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finished Free Flying (Star Fox 64 - Main Menu)

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I have nothing constructive to say, I just wanted to express that really dug your vocals here. Also, I know it's from the source, but I kept on mentally inserting the words to "Que Sera, Sera." Maybe that's just me though. Anyway, good work!

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They're going to have an issue with sample quality. The trumpet is pretty fake-sounding, and the rapid kicks in the drums are going to come off as mechanical. Drums are also on auto-pilot, not to mention nearly half of the remix is one trumpet and drums. It's too sparse.

I'm also having an issue with the clarity in the vocals. There's too much reverb and not enough intonation, so I can't figure out the words at all. It even sounds a little bit auto-tuned and over-delayed. It could also be the case that they'd say your delay is one-dimensional, since it isn't stereo ping-ping delay or anything of the sort.

After the drums come back in, it's just a repeat of what you had before. Overall, there isn't enough substance to warrant a pass, I'm afraid. At least you won't have to wait 6 months to get an idea of how this does on the panel.

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Well the drums were meant to be mechanical, it's chopped drums. Choppyness is in the style so it won't sound real.

And that was a saxophone not a trumpet, but maybe you're right maybe it sounds fake. I don't have any other access to a saxophone sound currently.

And you're right the vocals intentionally have a lot of reverb, and are layered over a vocoder so yes it is actually somewhat autotuned to give a synthy feel. The idea was space and I did that through reverb, synths, and delays.

But you do have a point about the drums, they aren't varied up much at all. That was one of the worst parts of this song looking back. But the sparsity of the remix was also intentional, besides the drums never changing.

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And that was a saxophone not a trumpet, but maybe you're right maybe it sounds fake. I don't have any other access to a saxophone sound currently

Well, that's certainly a problem. I didn't hear much "sassiness" or "bite" in the sax quality, so I just went with it being a trumpet. Saxophones are nearly impossible to emulate without just recording one live.

Well the drums were meant to be mechanical, it's chopped drums. Choppyness is in the style so it won't sound real.

...

And you're right the vocals intentionally have a lot of reverb, and are layered over a vocoder so yes it is actually somewhat autotuned to give a synthy feel. The idea was space and I did that through reverb, synths, and delays.

Now, I'm not trying to be hard on you, but it's a common excuse for a person who's just starting out to respond to constructive criticism in these ways. "It's the style", "I meant to do that", and "That's the idea. I wanted it to be like that" are common ways to say "You're not right, because I do know what I'm doing, and I can improve on my own."

You were aiming to emulate a saxophone. That in itself asks for the emulation of a live performance, and so "chopped drums" that aren't supposed to sound real, as you say, won't fit the bill. It's one of those wishful paradoxes.

Vocals can have a lot of reverb and still sound good, but in your case, the reverb presented a lot of early reflections and a really low crossover frequency for the low cut, which muddle the mid-range and low mids respectively and as a result make most of the words hard to understand. Any song that uses vocals in a leading way should have intelligible vocals. You said you "layered [it] over a vocoder...to give a synthy feel", but it didn't feel synthy to me. It felt digital and ever so slightly robotic, but not "synthy", which are two different things, though I do hear the vocoder effect.

If you keep doing that, it's hard to actually improve. Very few people improve "on their own", without taking in and making use of community feedback. Getting straight compliments all day won't help you get better. Getting really positive feedback from non-musical people won't help either. I'd call that "false confidence" for that very reason. If you really want to get good at music producing, you're going to have to be more open-minded to the critiques people give. You can't just acknowledge that they have a point. You have to do some independent studying on what advice they give you, and familiarize yourself with what they're talking about. Once you get really good, you can distinguish for yourself who is completely right, who is subjectively right, and who is objectively right.

Don't get discouraged, and keep working on your skills.

Edited by timaeus222

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I don't know, I'm not hurt by it. The things you mentioned were all pretty intentional. Like the saxophone isn't sassy it's actually a saxophone playing very softly. The drums were emulating a more urban feel than a jazz feel, and I'd still be happy with robotic rather than synthy.

I guess I just know I have NOT done those things before in many other songs, this is my least dynamic song so I mean all the things you said I'm really aware of. None of them are things I'd change because it was supposed to emulate that feel. If there's another way to emulate that feel I'd like to hear that.

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Well, I suppose there's another way I can think of to emulate that feel, but it would suggest using rich pads that sound space-like, which I'm not sure you have.

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Well, I suppose there's another way I can think of to emulate that feel, but it would suggest using rich pads that sound space-like, which I'm not sure you have.

I probably could do that, yeah I don't know why I never used a pad in this song and I did get super duper lazy about the drums. Maybe the synthiness of the vocals could stand out more.

Maybe the vocoder could actually be the pad?

Dude don't worry too much about how I react to the criticisms, I usually like go back and read them and think "Yeah he was totally right" lol. The biggest jump in my skills is when someone just told me my music wasn't that good so I just went out and looked for all the knowledge I could find and ended up improving tenfold.

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I probably could do that, yeah I don't know why I never used a pad in this song and I did get super duper lazy about the drums. Maybe the synthiness of the vocals could stand out more.

Maybe the vocoder could actually be the pad?

Dude don't worry too much about how I react to the criticisms, I usually like go back and read them and think "Yeah he was totally right" lol. The biggest jump in my skills is when someone just told me my music wasn't that good so I just went out and looked for all the knowledge I could find and ended up improving tenfold.

The thing is, usually pads act as a good filler method---a way to fill in the missing gap in a song's frequencies. They tend to be there for the atmospherics of the song, but if done right, it will give a really great feel for people who want to relax. Sometimes if they're not exposed, you don't even hear them until you really try to hear them. Hearing the vocals makes me believe you had room for pads.

Here is a list of some remixes with some amazing pad debuts (they're way better quality as downloaded MP3s than as YouTube video background music!):

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