#2
Giving it a crit as it plays.

17 and 19 sound a bit weird, mostly 19. I understand that's what you were going for but idk, it sounds like it could use a bit of "tempering". That's terrible advice and not actually making any sort of real point, but just play with it some more and try to make it not so overtly dissonant but rather hint at chromaticism in such a way that it sounds "outsider" without just spitting notes at it.

The idea at 28 is super fucking good, I really like that progression. Really well spaced and nice chord choices, I dig the augmented chord it hangs onto a whole lot.

The little piano fill at 43 could use a bit of work. Possibly some more rhythmic variation and a couple different note choices. If you're making a dissonant sort of nonscalar melody like that; a good heuristic is to make sure you land diatonic stuff on the downbeats. That sort of gives it the skeleton it needs to make it sound cohesive while still affording you lots of room to play around with weirder notes.

52 is a neat meeting point for all the ideas so far.

R-6a has a LOT of potential, but in its current incarnation I think the orchestration is kinda muddy. I sometimes suffer from this same thing; you have so many ideas for things that could be embellishing your ideas that you just choose all of them. But you gotta be more selective and understand that sparser orchestration allows focus on the ideas. If they are all playing at once they all sort of just get muddled up. That being said, with just a few different note choices in this section, I think it would sound a LOT clearer. Don't change that bassline though, that shit is fucking great.

In general I would also advise playing with dynamics a bit more. The song, once it starts up, seems to hang on to one volume for quite a bit of the time. Try making some stuff louder or softer to highlight the most important parts.

All around this has a lot of potential and I think this kind of thing lends itself much better to being recorded and playing with different kinds of sounds than being laid out in general midi, much like something like Maudlin of the Well. But speaking only for what I can currently hear as opposed to what it could potentially be, it just needs a bit of cleaning up and it'll be way cool.

Mind dropping a crit on https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1691286 ?
#3
I can't give this an actual crit because I've only got one working speaker and it makes everything sounds like a mess, but I will say that the melody throughout is really nice; right up my alley. I echo Tarbosh's opinion about the dissonance in the intro, but that's a matter of artistic intent vs... well as he put it, temperment

But yeah the melodic line you have going is super catchy and smooth jazz/new age-esque. I was going to suggest a sound layering I used in a recent song (that was also swing, coincidentally) but it didn't sound very good. BUT, you may want to unison the synth voice with FX7 Echoes (a few notches lower volume) to give it some oomph. Anyway that's just a suggestion and sorry if this is long winded without actually saying anything I haven't slept in 3 days shut up
i see your girl
G A Y
she leavin wit me

F O R
I'm playing wit her booty
in the back seat
M A D D E N
#4
Thank you guys for the crits.

Tarbosh--I did some rework on bar 19 to make it a bit more "inside." Now it kinda sounds a bit TOO inside for what I wanted. I'm gonna play around with the notes in that particular bar until I get the right amount of quirkiness. As for R-6a, and the variants, I definitely see what you mean about it getting muddy. I notice that if I take out the lead 1 square, it opens things up a bit more, but there's still work to be done. My biggest fear is that I may have to scrap the guitar riff entirely and come up with something else. I'll try to see if there's a way of salvaging it by changing some notes around.

Imspazzen--I've just started to experiment with it a little bit. It definitely fills out some parts a bit. I'm thinking that I'll place the FX7 unisons at R-4b and R-4d.
#5
R2-a is hard to follow, which was probably your intent, but I still can't really... get into it. The chord progression itself is cool though.

R-3 and R4-a: Woah, this is sweet. Super catchy and easy to follow, a nice contrast to the to the previous stuff, which I guess gives it more impact.

I'm not a big fan of the piano fill in 47, but if your intent was to make it sound harsh and dissonant then I suppose it's not a big deal.

R6-a: Amazing. I don't actually think it's muddy at all, I like the interplay between all the different instruments.

I don't like that 79 chord in the square track at bar 80. That actually sounds needlessly dissonant.

R2-b isn't any easier to follow than its previous incarnation

Overall... I liked it a lot. Really nice synth work. The melodies are sick. The drumwork must've been good because I didn't notice anything bad about it R2 was probably the only part that I have real qualms with.
Last edited by RedDeath9 at Jan 2, 2016,
#6
Hey man. I'ma try to give you some constructive criticism on this part by part, as you did for me =).

R-1 -

This part is alright, I just feel like it starts building up towards something that could be interesting, like a pulse on drums with punches being introduced around bar 10 , but instead you repeat that same type of buildup before going into..

R-2

I don't understand the intention of this part, really. It doesn't hit the energy that was implied in the buildup from R-1 and there's no solid pulse or direction for the leads/melodies or the progression. It seems very vaporous and train-of-thought, which sometimes can be effective but this feels like it lacks intent and direction. I don't find it fitting what comes before, nor do I particularly find it leads into the next part effectively. Sorry =(.

