there was a lot of experimenting with how to record those things and mix them. It was my first time mixing a massive song like this so it was very hard. I still think recording, mixing and mastering is one of the things I should work on but I can also see improvement in my newer recordings so its going somewhere :)
Thanks for the review and tips :)
This is some pretty interesting stuff! I randomly stumbled upon this song and I must say I really like it! I'll try to leave a constructive review, but please take my review for what it's worth: it's my opinion and only mine! :)
From the first few seconds, a beautiful sense of happiness radiates from within. It just... shine. What else can I say? It feels happy~ and warm. The few notes that come in that arpegiated pattern really give it an upbeat feel.
The song was pretty well structured. It had an intro, a chorus, a breakdown, a second twist on the chorus, and an outro. Nothing really felt out of place either, perhaps the main synth (00:17) was a tiny bit too heavy for this kind of track, but that's just my opinion!
Speaking of synths, I really liked the synth work. They just gave that feeling of happiness, and very well, too! I enjoyed the multiple synths coming in from both sides to play harmonising notes. I also felt it was a bit short... not too bothering but still I wished it was longer!
On a whole, this song just screams out: life is great! My personal life was pretty... shaken up. I had lots of issues and up until recently I haven't been feeling too great. I am currently recovering from wounds, and your song, even though it was small and minimal, helped me brighten up my day. So to that, I say thank you.... thank you.
Thank you very much for your review! I really liked a lot of the things you pointed out, like song length and the synth being too heavy. I'll definitely take all those into consideration for future songs, so thank you very much again! Constructive-ism-whatever is the best. ; )
And I'm so glad you enjoyed the song. And I'm even more glad that it's helped brightened your day somehow. : D
While I really like the track on a whole, there are a few issues that bothered me on a whole and kinda ruined it for me in the end.
The composition was nice and fluid, it's energetic and packs quite a punch. It's coupled with some powerful synths that bring you right into the action. It's simple, fast, and elegant. Loved it!
One problem I have with it is the mastering on the main synth. I think it's highs are waaaaay too overpowered. It felt really strange! In fact, the whole track felt like that at some point. I personally would have toned down the highs a bit, it's especially disturbing on headphones :S
Another thing I didn't really like was the snare. While I didn't really notice it right away, once I spotted it, I couldn't focus on anything else. I feel like it's a bit low but also slightly out of key and clashes with the rest of mix, I would probably have gone for a slightly higher-pitched snare, although considering the amount of high frequencies already present in the mix, that could also have been a problem.
Aside from that the track is... good! Aside from the mastering which I found to be a bit harsh, I really liked it all. I know I'm no profesional and my opinion is probably not worth much, but as my friends like to say, any advice is good advice! So there ya go~!
Challenging for sure!
I enjoy experimental music, I think the only way to get somewhere is through breaking the rules and conventions and trying to bring something new to the mix of existing genres! This is not exactly the kind of music I'd listen to on a daily basis, however I'll try my best to review fairly, a promise's a promise right? :)
Also, take this review with a bit of a grain of salt, as in, take it for what it is: another's musicians thoughts on this song. Don't take anything I'm about to write as something to follow or to apply without hesitation; I'm just stating my opinion, nothing more, nothing less :P
Even though it sounds chaotic at first, it's actually pretty well organized, drums seem to follow some logic, which is nice to hear. I liked the guitar taking over the bass and drums, it gave an interesting twist, enjoyed that!
I felt the song was a bit repetitive, I'd liked to have seen more harmonies come in at some point, maybe some very light piano playing low notes could have fit, although that's up to you to decide, it's your song after all!
Mixing-wise, it was fair. I agree with both reviewers below, the drums need a higher presence, the atmosphere you have present is nice but seems very bass-oriented, some more prominent drums and cymbals would help bring the mix up a notch. It also perhaps lacks a bit of spice in the higher-ends of the spectrum, but that may be just me :0
In any case, overall composition was good, needs improvement for sure, but it's already got quite a lot of value and definitely has potential. I like to throw in inexpected elements into my songs when I can, it sets it apart from others and really makes it shine if used right, which I think you accomplished quite well ;)
I'm a bass player, most of what I do starts from the bass, so that explains some bits.
