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I just put 2 new songs in my music website: "44 Magnum Opus" (starts out orchestral and later starts mutating, but all instrumental) is the song on top, and "Inside Your Head" is the next song down. Please tell me how you like these songs and how they can be improved. If you review my music, I will review yours. I promise! Here is my link:
Hey thanks for reviewing one of my songs. My name is aaron too strange right? P=

44 Magnum Opus:
Has a tale of symphonia feel to it at the beginning, Woh i like the sax sound at 1:20. Love the grovey beat that starts at 2:10 onward, overall I think it can use a bit more variety but if its a intro song than its good as it is. x]

Inside Your Head:
Do you happen to like Depeche Mode? Cause your song reminds me of that band, Not sure what to write about the song cause i feel kinda of lost with all these things going on, song structure seems kind of weird maybe get rid of a few instruments and introduce them one by one might help the song greatly, Song could use alot more work cause its too short and too many things happening at once to grab me sorry.

Btw love your vocal work on your music, would you happen to be interested in colaberating projects? I lack a lot of vocal work from my music and it be nice if i had someone of your talent with and would greatly contribute to any of your music as well.
Thank you for the reviews! I appreciate your comments! I sent you a private message. Depeche Mode is one of my favorite bands, and they are an influence.
Hey! Well I gotta say, I felt like I was transported to the 80's. I enjoyed Inside your head the most, the quality of the instruments were really good, and I liked the song structure a lot. It had good elements. 44 magnum opus personally didn't hold my interest. You definitely experimented with this one but I think that it being an instrumental doesn't really go anywhere. I did like the ending though, so maybe if you work on the beginning it'll hold more interest. Thanks for listening to my stuff btw!
I listened to Inside Your Head. Awesome dude! Is this a cut off of Thriller? Coulda fooled me. Love the vocal. Great tune man I dig the style. Lyrics are great something I definitely relate to. My personal opinion - coulda used a stronger hook somewhere. Deep voice part I guess is the hook, dig the lyrics, but I was waiting for like a chorus or something to pound it home. Outro is trippy trippy, need to find me some acid and give this another listen.

Enjoyed it man. Great work always a pleasure.
Overall the songs definately have an 80's feel, a bit out of my comfort zone but I'll give it a go. Recordings were pretty much flawless, but most of the instruments used are midi i'm guessing, but very well mixed. Thought the little guitars pieces were pretty awesome.
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Thanks for the comment on mine. Here are my thoughts:

44 Magnum Opus: Interesting sound. The intro wasn't what I was expecting at all, but it totally works. The strings could benefit from a sharper attack and release; do you have any patches like that? If not, try Chorium , it's a free soundfont. And then it gets all synthy and ambient... I like the beat. It's minimal, but not insubstantial. And woo, synth-guitar solo!

Inside Your Head: "Somebody... Somebody put s-" wait, no. So, everything about this is 80s, and there's not really much else I can say about it that I haven't said about your other stuff. Quality (and hooky) songwriting and production, but kinda cheesy.
Last edited by Cavalcade at Jul 29, 2012,
44 Magnum Opus - dirty harry approved track. very epic sounding and very cool. kinda suprised to hear something like this on a guitar based board but it's really good. could use some yngwie still guitar to go with it.

Inside Your Head. - ok never been a fan of 80s synth bands but you did a great job with this. if i heard this on an 80s radio show i wouldn't have guessed that it wasn't by one of the popular bands in that genre.

my latest is Valley Of Gwangi found in my profile so leave a comment on the song there.
44 Magnum Opus : Really love that orchestral intro! Sounds very epic, and definitely love the transition to the more rock*ish part. However, I think the orchestral part sounds a lot like MIDI sampling. I know it is, but you have to make it look as it isn't! Did you try Kontakt libraries? they really sound like real instruments and have a natural feel. Also to give a more natural feel, play with dynamics ; Some notes louder, other notes played weaker, etc... And I love the bass groove of the second part! Really cool! Good job!

The second song has a really cool feel, love the synths and the dark vocals, but I think the drum pattern is maybe a bit repetitive... maybe change the rhythm once in a while, it could give something interresting to the song!
Last edited by sbesozzi at Jul 30, 2012,
"44 Magnum Opus":
This is very different from what I usually hear from you in these threads. How long have you been writing music like this? I usually hear Surf Rock/Gothic material from you. This is awesome. I love the change mid-song. You've always had cool, original music. Love the direction you're going in. Really well-done. Doesn't seem to stand out like I feel it should though.

"Inside Your Head":
Now this is the kind of thing I think of when I see the name "Aaron Aardvark". Real catchy and upbeat tune. Diggin' it. Very 80's. Usual badassery. Great synth-work. I think this lacks a chorus. It's very good, but could be even better.

