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~SW~ Astral Nation ~SW~ Astral Nation

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

It was all in all a very well done piece. It was very clearly stated; specific about what was being said and where.

I feel you have a leg-up in this competition over a lot of people, so good luck in that.

Now, you were very specific in your description about the story that goes along with this. So if it was your intention not to dilute the imagination of the listener, I think that backfired because of the very detailed time-stamp you have there. It's like an MMO, say, WoW, which puts you into a world, tells you what's going on and where, but in the end is a theme park game where you're on a set path, instead of a sandbox game where you can do just about whatever you please.

So you might want to consider nixing the time-stamped description, or making it even more generalized.

Sincerely, I did enjoy this piece. It was exciting at times, and the variety of instruments used and the specific times they were used at made this what it is. You achieved your goal to a certain extent. So in that, very well done (and be proud)!

This section here is why I say you met your goal to a "certain extent":
2:38 ==> Dawn of Technology
3:18 ==> Inventing New Realities

At the beginning of Dawn of Technology, there isn't much of a dawn. The bagpipe enters, and we get a nice headbobbing rhythm, but our new-age sounds don't enter until after you say this section is over.

There are some great examples of music that use the industrial age of man literally. Hammers banging, machines turning, screws being spun in - all of these things can be used rhythmically, and even melodically if you're careful, to represent an amazing sound of technology that the audience can really connect with. Personally I think this section would be all about the rhythm of, say, working on an assembly line for machine parts. That rhythm of workers monotony moving the industry along.

Lastly, "Deep into the void" comes along, and that ambient sound you have is a great finish for the song.

On a side note, since no one in humanity has ever experienced this (and lived or returned to tell about it), this is solely subjective input.

I think if I were being launched into space, or envisioning being a particle of two colliding and making a miniature black hole (Large Hadron Collider), or even dying and traveling off to where ever it is we go, there would be more awe involved.

Much more sense of being dumbstruck with excitement, adrenaline, perhaps even a sense of fear. I wouldn't imagine it as an ambient flowing sound unless you take being in a space suit out for a space walk literally. If that's what you meant to do, great job! If not, I think the final section could use some revisiting.

SkyeWint responds:

Wow, this is a large review. Incredibly detailed and surprisingly not very technical. I'll respond to it section-by-section, I guess.

"It was all in all a very well done piece"
Thank you!

"if it was your intention not to dilute the imagination of the listener, I think that backfired because of the very detailed time-stamp you have there."
Hm, I think I'll have to disagree with you there - while they certainly do give some hoops for the stories to go through, they are by no means constricting... besides, people don't necessarily have to follow them. It's music - anyone can interpret it however they want to.

"very well done (and be proud)!"
Thanks again! I certainly am, if only because I feel I really nailed the mixing on this.

"At the beginning of Dawn of Technology, there isn't much of a dawn."
Ah, I should probably explain that - it's more the "rising up" at that point, focusing more on the dawn than technology. Toward the end the technology part comes in, as you noticed.

"That rhythm of workers monotony moving the industry along."
I'm sorry, this was more of a personal thing for me - I REALLY dislike monotonous, repetitive music. Since that seems to be what you're suggesting to depict the modern age, I have to disagree wholeheartedly. Besides which, the modern age is also about discovery and invention, hence a few of the things such as the arpeggio effects at 3:45 and 3:53.

"this is solely subjective input."
I'd like to note something here - Since this is a subjective topic, it is necessarily my interpretation of it. I chose to interpret it this way. Other people may choose to interpret it another way. Funnily enough, I did have some inspiration from the Large Hadron Collider in the "Preparing for Launch" section - that's actually why the "LHC" is also there.

I find space to be a peaceful place, overall. Even with the technical speeds that everything is going at, it's actually really slow compared to the speeds. Also, there are several accounts of people who have been to space that are about how viewing the universe from there, seeing the earth from there, has been an extremely philosophical and calming experience.

Thanks for your review overall, it gives me a perspective that other people haven't said.

I would ask though, since you only gave it 3.5/5, I'd love to know more about why than "I didn't like how you titled the sections" (since that is essentially what all the negative points are about) - I'd assume there are some more technical reasons you didn't like it, and I'd love to hear those as well.

Zel - Forte of Darkness Zel - Forte of Darkness

Rated 4 / 5 stars

This is a very fun piece! I feel like it's a story of someone whom loathes being lazy or procrastinating, and loves having fun with the hard work they do.

