Three Synth and Guitar Tracks (Electronic, prog influenced, ... synthwave?)

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1347 posts since 3 Mar, 2009 from Colorado Springs

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:53 pm

Brief introduction, I'm Jeff (Agreed). I started my musical journey as a drummer as a teen, had some back issues when I was younger and got into playing guitar as a less painful musical expression in college in the mid-late 2000s. Loved it right away and I've been playing guitar as my primary instrument since.

I always wanted to play keyboard, too, so this year I have been teaching myself to play keys and work with synthesizers. I've been making tracks as a way to integrate new tools and tech and learn how to do more things that I want to try to do.

Here are three tracks I've worked on. Skyline City and Willowisp are where I want them to be; I may go back and do more to polish and expand Hatching Moon in future but the idea is there now. I try to give a bunch of details about tools used in the recording process in the respective posts on Soundcloud, if you're interested in that, and in any case thank you for clicking and I hope you like what I've been up to. :) ... bc81f6caab ... ce59713d0d ... 89a1dcca48

Edit: I see in the guidelines it recommends uploading mp3s with ID3 tags, but I haven't encoded these in lossy formats or hosted them as such, hoping that the Soundcloud links will suffice. If someone needs lossy mp3s, I guess let me know and I will see what I can do.

138 posts since 26 Jun, 2018

Post Sat Dec 04, 2021 4:51 am

To me it's a great start. There is a lot of things that could be improved, but everybody needs to begin somwhere.

First track:

I like the overall concept of this track, it could work as a retro-videogame soundtrack. The main theme is getting a bit repetitive towards the end. There could be a "B section" with slightly different melodies and riffs. The synths and guitar compete for attention too much, there could be more guitar focused sections, aswell as synthetic ones too. I'm not a mixing expert, but to me there is too much frequencies in 2-4 kHz range which results in ear strain. Also, there is a very little bass frequencies that lessen an impact of a whole track.

Second track:

Great foundation for an atmospheric soundtrack piece. I like acoustic drums with 3/4 feel, great tom fills. Composition and arrangement feels much more developed and thought out compared to the first track. Mixing feels more balanced too. Good luck on finishing that one!

Third track:

Perhaps it is my favorite. It reminds me of some 80's experimental synth rock. Very catchy and groovy. The electronic drums, synths and guitars fits perfectly together. I like the guitar playing and tone varitions, it's kinda evolves from clean to more agressive towards the end. Fade out leaves a feeling that the work is still in progress and the track could be a bit longer.
"Music is like traveling. Traveling without moving."
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Topic Starter

1347 posts since 3 Mar, 2009 from Colorado Springs

Post Thu Dec 09, 2021 2:03 pm

Thanks so much for taking the time to give some feedback and constructive critique!

These are in chronological order that I worked on them this year, and I think it shows in terms of the mixing and what kind of ideas I'm working with in each, and I definitely became more familiar with my tools (and diversified my kit to include some useful stuff, too) as I worked with them more. I am hopeful that I can continue to learn and improve my process and my mixing as I go.

I'm thrilled you thought Skyline City could be a retro game soundtrack, that was very much the inspiration :) I felt by the time I was done working with it that it might be better as a bit shorter of a track (originally I had a longer speech synthesis part that gave it a bit of context for the duration, but I took it out and didn't cut it down to fit after I cut most of that). I think with your suggestion in mind though it might be better to diversify the latter half rather than cut down the overall length. If I do work further on it I will revisit the mix for sure also, I agree it has some harshness and could use better frequency balance. Think bass like on the third track might work?

Thank you for the feedback on Hatching Moon, also, that one was a lot of fun to record because the idea came really quickly and it hit at just the right time with what I was working with in my DAW at that moment to get it recorded and together unusually fast for me as a "demo." I would love to re-record the whole thing with more care, tighten up a few aspects of it, and incorporate some symphonic and choral elements during the 1:12-1:35 part with a clearer mix there. I may work more on this one soon.

Regarding Willowisp - thank you for the kind words, very gratifying to know someone out there finds a track I made catchy and groovy! I don't think I want it to be too much longer, but I have thought about taking part starting with the pre-fadeout measures where the guitar harmony repeats and doing something with more pizazz there, which I think would result in the track lengthening a bit. Actually part of me wants to re-record the guitar harmonies in the second part differently to get a bit more pop too.

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