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Old 08-04-2012, 01:12 PM   #21
aaron aardvark
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Thank you for the reviews! I appreciate it! I don't think I have tried Kontakt libraries as of yet. I actually started doing orchestral stuff back in the 80's. "44 Magnum Opus" is 100% Korg TR-Rack (synth rack module), including the drums. "Inside Your Head" is all Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas (synth rack module) except for the vocals (I did all of them). On the real low vocals during the chorus, I used the Female-to-Male vocal transformer effect on the optional VS8F-1 effects on my Roland VS-880 hard disc recorder. It is not easy to get decent results with that effect. I am a male by the way. I do own various music producing software, though none of it was used in these 2 songs. I know I have been influenced in the past by New Order (mostly Joy Division members).

I could have altered the string sounds to have a sharper attack, though I preferred it the way it is (just a personal preference). Thank you for the Chorium link, though I have no idea how to use sondfonts.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #22
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wow, this is pretty nice work, good changes, nice spacey vibe hanging around.
i'm gonna listen to this some more on a lonely eve, probably more suitable time for it :P
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #23
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44 Magnum Opus:
The arrangement and composition is really unique, and I really wasn't expecting the second half of the song when I was listening to the intro. Personally, I felt like the orchestral sounds in the intro were a bit too "synthy", and that sampled strings or brass could really bring it to life.

Inside Your Head:
I love all the synth sounds you have on here, and you have a great voice to really get that 80s vibe. I like the pitch-shifted vocals too, it fits the song well. I was waiting for a big chorus to hit me but it never came, I think that'll really bring out the potential in this song. Great stuff!
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #24
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Just listened to 44 Magnum Opus, nice stuff! The strings in the first part did sound really artificial, I suggest looking into some orchestral sound library if you're going to do stuff like this, but I liked how it was written. It did feel very fragmented (which was probably planned), but cool parts throughout, and I really dug the bass groove that came in halfway through. Good job!
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:53 AM   #25
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I love 44 Magnum Opus! I'm sure it could benefit from a little higher budget in terms of sound quality, as others have said, but I'd be wary of making it too slick - some of what makes it unique and likable is that it's not over-produced at all, in fact it's even humorous at times but in a good way...the muted trumpet sound needs to stay, no matter what. As for the violin sound, I like it because of how similar it sounds to this:

Above all I liked the restlessness of the song and how little it sounded like a modern song structure, but neither did it sound like a poor homage to classical styles or cliched 'epic' prog.

Inside Your Head was also very good, and again I don't quite know how to put it, but I'd commend your vocals for being noticeably imperfect. Makes them more distinctive without being irritating or severely out of tune. In general, I almost can't believe how '80s this song sounds, like every single element of it! Despite not really having a chorus, it's catchy enough to have been at least a minor hit if it were released then - I can imagine it cropping up years later on the GTA Vice City soundtrack!

Thanks for the crit on my track by the way, much appreciated.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:48 AM   #26
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Hey dude, thanks for the crit. Well I must say this is way outside of my normal experience, but I'll give it a go. 44 Magnum Opus was pretty cool, seems to switch at will between cotton-candy sweet to in your face and menacing almost at will.

Inside Your Head seems an altogether different prospect. As many have said, it feels as though I've been transported directly into the 80s listening to this, especially with that reverb/gated snare sound. The vocals are very cool, fit the style beautifully. It did feel like it cut off a bit early though - I was fully expecting more! Both these songs were pretty well mixed, it'd be interesting to hear some recorded sounds mixed in with your style too.

Good job dude!
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #27
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44 Magnum Opus is one of the stranger pieces I've ever listened to; I can't figure out the time signature of the part after the held out chords, and I'm a drummer.... maybe 12/8?

Once the industrial-sounding percussion and more modern-sounding instruments start coming in, it reminds me of Nine Inch Nails in a way; I really liked the atmosphere of the later parts.

Overall, I have no idea what to think of this; it's interesting for sure, and the individual parts are well written. I..... I think that's really all I have to say.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:26 AM   #28
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44 Magnum Opus is far different from what I'm used to from you, but I really like it. The transition around the 2 minute mark is pretty good, although for some reason I don't really like when the snare comes in with the drums. Enjoyed the song overall though, don't got much to say. keep up the good work.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #29
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44 Magnum Opus: I really enjoyed the orchestral beginning and the slight swing feel. The violin sounded a little too loud to me, as well as the melody that came in @1:15, which really hurt my ears. I liked the SFX in the second part. What I presumed was guitar near the end was pretty badass.
Overall, I'm not sure if the two parts mesh well together; they sound too different and apart.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:38 AM   #30
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Hey, thanks for leaving a crit in my thread! As promised, I'm going to crit as I listen:

44 Magnum Opus:
-Nice intro, it builds up quickly, and really drew me in in terms of interest. That little violin part is really nice, sounds very happy, joyful, cheerful.
-I like how it suddenly transitions to a nice middle-eastern sounding section. Although it contrasts with the beginning, I still felt it fit really well with it.
-Wow, another really well composed transition. Sounds really James Bond, secret agent like. Reminds me of the music in Metal Gear Solid.
-The synth sounds really nice.
-Pretty cool song, very interesting, and well composed in my opinion.
-In terms of audio quality, I thought the instruments sounded a little fake, I could easily tell they were programed with VSTi.
-I think a little more spacing and headroom is needed. Try playing around with the panning and some reverb to really made the instruments stand out apart from each other, and make it so that it really sounds like you are listening to a whole orchestra, as opposed to everything sounding like it came from one direction.
-Overwise, nice song.