There's something special about this piece beyond the variety of instruments, and it's that it is neither overly repetitive, nor does it stray from its intended feeling. It's just a downright fun listen!

Within the shell that this piece was crafted in, it doesn't need to be changed. Fun pieces like this make it easy to get away with just about anything!

If I would make any critique at all, it would be one that I find very common among composers on Newgrounds, and that is that the volume of the piece is very, very loud. I was forced to listen to this (albeit with my headphones on) at 17% volume! Turning down the volume of the audio before exportation would help.

The reason I give 4/5 stars instead of a solid 5 is because although it is a fun-loving piece, it doesn't really have much depth to it. That isn't something all music needs (though pop culture music could use way, way more of that), but you could try expanding into more rhythmic variety to change this. Maintaining one portion of this piece and changing something else would maintain the feeling, but increase the depth. Changing the rhythm but not the melody for example.

Well done, Zelazon! I really enjoyed that

Good luck in that competition!

-The Journey Home- -The Journey Home-

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Firstly I want to ask: What feeling/emotion/story/thing were you specifically trying to portray? There is what I'm about to write about, and then there is your original intention. I'd like to know the latter before I actually vote on this piece. (As it turns out I can't not vote, but that doesn't really matter in the end, does it?)
Secondly, I liked it. It was very well thought out and detailed. There wasn't an instrument or not unnecessarily used. That is a hard thing to accomplish. What this means is that it's very well polished, and for all intents and purposes in this composition you've submitted it to, that's also a very well earned thing since there was a time limit.

Now, what I felt:
This song was very contemporary; very pop-like. I feel a -sense- of standing alone, but the reality being that the character described is the type of person who in reality doesn't realize they aren't alone. People are there for them.

The song progression I think is that realization. Less specifically, in a universal sense, a coming-of-age epiphany about one's real surroundings.

The first impression with music is unlike the first impression between people.

Listening the first time around, I felt that the chord progression took a little too long to begin advancing, but as I write this review I'm listening again. Now I think maybe that was an intentional thing. This just proves my point, the more you listen to a piece, the more you understand it; something that is harder to do with people, especially during poor first impressions.

It's short and sweet. I feel that's a benefit and a downfall. This doesn't seem like the type of song that could be preceded or precede something. Standing alone it is nice, and intense at some times during the epiphany stage. But I still am left with a feeling of lacking. Something is missing.

Now, remember, I don't know your original intentions (and it might not be your intention to reveal those intentions ever). So you might have purposefully made the ending that way.

It's good, it isn't great, and I think why that is might be because, especially for this competition you're in, humans have more than one emotion (duh!). This couldn't really be a part of a multi-movement piece. It could be a single piece of an album style set up though.

I think if you build up more pieces, in this style which you say is unusual for you, in different emotions, that feeling that something is lacking will be filled.

Again, I don't know your intentions, so this might all be on purpose. If so, bravo, you met your goal and that is the most important thing!

Back-From-Purgatory responds:

I am very much intrigued by your interpretation.

As for what I was trying to portray... It's complicated, not really something I can put into words.

Regardless... as with all my other music, it is completely open to interpretation, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

As The Phoenix Rises As The Phoenix Rises

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

I don't normally rate things above a three, but what you've done here is deserving of more than that.

This has turned out the way you intended it to, and that's normally how I rate music: not on whether or not I enjoy it, but on how well the composer met their goal.

You've done a splendid job here!

Now, some thoughts (because you don't get off that easy!):

I feel like this would be better suited as a 2nd movement to an overall piece. Rising out from the ashes means being burnt down to nothing to begin with.

Having a movement to precede this one would make this part much more satisfying for both us (the listeners) and, I feel, for yourself. Remember, insofar the audience hasn't been there to accompany you through the hard times; with this, we have only ever been present for the recovery of the downfall and nothing else.

Neon-Bard responds:

I'm really glad that you think that. That's all I really care about with this piece to be quite honest, is that I met my own goal. Everything else is secondary.

"I feel like this would be better suited as a 2nd movement to an overall piece. Rising out from the ashes means being burnt down to nothing to begin with." I couldn't agree with this more, I would have loved to make something prior to this to show more personal growth, but unfortunately I just wasn't there, musically or emotionally.

Thanks a million for taking the time to listen and comment on the song, it's most definitely appreciated! :)

Epic End Sequence BGM Epic End Sequence BGM

Rated 2 / 5 stars

It's a great feeling... Except it doesn't really go anywhere.

