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Okay, for one, the song is NOT in A harmonic minor, because if it were, the bassline would actually reflect it. It's not even in the old or modern musical modes. It's F with a whole lot of dissonance.

That being said: you certainly did create a dramatic effect with this song. The dubstep was subtle, I guess, compared to other dubstep songs I've heard, but it's still there. And I like it. It's different somehow. I like it subtle, and not in-your-face, because it means that you have to listen carefully. There are no mixing issues, not to my ears anyway, which means everything is a matter of just listening and appreciating.

There is a general sinister feel to it, what with the consecutive 5ths you use. If the Matrix were made now, I could see this fitting right into the trailer.

Slight complaint, which doesn't otherwise gash from the enjoyment of the piece: percussion at 4:00 or thereabouts feels neither here nor there, but you manage to bring a sense of direction back with the rest of your piece.

JordanKyser responds:

A Harmonic minor is the C scale with a G sharp. The bassline mostly reflects the scale. The main notes I used were B, C, F, and G sharp, but I also used the rest of the notes in the minor scale (mainly in the leads).

The percussion at 4:00 is supposed is sound like ship landing (first bang), loud blasts (rest of the bangs), and stomping on puddles (those sounds that sound like short crackling).

One problem I have had with my songs was that mixing issue, but this song seemed to not have it to exist.

I was actually inspired to create this when I was messing with one of my Touhou remakes that I am currently making (I put three random notes: F, then E, then G sharp).

The only thing that was bad was the first 5 seconds (the limiter did work, but the square-ish lead grinds your ears a bit). The limiter I used work well afterwards.

During the third drop, I split it into three parts: that part around 4:00 (the most cinematic feel in the whole song), the build-up, and the actual drop.

Anyways, I put the most effort into this song than any other song that I have made.

There is a late 90s, early 2000s vibe to this intro, which I like. But as Squeegee below me said, this could do with being more progressive. That intro was long, which may not be the best thing unless you're gunning to be a Mike Oldfield. ^_-

1:20 or thereabouts sounds fun, but not much different in terms of buildup / loudness from the intro. Nice to see a little bit of sparkle kick in. Just feels awfully long, yet again.

2:10. A bit of a pullback from previous sections, which is nice. You pull back even further at 2:40 or so, which is okay, though I'd appreciate a bit of a pullback on the drums as well.

At 3:10 I have heard the exact same melody and chords as at 1:20, and it gets tiring. There is no variation, and for something which is meant to be long....

3:30 really adds a layer of tension, which is nice -- and should have been there early. And when 3:57 kicks in, that's a nice length of time if you will. Only complaint I have around there is that bass is peaking badly in my headphones.

4:40 sounds like it's not sure where it's going. The melodies and countermelodies are darting all over the bloody place.

5:00 onwards should have been earlier, as well.

I mean, the general complaint I have is that it's a long song, which means for it to be kept interesting, it needs to be decently varied. It isn't. Transitions take awfully long from one to the next, and even long pieces a la Mike Oldfield have been sufficiently atmosphere-changing. This one isn't. The same chord progression for nearly all of the piece, for 9 minutes and 50 seconds, really wears me out. And I mean, it's okay when it is video game music, but even then, it would be sufficiently varied because otherwise, it just pisses listeners off.

Listen to the house songs you really like. And I mean, REALLY like. Notice what is good about them. Not just musically. Notice where certain sounds come to the forefront, and certain others are pushed back. I know remixes and actual EDM songs that can be 9 minutes or so long but still, it has almost the same appeal as popular music in general: a great deal has to be done to keep the listener hooked into the dance.

Spikrin responds:

yes i know, this is one of my older songs, better ones coming soon!

I don't know what to say about this one. I can understand why you picked the title, especially with the sound quality given by the synthesisers you used here.

However, this song seems to go all over the place. I'm not even sure *where* it's going, melodically, or structurally. Chords clash with the melodic synths a lot of the time that it winds up being a little abrasive on my ears. The drums lack that little bit of oomph, and that really high-pitched synth is really screeching. These things can be really obnoxious after a while. I'm not sure what to recommend here...

Spikrin responds:

yeah its only called that because i didnt have many title ides at the time, maybe i should've stuck with my old name

You have nice opening chords, and I only noticed the snare coming in at :29, quite softly. You build it up quite slowly, and when it does come on, it sounds alright I guess. Intro sounds a bit bare, but OK.

The drums' frequencies are encroaching on the rest of the mix, causing it to be muddy when it appears. Otherwise, everything seems to have its proper place at the moment. I don't know if it's an issue with where you pan the instruments, EQ or sidechaining -- but that could be any one of those.

Nice bass, by the way. Nice wobbles. At 2:14 they sound really really milky and nice.

2:38... sounds a bit dissonant, I guess. Some notes are clashing with each other, F and E, or semitones thereabouts.

3:25's wubs sound quite dark and scary, so the title is quite fitting. I could have sworn it was a monster under the bed doing that.

