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16-bit ambience

Hmm, that may sound like an oxymoron, but I feel that we're onto something here - the sound that you've given is very definitely something that could be called ambient, as the length would also indicate. The sounds that you've used would indicate an "early 90s" start, but that mellows out, as the piece matures - was that intentional, or just the way that the piece evolved over the seven minutes? It gave me the impression that there was something to progress with, but this still wasn't convincing enough to state it as an intentional adjustment.

The mood is calm and peaceful, not obscured by the oppressive bass beat - you could so easily have fallen into this trap, but you managed to avoid that, giving rise to another phase, where the track neatly fits together with the other elements and still carries on, not compromising, nor being compromised - the mark or a master composer.

I think that with this sort of piece, we could certainly see it being used in various video games or sprite productions, where the characters are from well known games. That would be the best form of flattery that I can give you, by suggesting that your piece deserves to be included in someone else's work. I only hope that they manage to do it justice.

[Review Request Club]

Good sounding, but...

I was a little disappointed to hear the sounds of the piano "topping out" and giving static over the top of the track, as it's just a little too loud. More work on the balance would help this, but I've listened to the track in spite of that issue, which still leaves a very enjoyable track to listen to.

The guitar is nice and well balanced, which compliments the piano nicely. Given the additional work with the strings toward the end, you have left the piece well poised to progress further and then it stops. I felt that was a shame, since the setup is there for a fantastic sounding work, that can truly set the mind racing. Take it forward from these beginnings and give us a few more indications of where you can take this, I'm sure it'll sound great. Keep working at it, this sounds positive.

[Review Request Club]

xionxinks responds:

Thank you for the feedback! Yes I will admit my mixing and balancing skills are, not what they should be. I am improving as I go I suppose. :3

A decent beat, half decent lyrics and good delivery. I think that's the way to summarise it.

I'm not a fan of the name "ClabTrap", as it sounds like an anachronism, for the word "claptrap". But still, that's not what I'm here to review. Listening to the lyrics, you seem to be caught in two minds as to whether or not you're rapping or singing. Blending the two together only seems to work for me if you have two different vocalists, usually of opposite genres, but Walk This Way worked well for Aerosmith and Run DMC.

I could do with the lyrics transcribed for the ease of following, as I've never been very good at following hip-hop vocals, for one reason or another. Just putting them out there helps the listener get in touch with what you're trying to say and even give them a chance to sing along, should the mood take them.

[Review Request Club]

Nice work. It's only a shame that this is really a work in progress, as opposed to a finished piece, if I'm honest. The deeper "counter-beat" that you've thrown in there seems unnecessary and unwieldy, going against the grain that the rest of the track seems to form. Perhaps it's the third of the beats that you threw in with them that I disliked, but it needs something to work for it.

At only 2 minutes long, you could stand to make it longer, especially because of how the introduction takes place, building up from quiet to loud. That compromises the looping behaviour, as you don't suddenly think that you've been listening to this track for a long time and realise that it's looping, you realise that you've listened to the same track over and over again.

Some "other solo" could be employed, where an instrument other than the main synths that you've chosen here are deployed, to give something different to the piece and really carry it off to the next level. I'll be happy to review this when you're finished and published the finished article.

[Review Request Club]

Well, putting this half decent track through the blender never did anything to make it better, that's a stone-cold certainty. It's served to drag it out, which is never good. The intro was good, because there was no meddling with the traditional startup. Then it started to go pear shaped and frankly, I lost interest.

The bass beat is fine, it needs very little work, perhaps moving a note here or there, just to tidy the effect up slightly, but the rhythm needs a lot more work, to bring it away from the dependence upon the dubstep sounds that you've gone overboard with. For me, there is use of an effect, but then the way that you did it was overuse, by quite some way.

I wish I could say more, but picking away at the layers of "dubstep sound", I can't even begin to comment on what remains.

[Review Request Club]

NullSoundwerks responds:

Sorry it's taken a little while for me to get back to you, I really do appreciate your willingness to take this track through an analytical lens.
Now, a *fraction* of the problem may have been *my* inexperience in this genre, leading to a complete misunderstanding of key elements and structure on my end.
This lead to me searching for a *gimmick*: the screeching, overused effect you mentioned. (It is also out of key, listening to it again.)
The fallacy when it comes to the dubstep demographic is that listeners want to hear mainly the distorted sounds. Any inexperienced producer with that mindset will have it really show through their work, literally spamming "dubstep sounds" recklessly, as it was done here.
I don't think this is even deserving of the term "pear shaped." Lack of synergy indicates a flawed production as a whole. The synths cannot work independently, and attempting to supplement them with even more synths could end up debasing the song even further. Which is the case here.
I wish you could say more too, having more knowledge of what people actually want to hear leads to better music being made.

This piece starts a little too quietly, but finished strongly, so while I find myself fiddling with the volume control throughout, to get the balance right, I found myself enjoying the piece of music wholeheartedly. It's more modern classical, than the traditional, with some of the electronica sounds and effects added as an afterthought. Did you play the piano yourself?

