I recently submitted my first track to AJ and got what I think is a ‘hard’ rejection. Here’s the track:
The rejection notice started with this:
‘Unfortunately, this file doesn’t meet AudioJungle’s commercial quality guidelines overall, and can’t be approved. Audio must be fully composed, arranged, mixed and/or mastered to a commercial standard, and have reasonable potential utility to our commercial buyers.’
I\d be really grateful for any feedback on the track. Yesterday I thought I’d try sending another track and realised I’d submitted the first, rejected track incorrectly (I only submitted a file with the watermark and didn’t zip a non watermark track with it!) but I think if that was the reason for the rejection I’d have got a ‘soft’ reject?
It was accepted (and has sold) on other market but I’ve read AJ are tougher to get tracks on so any feedback would be much appreciated.
First off, what a great composition. I can tell you worked hard on that and must have been disappointed to have it rejected. This is a tough one. I think your mix is great. Maybe a few things pop out a little, like the kick drum…but i’m guessing the reason for rejection is it’s commercial appeal? In all honesty, as i was listening I was struggling to think where to categories it. It’s a beautiful melody and heartwarming string arrangement…with a four to the floor kick. What category were you aiming at?
I’d be interested to hear what other authors think.
This is a great track but I would change it up to fit a category better. (take out the rhythm section, maybe take the BPM down)
P.S I think you’re right to say you would have had a “soft rejection” if the file was incorrectly submitted. That’s what happened to me a while back. My track was fine but I forgot to attach the correct file.
Sometimes rejection letter really tells you something that needs to be done. In my opinion, this track has a great melody but it’s like an unfinished work. The ending sounds very unexpected and the kick is strong in sub-bass frequencies so it’s not friendly to laptop/mobile loudspeakers. I would layer the kick or adding a lil bit of attack/snap to it and rearrange this track with better structure. I believe this track is close to be approved in AJ. Good luck!
Nice composition! I think the mix might be lacking a slight bit, however. Especially the low end feels a bit muddy. I’d suggest that you try cutting out the bottom 100hz or so on instruments which aren’t bass instruments. Really as a whole, unless you can clearly hear a certain frequency from an instrument, cut that frequency out to help keep the mix clean.
The kick feels a bit weak in my opinion and takes up too much frequency space in the low end, but not enough in the high end. I’d suggest a simple almost “clicky” kick that’s clean, quick, and has very little lasting sub
Also some risers and impacts will go a long way, as it will help the track hit a bit harder. Also it’s lacking a slight bit of airiness in the very high end in my opinion, which some crashes will help
Overall I think it’s beautifully composed, and it’s simply just mixing and mastering issues holding it back, but I could always be wrong! Keep it up mate!
Hi, GCA Music, thanks so much for your kind words and feedback. I do feel the music I seem to have found myself writing is perhaps a little unfashionable. I’m don’t know whether to embrace that as ‘my thing’ or try to steer a different course! I think I was trying to move the track along a bit and make it more current with the kick drum, but perhaps it’s confused the genres a bit. Definitely food for thought - thank you very much again
Hi RainforestAudio, thanks so much for the feedback. I do find it hard to mix a kick in that it seems to sound either too weak or too muddy depending on what I’m listening on. Perhaps I need to figure out a good listening setup for mixing. When you suggest adding some attack/snap to the kick - can you elaborate a bit? For the ending, I am trying to keep the tracks short and compact without too much of an intro or outdo. Do you think I should have added a few more bars and let the track soften out a little? Thanks again - really appreciate your advice
Thank you very much for the encouragement. I’ll definitely take your advice on the eq. I rarely eq individual instruments because I’m worried I’ll make things worse without realising but I need to strengthen my skills with that and this will be my start!
The kick is definitely getting mentioned as an issue so I’ll have to think more about my percussion. I like your idea for making it click, so I retain the rhythm but lose the thud.
I did buy a riser library recently but it seemed so epic when inserted in my tracks. I totally get your point though, they can add a lot of interest to a track so I’ll keep trying with that.
Thanks again for the feedback and kindness. I was a bit worried about posting the track here but I’m so grateful for the responses which have been helpful and positive.
First off, wow. What a beautiful composition! It’s clear that you’re a pro. I love how the string parts come in around 0:50. It’s hard not to take their rejection personal because our music is a part of us. But just keep at it. Use it to make your compositions, mixing and mastering better and better. The only part that I would have done a little different was the way you ended the hi hat. The timing just seemed a little odd to me. I thought your mixing/mastering was really good. Best of luck as you continue to make music and pursue your musical dreams! You’re good.
Hey applehillstudios, thanks so much for listening and the feedback, Yes it is hard getting rejected when we put our heart and soul into our music. The first batch of tracks I wrote I didn’t send to AJ because I feared they weren’t’ good enough, but I really felt I’d improved and was hopeful my latest compositions might just get accepted. However, I am determined to use the disappointment in a constructive way to become better. I have been so cheered up by the feedback I’ve got here. What a great community to be part of and I hope, once I am better and more experienced, that I can repay that by giving advice to others that are struggling to get tracks accepted as I am now.
Thanks again for your kind comments. I’ll take another listen to the hi hats and try to improve them and I think my percussion generally. Best wishes to you
grand to hear! Sometimes, just reversing a cymbal, or using white noise with volume automation can work as a nice smooth riser/ impact, so that might work better for you. Also, there’s no worries about a bit of a thud, just not too much is all! (at least in my opinion, so your call haha)
And I’m glad you did post it, as it really is great!
best of luck getting it through!
You’re very welcome.
When I started on Audiojungle I found myself adding too much and was thinking the same thing. Shall I just embrace my own thing? I have a degree in Jazz Studies. Then I remembered why i was here. Ultimately I want to sell some tunes I changed my mindset. I still get to release jazz albums and do remote sessions etc but I keep it completely separate. Treat this as as it is what it is, you’ve got talent dude
All the best
It is a great community! Glad you’re a part of it. Keep at it.