Feedback on a Tune.

Hello Everybody.

I was wondering if anybody could give me feedback on a tune that was rejected?

I post this as it’s been two years of steady work and I have yet to get an approval for a single tune. I don’t feel that it’s because of the content but perhaps the mix/master? I don’t have any studio monitors as I’m composing and mixing with really good headphones but if I’m being honest I fear it’s my mixing/mastering that’s messing things up. I’ve spent so much time listening to whats selling in the corporate category, I’ve studied the style and I feel like I have a really good grasp of what is needed but alas no takers.

Here’s the track:

I can look back at all of my tracks and see and hear progress which while as resulted in no approvals is encouraging. I just wish I knew why this wasn’t good enough.

Thank you for your time and hopefully replies as I really want to be a composer and part of the audiojungle community of published selling composers.

The piano melody lacks clarity in the mix, that is one problem I noticed.

Your transitions are often very abrupt. The volume is too equal between your percussion notes and too much quantized. It sounds really MIDI and repetitive. The arrangement needs to progress more than that. You cannot just copy-paste the same things (the part before and after the break are pretty identical if not exactely the same). Add instrumentation or\and change lines/register on your instruments for the last part and make it louder a bit.

The volume balance between instruments needs a lot of improvement. The bass is definetely too loud. The piano sounds dull and and too quiet shy in the background. Your metallic shaker percussion sounds harsh and dirty (too much low end-mid. Needs to sit more in the treble area). Your Hi hats don’t blend (too dry and too loud). Use more the stereo space (Hi hats is generally not in the middle. put hi hats more on the right and the shakers more in the left (they are one on each other) and make them equally loud to get a balanced image. The kick is outdated to me and lack bass and sub energy. Your strings could be brighter. You need to decide where each instruments will peak in the spectrum more than the others. Now it sounds muddy because you have your strings, piano and guitar pretty much all fighting eah other in the low mid and mid. Exemple: keep the rhythm guitar peaking in the low mid just over the bass, piano in the mid around (500-2000 hz), strings more in the hi mids and treble (need more definition).

Overall, better eq, volume balance between instruments, better use of panning and more reverb.

Do not be discouraged, it takes years too get the professionnal skill. It’s a long journey!

I hope it helps! :smiley:

I will check that out thank you.

Thank you for perhaps the best critique I’ve had here Anthony. You’ve confirmed many of my suspicions and gave me specific points to shoot for, and you really helped me realize what my gut was telling me. Looks like I need too polish more. May I ask some follow up questions about some of the things you’ve mentioned?

1 Like

Yes, of course you can ask more questions.

maybe you should copy it more verbatim?? :slight_smile: https://youtu.be/XRcqzE_MU0g

Hey IKWYN

Yes I was using that tutorial as a base for my corporate track but I was trying very hard not to copy it note for note for obvious reasons. Still didn’t make a huge difference anyway. It seems like with this style of music and what is needed for this site that it’s going to be hard to next to impossible to not sound like 10 other composers no?

“I’ve studied the style and I feel like I have a really good grasp of what is needed” - in this case, make up your own melody…

Actually I did, it might not have been different enough though.

main melodies are the same

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your patience and feedback once again.

As I’ve stated earlier, I don’t have studio monitors but a set of really good headphones, is it even possible to hear my mixes with any kind of accuracy with just headphones or would it be wise to invest in some near field monitors?

Also,

When you say “The volume is too equal between your percussion notes and too much quantized”, I could just fix this by tweaking the velocities right?

I’m not crazy about using headphones for mixing music unless you have a really noisy environment and you cannot make it otherwise. However, it is useful to check how it will sounds too in headphones since a lot of people use more headphones than speakers it seems now day. This is just my opinion, but I found the sound more flat with headphones than when listening on monitors. I find it sounds more 3D with studio monitors well positioned forming a triangle with equal distance with the listener. I prefer to feel the sub in my feet and body than just earing a part of it in headphones too (A good way to compare the very low with other reference mix).

I use Yamaha SM50 studio monitors and Hs8s subwoofer.

About the second message, yes, and avoid samples repetitions. You need some small variation in tone between notes to make it sound realistic. For fast shakers like that I would use an audio loop (edit it if need) to get a slight different tone for each hit (very slight different attack\brightness\pitch etc). About quantize, if your notes are to much precise in time it will sound fake. With MIDI/instrument track with all notes perfectly precise I would normally randomize the placement of the notes about 2-5% off. Use your ears to determine if it start to sounds too off. Find the sweet spot between the robot and the near professionnal musician (the professionnal musician). :wink:

Sorry for my english if I made mistakes.

main melodies are the same

Ok, I think I know what you guys are driving at here,

You are saying that you all are hearing the guitar part as the main melody?

Because if that’s what you are referring to then yes its the same, here’ s the thing, I didn’t even consider that the main melody, but part of the song that gives the melody it’s form and structure. I liked how the intervals sounded and decided to use it. I wrote my own melody that is played on the piano and glockenspiel and have always considered that the main melody, knowing this now, my past rejections make a little bit more sense, as do your reactions.

I guess this leaves me to some very important conclusions:

1.I was wrong, you where right.

2.For this style of music, people are hearing the muted guitar as the main voice/melody which I never considered. I always thought that the piano plays the melody and the glock plays it one octave up.

3.You are right IKWYN, I don’t have the grasp I though I did.

4.I’m trying to walk that line between out right copying note for note (learning from the masters) and trying to assimilate form, structure, melody, style and substance and it looks like I may have stepped on some toes. For that I humbly apologize. I am here to learn and master this so I can move forward with composing music and I need to do more work, which is why I posted on here to begin with. I also feel like this is a hold over from my jazz background where improvisers learn from the master by taking their licks and learning them in all 12 keys and working them into their solos, which is how I’ve learned how to improvise and play but it may not have a place here and I completely understand. This is also very frustrating because to a greater or lesser extent, all of these corporate tunes sound pretty much the same, which makes writing in this genre even trickier.

Thank you for your feedback and next time I will strive to be more original in my approach, which as you all know is far easier said then done. I just want to be successful you know?