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The parts are by-and-large in tune, save for the odd note or two, and I suggest you work on those notes. The harmonies are beautiful.

The vocal parts making the aah chords sound really nice, but they're overpowering the melody. Key to every song: THE MELODY MUST STAND OUT. Because the melody's frequency is higher, separate that higher frequency so that everything in the song can be heard.

As in the previous review I gave you: clean vocals would be appreciated for this. This sounds more like jazz rather than Ethereal Wave -- if it were Ethereal Wave, you'd have a licence to have more reverb on the voices because that's what gives the song its ephemereal quality. NOT in this case, however. Remember: in an acapella track, every voice is a separate instrument, so mix it as such.

3.5/5.

I can see the potential in this -- all the parts were in tune, by-and-large. The section around 1:30 was my favourite. <3

My complaints with this are:
1) Heavy reverb makes the section between 0:47 really muddled up, but it also messes all the other vocals. Please consider making it cleaner, because this is the kind of song where you need clean vocals -- you want to be able to hear every part coming out crisp to fully enjoy it.
2) What's with the abrupt ending?

Build up on the other things -- it's good! -- and knock out the kinks, and you should be on your way.

4/5.

raggd46 responds:

Rerecorded and hopefully clearer!

As a Kirby fan: kudos to you for making this.

Gourmet Race began really well, and I initially thought this was a little slow for Gourmet Race, but I listened on. Initially, part of the melody for the second part of Gourmet Race was missing, but then when the melody came in, it was off key......

That aside, I like what you did with the second part of Gourmet Race: you gave it a rather lighthearted feel, like Kirby's taking a happy walk down some rather awesome, mechanical-looking environment. Applause for that. : )

Mixing is great; everything is heard quite well. The higher lead guitar could be more crisp, because some of the individual notes sound like they're slurring into each other.

Also, what's with the abrupt ending? It sounds.... uninspired.... Pieces need to resolve well in order to last in people's minds. Especially since this is a video game cover and people listen to VG remixes to hear others' takes on it.

And no shame in putting this in the General Rock category, synth or no synth. I have to rely on synths myself, but the piece is still what it is. I won't dock points off for the genre; just be sure to put it in the right place the next time.

Much of my contention comes from musicality. Although by-and-large this piece sounds like Kirby's skipping down this mechanised area, a bit more buildup would've been appreciated if this piece were to remain slow.

Overall: Good concept; please knock out the kinks.

3.5/5.

9Wave responds:

I'll go back and have another crack at it! I've been playing around with realguitar, realLPC and realStrat and I think I can pull off something a little better. The abrupt ending was a rushed finish haha. Sorry about that.

Thanks for the feedback too!

Right off the bat, this gave me the feel of being submerged in an ocean -- the synth, even the piano riff and the heavy notes. When the drums kicked in, it felt like a submarine was being powered... (think the discovery of the airship in Final Fantasy X).

I thought for a moment there that when the drums kicked in, a slight bass track would've been much appreciated there -- that was what was missing. Once again, at 2:21 -- my understanding is that it could've come in and then resolved gradually.

Around 2:59 it feels like there's something looming above the submerged object/person.

Around 3:51.... that piano is beautiful! Because I'm finicky with pianos though, I'd have appreciated a little bit more reverb and a slightly deeper quality to the sound.

4:27: I can hear a slight bass, but something more definitive (like a subtle electric bass) would be useful here too. This was recommended to me after I made the same error with one of my pieces.

From 5:00 onwards, when that prettiness comes in, I can hear instrument buildup, which is great, but for some reason it felt almost anticlimactic. A little more rising tension towards the end perhaps, to convey the kind of joy from finding that beautiful thing maybe? :D

Now I realise that this is a programme piece, in that it tells a story, and it's in three parts. I'm fine with that. In fact, I've done programme pieces myself. : ) I really enjoyed it all the way through; though I still find that the last part relies on counterpoint a bit too much. I hear countermelodies, which is great for building up the tone, but one extra melodic theme and a little bit of chord variation would've made that last section spectacular.

I'm not the best with mixing help because I've a lot to learn myself, so much of what I can give is based on musicality. On that alone, I hope I've been of help!

4/5.

johnfn responds:

Wow this review is amazing. I think the idea of an electric bass in my more 'organic' pieces is especially good.

Your idea about the ending - introducing an additional progression and melody - is also a really helpful one. Like you mentioned, I was kind of feeling that this piece lacked a strong conclusion - that is actually something that I have difficulty with pretty pieces in general. I'll b sure to apply your ideas next time I get stuck.

Thanks so much! You have given me much to think about for future pieces :-)

Hearing the first few bars of this piece, I must say, the title is well-chosen. I would've thought this to be a film score had this not been an improv', but the fact that you improvised this makes it more visceral than ever. Might I add, I almost teared up within the first few bars.

I hear a I - III progression going on rather often, but I think it works well here, because that seems to be a recurring theme for this piece. In addition, you brought elements from what you played early in the piece, later on -- and thus, this could be a piece in its own right. I - III progression aside, I especially enjoy your chord work.

6:41 onwards spelt the definitive moment of 'goodbye', parting ways and looking at photographs and other momentos of the people we spent time with. In fact, this entire piece tells a story.

