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danny B

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Everything posted by danny B

  1. First off - the stutters need to stop. I'm guilty of overusing stutters sometimes myself, but this is really excessive. Like zirco the clown mentioned, it gets annoying quick. Let's go piece by piece on this one. Percussion - There are a few bright spots here, some nice little funky fills and open hi-hat work. However, the closed hihat sample is very "clicky" and annoying. It sticks WAY out of the mix and is actually a bit piercing. This sounds like a default Reason drumkit as well. Around 1:38 the only word I can use to describe the drums is "Annoying". Hard to explain why, must be the rat-a-tat style. There's no real rhythmic variation, just emphasis on the beat with 16th-note fillers. With such a funky package all around, this really sticks out. Instrumentation - I've already mentioned my dissatisfaction with the stuttering, and now that i've heard it looped several times, it's getting VERY grating. It's actually upsetting me a little. I have a tough time imagining how this is enjoyable. The organ intro seems to have no relationship with the rest of the song. It's a heavily quantized and artificial thing, and really sets a GM MIDI tone for the rest of it. Which reminds me - without any of the processing, a lot of this would sound like an 8Meg soundfont. The square lead gets pretty grating as well. Some type of filtering or envelope would greatly enhance its enjoyability. I'm also hearing an audio pop with every strike of the organ. This may be intentional, but a square wave pop is not a good attack for an organ. The strings don't sound too bad, but their sound quality isn't the problem. Arrangement - The strings seem to vaguely follow the progression laid out, sometimes hitting dead on and enhancing that "funk feel", but sometimes seem to meander without any real purpose. This, along with the fact that the whole thing has been oversimplified from the original. Matoya's theme has a lot more to offer than this song is letting on. It seems like the rearrangement is trying to hinge on fx and drum tricks to make its way along. Then, the ending string run sounds very arbitrary and random. Overall, some nice synths going on, the pads in the background especially. However, the arrangement suffers from oversimplification, and the additions that are there are somewhat hit-or-miss. Sound quality needs some attention. EQ sounds pretty decent all around, but many of the synths are dry and lifeless. I'd say back to the drawing board on this one. NO -D
  2. There's a pretty cool drumloop in this, but there's not much in the vein of variety. I'm pretty sure it's the same drumloop the whole way through. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it doesnt really help alleviate the repetition problem. This is pretty cool from a stylistic point of view, but i'm having a hard time hearing any appreciable amount of actual rearrangement. There are a few breakdowns and additions, but they're so minor they really don't make an impact. The strings also are a bit too delayed. These really should have been put ahead of the beat a little. Strings should have a slower attack than most other instruments, but the peak of said attack really should be solid on the beat. The abrasive synth that iterates the main melody in the intro and at 2:21 is very "stuttery" and doesn't flow like it feels it should. You've got this smooth, easy-going bed and a jittery lead. Melody alteration sounds nice though. The vocals come off as cheesy to me. They don't really add much to the track. They're not a big issue though. Some interesting instrumentation and timbre here, but I agree with the NO votes. This is almost there, but the production needs to be cleaned up a bit, and there needs to be a more solid effort on rearrangement additions/modifications. Til then... NO -D
  3. I think i'm on the analoq side of things here. There is an obvious (And successful) attempt at re-envisioning the original and makes it an interesting ride for a full 4+ minutes. Larry whined about realism, but realism is only really necessary when one is partaking in a "realistic" genre. Orchestral? yes. Rock n Roll? Probably. But off-the-wall dnB-esque electronic offerings? Nope. Very nice work with the processing overall, both with the volume/stutter FX, the panning, and overall synth programming. The same riff is basically repeating through the entirety of the tune, but it's so warped and transmogrified that it doesn't get boring for a second. This would be enough to get through already, but then some of the sickest guitar I've heard in a long time comes by to say hello. One of the most creative arrangements based on the simplest of original material i've heard in many moons. Nicely done. YES -D p.s. Be sure to get this considered to be the castle music in the "I, Mario" project.