I like R-3, this is my favorite part in this piece up to now.

I like the intention and the feel of R-4, I just don't like the dissonance that your melodic line falls upon on the third chords of your progression (bar 36 and 40). That might actually be the chord progression itself though, I don't know. The rest is cool though.

I like R-5 but the snare click on each beat really bothers me, lol. Most music of this nature doesn't hard accentuate every beat, and overall the drums could use some subtlety and ghost notes in this kind of vibe but I know that's not easy for drummers to really write effectively. The drums are overall non-intrusive though so I wouldn't focus too much on it if you're not interested in getting too in depth for drum composition, just a comment from my perspective.

R-6a is pretty chill, I think this is probably my favorite part.

When you do the octave higher on the vocals at 78 I think it overall sounds better with the rest and dissociates the vocals from the rest of the instrumenation, which also helps counteract the solid second dissonance between the vocal melody and the underlying piano chord.

I really don't like R2-b any more than the first incarnation. I can't really say I like anything about this part, unfortunately. It feels like an attempt at making something with a weird progression and timing just for the hell of it, and I feel it really suffers for it.


-edit.

Now being as obsessive as I am I kept trying to diagnose why R-2 didn't work for me. I realized that with the right drumming the actual progression and rhythm of the piano could work out and feel coherent (to my ears ofc). I still don't feel the lead makes sense at all and I couldn't figure something out that would really gel that with the rest of the rhythm section but if you're interested at all I messed around with the last part of the song on drums just for the hell of it. Don't feel obliged to even listen to it, it's your song and you may very well like the original just fine, but I included it anyway in case you were interested.

I guess I had to try it to determine for myself if the progression and rhythm was workable to my tastes and I think it is and sounds pretty good if you create a solid pulse or rhythm for it, but that's up to you of course and the direction you want.

(starts at measure 99)
Attachments:
Recovery Drum edit (meas 99-105).gp5
#7
As always, thank you guys for your criticism. I will try to fine-tune things, especially with regard to unintended dissonances and dynamics.

---

But damn, it seems that everyone unanimously dislikes both versions of R-2. Although I doubt that the following will change any minds about how these parts sound (and it shouldn't, as you are all entitled to your opinions), I figure that I owed it to you guys to at least give an explanation as to why I probably won't be making any drastic changes to those particular parts.

First, I'll admit that it isn't that easy to follow. It's abstract--the progression is meandering. I can tell you that I didn't intend to create odd time signatures just to play around with them. In this case, I put in odd time signatures to help me visualize where I wanted some chords of the progression to start and end.

I guess this is really where artistic direction and intent comes into play. So, here's where I was going with the song...

The song begins with a repetition of a part in Tempest that I found to be "sinister" and kind of "ugly." In Tempest, to me, this section represented destruction. I kind of wanted to channel the "negative" at the beginning of this song before I moved into the rest of the song, which was decidedly more upbeat, even if slightly off-kilter. Hence the title.

Now, to get to the heart of why I'm stubbornly holding onto these sections...

For me, R-2a and R-2b are symbolic representations of loss and the feelings of being completely displaced afterward. To me (especially with R-2a), it's reminiscent of the "out-of-body," numb feeling that I had when I was suffering from major depression a few years ago, and it's reminiscent of how I felt last year when my father past away and then my uncle passed months later.

The lead and the sections in general are meant to have a loose, free-form, disorganized flow--much like a person walking through life on auto-pilot without a sense of purpose or self-worth. The parts aren't pretty because what they represent isn't pretty at all. The first incarnation of R-2 ends on a minor chord, typically associated with sadness or contemplation. From there, we go into the "Recovery" phase presented at R-3.

By the second incarnation of R-2, I wanted to add a bit more structure than the first incarnation. The section should still give a shaky, uneasy kind of feeling, but at the same time, it has much more intensity and resolve (?) than R-2a. It represents a person that is a little bit better equipped to deal with loss and the feelings associated with it. I wanted to paint a picture of defiance--even when death inevitably takes away the people we love. Instead of ending the section on a minor chord, I ended it with a suspended chord. Death of family will always--always--be terrible, but it doesn't have to destroy you.

---

This is actually the second original song that I made since the deaths of my dad and uncle. I made the first song during finals week last semester. I was kind of proud of it, even though it was really stripped down in comparison to some of my other stuff. I wanted to post it up in December, but when I started thinking about what inspired me to write the song--I lost it.

I decided not to even post that one up. I wanted to give a better representation. After my finals, I came up with another concept. I never put it into words until now, but I guess I was thinking: "If I had one chance, what would I tell two of my biggest role models?"

