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Infenro - SCB Infenro - SCB

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

It's official: you have a signature sound. I have a feeling that if I had heard this song without knowing who authored it, I'd still be able to identify it as one of yours. I'm not implying that you're being repetitive. On the contrary, I think you're being consistent. I love hearing such healthy saws; they remind me of good ol' trance songs.

I gotta say, that buildup starting at 00:20 was badass, and the tape stop made for a cool fakeout. The only nit-picky thing I have to say is about the drop. I didn't really feel the impact of the drop, mostly because the buildup and melody felt completely separate. Basically, the buildup rocked and the melody was great, but the actual transition between the two didn't seem to happen. I suppose I was expecting more of an impact.

Again, wicked use of the melody. Your remix has a much more full sound than the original, and I'm digging your additions hard. You peppered in the glitch effects perfectly throughout the entire song. I'm actually having a little trouble telling the difference between the glitched beat and oneshot sound effects. This is a good thing because it means they fit together seamlessly. Outstanding job there.

Usually, when someone is using samples in their song, I tend to groan a little because it's overdone so often. "Yyyyyeah, clap yo hands!!! Drop dat bass!!!" Generally speaking, I find stuff like that unoriginal. In this case, however, I didn't have that feeling at all. The samples are straightforward and chill, just like the rest of the song. Really, really nice choices there. Just one quick note about the sample at 2:41. First, that made me smile. Second, there's essentially a second and a half of dead space without any transition between that sample and the reprise. I'd suggest at least a brief drum fill, tiny buildup, or hell, even a little scratching. It just needs the tiniest something to fill that void. Other than that, solid return.

The only other things that I felt needs a little improvement are the snares. The ride is solid; if I listen for it, I can hear it, but otherwise it's hiding in the background. The same is true for the kick. It can be just a little weak at points, but that's better than having it overpowering your sound. The first snare you use is great, and the glitches do a great job of showing it off. The one at 1:20 is a little thin for me. I don't think it needs more volume. I think it needs a touch more depth. The same is true for the snare at 2:30, but I think that one needs a LOT more depth. When I say depth, I mean two things. First, I think that they would both benefit from some lower sound built into them. Maybe layer a lower snare over top of them and play with the volume balances between the two? Second, I think that the 1:20 snare could benefit from a teensy bit more width. Don't go nuts with reverb or anything, but I do think it needs a little more length to it. To me, it sounds like holding up a sheet of notebook paper and flicking it. I do wanna clarify about the snare suggestions: these are just a matter of personal choice. I would have used a heavier snare in those sections, but I tend to favor a heavy sound. My songs also tend to clip like a fat bitch named Wendy.

I think I've said this in almost every review so far, but I'd call this your strongest sound yet. I've definitely said this before, but this song demonstrates a great deal of control and finesse. Outstanding work! 4.5/5 5/5


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Free2Play responds:

Thanks man! I really liked what you had to say, and I especially feel like you recognized a lot of things I intentionally was trying to do (especially the thing about the voice samples, I can't stand most of them but I went out to find the un-cheesiest ones and usually try to give it some context somehow). You're definitely right about the drop, this is pretty much the first time I've done as heavy of a drop as this and it really needed a bit layered over it when it dropped to give it like a WHAM type of thing. I really didn't do that though I just tried to add alot to the buildup (ps I really think the second buildup sucks, and that's mostly due to my computer trippin' absolute balls on that part and me not being able to properly listen to it). The absolute stop on the 2nd buildup was actual a personal thing, but really I did want to add a bit of delay or something very quiet to fake out rather than silence (again though I didn't do it mostly due to my computer not handling that area very well and I couldn't tell how well that part fit with the previous buildup).

I can totally understand your personal preference with my percussion, and really it wasn't fine tuned enough (although I fine tuned the crap out of this). But I'm a big fan of Nujabes and DJ Shadow, and I always like how they kept their chopped beats pretty organic and sometimes even left the record decay in their which I think is a neat deal. The drop was layered over an 808 drum (I was trying to hit a bit of hip hop in this song) but the second beat wasn't layered, and it probably should have at least on the snare it is pretty flimsy.