  4. First thing I notice is a very solid guitar tone. There's decent playing, and a good use of dynamics. No, there's a great use of dynamics. It's refreshing to hear someone use intensity as a musical tool and not just an excuse to be loud. The drums are the low point, but I hate everyone's drums. The metals are a bit tinny and the arrangement is a bit simpler than what could have been. I don't hear much in the way of fills and grooves, but it doesn't really detract too much from the overall picture. Definately passable. YES -D
  5. This is 2 8 phrases looped for 3 minutes and 42 seconds. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. Let's get an actual arrangement going on and get out of the midi sequencer + soundfont realm and then we'll talk. Need an attempt at some kind of sound processing and more percussion than a swinging clave sample. Some nice bass work and interesting instrumentation though. Back to the drawing board. NO -D
  7. This is an adept arrangement, and a competent performance. Some parts can almost fool the ear into thinking it's real. The lo-fi recording actually helps the realism factor, by making it sound like a live performance that just happens to have a bad recording. However, the arrangement is not so great that it overcomes these easily fixable sound problems. It needs more high end clarity, and some of the key changes, etc are awkward. The way I see it, the arrangement is on the good side of passable, but the lo-fi recording is too negative to get this one above the threshold. Let's get some lovin' on the mastering and we'll give 'er another go. LEAVE NO FREQUENCY BEHIND! NO -D
  8. While i'll admit that the arrangement is somewhat similar in structure to the original, I find that this track does a very effective job of not only melding two tracks together, but expanding upon the originals in creative ways. It's almost as if the two originals met halfway and added some percussion that does well not to overdo it. Both electronic-style percussion and traditional-style make an appearance, and both seem to fit perfectly. It's got an effective atmosphere, a solid presentation, and adequately expands upon the original, while also tying the two tracks together, although in a subtle manner. YES -D
  9. Now, I have no problem with using sounds that are typical of the dance genre. The oom-tss is as useful to dance as the standard backbeat groove is to rock n' roll. The sweeping filter synths? Totally legit. However, in my opinion, there must always be an attempt to make the standard dance sound your own. I don't think this track succeeds on that front. It's decently mixed, for sure, but like analoq said, it's a typical FL jam that takes no risks and repeats like mad. The alterations done on the repeating sections are not significant enough to make it any different in my ears. Combined with the static, uniteresting lead - this song is a lot of presets and a little style. More effective synth programming would be most beneficial here, as would a more varied palette of timbres. NO -D
  10. Well, messy is the word of the day here. It's certainly got a Shnabubula quality to it, but without the "chaos under control" aspect. I'm not too keen on the 5/4. It seems like in some sections the song was made with the time signature in mind, but in some areas it just feels like the melody runs it original course and is followed by a few beats of percussion "catch-up". The whole thing has just about the same timbre going on, except for the breakdown in the middle, which gives us a little break from the monotonous cacophony. There are some commendable arrangement ideas, with the (nearly) successful utilization of 5/4 and some innovative percussive ideas. However, the entire mix is also flat dynamically. I don't hear very much variation in the velocities on any of the instruments. The percussion is especially "machine-gun". Perhaps it was an intended effect, but I for one am not very keen on percussion without dynamic contrast. Perhaps it's a personal bias, but I can't help but feel that this tune would be far more effective with noticeable crescendos and accent patterns on the drums. The crescendos that are present are just drills that fade in. I agree with Binnie in that it sounds somewhat gimmicky. A lot of flash, not a lot of substance. Off-the-wall arrangements using low quality sounds have their place, but not without a degree of control over the production. This one needs some tweaks and some more meat in the dynamics department. NO -D
  11. As a whole, compared to previous DJ Orange works i've heard, this one falls pretty short. Like Darky said, there's a lot of unison synthwork that just isn't interesting to listen to at all. Combined with the crazy, lo-fi intro, this has got some issues. The other judges covered everything else. NO -D
  12. There are a few original sections, but they are not original enough to counteract the rest of the song being the original + oom-tss with minor additions. The string additions and harp runs don't really add enough to truly differentiate it for me. Random key change? Come on, at least give us some context or a reason for it. NO -D
  13. I'd have to agree with the majority here. It's an adept performance. The sound quality is definately passable, the dynamics are fine, and the phrasing is great. However, I have listened over and over again, and I can't find any relationship with the original, without straining very hard to hear it. Even then, it seems like a cursory relationship, and without any attempt to make a link with the original. Nice work though. NO -D