The answer: "Don't worry, I'll be alright."
#8
I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. When you write something personal that means so much to you it's completely understandable to value your vision and your personal expression above how others perceive it, and I very much respect that you will stick to your guns and keep it as is, if it is truly the way you want to express that emotion and you are happy with it.

I may not know the extent of your grief and how it affects you but I understand what it feels like to create something very personal and not be concerned as much with accessibility as self expression.

I hope I didn't offend you in any way by suggesting something different, I know it seemed like something personal to you and I wanted to stress that in the end your artistic vision should really take precedence to my personal opinion as a listener without context.

Also I know what it's like to write something very jarring and inaccessible because it represents how you really feel, I've written some truly twisted, difficult to digest stuff that I wouldn't change for the world because it represents exactly how twisted I felt at that time.

I remember a famous director mentioning that there was a big difference between what he considered a success in regards to his original vision and intent, and what was well received and considered a success by the masses, and I remember Tchaikovsky also thought the nutcracker was probably one of the worst things he ever wrote, so. In some contexts, what other people think is completely irrelevant to how well you've expressed yourself through your art.

I hope you find the path to peace within yourself and the situation life has put you in.
And I'm sure you will be alright, with time =).
#9
I'm just getting through listening to the "Edit" version . I'm a sucker for jazz-influenced stuff, and I think you do a great job of incorporating jazz stylistically as well as note wise. Lots of good swung licks and lines throughout. Also, all these parts that people are calling dissonant just sound like jazz to me. But my ear, at this stage, barely registers dissonance as harsh at this point, because I just really like it just as much as I like consonance. Even more so, at times.

The intro riff is too good. That piano is so emotional. R-3 is a stunning riff. Recovery is beautiful section, and I think the jazz feel is captured well in the drums. I would suggest also swinging the cymbal hits every now and again for added flavor and feel, too. Track 5 at R-4b was beautiful. The choral bits really remind me of The Epic by Kamasi Washington, if you've ever heard of that. (If not check that out!) Loved the piano at R6-A. I actually think the bass might be a bit too mobile in this section, though. Like 63, it just feels like too many notes in that turn around. Nitpicks, though. Killer guitar chording at 83.

The off kilter part at R-2b comes off as VERY emotional with the punchy drum hits and cymbal crashes supplemented by the piano chords. The last measure flowed very well, and I loved the syncopation throughout that section. The feeling I get from the ending is someone fighting sloppily until they have literally nothing else left to give. I feel as if someone has fallen down, immensely short of breath, having given all they could, at the end of the song. It's a good feeling for a song to give me, I'd say.

Also, I'm sorry for your loss, man. But it's happy news to know that YOU know you're going to make it. Loss of those we cherish is never easy, but that realization and reassurance that you can celebrate who they were (maybe even still are) and still exist is a big milestone. Stay strong. This was an awesome listen.

Also, I've been dying to hear someone's opinion since I reworked this song, so if you have the time to C4C me, please do: She Is Love
Last edited by Million Dead at Feb 3, 2016,
#10
Quote by JazzDeath
I'm really sorry to hear about your loss. When you write something personal that means so much to you it's completely understandable to value your vision and your personal expression above how others perceive it, and I very much respect that you will stick to your guns and keep it as is, if it is truly the way you want to express that emotion and you are happy with it.

I may not know the extent of your grief and how it affects you but I understand what it feels like to create something very personal and not be concerned as much with accessibility as self expression.

I hope I didn't offend you in any way by suggesting something different, I know it seemed like something personal to you and I wanted to stress that in the end your artistic vision should really take precedence to my personal opinion as a listener without context.

Also I know what it's like to write something very jarring and inaccessible because it represents how you really feel, I've written some truly twisted, difficult to digest stuff that I wouldn't change for the world because it represents exactly how twisted I felt at that time.

I remember a famous director mentioning that there was a big difference between what he considered a success in regards to his original vision and intent, and what was well received and considered a success by the masses, and I remember Tchaikovsky also thought the nutcracker was probably one of the worst things he ever wrote, so. In some contexts, what other people think is completely irrelevant to how well you've expressed yourself through your art.

I hope you find the path to peace within yourself and the situation life has put you in.
And I'm sure you will be alright, with time =).


Hey JD, there's no offense taken at all. I really do appreciate that you understand where I'm coming from. I just felt that I had to explain my decision to keep those particular parts as they were. I felt that it would have been disrespectful of me if I just kept doing edits while seemingly ignoring major, shared criticisms.

