Recent Audio Reviews

small steps worth taking small steps worth taking

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

This is a beautiful moment in time.

People find this review helpful!

Our Nostalgic Days [The Archer Girl Ep.6] Our Nostalgic Days [The Archer Girl Ep.6]

Rated 4 / 5 stars

* This is an official 2017 NGUAC review *

I'm such a sucker for orchestral fusion. Which is probably this one earned a coveted FINN M-K FAVOURITE <3 badge! On to specifics...

Mixing, mastering and production: My main criticism here is that some of the instruments sound a little robotic and too obviously virtual. This was evident mostly in the orchestral instruments, and especially in the piano. The "easy" way to get better sounds from all of those instruments are to record them live. If that's not an option, you can always buy more expensive vsts. If that's not an option, then we must rely on mixing skill. Very careful use EQs and reverb plugins are your friend here, as well as editing the velocity of the notes that are being played.
When a pianist is playing a piece, she's not hitting the keys with the same amount of force on every note. She sweeps, there are highs and lows, and even in sections that are all designated one dynamic level, she'll have slight variations in her dynamics - because she's not a robot. Also thanks to her human nature, she will make slight timing errors. Nearly no pianist plays every single note perfectly in time. So if you want to get real-sounding instruments, make sure they sound good with EQ and reverb. Then, make sure they sound human with velocity and timing editing. Give them slight errors in timing, slight volume changes in which notes they make loud and soft.

Otherwise...pretty solid. The percussion sounds great. I could have maybe used a touch more bass umph from the kick.

Composition: My only real note here is that despite the pleasant surprise of the dance-y percussion coming in, things were generally...pretty predictable/kinda cliched. Besides the percussion, there was never an element that stood out as being very original or getting away from the tropes of modern symphonic electronic music. We've got the lone piano at the start, the swirling strings throughout the whole piece, horns blaring loud notes, and a key change 2/3 of the way through. There was never a use of an instrument that surprised me, you know? Every time an instrument was used, the played what they are stereotypically good at, instead of striking into bold new territory.
My only real recommendation here is to be ambitious. Be bold, be brave, forge into new musical realms and above all push yourself. You have the skills to create something great, so get out your comfort zone and try something brand new.

Keep on keeping on!

People find this review helpful!
jessieyun0404 responds:

Hi FinnMK,

Thanks so much for such detailed review! It means a lot to me, and it also gives me good motivation to push onto. Thank you very much for this. NGUAC has given me great hope, joy and also a lesson of music creating. I'll keep the great advices in mind, and move on forward.

Thank you so much again,

Tropicool (NGUAC KO 2017) Tropicool (NGUAC KO 2017)

Rated 3 / 5 stars

* This is an official 2017 NGUAC review *

My reviews come off pretty dry, so first off I want to say I liked Tropicool! Now on to specifcs...

Mixing, mastering and production: To sum up my thoughts on this account, everything basically sounds good. From here on it's just a point of improving all the little bits. I don't think I can offer better advice than to say just keep mixing and keep working at it - I think you have all the foundations in place, and over time you'll fine-tune them.
One bit I can say now is to make sure that all your instruments sound like how you want them to sound. What I mean by this is that in Tropicool you have a lot of basic sounds - piano, claps, hi-hats, kick, etc. - that sound like they're simply presets. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, could be a stylistic choice, but if you want your mix to shine it's really got to sound original, like you hand-crafted all the sounds. So carefully EQ and reverb all your instruments, as well as select the instrument sounds carefully.

Composition: The main thing that was lacking for me here was solid melodic content. You had some melodies, but to my ears they were largely instruments playing chords that happened to be at the forefront. If there were some distinct repeated sections were a great main melody was featured, I would have jammed so hard.
As I mentioned above a bit, having a lot of sounds that are very common lost you some points for originality.

Otherwise, one thing you could try is to surprise the listener. If I'm listening to a song and it goes in a different direction, or a brand new kind of section comes in, then I'll likely be pleasantly surprised. It also keeps things interesting.

Keep on composing!

death2go responds:

Thank you i will take note of what you said for future songs!