But the drums sound... blank. Like, either he didn't give a shit that he sounded stock, or maybe just programmed drums by a guy who didn't know much about syncopation.
Don't get me wrong; Guitars->GREAT there's nothing *wrong* with the drums, so much as they just don't seem to be balancing with the guitars as far as composition goes, which makes this song kind of lopsided in my head. The same thing could also be said of the bass in this song, namely, where is it?
I love how you used touches of compression and subtle eq'd reverb decay on the drum samples. The vinylizer you ran on the samples also helped knock off a lot of that "OMFG PROGRAMMED" sound the various fruity loops faggots seem to have.
The track still sounds extremely keyboard driven to me, however, and the vocals sound a little over wrought (yeah, I fucking said it. OVERWROUGHT. The american idol style is NOT to be emulated; it's to be ridiculed) For example, I couldn't hear the supposed "guitar track" in the mix, either because I'm deaf, OR because the guitar sounded EXACTLY like a key board, which I consider a bad thing.
This is still a fucking excellent track though, no doubt. And that's coming from a guy who is definitely not a fan of the whole "soulful ballad" concept.
Well that's awesome, because I didn't use FL, giving me an excuse not to make it sound like FL, and this is an awesome review in that it gives me a bit more time to explain the track, style, etc for the sake of people who have likely never heard this sort of music before - i.e. anyone outside the UK.
The track was written for a big college project, in which we had to closely emulate any style we wish. We got free choice over what style we could do, however, we get more points depending on how close to the style your track is when completed.
The style you're hearing here is called Trip-Hop. It's a sort of ambient acid jazz originating from south-west England, around the Bristol area, and started off with key bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead in the early 90s. It was extremely keyboard and loop driven and almost all have a breathy female vocalist.
I'm not one for using loops, so apart from the very subtle guitar which I recorded and looped myself (you can hear it most after the end of the first chorus, about four bars into the middle 8), everything here is sequenced, but written in a way that adds the essence of what sampled music is. Everything flawlessly loops, there isn't much variation in any of the individual loops and the grungalizer (which you sort of correctly recognized as a vinylizer, though I've never heard it called that before) was used to not only cover up loop imperfections but to add another little bit of depth.
I didn't have as much time to work with my Vocalist as I would have liked, but when compared to Massive Attack and Portisheads tracks, the vocals seem more or less spot on to me.
Oh and trust me, that isn't a touch of compression, the whole track is compressed to the drums - another trip-hop sound, but it creates such a subtle boost that it's perfectly enjoyable :D
Your use of chord theory was seriously limited. You tended to use changes in effects to get different guitar sounds than just by using really weird chords. I did like the way the ambient noise turned out, and there is some nice healthy speed.
You used some really nice rhythms in your melodies, but the chord changes always waited for the measure break. It gave it a bit of a monotonous feeling to it. It's not enough for the individual notes ot have a beat to them; the chord changes have to dance within the track as well to get that "all encompassing" vibe that makes for impressive techno.
You totally neglected to separate the elements of this piece using EQ and stereo pan. While you certainly achieve a good hardcore effect, dedicating say, the highs to the high hats, the bass to the bass, etc, the individual elements would be much more separate and recognizable. The same effect could be achieved differently by dedicating each aspect to a particular left/right ratio (Ex. the bass centered, and the high hats to the left, and the snare hits to the right)
The piece is also a little too fast to let the elements soak in. Slow it down a bit so each note has a distinct attack and decay. That way the tone of the samples would really shine through.
Never ending arpeggios was all I could muster about a year ago, but they sound good with the rest of the stuff I wrote to finish this song. Hey man, I'm glad you noticed the EQ tweaks I made, that's pretty cool! Thanks for the good review and score, appreciate it much!
No, i don't use a true keyboard on my tracks, mainly cuz i don't have the money for one right now, but thnx for thinking that. I'll prob get a midi controller in the near future tho, but until then all i can use is the piano roll in fl :-/. But neway, thnx for the review--