Okay... Here's a new instrumental called "Confluence". It's basically something where I experimented with a bunch of genres across the board from jazz and prog rock, to hardcore. It's pretty much all over the place, which was done on purpose.

Some specific concerns are:

Mixing- What's too loud/quiet? How should I pan the tracks?

Organization- How well does the song flow?

Solos- self explanatory

Overall Memorability and Impression- also self explanatory

Any other suggestions are welcome and a rating would be nice too.

Thanks and enjoy.
C4C as always.
Last edited by Progbass92 at Jun 8, 2009,
First let me say that this a pretty awesome song. I enjoyed that 5/8 part a whole lot. The mixing to me sounded fine, others may disagree. The only thing the bothers me is if you actually play all this.

I'd give this piece an A
Why hello again Progbass. Seems like every time one of us writes something new, the other puts up theirs the day after or so Nevertheless,

Critting as I listen,

The beginning riff/section was hard to digest at first. I had to listen to it like 3 times before it actually sounded melodic, before hand it had a really jumbly feeling. Nonetheless, once I got into it, it sounded good.

Distorted guitars enterance- Cool stuff. Mixing wise, I really couldn't hear the bass that much. The organ also got lost in the mix up until bar 16, where it really came to the forefront, and sounded great.

Bar 31 had your typical trademark of throwing like a bajillion instruments into the mix, and having something totally random come out. It sounded great, but was really confusing. Must be the DT influence . Also, on bar 38, cut the notes on the bass that weren't tapped. They're extremely onerous, and don't do anything good for the song.

The part in repeats brackets was nice. Very melodic. If you're not set on making this instrumental, I'd suggest vocals here.

I really like the 7/8 part. Not sure why per say, but it's really cool, as was everything till you got to 5/8.

5/8 took the song in a whole new direction. Much more chill, a lot less jumbled. The solo-thing was cool. The clean melody starting on bar 113 was really evil sounding. The harmonics and solo over it were definitely not matching the mood at all, I'd say cut those. In contrast, the organ was awesome. Totally matched the mood of the piece entirely.

The guitar solo over it was fantastic. Very petruccian, but totally fit the mood of the piece.

Drum solo was unexpected, but a nice touch.

The 4/4 part after that reminded me nearly EXACTLY of the section in Change of Seasons. I know they're different notes, but it's extremely similar. In fact, this whole song is extremely Dream Theatery. More than your other work, and yet, it works.

The section starting with 204 was cool, I liked the harmony, and the bassline was cool. I think it might've been cool to, on bar 208, half the drums. Make them 8ths instead of 16ths, just for flavor. I tried it on mine, and it sounded great. But then, make them 16ths again on 213. Then 8ths again on 216, until 16ths on 219.

I really really liked the percussive organ section. The guitar/organ melody after it just sounded totally sinister, a great touch. And the transition on 244 was great....until it just stopped. Why did you have a blank 250?

The organ thingy after that was an ok melody, wasn't spectacular. The drums under it were wayyy too filly, but the bass was cool.

I liked the melody on 283 a lot, nice touch. Also, nice job returning to the chorus. It really closed off the song well. Fade out was a good idea.

So, overall,

Mixing- I commented on above

Organization- Same

Solos- Fantastic, as always. No complaints
Rating- A. Just fix up the few things I said, and you've got a great song!

C4C? Preferably in depth, as I tried to do.
Thanks! Use RSE if you have it!
My Old Progressive Metal Band:
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My New Progressive Rock/Djent Band:
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Thanks a lot, but I think I have the right to defend against some of what you said by explaining my reasoning.

In Bar 38, I'll be tapping with both hands, and I wrote it the way I did because the higher notes added more to the voicing of the chords, so it all really fit in. The bottom notes were the same as before, so I don't see what the problem is.

Those harmonics you didn't like actually fit. What I used was the blues scale, and the notes before and after the harmonics, and the harmonics themselves all actually belonged to that scale.

The part that you said sounded like A Change of Seasons was actually inspired by the intro to In the Dragon's Den. I know you're thinking of the beginning of "The Darkest of Winters" in the song, but it wasn't lifted. I used the whole tone scale, DT use the minor, and then went into chromatics at the end of it. Totally different, but I see where you're coming from. I just wanted to eliminate any confusion.

The blank measure was left there on purpose because I wanted a rest there as sort of a sudden ending to sorta trick the listener.

