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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.

Thoughts:

- Sweet drum patterns you have here. They are my favourite part of the piece. The drum is my favourite instrument and so, well done on really nailing this. A bit of studio reverb might help them maybe?

- The sounds all need to be fatter. It sounds to me that the guitar is a default FL Slayer preset, which probably needs to be amped up with EQ, heavy amounts of distortion and a different cabinet. Right now, it sounds tinny and admittedly, is the go-to for those of us who don't have a better guitar setting to use. I wonder if Sytrus won't have something to layer behind Slayer for that added oomph.

- Do I hear BooBass or something? The bass is fine as far as I am aware. Also, it isn't clashing with that kick, so it's okay.

- It loops decently. It does remind me of one of the first rock loops I made on FL, albeit more complex than that, so it does evoke a bit of nostalgia for me.

- Technically your setup could class as heavy metal, because heavy metal is classed by the use of simply guitar / bass / drums. There is a heavy emphasis on space, which is what made it break from rock in the first place. Try imagining what it would sound like, in that new light, and work on your EQ and reverb accordingly.

Stereocrisis responds:

The drum patterns are the FL presets. I chopped them up of course, and stitched them back together.

DIST Dire Straits sample for the guitar, with some 80's Lead under the category Hardcore for the guitar pedals. With some EQ 2 set on Radio. I admittedly dislike the sounds as they are, even with all that added. Live instruments sound so much better.

BASS Punch sample for the bass on this track, with the Soundgoodizer and the Fruity Parametric EQ 2 set on Radio. Same as the guitar.

And thank you, genuinely, for the genre idea. I never know how to define the sound of these creations. I wish it was real instruments. These are great starting points though, I could learn it on guitar. I don't own a bass though.

For a simple arpeggiation, you show just how well you handle chords. I love good chord progressions, and I can tell a good one when I hear it. There's also a bit of a quirky, and at once melancholic, feel. I was actually thinking of a melody to go on top of this, the whole time listening to it.

No doubt, I imagine that if I used it, I would build it up with lyrics, and maybe a few things. Don't know if I will, but that's beside the point.

GundamBlunt responds:

Thanks for your feedback and compliments, I really appreciate it. If you want I could send you a copy that you can freely use for whatever you like?

Also, thanks to you, I finally looked up the definition of the word melancholy. Learning new stuff every day.

The breath you give to a spacey track like this is really nice. When I started listening to this, I actually honestly felt like I was in a spacecraft of some sort.

Not sure about the percussion; I feel it's too hard and too dry for something like this. Something a little wetter, more subtle and more awe-inspiring perhaps?

That piano is really well done. Light on the fingers, just delicate and nice for this song. The amount of buildup you give with four chords is pretty good. Only suggestion I have with that piano is to make it a little more 'distant' in the mix, if you will. Something that gives the impression that "whoa, I'm travelling through space, and this is huge." And then bring it forward like you do. Playing around with effects like these is something that I suppose can be done.

DelitescentAria responds:

Woo! :D

Thanks for the positive feedback I appreciate it.

You're right about the whole theme thing. I the song is smooth than so must be the drums so I'll definitely look into that. Same for the piano.

Thanks again for the feedback! :D

There's something I thoroughly enjoy about it... the textures present with all those chords. Those vocal layers remind me about parts of the Ar Tonelico 3 soundtrack that aren't fully sung, and those always struck a chord in my heart.

I've let it loop, because of all the feelings it evokes for me. Good job on the experimentation.

Phyrnna responds:

Oh yesh, I was particularly fond of how the vocals came out! :D More experiments to come in the future! :D

IPA: /tʁwɑ.niks/ || Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, writer. Drummer with The Just Numbers.
Speaks in various tones of meeps.

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

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Lancashire, UK

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