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Very, very nice.

I like how you made the music merge into the background and drift back into the foreground every now and then. I feel the only improvement that could be made to this is that there are several points where more advanced rhythms could be used to great effect.

[The rhythms you already have are fantastic, don't get me wrong. I just sense room for improvement & development.]

I like the choice of instruments; The track is well balanced, no instrument is too loud or too quiet, everything sits well in the mix.

To me this is a 9.5/10 however there are no halves so here's a 10 instead :)

Well done.

J-N-R responds:

Thank you! I do believe there is lots of room for improvement. Unfortunately, when I spent a lot of time on a single piece, I get lazy. I was basically stuck so I decided to just release it.
Almost all the effects (Trance lead, trance pluck, bass, regular lead) were made by me in 3xOsc. I think this song proudly introduces 3xosc true capability's.
The mixing is something I have been really working on. I'm glad to see I am improving!

Thanks again for the review, I really appreciate it. I will now go listen to your music :)


Funky & Smooth.

Alrighty here goes. It is good - yet with a few more additions and tweaks I feel it could go from good to great so here goes! :) [You've got the main part of the musical dish served up, I'm just going to make suggestions on how to .. 'garnish' and 'season' it to make it that much more delicious :) ]

First off I feel there could be a few more instrumental additions here and there. The instrumental variety doesn't really develop - musically speaking it is like running on the spot kinda, or rather, driving around the same neighborhood repeatedly. I'd love to hear some other instruments to contrast the texture/mood, for instance, vibraphones, wooden blocks, and other percussion. Perhaps even some SFX because it's Video game genre and well I'm not too familiar with Megaman etc but if there are any SFX you can incorporate then I'd do that and see how it goes.

The notes played stay around the same sort of area too. The melody lines need to break out of the same octave more often. The bassline gets too repetitive, even though you use variations, stretching it out a bit more [a few lower notes here and a few higher notes there] would provide more depth to the music and take the ears of the listener to more places. A bit like creating hills and valleys in a landscape, it gives a lot more depth to what you see.

I would like this music to surprise me more [That's how games feel, good ones are surprising so I'd like the music to reflect that.] , so I feel that it would be best to increase the variety of the Structure more. I.e, have more varying sections, i.e patterns like intro/ABACDABAF/outro [where each letter denotes a different style of section.]

Good parts -> The instruments you have so far are very suitable. The rhythms you have, are great, brilliant even. [There could be a bit more variety of rhythm though. Some strange changes into 3/4 or 5/4 etc would be worth venturing into. ] It has a great game feel. The music has good flow to it, there are a lot of nice ideas, nice variety of patterns and so on. The volume of each instrument is perfect, each instrument sits well in the track and doesn't over power any of the other instruments - which is very good. It's a well balanced piece in that respect.

Instrument Choices + Volumes/Mastering is a 9,
Rhythmically I'd say this piece of music is a 9,
In terms of Melody I'd say it was a 7,
In terms of Variety and Structure I'd say it was 8

9+9+7+8 = 33
33/4 = 8.25

Hope that helps!

alfraydo responds:

hope that helps? man you have no idea how much this really does! Thanks for your critique!

so I get what you're saying on variety, and I agree with you. something I can definitely improve on in later submissions. I usually strive towards balance, and thank you for the compliment on that. I understand I should have more "surprise moments", something to catch your attention. I'll get to work on that. More depth, more variety, more 'garnish' and 'seasoning'!

Thanks again for such a well-written and lengthy review. I appreciate your words of advice! I shall whip up a much more tastier and delicious musical dish! :)

- alfred -

A few things to tweak here and there

The wind instrument [is it a flute? I can't tell if it's some sort of ocarina]
cuts through the mix and should have a bit of reverb put on it. It's too sharp compared to the rest of the sounds.

When you took the melody line down an octave or two and used a synth to play it, it sounded a lot better. [at around 1:07]

I like the beat/strings etc most in this. I feel like there should be an extra instrument included somewhere to provide a counter melody.

Also I think the beat would have benefited if you made it so that the lower beats had a bit more of a punch to them.

Overall I feel that a bit more dynamic variety would make this go from good to great :)

MeteorManMike responds:

Never was really pleased with this one. I couldn't make it sound like I'd planned as some grand, soaring orchestral piece, so I settled on more of a march/dance version. If I ever get around to extending/perfecting my work, this one's on the docket.