Thank you so much for your reviews, they help so much in their detail!!! The next project I'm working on is a Phoenix Wright suite of music, and I'm gonna try to submit it to OCRemix.


Infenro - Dark Alleyway Infenro - Dark Alleyway

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

Much improved

I love when people actually finish their WIPs because it gives you a nice baseline for comparison.

This was already a fairly eerie piece when you started, but the ambient radio chatter and news clips add a nice dimension to it. Kinda reminds me of Silent Hill. The 911 recording was a bit overbearing, but I liked the rest of them otherwise.

Also, listening to the WIP and this one, it sounds like you tweaked the mastering on the percs a bit. They sound a little tighter and hit a little harder. Very well done.

Speaking of the percs, I'm not normally a big fan of glitch effects, but I actually thought it was a nice twist. The important thing is that it sounded like you were in control of the glitch (instead of just blindly adding it).

Control is another thing I'm definitely seeing improve. When you listen to Feed Me, Excision, xKore, and so on, I think a fundamental aspect of each of their songs is that every single sound, effect, and mastering tweak has a purpose. Nothing is thrown in there for the hell of it, and this keeps everything nice and tight. Your songs are starting to track that style. I'm hearing fewer and fewer things that make me go, "Hm, wonder why he left that in there." You've got a knack for melodies and the ability to translate them.

Andream222 was right: Sexy as hell! 5/5 9/10


Free2Play responds:

Yet again I'm incredibly thankful for your review (you probably have inspired me to really look at small details and fix my own glaring issues). Ironically enough the glitch effects actually were in control it was really me slicing the beat on my own which gave it alot more effect since it stayed almost the same the whole time. There were actually no seperate glitch effects added, which I really want to try most of the time it does give you a level of control and experimentation. I did tweak quite a bit of the mixing and mastering, the drums I believe were compressed just a bit more (or maybe less I can't remember) and the actually multi-band compressor on the master got alot of attention so that I could make it all sound like I wanted to.

Thanks so much for your reviews, they've been unfathomably helpful!

P.S. I actually just beat Silent Hill 2, it's one of my favorite games of all time.


Dark Alleyway [WIP] Dark Alleyway [WIP]

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Not a bad effort

With songs like this, the beat is definitely an integral part of the mood of the song. Having said that, I think that the kick could be a touch punchier and sharper. It's a bit dull and fuzzy right now. Also (and you can completely ignore this if you'd like), I don't think that sprinkling in a few extra cymbals would be a bad thing. Maybe a closed hat or two Of course, keep the volume nice and low on them, but it might give the beat a little more "color." Lastly, there's something a little weird about that snare. On the one hand, it seems to be lacking that guttural depth that beats like this tend to have. On the other, it's not cutting through the sound as sharply as one would want. I can hear both of these things trying to happen, but they're just not coming across strongly enough.

On that note, a great way to keep ditties like this interesting is by using one-shot sound effects and ambiance. I don't really have any specific suggestions for what to add, but there are assloads of sound packs available for free with gun sounds, subs, one-shots, electric effects, and so on. I think that might be what you're looking for to get away from that "patterned" sound. Don't go overboard with them, but peppering the song with little FX can really improve it.

Stupid suggestion: my mind keeps wanting to hear an occasional piano. High chords with a delay effect on them, in fact. I don't know how this would sound in practice, but it might be worth playing with.

If memory serves, this is a new direction for you. Me gusta. Keep pounding away at it. 6/10 3/5


Free2Play responds:

I think I didn't respond to this one because I was all emo about the criticism or maybe, but I grew some balls later and took your advice. It's pretty much a process I do anytime you have to give some major criticisms lol, but I seriously appreciate them so DO NOT HOLD BACK. I actually took just about every bit of your advice here so um.... THANKS!


Ocean WIP Ocean WIP

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Eye Have You

One thing that I've learned first hand is that it's tough to put together longer songs without making them repetitive. On the whole, this tune is a good example of a setup, twist, and reprise. You varied it up enough to keep it interesting, but it never really felt like a different song at any point.

