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Peace of an Ivory Tower Peace of an Ivory Tower

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Hmm. Not sure what to make of it. It's nice - it sounds pleasantly calm, and I like that. Yet.. I feel like the music could be phrased a little differently. I love what you wrote in the description - I can hear how you've tried to express that image musically - yet I think the music could be better if it were phrased differently.

So what do I mean? Okay well for instance, at the start.. I think it could sound a lot more thought-provoking if you subtly varied the length of the notes. For instance, the intro - the first 3 notes form an initial phrase.. if you held the 3rd note for a bit longer before moving to the note below it, it would give us time to think about what you've told us, musically.. it wouldn't need to be much of a change, just enough to make it so that the first 3 notes are distinctly separate from what comes next, to highlight it, as such. The sort of changes I have in mind, would be very minute, but just enough to make it all a bit more crisp.

Right now this is like a drawing which has faint lines - it's got all the right colours and shapes, but it could be outlined stronger so as to make it really stand out. To be honest this would probably be quite hard to do in sibelius, due to how you have to work with notation and so on. The changes I have in mind would be microscopic, i.e hemidemisemiquaver differences, lol.

Yeah. Well anyways good job, I like it but I think it could be more thought provoking. You have all the right stuff but more distinct phrasing would be nice.

For completeness.. I listened to the original. To be honest, I like it more but only because of the instrument choices. It's more 'full', so I have more to focus on. But I do agree, this is better in terms of structure/theory. This piece evokes a stronger feeling of solitude, that's for sure ^_^

Good stuff :)


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CheckeredZebra responds:

Ha wow, I see exactly what you mean with slight differences happening throughout the piece. I suppose the 3rd note could become a bit longer, but in Sibelius it might look a bit like a mess, haha (adding a tie with a 16th note would be a trainwreck).

I think more dynamics would also help, as that's the only other way to artificially create a "feel" with robot sounding MIDIs.

Anyhow, thank you =D You've given me a lot to think about! Critiques like these are always helpful.


- LD - Baal's Rise - LD - Baal's Rise

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Marvelous. I like especially how it loops perfectly, pretty much.
In the interest of being thorough and critical, I will avoid giving this a 10. As much as I want to, there are several things that could have been executed better, I think [There always is, really.]

In terms of voicing and choice of instruments.. superb.
Structure of piece.. equally superb.
The area that I think you could improve upon, is depth of detail and phrasing.

I might sound insane for saying that as it sounds fantastic yet there are things here and there that could given slightly more detail, which would polish the mix so to speak. Silver is a precious metal indeed.. but even the finest things can be made to shine with more brilliance. ^_^

For instance, the strings could have been panned in such a way as to create a Call/Response effect, So, at 00:16-00:18 I would put the strings towards the left, with the last note panning towards the centre. Then, the next part of the phrase, [00:19-00:21] I would pan towards the right, initially, but moving towards the centre again. The overall effect would create a dynamic, immersive atmosphere that would make the music feel so much more alive. Basically the melody would zig-zag across the mix, tying everything together. I know you did pan the strings at some points yet I think it would have been better if it were more obvious/frequent.

As it stands, this piece is definitely tempestuous yet by freeing up the instruments to wander about the horizon a bit, it would add an extra level of chaos. The result being that it would take people off guard - making the music a lot more potent, overall.

Indeed you made this at 4am which is quite amazing really, considering how well this is made already. Anywho. My idea/point really, is that this piece would benefit from subtle atmospheric detail.

Aside from my inventive ideas - what do I like about this most? Well I love the Brass sections. They're quite delicious! They convey a perfectly sinister mood without sounding clichéd.

Well done ^_^


Breed responds:

Touchee

I did seem to overlook some stuff. It's to be expected at 4am =P

In regards to your panning advice, it definitely is an interesting idea, but I pan all my instruments to be an accurate portrayal of an orchestra sitting in front of you rather than doing fancy stuff.

I'm in agreement though that the atmosphere needed a little more work in general. Maybe a few extra embellishment instruments. A little bit of polishing on some of the string phrasing wouldn't hurt either.

Thanks for the great review.

Cheers!


