Thanks for the response STONESHAKER, I loved your 2nd comment on my piece on soundcloud .

Anyway, overall I'm getting a mixed vibe of Scale The Summit and The Mars Volta. It's a really lush and adventurous aesthetic but it's still a little rough around the edges.

First of all and I know this may be hard for you (or maybe not) but your voice is obviously still in training. I think you need to have a better grasp on pitch and tone. Once you have these, adding harmonies at some points would be really beneficial. Maybe even a Bach-like choir (not in tonality though) would suit. On an instrumental level, some minor intonation issues but I'm actually quite impressed. Some of the melodies and harmonies were simply divine. Places like ~1:26 and ~4:02 were really nice.

On a sonic level, even though I wouldn't say the percussion is at the same quality as a modern day recording (last ten years) it still sounds like an old school 70's Prog record which I like. Although if you decide to go modern then that's cool too. Guitars sound great, bass sounds great and so do vocals (although a tad too high in the mix IMO).

Otherwise great work. I'm keeping an eye on you on soundcloud now .
I like the organic sound, and the intro and outro arpeggio sections are my favourite.

Vocals are the weak point (I know that feeling). I think the song has great emotional potential if the vocals were improved. There's a slightly chaotic section about two thirds through that I didn't really like but you never know - things are different after multiple listens.

C4C: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=30338219#post30338219
Thank you for the criticisms guys, really.

Hayden: Yeah man, I love The Mars Volta, particularly their first album. A lot of my lyrical stylings are inspired by Cedrix Bixler, particularly the type of imagery and style he used in At the Drive In's Relationship of Command. I love abstract lyrics man.

As far as my voice... yeah, I've been playing guitar for awhile and I've just recently bit the bullet and decided to attack my vocal training like I attack everything else. I envisioned a harmony during the bridge after the second chorus (the part in 5/4 that modulates a half step down and then back up) where the higher of the two voices would drop down after the first syllable against a constant pitch... hard for me to explain but it sounds awesome in my head, unfortunately I can't sing that high/well. Any singing advice for me?

RE: drums... I've got Superior Drummer on there, is there some way I should be optimizing it to get it to sound better?

RE: intonation... perhaps you are refering to the arpeggio harmonies at the end of the song? I hear some dissonance in there... a little in the beginning too, may need to re-record the harmony parts... or is there another spot you hear intonation issues that I'm missing? Again, thanks for your help, I'll be keeping an eye on your soundcloud as well.

@Jehannum: Hey man, thanks for listening. Yeah, the intro and outro are probably my favorite parts too and ironically enough, I wrote them in almost as an after thought near the end of the compositional stage. I'm with you on the vocal part man, it's still something I'm new at. As far as that chaotic part... chaotic is what I was goin' for, although I think the rhythm guitar could stand to be re-recorded, distorted a bit more, and maybe half a flanger added on there... but again, thanks for the listen man.
@STONESHAKER: If you like The Mars Volta, I highly recommend Blue Mammoth, Deluge Grander, Magic Pie and Birds and Buildings. All great progressive rock bands. You would probably like them.

The harmony you envision there is called oblique harmony, you explained it well enough since I understood what you meant.

I'm not much of a singer so I can't give you advice on that. Although maybe try re-singing every part once per day and listening to your voice the next day and write down things you can improve. Don't strain your voice when practicing but always aim to improve something like pitch control or range (high or low). Developing power and pitch control would be areas I would focus on if I were you. Tone and character is something that will only come with time I'm afraid. You could always put an mp3 of your favourite pieces in your DAW (like Pro Tools) and sing over the top with the volume of the track higher than your voice and then mute the track when listening back.

Well I can't advise you how to make it suit a prog rock band but I suggest you also make some additional samples and use two for your snare and kick for the more dynamic sections (or throughout the entire piece) simultaneously. There are two snares in SD, try using the "ping" sounding one in the more energetic sections doubled with the other one as well. You'll also have to make all the other cymbals louder in order to maintain balance though. Keep that in mind.
The music seems awesome, it just seems that you need a bit more power in the vocals as they sometimes fall a little short at times.
I actually quite liked the chaotic section, the clashing and dissonance really adds to the atmosphere of the song.
The guitars seem to layer very well with the drums and the song changes pace enough to keep me listening to it, I enjoyed it.

edit: Lol I also have a track called Vacuum, but it's very different :P

Last edited by NeptuneUK at Sep 21, 2012,
I like the somber feel of it, and the way the bass accents the riff at the beginning. As many have said, the vocals are the definite weak part of it. They have no real emotion to them. At least yours have clarity though, as mine do not haha. Some of the sections also seem to cut in, like they were mis-edited a bit. Some of the transitions weren't smooth. I like the leads, they were nice. They fit the song's feel nicely. I like the outro as well. Good job overall man.
Dude you get +5 points for recognizing the influence of fall of troy in my work. Thanks again for all those that commented... recently got a nice acoustic reinforcement thing for my mic so probably redo vox sometime
I guess in the meantime im waiting for another one of your mixes I can do a critique on this one = )

As always your recording sounds professional just getting that out of the way, great tone esp during that bluesy solo that was pretty sweet I think this was the first mix of yours that I think I actually hear some blues influence which goes to show

it seems like every track u make ur tryng something new for example this is also the first time i've heard vocals in ur music which goes well with this btw. ur pretty versatile man I like how each song u also do something that the listener maybe doesnt expects but is satisfying to hear. cant really find anything that needs improvement I really enjoyed listening its been inspirational = ) keep up the good work

"its not the destination.... so much as the journey" one once said
Last edited by Marqway at Oct 29, 2012,
Ok, I listened this once and I can't really say anything sticked. There were few cool sounds and tones... so you've got that going. Let's play it again, shall we?

