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Allhelgona Allhelgona

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Oh, I really love the atmosphere here! The music box in particular gives off a dream-like innocence, but the heavy reverb gives it an ethereal, spooky quality. On top of that, the strings and piano hint at a melancholy tone...the more I listen, the gloomier I become. It makes me sad.

I'd love to hear more like this, LSD. Keep at it, friend! :)


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LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks a lot for taking a listen and for leaving a review, dude!
I definitely was aiming for just that ethereal, spooky, yet melancholy atmosphere.
Now that you mention it, the effect this track has seems to increase when it's listened to longer. Interesting o.O

I'll definitely make more similar stuff in the future. This belongs to one of my main genres, after all :3


Bark and Byte Bark and Byte

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Simply awesome! Famisynth is a relatively simple, yet powerful tool to have at your disposable. You've used it incredibly well here! The blend of the 8-bit and the more progressive rock style theme works so well, especially since this is something that is inspired by Megaman (assuming, at least).

I'd love to hear more like this! :)


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Deemo-R responds:

Thanks man! I think 8-bit music has really grown on me a lot in the recent months. There's really a unique timbre and set of limitations to what it can do, and it's a great way to really see how your writing is in a small, exposed manner. I'd love to do some more stuff with it, for sure! As for blending things like guitar in there, I'm really hoping to ditch this vst guitar for a real one next time :D


Called to the Sea Called to the Sea

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Wow! This track is just full of dynamics! On top of that, an incredibly rich musical-driven story. The harp, glock, and flutes work so excellently together. In fact, your implementation of those three instruments in particular remind me of Motoi Sakuraba's work (perhaps my favorite composer). There is something inherently peaceful about both the introduction and conclusion. I enjoyed the more 'pirate-esque', adventurous body of the track, though there's really something special about the beginning and end here. 1:55 gave me goosebumps for goodness sake!

Wonderfully written and produced, Chrono! :D


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ChronoNomad responds:

Many thanks for the review, N-B! It's always incredible to know that such dynamics are appreciated, and it is always a true honour to be compared to such a legendary composer. Sakuraba-san's name came up in one of my 'What Lies Beyond' reviews, so I feel doubly humbled and thrilled by a second compliment in the same vein!

I really had a strong sense of what I wanted to do with this track. Not that I had everything planned out the instant I started working on it of course, but the idea of peace and tranquility as my musical bookends was ever present, as well as the more exciting and adventurous central motif. After testing out each of the NGDIC samples we were allowed to use (50, all told) and making my instrument choices (up to 25), it all just kind of came together. I practically feel as though the track wrote itself, if that makes any sense at all. Things just clicked, and the funny part was that I had started out with an almost completely different set of instrument samples!

Glad to share a bit of musical horripilation! That's one of those things that always tells me that I've been unequivocally transported by a fantastic composition. Goosebumps, shivers up my spine, and the like. So glad that you enjoy the music! ^__^


First Day Of Spring (Cover) First Day Of Spring (Cover)

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Super clean (yet grungy) track, Ceevro. I really dig the acoustic playing (as always)! Your guitar and percussion always sit in the mix wonderfully. The solo vocals 0:00 - 1:04 also sit nicely in the mix. I think that by tinkering with your stereo image and panning the voices further left and right while keeping the main vocals centered (during the chorus) would allow you to pick out the additional vocals/harmonies that you implemented. Adjusting the volume on those harmonies might also work! The pitch-shifted vocals are a little bit jarring at times, but I think this is just a preference thing on my part.

Another solid track, my friend -- can't wait to hear more! :)


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Ceevro responds:

I don't think it's a preference...I think the pitch-shifting is just jarring...but I had to do it to differentiate the vocals. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet and either try falsetto or call in another singer!


What Lies Beyond What Lies Beyond

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

This is a NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Beautifully written.
- Story-driven and whimsical.
- Perfect blend of instruments.
- Incredibly evocative.

Chrono, this is so pretty. I can't get over how beautiful this sounds. I have to say that this filled me with a sense of both wonder and, well, has awaken my long-since dormant wanderlust. I have to disagree with Ryan on this one, because I found it to be quite emotional. I think this is because you wrote this piece in a way that allows the listener to recall personal memories, or to imagine themselves as a traveler in some fantasy realm (the harp, glock and strings working together have an uncanny way about bringing out a lot of emotion in this way).

Oh, and it definitely has that RPG vibe to it. Love that.

What to consider:
- Somewhat empty throughout.
- Dynamics and composition could be more profound.

While I disagreed with Ryan about the emotional response that the song is able to evoke, he has a very good point about the composition and dynamics of the track. There are times where I felt that things seemed a little too empty, or that certain instruments could have floated higher or settled down lower (in the mix) to truly accentuate the feeling that you were going for. I still think you achieved the sound you were going for, but I also feel as if the intensity of the track would have evoked an even greater response if it was developed with more instrument dynamics (crescendos, diminuendos -- note velocities, etc.)

What a wonderful piece of music. I cannot believe that I haven't been following your music...that changes TODAY. :)

Score: 8.6/10


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ChronoNomad responds:

Hail and well met, Neon-Bard! Is this another NGADM review I see before me? Many thanks, kind sir.

I am quite simply tickled pink that you find this so very enjoyable! Happy to bring out that moth-eaten wanderlust, shake the cobwebs out, and give it a new coat of fresh paint. And the fact that you still find this to be an emotional piece despite the lack of added dynamics tells me that you are indeed an adventurer like me. Or at least you used to be, before taking an arrow to the-- HA! I shan't be dragging that tired old meme out of the broom closet where it belongs. That's almost like rickrolling someone in this day and age, for goodness sake. But in all seriousness, your appreciation of this piece really means a lot to me. Tapping into that vein of nostalgia is one of my favorite pastimes, after all.

And the RPG comments continue! Most excellent. ^___^ I never tire of hearing such things, in fact I fairly live for such compliments, so thank you again.

You guys are all making some very legitimate points about the overall composition and dynamic quality of the track. I guess I kind of counted on the dynamic qualities of the instruments themselves too much. It's always such a shame that the individual note velocities mean almost nothing when it comes to most VSTs, but that just means that I need to focus on taking more time working with the channel variables themselves. What I have here is good, yes...and I really appreciate you saying that, but it could indeed have been better. I'll most certainly be putting more time and effort into these subtle - yet incredibly important - nuances in the future.

I can't believe you haven't been following me all this time either! But man, it sure is fantastic of you to rectify that today. I truly appreciate the insights, as well. Bro hug. :D


Facing the Foe Facing the Foe

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Amazing composition!
- Fantastic mood and atmosphere!
- Highly memorable piece.
- Whimsical and magical in its own regard.
- Near flawless looping.

I love RPGs of all kinds. I've played my fair share of JRPGs, and I must say that you've delivered with all of the elements that make a great RPG battle track. A solid melody and overall composition, a wonderful and often magical blend of instruments, and great percussion to tie it all together. I can't help but think of titles such as 'Final Fantasy' or the 'Tales Of' series.

The main melody/motif is just perfect, I cannot stress that enough. It has the right amount of tension and imagination to bring it to life; I am beyond impressed with this track!

What to consider:
- The mix could use some work!
- Weak percussion.

Since there is so much going on, the mixing process becomes terribly tricky process. The overall mix is quite good, but there are times when the percussion falls flat (namely the snare drums). I feel as if the percussion should have been far more outstanding and those crashes should have been met with more force from the strings and organ.

What an awesome track. Please make more like it! ;)

Score: 8.5/10


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LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Hey!

Glad to hear that the composition and atmosphere are great.
Memorability is of course always good too, as it can bring people back to listen for more. Once again, I'm positively surprised that people actually like the loop :D

RPGs really are wonderful, aren't they? I actually studied quite a lot of battle tracks before making this, especially the orchestrated verion. The Final Fantasy series is the main inspiration, but there are just so many wonderful games that make use of this kind of a nostalgic sound :3

It's awesome that the main motif hit home, as I think it's what makes the entire track.

Yup. The mix could certainly use work, as does the percussion. I agree with everything you said in this review, actually.
I definitely had a hard time mixing this, as I'm already pretty bad when it comes to simpler stuff. Layers upon layers of instruments playing at the same time didn't make things easier XD

I am sure I will make something similar sometime in the future, hopefully with better production!

Thanks a lot for the encouraging review, as well as for judging in general. Keep at it!


Withering Conflagration Withering Conflagration

Rated 4 / 5 stars

NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Dark, immersive atmosphere.
- Decent mix (note about the vocal mix below).
- Incredibly unique track.

This is definitely what I would call unique, I haven't heard anything like it (outside of your other works, of course). It has that 'Lich' style: complex synth patterns, hellishly creative vocals/lyrics, and a remarkably dark atmosphere and mood. The beat also has that dark undertone and is pretty catchy!

What to consider:
- The track becomes a little monotonous.
- The vocals are indiscernible.
- The mix seems muddy in places (though I think it's just vocal distortion).

As Step mentioned, things get a little monotonous after a while. This is especially true since there is no true rest or break. There is constant auditory stimulation and since the vocals take precedence here, things get a tad muddled. The vocals are near impossible to understand without the lyrics, and while I think the effects that you have layered on the voice are great, it makes for a confusing listening experience. In saying that, I would have to agree with everything Step said about the vocals. Admittedly, the lyrics (which are insanely creative btw) scare the crap out of me haha!

Keep it up, Lich! :)

Score: 8/10


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Self as Context Self as Context

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Tasty melodies!
- High production value.
- Extremely catchy beat.
- Holy 1:14 .... :o

This is fantastic, midi. Everything flows perfectly throughout the entire track. I'm really not sure what else to say, which is odd because I feel as if I have a lot to say about this one. Essentially, you've concocted a marvelously catchy beat that is, in my mind, one of your best tracks to date.

What to consider:
- Just a tad repetitive.
- That bell synth was a bit weak.

Honestly, these are just nitpicks on my part. The repetition of the main passage was the only thing that really bothered me, as I felt that you could have gone to so many more places with that main melody. That being said, it's ridiculously catchy and I'll blame you if I can't get it out of my head for the rest of the day. Like Stunkel, I felt as if the 'bell' synth could have used some more juice to give it a larger, greater presence in the mix. Not really a big deal though, it still sounds great.

Really awesome work man! :D

Score: 8.7/10



~SW~ Thurm ins_wa_ ~SW~ Thurm ins_wa_

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Checklist for Skye's track:
- Incredible sound design...Check.
- Excellent mix...Check.
- Neat and interesting percussion...Check
- Otherworldly atmosphere...Check.

As always, you've presented an enjoyable (and interesting) listening experience through great sound design, atmosphere, and your insane attention to detail. Oh, and spending a huge amount of time on the track? Check!

What to consider:
- You guessed it...the melody needs greater definition.

That is basically my only gripe, Skye. All of your tracks have high production values, interesting composition elements and are almost always very memorable. I think the only thing holding this track back is its incredibly understated melodic content. The fact that there is no 'true' catch or discernible melody is a bummer. Now, that being said, the subtleties here are really something else!

Fantastic work, keep it up Skye! :)

Score: 9/10


SkyeWint responds:

Alright. Better melody. Got it. Will do!


Clockwork Waltz Clockwork Waltz

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Mesmerizing sound design.
- Fun composition.
- Wonderful atmosphere and mood.
- Creative percussion.

Ooooohh this sounds so magical, I love it! I used the word 'fun' to describe this, because this piece is just plain fun to listen to. It has a real mischievous yet lighthearted vibe to it, yet it is also haunting. I can't seem to shake that wonderfully unique sound that you've created here. It sticks with you even after the track ends. Now THAT is a sign of something immersive and masterfully written.

What to consider:
- Soft parts = strong, loud parts = slightly weak.
- Nice reverb, just needs to be tweaked a bit!

Geoplex and Step have made a really solid point; the softer passages of this piece are far stronger than the louder portions. They've covered everything that needs to be said about that, so I'll move on. I agree with MetalRenard about the reverb, it seems that the music box in particular should sound closer to the listener to create that feeling of having it playing right in front of you. That would enhance the creepiness! I will say that the sound is spread across the stereo image evenly though, which works perfectly.

Excellent work, Azthar. Keep up the spooky work! :)

Score: 8.8/10


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Azhthar responds:

Hey! It´s review weekend (like christmas for musicians).

Actually I really intended to keep the music box a bit more distant at the beginning and to have the impression that it comes closer later. At the end I used a different, closer reverb setting... But you got a point here since this intention is way to subtle I guess it´s just better to have it close from the beginning.

I definitely have to work on that louder parts... I´m relly bad in mixing percussion in these tutti sections which is probably a problem, too...

Also I´ll try to keep up the spooky stuff but actually at the moment I´m working on something completely different. It´s more happy lighthearted kitsch to be honest but I was in the mood to do something like that ;) It will still be my typical instrumentation though ;) And helloween isn´t that far anymore, too.

Thanks again! Glad you liked it!