Music Critique Club!


#21

Yee haa! Thanks for that. Creative confidence is a difficult thing when you first start writing your own material. It’s all very well playing it to people I know, however, it is very valuable for me to get candid opinions from people I don’t know and who can be very honest.


Thanks!
CB

#22

Your welcome buddy .
Maybe we can get more submissions and comments.
If I get my act together,I may try a submission.
I’m still a sound cloud philistine but need to join so I can share…


#23

Is it only OP1 tracks or is other instruments ok as well? If ok with other i could maybe add a couple of tracks…totally beginner style in music :stuck_out_tongue:


#24

No - it’s not only OP-1 tracks. Any of your own music is welcome.


CB

#25

Ok…so lets go then…here u got my first ever ever made music. Been a dj for a long time but decided that i wanted to learn how to make some own sounds…not with a goal for releasing or such., just for myself.

gear used is Elektron Analog Four and Rytm in song mode. Recorded straight to a Zoom H6, No editing

https://soundcloud.com/fleuw/friday-night-toyboxes-v2

#26

i added it to the playlist of music critique club also :wink:


#27
Hey @Fleuw, I just had a listen to "Friday Night ToyBoxes".

I liked the general groove and the sounds used. It has a lot of energy :) Thumbs up. My attempts on more than one box at a time usually end up in disaster, haha.

If I had a slight criticism, it's that it has a bit of a feel of an Elektron jam, changing patterns muting/unmuting parts, etc, albeit, quite a nice jam with some thought and planning behind it :) It would be great to get some build ups or transitions in there to make some of these changes feel more significant, eventful. I think you'll really benefit from the Op-1 for this bit (when it finally arrives ;-) ). One of my favourite things to do is to get a jam that I've done on my Elektrons, record it to two mono files on my H5 (I see you have the H6) and then transfer those onto two of the Op-1 tape tracks, one panned hard left and one panned hard right (to preserve any stereo in your jam). Then you can set the bpm of the op-1 to match your tune and layer some extra synths or whooshes, remix a bar or two to behave like a "fill" or whatever - there's loads of options there - you'll love it.

Speaking of stereo, I think making a bit more of a feature of the stereo would be great for the track. I *think* I can hear some of that lovely A4 chorus on one of the parts, which can add some nice stereo, but perhaps something a bit more out there is needed... like lfo panning or placing some parts obviously off centre.

If I could make a suggestion sounds-wise, the main clap sound on beats 2 and 4 feels like it could benefit from being a bit more layered or beefy in some way. If that was the synthesis part of the Analog Drum, perhaps a sample could be used to beef it up or something? An op-1 related trick I like to do for this is to record the same sound on my left and right channels, but with slightly different reverb settings. Works nicely for that offbeat clap / snare type thing and also has the benefit of getting an interesting bit of stereo in there.

Looking forward to hearing your first output on the Op-1. Enjoy it when it arrives! Welcome to the forum, btw :)


#28

Thanks! Wrote all of ur suggestion and tips down. Actually have the track still on the machines so i will try out all of the above. And i have to say that this thread is very helpful to get another view on the music you make. I like it a lot…its so easy to get a bit blind when making music and hearing it for a long period of time.
And thanks for the welcome

All the best to u all


#29
Hey @cloudburst

I had a listen to your track before the vocals were added and again after.... I also "get" it now much more than before. It also sounds a lot more polished to me hearing the finished product. I have a bit of a guilty pleasure for this style of music, it's quite Italo Disco-y :) Reminds me of that whole "Charlie - Spacer Woman" thing ;)

Anyways, I'm quite impressed with this production. The things I like are:
- things keep moving, there are lots of different sections in quite a short time
- all the different sounds you hear compliment each other (sample of the bloke talking, bass, synthlines and pads, vocals, vocoder)
- it feels like a real song with verses, choruses, etc.
- general feeling of stereo to the track
- the chorus is dead catchy and I love the "waiting for the a-a-a-asteroid" bits
- that cool bit where it slows down in tempo and you get some vocoder action (the bridge)
- not too cluttered, but fleshed out enough so that no part sounds too thin on its own

The things that I thought about improving:
- I can't really put my finger on it, but I think something bothers me about the kick a little bit... it feels like it needs something (although I get that it has to fit with the general feel of the song, with the right EQ-ing and it can't really take over)
- the introduction leading into the first verse feels like it should be made into more of an event, but I'm not really sure how, perhaps I might have tried adding a stripped back single bar of beats or something
- after the verse and chorus has happened twice in a row, it feels it needs a section to break it up a bit before the verse comes in again.... I'm wondering what it would have sounded like if the bridge was there instead of a bit later on or if you added another entirely different small section there to add some cool difference.

All in all though, impressive stuff, sounds really polished and like a real song :)

#30

Many thanks @yoof. Really appreciate your views.


You’ll love this - I have another friend who made the exact same point about the kick…

So - what I did was…I used the technique of adding a track with a test oscillator set to 40hz, then triggered this by a noisegate sidechained to the drum track, adjusting thresholds so that it was only triggered by the kick.

It actually was very successful. My friend said “that’s EXACTLY what I wanted”. However, I was surprised not to like it myself, on playing both versions back to back. I felt it moved the style away from a scientific 80s vibe toward a 2000s dance feel. Now I do like that style too, but just not for this song.

I had myself thought of possibly putting another verse after the slow section, and may yet do that.

The lead-in before the first verse and a small break after the second I hadn’t actually thought about - but I will.

Thanks again for your critique! I really appreciate it.

