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Constructive Criticism of Soundtrack in Progress


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#1 M4uesviecr   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

Hey all! I am currently working on the soundtrack for an up and coming game for the Ipad/Android tablets titled Conquest.
I have yet to let anyone listen to what I have made thus far, and I would really like some constructive criticism on how things sound at this point.

There are two tracks (primarily the ones I will be using in my portfolio), featured in the link below. I haven't uploaded everything that I have recently made since he doesn't want to release too much.

Any and all advice is very helpful.

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to lend an ear and a couple o' digits to help me out.

https://soundcloud.com/jasminecoopermusic/sets/conquest


My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasminecoopermusic

"The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an artist." Max Jacob


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#2 Kristoff K.   Members   -  Reputation: 207

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

Hey!

First of all, I really like the string section.

However the piano part sounds a bit muddy. A bit more spacial processing would also serve it well.

 

The percussion arrangement sounds good, but I'd go few steps forward in terms of processing the samples.

The kick drums is very decent, so it can stay as it is, but the other percussion bits could be underlined more.

Add some crunchiness, saturate it a bit - let the percussion be bit more bald (but not standing out too much).

Watch out for the high frequencies when doing it...

Also, some sporadic fx automation could enhance the overall appeal.

 

The bassline is quite good, but I know you could do it better. Now I don't want you to overdo it, but try meddling with some bass processing plugins.

If that proves to lead nowhere, then leave it as it is.

 

When it comes to the mixdown, refer to my reply in the loudness thread. Just watch out not to kill the dynamics!

 

Keep up the good work!


Edited by jbadams, 15 January 2013 - 06:25 PM.
Added link to "the loudness thread". :-)


#3 M4uesviecr   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

Hey Kristoff! Thank's alot for the helpful information! I'll definitely take this into consideration. I'll post back here when I have updated the piece!


My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasminecoopermusic

"The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an artist." Max Jacob


#4 M4uesviecr   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

Anyone else willing to leave comments on my two pieces? As I said, anything is helpful, and I myself am getting used to putting my work up for scrutiny by well-versed others! (not that I mind)


My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasminecoopermusic

"The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an artist." Max Jacob


#5 Moritz P.G. Katz   Members   -  Reputation: 1049

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Hey there,

I really like the underlying synth ostinati in both tracks!

About the drums in the first track - I agree with Kristoff, the hi-hats and especially the snare sound very separate from the big kicks / timpani.
It's probably not even the way you processed them, but the choice of sound. I think if you used drum sounds with a deeper timbre, it would really kick the overall drive up a notch and result in less wish-wash. I kinda miss the synth kicks @ 0.56 when the main part begins though, those are nice and direct.
If you're looking for great Sci-Fi electronic drum sounds, I can recommend Soniccouture's Abstrakt Breaks 1 & 2, they're pretty cheap for what they're worth. Also they're loops, but it's pretty much in their nature to be good cut-and-sample material.

The string and horn sounds blend well with the synths, but sometimes they "boom" a bit too much on my studio speakers when they overlap/build up.
Overall, you could be a bit more daring with the stereo panorama to give the first track a wider sound.

In the second track, the percussion has a great drive, but it's a bit too busy and distracting for my taste. Maybe it's because you applied too much panning here, consider choosing one side for both percussion motives or just leaving them at the center. Right now, it's ping-pong for my ears, especially when I listen to the track with headphones.
The harmonic changes are really nice and atmospheric, I love the more quiet parts with the high piano notes!

...As always, these are just my two cents - much of it is a matter of taste and also of how it would fit with the gameplay and overall atmosphere! If you can, please share more about this game and your progress. smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz

Check out my Music/Sound Design Reel on moritzpgkatz.de


#6 M4uesviecr   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

Ah! Thank you Moritz. I noticed this boom whenever I listened to that track on better headphones (which I will bring up later). So I will definitely go back and clear that up. Thanks for the input on the high-hat/snare as well - I will check out the drum samples you mentioned!

 

For the second track, I will try panning the drums over to another side to see how I like it! I do know what you mean - It doesn't seem chaotic to my ears, but having brought up that point, I have no problem exploring other musical options to see if I like the result.

 

I have a question - Can headphones be a huge hinder to production value? I am creating music using $20 Walgreen headphones. I feel as though it really shouldn't matter, but after listening to my music on other headphones (that cost more than mine), I have noticed a difference in how my tracks sound, not to mention finding clippings and boomings (like you mentioned Katz), in my pieces. So should I probably invest in a stronger pair?

 

(It seems as though I need to invest all around, haha)


Edited by M4uesviecr, 18 January 2013 - 08:06 AM.

My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasminecoopermusic

"The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you are an artist." Max Jacob





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