Gotta another Hard Reject - Want brutal honest opinions and feedback

So this is my 2nd submission to AJ, my 1st submission was a piece of music created for a corporate video l produced (I have my own video production business which l’ve been doing for the last 17+yrs) and this was a mistake because it was great for video l produced but was not generic enough for AJ purposes and got hard rejected.

My 2nd piece was done solely for AJ…l put it up on the forums for some pre submission feedback, and implemented basically the concerns pointed out and these were.

Bass to static and a bit muddy - This was originally1/4 note drone notes so l changed to a 1/8th note drive with more of an attack synth bass (still just root note), a vocal sample that sounded like it was out of pitch to music - remove it, reduced a 6 bar intro to 4 bars - I actually really liked the 6 bar intro (being a drummer for 20+yrs and fan of progressive rock drummers you do get sick of the typical 4 bar/8 bar phasing) none the less l changed it to 4 bars realising it could raise an AJ red flag, rises to loud - lowered their volume, outro was intro arp fading out - removed as this was thought to be probably not liked by AJ. Overall reduced mix compression.

So this was what was finally submitted to AJ https://soundcloud.com/user-609151347-34512861/summer-drive-pop-rock

So this is where l want the brutal feedback…is it a to basic chord progression, is there to much repetition, is the melody to boring, does the style sound dated or wrong (sometimes hard to tell when it’s your own piece of music)

Thanks AP

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Imho too much synths and the electric guitar sounds fake too. Maybe a bit too long and repetitive.

Thanks Audioland, guitar is one of the patches from NI Sunburst Guitar which probably isn’t always great for something up front in the mix. Length and repetition noted.

Could l ask what other instrumentation you would suggest to replace the synths be it the melody or the pads/chords?

Thanks AP.

I would choose a very good piano and realistic strings.

The Synth patch in the beginning sounds pretty close to a church organ. Is that intended? Also the syncopated synth melody sounds a little unmotivated and at 1:08 just kind of stops without any audible reason giving way for the church synth again. Sounds like you just mashed some genre-sounds over a chord progession: Agressive EDM Synth, Church sounds, Corporate muted Guitar and Claps, Rock Guitar, Emotional Piano reverse and choral synths.

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Hi Widekeys, the synth patch at the start is from Steinberg’s Padshop, the patch is called Cogwheel. It wasn’t intended to sound like an organ but the attack on the notes does have that sort of sound l agree.

The reason l used that sound is that 8th note pattern l am playing in the intro and chorus/main section is the same pattern, but because the two sounds are so different it therefore seems the patterns are both different. Here is an example of 1 bar of C4 and then quarter note each of E D & C https://soundcloud.com/user-609151347-34512861/summer-drive-pop-rock-synth-examples/s-25utf

I used NI’s Absynth 5, Massive and Massive X for the any of the riser type sounds of which one sounds like a reversed piano but it isn’t. At 1.08 l just wanted to give the listener a break from everything being at “10” and the repetition. As the chord progression and melody are just 8 bar phrases it seemed the resolve would be obvious and hence going into a break/bridge would not seem odd?

I realise to that this break/bridge section could not be cut out and looped in a video edit because of the hit at the start of the section and riser at the end which AJ probably would not like.

Overall l agree with you Widekeys about the fact that ultimately it is a chord progression with some genre-sounds over it….but this is what just “about” all pop or corporate songs are on AJ.

At least to my ear it seems……sick of muted guitar but AJ seems to worship it:grin:

Thanks Audioland.

that intro is like a bad alarm ringing tone! thats so loud that makes you wake up in a bad way. I think you are trying too hard to impress, while in this genre is totally the opposite, you want to sound powerful while this should be minimal and gentle. The kick is like a hammer smashes a door, the distortion on main lead melody is like trying to be Skrillex, and that ending really is from another track, from a more gentle one. Try to make it gentle, soft mix, and sample choice wise tone it down and it will be amazing

Also it sounds like you are in a rush to finish it properly! please don’t rush, either do it all the way perfect or don’t do it, it will be beneficial… and for a more philosophical talk: is anybody chasing you? why you rush to finish the songs? why don’t you take the time it needs to be perfect? is the joy of sales and impatience that does this? or do you have a feeling that this is great as it is?
You wanted brutal feedback and I am brutal too, so don’t take this personally, just an advice

another also, you say that you had pre-submission feedback and you say you liked how it was but then you changed it. please follow your instinct and do what pleases you, that will make you stand out from ordinary, gain experience in mixes so a soft piece sounds like a soft piece and not a horror theme etc.

thats some honest and brutal feedback, what you think? please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make you feel bad, I am just saying the truth of what I listen

Hi Pandocrator,

Thanks for your feedback and l’m totally not taken it personally, so l’ll start to try answer your points. So This track here is the sort energy l was going for https://audiojungle.net/item/rock-that-crowd/6535717 I’ve used this in TV commercials and my client loves it as you can see from 6.5k sells, although l don’t like the really harsh synth in the main section (hence l used a version that has way less of it in the mix)

So with the intro l don’t mind the sound as it doesn’t seem harsh to me even reasonably loud through Sennheiser HD 25, but it originally was softer but then l was worried about volume impact/change of the rhythm section coming in. The main synth lead definitely doesn’t have any distortion on it and is not compressed so l have to let that one go through to the keeper.

With the kick volume/bottom end issue is that just in the one bar break??? As the other kick seems not to extreme to me, but the break section listening back now might be.

With the outro l originally had the intro pattern fading out like this https://soundcloud.com/user-609151347-34512861/positive-pop/s-bcHas#t=1:55 which l liked and thought it fitted the music better than a basic ending l have now, when l put that version up on the forum for feedback one of the comments was that the arp style ending wasn’t good.

I wasn’t in any rush to complete it, at least not that l was aware of and if l thought there was more work to do on it before submitting it l definitely would of put more time into.

But this is my conundrum Pandocrator, until l get a piece of music accepted who’s points/feedback do l take for gospel….General points like:

Chord progression or melody is boring/basic

Sounds dated due to instrumentation or composition

Those two type of points if made should be taken as legit to me if another author here points that out that produces the same style of music and therefore it is probably the cause of a Hard Reject, but when it’s one author saying l don’t like this sound etc. you are then fighting the issue of “is that person hitting the nail on the head” again if you got multiple authors agreeing on the same assumed issue then you know your instinct was wrong and have to accept this could be a factor in getting rejection.

Thanks :+1:AP

What I said is like 80% and the rest is weak melodies and repeating stuff, not so interesting. you could try and make it nicer

My 5 cents is that I don’t hate it composition wise, but the instrumentation makes it sound brooding and dark, Interstellar style. That makes your song lose “happy and upbeat” points. Less synths and more real instruments could help.

Thanks Infinity this is constructive…can l ask if anyone knows what AJ do if a piece of music is submitted in the right category and musically it was approved but the title was somewhat miss leading? Would that cause a rejection or would they give feedback to change it?

Thanks AP

No idea, man. Maybe they would soft reject it.