Thanks for reviewing!

The Music needs more focus & clarity

Hey :)
Well you want to know what's good & bad so.. here goes.

The Good:
00:42-1:05 - This is pretty cool, feels like the music is going somewhere, feels like it is telling a story - an adventure somewhere. The instruments chosen here are very suitable, the dynamics are nice and musically this section is pretty flawless.

1:46-1:53 - I love the piano here, it is my favourite bit of thie piece. It blends in very well with the other chosen instruments played along side it i.e the choir and whatever other instrument is in the mix at that point [I can hear one but can't tell what it is for certain]

The Bad:
The Intro - It's a bit slow and drawn out, the choir is a bit too... 'messy'. Either the choir is playing too many notes at once here or the piano sample used isn't the greatest. Something that has more definition to it, would be best here. The choir sample doesn't really have shape to it, it feels a bit foggy and it doesn't really add musical quality to the piece at all. Maybe a Male choir sample [an Ooh or Ah one.] would be better.

The piece as a whole doesn't really feel like it has much direction. It feels a bit lost. The choir drowns out lots of the other instruments too. Also sometimes the chords used are not ideal, either .. for instance at 00:36 the strings use a chord that is really conflicting with the feel of the piece.

1:15 - 1:18 this beat just feels really out of place and doesn't fit in at all. Also, the intended effect [to have a nice crescendo] doesn't really work.

1:12-1:15 the chords used here don't match the nature of the music at all. They sound out of place and furthermore they have a negative impact on the music.

The music is rather disjointed, like having lots of different puzzle pieces put together incorrectly - each piece on it's own works in its own right yet when put together there is a clash. There are times when the instruments you use do not work with the music at all. Like, the instrument that comes in after the piano, it's too sharp.

I really loved the piano bit and the other section that I mentioned. I can sense a lot of potential in this piece of music but it needs to be refined, focused, and given more clarity. There is a lot of variety too, but you need to develop an ear for what works really well - if I was you I'd have taken the piano bit and the other section and really develop them since they have a lot of potential and if you stretch them out a bit you could get a lot from them.

I hope this helps,
All the Best

Raymoclaus responds:

Thanks for the review MrMusicalLion, however I disagree, you liked the piano part but I think that that sounds out of place. Your probably right with the choir, I was making them do 4 note chords at the beginning, but when using Musescore I only get one choir sample, that is "Choir Aahs".
That "sharp" instrument used was the celesta, I agree with you there, but again Musescore doesn't allow sound editing, it is simply a scoring program.

What I was thinking while making this was an introduction to an epic game, where the parts in the major key i.e. the parts you didn't seem to like, would relate to things like castles, properous land, friendship between al living things etc. and the parts in the minor key such as 0:42 - 1:05, the part that you did like, would represent evil, dark clouds, a nefarious plot stirring etc. I think I fit that description well but that's probably just me but I do value your critique.

If Santa Claus was James Bond..

..I imagine that all the bad kids wouldn't get just a lump of coal for christmas ^_^
Haha, this piece really does remind me of a Festive version of James Bond. It's good stuff for sure, even if you accidentally made a tribute to 007 :P

Right, now for some insight for you to take as you please ^_^
I think this could be used perfectly for some sort of Adventure Puzzle game, i.e something like Professor Layton on the DS.

My only qualm with this piece really is that some of the instruments are slightly too sharp. For instance, the strings at times could be a bit more softer to maintain this magical atmosphere. They might need a slight bit of reverb on them to make sure that the 'tips' of the notes are dampened slightly so as not to intefere with the general gist of the piece. :)

I also love how it loops - fantastic really!
Well done; brilliant work considering also that it is your first full-length piece. ^_^ I am sure this will get used somewhere or other..

MeteorManMike responds:

LOL, I'll never be able to listen to this the same way again... Wasn't even thinking about Bond, but there you go.

Adventure puzzle is exactly what I was thinking of. Probably a haunted mansion or old castle. Everyone is absolutely free to use this.

Reverb on the strings... Sounds interesting. I might try it later.

Glad you liked it, and thanks for reviewing!

Great use of Strings.

Oh those Strings are gorgeous. Spectacular execution of emotion :)
The Flutes are slightly too loud and sharp, I think they should have been made slightly quieter, in my mind I imagine that they should be close, yet distant, much like the way that when it is dawn, the birds in the trees seem to be everywhere at once yet nowhere to be seen.

