#1
My first finished electronic song. Initially I thought it could be somewhat massive attack/triphop inspired but it ended up.. I don't quite know what.

Give it a listen, all criticism is appreciated. Tell me how I can improve, bear in mind i mixed this on £30 headphones

https://soundcloud.com/user718743734/dark-exp

Also, at the beginning and about 2 minutes in there is some crackling sounds, and I have no idea why they are there. None of the tracks were clipping :/
#2
Intro really grabs attention, the way the background layers fade in and out over the bassline is great.

I liked the placement of the vocals, and all the guitars going on during that section fit perfectly. I think the quiet after that section was a little awkward; you should keep a background layer going.

I think this was pretty cool for a first attempt.

C4C? Links are in my sig.
#3
Quote by herby190
Intro really grabs attention, the way the background layers fade in and out over the bassline is great.

I liked the placement of the vocals, and all the guitars going on during that section fit perfectly. I think the quiet after that section was a little awkward; you should keep a background layer going.

I think this was pretty cool for a first attempt.

C4C? Links are in my sig.


Hey, thanks for the reply. Gonna go check those links out now

What do you mean a background layer? Like something which appears both before the quiet section and also in it? So that the change isn't quite as 'abrupt'?
And what about the sound of the mix as well? I presume you listened to it on some decent monitors/headphones, how did it sound? Any clashing frequencies or parts too quiet/loud?

Anyone else care to share some thoughts?
#4
mickel_w,
Thank you for your reviews! Now your tune. I usually mix my tunes with headphones myself (most would say this is less than ideal, but I like the stereo separation & don't want to drive my wife & daughter nuts), though I don't have them on me right this second. I'm listening on marginal computer speakers right now. I like the way the song starts. I'm tripping out because the singer sounds like an ex-girlfried of mine; her vocals are good though. I might use less reverb on her vocals, though I might change my mind with my usual Sony headphones. I didn't notice crackling, but maybe I would with the Sony's. I have mixed feelings on the last vocal part repeating multiple times. Wouldn't hurt to have more parts to the song, but sometimes, myself, I have a hard time thinking of adding something that might actually improve a given song. I liked the song overall.
Last edited by aaron aardvark at Dec 30, 2014,
#5
Hey mickel,

First of, go and find yourself another name for your Soundcloud page. user718743734 seems like it's a bot, more even that you don't have a profile pic. Now lets get down to the music. I loved it. I thought the bass, and the drums were exceptionally well made. Loved the feel that it gave me. It brought me to think of qotsa - keep your eyes peeled ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kzKfwwDFRc). Too bad it's so short. Work on it, it's awesome. Go more primal with the guitar. The tone is great but being so short it just makes you think it builds up for something and then it ends. And I think that the ending part of the song should be made into a different song all together. The first half and the last one are two separate things in my head. Anyway, great track man. I'll follow you on SC to see what you're doing .
#6
By background layers, I mean the swells and stuff in the background (like that soft cymbal you have fading in and out). They really contribute to the "full" sound of this piece, in my opinion. I think retaining these or some remnants of those (reverb trails, delay echos, et cetera) could help make that part quiet-but-not-too-quiet, if that makes sense.
Quote by mickel_w
something which appears both before the quiet section and also in it? So that the change isn't quite as 'abrupt'?

Pretty much this, actually.

I didn't comment on this before, but I like the fullness of the last section once the distorted guitar comes in. That part gets a little repetitive though; I think having an instrument in the range of a rhythm guitar would fill out that section, and having some variation in that instrument could help make this section stay interesting. Just a thought. You asked about the mixing, and the outro's the only part that didn't feel right to me. The guitar takes up a lot of room, which is should, but I'd put a compressor at the end of that chain to keep it from taking up too much room, so you can have more going on with the other instruments.
#7
Thanks for your reviews everyone, the feedback is really helpful.

@aaron yeah, the main struggle I have is song structure and what one section should follow through to. This is why I said this is my first finished piece, I have around 5 'half songs' where I don't know what should happen next.

@andreicristian dont worry, I'm going to get a proper sc account soon, I only made this one so I could put the song up for others to listen to and give me feedback. As for it sounding like qotsa, just a shame I can't sing like Josh homme
I do agree that the last part sounds out of place, I just didn't know where to go with it next.

Thanks for replying Herby, when you talk about the last part are you referring to where the vocal loop is being repeated?

@mike, guess I call it electronic because the guitar was the only thing I actually recorded for that song. My ordinary style? I try and listen to a variety of music, basically if it sounds good I'll listen to it, not bothered the genre. I play guitar in a band but its nothing serious, I've been really wanting to start making music just by myself since that way only have to rely on me and no one else. Been learning to sing too, but that's coming along slowly. Like I said I'd like to make massive attack/triphop style but with my own twist. This track was probably mostly inspired by mezzanine (their 'darker' album) but in the end I don't think it came out very triphop-like. Its not a very popular genre either, and I have no idea how many of the sounds I hear in the songs are created, so its kinda discouraging as I can't find anywhere where I can learn that stuff. Oh, I've been listening to some UNKLE recently as well (if youve not heard of them check out 'be there' and 'burn my shadow').
#8
Really dig when the drums kick in around :25. They have a spacious feel to them that I enjoy. Bass has a deep, dark tone that really sets the mood. Just got to about 1:25 and the track seems to drop off right when it's really getting in the thick of things. The way it comes back in with the drums feels like it's going to pull from the break down section back into the rest of the song but then it ends. There's good elements here, but structurally, it feels incomplete. I think the first minute could have been stretched further and perhaps establish the vocal presence more for instance. That way you have a solid foundation in place to drop the listener from when the breakdown hits. You don't want the listener to get bored with a part but you also don't want to give them something and then take it back again right away (obviously, these are generalization and can be broken for effect).

If you'd like to take a listen to my music, I posted some here
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1665410
#9
Very good for a first attempt.
I feel that the biggest weakness is the first choice of beat-it's a bit stuttered, it does not quite groove.
The second beat sounds awesome, a massive sound, with the little echoey tinney bits on top, it's really a great sound.
All in all this is perhaps a bit too complicated, you tend to meander a little. But there's no shortage of ideas. I would suggest you focus more, try to keep a single clear vision as you work, and try to keep a coherent line throughout your pieces.
However, this is very ambitious, a courageous attempt, and in places as said it sounds awesome. The trouble is that the sections sound a little disconnected.
You have a strong talent, like an untamed horse, that needs to be broken and controlled.
I hear a regal darkness, bit like Pink Floyd's more conceptual stuff. A vast vision, profoundly deep, lurks in your work, awaiting articulation.

C4C here.