Trance: October Lustcraft (unmixed) - Feedback wanted

Share your music, collaborate, and partake in monthly music contests.
Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:26 pm

Hey everyone! Hoping to get some compositional feedback on this unmixed track that I "finished" over the weekend. New to the forum so I hope the unmixed track doesn't result in an instant ban :) but as someone completely new to music creation (this is literally my first trance track, ever), I wanted to focus on finishing the track versus getting overly caught up in mixing which I will get to once I settle on the main ideas. If it turns out to be anything like my writing process, I prefer to get the ideas out on paper and then do clean up for grammatical errors and organizational flow afterwards. This helps prevent me from editing my thoughts in flight and overly analyzing instead of creating.

So brief background, this is a straight trance track influenced by the sounds of Stranger Things, mid90s dance (you'll know when you hear it), AvB, and I really was going for more of a hard, progressive, layered sound than a melodic lead, chorus, along with lots of pads (although I love both). I also wanted to see how I could turn what was an "odd" sound at the beginning into something that enhances the sound and provides that grounding throughout the track. Although it hits everyone differently! 8) I've shared with a few buddies of mine and they each notice a different aspect of the tune and while one person loved the track but really disliked one specific aspect, another thought that same aspect was fine, but I should have started with the sounds heard in another section of the tune. I know this is vague but think its necessary for fresh ears.

So yeah, looking for some constructive feedback, and while focused on the compositional aspect, if you have mixing ideas or suggestions, I definitely want to hear them. I just didn't want the entirety of the feedback to be overly focused on the raw unmixed aspect at this stage. I fully plan on having a few sessions completely focused on mixing, editing, removing muddy aspects of it, adding sfx/risers as tasteful, creating more excitement with dynamics, etc. The focus was on completing the track, getting suggestions, what worked for you, what didn't work, compiling my notes from others, and likely developing a few different cuts and releasing them into the ether. Timestamps are also really helpful. Enjoy! :tu:

https://soundcloud.com/optimusik/octobe ... igK5O0Z0FE

User avatar
ATS
KVRAF
6863 posts since 21 Dec, 2002 from MD USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:00 pm

you need to start bringing on other elements a little earlier than you do in the start. It really starts to drag like crazy at about 1:30. You could do all that in about :30. at 2:00 minutes still the same thing stand, that whole first 2:30 needs to be compacted back into about a 30 second segment. 2:30 to 5:00 minutes should be compacted down into another 30 second part or else make A LOT more happen. What you should do is cut out a lot of this and bring in all the different elements in much sooner. For a first effort it is great, just need to go back and cut and fill if you know what I mean? Cut out parts and compact the song into a much more efficient piece, WAY too much fluff.
my music: http://www.alexcooperusa.com
"It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am." Muhammad Ali

User avatar
layzer
KVRAF
7195 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Post Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:09 pm

not mixed yet, so no mix feedback? ok
composition feedback, still needs alot of work.
this is a good example of why i say:
repeating motifs is ok, as long as it
isnt repeated too much. and that wah wah
bass will bore people to tears. i fear..
the drums come in way too late and
unless a change in that wah wah bass is introduced the song should
only be a minute long.
this might be a bit harsh, but it is a un-sugar
coated honest opinion. btw, unmixed or mixed
it sounded ok to me, i've heard much worse.
HW SYNTHS [KORG T2EX - AKAI AX80 - YAMAHA SY77 - ENSONIQ VFX]
HW MODULES [OBi M1000 - ROLAND MKS-50 - ROLAND JV880 - KURZ 1000PX]
SW [CHARLATAN - OBXD - OXE - ELEKTRO - MICROTERA - M1 - SURGE - RMiV]
DAW [ENERGY XT2/1U RACK WINXP / MAUDIO 1010LT PCI]

haslo
KVRist
35 posts since 5 Dec, 2019

Post Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:05 am

I can't find it, but there was an article complaining about many songs today not having a song structure like "AAAAA" instead of adding form with something like ABABC. I agree with the general sentiment that your song would benefit from having a B part.

I do like the sound selection though, and really like the interweaving parts when things take off a bit around minute 5.

Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:13 am

@Layzer, appreciate the feedback! Totally fine with your un-sugared comments. Truth be told, the vocoder sound is on the chopping block and will likely replace it with another synth/bassline. Its in precise alignment with another comment I received which said the "wah wah" was alright but wears you down after 8 minutes. I get it! The interesting thing about this compositional process is that that particular sound was one of the first that I started with so I'm slightly emotionally tied to removing it (I'll get over it quickly ;) ). I may just keep it in a different mix. Again appreciate the feedback. I wanted to stay away from mixing focused comments at this stage because I still need to edit this down supremely and I strongly believe that its more efficient to cut the fluff down first before you start obsessing about sound. As I get better with the DAW (Using Logic), I'm sure I can do this all in real-time but my effort here was to finish the track and prevent my obsessive compulsive urges to EQ which will turn into watching YouTube videos for hours on end .

Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:20 am

@ATS, thanks for the input! Agree with your comments and will significantly edit down the first 2 minute intro. There were a few places where I absolutely felt it drag but for a first cut, my goal was to not get overly concerned with it and focus on finding a "groove" or overall sound for the piece. There are some very slight, hardly noticeable changes that occur, and maybe in a final mix, those changes will shine through. In the meantime, I will likely rework the introduction entirely (i.e. cut it down, try another sound texture that kicks off the key). In the back of my mind, I did consider this more of a "Club Mix" than a "Radio Edit" as I figure out what I'm trying to achieve here. Thanks man!

Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:26 am

@Haslo, hundreds of years of Classical music confirm what you said about song structure so totally good with your comment regarding form. :) I should vary the key. I have not spent a ton of time studying trance progressions although I don't believe they are overly complex. FWIW, I loosely followed sonata form and may play around with the key in the Development section. I decided to go against a strict chord progression by design. Sometimes I start with chord progressions and improvise a melody over them but in this case, I started with a specific sound and really worked on layering throughout. I'll need to continue to experiment here, but I will likely trim the selection down based on earlier feedback before I start manipulating keys. At this stage, it probably has more to do with my technical limitations with Logic versus an absence of ideas there.

Appreciate the feedback with the interweaving towards the end, there are a number of subtle changes that occur as I bring back the synths for one last hoorah. I think with some additional mixing, it will sound pretty good ( or "not terrible" depending on who you ask ) in the final stage. Again, first trance track, lots of room for improvement as I continue to learn here!

Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Sep 02, 2020 8:02 am

Hey everyone! I reworked the opening to "get to the point" a bit faster per earlier suggestion. Namely, inserting a more melodic rhythmic bassline which adds some color, trimmed the opening to essentially get to what I consider the Development section @1:40. While I still consider this unmixed, I did reduce the amplitude of the vocoder ("wah wah/yay") track so it sits as more a part of the percussion section versus so in your face throughout the mix. Also added some additional color before the Recap @4:06. I do hear some mud around the mids on my studio monitoring speakers that I will try to correct once I get to the mixing phase. If this stands out to anyone else, then let me know. My ear is still in EQ training mode and have a lot to learn in that realm. I think there are some opportunities for more traditional trance effects, panning, waves, etc. But from a compositional aspect, I think its coming together!

Updated the background description for the track. Here's the text: "Mysterious Alien transmission received from the deep reaches of space. They have found us. And they are coming."

When listening, I'm thinking these Aliens want one thing only - Domination. :tu:

https://soundcloud.com/optimusik/octobe ... Cdmq2HiE58

User avatar
Bansaw
KVRian
1275 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Post Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:31 pm

The "yay voice" synth comes in for the first 8 bars and there's nothing underneath it. I would pout an atmospheric pad in there 1st, then add the 'yay' synth.
Also the rhythmic aspect of the 'yay voice synth' is just three notes repeating. Imho the rhythm needs to be faster and more varied. It gets boring quickly.
I fact, those three notes just repeat over and over again. You need to add a lot more variety to keep people engaged.

Optimusik21
KVRer
11 posts since 31 Aug, 2020

Post Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:15 pm

@Bansaw, just to confirm, were you listening to the original or the updated track posted after the initial comments?

Return to “Music Cafe”