I'm listening to break through this barrier right now, I think when the synth comes in (in the beginning) its a little loud as in it drowns out the drums, maybe turn up the kick and snare volume. The drums could be driving the song harder if they were a bit louder or just pushed forward in the mix.

I've never heard this kind of music before so this may be the sound your going for, but for me it would be more enjoyable with the drums taking a more driving force.

Overall its a nice piece of work!
Between the two, I like the "Game of Life". The melody of the song can be improve further to make it more catchy. It has a lot of potential.

Breaking the barrier starts off really good with the drums building up but I would agree with the previous comment that the synths overclouded it. I like the gothic and dark vibes from this one.

Overall both can be improve by better mixing. Sounds very unique and interesting. Keep it up!
Quote by aaron aardvark
I put 2 songs in my music website: "Break Through This Barrier" is on top, and "The Game of Life" is the next one down. Please tell me how you like these songs and how they can be improved, and I promise to return the favor. Here is the link:


hi aardvark Aaron aardvark, youre first in line. Ha ha

I listened to the first one last night. It really tickled my ears. It was fun to listen to. The quality, recording quality I thought was outstanding.

I'd hate to try and have to learn it. With all the stuff that was going on I don't think I could decipher it.

It left me wondering, did you do all that? Or did you patch together a bunch of patterns and I don't know, synthesizers playing arpeggios all the stuff going boink boink boink and like that?

You mechanically made each boink ? You pressed the button to make each sound heard on this recording.? You physically played it? I want a boink I think one would sound good right here, I'm going to leave it out here, no boink boink here.

I think I will put a different kind of a sound there.

I know you put a lot of work into this and it does sound great. I just don't know how it's done. I'm old-fashioned as you know and I like conventional instruments.

Whether it is a computer program doing all the stuff and you are just kind of regulating it. Or if you created the whole thing measured by measure. Still sounds great.

I couldn't tell if you could really sing or not because someone this highly skilled with modern day recording technology could fart into a microphone and morph it into a beautiful vocal.

It kind of reminded me of Muse only a little bit more on the electronica side. The little bit of Muse I've listened to. At any rate I did enjoy it, sincerely. However it was done.

On a scale of 1 to 5 I give it a three. Two points for the recording quality and that extra point because it was fun to listen to. I couldn't understand what words were. And I deducted another point just because of my own personal taste.

I think the sound you can make with computerized gizmos nowadays are pretty amazing but not quite as amazing as an outstanding musician, still I try to have an open mind.
xevious1, Argyle_06, Nostrildamus, sirsteelstrings, yope,
Thank you for your comments, I appreciate it! For "The Game of Life", I wrote the vocal melodies first on a synth to guide the singer. For "Break Through This Barrier": the intro drums (Korg TR-Rack synth module) were written by me, and played back using a sequencer. The later acoustic drums were mostly stock drum patterns from toontrack. Not counting the creaking synth sounds (which took an occasional key press), for the first 2:14 synths were played manually originally, and played back with better timing using a sequencer. The bass synth at 2:16, and bell sound at 2:25 probably took just a few key presses. There is real guitar and slap bass in the song. The lead synth at around 2:40 was first played manually, then I made the timing better at play back with a sequencer (I may have added or deleted a few notes via sequencer).
Hey aaron, thanks for the crit

Break through the Barrier is very 70s sounding. Reminds me again of Floyd, its very you in its style, which Im sure is what you were going for. The mix sounds very good, I found no faults. The guitar tone is good, and the bass is especially nice. I liked the synth solo

The Game of Life is cool, very different to the last one. The guitar tone is an interesting choice, but works well. The lead guitar i think is a bit too icy, maybe some more trebly or using the neck pickup would sound a little less harsh. The mix is a little empty, i find a way which helps with that is having a guitar track which is clean and is just audible enough to be heard, which acts as a space-filler-upper. Otherwise the song is cool, very classic synth-rock, nice work
Thanks for the crit!

I really dig the epic-ness of the drums in Break Through this Barrier, though I'm a little sad that the synth ends up drowning it out. I think maybe the synth is a tad bit too loud? All in all, a great sound, though!

So The Game of Life sounds like it may need some EQing work on the vocals. I'm also not too fond of the tone of the lead guitar, wish there was a bit more "oomph" to it. Also, I do think that there is something missing in the mix, it seems a bit empty-ish. The vocals over-all work really well with the song, though, very talented!
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I sound like an angry Yoda...is that a good thing...or a bad thing? lol
Hey, thanks for the crit.