In truth, I would say that the Strings part is worth a 10, the rest of the piece varies in value, the beginning I would say is an 8. The way you introduce instruments is also very well done.

Fiddle around with the volumes of each track, this piece would benefit from a bit of balancing.

Second of all, I feel that there could have been a bit more musical variety, vary the flavours a bit more i.e lead the chord progression down some interesting side paths, add a bit of drama here and there, to provide emotional contrast. You sort of did this at around 2:00 to 2:16.

This piece is very grand and elegant - it sounds to me like it would be a great piece to be played at a 'Fairytale' wedding, for instance.

Also the bass notes at the ending should be a bit more prominent, to provide that 'This is the ultimate conclusion' feeling, a grand summary of the music. A good climax in music rounds up every part of the music that has come before it, in some way, it brings together all the melodies/harmonies/flavours etc as one. I am sure you know this already though, and I am probably just reminding you here ^_^

Well done :)

gOrc responds:

You are giving me some helpful suggestions here and I will remember them creating my next piece. Criticism from a experienced musician is the best I can get, so thank you for that!

Heart Warming, indeed. :)

Was this an Improvisation? It feels like it is one.. anyway.. I will just review this bit by bit.. forgive me if the review is not spectacular; I'm feeling quite ill right now :( Any critique I give is not intended to be harsh, but instead, I hope it will help you develop. :)

Before I start I'd like to say that your playing style and the feel of this piece of music remind me *Alot* of a piece of music by a composer named Randall Leonard.

Search 'flutterbys 1 by randall leonard' in youtube.. if you want the youtube link, let me know and I will message you it.
Anyways, without further ado..

<Parts that worked very nicely>
00:42-00:50 great depth to the music here.. rich tone, expressive.
01:21-01:31 ^ same as above <- this bit is wonderfully played, I must add.
02:29-02:43 Here the music feels like it's really going somewhere.. it sounds like someone is in a summer meadow, watching the grass sway in the wind.. very beautiful.
02:54-03:13 The right hand here, the melody, it has a very .. heartfelt feeling to it.. almost a longing for someone/something. The left hand could be improved here though, I think.

<Parts that didn't work well or could be improved>
00:00-00:42 .. here, the Left Hand was really basic and I think that the saying 'Less is more' could have been applied for this section.. to get people into the flow of the music I would have played slow chords to begin with in the left hand, and then sped things up by changing to an arpeggio like you did at 00:42.
01:06-01:11 here the chords you used betrayed the feeling of the piece, i.e I really felt like they didn't follow through with the emotional 'direction' you had been moving in from the beginning.
01:51-01:54 again, as above, this sound feels very out of place compared to the rest of the music. It's like having Sugar with Mash, i.e a complete clash of flavours.
02:15-02:19 ^ as above.

To summarize,
Pros: Good sense of dynamics, when the music sounded nice - it sounded *very* nice, nice flow.
Cons: Some parts of the music used chords that really didn't match well with the rest of the piece. Also the Left hand was quite repetitive in places.

:) Hope that helps.. in any way.
I would recommend that you take the parts that I mentioned that were good
[especially 2:29-2:43] and make a new piece using those parts as the initial building blocks to work from :)

Good luck! :D [And well done.. ]

mjattie responds:

Hello MrMusicalLion, first of all I want you to thank you for listening so carefully to my improvisation (yes you were right about that ^^) I don't find this review harsh at all, though, I do not agree with some parts of it. I listened to the song of Randal Leonard and I think it's a really nice song, and I certainly can hear similarities with my song, though I think the feeling is slightly different... I'm not sure how to explain... I think mine is somehow mysterious and his is melancholic.

So let's get started on what I agree about and what I don't agree about:

I agree that the left hand is repetitive from 0:00 to 0:41 and the solution you offer is a very good one.
I do not totally agree that the chords from 1:06 to 1:11 betray the feeling of the piece. I tried to make a variation to the theme, but it was not a very good one, I agree.

I agree that the chords are a bit strange but I think that they do not really clash with the feeling (I actually think they create the feeling or something...). I actually wanted to use those chords, because I was experimenting with them...

Though I thank you a lot for this review! It's certainly nice to hear someone's opinion about it :)

So far so good..

#1 The Bass line to this is superb. Gave me goosebumps. So much power is in those low notes, I can feel it.
#2 The right hand kinda confused the feel of this piece. The reason being that most of the time you wasn't varying the right hand enough.. the part where you started to vary it was at 1:03 where it worked very well.