CB

#31

:slight_smile: funny that your friend had a similar comment. I see, so you added a kind of sub bass component to the kick as an experiment. Good to know you had a play with that, and fair play if you still preferred the original kick. To my ears, it sounds good during the main mix, it’s just the very beginning and very end of the track where the kick is on it’s own that I noticed something.


#32

@Fleuw - I enjoyed listening to your track.


It’s a pleasant and easy listen. Nice sounds.

I pretty much echo all that Yoof has said.

My brain works in ‘song structure’ as opposed to ‘soundtrack’, ‘ambient’, ‘background music’ etc. Given the length of the track, I’m hesitant to give any advice on structure as it’s outside my comfort zone.

One thing I would say is that it alternates a lot between two chords. I tend to use this model only to build tension before ‘resolving’ rather than maintaining the same model throughout the track.

My general approach is to consider tracks as a series of repeated sections and I use a few common tricks to please the listener:
- use a ‘boring’ section and a ‘hook’ section in your structure; labour the boring section for quite a while before the hook; the hook might involve either a more catchy melody, or the resolution of repetitive unresolved chords into a pleasing resolution
- have sections which you return to frequently during the song; the listener will be pleased when they return as they become subconsciously 'familiar’

As a matter of interest, what are you using to record and mix your tracks?

CB


#33

@cloudburst Hi! Thanks for listning and the critic. Always good to hear from other people. This track was just recorded straight to a Zoom H6. No mixing or audio editing after recording. Only thing i did was cut out the empty part in the beginning and end in audicity. :slight_smile:


#34

Great critiques boys. I will deffo be leaning on this advice.


#35

Hi guys!

I’m new to the OP-1 and newer to this forum, but I love the idea of a place to give and receive serious criticism.
To begin, here is a track that I just finished working on with the OP-1. It is composed to several snowy, Carpenteresque sequences, plus some field recording of old Japanese steam engines as ambient background.
https://m.soundcloud.com/joshua-stefane/snowfall
All the composition was on the op-1, but I ran the audio through a DSI Evolver and a Roland SRV-2000 for added depth. I’m still new at using the op-1, so I’d be grateful for any feedback!

#36

@cloudburst

Re: That Feeling
Great track! I love the chill, robotic vibe that runs throughout.
So I really love the intro here. Very dark, 80’s electropop sound. Cuts me right to the bone.
BUT, for that same reason, I found myself a little taken aback at 00:17 when the main track cuts in. From here on in the sound is much more upbeat and bright, and I can’t help but feeling that it clashes slightly with the intro (which you could probably make into a separate, total great song).
Anyways, since you posted this track a while ago, I’ll limit my comments to that, but I’m looking forward to giving your other tracks a listen!

tetsugakusha66

#37

Hi there @tetsugakusha66 - someone else did also make that point to me - so I will take on board. To be truthful - the track happened unintentionally. I’d decided to experiment with putting our vocalists voice through a vocoder to try to learn how to control it and the track sort of accidentally grew up around it.


Here’s a link to a track I DID compose intentionally (and pretty much entirely on OP-1):
https://soundcloud.com/drinking-bird-experiment/waiting-for-the-asteroid-mad

Thanks again.

CB

#38

i’m glad to see this group getting some action again. I’ve been writing some stuff on the OP-1 during my lunch breaks at work, here are a couple tracks. all the tracks are composed and recorded to album on OP-1, then converted to MP3 on media.io and uploaded to soundcloud - so the start/finishes are a little rough. Thank you in advance for any feedback.


http://www.soundcloud.com/soundestmusic/measure-of-man

http://www.soundcloud.com/soundestmusic/moments-before

( sorry, for some reason I can’t get them to embed conveniently. )

#39
Hi there @tetsugakusha66 - someone else did also make that point to me - so I will take on board. To be truthful - the track happened unintentionally. I'd decided to experiment with putting our vocalists voice through a vocoder to try to learn how to control it and the track sort of accidentally grew up around it.

Here's a link to a track I DID compose intentionally (and pretty much entirely on OP-1):
https://soundcloud.com/drinking-bird-experiment/waiting-for-the-asteroid-mad

Thanks again.

CB

Hi CB!

Thanks for your reply.
Yes, Waiting definitely sounds more internally consistent from start to finish. It’s a really fun track. The vocals and the synth arpeggios are wonderful!
I can’t help feeling that the drums sound a touch too bare for the track though. The kick that runs through the length of the song could perhaps use a longer attack or at least a touch more variation. That said, there is so much good stuff going on in the song otherwise that I can’t say I was seriously bothered. And in the interests of full disclosure, I’m not really a fan of beats anyways, making my judgement on the matter little more than an issue of taste.
Thanks again for sharing CB!
Joshua

#40
Ok...so lets go then....here u got my first ever ever made music. Been a dj for a long time but decided that i wanted to learn how to make some own sounds...not with a goal for releasing or such., just for myself.
gear used is Elektron Analog Four and Rytm in song mode. Recorded straight to a Zoom H6, No editing

https://soundcloud.com/fleuw/friday-night-toyboxes-v2

Hi Fleuv

This is a great track! I love the sense of urgency that pervades the song. For me, there wasn’t a dull moment in the whole thing and I enjoyed listening to it several times through.
I did feel–along with Yoof–that the clap you used felt a little thin, but I didn’t really mind as there was so much other goodness going on at the same time.
One suggestion I have would be to add in another (or different) progression towards the end of the track. I felt that the last two minutes or so could have been brought to a more intense conclusion. But that’s a pretty vague comment … Anyways, overall I loved the sound. Great work!

Joshua