Windbreaker Windbreaker

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Nicely done. Makes me wonder what you dreamt of; a sentimental place of mystery comes to mind as I listen.
I like this alot. But to me it feels like it could be harnessed a bit more. Don't get me wrong - it's fantastic. But just like the food that goes on a plate might be cooked to perfection, a bit of salt and other various seasonings is always a welcome addition.

That sort of thing, small refined details to season the sound, would raise the quality of this piece from Brilliant, to Superb. A minor difference perhaps but a difference nonetheless.

The timing of when you introduced different musical elements, was wonderful. I felt like a horizon was being sketched out for me, layer by layer. By this same method you could also introduce further details. For instance, a high pitched 'Wa-wa-wa-wa' sound or similar, very faint, as though in the distance, to add depth to the sound, to give the listener more places to mentally explore.

As it is, the rain/cars/wind underneath it all does good job of that. Although, it sounds a bit disconnected from the music itself. By adding minor details like what I've already described above, it would make the music and sfx combine seamlessly, producing a more lucid feel - but perhaps your intention was to create a feeling of disconnection.

So yes. I think it's great, but more variety [At times it became a bit too repetitive] would create an even more evocative atmosphere.

Well done.



Nocturne Nocturne

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Marvelous work; I thought it was very Chopin-Like, indeed. Overall fantastic. I'd have done things slightly differently at times - but that's me, and this is your work, not mine. But, if it were mine..

00:34 Slightly more rubato, right hand louder, left hand more romantic/nimble, to contrast more with what was played before.

1:28 I would have carried on with the chords going up and down the piano at the same time, for perhaps 5 more seconds - a more powerful crescendo could have been attained, which would have acted like a spring board into the latter section of the song.

2:10 You ended the piece here, but I think it could have gone on - a return to the original melody would have been nice, with slight tweaks of course - and then repeat the crescendos etc and THEN end it. Just to give the piece a bit more depth/dimension.

Anywho this is me in my nitpicking mode, I truly think you've done a fine job here; I don't like most of the piano that is posted on here - it's tasteless and sounds more to me like a little kid playing with a toy, but this indeed is not in that category!
Bravo. ^_^


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BlazingDragon responds:

00:34 You are right in this regard. In my mind, I hear this piece being much freer. But this is totally sequenced with mouse clicking and not performed by me. Admittedly, I grew lazy and wanted to move on to a new project. Shame on me. >.<

1:28 Ah, a keen ear you have. My professor actually made the same recommendation, and I very much wanted to extend that phrase. Especially due to how different it is from the rest of the piece, I wanted to give it more time to work into the listener's ear. I tried so many different things, and none of them came out right...I got a bit sick of the piece and gave up in order to get it done by the deadline. Shame again... :(

2:10 I originally planned to make this more like a three and a half minute piece, but I've never been good at crafting long pieces for some reason. A weakness of mine that needs overcoming! I absolutely agree with you though.

The sad thing is that I thought about every criticism you mentioned while composing this but did not address them. That's kind of embarrassing. :p You do provide excellent advice though. thank you for the constructive review!


+Complexity +Complexity

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Reminds me a lot of Olafur Arnalds. I assume you're using FL? Sounds like it, at least. I like the piano intro. Maybe there could have been a pause after it before bringing in the other instruments? It's not my composition, of course, but if it were, I would have let the piano decay for a bit more just to let it sink in, and start off the violin on it's own intro melody, like it's replying to the piano, then bring the piano back in with it's bass riff. That way the music would kinda interact more with the listener before diving into the music. Silence is really key with pieces like this, as the listener needs time to think over what they've heard.. plus it allows you to make each instrument shine more, by having the stage to themselves for a moment, so to speak.

I really don't like the strings that you used for this. They aren't bad, as such but they don't fit in with how the song feels, I think. Those string samples have a generic twang to them that I can't ever get my ears to like. The strings should be played lower.. they play high up and well it sticks out like a sore thumb, we already have the piano playing higher notes, which work well with the violin, why not give the lower notes of the piano something to harmonize with?

Well anyways. As for what I think of the music. I hope I don't sound too blunt when I say that it sounds generic. I think that you could add some more flair here and there so that when I hear this track I'll remember that 'Oh this is Sadface-music's sound' Nothing much, just little things here and there. For now.. it's well made, but I wouldn't really remember this track, if I'm honest.

