Snow Ahead (Train Level)

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A track featuring a lead trumpet, metal guitars, drums, bass, piano, strings, and a music box.

At a steady 160 BPM I wanted this track to have a sort of train rhythmic pattern with the drums and rhythm guitars. I also wanted this to loop somewhat good so that's why is kinda abruptly ends. The set peice for this music that I'd imagined is a train plowing through snow mountains(An arctic feel).

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0:00 - Trumpet sounds nice, if a little quiet. I would bring that out more. Listening to it a little more, the music box and piano are just a tad too loud. The strings and trumpet (and maybe even the distorted guitar slightly) are pushed to the back of the mix, despite the trumpet being the melody!

The writing itself is pretty good, it's got a good bounce to it and a very playful atmosphere.

0:24 - Drums and piano are a bit too loud here and the piano has no emotion to it. The rhythm here suggests an increasing intensity, but I don't feel it at all. The piano needs more velocity and less volume. Maybe boost the trumpet and strings a lot more here too?

0:48 - I really like the piano and trumpet parts here, but its using the same rhythm as the rest of the song, so the transition is kind of lost. Maybe experiment with a different beat that retains the driving train-like feel but is a noticeably different beat so that we don't get bored with it?

1:22 - The trumpets just kind of trail off here. Why? It sounds like someone bumped the mixer knob and faded them out too early :P

Overall, I like the melodies you have! Its a very playful song and captures the train feeling perfectly! But the layers underneath are very sparse and very simple.

There's a lot of repetition with no variation in the backing tracks. Try listening to each instrument individually and pretend you are playing that instrument. After playing the same phrase 4 or 8 times, it gets pretty boring. The audience may not realize it, but that means they're getting bored with it too. Try to alter the rhythm or dynamics or something to keep it interesting!

The mix itself needs some adjustment. The piano, music box, and drums are all too loud in some parts. And since they're all fairly short and/or staccato notes, it only makes the piece feel more sparse. I would also investigate adding a few more layers to fill out the sound. Maybe boosting those strings would help, or adding another instrument. Maybe even something as simple as bring the bass guitar into the mix more (I didn't even notice it until the 1:05 mark!)

I really like the idea you have here. I love the melodies, just the rest of the song needs more meat to support the fantastic start you've got!

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I've updated the track with most of the changes mentioned above except for the last trumpet part and the repetition. I'll definitely redo the trumpet part once I get some time.


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0:00 - Right out the gate the balance between instruments is much better! This already feels like a big improvement. Instrumentation is still a little bare. It just feels kind of empty.

0:24 - The piano notes are too short. They sounds very mechnical and stunted. Maybe draw them out a bit (like leave the sustain pedal down so they ring out a bit longer?) Also maybe stry having the bass play a rhythtm suimilar to the piano? It just feels awkward that the piano is the only one playing this rhythm. I would also add a string line to play a meody similar to the trumpet. Not exactly the same, but slower and similar enough that it emphasizes what teh trumpet is doing.

0:48 - This part I like alot, its probably my favorite part of the whole song! But because the guitar, bass, piano, and drums are all still using the same exact riffs, so it is sorely lacking the contrast this part should have.

Overall, now that I can actually hear the trumpet, bass, and strings you are correct that you should probably redo the trumpet part. It needs slightly should I say?..presence and confidence. It just feels very tepid and it should be a little more confident and strong while still keeping the light and airy atmosphere.

As before, the non-melodic parts are all pretty simple and don't change much at all. Simple is not necessarily bad, but stale is bad. And these parts get stale about 1/3rd of the way through the song. Try some different rhythms and harmonies here to keep things more engaging.

Great work on the mixing! Next I think you should focus on supporting that fantastic melody you've got here!

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