  14. This one is right on the threshold for me. It's got a good vibe, a solid execution, but it's just simply too groovy for its own good. It needs some kind of switchup. The latin-esque rhythm is present the entire time. Since it's not exactly a legit latin jam, i can't give specific advice. In my experience, variations in latin jams come in the form of switching up the 2:3 or 3:2 casscare, or switching from bongos to bongo bell, etc. I would suggest a little more study into latin rhythms. As of now, it's got that "mambo no. 5" vibe. Basically, it sounds latin, but it's actually just a dance track with bongos and timbale. I'll need to hear more variation other than some intermittent timbale fills. Nice vocal samples though. NO -D
  15. This should not be on the panel. My fellow justices of the court covered it well enough, but i'll throw in my 2 cents. The kick coming in is completely random and innappropriate. The only transitions to speak of are of the fade in/out variety. This is 64/22Khz. Not gonna do it. NO -D
  16. The first thing I notice about this track is the atmosphere. It's got mood, it's got direction. It knows what it's doing. It's got a full, developed orchestration, and constantly moves into new sonic territory. The percussion is decently arranged, although it does sound somewhat mechanical. However, this is but one nitpick among a very well done track. Direct post material, IMO. YES -D
  17. There's definately some interesting synthetic textures here. Some of them are very agreeable to dance music, some of them are a bit... abstract. There's not much of a problem with authenticity to the genre, and there is a decent effort to make it somewhat original. However, my main beef with this tune is that it doesn't seem to keep more than 1 or 2 things going at once. For too long, there are synth motifs supported only by oom-tss. No attempt at harmonies, funky basslines or even timbral support from pad/fx synths. Very rarely is there a full, interesting soundfield that holds my attention. 2:12 gets the closest, but it stills feels empty. Either a more solid harmonic/melodic package needs to take hold, or some kind of more interesting timbral reinforcement must be present. As of now, it's a shell. Fill 'er up. NO -D
  18. I'm simply not hearing the technical problems to the extent that some other judges are. Regardless, even though the sample is a bit grating sometimes, it's definately passable. The arrangement is very original and creative. It's emotive, and that emotion does come out even with the slightly mechanical sample. This is a great example of excellent arrangement transcending SQ problems that might have been problematic without such sophisticated composition. YES -D
  19. There isn't much to add to these other decisions. It's a nice, chill concept, and the guitar playing isn't too terrible, there just isn't much of an execution here. The whole thing sounds like an intro. An intro to a badass track. I can hear huge drums, epic strings and crazy guitar work in this. But of course, this is just an intro. Try to acheive a dynamic and instrumental contrast. Solely guitar arrangements can work, but this isn't the way to do them. I'd say get some drum samples or a buddy to do them for you, because this as it's own thing doesn't cut it. GJ though. NO -D
  20. Vig hit this on the head. Pretty decent sound quality, but there isn't much here that isn't in the original. Mostly percussive additions. While I'm biased towards percussion, this doesn't add enough to qualify it as a true rearrangement. Nice samples though - let's hear a more original presentation. NO -D
  21. Typical 4-on-the-floor to original addition. It isn't a total rip, but the additions are hardly enough to qualify it. Keep at it. NO -D
  22. First off, you've managed to do one thing that many submitters do not. You've actually improved on the quality of the original. There wasn't much to work off of, but you've definately created something that doesn't make my ears bleed. The arrangement is particularly impressive, considering what little there was too work off, but the entire work seems inspired by it. The whole mix has a very retro feel to it. This is partially accomplished by the lower quality sounds, but it is indeed a situation in which the low fidelity is not a bad thing. There are some transition sections I am less than pleased with, and some of the drum work is a bit haphazard. But overall, I feel this captures the vibe of the original in a new light, and has an acceptable presentation. "It's juicy, C64 goodness!" YES -D
  23. Larry's Winner! Now let's go back to discussing this track. Marc did a great job, so let's give the man some props/critique.
  24. I really had hoped we were beyond "this needs work but do better next time! YES" I think it's a very bad idea to pass a song with a request to make a passable song NEXT time. Let's focus on the current song. If you feel it warrants resubmission, ask for it. Once it's posted, it's done. There's NO harm in requesting a resubmission. -D
  25. The 2 pretty ladies above me covered it already. This is a first time-attempt in the most cliched form. I would suggest making a few more songs and getting functional criticism before submitting to a site with standards. Keep at it, though. NO -D
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