Lyrics would be nice - I'm trying to decide whether or not to have it as the backing for a poem, or whether someone should be singing.

This field of green,
It lies before me.
Stretching out and away,
Beyond my vision.

What lies behind,
It doesn't matter.
I cannot change that,
Any more than you.

All I know,
Is that one step.
Takes me somewhere better;
Put your best foot forward.

A little off the cuff poem for you. Probably not the best I've ever written, but it's got a little significance for me at the moment. Still, that said, this piece needs to have the early volume sorted, to give a better balance and perhaps a bit more impetus. I'd suggest adding some strings in the background, as that would work really well, complimenting the piano that you've created so far.

[Review Request Club]

lantaren responds:

Yes, I did play piano myself. The volume was supposed to be like that, and I did in fact only make the song in a few hours, but I might be able to add strings, I'll see what I can do.

This piece reminds me of System of a Down. Mind you, since they are Armenian, there is a little cultural influence from around that area of the world, I suppose.

A lovely blend of pace, with the various instruments. I may not be the world's biggest fan of the "metal" guitars over the top of the track, as it just seemed to detract from the qualities presented by the rest of the instruments and indeed the vocals altogether.

The piece is bossed by the Baglama saz and the way that the vocals blend nicely with that really sets the tone, leaving the bass and electric guitar to bring the piece a little modern twist. Perhaps a little light percussion could be encouraged into the piece, giving some other dynamic to the track, supporting the piece as a whole?

This is the sort of thing that contests are made for - something unusual, that can leap out of the website, for the viewing public and also the judging panel. I hope it does / did well.

[Review Request Club]

SoulSecure responds:

You're not the first one to say they don't like the distorted parts. Since my music is based in experimentalism you're going to find things that people think are weird or don't belong, like the scream at the end of The Pain. This being said, more than anything it is part of my vision as an artistic statement, contrasting the beauty we have these harsh things going on. It's influence was from Anatolian rock and Turkish metal bands. I actually couldn't write the vocals before I put that part in, because it puts in a dynamic that helps fill out the track and set the tone for that part. Plus, if you didn't notice, when that part ends the echoes of the distorted guitar are clean to show change. Some people want it to stay pretty, like you, but I want it to bare it's teeth a bit to show anger in sadness. So where you see detraction, I see compliment, depth and thought.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with the, "light percussion," bit. Send me a PM if you'd like to explain.

Thanks for the review!

A good entrance for a knight or feudal prince.

The celebrating crowds roar with approval, as the city gates are flung wide, the horse of the hero walking down the boulevard, taking in the plaudits on the approach to the palace and the Royal Reception, that will be bestowed. Colours are bright and airy, as the city and the surrounding territories know happiness and peace. But how long will it last?

The ending of the tune seems to bring with it darker portents, slowly and deliberately. Even those last few steps, when you fade out the fanfare and leave the kettle drums for a few beats seems as if something is not all well, just for that brief moment. I wonder...

The whole orchestra gets in on the act and it could have been longer, perhaps a minute or so, to that end. Given that there is so much of the orchestra packed into this, you need to consider fleshing out the length, to give each section a chance to shine through and strut their stuff. Scenes of this nature usually last longer than 2 minutes in the cinema, so why not throw caution to the wind and plug on for a little while longer?

[Review Request Club]

samulis responds:

You're completely right... I seriously need to try writing longer pieces again. Thanks for the review.

Lovely balance and poise

I do like the way that this track grows as it progresses, gradually drawing you in and giving you time to get used to the slight changes, before firing another subtle change across the bows. A very well done tune, but I would suggest that either the gap between the changes is too large, or some of the changes were a little too subtle for this casual listener.

A nice take on the original, it could probably do with a little bit more of a bassline, to compliment the melody a little, as it seemed to be lacking in that department, almost as if on a 1960s radio, but without the static crackle, which makes it seem so... old fashioned.

The cymbal beat that you put in there (high hat, unless I'm mistaken) sounds nice, but like I said above, just adding a little more in the way of percussion (push the boat out, there are plenty of things that you can use from that section of the orchestra), to give variation and a little more body to the piece would certainly help your endeavour here.

[Review Request Club]

Seems unfinished.

I think that this piece sounds like a work in progress, as it's almost as if you're developing it to something else, but it's not quite there. I think that there is more to be done in the second half of the track through variation - the beat alone does not make a good track, particularly one as basic as this, so doing something to help would be nice.

Extend the track - go from this intro to the main track. Add some vocals and push the boundaries, making it more like a song,a s opposed to a bit of random backing music, which ends abruptly, without fulfilment.

[Review Request Club]

xxxZigZagxxx responds:

Thanks Coop for your review.

I see that you feel that my work seems unfinished. I'll try to improve on putting extra embellishments in there, especially in the melody side of things. This could probably be an intro to a main track, as you said. I like to keep things simple, however.


You know, I stopped shaving to think of something to write here. That worked out well.

Will Cooper @Coop

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Joined on 4/28/04

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