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215 w/ Responses

The piece feels quite surprisingly upbeat and cheerful, almost an antithesis to the artwork -- but perhaps, the artwork with its utilitarian buildings might belie a certain "forced" cheerfulness that's meant to be observed by people living there, I can't quite say.

There is so much with this piece that is on point, musically, even though it isn't my cup of tea per se. I love how you layered those instruments. I love the bounciness of the song, and of the lead synth. I love how saccharine it feels. And most of all, I love that you seamlessly blended so many musical devices together -- regular chords, pentatonic scales, all while keeping it within a trippy sort of feel. That is musical technical mastery to me. Well done.

Hyenaedon responds:

Thanks for the great review! I knew the relation between the song and the art was going to be kind of strange from the beginning, but like you said the song pretty much depicts a false sense of hope I suppose. I really went for the almost melancholy feel of the art.

I really tried to give it my all musically here, so iā€™m glad you noticed those things! Again, thanks for the thoughtful review ;)

Wah-wah effect is a bit disconcerting, but the actual playing itself is nice and soulful. Piano with a decent amount of reverb would work better for the foreground; in my mind, if the wah-wah should still be kept in, it should be more of a background element so that it doesn't distract from the main melody.

I'm a pianist as well, so it kinda wrenches me inside to not be able to hear it clearly.

Soundly done, you two. Thoroughly enjoyed this thing. I think this one has been the most jam-packed with content and personable, relatable moments thus far, befitting one of the greatest contributors to NG of all time.

Dear WillKMR, as of Monday, Soundskills is an official Makerspace. I've seen the new roster of things to do and it is an actual thing~

By the way, thanks for having me. I enjoyed the interview, and especially how candid you kept things. I look forward to hearing from you and the other artists you interview!

GroundsPatrol responds:

Yay for Soundskills!

Troisnyx, it was an absolute delight having you on. Cheers!

I really enjoyed your playing. ^_^ I kinda like this jazz, the kind whose ragtime roots are really perceptible.

willKMR responds:

Aw thank you!

Initial synths could do with a bit more jitter / reverb for that eerie feel, but you certainly communicated early on what you wanted, and got me on board.

I often find that simple chord progressions work well when they're built up on, and you're doing it quite well here. It can draw on a bit too much to me after a while, so yeah... I'm kinda not sure if that progression has overstayed its welcome a bit.

0:54 sounds a bit like Stranger Things' intro. That arp. Then the strings kick in, and it sounds like a horror cartoon. Not sure about that kick though... Drums feel like they lack a bit of punch when they come in.

The piece from 2:04 onwards reminds me A LOT of Phyrnna's stuff, especially from the earlier Epic Battle Fantasy games; it brings to mind various battle themes she's written in the past, and I don't doubt she'd approve of this heartily.

The cinematic thing at around 3:00 could do with a bit more buildup, something subtle in my mind, but it's negligible at this point.

4:12 was sublime, and so was the breakdown at 4:19. I kinda wish I heard more of the intro / ending instrumentation, in conjunction with the heavy cinematic orchestration -- there'd be quite the chill down one's spine, I imagine. I also agree with Jockeying76 about strengthening the bass notes of any other instrument you have there; that (contrabass? tuba?) and the bass drum complement each other and to have one toned down is to basically leave the other hanging.

Outside of all these things, it seems well produced. The balance is about right, I think. I found it pretty decent. Keep at it!

I like how sparse the intro is. Though even from the get-go, the whole mix feels like it can use some juicing up (reverb mainly, but also something to really fatten up that kick drum. Compression? EQ? It feels as though I don't sense much EQ in this piece).

I also like how you didn't go for the standard chords.

Lead feels a bit flat, and when the vox kicks in, it does make for a bit of dissonance.

You certainly have the right idea, when dipping in and out between instruments across the piece to vary it. One complaint about that, though, is that the soft sections and loud sections have way too much differential between each other *all the time.* So when it dips out, it really dips out. Throughout the piece, what hype you've been building with the beating heart of your music, the kick drum, fizzles out immediately -- and that's a feeling you want to avoid when making dance music, but also music of most genres.

Also, I like your personal touch -- was it you who sang "Can you see the clouds divide?" over at 4:57 or thereabouts?

Normally, with loops you want to have an end that gives way to the beginning -- reverb is useful for this to some degree, because it often leaves a tail that sends a shiver down the spine, especially when the intro kicks in again. Then there's also the issue of dynamics -- if your ending is soft, then for continuity's sake, it'd be wise to make your intro as soft as your ending and build up from there. Volume automation, perhaps. Or something like that.

My biggest praise with this is that you've been taking those stems and using them, but not actually sticking to the mould, so to speak. You've broken away from the stock chords, instead using your own. You've borrowed the motif from one of those high synths I used, but broken it.

Certainly keep at it -- I look forward to hearing more as you go along.

littlemusicboy1628 responds:

Thank you so much for the advice and complaints and yes, I sang the part at 4:57.

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

The mic seems clear enough. The instrumental seems quite soft compared to the voice; a good thing would be to have it as balanced as possible, with the voice taking a bit of the forefront. But more on the instrumental later, let me move on now with commentary on the voice.

Your general pitching is alright, apart from some higher notes that you're struggling with ("And now I know that I'm really home"). It's almost like you're hitting the ballpark pitch, but not the exact one.

Also, timings. Sometimes it seems as though you're coming in later than normal. How straight or swing-like the rhythm of your syllables is will change the feel of your cover accordingly. Basically, the instrumental sounds like a swing, laid-back and easygoing ā€” roll with it, don't fight it. Feel the sway of the music as you sing.

Your voice has a breathy quality that, with more practice, would capture the spirit of this song and much more. Please keep practising ā€” try to imitate down to detail what you hear, in order to get an idea of how a person sings and feels a song, in order to learn. Do that for as many songs as you enjoy. Then, you will be able to even put your own spin.

One final thing:

On Newgrounds and nearly everywhere else, a cover implies a complete remaking and arrangement of the instrumental (unless it's an instrument specific cover; in this case, it's a vocal cover). Because it said this is a cover, I was hoping that you were going to make an attempt at an instrumental for this. I understand what this is now, though I hold the hope that this might help kindle an interest in remaking instrumental versions of songs, or even producing. :)

All the best in the competition!

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

The song feels like I'm playing an old computer game (or a PS1 game). Really unorthodox chord progression, which I like, by and large. The orchestration, piano, choir pads, all nail the PlayStation 1 feel for me. Drums feel a bit flat, but other than that, I can get down to the instrumentation pretty alright.

Some parts go from loud and layered to soft with little warning, so maybe a slightly more gradual buildup could be used there. The chiptune melody can be distracting when listened together with the voice track; it feels as though each is trying to overpower the other.

All the best for the competition!

This is an ABFH remix contest judge's review.

I find it quite interesting, playful, that you rearranged parts of the song -- it sounds fun, and I can hear the enjoyment you had making that! 1:18 reminds me of some Utada Hikaru songs when they have used some similar production devices in the past. I find it an imaginative thing to do, and I did notice you used some of your own sounds as well (risers mainly).

It seems to get discordant and frightening till about 2:14, when it calms. And then the cycle continues, until the song 'repairs' itself at 2:50-odd.

I guess I'm not sure what to make of the discordant parts, but otherwise it was a fun, refreshing listen.

All the best in the competition!

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

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

29, Female

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Lancashire, UK

Joined on 6/26/11

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