FyreDrakon responds:

The drum frequencies are a problem with Fruity Limiter. Sorry 'bout that.
Thanks for the feedback, though. The intro really is bare, didn't notice that.
I don't know about 2:38, it sounds fine to me. Is it perhaps 3:38 that you're talking about, because it's dissonant there and the dissonance is intentional.

The intro, I will honestly say, I don't know how well you EQed it (it doesn't sound so at 0:29 onwards), but it really gave me chills down my spine. The minimalistic nature of it kinda helped.

1:00, there, again. Chill down my spine. Although, the lower synth that is backing the melody in that part is almost inaudible. You want to isolate the two synths you use there.

Ending is very abrupt. Unless you added some echo or delay or reverb or all of those, and just let it naturally fade away... Because that is normally what happens to that end scratchy sound thing that you have used. And without it, people are just thrown back, like "what the fuck just happened?".

FyreDrakon responds:

Understood; I'll work on this.
I've just managed to understand how important EQing is.

This song sounds......... flat. You're probably using defaults, as am I, but you have not learnt the ever so beautiful technique of EQ. Originally I thought this was a hip-hop song. And the sad thing is, I know what you're intending to get with this song. Without the EQ, where you isolate certain frequencies and bring them out, the entire song becomes a flat, muddy mess.

And since when did techno songs have dubstep wubs? Shouldn't this have been put under dubstep in the end? You may want to drop the other instruments, or EQ them well, for this section.

Notice that I said the word "EQ" A LOT. Good mixing can go a long way. I would go into the how and why, but it'd be impossible to do so especially when I have pictorial examples. If ever you need help, PM me or even just post a thread in the audio forum about it; there will be at least a few people willing to help.

FyreDrakon responds:

So the distinction between techno and dubstep is the wubs. Makes sense, now that I think about it.
I'll take you up on your offer, if you don't mind.

The chords are nice, that's the first thing I recognise. Mid-range synth sounds OK and parts of the melody are actually memorable; the high synth sounds like it doesn't really know what to do in the way of melody, so it's darting all over the place.

1:24 sounded quite jarring. Actually did cause me to reel back. It was the dissonance, more than anything.

1:43's drum fill sounded quite nice, but before that sounded a bit too stark.

No, I sincerely believe you CAN do better -- memorable melodies and harmonies are well within your grasp, with a good amount of practice, listening and influence and stuff. This piece feels alright to start with, but once 1:44 kicks in we have more of the beginning. There isn't much buildup to the piece. While I am not asking for fakebit-like layers and sounds and effects, what I'd hoped for was that this piece would actually build up some tension. The title suggests a sort of battle, or struggle. The piece sounded too.... empty..... to be either of those.

JigglypuffClient responds:

Thank you very much! I appreciate you saying that. I need to learn to make something other then chiptune.

There's something quirky about this song that reminds me about them Japanese sidescroller platformer games of the time. Not varied, quite repetitive, and the music doesn't strike me as the most epic there is, but I guess it's still something I can see in an 8-bit game. Gives me a bit of a doujin feel, I think.

That being said, and having told you how I feel about it, I just don't know if this piece can really be made better. Part of me wants to say, it should stay the way it is; it fits a purpose that only this sort of track can fit.

JigglypuffClient responds:

Yea. Not too proud about this one. The only ones of mine I feel like I could listen to wound be "empty field" and "It's Not Easy." Thank you though

The opening is beautifully atmospheric. I love it.
Slight pause at 0:24 which really threw me off, but otherwise.... that sax melody, maaang. <3 It's not the sound of the sax, but just how well done that melody is done.

1:03 or thereabouts has a quirky, Waterflame-ish feel about it. I don't know what it evokes to you, but it brings to mind atmosphere, water and wind all moving in the same fast pace.

2:10 or thereabouts, I don't know what to feel about the slight tempo changes. But otherwise, I love what it sounds like.

2:23 -- Love the melody, but I don't know what to feel about the complete and utter change in feel there.

It seems that you've been experimenting with several feels of one piece before settling with one, the one that appears most, at both 1:03 and 3:00. I don't know if that is what you intended, but it certainly comes across to me as such. And outside of the iffiness I sometimes have with the complete changes in feel, you did well with repeating chords and melodic motifs -- you built up well, you seem to have the mastery of music within your grasp.

A solid 4 from me; well done.

That opening pad is nice, warm and harmonious. Then that kick comes in -- very well mixed by the way; I can feel the air around me vibrate. It's ambient, and has a very nice subtle blend of every frequency on the spectrum.

I don't know if I associate this piece with memories, though. There is a general feel-good, mystical but also Ar Tonelico-like atmosphere to it. That vox in the back (I don't know if it is a vox) is a nice touch. The melodies, when they are introduced, are simple and effective. They don't dart all over the place. You build up the piece very well, even with similar chords playing in the background, so every credit to you.

It's not your stereotypical house track, but on its own, it's a very emotionally evocative piece. Well done.

Mauxus responds:

This is very helpful, thank you! For some reason this track has been extremely time consuming to mix to a level that was acceptable to me and it feels good to have confirmation that I'm heading in the right direction.

Pronounced "trwa-nix." I dream up meepy dreams full of meep.
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