As usual, you did a great job with your selection of instruments. Nothing is too overpowering, and they all fit together for a balanced sound. I particularly liked the lead at 4:36.

Alright, the criticism:

I know it's a WIP, so there are still quite a few aspects that need attention. Having said that, I'll just gloss over the obvious stuff. The transitions are pretty harsh. In fact, there really aren't any transitions between the three movements. Also, mastering. You know this.

One big thing I think needs attention is the development of the melody in the second and third movements, particularly the third. Sunrise is undoubtedly the strongest of the three because you have, within it, an introduction, a main melody with a beat, and a setup for the next bit. Transitions aside, The Storm picks up on that setup nicely, but it didn't hit me quite as hard as I was hoping. Just a suggestion, but you might consider playing around with minor tonalities and some more aggressive sounds. Also, make sure that you at least loosely stick to that intro/melody/setup (or fade out) structure. You did it too well in Sunrise to abandon it in The Storm. I get the feeling that the main "melody" in this movement is the drum beat. The constant variation of the beat keeps my attention focused on that and detracts from the strings. I would say tone down the glitch effects and use them at the end of every fourth or eighth bar. That said, compared to that last piece, this is a nice overall job keeping the glitch effects confined to the drum beat and keeping them in check. Once you've done that, you'll have "room" in the sound for another sound to lead the listener where you want them to go.

Overall, I'm digging this. I'm personally guilty of upping WIPs that never get any more attention from me, but I think this is worth working on. 7/10 4/5


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Free2Play responds:

ABSOLUTELY LOVELY! Lol, it'd be way too difficult to address everything you said but I agree with pretty much all of it. The transitions are pretty harsh and I didn't do too much to tie it together between sounds it's like you said, fade in and fade out. Listening back on this I do feel like there isn't enough tonality or even much of a chord going on in the storm. It's litterally 3 notes, 3 bars, and the chords fill in with the pads but it doesn't do enough especially to try and make it actually SOUND like a storm. Honestly though this really just isn't polished enough, I think it has potential but there's some minor and some major tweaks to be done. THANKS AS ALWAYS :D


Infenro - Redemption Infenro - Redemption

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Glad to see that your music continues to improve

It seems that every song you write has an extra little bit of complexity to it. That shows that you're learning and retaining.

I'm digging the pad intro! It's a great way to ease the listener into the key, especially with ambient songs. The percussion intro was a very nice effort, but it doesn't quite work for me because the static pad seems to clash with the pads you've set up. It's a nit-picky thing, but I think you've hit the stage where we can pick nits.

The drop at 1:08 comes at a nice time and really supports the melody changeup right after. Starting at 1:27, I think it starts to get a little too busy. There are a lot of similar-sounding moving instruments in similar-sounding octaves. It's a simple suggestion, but maybe try to move one of those leads down an octave or two and see how it sounds. Occam's Razor, right?

You're already aware that the glitch section is quite a mess, so I won't address that. I do find myself wondering how effective it would be if it lined up properly. It's very sudden and hard-hitting, which is a really sharp contrast to the mood thus far. I'm not saying scrap the glitch effects altogether, but maybe limit the effect to just the percs or another few instruments? It's easy to get excited with glitch effects (I went WAY overboard with it in my first iteration of Ghosts in the Machine).

Lol Zelda OOT.

For the remainder of the song, my only real criticism is the over-abundance of hi- and mid-range instruments. The only bass I'm really getting to balance things out is that (those?) pad(s?), and they're a little too weak to counterbalance the rest of the sound.

The outro's great. Nice and simple, easing the listener out as easily as you brought them in.

Overall, I think this is another step forward for you. For your next songs, I would work on achieving a balance among your hi-, mid-, and lo-range sounds. That's a helluva lot harder than it sounds. For an example of how not to do it, check out my song, Sunset. For an example of how to kind of sort of somewhat do it, check out Glass Galaxies.