The first 5 minutes of the piece before a primary melody is actually introduced could be reduced to a 45 second introduction, and man-o-man after that this piece could soar! It has HUGE potential.

I wish I could share with you the things I imagine this piece really evolving into.

Try playing with different sections. Keep the underlying feeling that dictates this piece, and play over it tons of different stuff. Just go wild and you'll find this evolving into a front page, best rated, most downloaded epic!

Otherwise as it stands now, it's a little boring. Although I'd love to play this in the background because it makes great ambient music (say if I'm working on homework), concentrating on the piece yields a very simplistic & dull outcome, despite how cool it actually sounds.

charlie-sheening responds:

Awesome feedback, mate. This was thrown together as a collab project and submitted for fun in a recent contest. We pretty much just worked together exploring what we could do as a collab, but I have to agree that there is a much better WIP writhing around in there somewhere. I was actually questioning how we handled the intro myself, so your feedback is very useful here. It's a CC-BY, so feel free to yank it and play with it on your own. We may revisit it ourselves.

Thanks again, outstanding feedback. Very constructive. I'd take a detailed breakdown about what someone doesn't like over a one-liner praise any day of the week.

Pathe The Way (Contest) Pathe The Way (Contest)

Rated 3 / 5 stars

I feel like I'm climbing a mountain in the first minute, only to see (toward the end of the first minute) that the forest on the other side has been burnt.

As the guitar starts, I feel as if I'm suddenly a DBZ character, burst into the air off the mountain (leveling it as I fly upward), soaring through the air like a badass looking for a fight.

Returning to the A section with a bit of variation, it feels as if I've landed from that flight, returned my composure, and have started appreciating the atmosphere of the scenery I've landed in. (Maybe it's a beautiful lake surrounded by untouched mountain ranges).

Now I'm back in the air DBZ style after having dried up that lake because my awesome energy field fried it to oblivion.

I enjoyed the ending, it was very much a deep breath being exhaled moment.

I think what my goofy analogies are trying to get at here is that there is too many contrasting emotions between the A-A' and the B-B' sections. Either a sufficient bridge (and a lengthy one at that) is needed to make that connection, or two pieces of music should be made from these ideas as opposed to just one.

I loved both sections, but only if they were alone and not how they are now.

MetalRenard responds:

Maybe you have misunderstood the piece then. It's not Dragon Ball Z, it's a love of life. It's not a fight, it's a journey to the stars. It's not angry, vicious or dangerous, it's happiness, love and exhilaration.
Sorry you decided to see it through cliches rather than seeing it for what it really is.

Demon Child Demon Child

Rated 3 / 5 stars

I liked the feeling this song gave off; not loved, not hated, just liked.

The beginning was almost a lie about what type of feeling was coming. It was a great hook, and I loved the intro as I thought that was a good representation of what was to come. You had this simple, only-when-necessary piano portion that maintained the melodic part.

Around 0m 30s (and back again around 1:20ish after the bridge), I'm suddenly taken back to my video gaming days. Which was a strong contrast to the beginning that had me really thinking of an intense, dark scenario where our character had this twisted mid-set of actually enjoying being a deceptive little minx/fiend.

It's only when you slowly start bringing about more of the high-pitched/scratching as the primary melody with a secondary supporting melody as the piano (instead of the primary, as I found in the beginning) that the mood changes greatly.

Try incorporating your main theme onto the piano and keeping that as the primary melody. Not only will it make more sense (cooperation with the introduction/hook), it would sound a lot more badass in my opinion.

The song is also a little on the repetitive side.

I enjoy your bridges, they are well thought out. They are also the thing I find hardest to write sometimes, so definitely props goes where it's due. But that side note aside, this has huge potential as a basic rondo form (ABA).

Currently it stands at Intro, A (with bridges calming things down occasionally before it returns back to the normal A). Obviously there are many formats this could adhere to with some work, and it could even stay free form (Meaning it could be ABCDEFGHI etc.).

In my simple opinion, I feel like a B section is all it needs though.

As it stands, what we here is this enjoyment for being evil, why doesn't the character share this pleasure with others? You know the character better than anyone else, what would they do with that demonic side of theirs? That feel they get from invoking their inner demon could be the B section that stands alongside their regular joy of just being a demon.

