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timaeus222

finished Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - The Deathly Flames Approach V7

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I think this could be really cool, but it's a little bare right now.

The drums are neat, that bass synth is pretty nice too...

But that's when it gets a little hairy... I think a lot of the song you're going for is lost in translation because of solos/repetitiveness in general.

The solos are ALMOST cool, but some of them I can tell the settings don't translate well for the whole solo. I hear portamento that is unnecessary. Maybe more specific automations on your synth settings, more attention to detail in them would work. Some solos sound very nice, but I think you really should concentrate on the writing, if everything really fits, tweaks here and there.

Those trumpets really don't work.

I also think that you're missing a filled out soundscape, some low end pads could help your song a lot, and there really isn't much going on in the high-end except for the highats. Focus on widening your sound.

And lastly, your song is too long. I think you could express the same idea you have going in half the time. Pick your favorite solos and take out other sections, because it's really a sectional piece with a lot of repetition. We don't need to revisit your chorus that much. Once you've got a more condensed version of your song, ask yourself where you want to end up, do you have any other ideas? Experiment and switch up the song and see what happens, you got our attention with the first couple minutes but after that...

Anyway, hope this isn't too harsh, good luck!

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Yeah, I did kinda feel like it was a bit repetitive. I'll see what I can do about it. :)

EDIT: Well, I managed to shorten it to 4:19. Added some temporary bass to the sections that didn't have the trumpet (which was replaced with strings). Took out some likely unnecessary (somewhat repetitious) variations. I'm still trying to find the perfect low pad for the bass though.

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I worked on it some more.

- Made some edits to the bassline.

- Tweaked the balancing.

- Added some oomph to the synth that was used for the minor (key) section.

- Added a phasered synth solo in the background of the dance genre section.

- Other small edits.

V1: http://tindeck.com/listen/ggbk

V2: http://tindeck.com/listen/vzcb

V3: http://tindeck.com/listen/gktt

V4: http://tindeck.com/listen/mcnd

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I like a lot of what you've got going, and I really like the source. The gated synth leads are cool. But, I started to hate the part that plays at :20 and about 4 more times throughout the song. It hardly varies each time it's repeated, and it's repeated way too much. Revisiting Black Sun could help out some of the transitions.

I also agree with the widening your sound comment from Monobrow, I think a low-end pad or two and a high end screaming synth solo (or two) would really help thing out. I'd also like to see some dynamic variation, because right now the volume of the piece is pretty static. Maybe backing off and hitting the chord progression of the second half of Black Sun at a softer volume with less instruments, then going back into Vampire Killer with that aforementioned screamin' synth would be cool. Idk, I'd like to see something of that variety though; Castlevania sources have too much to have the same part repeated a lot.

Good luck with the piece!

pH

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There's no Vampire Killer in this. =)

Okay, I'll humanize the note levels in the "intro", reduce the usage of that transition, and increase the volume of the low-ends pads that are already there.

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Huh, thought I already covered this a long time ago. My bad.

I really like what you've got going on here, it seems just about ready for primetime. You've got a lot of diverse synth sounds filling out the sound pallet, and the diversity and quality soloing/lead writing makes for a very interesting mix. Drums aren't amazing but I think they'll do in a pinch. That drum-only transition about 2/3rds through the song really breaks up your flow in an unpleasant way though :-( It feels kinda pasted in and doesn't feel natural.

In addition, some of your leads don't feel quite as up-front as they could be. I don't think you'd have a problem boosting them up just a little bit here so they're more prominent.

Arrangement-wise, it feels pretty much fine aside from that weak transition, though I wouldn't mind a bit more variation on the part at :20 and later in the song, like Phonetic Hero said. Pretty good stuff overall though, I think this one will amount to some small tweaks and then it'll be ready.

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That's good to hear! Okay, I'll fix this up, and hopefully it'll be finished! =D

Hm... The transition is weak, eh? Okay, what if I shorten it and make it seem like it isn't one?

EDIT: Now I feel the transition is a bit awkward. What do you think? I did add a lot of variation this time though.

V7: http://tindeck.com/listen/yryz

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Wow yeah, totally missed that you updated this one. Since we don't have any queue system for Mod Reviews, it's really easy to miss updates like this when the song is updated so quickly so don't be afraid to PM somebody.

This sounds good to go though, it's not the most ambitious mix and the production/arrangement leaves room for improvement, but I'd pass it. Can't wait to hear where you go from here :-)

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Ok, as far as stuff goes, the arrangment is pretty neat. There are some pretty cool variations on the themes in question, but there are some weird dissonant sections that I think I heard in the original but they seemed less jarring there.

Arrangement is pretty cool overall, but I feel this needs a lot of work in the production department to pass.

Sample quality isn't as high as it needs to be, many of the sounds seem really newbish to me and too generic.

The drums sound extremely weak (i'd consider either pumping up the drums with more sample layering, or trying to get better samples).

Many of the synth sounds have a very very similar string type timbre going on, which makes this feel very airy overall, with the exception of that lead sound, which is pretty cool. I feel this needs a more interesting overall sound to it, don't be afraid to try out different types of sounds to make some more interesting timbres in your mix.

At points i'm failing to pick up any bass at all, which makes the soundscape feel empty, so needs some bass in there :).

To wrap things up, I like the arrangement but this is going to need a complete production overhaul to make it passed the judges imo. Keep at it tho man :)

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That's okay, thanks for the review! =) I've worked so hard on this one that I don't have any more ideas on how to improve it. I guess the idea didn't have much room for expansion. =/ I've got a good one coming up from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, though, since it's a fresh one!

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