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    aphadeon
  Thu May 10, 2012 3:16 am
1987-2023
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So, I've been away for awhile. But not "gone", just "not here".

Long story short, I'm still working on my composing capabilities.
I have a long ways to go. So I want feedback on where I am now to help me decide where I should focus on growing.

Track 1: Inspired by thinking about a hybrid between Crazy Train and Sweet Dreams. (This is not said hybrid, though the influence shines through from both.)
http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/x1.ogg

Track 2: Inspired by trying to come up with an original sound. Now, the philisophical banter about that being impossible aside, it's not too familiar so, yeah.
http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/x2.ogg

Anyhow, please, tear them to shreds. I'm open to any constructive feedback.

Please note that they were designed to loop, so I didn't spend much time on outros.
Thanks!


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    aphadeon
  Thu May 24, 2012 6:21 am
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And another one - today's experiment is with output mixing and postediting.
http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/glitch.ogg


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    Toams
  Thu May 24, 2012 9:57 am
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oh i didn't see this until just now!

anyway, it's nice to see someone else here making electronic stuff.
what are you using to make these? and what is your focus?
are you trying to make things sound good (as in audio engineering) or are you trying to really compose

my view is that with electronic music you have to do both.
i think the emphasis is more on the engineering part though, you can make cool sounds which have to be composed, but can sound cool in any random order.
however, you can not take a bland sound and make a song (=track, mostly there's no singing involved) with it, because the whole track gwill still sound bland.
electronic music is mainly a lot of tricks, and less composing, but that's a lot of the fun for me.

i'm guessing you're using fl studio though, because i think i'm recognizing the standard kick in your first track

track 1:
i like how you put a 4x4 beat and dubstep together, i used to do that too.
anyway, the song itself is pretty okay i guess.
it's not really special, and that's primarily based on what i said before; the sounds you used is pretty bland. there's just one sound that you used with a bunch of filters.
that one sound you used doesn't cover a lot of the spectrum (i assume you know a little about that). it's fairly mid-ranged, so the highs and lows aren't really touched.
if i were to improve on what you have I'd add a subtle bass and some high percussion, and maybe some high lead touches.
a way to check and enhance frequencies is adding equalizers to seperate tracks or instruments, and do all of it manually, or enhance the generated sound directly in the synth (which takes more effort, often)
this is a really good example of covering a lot of the spectrum (from 1.16 on, you can see i placed 2 comments there anyway), the sounds are all over the place, but as a whole it sounds good.

it's from this dude: http://soundcloud.com/damienromei

the melody could use some work too, but it's pretty entertaining as is. i like the sweet dreams references.
what puts me off though is the sudden silences at the drops.
if you listen to a lot of music which you used as reference, you'll notice there aren't any complete silences.
most of the time there's some subtle swooshes going on, esp. in key moments like that. or there is a short silence, but there's a fuckton of echo, and the real 'silence' is only a split second.
yours doesn't sound natural, it's like the track is suddenly being paused. there's a slight delay from the lead, but that's it.

track 2:
this is better already - more layered sounds but not overdoing it.
i notice you have a short sample at the start, the higher pitched extra melody with a lot of delay
i'm going to assume that that isn't deliberate. I used to have that too, random bits of sound even though i put the automation clip all the way down.
the problem here is that the volume or filter (whichever you used) starts the song at a default value.
you can change that by right-clicking the knob or slider all the way down (or wherever you want it to start), and select 'init song with this position) (again, i assume you use fl studio)

by the way, if you're going to make dubstep, try to find some good samples. the kicks are usually (really) short, sharp and deep, with a short snare added for the high end.
and after that there's a snare with a lot of reverb.

i like the sudden change at 2:35
the percussion gets a bit overpowered though by the main lead/bass, so you could work on that.

track 3:
hehe, i see that you found the glitch plugin?
pretty nice, the sounds are still a bit subdued though, they could be a bit more explosive and expressive.
personally i've been working a lot with a couple of VST's, mainly sylenth and massive, which allow you to do a lot of sound synthesis, and you can find a bunch of cool presets for those.
last thing i made wasn't electronic though: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5w3jhcmq7wz9y ... arp%5D.mp3

anyway, it's nice to see you doing this, i hope you can keep it up.
i'll be happy to provide feedback occasionally, so i can teach you a thing or two.

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    aphadeon
  Fri May 25, 2012 4:59 am
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The echo at the beginning is actually a soundwrap for looping reasons - like I said I went cheap with "wrap remainder" and a loopable time at the end rather than a proper outro, as those aren't being published.
As for FL Studio, yes, guilty as charged. For engineering purposes, I love it.

As for my goals - I guess they are slightly towards the engineering side, but yes, there's need for both. I'm just now getting into VSTs, if you couldn't tell. And i'm shocked at their power, it's still a bit much to grasp. I'm slowly learning the ropes though. If you saw my posts a couple years ago when I thought it was unbelievably cool to load a MIDI and replace the tracks with FL Slayer.... Yeah, at least I'm growing. I actually compose every pattern from scratch now - I try to avoid using any premade loops whatsoever. Hence the lower quality, but at least I can feel the pride of creation as versus the same level of pride it takes to push ON on a blender with fruit in it.