Just some thoughts, otherwise this has tons of potential (I would be all over writing a theme and variation of it if I actually knew how to compose techno). Good luck in your competition, I'm sure this will rate very high!

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RobMGy responds:

Hey man thank you for listening so carefully! I really appreciate the feedback and I agree with most of the things you have said. In this song I was writing music purely for myself, and I fucking LOVE repetition! I am a trance fiend! This is not trance but I am in love with repetitive dance/trance music. I have always been told that the music I write is too complicated and explores too many different modes and keys so I have been trying to write (and upload) music that is focused more on quality of mixing and sound than exploration of musical finality. I have created a song that relies on repetitiveness on top of an interesting direct modulation towards the end of each phrase with interesting sound changes rather than musical changes. The next song I write is going to be more intricate and musically interesting, it is just a weird dichotomy to be writing both. Classical music is interesting musically but aurally is obviously expected, and with VST's is never going to come close to live performed. I want to create a nice combine eventually. I have made this into a hip-hop beat at if interested (the song titled demon child hip hop beat). This beat is what I have sold through my studio. So it is funny how some appreciate the musical dexterity and others only prefer modern simplicity and production. Thanks again!

Luxury (Instrumental) Luxury (Instrumental)

Rated 2 / 5 stars

Sounds great; nice hook; smooth sound, but so overly repetitive that I couldn't make it through the whole piece.

In terms of musicality, the song doesn't actually progress. It stays in one spot, and loops this otherwise great sounding rhythm and melody over and over again. Drop down a fifth, go up a second, break into triplets for the rhythm (do something with it)!

In terms of an analogy, it feels like a fly-guy heading out all slick-like into town, but then life itself begins to lag and he can't seem to take a step forward, nor backward, nor side-to-side; it's like he's walking in place as all those fly-girls and fly-times are passing him by.

Stavier responds:

Yeah, the only reason it's repetitive is for the rapper to have a steady, smooth beat for. I did try to variation drum wise and hook/verses wise, but I'll try harder next time I guess. Thanx for the review.

The town that lies between The town that lies between

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Very spooky! I'd love hearing this in a game, I think it would fit certain ambiances nicely. I think the emotion here is very much uncertainty mixed with an undertone of anxiety.

Don't worry if this isn't used by developers/animators; making music has instantaneous pay off in that when a piece is complete, you feel prideful and it only takes one person to have enjoyed listening to it for your hard work to mean something.

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Genclops responds:

Mucho appreciation for the review and philosophy. Glad you are experiencing the intended effects. Hopefully someone will pick this up.

Harmonic Symphony 12 Harmonic Symphony 12

Rated 3 / 5 stars

The beginning is great, love the hook, and it definitely kept me listening.

I want to say first that I know how hard it can be to write very lengthy pieces, and how much time can be put away into projects like this.

Down to the nitty-gritty:
--The intro, great job, except for what comes after it does not seem to fit the feeling we get from the introduction. This plays with the emotional portrayal and kind of kills off that beautifully well written, calm beginning a little too drastically. Maybe if we were more subtly placed into the whole of the song that comes, over an even more gradual period, I think the transition would have worked better. But something is still off.

-----With that being said, my specific point of confusion is at 1:26. Up until then I'm drifting off into a cool world; I'm floating on a boat in the water and not caring about the any woes, but then all of a sudden this goofy sounding, child-like innocence of bouncy emotion penetrates this soft bubble you've placed us in. This bouncing undertone melody happens and I feel like I'm an adult who was trying to relax, only to have my toes stepped on by a kid I was forced to bring along.

-----Now, analogies aside, technically speaking that horn that occurs at 1:26 just does not fit with the booming bass that rocks my headphones (although I love that bass, it helps us anticipate what's coming).

-----I feel like if you just snipped out 1:26 to about 2:10, you'd find yourself with an immensely better transition! Obviously you'd have the rewrite the bridge between those two parts, but if you snip out those 50-some-odd seconds, you'll see what I'm getting at.

-----I like the cymbal, it fits in where it's needed without too much excess.

-----Finally, the section that starts your coda, your ending to this cool piece, I feel would make a great B section. If you expanded it, and placed it in a minute or so earlier, it would provide awesome contrast to your A section (which is the main theme you've given us). This does things like keep our attention, maybe not be so repetitive, and all the while it certainly does not distract from the world you were trying to create to begin with - it only enhances and deepens our time in it.

Overall, well done! It has great potential and is already a good piece.

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Rinileki14 responds: