Hard Rejection Critique


Although I have been a non-exclusive ‘author’ for many years, I decided to set up a specific exclusive account as an outlet for a specific set of my tracks. My first submission was hard rejected, but the reviewer feedback highlighted all the things that could have caused rejection, without any indication whether it was all of them, one of them or something in between. So, I’m trying to get a steer on whether there is something especially wrong with this track or this just isn’t the kind of music AudioJungle thinks will sell to their customers. In essence, am I trying to sell the right stuff in the wrong place, or the wrong stuff in any place?

I’d be grateful for any opinions as to the likely reason for hard rejection. Fair warning - it kicks of at -0.3dB - so you might want to tweak the monitors down a little :wink:

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Here a few thoughts. Before I submit a track I always ask myself a few questions.
Who can use this track?
Who will buy this track?
Is it eligible for Pro-Use?

Think of it!

Audioland, thanks so much for responding.

The track was originally written to brief for a MPA album, 12 tracks written, 6 selected for inclusion - the other 6 were going to end up here.

I guess I don’t have a feel for what AJ customers might buy - though I guess trailer houses don’t shop at AJ, I wondered about small game devs?

What customers will buy is probably less relevant than figuring out what AJ reviewers believe AJ customers will buy - if the music ‘style’ is the reason for rejection. And, that does seem the most likely explanation for a hard rejection. The mixing and mastering is in a house style that isn’t to everyone’s taste - but a mix can be easily changed via soft rejection. The guidelines do advise against gaps (edit cuts) , but in MPA tracks they are a mandatory requirement.

I guess I just hoped someone else would have had something similar rejected, or would have heard something from a ‘horses mouth’ that would have made it obvious that something about this track would make it a cert for rejection.

Hi there,

Wow, that was amazing!

From here, I think the intro and ending were probably the main issue, there is no rhythmic context, yet they are not really grand chords that stand on their own, very sudden and jarring. Also the high pitched lead that comes in at :37 sounds a bit off and screechy, and again, the break at 1:29 has a similar sudden jarring feel. Other than that holy cow, sounds great!



Thanks Nathan,

That’s good feedback - I think the ‘house style’ eq settings in the mastering make the violin harmonics/piccolo (Cinematic Instruments /Berlin Strings/Berlin WW) sound too harsh - if any of the other tracks from this batch have a chance of acceptance I’ll remaster them with a less extreme eq ‘smile’ for AJ.

The chords were supposed to be a sudden shock, and sudden stops are, again, kind of on brief - but I can see how the effect would be limiting to a specific kind of trailer.

Hi @Gravitus,
Here are some suggestions from me:
Lose the chord bursts at the beginning. I think it’s too much to start with. Or make an alternate version with those in it. Then get to the point earlier. The run-up is too long. Shorten it to some extent. Or make an alternate version also. Tune down the high eq some on the strings/brass maybe. I like the super clear sound, but it can be too much for general buyers. Finally some more reverb on the 4 chord bursts at the end. The last one is ok.
That’s it for me. Good luck and don’t forget to mention that you made significant changes with the reupload!

Thanks @fishsound,

Those all sound like good changes to improve the fit to the AJ marketplace - I’ll also have a rethink on the beginning and ending to come up with something that makes thematic sense - the chords at the end without those at the beginning might feel a bit ‘where the hell did that come from?’ :joy:

Yes you are probably right. Or maybe make the chords at the beginning less intense and with more reverb.

Yeah, I guess they could just be ominous hairpin swells instead - save me having to rewrite the end! :joy:

Great composition and arrangement! I love the dynamics/intensity. Maybe the tempo is too much changing for stock music?

The mix could be improve I think. It is a bit muddy (everything peaking around the same place in the mids too much) and from 0:15 you get a lot of hi frequencies noise.

Hi again!

With regard to the introduction, it’s more along the lines of when a customer is searching for a track, they may only be listening for a brief time before moving on to the next track. Never having heard it before, they aren’t going to have the rest of the track in their head as you do, so AJ advises that introductions are short and strong, stand on their own, and give a good account of the track. Maybe it’s just a matter of having an edit with a more dark, brooding intro first, and then include the full track in with it, or an optional introduction, etc…

It’s more about tactics than music sometimes!


  • Nathan