Will try to address the repetitiveness, at least make things clearer for the section starting 1:43.
You have very fair points, I'm just afraid to touch this thing again because it was made in a brilliant moment of inspiration, and I'm afraid ever touching this will ruin the general atmosphere and what the song means for me, as it reflects an interior state I had at that moment.
But I will try, this is my craft after all...
Thank you very much for the review!
It's good, but it has a lot of issues which drag it down quite a bit.
Before I start, let me tell you I'm no expert, just a home musician trying to make some stuff, composing is just my hobby! Also, please note this only reflects my opinion, therefore don't take me for the ultimate critic :)
One big problem I have with this track is the overall feeling of this song. I feel like the whole track is very empty. While you have several layers, I can hear every single instrument playing, it doesn't feel like you're at the orchestra with a full esemble playing right before you, and to me this is very important if I want to make cinematic music. There are a couple of tricks to fill in the empty space: first, add some more layers! Make sure you don't leave the softer brass out (basoons, horns, tubas...)! Try using plucked instruments (a harp?), some more unconventional instruments (a harpsichord, who knows, it could work if you put it very lightly there), or maybe some more percussion (tribal percussion would be nice here!) or you know, anything, really! Go wild, experiment, and see what works and what doesn't. Don't be afraid to try out new things, you can always roll back your changes if you don't like them!
Another issue I have is with the drums, while they are often used in cinematic compositions, I'm not sure if they are entirely needed. Perhaps they are a little bit too present to my taste? When the big hall kicks came in, I felt like they took over everything else. They should probably be a little longer too (try adding a reverb effect if you have limited samples), and feel like a base to support the other instruments.
Melody-wise, it's good, even though those are some very overused chords, they fit, even so I feel like on a whole it's a very repetitive experience. I felt like there should have been a chord change somewhere to highlight a different idea instead of keeping the original chorus. I liked your breakdown at 0:55, too! :)
Another thing I would personally have changed is the arp, it feels very repetitive and would be a lot more interesting if it changed somewhere along the way ;)
Again, I'm not expert, only been composing orchestral for the past 2 years as a hobby, nothing more! Don't worry if you can't grasp everything imediately. Take your time to listen to your song throughoutly and see what you like, dislike, would change or remove about your music, and keep doing that. I have about 3-4 unreleased ideas that are on the verge of completetion, yet I am not feeling they are quite done yet. Maybe I'm a little too much exigent and demanding with myself, but that's just me! Point is, keep experimenting, and keep listening to your tracks. Don't haste yourself to release things, because that will only result in something of lower quality.
Another tip to improving your skills are just to listen to other composers! If you want to have a solid base I suggest you go and hear some compositions by people such as Mozart, Bach, and other more contemporaneous artists like Two Steps From Hell, Ludovico Einaudi, and others! These are just some of my favorites. But don't limit yourself to that! Listen to everything you can, even if you don't like it. I feel that to have a good understanding of music it is important to have a very varied music library to listen to. I like orchestral, but I also like drum and bass, I like jazz, rock, ska and raggae! The more you listen to, the more versatile your compositions will become. Take influences from other genres to enrich your own songs, that's what I like to do! :)
In any case, the song is solid but really just lacks in several areas.
I'll be following you in the future! If you have any questions feel free to reply and even send me a PM when you do, I'll gladly answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability, I'm always looking for other musicians to talk so if you ever feel like popping by! :)
Good luck, and thank you for your contribution to the portal!
Thanks for your advice!! I dont have the music packs yet as im still using the program samples, but i definitely understand what you mean. I am missing depth and i will learn soon enough!
Your students must be so lucky! I can only dream of a teacher composing stuff for us :3
The song reflects a pretty careless state of mind, going on with life as if nothing mattered, just moving on, day after day, and keep going forever! It sure brightened up my day! :)
The reason I didn't give it a perfect score is because, even though it is a loop, I wish it was longer! I would really have liked an extra minute or two.
The arrangement is pretty seamless, it loops properly, and it stays cohesive throughout, even after the little surprise! Nothing feels out of place or context. It just works.