That organ thingy was actually lifted from a guitar part in the beginning, so it adds a lot to the song actually if you listen carefully. The bass was also from the same measure, and I just used that part to help bring things back around to close out the song.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound offended, I just thought I'd explain the reasoning behind the parts that were problematic to you. Thanks for the crit though. I like the drum suggestion, so I'll use it. Thanks a lot.
I'm going to crit as I listen, and I like this song a whole lot, I'm a bit jealous. Also somewhat suspicious of the name. As a side note, I don't like the drums too much, but the bass is excellent, good job on that. As for mixing, drums need to be a good bit louder, guitars a bit quieter. You should pan the two main guitars to 5 and -5.

1-5: Love the riff, nice rhythm and good use of time signature. Has a great mood to it.

6-15: This bit's too metalcore for my tastes, but it's not very generic metalcore so I'll let it slide. Looks a bit hard to play. I like your choice of chords here as well.

16-20: Still loving the riff even when it's distorted, nice mini solo as well.

29: Good riff / solo. Love the organ part here and the 16th note rests. I like how it changes at 39, and your solo phrasing is good.

48: This part looks hard to play, but it sounds excellent, keeps the same epic feel as you've had so far (kinda boring)

56: This part breaks up that epic feeling and the 7/8 just has an excellent rhythm with it, good job here.

65: One of the best riffs in the song, not much to be said here. I really love it.

97: The parts leading up to here and the parts leading up to it were jizztastic. I love it and the bluesy solo, good phrasing here as well, you're good at making leads. Nice 5/8 groove.

121: This riff just makes me want to go 'Cool riff brah'. Cool organ solo especially. I like the way you drag the riff on, the repetition makes it even cooler, and you pull it off with good use of variations.

161: This drum solo was probably 2 quarter notes too long

164: I love this riff but you can't play it. I would have to see video evidence.

172: Good riff, nothing to say here.

188: I got kind of an Avenged Sevenfold vibe here, I like it.

204: Now it sounds like Protest the Hero, the song sounds really powerful at this part, which makes it resolve perfectly into the breakdown-ish section

220: Good place and cool rhythmic variation from earlier. The organ and guitar soloes are great at this part.

249: I fvcking (kvlt) lol'ed.

251: It comes out of nowhere, but it's perfect. The bass line here supplements it really well, but I kind of wish the guitar didn't copy the bass in the variations of it.

283: The lead guitar gives off a piratey feel until the rhythm guitar gets into the higher registers. Really cool riff.

291: The perfect transition into the next (great) riff.

294: Good riff and good fadeout.

C4C: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1139306
Thanks a lot for the crit, bloodshed. As for the title, it represents the hodgepodge of genres in this particular song. It's a confluence of almost everything in rock, blues, jazz, and metal that I have been exposed to over the years; a confluence of influence. I hope that clears up any suspicion.

I also like the panning ideas. They worked out really well, so thanks a lot. I always have trouble with the mixing in my songs like these, so I always appreciate some help in that department.
Look at the quote in your signature.

We can only guffaw at all the humbug we are told about martyrs.
@bloodshed: Oh! Haha. I didn't even know that at all actually. I came up with the name while cleaning my kitchen. I know it sounds stupid, but it's very therapeutic and I do A LOT of thinking. It was where I came up with a bunch of parts to the song as well.

@AngrySockMonkey: Yes that. I was hoping you'd eventually see that . What did you think of the song?
Quote by Progbass92
@AngrySockMonkey: Yes that. I was hoping you'd eventually see that . What did you think of the song?

What I meant was that is what I think of this song. You continue to amaze me (whilst filling my mind with envious plots to commit murder and steal your music) !

BTW, I like almost **** bricks when I heard the riff at 164. Seriously.. one of the craziest things I've ever heard.

Lulz @ 149.
We can only guffaw at all the humbug we are told about martyrs.
Wow, amazing. I just have a couple comments.

1st, I think when you have something like the intro riff, with the jazz guitar, use the let ring effect so it sounds a lot better (even if you don't hold the notes when you actually play it, it makes it sound good in gp).

2nd, I think at some places, you have a bit too much going on at the same time, and it's hard to focus on the guitar track and everything else as a whole.

3rd, I loved that jazz guitar/distortion "effect" you used. If you recorded it, would it be something you would record twice, or is it just something to make it sound better as a guitar pro file?

Just a couple of general thoughts though:
1, how much do you write on guitar as opposed to writing riffs out of your head? I'm just thinking of the riff at 65 cause I'd never have come up with those chords altogether just messing around on guitar.