The intro is nice and moody and I can sort of get into it. Just that it's so damn safe, you know what I'm saying? I've heard that same sort of riffage a million times and it sounds... nice... but that's all. It's like people who write lyrics only use words like "rain", "autumn", "darkness", "life" etc. You know? There's no character to it. You hear it, you don't react to it, and then you forget it. It works as something atmospheric; to serve as a ground for something worth noticing to rise up. And I kinda have this nagging feeling saying that... because not everything has to be more than atmospheric. It's just that I must comment it as how I would've done it, right? It's my subjective view. So, as an intro, sorry to say this, but that's quite bland and doesn't really amp you up to the rest of the song. :/ Try to come up with a melody or maybe just something with character. Something that isn't so damn safe and nice. You have character, right? You just need to give something of yourself.

What to say about the drums. Interesting, I guess. I never heard anyone playing anything like that and I can't really grasp any sense of beat or rhythm. Damn this is negative. Uggh. Listen, if you think your song is good then please just ignore anything I say that you think doesn't serve you. My purpose is not to try and make you feel like shit and show off my somewhat existing songwriting skills. I'm just writing about what this song makes me feel...

And even so I have this... nagging damn feeling. Because when I started listening Dream Theater I just could NOT grasp their music at all but I just kept listening and then one day it started sounding AMAZING. So maybe I'm just wrong with anything I say here. Oh shit, well here goes...

The chorus(?) that starts round 1:25 has a sort of characteristic guitar riff if I could make any sense of it. The thing is that it kinda just sounds like you came up with chords and then forced yourself to rip them apart. I might be projecting because I definately used to do this. I thought it was PROG, but now I listen to those recordings and just gringe.

The thing is... I can't imagine hearing any of this in my head really. I mean when I make songs I listen and then play it back. The thing that comes from my head ends up to the recording. I used to write songs by just playing around with guitar and adding notes and breaking things apart an fidgeting around chords because I needed to somehow make it sound not so generic. But that never sounded good to me. What sounds good to me is what sounds good to me and that's what I write down... so to speak. Damn that sounds cynical.

Listen, there is a part where I can clearly hear you had a thing in your head that you though sounded cool (and it does) and you wanted to put it there... the CHORUS. Not the guitar nonesense that's going on there, but the VOCALS. And this often happens with vocals, because you sing in order to come up with the melody. You don't generally write vox melodies with guitar. And the rest of the song just sounds like you're trying to intellectualize the music too much. You're trying to think what would sound proggy and make that work. I might be waaaay off with this one but that's how I sometimes work! And there's nothing really wrong with that I mean that's basically what Meshuggah does and they've got their niche and some people love it. It's just that I don't.

The vox are really what ties everything together in this song. They are the glue. Without them it would all just fall apart for me. The solo sounds nice and different and melodic and very thoroughly thought thru. Umm... got some very nice things going on there.

The drums just baffle me through the song. I actually think I would enjoy this track more without them. It's just some random noise at the background that doesn't really improve the track in anyway. It doesn't support the other instruments and it doesn't even really drive the song onwards. Normal beat or just silence in the drum department would benefit this track GREATLY!

Now I'm thinking if I should even post this comment. Ugggh... please just don't take this the wrong way. I hope you can handle some subjective criticism, because I certainly can't, haha!

C4C? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1518077
Last edited by January85 at Oct 29, 2012,
Hey guys, thanks again for listening.

Marq - Heh, you've probably heard all my music by now man! Thanks for listening. This is actually the most "complete" song I have done yet -- I'm new to singing so I have been very hesitant to do vocal recordings on my other song, although I'm about halfway recording the vocals to my song "Inertia". Yes, I do have a lot of blues and blues rock influence as that's what I cut my teeth on learning how to play the guitar.

January - Thank you for the in depth critique, I appreciate constructive criticism. Relative to the intro and outro, I was thinking of outer space (literally) when I wrote those parts and I fee like they convey the emotion I want there.

As far as the drums go, I know which part you're referring to... the verse drums have always sounded a bit random to me. I will probably end up tweaking those to make them a little bit more repetitive. As far as the randomness goes, if you count the intro and verse parts (1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3 1-2-3-4) it's pretty easy to follow along the groove I made there.

Also, regarding the vocals... I actually wrote the vocals last after the instrumental was completely written. That's typically how I do it, too. Anyhow, thanks again.
Hey, thanks for the crit on my song, sorry I've taken so long to return it:

The intro guitar is perfect, very atmospheric and reminds of post-rock like If these trees could talk.. very nice.
When the vocals enter at (0:50) I feel that the overdriven guitar doesn't sit in the mix too well and I find it distracts me from the strong beat which I liked in the intro. I like the concept for the vocals and I think they excellently fit the instrumental aspect of the song though as has been said they do need some work. Lyrics are good though.
The drums almost sound like a nice vintage kit, though it can be difficult to make such a sound seem convincing when using a plugin like superior - particularly work on the hi-hat, it sounds too sharp.
One last point - the solo (starting at 3:20) is a nice piece though make sure the hammer-ons/pull offs are consistent in volume, some notes seem to die away.

Overall a very solid song, I do love the intro and outro though at the moment the vocals and overall mix need a little work in order for the main section to match up to this
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
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Check out the Soundcloud of my band CENTURION - based in South London and currently looking for a singer + bassist!