Thanks for the crit!
I really dig 44 magnum opus it starts off like graduation music then it changes to this great brooding piece that could be the soundtrack to a really good thriller movie. Later when it the beat hits with that bass line its kinda feels like music to chase scene. Its not really pop music but I would definitely say it would be great sound track material.
44 Magnum Opus took me by surprise at the one minute mark. That change just builds so much tension. Loved how at around the two minute mark it turned all spacey-then to a hip hop style beat. The genre switches throughout the track make it so epic, and that ending synth solo is fire

My latest work is in this thread:
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Last edited by funky-flopper at Jul 31, 2012,
Loving the style. Vintage-y.
Mixing wise I can't find anything bothersome. I can only say that I love both songs and the production

Thanks for the input on my song
44 Magnum Opus was brilliant. You're an excellent composer. I loved how it started orchestral then mutated into a dark, ambient piece.

Inside Your Head is really quirky. Not normally my cup of tea, but this was just really fun and groovy!

Keep up the song writing man
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Checking out your tracks as promised

the first one is Magnum opus. this is good. the middle of the track has that middle east feel to it. Also has that Cossacs vibe to it hehe.

woah now it's more into modern type of sound. I actually love how you did some of those synthy stuff. Now when the lead kicked in it really sounds like a old sega genesis song or something. which is good I love genesis.

next up is inside your head, intro was so Terminator. and again has that sega era vibe. great!

Did you do the vocals btw? you have some great job done there.

Actually a good idea came to my mind. may be we could do some collaboration work? like if you come up with a new track like this one (inside your head) I could play some nice solo for it (with some chromatic bits and weird moments)
I've only had time to listen to Magnum Opus, but that was great dude! I liked how it changes mood a few times throughout the song - the last was my favourite :P That beat was awesome.

I'm not really in a position to crit anything else as I know barely anything about producing this kinda music. What programs do you use?

Also thank you for commenting on my work
Both of the songs sound well. Like monwobobbo wrote "Inside your head" sounds like the song of some 80's professional band, as for "44 Magnum Opus", which I prefer, it sounds very epic, especially the first part, I guess If I were you, I would do it whole in such style. Nonetheless good work on that. Cheers
Can't say I was expecting anything like this on UG, haha. .44 Magnum Opus was definitely interesting; I saw that you said it "mutates" later on in the song but that was not at all what I had imagined. It's cool, man! I'd be lying if I said I've ever heard anything exactly like that. Well put together.

Inside Your Head started off sounding like video game music, straight up. You could have a job in that! When the vocals kicked in it was definitively 80s sounding. Drums sound like an 808 pad? Anyway, still really cool. I enjoyed both songs!


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44 magnum opus: The initial part that starts at 9 sounds a little stiff to me but once the drums come in and more instruments start filling in behind it that feel goes away. The tone of the lead that comes in around 1:14 is a bit sharp but I like the eastern feel there. After that the song turns atmospheric and its pretty impressive the ground it has covered in just 2 minutes. Now that this bassline has come in it sounds more like what Im accustomed to with your music. Im digging the drums and their industrial feel if youd call it that. solid guitar tone in the last part too. I like the way this song doesnt stay in one place for too long a time although I actually felt like the jam at the end could have gone on longer with that bassline. for the first half i wasnt wild about all of the particular tones of the instruments but compositionally, i think its strong

inside your head - nice driving beat to start it off, when the vocals first came in my first thought was joy division. not so much in the lower parts but it seems like it could be a possible influence on the rest of it. im digging the modulation on some the percussion parts.
There's a lot of movement going on in the bass during the 1:50s too. Im actually surprised this song just ended but thats not necessarily a bad thing. that ending jam is probably my favorite part of the song. i just started it back over and the mix sounds tight. i think the structure is making more sense to me now that im noticing the break in the 1:teens is similar to the one at the end but this first time it goes back into the vocal part of the song. at the end i was almost expecting it to go back into the other parts so i must have not picked up on it when it happened the first time. like i said in the last one, when the bass is by itself in the beginning, it sounds a little stiff, but once the song gets going its not even a thought anymore. the bass gives this song a strong base throughout.

thanks for the review on my music as well
Inside your head:

All i can say is i love it. 80's haha, so catchy and well-written. I'm not a fan of when the vocals go very low though, kinda iffy for me. Besides that, the whole track is mixed well, good instruments used, and the vocals sounds perfect for this style.
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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.
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
Check my Recordings! say what you think i can improve at my playing, thanks!

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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!
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!
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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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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).
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?) POPROCKS3 please!
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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.
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
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.

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.
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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Thank you for the comments! I have looked around at soundfonts & have yet to hear any I like. I don't know if I could use them with my Cubase LE4 anyway. I'm afraid hiring a 40 piece orchestra is a bit past my price range. Did I record real instruments? If you consider a Korg TR-Rack synth rack module playing back samples a real instrument, then yes......but most people would say playing back samples is not "real".

Edit: It is probably significant that I use an iMac. From what I read, the sondfont players for a Mac are always, or typically only mono (1 output).

Edit: I sent descara a private message saying:

"Thank you for the link. I ended up trying the bs-0 soundfount player since I have an iMac. Then I downloaded the "Choir, SFX, and Various" soundfonts from that link you posted on my thread. I am able to open bs-0 with Cubase LE4. Then I opened a female chorus soundfont file through the bs-0. I couldn't get any sound out of it though."

I sent descara the private message so he would (hopefully) not miss the message. I did not want to seem like I was doing an illegal bounce by having a new reply.
Last edited by aaron aardvark at Aug 18, 2012,
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