Help - My item's been rejected and I'd appreciate feedback


This was my first attempt at creating a stock music track. It was hard rejected, and I’d appreciate feedback. The rejection was pretty generic (didn’t meet commercial quality guidelines overall), so I’m not sure whether it’s a mix issue, arrangement, or commercial utility (or a little bit of everything).

I’ve uploaded the full track plus loops:

I’ve gone to the various help and advice pages, and listened more critically - could be repetition (though I kind of want the repetition as it’s intended for background music for content creators, most likely kids shows, and repetition seems to be popular for those).

I suspect quantisation would have helped, and I could have put in a little more variation, and the percussion could be improved. Searching for similar tracks using the term “ukulele”, my track seems to hold up ok, but I’m just starting out, so I’m definitely missing experience to judge properly.

I’d appreciate honest feedback - mostly to work out if the whole concept is bad for AJ, or whether I’m on the right road, but some tweaks would have helped.

Thanks for reading.


Hi futuretrack,

Nice, simple track. Maybe a bit too naive by the 2021 standards. I would definitely change the clap sound. It’s too obtrusive, and honestly a bit annoying. You might want to change the bass guitar patch, too.

Overall nice first attempt, but needs some more work to be on the quality level expected by the review team these days.

Best of luck!

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Hi Soundset,

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the track and for providing such constructive feedback. It’s given me food for thought. I’ll have a listen to more recently approved tracks bearing what you’ve said in mind, and I’ll have another think about my instrumentation and patches.

I’m grateful for your assistance.

Many thanks!

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Hello futuretrack,

I recommend listening critically to other tracks on AJ that would fall in the same category of the one you’ve created. This is a good way to educate yourself about the characteristics of good background music. Your patches sound a little dated, and the arrangement could use some more variety.

You mentioned quantization above, and I’d recommend that if quantization helps the overall groove of any track, then that’s a good thing, but too much quantization can kill a song just as easily. I’d concentrate more on the feel of the song and use quantization in small amounts as needed to slightly tighten things up.

You’ll find that some of the better tracks used for background music have chord progressions, melodies and arrangements that are specifically geared for accentuating videos and can be edited easily to fit a variety of visuals.

Also, getting back to the arrangement, there is usually a fair amount of repetition in background tracks, but with useful changes in the arrangement in the various sections. Again, this serves the video editor and gives different ways to cut the song to help the momentum of the video that’s being edited.

The trick with the repetition is to not have it detract from what you’ve created, but instead to be beneficial for the video editor. In your case, the hand claps throughout have very little variation, so they end up detracting from the song.

With your track, I expected that a drum kit might eventually show up in the arrangement, but it never did.

I wish you luck on your future submissions!

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Hi Promosapien,

Thank you kindly for your insight. I appreciate the guidance, it’s given me specific things and general principles I can look at.

I’ve listened to a few similar tracks as suggested, and can absolutely see the differences between my track and theirs in terms of your recommended approach, so really appreciate you having taken the time to help out.

Thank you!

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I think most of the useful feedback anyone can give has already been stated here but I just wanted to add that at least in my opinion the chimes aren’t mixed in with the rest of the track very well. Especially the high end of the sample is a bit to sharp and I don’t feel like it blends in with the rest of the track and I notice the chimes seem to stand apart more and more the longer they play. I hope this helps!

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Thanks for your feedback Audio_Dread. I did want to make the chimes prominent, but having listened back I can hear what you’re saying, they do stick out quite a bit. I think as an exercise I’ll see if I can tame them by changing the levels, or a bit of EQ.

Thanks again.

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