Give me your 2 cents on this rejected track

Would love any thoughts on this rejected track.

Thanks!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rupsw17mxxd0ehh/AJ%20upbeat%20WATERMARK.mp3

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Hi genepensiero,
I think that the main problem is that the mix is not clear enough and you’re musical ideas do not come through in a way a listener can enjoy them.
There is also too much reverb IMHO, especially on the kick.
My suggestion:

  1. Listen to the track without reverb and then add reverb gradually to the separate channels till you hear it’s beautiful enough.
  2. Make the arrangement sparser, you don’t need many instruments playing together all the time.
  3. Don’t use the kick all the time, it can stop for a bar, or a few beats, or even a section.
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Thanks so very much, Alon. Those are great insights. I appreciate your help and kindness.

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I’m far from an expert! But I’d say the kick is to overwhelming throughout the whole track. Pull it in a little and like Alon said, maybe skip a few beats. Also, the hand clap was a bit much, especially in the beginning. It was a bit abrasive.

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Thanks Enchanted. I appreciate it!

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Hi, I agree with what the other folks are saying. As an ex-reviewer here, I can tell you, this would be rejected within 10-20 secs of listening, and I’m going to try to explain the thought process of a reviewer, and why I think they would come to that conclusion fairly rapidly (I hope you won’t feel criticized, and know that I’m just trying to be honest, to help you move forward to providing content that will pass review):

A few seconds in, it soon becomes obvious that the kick and claps sound very repetitive and dominating (and kicks generally lose punch and sound flabby with reverb). The arrangement is too busy, and repetitive, and doesn’t need the marimba type sound, and lacks an identifiable melody or theme.

The instruments used don’t come across as being very modern or high quality, and the mix doesn’t sound balanced.

The track is the same pace throughout as well. You can get away with a degree of repetitiveness of arrangement if you have layers that come in and out as the track develops.

It doesn’t end neatly either, an improvement to the ending could have been to play a final tonic chord and bass note and allow that to ring out and decay naturally to silence.

Overall, an impression is formed of a not really professional sound, fairly quickly, which makes one question if this is the track that a buyer is looking for to add character to their visuals.

I’m also not quite sure what genre you intended it to be? It sounds to me like it could have gone a number of ways, I can imagine it being reworked into a happy upbeat African music influenced track, or folk/indie folk.

Here are a few tips of how I might approach this if re-working it:

Use real guitars, and start with sustained chords, bring in held bass notes and a layer of tambourine, drum fill at the end of second section.

Bring in full drum pattern with closed hats/ full strumming pattern and developed bass line, establish a simple but appealing melody in this section, maybe use marimba if going the African route, or fiddle or mandolin for something folkier, maybe build to another section, bringing in a brass section (for African ) or a pipe drone for folk, drum fill to a more sparse section/breakdown, building layers back up, maybe introducing congas or bodhran, depending on the genre, drum pattern might change slightly and use open hats or ride cymbals.

Sometimes when playing a melody section I like to add new layers of harmony on new sections as the track progresses, which helps keep things sounding fresh.

Fade-outs, and poorly defined endings reduce usability for buyers. I usually end on a final held chord, bass note and cymbal hit, which is allowed to ring out until it decays naturally.

Maybe a good idea could be to listen to succesful tracks in the genre you are trying to write, and whilst making sure you do not plagiarize any ideas, take some notes about how the tracks are structured, take notice of elements which come in and out, how the drum patterns develop, how drum fills are used etc. Is there a melody? How is it used without sounding repetitive?

Food for thought I hope? If you need any advice about suitable libraries or vst instruments, I’m sure folks here can help advise.

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Hey Andy!

Thanks very much for taking the time to respond with your thoughtfulness and expertise. I really appreciate it.

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It was a pleasure!