Always a pleasure hearing your music. 4/5 8/10


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Free2Play responds:

Wow this was REALLY helpful! Glad to see you're still alive too lol. Yeah lately I've been really wanting to improve my composition, and my ability to make synthesized instruments. In general though I want to improve pretty much everything I do. This was the first time I did a lot of things though and I think it's pretty decent but honestly it's just missing something. To me the best part is probably the intro lol, the filter effect came in last minute since I thought the intro was just bland and the fliter made it sound ALOT better. I think one of my biggest problems though is there's no real spontaneity throughout it, it's just too patterned. Thanks for the review though, I really wish I had a teacher though lol. Very ready to learn these days.


Sidegroove Sidegroove

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Nice

Amazing how a simple trick like sidechaining can add so much to a song. ActionHobo's right. You've clearly come a long way. Your songs are getting a much more finished sound, and your melodies are getting more intricate. Keep at it!


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By All Means, Live Your Dreams By All Means, Live Your Dreams

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

I think I've figured out your signature sound

Juicy saw leads and simple, yet elegant, drum beats. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: you've got a true talent for crafting melodies. Your songs don't have the instrumental depth of cornandbeans, and your beats lack the punch of SteakJohnson, but your projects can still be just as powerful.

Teensy bit of criticism on this one: the saws you chose are great, and they go well together, but at some points, they kinda get mushed together because they sound so similar. I can't really offer a suggestion for what to use in place of some of them (I have to hear a sound to tell how well it'll fit), but maybe try a triangle pad in place of one of your saws. That should clean the sound without sacrificing the bassline.

Everything else hear is pretty rock solid. Nothing fancy, just good, simple music that hits hard. Keep at it!


Free2Play responds:

Sweet thanks!

Yeah I've really been practicing trying not to overblow frequencies recently on basses and higher frequencies. I'm starting to get a better hold on things like that.

If you want to see my most recent skills on mixing and mastering check out Sidegroove (Remastered). I started using Maximus a multiband compressor to try and bring out the sound alot better.


Stratosphere wip Stratosphere wip

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Holy shit

AeraDynamic's got it right. This is top notch melodic work from you. You HAVE to finish this. Stretch the melodies out, allow them to rise and fall a little more slowly, and give a strong finish, and the end result will be something to truly be proud of. I'm upvoting the shit out of this all weekend.


SteakJohnson responds:

hah thanks a bunch dude, i actually forgot bout this song. thanks for the upvoting!


Working as a Unit Working as a Unit

Rated 4 / 5 stars

A big improvement for sure

The kick has a bit more punch to it, and the whole song has a nice, soft feel, even with the high lead racing around. I know you weren't going for anything special with the melody, but this is still a well-written song. Excellent choices on the instrumentation, although the snare could use a little work.

From a mastering standpoint, I can really hear it the most on your pads and leads. Very good balance to them. However, I don't think the snare and cymbals are quite cutting through enough. The trick is to get a hi hat that has a nice sizzle to it, but is also sharp and crisp. You have the sizzle here, but I think layering another sharper hat over it will help it slice through.

That's another point I wanted to make: don't be afraid to layer a few sounds together to create a new one. You've kinda got that going on with the open hat, but they don't quite lock together. Combining a low, wet snare with a higher one can have some interesting results. Clone some of those snares, turn the volume way down on them, and sprinkle in some ghost notes. Don't confine yourself to stock sounds.

You've got the talent to create some robust melodies; once you get your sounds up to par, I have no doubt that a large portion of the internet will explode from the awesomeness.


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Free2Play responds:

Thanks, bro! Very helpful, I've been liking the reviews you guys have been giving me I'll definetely be trying that out (litterally in like a couple of minutes I was gonna practice here in a bit). And thanks alot for listening again, definitely helps to hear if I'm progressing well.


Thoughts [InfernoZN] Thoughts [InfernoZN]

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Great melodic work here

The only blemish on this song is the lack of mastering. There's a lot of fuzziness that some EQ and compression could really clean up. Other than that, this has some awesome sounds that work together nicely. Good work!


Free2Play responds:

Yeah mastering is not my forte, I still don't know much of anything I just make all these songs in one sitting because it's really fun but I wanna learn more and get more into it as I keep going.