Inside Your Head:
-Nice 80's sound.
-The drums have a lot of reverb, but the bass doesn't seem to have nearly as much. Sounds a bit weird in my opinion. The same could be said with the other instruments. The vocals sound fine though.
-Pretty cool song, very 80's.
-Good job, keep it up!

Thanks again for the crit, really appreciate it!
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:31 AM   #31
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I listened to your song 44 Magnum Opus.
Very cool and different experimental music. Reminded me kinda of a video game in the start. And when the violin kicked in it sounded more classical. The drums in the outro made a good contrast too. What vst did you se? Or was it real instruments?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:31 AM   #32
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Thanks for your review and your time, Aaron!

Magnum Opus 44: As jmako said, the first seconds felt a bit awkward, but when the other instruments kick in, the feeling disappears immediately. Loved the quality of the sounds you used, the violin at 0:36 sounds really nice. Liked the phrygian stuff after that. The bass at 2:05 caught me off guard! Nice change of mood! It sounds like some songs of the 80's, nice groove. The keyboard solo reminded me a bit of Jordan Rudess, sharp attack, bends, wahwah-like sound, etc. What keyboard/vst did you use for that part? It has a very pleasant sound!

Inside your head: This one definitely reminded me of 80's new wave stuff. Liked your vocals, I didn't expect the downtuned ones! Nice touch. Add to the electronic atmosphere of the whole track. As for the previous one, sound quality is very good. Nearly at the end I started to lose a bit of interest because of the repetitiveness, but I guess the style is supposed to sound like that and it's ok.

Great job! Cheers!
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:25 AM   #33
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Thank you for the reviews! I appreciate it! Actually no VST's were used in either song. "44 Magnum Opus" is all Korg TR-Rack (including the wah-wah effect on the synth lead), and everything but the vocals in "Inside Your Head" is Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 (both synth modules).
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:35 AM   #34
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Listening to "Inside Your Head"

-I love the intro, it grabs me instantly. Straight up 80s synth pop I love it
- I love the samples around 35 seconds, reminds me of 80s Yes.
- The vocals are by far the weakest part of the song, but they fit, I'd like to hear some crazy ridiculous harmonies and huge high parts. Flock of Seagulls!
- I really like this snare, it fits so well.
- As already mentioned, I think I'd like to hear the bass be a little more verby
- I'm not in love with the horns at the end.personally. (are they horns?)

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Old 08-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #35
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44 Magnum Opus: This is a really cool, constantly morphing track. It's fun to listen to because it never really stays the same. I must say that the first minute is a little too orchestral for my tastes--I would have preferred some more electronic sounds there. I like the change about 1 minute in, although that synth might be a little too trebly/piercing. My favorite part is when you bust out that Peter Gunn-style riff with the beat behind it. You might try bringing back some of the earlier parts in the song here to make it sound fuller and more cohesive.

Inside Your Head didn't grab my attention as much, but I can appreciate the 80s feel you've got going on. I love the low vocals, they totally sound like a robot. I feel like this song is what you would get if Kraftwerk had a child with Morrissey--not a bad thing. Although this is remniscent of the 80s it has a certain modern touch to it that I like. I do wish this song had more of a bridge or transition, though.

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Old 08-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #36
aaron aardvark
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BostonRocks and refewz,
Thank you for your comments! The brassy sound at the end of "Inside Your Head" is Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas, just a synth sound. I don't think it is sampled horns. It is probably just a synth sample that you can manipulate to a certain degree and/or add effects to within the synth module.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:47 PM   #37
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Listened to 44 Magnum. very interesting haha. I felt like it should be in a victorian set movie, and then it got heavier and i started thinking it sounded like someone going on a shroom trip. This song did what music is supposed to do, put one through different emotions. Thank you for that listen
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:00 PM   #38
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44 Magnum Opus

Sounds like the soundtrack to a game of some kind. I really like it. It seems a bit digital, if you know what I mean, was it recorded with real instruments? That's not necessarily a bad thing though, and it's probably what makes it sound like a bit of a game soundtrack. What makes the track is from 2:10 onwards. It seems a bit like there is missing something at the end though. It may just be my expectations, since in my head I heard 4 minutes more of layered beats and mutating distorted guitars.

It's a really nice track all in all.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #39
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44 Magnus Opus is quite novel, especially the latter half. 2:00 onwards is great. Beginning is really ruined by crappy synths though, and the arrangement is a bit weak in itself.

Take a look around for some free orchestral soundfonts, there are a ton of more than decent stuff around.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:53 PM   #40
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44 Magnum opus

I feel something is lost from this song, really crying out for a real 40 piece orchestra.
Now we're into the 80's vibe, drums are very early MJ. Well mixed.
This would be great on miami vice. Would have liked more of the last half than the first half though.

Inside your head

This is funky, like a new romantic kinda song. got that darkness to it. Good use of stereo picking up on new layers all the time.

Both are well mixed.
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