You guys are all very skilled composers, and I take each comment seriously. I really do try my best to take bits and pieces from the critiques that are given, even if it means stripping or rearranging entire sections to do so. In fact, I snuck in a progress edit of Invictus a few days ago (and it's gotten/getting a much needed makeover), and I'm also in the process of stripping down Tempest a bit more to make it less cluttered (and to also fix those damn drums...).

In many ways, music is, and has always been a form of meditation for me. Even running through scale sequences for practice is therapeutic. If I'm not playing my guitar, then I'm composing music. If I'm not composing music, then I'm listening to it. If I'm not listening to it, I'm thinking of it. It doesn't matter what's going on in the day, in some way, shape, or form, music is there.

Between music, gradual maturity, and just being more open with friends and family, I'm slowly working toward being at peace with myself and my own thoughts. I've been fortunate to have some of the greatest support, so things have been made a lot easier than it could have been.

And with that said, thank you for your support.


I'm just getting through listening to the "Edit" version . I'm a sucker for jazz-influenced stuff, and I think you do a great job of incorporating jazz stylistically as well as note wise. Lots of good swung licks and lines throughout. Also, all these parts that people are calling dissonant just sound like jazz to me. But my ear, at this stage, barely registers dissonance as harsh at this point, because I just really like it just as much as I like consonance. Even more so, at times.

The intro riff is too good. That piano is so emotional. R-3 is a stunning riff. Recovery is beautiful section, and I think the jazz feel is captured well in the drums. I would suggest also swinging the cymbal hits every now and again for added flavor and feel, too. Track 5 at R-4b was beautiful. The choral bits really remind me of The Epic by Kamasi Washington, if you've ever heard of that. (If not check that out!) Loved the piano at R6-A. I actually think the bass might be a bit too mobile in this section, though. Like 63, it just feels like too many notes in that turn around. Nitpicks, though. Killer guitar chording at 83.

The off kilter part at R-2b comes off as VERY emotional with the punchy drum hits and cymbal crashes supplemented by the piano chords. The last measure flowed very well, and I loved the syncopation throughout that section. The feeling I get from the ending is someone fighting sloppily until they have literally nothing else left to give. I feel as if someone has fallen down, immensely short of breath, having given all they could, at the end of the song. It's a good feeling for a song to give me, I'd say.

Also, I'm sorry for your loss, man. But it's happy news to know that YOU know you're going to make it. Loss of those we cherish is never easy, but that realization and reassurance that you can celebrate who they were (maybe even still are) and still exist is a big milestone. Stay strong. This was an awesome listen.

Also, I've been dying to hear someone's opinion since I reworked this song, so if you have the time to C4C me, please do: She Is Love


I'm glad that you liked the piece. I'll definitely be taking a look at changing up the drums a bit, between changing the dynamics and making a few alterations here and there to spice things up. This is probably the first time that I feel I've put together a relatively convincing rhythm section in one of my songs. It's always a bit of a struggle for me, but this time around, things came together smoothly. I really appreciate your criticism and thank you for your support. I hope that my crit will help out in some way.

I'll be checking Kamasi Washington out when I wake up tomorrow. Actually, I think I first heard that name when I was creeping through Tosin Abasi's Instagram, hoping to hear some snippets of new AAL songs (and to try to absorb some talent through osmosis ).
#11
Again, apologies it's taken me 2 months to get back to you. And I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm in no place to give you the pep talk but it's great to see you keeping going and being productive with your life.

This is a really nice piece. The melodies are real catchy and the rhythms have a great feel. The main motif that starts in R-3 is brilliant.

R-6 is a neat little section which kept the piece fresh.

R-2b could do with a little work to be honest. The idea behind it is great, but I found the first 2 bars just a little bit too off, and there were a couple chords in the last 4 bars that didn't sit right with me. It's hard for me to pinpoint which ones.

So no major issues at all. Would love to hear this recorded. Completely understand that it's a personal piece so my opinion on what works for me isn't going to mean much to you, but hope it gives you an idea of what a listener might think of it.
#12
the intro is unusual (and if you know much about me, youll know i like weird/unusual stuff). i wasnt expecting the whole freeform part on r2. its not necessarily bad, but it doesnt tickle me fancy much.

r3-r4c (28-83) touches my soul, especially the synth choir lead. plus the whole swing feel makes it that much catchier.

r6 is pretty good too, but it just doesnt resonate with me as much as the previously mentioned part(s)

as for the ending, if youre going for another freeform-style section then good job, but it (again) didnt really tickle my fancy. theres nothing wrong with freeform, but i feel it could be improved (this is a sentimental piece for you, so i think only you can really decide what to do for that)

overall i really liked this. not at all what i expected, but really pretty. idk what your final plans are for this, but id love to hear vocals over it

when you get the chance, would you mind checking out my EP and/or epic?
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1697578
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1697080
Last edited by pAWNlol at Mar 1, 2016,