Mike Richards Feedback 2
really cool new vibe you have going on, I think you've hit your stride & found an ideal genre to work in. makes me super excited to hear what comes next from you!
00:00: really awesome sound design right from the beginning, think it's got a perfect lo-fi feel straight away. the chords are really nice here as well, complex & minor-ish but not overly sad or dramatic. definitely sets up something & a listener will want to hear where it goes.
00:21: not sure the pumping needs to be introduced here. you've got enough new elements (especially that awesome squeak) & we're still trying to get a feel for the track - nothing has gotten stale yet so you can give things more time to establish, I think. I really love the pumping in reaction to the drums, & you can probably start some of it up ahead of that, but the chords need not have fully "evolved" yet. sure hope that rambling made since...
00:27: I could hear a higher drone coming in over all of this, really subtly. maybe an extension of the swell you have at the end of the section. lots of reverb & mixed in real low. I think the chords could be "lifted" upwards by a higher note & it would also build tension. not sure how successful this would be in practice, but might be worth looking at.
00:41: all the modulation up to this point has been really nice, you've kept all the sounds involving in interesting ways & they've created a great flow to compliment the music.
00:43: the bass seems a bit much. try listening to this track next to some of your favorite songs on a bunch of different systems, especially in the car if you haven't already. bass is probably the hardest thing to translate across speakers, but the secret is generally to keep it lower than your gut tells you. I say this for two reasons - 1) almost every system is meant to hype these frequencies with a heavy boost besides studio monitors, so if you've been listening on there & want the bass quite loud, it's going to be even more so on other systems. 2) maybe this one is a little inaccurate, but I posit that the average listener doesn't care what level the bass is set at. by that I mean that if the bass is set to any reasonable level, they'll get used to that & it will feel as bass-y as intended. it's only when the bass is lowered that the lower level seems weaker & wrong by comparison. so my advice is simply to play it safe with bass because it's not worth risking muddiness, which you have a little bit of here. try knocking it down a few dB's or eq out some of the lower frequencies without even listening to it. step away for awhile & come back after about a week & see if it sounds weak. my guess is, the whole track will just sound cleaner.
01:02: incorporate more silence into the beat. not necessarily tape stops, but for example try using utility modulation to cut out all sound completely before the 1 at the end of a phrase. it'll subtly display the dynamics & make the start of the loop slap harder.
01:05: the newest lead-ish chords synth is possibly too loud. sounds like there's some distortion on it & those extra harmonics will let it cut through without so much gain. my thought is that they should blend in a little better but that's just me.
01:20: really like the breakdown, especially the fill with the scratching. see if you can't resample that into other parts of the beat, with the hats & everything (besides maybe the Vox sample) cutting out to let this shine again.
01:46: dig the Vox sample a lot by the way, really elevates the track.
02:16: another awesome break down, the snare fills are some of my favorite I've ever heard. in the main beat there are some moments where the snare hit twice on beat 4 & 4.2 (or roughly there) & I think that second one stood out as a little unnatural. maybe replace those with these cool rolls?
03:00: this is some wild shit here, but I think you can give it an extra bar or two after the build up & before the drop to let us just process everything that just happened & build a little extra tension before the final hook hits. something roughly like this?:
would also be an opportunity to add a little sample of a weird hit or Vox chop.
03:45: beat plays out really nicely for the rest of the track. the ending especially has a deltron 3030 vibe that I dig. feedback pitching down noise to fade out the track works great as well!
- vibe/feel: Does it stick in your head? how does it make you feel?
- As I mentioned above, has a very cool Kid Koala vibe going on with it. I think to really be an earworm a song needs vocals for the listener to follow along with, & I don't expect this as a near-instrumental to stick in my head for long. That isn't a bad thing, just the memorable specifics of this beat are the cool fills & sound modulation, but other than the boom bap rhythm there's not much to latch onto. Still, the overall enjoyment of the track is "stuck in my head" & I can definitely see it being something I click on again to listen to, just not in the same way as a pop song if that makes sense.
- arrangement: does it make sense yet still keep you interested, guessing a little bit, and still satisfying?
- I would say it does all of those things. You've especially got great breakdowns going on that always keep the track feeling fresh, & the hook is satisfying & vibe-y when it returns. There isn't too much room for a rapper to jump on if you ever wanted to put this out as a beat, & you could possibly extend the sections if you ever wanted to do that.
- sound design: nothing crazy going on but I certainly spent quite a bit of time trying to get the bass to sit right, along with the kick sound
- Kick sits in a really nice place for this genre. As I mentioned above, the bass might be a little overwhelming in my opinion. What I think you succeeded in with the kick is keeping it subtle - as long as it suggests the groove & establishes the down beat, it works. No need to slap the listener over the head, if they can bob their head to it it's the right level. Same rule for the bass - you don't get anything out of overdoing it so try taking it easier.
- mix and mastering: loud enough and not smashed? Do the elements sit and play nicely with each other? Is it warm yet clear?
- I think the overall sound is very much. This isn't the type of genre that needs "polish". If anything, it could have a little tape saturation blending all the elements together & have a little boost in the upper mids. Once the bass is a little lower, I expect the whole track to open up in a really nice way.