I also liked how the drums were mixed with the rest, present but not overwhelming, and how you managed to keep the guitar upfront instead of it being muffled by the rest with that extra brightness on the high ends.
Overall, everything flows really well to make a really cohesive song structure that brings new elements along the way, and even though it is a bit short to my liking, it's pretty awesome. Thank you, thank you! :)
No, thank YOU! Your review is very insightful.
Alirght, I promised another review, here goes! Keep in mind I'm just another musician and I'm not meant to be taken as the ultimate critic for things, so please take this review as it should be taken: a mere reflection of my personal opinion :)
Before I start, I must say I really like those piano chords: brilliant! They drew me in instantly :D
While the bassline works, it's too low. You've got a slappy bass that plays in lows, but you've also got those piano chords playing real low. This gives a weird feeling to the track which I'm not sure I like. That arped synth helps bring back the balance a bit afterwards, however I'm not sure on this one.
I find the drums to sound a bit more electronic than analog: one problem with them is that they're all played with the exact same strength. While this may be good in some cases, doing it with real instruments (like your rides here) makes it sound like it was made from a computer, which highly contrasts with the piano in the background which sounds very natural. This is fine, in a way, but then again it also sounds very systematic and inversely, not very dynamic. Try adjusting the velocity of those drums (especially the hats and rides!), throw in some randomness, and see if it works better! :P
The electro part was fine, maybe a bit boring to my taste. It feels kinda bland and doesn't really make me want to stand up and dance myself off. There's not much change in the way the notes are played. One thing it also misses is a subbass as a base, right now you've got a lead kinda floating in the air. Adding a bassline will most likely help consolidate the track. Be careful to mix it properly too, you don't want to hide the kick or to make the whole track sound muddy!
Overall, I felt the track was long. I was bored after a while, there's nothing too new coming in and lengthens the song quite a lot. If you can avoid duplicating the structure and patterns to double up the length of the track, it's best not to. You've got to keep working to find the sweet spot where the track doesn't feel so long that you want to stop it midway but not too short that you don't have any substance: the perfect length, where you'll want to keep replaying it over and over again!
I like this, but it's still lacking! Keep working on it, you'll get there! ;3
I'm quite amazed! This is brilliant, to say the least. Everything feels in place. There's an interesting sense of light anxiety all throughout the song which give it a weird and unsettling tone.
The piano is simply perfect. It has a simple but well laid-out melody. It sounds a bit muffled and dark, adding to the atmosphere. With the addition of strings later on, the song gains another layer of contrast which really manage to elevate the track to a completely different level.
The drums... wow! I must say those are probably the clearest drums I've heard in a while. The mastering was really professional. They rendered beautifully on my monitors... nothing to add.
I enjoyed how the song also manages to make you feel that pinch of loneliness, of a monotonic, boring, and perhaps melancholic life, forever drifting away into a sea of nothingness. I haven't heard a track of this caliber from you in a while... kudos to you!
Overall a very solid track, simple, engaging, stunning. I must say I really enjoyed the very minimalist approach. Very, very good. You really deserve your five stars!
Thanks lemon42. I'm glad you liked it, it's definitely a different turn for me. I like making this sort of stuff, but I don't like the fact you can't dance to it! :D
I noticed like the fellow reviewer below me that you unfortunately went by unnoticed. Came by to pop in a review for you!
I haven't played Majora's Mask either but I have heard the original before, and I must say holy cow! This is magnificent. I find your take on it rather interesting. I mean, the original starts all dark and dissonant, and has very harsh and odd-sounding synths and instruments playing. Yours on the other hand has taken the melody apart and completely shifted tone on a lighter, calmer version. Kinda surprised me!
I can't really criticize much on the composition side of things as well, this is video game music. However I must say that your version of it truly shines.
One thing that I'd love to see though is a longer, extended and polished song starting from this. I mean, you've got the original copied and remade. Now, try bringing in your own melodies and giving it that extra flavor that will really set it apart from others!
Looking forward to it!
Hey lemon, you are awesome! Thanks so much for reviewing this. I'd love to try sometime to add more to it, that's a good idea. ^_^
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