2, do you think of the song as just one song, or as multiple movements? I just felt that with the various genre changes you have, it sounds like you were writing the song with various parts, kinda like a mini album.
Well, to address some of your comments:

That "effect" with the clean and distortion is supposed to represent one guitar with a little less distortion. I'm considering pairing that with a reverb effect to give it that spacey feel that it had in midi. In this song, I completely wrote out of my head, but in other stuff like when I collaborate, I use instruments. I want this song to just be one. I like the effect of different musical directions flying at you all at one time. It maintains the element of surprise. I don't think it's long enough to be divided into movements anyway.

I'm glad you liked it though. Thanks a lot for listening.
This song really reminds me of Scale the Summit, but a bit heavier. Nice.
I really liked the clean guitar intro.
Loved when the distorted guitars came in. It has a great vibe to it.
Solo at 21 was ok, but not really memorable.
Liked the idea at 31, but it didn't really develop into much.
I think bar 48 could have done without the repeat.
66 sounds great.
85 is a nice break from the madness. Perhaps a bass solo there?
The solo at 92 was wonderful, but it would sound much better if it wasn't doubled by the distorted guitar.
I didn't really like 121. It was just weird.
The rock organ solo after was cool, but not really ear-catching.
The guitar solo after it was much much better.
164 was much too technical for my taste.
Loving the harmonies at 188.
Really cool bass at 203. Can you actually play that?
Breakdown at 220 is getting old.
Rock organ solo sounds great this time. Really spiced up the music.
Sounds great when the guitar joins it.
This whole next section is pretty boring. Nothing interesting to listen to.
283 was probably the only memorable melody of the song. I liked it.
Fading out ending was ok, but I think you could end it better.

I can tell you really put a lot of work into your songs, but you need to learn when enough is enough. They tend to drag on and on and on and it gets really tiring to hear a 10 minute song with no memorable melodies. It's impressive, but not something people would want to pop in the music player and listen to. Another thing is the guitar parts tend to border on impossible to play. Again, you are a fine musician, but you have to find that median between pleasing the musician, and pleasing the audience. I used to write much more technical music than I have on these forums, but I discovered that what's harder than writing a technical masterpiece is writing something that is both musical AND memorable. Don't get so wrapped up in the mechanics that you lose the idea that inspired it.

I'm sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but it's honestly how I feel.
Check out my band Disturbed
Oh yea Prog like YOU have to worry about your songs being not good enough? Haha your songs are always amazing. This one was an exception for me though. This is one of the best musical peices I have ever heard in my life. I don't even know what to crit. haha.
One comment. Your use of staccatos are amazing in this song.
The solo was beautiful and the use of bending added some amazing effects and emotions for me. My only suggestion is bars 92- til the end of the solo should remain quite as the bars 92-97 were.
The overall flow in the song was pretty damn perfect. I never really felt awkward. I think you should add a transition between bar 120 and the organ part from 121 and on.
the mix was pretty good. Bass should be lowered to 14 track 2 to 12
Thats pretty much it. Good job

I made all the mixing adjustments and added a better ending. I also lengthened and harmonized the bit at 283 so, in my opinion, it sounds a lot better. Again, tell me what you think about the new additions feel free to bring any other concerns to my attention.

The first bit actually sounding like something Animals as Leaders/Tosin Abasi would do.

A lot of the piece actually. And as usual, it was all very well done. The rock organ was an interesting touch as well. Even chuggy metalcore esque stuff that I usually dont like was sufficiently good to keep me interested.

Good job.
very cool song, couldnt find anything bad to say about it , you gotta be an insane guitarist if you can play this song with perfect timing :P
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Affected by Maxon OD808, Mad Professor Deep blue delay

Ok, I'm not gonna lie to you. That completely owns my song in every single possible way. I actually can't get over how well you composed each and every track! Everything's perfect, just record it, organise some gigs, write some more songs just as amazing (if it's physically possible) and get a whole band playing it. You'll be the next Dream Theater!
Bar 80 – drums fantastic in the clean guitar section before it kicks back into full kit.

The rock organ solo was a nice touch a long with the solos after it. Wasn't too convinced about the fast discordant section after this, but it redeemed itself when the organ started playing the chords.

Harmonized lead in the next part, plays well with the rhythms in the other instruments. In fact I think you really did quite well when it came to how all the instruments knitted together. Sure it got quite busy at times, but in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is kind of in this style for that kind of thing to happen.