Working on a fun one now that demos what I learned today and yesterday. It's got a few surprises in it, that said, I look forward to seeing feedback on it too. Thanks for the pointers, I'll absorb those over the coming days :)


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    aphadeon
  Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:42 am
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Recently I've been studying a lot of different elements, from spectrum control, to layering, to filtering, mixing, enveloping, detuning, and creating unique sounds and controlling special effects.

As I'm cramming all this into my brain, I have yet to actually stop and write an entire track.
I do, however, have an experiment I did over the last couple hours to test what I've learned so far.

Channels used:
kick
snare
closed hihat
open hihat
wobble bass (3xOsc)
wobble mids (3xOsc)
bitcrushed bass (3xOsc)
lead (3xOsc)
...plus envelope/automation channels

In style, it's supposed to be filthy dubstep, with a progressive trance lead overlayed across the top.
Please, by all means, tear it to shreds. Constructive criticism got me this far. [That said, please refrain from criticism based solely on "I don't like dubstep".]

The file: http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/wubwubdubstep.ogg

Please note this is a short loop, I was focusing more on technique than on composing a full piece. You'll need a player that loops well to listen to it for more than 8 bars.

Personally, I love this one so much I just zoned out to it for about an hour without even meaning to. And for an 8 bar loop, that says a lot. Either about the loop, or about my tastes in music. One of the two.


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    aphadeon
  Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:56 pm
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And another, similar style to the previous:

http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/wubwubrock.ogg


[Track Edit]
Here, corrected a mixing error that boosted the FL Slayer track's volume to where it muted out the wobble definition.

http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/wubwubrock2.ogg


Not quite satisfied with the bass right around the ~10second mark.
Tracks used:
kick (made my own :D)
snare (edited a few of the stock ones to make somewhat unique.)
closed hihat (edited this in audacity to make it more muted)
open hihat (stock)
wobble bass (3xOsc)
wobble mids (3xOsc)
bitcrushed bass (3xOsc)
lead (FL Slayer)
...plus envelope/automation channels


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    aphadeon
  Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:36 am
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Today's is an epic- my attempt at a story without words.
Not too dirty, dubsteptastically speaking. Very experimental with transitions. One of them is a bit harsher than I intended, but I spent too long to redo it now.

As always, love and hate are accepted alike.

Title: I Will Leave Here Alive
http://www.smartpr0n.com/backweb/theory ... _alive.ogg


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    Toams
  Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:31 pm
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Location: Netherlands
for the dubstep tracks, your kicks and snares lack punch.
without this, it feels a bit mellow, instead of dirty and rough.
typically in dubstep and drumnbass, the focus is a lot on the percussion, with a distinct kick and snare, and some other fast high pitched percussion, i wanted to show an example on youtube but i can't find it anymore :/ (update: it's in here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C21KZPuft-Y)

i really like the intro of that last track, it's very dynamic, a bit long too, but that's excusable
the rest of the track is kind of lacking that dynamic thing you got going, which is a shame really

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    aphadeon
  Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:02 am
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So, after a long time away doing other stuff, I return to show my progress.
I look forward to a C&C on both of these. :)
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?n73ws1uvkfwooug
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?4214w21352kqach


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    aphadeon
  Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:32 pm
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http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?l4az2jg8mkqddva
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?a47v32f3q8jcxw1

Two more!
Come back Tomas, your feedback has been most constructive :)


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    Toams
  Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:13 pm
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I liked the rhythm in Rainscribe, that was awesome. The track is repetitive but it's fitting for in-game background music.
The various sounds blend nice enough too, still overusing glitch though.

Melancholy was okay. I wasn't feeling the 'oh this is cool' over the 'I can hear this is made by someone who hasn't done this long enough' which isn't bad since you're still learning.
The drums didn't do it for me, try really listening to percussion stuff in other tracks, and find out what it is that makes it so attractive to listen to.

Can you post some examples of stuff you're trying to shoot for?

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    aphadeon
  Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:45 pm
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Sure, eventually I'd like to reach this style:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxev1gL0ADk

Trying to get there without listening to it and ripping it off directly.

Should also mention I'm mostly interested in doing game OSTs, so less "lead" and more "background". If that's possible.

Any comments on the other two? (Climb Faster and King of the Ocean)


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    Toams
  Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:17 pm
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The distorted guitar leads sound like dimrain47's stuff.
Furthermore the blend between lead and background isn't really subtle in any way.
Both tracks are really alike in a lot of ways, and not my thing at all. (not being cruel, just straight up opinion)

If you want to make stuff that is more background check out these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzxNt44Gozc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njXHzx00Z6Q

two absolute gems.

Try recreating noisescapes and soft melodies, and lay off the harder percussion for now. Keep it really subtle.
Once you've learned more about frequencies, filters, and synthesis I'd slowly go back to adding more BEAT, but to be honest that isnt where the challenge is at all.

I occasionally make stuff too, but when I listen to either of those I get so down from the fact that I can't even produce ANYTHING up to par with those.
But then I remember they are world class talent and this is the internet.

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    aphadeon
  Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:03 am
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Thanks, I'll do my homework and come back with what I've learned :)


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    aphadeon
  Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:39 pm
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So a couple new tracks. Anyone that's willing, please offer some C&C.

A remix of one of the first tracks I ever posted here for critique.
https://soundcloud.com/jason-barno/clim ... -rough-mix

My first "finished" piece.
https://soundcloud.com/jason-barno/burning-emblem


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