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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperAudioFeedback Thread...! (READ OP BEFORE POSTING!)
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Author Topic: Feedback Thread...! (READ OP BEFORE POSTING!)  (Read 38496 times)
Jasmine
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« on: May 28, 2014, 07:25:04 PM »

Hey guys. Aside from a thread posted by Zack from earlier on, I haven't seen any others around dedicated to such a topic. That stinks, because I would absolutely LOVE criticism from some of the awesome composers on this site (and I know there are others who feel the same). As composers, we benefit from another pair o' ears.

If there is a thread for that, please point me in the right direction!

Otherwise, I really think there should be a thread for this.

I guess, to make it more legit than people basically spamming the joint:

When submitting a piece for critique, you must first:

1. Comment or offer critique on a previously posted track.
(I don't want to be a debbie downer, but if you make a habit of throwing a link and not offering feedback, we'll turn into IndieDB! Lets stop the cycle here and now!)

After doing that, you need to describe your piece by posting:

2. What the piece is being created for. (the setting, a small bit of back-story, etc.)

3. What you are looking for feedback on. (mixing, positioning, timbral differences, phrasing, melodies, harmonies, life, etc)

3. A link

If anyone believes there should be more stated, let me know and I'll add it to the OP (though we don't want a grocery list of directives!)
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If you would simply like to offer a comment/critique on a posted piece, that is fine! (It is actually encouraged!)
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« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 07:08:09 AM by M4uesviecr » Logged

Jasmine
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 07:28:47 PM »

I'll start it off, since I desperately need want it.

1. This piece is being made for a game set on an island. The musical style is a mixture of jazz, bossa nova, other classical latin music styles. This tune in particular is for a set of characters that are mischievous - trouble-makers (but in a fun way).

2. Everything. Primarily mixing, but if you hear anything else worth being ripped to shreds, tear away.

3. Mischievous Maiden

I'm getting frustrated, and I think my problem lies in quality. I know what I want, but the instruments I am using are not giving me what I need. Therefore, I am trying to manipulate them beyond their capabilities.

----
I will give feedback the best I way can to the next person to post in this thread.
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Audiosprite
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 07:50:03 PM »

? if your desperation for feedback comes from insecurity i don't know why that would be; this sounds really good

all i would suggest is sending each track to a verb unit. doesn't much. it's only really apparent in the moments the whole band rests near the beginning anyway.
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mscottweber
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 09:47:38 AM »

I'll start it off, since I desperately need want it.

1. This piece is being made for a game set on an island. The musical style is a mixture of jazz, bossa nova, other classical latin music styles. This tune in particular is for a set of characters that are mischievous - trouble-makers (but in a fun way).

2. Everything. Primarily mixing, but if you hear anything else worth being ripped to shreds, tear away.

3. Mischievous Maiden

I'm getting frustrated, and I think my problem lies in quality. I know what I want, but the instruments I am using are not giving me what I need. Therefore, I am trying to manipulate them beyond their capabilities.

----
I will give feedback the best I way can to the next person to post in this thread.


I think it sounds good! Where I think it could improve:

-You could do more varying with the velocity levels, ESPECIALLY the exposed percussion in the beginning.  Try to make it so that no two consecutive hits have the same velocity.  This might be easier for me since I'm a percussionist, but any time you have multiple hits close together (like in the cowbell part) think about which of those hits is more important to the groove, and make the other hits softer.
I.E.   HIT......HIT.HIT.HIT....HIT..HIT..HIT.HIT

-When the piano enters with the bass at:36, its a bit muddy.  Maybe make the piano a tad brighter to stand out from the midrangey bass?

These sounds are nice and charming! I thought the trumpet sounded quite nice actually. 
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 09:53:00 AM by mscottweber » Logged

mscottweber
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 10:08:05 AM »

Ok, my turn  Smiley  This "finished" track was already approved by the game designer, but these kind of tracks are never actually done so I'd love to hear other people's thoughts.

This is a battle theme that I wrote for an iOS RPG.  Other than a few pieces of concept art, I know nothing about the story, characters, gameplay, etc.

I welcome feedback on ANY aspect of this track, but in particular I want to know peoples opinions on the mix (it was entirely composed and mixed on headphones, so I'm skeptical how it translates), and whether or not it feels energetic enough (the first feedback I got from the designer was that it wasn't "fast" enough, even though it was the same BPM as the ref track he gave me).  Oh, also, I haven't thought up a name for it yet.  Any ideas?

https://soundcloud.com/michaelwebermusic-1/yet-untitled-battle-theme
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Daniel Pellicer
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 11:55:27 AM »

http://soundcloud.com/estudioevergreen/a-new-origin-battle-theme

I think its cool!

Probably what he means is that the main voice in the melody uses slow note. Maybe you could try to overlap a second melody in a higher register with faster notes or something like that. Something simmilar occured to me with this theme(look above) the bpm is quite fast but the one of the main melodies is a little slow.

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Jasmine
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 06:35:40 PM »

@Mike Weber
Really dig this groovy battle track (favorite part is the switch at 00:57). My thoughts are similar to Estudio's. The drums add a good deal of drive, but in the beginning, all melodic and supporting melodies are sustains (outside of a few synth runs). Giving a melodic line with some motion may give the feeling of the piece pushing forward.

As far as mixing, it sounds fine! At times I wish the strings gave a bit more, but in all, it sounds really good!

------------

Micheal, thanks a ton for the suggestions! I'll make sure to edit that further as I continue to work on the piece.

Audiosprite, haha, that could partly be it insecurities. I've been listening on alternate headphones and I'm hearing certain problems. I can't quite put my finger on what it is. It could be my inability to be content with something. Still, thank you for the advice! Definitely going to put it to good use!
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Daniel Pellicer
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 11:20:43 PM »


I think its cool!

Probably what he means is that the main voice in the melody uses slow note. Maybe you could try to overlap a second melody in a higher register with faster notes or something like that. Something simmilar occured to me with this theme(look above) the bpm is quite fast but the one of the main melodies is a little slow.



I did my comment already to this track so I allow myself to ask for feedback :p

https://soundcloud.com/estudioevergreen/a-new-origin-main-theme

All what you could say about it can help!
Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 10:54:46 AM by Estudio Evergreen » Logged

Jasmine
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2014, 01:38:53 PM »



I did my comment already to this track so I allow myself to ask for feedback :p

https://soundcloud.com/estudioevergreen/a-new-origin-main-theme

All what you could say about it can help!
Thanks!

Since there is only one link, I'm assuming you answered your own question! (modified from your last post)

As far as feedback:

I really like how your harp "breathes", when it comes in at 00:19. An idea would be to get your strings to follow that motion. The harp creates a forward flow  that would really accent the push of the piece.

The build up into the climax, as I should say, worked out very well! My only comment would be on the bass; I didn't really hear too many deep strings to kind of give the chords a foundation.

All in all, I think it's pretty good!
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Ryan_A_Brady
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 12:29:19 PM »

I hope this thing is still alive and kicking, it's a great thread!

Anywho, my feedback will be for Mike Weber's Battle Theme. First let me just say, I love everything about this song. The drum and bass lines are perfect, and the crazy diversion it takes around 1:00 followed by the sweet cadence is great!

The only thing that I can see that might improve the track further, is if you maybe varied the main horn melody in the first half of the song a bit. It's very well established, but I feel like it gets a tad repetitive after one too many measures of it.

I also really enjoyed listening to everyone else's tracks, you guys are all very talented!

I recently overhauled my home studio with a much needed software update/change, so this was my first piece I've written with my new software (It's also a Battle Theme):

https://soundcloud.com/ryan-a-brady/proving-grounds

I wrote this strictly for my portfolio, and I aimed to write it in the vein of a typical JRPG (specifically the Final Fantasy series).

Feel free to give me feedback on anything that seems fit! Specifically, I would love some feedback on mixing. There's so much going on in this track and after a while I feel like I'm having tunnel vision so it would be nice to hear some outside perspectives.

Thanks in advance!
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medieval
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 10:06:13 AM »

https://soundcloud.com/ryan-a-brady/proving-grounds

I wrote this strictly for my portfolio, and I aimed to write it in the vein of a typical JRPG (specifically the Final Fantasy series).

Feel free to give me feedback on anything that seems fit! Specifically, I would love some feedback on mixing. There's so much going on in this track and after a while I feel like I'm having tunnel vision so it would be nice to hear some outside perspectives.

Thanks in advance!

I like how the pace changes at the 1:20 mark, well done!

I am noticing that the horns (and strings? yes, i believe those are strings) obscure the kick and snare. Equalization is key to solving problems like this. The snare, for example, sits approximately in the 300-500Hz range (depending on your sample), so when other instruments produce sound in these same frequency, they interfere. By making band cuts in e.g. the strings and horns in this range your snare will be loud and clear throughout the entire mix, without actually having to increase its volume. The kick and snare, important as they are, do not actually need to be put on high gain in order to be heard well. Same goes for any other instrument, especially when layering orchestral tracks it is necessary to make sure that every channel sits well in the mix without being obscured by another. This'll take some practice (and I suggest you read up on EQing) and I'm no master in this either, but it is sure to pay off in the long run when you get to produce clean mixes that are pleasant to listen to.
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Ryan_A_Brady
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 05:55:03 PM »


I like how the pace changes at the 1:20 mark, well done!

I am noticing that the horns (and strings? yes, i believe those are strings) obscure the kick and snare. Equalization is key to solving problems like this. The snare, for example, sits approximately in the 300-500Hz range (depending on your sample), so when other instruments produce sound in these same frequency, they interfere. By making band cuts in e.g. the strings and horns in this range your snare will be loud and clear throughout the entire mix, without actually having to increase its volume. The kick and snare, important as they are, do not actually need to be put on high gain in order to be heard well. Same goes for any other instrument, especially when layering orchestral tracks it is necessary to make sure that every channel sits well in the mix without being obscured by another. This'll take some practice (and I suggest you read up on EQing) and I'm no master in this either, but it is sure to pay off in the long run when you get to produce clean mixes that are pleasant to listen to.

Thanks for your feedback narasu! You've given me some good food for thought. I actually just picked up Mike Senior's "Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio" the other day, so I'm looking forward on learning some advanced equalization and other mixing essentials.
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mscottweber
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 06:02:36 AM »

I meant to come back here and reply to everyone's comments earlier, but I've been pretty swamped  Embarrassed

Thanks for the feedback on my track! 

@M4uesviecr and Estudio  I went back and listened to the reference track, which also has those slow, thick, not-very-melodic melodies in the strings/brass, and it DOES introduce some faster stuff in the registers above.  You two hit the nail on the head, thanks!

@Ryan I completely agree, the brass melody needs to change a bit.  I was feeling the same way about it, but I didn't know if that was just because I'd been listening to it for so long that I had lost perspective...

Seriously, though, I'm terrible at coming up with names for tracks like these.  Any suggestions?  Anyone?   Smiley
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mscottweber
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 06:13:04 AM »

@Estudio Evergreen  I have two thoughts on this (apart from liking it Smiley )

-The vibrato on the flute sounds a bit heavy-handed to me.  Does your sample set give you control over that, or do you have any other flutes to try?  If you have Kontakt, you may want to take a look at Embertone's Jubal Flute http://embertone.com/instruments/jubalflute.php

-At 1:17, when the tracks gets big and grand, I think the melody should leave the flute and go to something else.  Maybe horns?
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mscottweber
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 06:31:17 AM »

@Ryan_A_Brady

I think there is a lot of cool melodic stuff going in this track, which keeps it interesting.  A few thoughts though:

-This may be a stylistic choice, but all of the instruments sound stagnant; try playing around with altering velocities to let them sing a bit more, especially anything long and sustained

-The timing sounds kind of off at times, as though some things were quantized perfectly to the grid and others weren't.  For example, the hits in the section that starts at 1:11, and the drums around 1:38

-From about 2:05 onward the bass is gone.  Its a nice change in timbre, but my ears started to miss after a while, especially with the drums continuing through most of the second half

All in all, a nice track!
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Ryan_A_Brady
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2014, 07:23:34 AM »

@mscottweber

Thank you very much for your feedback, it's really helpful!

I agree there are a couple hits that sound a little off. The tempo changes twice within the track, and one of the changes happens right at 1:38, so maybe I'll revisit that part to smooth the transition a little more.

Also, your comment on the instruments sounding stagnant, I do agree with you there. I wanted this song to be very much in your face, so I felt if I made the strings and other sections too dynamic, the quiet parts would be competing with the drums to be heard. But maybe it would have made a bigger impact if I had more dynamics. For my next battle theme I'll maybe work more with dynamics Smiley

As for a name for your Battle Theme... hmmm... 'Those Who Choose the Sword'?

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 07:30:07 AM by Ryan_A_Brady » Logged

jaharley94
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2014, 10:16:12 AM »

@ mscottweber: I am really enjoying the driving feeling of the drums and bass in this one, and the sounds used are pretty nice quality.  I'm digging those punchy 80s toms with reverb and the panning automation on the melodic line (I think it is harp) around 0:39.  Overall really nice stuff! If I were to have done this tune, I would have taken it in a different direction chord-ally around the 1 minute mark.  But the way you developed things worked out quite well with the resolution/re-introduction at 1:33.

I actually listened to some of your other music and really enjoy it.  I gave you a follow on soundcloud! Bravo and well done sir.
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jaharley94
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2014, 10:19:37 AM »

So I did my critique, which was really just mostly compliments because I really enjoyed weber's piece haha.

Apologies if this is excessive, but I have a short playlist of songs that are in a retro not-quite-chiptune vein and I'd really like some feedback on them! You can pick any of them you like, but be aware that I didn't write "My Brains Beat Your Muscles" or "Like a Final Boss". 

1.  The pieces weren't really created for anything other than a musical experiment for a friend.  We wanted to get into retro/indie game composition mode, so we went with an 8 bit kind of project and had a bit of fun.

2. As mentioned above, critique on anything is appreciated! Sound quality/mix isn't really a big thing to mention here, but more the quality and catchiness of the tunes.  I'd like to know if you would enjoy them from a consumer/gamer's point of view.  I.e. can you see them in a game?

3. https://soundcloud.com/jake-harley/sets/pressstart

Thanks so much for your time guys!

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medieval
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2014, 04:51:41 PM »

3. https://soundcloud.com/jake-harley/sets/pressstart

Thanks so much for your time guys!

I love these arrangements, and in that sense I think you've done exactly what you set out to do, and it worked out great. I do wish it was live recorded. I'm not a fan of the retro MIDI sound, but even then it's pleasant to listen to and of course I get its purpose in this context (but imagine a band playing these compositions!)



Here's one I did a while ago: https://soundcloud.com/ronin-narasu/clear-skies-clouded-mind

I made this for a friend who was making a short film for school, only the film was never finished. I feel like the mixing is not completely right in a few places, and could use some advice on that; anything else that you can think of saying is welcome too.
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Jasmine
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2014, 06:30:10 PM »


A more contemplative piece! I dig piano, and you can never go with some added strings. Wink
There were a couple of things that I truly enjoyed about the piece:

1. Cellos and pianos fit very well together!

2. The atmosphere of the piece really fit with the title you gave it.

Since this piece is supposed to represent things that are otherwise "silent", it is supposed to emit a soft, quiet, reflective tone.

One comment:

A.From what I heard, the chords stuck out more than the melody at the beginning. I think what could add to the feeling of lightness (word? haha) is playing with velocity and dynamics. I think having piano hits that "sound" lighter will give the section at 00:53 more emphasis (A more weighty, forward driven section).

Very pretty piece! I especially loved the crunch in the cello during the 1.48 section as it hit its low note!

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