Well aside from this criticism, what do I like? Well, it's got clarity. I'm not straining to follow the music at any time, it has varying sections so the music doesn't sound like it's running on the spot, the piano sounds nice, as does the violin. I think I'd like to hear more little miscellaneous sounds just to add a bit of dimension.

Well done, regardless :)


sadface-music responds:

Haha, I was wondering if anyone was gonna call me out on those strings... The ones you complained about are indeed fake synths. Was too lazy to use real ones :p Made on Reason 4.0


Moonlight Sonata(Third Mov.) Moonlight Sonata(Third Mov.)

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Your neighbour didn't play this.

I am a pianist. I know what a live recording of this sounds like. I can actually play this song. I studied a midi file in order to be able to play this song. The precision in this file is beyond that which a human could attain. It lacks rubato, it lacks any sort of mild tempo mistakes, too.

Nice try but I don't buy it. And you might try and tell me that I don't know my stuff - oh I do. Try 10 years of learning piano, and having made 3 piano albums, I think I know what I'm talking about. The 10 is actually for BEETHOVEN, not for you.



Disk00's New Life Disk00's New Life

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Very Zelda-ish

It reminds me of zelda, I think it should be in the Video Game section.

The music would work nicely as background music looping in a friendly forest based village/area in a game.

There is part of the music that loops, which is too repetitive and it makes me want to stop listening literally 10 seconds in. It sounds a bit too whiny and harsh to keep my attention. Which is a shame because the rest of the music is fine. The part I am referring too is the melody/pattern that starts at the very beginning and runs the whole way through. If you could change that and make it have more of an airy sound to it rather than a harsh sound, it would be a lot better I feel.

The other instrument choices are fine, and they work well to create a good storytelling atmosphere.


disk00 responds:

Thanks for your input, I never did think about it being zelda-ish. but now that I think about it...yeah.

I kind of agree with your other point with the looping thing. Not sure why I did that? But if you look at my other uploads. ( anywhere actually) Im random as all hell..xD i have no pattern.

I have already removed the original project, ill see what I can do about quieting that though.


Don't Vote Zero, Mon Don't Vote Zero, Mon

Rated 5 / 5 stars

LOL.

I'm so tempted to vote this with a Zero just for ironic hilarity.
But I fear your wrath so for now here's a 10 ^_^


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Hyper-Vigilance Hyper-Vigilance

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

........ EAR CANDY...........

Fantastic.

Yes - it is quite minimal.
Indeed, it is 'repetitive'

But I don't think that is a negative.

It took a while to get into it. I liked how new parts were added one by one, and then taken away one by one.

Every instrument choice was superb. Like an artist, who knows exactly what colours to choose to convey a specfic mood, I felt that you skilfully chose very specific sounds and built up an atmosphere and gave me goosebumps and actually made me listen [Something I RARELY do when listening to new music on here, or in fact, anywhere..]

I like how the rhythms crossed over, too. The syncopation caught me off guard, and anything that does that is automatically pleasing to me.

At around 1:50 it really started to appeal to me, and then at 2:05 or so...

All in all.. fantastic. Why not 10 stars? Purely because I feel that the intro could have been done a bit better, i.e, it could have started off with something very busy and then quickly fade out into silence and then start off with the solitary drum hits, to convey a greater feeling of it being an 'Aftermath' to a Nuclear War of sorts..

9.3/10
-Review Request Club-



M3- Prepare for Launch M3- Prepare for Launch

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Very fluid loop; Needs more constrast of mood.

What went well:
It loops well.
It has a driving force to it, definitely adventurous. Reminds me somewhat of Castle Crushers.
Very fluid. At no point am I left thinking 'Urgh, that transition was clumsy' etc.

Improvements that I feel could be made:
The slow strings followed a rather generic chord pattern - and also the chords didn't have that much depth of tone to them. Some nice deep, rich strings would have been nice. It feels a bit like a cake without a base.. quite literally.
There wasn't much variety in terms of mood. It's all 'EPIC ADVENTURE!' however, there could have been a short bridge that would have more tragedy/drama to it.. this all seems to have more of a 'Yes, you're winning the game!' vibe so to me it is somewhat lacking the total rounded feeling of a true adventure.
Also a bit more reverb here and there would be nice. I.e on the Piano and the Strings.

All in all its very well made,
The Strings are what I would work on the most. More variety = More satisfaction.

-Review Request Club-


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