Wasn't too sure about the guitar riff at bar 220, but when the keyboard comes back in it works well oddly. I think you could probably find something slightly more fitting to put in here. I love the idea of the keyboard rhythm over something like the riff you have here... but for me this is some what of a weak point I think. I'm sure you could find a better riff to place here than the current one.

Other fantastic solo + unison section follows, good job.

249 made me chuckle. Its the very reason I love music like this, the humorous bits are awesome.

The lead guitar line at 283 was really very well placed.

Bar 294 – It was great idea to bring back a previous section for the outro. Gives the listen something to latch onto and stop this from becoming too much of a riff soup, or rather it kind of rounds everything off very nicely. Oh and its a very memorable theme, the second time around, I must say.

Basically some bit where very memorable, but not instantly you know. I think that's always a problem with this style of progressive stuff, it takes a couple of listens to really pick everything apart you know. Then again that could also be a good thing. Makes the music rather intelligent.

The song flows well apart from at two points. Bar 220 for the above reasons and the bars rest after 283. I don't no how I would change it as anything I could think of only ruins the flow more, but ... I guess it can pass what with the organ riff after, but it feels like something should bridge the gap rather than having it stop completely and build back up again. I dunno.

As for panning I would suggests the standard bass and drums centre, guitars left and right and keys where ever you feel is sensible. Other than that I think you have everything mixed quite well, perhaps the organ is too loud at some points for some people but then again I kind of like them how they are.

9.99/10. Simply because I love the style and think you have an amazing composition here, minus the things I mentioned. Oh and I adore the way you reference/quote other previous riffs and themes you have used previous. Ties everything together nicely

I'm sorry If I repeated somethings others have said, but I do hope I've given you something to think about, if not then never mind huh

perhaps you'd like to crit mine?
Last edited by Of_Wolves at Jun 8, 2009,
Thank you for that very large crit. I took your suggestion at bar 283 in filling that spot with an organ fadein. I think it works well. I think I'm going to keep 220 as it is because I actually like it that way, but thanks for the suggestion. I just couldn't think anything else up that would replace it.
I'll crit back right now.
I'm pretty much stealing this guys outlay since there aren't any section markers =P

1-5: I like it, it's oddly hooky.

6-15: Was overwhelmed by the transition lol. I liked the ambience feel the ringing-out notes gave.

16-20: Same riff as the intro, so I still like it. The keyboard riff fit well too.

31-47: Nothing really outstanding about this section. It fits, but it's not very memorable.

48-55: The organ stuck out the most to me, I liked the solo you put in.

68/71: I don't really like the low chords in these bars, I think they could be replaced with something better.

81-112: This was a nice change of pace. The entire song before this can seem a little overwhelming to the average listener since so much is going on all the time so I liked that you added this in.

121: This riff just makes me want to go 'Cool riff brah'. Cool organ solo especially. I like the way you drag the riff on, the repetition makes it even cooler, and you pull it off with good use of variations.

164-171: I agree with the other guy, I wanna see video proof of this =P I got a Bloodmeat by Protest the Hero kind of vibe from this, although this was a bit more frantic.

172-187: This was a very groovy section, me likes.

188: I can see where the other guy got an Avenged Sevenfold vibe from this, but for some reason the little "4/6-4" slide instantly gave me an image of a song that'd be in a level for a Mega Man game lol.

204-207: I got a Protest the Hero vibe as well here. The extended, repeating run is something I can imagine in their songs. I liked it though.

241: I liked what you did here.

259-317: I like this entire section. It gives off a kind-of "resolving" feel as in if the lyrics to the song were telling a story, the part when everything gets sorted out would compliment the feel of the instruments in this part, if that makes any sense at all
Really really really nice. Virtuosic in extremes, and the Dream Theater influence is obvious, as has been stated. If it's going to stay instrumental then it's really all a big jam, which is cool, and for what it is, the organization and the feeling of "togetherness" is remarkable; most jams meander on and off and this way and that way and blablablah...

Anyway, there were a few points you asked about. For mixing, everything seems fine except the rock organ, which is a bit too low for my tastes: I found 13 to be a suitable level, and the distorted guitars, which I would pan, perhaps to 4 on each side. However, panning them back to center for the slow middle segment would be good as well. I've already touched on organization. Solos were incredible, not a bad word to say; you obviously know what you're doing with your theory and phrasing. Overall impression was good; the superfastlotsandlotsofnotes mentality doesn't always float my boat, but you pulled it off.