Break Through this Barrier: Starts off a bit dark and moody, NIN-ish to me. Your vocal is different this time, starting out like Brandon Flowers then getting more Matt Bellamy.
The rock guitar sound emerges out of the electro start like dry land out of the sea. Then the synthy stuff comes back, in a slightly 80s sounding way. Interesting mix of genres.

The Game of Life: Again, quite different. The vocal is nice enough but seems to have a bit of a 'grit' effect on it, dunno if that was intentional but I personally would prefer it cleaned up. It was possibly a bit high in the mix. Made me think of Pat Benatar for some reason. It's a grower rather than a Max Martin attention-grabber. Hope you two collaborate on more.
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Hey AA, thanks for your critique, I'll let you know what I think of yours now.

Break...: I really liked the synths, but I find them quite loud during the vocals, perhaps drop them down a tad so the vocals shine a bit more. As somebody above mentioned, it definitely sounds a bit like Muse and NIN are working together. The bass riff is really creative, and the build in which the synths start layering up is really effective. This section (melodically and rhythmically) reminds me of Rush around the "Counterparts" era, specifically Animate during the bridge. I love that song BTW.

The Game...: I share the dislike of the guitar tone here, but if this is what you were going for then you succeeded. The chorus is very catchy and the vocals have a very nice tone. The synth in the last chorus is nice but I feel it didn't really build at all. It just ended there. I think you could have extended the last chorus, added more synth/guitar leads, slapped in some drum fills and then faded out on your merry way.

I enjoyed both of the pieces BTW, don't take it too harshly.
Break through this barrier has very cool trippy sounds and a nice atmospheric sound throughout. The synthesizer solo beginning on 2:30 is awesome my favorite part of the song easily. Your vocals I feel are the weak point here Id have liked to see more rhythmic variation, I feel as if I had heard that kind of vocal delivery from you many times in your songs.

The game of life is not jiving with me. Her vocals I think sound awesome shes very good but your accompaniment with the rhythm distorted guitar tone does not do her voice justice but luckily the synth parts save it in a way. The phrasing is fine though I do enjoy the phrasing of the lead and rhythm guitars but that lead guitar tone is also....... I ain't feeling that . I understand this style is supposed to have a quirky eccentric vibe to it but that soils it for me.
Thanks for the crit, aaron!

Break through this barrier:
Very cool synth opening, grand and epic. Then it get more into Pink Floyd land, and I love that. It then continues to a more 80's kinda vibe, before you a bit Bowie-ish around the two minute mark. I love the synth solo towards the end. Very unique track. Nice work!

The game of life:
The introductory solo could have been done in a more subtle way, I think. The tone of the guitar that riffs along with the vocal could also have been differently, I think. I love what you're doing on the synth though, and Toni's vocals are awesome.
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Hey man, thanks for the crit on my track.
Good synths on Break Through This Barrier! They're the best thing about the track. The vocals sound almost exactly like Muse to me. Muse-style vocals aren't really my taste, but I can't criticize based on personal taste. In that case, they're well done!

I think I'll echo everyone else's concerns about volume on the synths. I think volume peaking needs to be address for the vocals too since there are certain notes and vowels you sing that really pierce through in an uncomfortable way. Perhaps a bit of compressor or limiter would help.

Great track though all things considered, and all the digital sounds are so far removed from what I'm experienced with doing that it might as well be another language to me.

The Game of Life was a little more difficult to listen to simply because of the tone of the guitar. I was disappointed after the higher quality of sound from Break. However, if the vocals were turned down a little bit with some more compressor and the guitar was smoothed out, I think I would be able to chill out to this song. Toni has a good voice. Feels like there's a lot of room for growth with this song, and as the guitarist continues to practice, the instrumentals will fall into place a bit better.
I like both, although I prefer the style of Game of Life (a bit more strange and different). Same comment... synth a touch loud or drums a bit low. Singing is a bit off key now and again (I should know, I sing off key half the time, although without intention... maybe that was the quality you were aiming for.). Overall, you have some of the best stuff on here.
I like the synth and drums on break through this barrier but I don't like the vocals there
nothing special about the guitar but the bass line is good and offers good room for fill ins for the synth

the tone on game of life's lead guitar is a bit painful to my hears but the rythm guitar is not bad
don't like the vocals on this one too and I generally don't like to ear women singing
but the music overall is not bad on this one I just don't like the vocal melodies and the singing

merry christmas
Last edited by João1993 at Dec 24, 2015,