Thank you for sharing this with us. It was breathtaking.

BlazingDragon responds:

Thank you so much for the thoughtful review TroisNyx. :')

When I improvise, I make it a goal to not sound like I'm ,well, improvising! While I often do venture into all sorts of directions, I try deciding at the beginning on a motif or chord progression that I can develop. Having those recurring bits, I think, keeps this from being eight minutes of pretty elevator music.

You know, I almost never use I - iii progressions, but I heard one used in a song from Zelda: Link to the Past and totally fell in love with how bittersweet it sounded. I figured I'd attempt to channel that in this improvisation. My technical skills at the piano are actually pretty horrible, but I try to make up for it with nice harmonies and sing-able melodies. XD So I'm glad you enjoyed the chord work.

I LOVE using the upper register of the piano like at 6:41. <3 It seems like even the most simple things can be heart-breakingly beautiful up in that range.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to review. I frequently vacillate regarding whether I should continue pursuing music, but then I get reviews in which people say they hear stories in my compositions. Somehow, hearing that makes all the difference in the world to me, because that's all I really want: to tell stories.

I must say I love the instrumentation, and if I haven't already hinted at it with my review of 'Battle of Hearts', you have Yoko Shimomura's way of handling instruments -- soulful violins, skillfully-handled pianos, masterful drums. I've no complaints with the mixing either; it sounds balanced on all sides.

The detached strings going throughout the piece are the only minor issue with this piece. It could be just me, that I don't hear much of a variation in dynamics (which would add more soul to the piece).

While I like this piece a lot (in fact; I am favouriting it!), I could see this expanded with some brilliant, high piano intervals in the more urgent parts.

4.5/5.

UltimaTricksta responds:

Thanks again for the review!

With this piece, I actually would have liked to included a light piano centered segment to change up the overall dynamic of the piece, but I didn't have a piano nearby to come up with one, so I had to make do with painting a simple melody at some points.

The creation process was interesting. This entire piece was composed and and mixed on the move. Composition was done whilst I was on trains (switching lines as well), and mixing was done in a shopping mall, haha xD Quite adventurous.

Right off the bat, this sounds like something I'd hear in Kingdom Hearts, especially from KHII onwards. I love the general feel of this piece: my heart began to pound hearing this!

My only pickle (and it's a minor pickle) is that the lead piano coming not too far off from the intro stands out quite a lot (in that it's too loud coming in) and feels like there's been no dynamic progression. But when the backing strings came in, that was resolved quite quickly. Again, just a minor hiccup.

Also, what's with the abrupt ending? Try exploring any option for you to make a seamless loop; it looped quite well when you repeated it.

4.5/5 (5 in practice!). Really hooked me into listening, and now you've also got me curious to listen to the other two iterations too.

UltimaTricksta responds:

Thanks for the review, Trois! The piece ends abruptly because I composed it with RPG Maker in mind, so I have an .OGG version that I manually looped within Audacity by referencing audio samples in the metadata, so that version loops fine. In this MP3 version the ending trails off to make looping easier.

Though it is a simple loop and meant as tutorial material, I have to comment on 1) the extreme shortness of the piece, 2) the repetitiveness that comes with it, 3) the potential that was missing -- this piece could've been expanded with a melody and some chord variation.

Take a moment to listen to 'Tricksy Clock' from the first Kingdom Hearts; it's the piece that plays when you visit Wonderland for the first time. This one has a C major pedal point (in that it uses the same chord for much of the piece, just like your piece) -- except that it has dynamics in the intro to still keep you hooked, and when it gets louder, a melody and supplementary chords kick in, making that piece sound playful.

Something similar could be done with this, and it PAINS me that this was not done here. Honestly, if I were to undergo a tutorial for a game listening to this on repeat, I'd be more irritated than if I were to listen to VS Kracko from Kirby's Epic Yarn on repeat.

2/5.

This can be Cinematic now, ya know? :D It's got all the makings of a Cinematic piece.

Genre aside: I really enjoyed the song's composition. This is definitely cutscene or trailer material (I'd go with the latter). My only complaint is that in some parts, the choir doesn't come in with a crescendo that would otherwise make it sound more natural -- and listening to this, I can tell the choir's been synthesised. Volume envelopes on the choir perhaps?

4.5/5.

SilverPoyozo responds:

There's a Cinematic genre now!?

Well, I wasn't very good at mixing at the time I made this piece (I still ain't).It really lacks some attacks, volume and the choir can sound very artificial at times, plus there's the EQ...I didn't even know what the hell EQ was.

But thanks for the review.If I ever remake this, I'll address those issues.

As a fellow bodhran player, I heartily approve of this. <3 I have a fascination for Celtic music in general, and this is a rare find on NG.

That tin whistle was just beautiful, and then everything came in to back it up, and that's when my heart skipped a beat. The bodhran stood out to me most, considering I pick out rhythms faster than anything. That having been said: I understand that it's difficult to keep the metrics (the timing) 100% accurate, and that's where practice comes in. I mean it, I make slips like these myself when playing.

4.5/5, half a star docked for metrics, but all in all deserving a high score for authenticity and emotion.

Pronounced "trwa-nix." I dream up meepy dreams full of meep.
Currently doing things nonprofit.

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

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Lancashire, UK

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