Try to 'echo' the mood/feel of the bass line, in the right hand too. That's what I feel is the current issue with this piece. Currently the two don't match that well.. it's like putting sugar on your dinner by accident, instead of salt. Very similar but the flavour is far different. I would have a lot less notes playing in the right hand for this piece. I would play a single broken chord and then play the chord as one, i.e if it was a D chord, I would do D, F#, A, followed by the chord altogether.

The reason I say this is because the Bass line leaves me in deep thought - and it works well - but then the accompaniment over the top is trying to make me race off - but truth be told most of the time I am trying to forget/ignore the higher notes and just listening to the bass, that's what really carries this demo so far.

The Bass line reminds me of Beethovens Moonlight Sonata, in some ways. In fact this piece reminds me of that moonlight sonata quite a lot.

Well done indeed. :)

Musical-Memoirs responds:

Moonlight sonata is one of the pieces i love and can play
started learning the piece when i only had a few months piano experience (a little bit stupid because its a way too hard piece, now with around a year experience still shouldn't try such pieces)
but well... even though i never learned it full yet i ended up being able to play the first 2 minutes in a beautiful way
not more then logically that some of my own compositions end up being in the same style XD

i still want to do way more with my right hand to make it better then just repeating the same chord over and over in this piece... sadly im not really skilled yet, so many thing have to wait till i improved at piano playing and composing
but im really happy that the bass notes really do what i intended them doing

hope to get as good as you are, hearing your music makes me wonder how long it will take for me

Relaxing, although, a bit repetitive.

The part that was a bit repetitive was that instrument melody/riff that begins in the intro.. it is very nice, yet when it's repeated so much I found myself getting bored/irritated by it.

Good parts to this.. the choice of instruments, the feel of the piece, the quality of the samples used, the clarity of sound etc.
Improvements that could be made.. the choir sample was a little off I think. I don't know, it might be worth experimenting with different ones to see what works best. It felt a little bit out of place compared to the rest of the instruments used.

Anyway, I like the calm nature to this piece. I think it would be worth going through it again and expanding that original riff so that it doesn't get so repetitive.

Good luck, well done :)

AndersKlint responds:

Thanks for your helpful advise. I agree with you that the main melody is a bit repetitive. I'll try to add some more progression to it. I'll also experiment with the vocals a little bit, I went lazy on them and used the same notes as the bass. I think I'm going to make the notes for them longer. We'll see.

Emotionally Rich Buildup & Release

Seeing as you reviewed my pieces, I thought it only common courtesy to return such kindness :)

First of all - I love the flute at the end. Oh it's gorgeous. I am speechlessly envious that you have one, and can play it. It has a very haunting feel to it, a brilliant way to end.

I gave a 9 out of 10 - so what can be improved, you might think? Well, when I listen to pieces like this, I sort of get a feel for what would give it more of a 'cutting edge' so-to-speak.

I think at the beginning, if you added in a low, 'wind-like' slightly distorted synth [that plays very low deep notes & fades in gradually] you would add this nice bass layer to the whole piece - it would add a very subtle feel that would work brilliantly I think. It would also set the tone of the piece nicely, since the beginning sort of feels like there is a 'gap' in the bed of sound.

In fact the sort of sound that I mean, is the one that you used from about 2:30 onwards :) [I just noticed that on the 3rd listen through.. xD]

All in all, well done. :)

Rottenbeard responds:

Hi MrMusicalLion, i'm glad that you enjoyed one of my older pieces of music. I do understand what you mean about the intro, this piece was made when I first got into stringing together some orchestral stuff, I basically knew nothing at all about what I was doing and kinda just went with it haha, there are many things i'd change and improve if I were to ever revisit this short track, it was a fun learning experience though, and I appreciate the feedback on it!

As for the flute? Get one! Seriously, Native Indian flutes are incredibly easy to play and are also comparably cheap as far as instruments go (paid $40 for mine I believe off ebay, hand made by a fellow there who makes them for a hobby). They're absolutely beautiful (or) haunting sounding depending on how you play it and what key you buy one in. I believe mine is in the key of D if I recall correctly.
I know absolutely nothing about playing flutes (being primarily a guitarist & drummer) and within the first day of owning one, I was able to play it with relative ease. They're fun, too! :)

Anyways, thanks for the review!


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