Julien Feedback 3

 

Synth - Desert Nights Mono

I thought the intro was a bit bare, & you don't want to lose the audience's attention before they even know what they'd be missing. I tried grabbing a few riffs from the lead synth, splitting them up, & pitching them down with extra delay. The result is satisfyingly interesting & hints at what's to come, but doesn't intrude on the feel of the beginning.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 6.42.00 PM.png

It provides a motif that the user can use as a reference point for the rest of the mix & works as a nice counterpoint when layered in with the original lead.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 6.44.33 PM.png

In terms of sound & mixing, this synth is really nice. You could potentially add a bit of distortion if you want those upper harmonics to howl a little more, but I think it works the way it is right now.

 

Drums

The biggest thing I heard with the drums was the lack of variations. You said you liked the drum machine feel of this, & it definitely plays into that well, but I think you're missing out on an opportunity to take the composition further. There's two ways you can go about this, have a listen to how it builds tension in a really natural way by pulling the drums out, like a "negative fill":

It works to leave the hats in like this, but you can also pull the drums out entirely, of course.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 6.56.23 PM.png

I also thought the crash was a little underwhelming & faded out too quickly, so I tried just doubling it's length, shave off some of the attack, & add some reverb. I think it works good & you can hear the results above in the second example.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 6.58.42 PM.png

Finally, you can add some transparent variation & suggest energy levels by modulating the hat. For drum machines, I like to put on simpler's random pan to have the hits come from different parts of the stereo field. I also like to automate the decay of the hat so that I can tighten it up in the verses & let it loose in the chorus.

hats.gif

For the mix, you might want some aggressive compression or big boost in the midrange (500-600hz area). They sound a little thin because they lack a lot of this frequency range.

 

egg shaker

Great use of the egg shaker, by the way! Works really well in the track. One thing I love to do with these is to transpose them down over the course of a bar, kind of like a tape stop. Because the strong top end gets pitched down, it ends up sounding like a modulated bandpass filter - it can be a cool way to add a fill from the elements that are already in the track.

bass ms-20

The bass works as a great anchor, but it lacks variation/movement. I think it's important it maintain some consistency, but I think there are definitely ways to make it fit in better with the section it plays in. For example, in this section before the hook, I simply removed the last note. I think this opens up the section & slows the track down a bit to give you some headroom before the chorus strikes.

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 12.27.06 AM.png

Similarly, I added some notes on the off beat to make the bass impart a bit more of a dance feel. Something like this could definitely catch the listeners attention & build the excitement in this section. I had to use audio to do this & transpose the short clips to make the slight melody, but the same principle works for MIDI of course.

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 12.27.22 AM.png

In terms of mixing, I like that the harmonics give the bass a lot of presence. One thing you might want to explore is extending the length of the bass hits. I'd like to hear a version where the bass hits are extended all the way to the next note & the envelope edited to ensure this fades out properly & doesn't overwhelm the track (probably best done through a filter envelope so the high harmonics fade out & the sub carries through more).

 

Bazille

I thought this section where the guitar comes in could use some more texture variation, so I pitched down this instrument & removed the arp. This lets the listener breath a bit more & gives the guitar more room to explore the new harmonies it does. Pitching down the bazille lets it stay out of the way more while creating an interesting, windy timbre.

Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 12.38.33 AM.png

Randodrums

A fun idea I tried for these, adding a macro for every sample's transpose & then using a fast lfo to modulate it. My example is a little extreme, but I think some of the slippiness of them is really interesting. Could be explored with dry/wet & varying lfo rates!

Nov-12-2017 00-47-44.gif