Login / Register 0 items | $0.00 New @ KVR
User avatar
7URBO
KVRer
 
5 posts since 11 Feb, 2018

Postby 7URBO; Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:10 am My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Hi KVR.

Finished my first track with a Synthwave style focus but pulls inspiration from other genres too. Some of the automation is hand drawn so not as tight as it could be.

I found an old 80's answerphone recording on youtube and included that in the track too. It's mostly intelligible but feel it adds some texture.

https://soundcloud.com/7urbo7/midnight-reboot/s-PmkBw


I hope you like it.

Kind Regards

7URBO
Last edited by 7URBO on Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
sjm
KVRAF
 
1571 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:05 am Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

You've captured the essence of the style perfectly in terms of vibe. It sounds good sonically, but it's very static harmonically. It has the first very minor harmonic change after 2 minutes. The whole song sounds more like an intro, never really reaching a climax or evolving much musically. I know that drums come in after 1:20 or so, and that's supposed to be the end of the intro, but the drums aren't enough of a change to my ears.

A little bit of variation in the harmonic structure, and above all, a melody on top of what you have will go a long way. The song doesn't really get going until about 3:45. So to me it sounds like nearly 4 minutes of intro, about 1 minute of the actual song, and then another 1 minute long outro, which suggests something needs to change with the arrangement. I know that's not how the song is actually arranged; but it's how it's perceived by my ears.

That might sound overly negative, but it's not meant that way. What you have is solid enough. It sounds good, it makes musical sense yadda yadda; it's just not inspiring or exciting enough to make me go "hell yeah!" It still needs a melodic hook especially the first nearly 4 minutes or so. In other words, it's missing a bit of sparkle or icing on the cake for my tastes. That last 10-20% can really make the difference to a song.

My suggestions would be:
  • Limit your intro to no more than 1 minute and add a bit more interest once the drums start so we really get the feeling that the song has started.
  • Add some variation to the harmonic structure in the first long section. It's essentially 1 root note. While you have changed the mood of the track multiple times, I don't feel like we've moved far enough when this happens because of the lack of harmonic evolution.
  • Add some (simple) melody lines to the start of the song (when the drums start), varying the melodies over the various sections. This will make it sound less like a long-drawn out intro and more like part of the actual song.
  • Do more with the bit from 3:45 on, and add a melody to it. This sounds like it's the climax, so really go to town and make it stand out with a simple melodic hook and a little bit more sparkle.

You've actually got a lot of variation in the track, you just aren't showcasing it that well IMO, because you're missing that certain something for the ear to latch onto and guide us through the song. Compared to the amount of time you've already invested, it shouldn't take all that much more to take this tune up a whole level. The potential is undoubtedly there.

If you listen to the old 16-bit game tracks of yore, almost every single one of them had a lead synth hook. Often with portamento, but that's not obligatory.
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)
winkie00
KVRist
 
189 posts since 9 Jul, 2008, from Newcastle Upon Tyne

Postby winkie00; Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:46 am Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Sounds nice, very 80's. Relaxing.
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
4772 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:18 pm Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Unlike my esteemed colleague Mr. sjm, I find the groove propulsive enough that I am not missing lots of chord changes. The rhythms and atmosphere are quite cool. I do agree with him that it could use more happening in the melody department. The higher frequencies where melodies usually live are empty except for arps and pads holding sustained notes.

This is a great first effort. :tu:
sjm
KVRAF
 
1571 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:17 am Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Frantz wrote:Unlike my esteemed colleague Mr. sjm, I find the groove propulsive enough that I am not missing lots of chord changes. The rhythms and atmosphere are quite cool. I do agree with him that it could use more happening in the melody department. The higher frequencies where melodies usually live are empty except for arps and pads holding sustained notes.


You might be right that a melody would be enough. It's probably the combination of a lack of a lead and a lack of harmonic variation that together create the static impression I was getting. Addressing one of those aspects may well be enough. I mean, I like my trance, and that's normally just one root note, right? :)

Frantz wrote:This is a great first effort. :tu:

For sure!
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)
User avatar
7URBO
KVRer
 
5 posts since 11 Feb, 2018

Postby 7URBO; Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:55 am Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Hi everyone

Want to thank you for your comments and help so far. Very informative. :tu:

My struggle is I have no musical training or theory or understanding of musical theory beyond what "sounds right" so have to play it safe as it were with melodies once I find something that works. So I do need to work on my musical skills in that regard and your input definitely confirms that. :hihi:

I'm going to continue working on it and redo the mix on it at a later date when I'm happy with the content.

All in all it took me 2 days from start to finish so am keen to make it better. :phones:
sjm
KVRAF
 
1571 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:44 pm Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

7URBO wrote:My struggle is I have no musical training or theory or understanding of musical theory beyond what "sounds right" so have to play it safe as it were with melodies once I find something that works. So I do need to work on my musical skills in that regard and your input definitely confirms that. :hihi:


Just wing it like the rest of us ;) But you obviously do have an ear for what sounds right, because everything does make sense. And "safe" is probably fine here, as this sort of thing thrives off simple melodies. Maybe you just need to get out of your comfort zone a bit more? They only way to expand your horizons is to step out and explore the unknown.

Given that, you should easily be able to find a few 4 note licks that fit the song with a little bit of messing around. As Frantz points out, you're mainly just missing a higher melody that floats above what you already have. It doesn't need to be fancy, it just needs to be a bit catchy. Some of the catchiest hooks in pop music consist of a few notes - often, it's the timing of the notes that is more important. Most of the best hooks work because they are simple. And the right patch can also be key.

In most cases, it's the melody that tells the story of the song, which is why it's so important to have one for the listener to latch on to. (There are exceptions of course.)
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)
User avatar
7URBO
KVRer
 
5 posts since 11 Feb, 2018

Postby 7URBO; Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:50 am Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Hi

Thanks for the input, I went back and added some melody in the top ends, including a sub melody.

I like to produce tracks that build and build rather than follow the normal hook intro>verse>chorus>verse etc however I have taken elements of that approach. A lot of my inspiration comes from progressive house, simply melodies that progress and build over time.

https://soundcloud.com/7urbo7/midnight-reboot/s-PmkBw

NB It's unmixed, so technically it might not represent well on all playback systems.

I've updated the original link too.

Thanks
Cinebient
KVRAF
 
3504 posts since 16 Nov, 2014

Postby Cinebient; Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:00 pm Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Nice one. Libe the vibe of it.
It might have not that much going on (like mentioned) but i don‘t see it as a contra.
I often like minimal melodies without lots of harmonic changes which really can work sometimes good and attract over longer time.
User avatar
SOUND7
KVRist
 
40 posts since 29 Jul, 2017, from SOUND7

Postby SOUND7; Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:43 pm Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

Good build up. Love the intro, very atmospheric.

Good effort.
sjm
KVRAF
 
1571 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:25 pm Re: My First Track - Turbo Kid (Synthwave, Retrowave)

I think the section from 3:45 or so has come out particularly well. It's got a very catchy little hook and all the instruments are complementing each other well. I really think that's where your strengths are - as I wrote above, you have an ear for this sort of thing.

I'd still say that the melodies in the first half are still a little unexciting, but that the progression overall has improved as a result of what you've done. I'd have given the track a like, but you've made it private :(

I like your melodic work a lot, so I'd hope that your next track takes more of the elements from the second half of this one. Personal preference of course, but with a nice progression over the course of the track, it'll sound fabulous :)
Voted KVR's resident drunk Robert Smith impersonator (thanks Frantz!)

Moderators: DrApostropheX, Scoops, Moderators (Main)

Return to Music Cafe