A few more things, as well, caught my attention. During the aforementioned slow middle section, I think it would be cool if you panned the solo back and forth, either with or without another track, to create a dueling solos effect. This is no Slayer song, but it would work quite well, I think. As a last remark, I think the final segment starting at bar 251 with the organ goes on too long. With vocals it might not be so bad, but as an instrumental passage there's nowhere enough variation to keep it interesting the whole way through.

Ending on a bad note though I am, fantastic music. Not all sounds will please all ears, but I'm sure there's a good many folks who would adore this beyond reason.
God your pieces are hard to crit haha. they're so insane.

Intro was sweet. loved the chords in bar 5.

Opening riff. Amazing. Organized Chaos. Which i think you used to describe one of my songs haha.

Loved bar 34, its such a small thing, but its just another factor that makes this song so awesome.

Chorus is great. Loved the dissonance in the first bar to kinda breaking it down the second bar.

I dont listen to much prog, so 7/8 usually sounds weird to me, but it sounded fine.

Loved the basslines in the guitar solo. And the solo was great.

Keyboard solo rips the face. So awesome.

Guitar solo 2 i didnt like too much. I dont really like shredding kinda solos. Doesnt sound bad, its just not my thing.

Drum solo/interlude didnt really like. Its theres going to be a drum break, I would start it slow, then bring it up fast. If that makes sense.

I dont like riffs like 'Whole Tone Riff'. Its sounds like a great riff, but Its really not my style.

Harmonizing at 188 was great. Loved bar 199 of that riff.

Breakdown reminded me of Protest The Hero.

HA. Chromatic Madness was awesome.


Ah, return to the chorus. My Fav bit.

Outro was def big and epic.

It really was amazing, epic, instricate song. Which makes it hard to crit. Its really not my style, but it sounded cool. Would love to see you write a (real)post hardcore song haha.
I'm not going to give an essay, but that was impressive. It's nice to see someone else here going for a more jazz fusion approach to solo writing. The 'outside' ideas worked well and you clearly have an understanding to a certain degree of what your doing - phrasing is very nice and you know when to back off as well.

I love the change to Eb at 164 with that whole tone idea, really effective. The organ idea at 228, and it's harmonisation at 236 is also a favourite part. I also overall think the structure is effective, as it isn't entirely through-composed (with the recapitulation of the theme at bar 8).

Overall - awesome. If this was actually recorded it sure would turn some heads to say the least. Check out my Death Metal/Fusion piece in my sig?
Alright, I'm about to write this comment for the 3rd time, after a pen breakdown and a mysterious forum-posting error :P I'll go step by step this time:

Intro - I'd have put it on let-ring, but it's a matter of taste really. It's good nevertheless.

Opening Riff till Chorus - Damn, those riffs are hooking as hell, after listening to it once I went through the whole afternoon replaying it in my head, great stuff - you sure know how to pick your chords. Here the little let-ring works perfectly. Short Lead shows you've been working on getting some melody on your leads, although I still think there's a little 16th abuse, it works nicely. Actually, it's impressive that you manage to have nearly all instruments doing "leads" of their own at the same time without it going cacophonic - great orchestration skills!

Have I mentioned I love the rock organ?

7/8 part didn't completely convince me, sounded a bit too much like an extra 8th glued to the previous 6/8. Sounded a lot more natural on the Variation though, the alternating 8/8 fits well.

Jazz Part - my favourite part. Sweet chords, and the guitar solo is probably the best I've heard from you so far - really recreates the feel of a live jazz show! (although, some vibratos here and there would be nice) Also, great idea with the light distortion gimmick, I might have to steal it :P

John Lord's got the blues is lol - again, recreates the feel perfectly. Guitar Solo 2 is good too, especially the chromatic introduction.

Whole Tone Riff - where the hell did that come from? Who cares, it's cool - the rock organ makes it sound a bit like a 50's villain movie song, lol. Harmonized Lead is good, but the Enter PTH section is better, really dramatic.

Chromatic Madness - look at that, the villain is back :P love it. Charge!! made me laugh, eheh, it really came out of nowehere.

The biggest grudge I have against this song is the follow-up to the final chorus - the introducing instruments step-by-step and the repeat bars make it sooo long, gets boring frankly. I think you could shorten it a bit without losing any relevant musical content.

Outro works, nice and dramatic, even if bars 346-347 seem out of place there (did you copy/paste bars 6/7? o_O)

Overall, some things I didn't fall for here and there but mostly a very high quality piece. 9/10