I really thought this track would be accepted?


Could anyone give me some feedback please?

I worked hard on this one and I’m surprised it’s been rejected, as I think it’s more commercial than most of my other tracks.
Have AJ raised the bar with the quality of tracks now or have I missed the point with this one?


I doubt they’ve raised the bar, there are so many REALLY awful tracks that have been accepted and still get accepted on AJ. Seems a fine track to me, better than most. Maybe could do with a bit more variation perhaps.

Thanks for listening.
They said that the quality isn’t up to AJ’s standard but maybe that’s in all the hard rejected emails?

Hi MM - My thoughts…Very entertaining and enjoyable arrangement. However the soft ending, which is another iteration of the melody, drags it out a bit too long; making it seem very repetitive. You might consider making the ending a bit shorter and more pronounced (i.e., keep up the energy of the piece all the way to the end). Also in that soft ending the celeste/bells type notes were beating against each other a little hard and dissonant. The bass at the opening is a little light and truncated on each note. Perhaps give it more sustain with some compression. The piano sounds like an old upright with slight detuning, which would be more appropriate for honky tonk music. You might consider going with a more modern sounding piano. Finally, I think the mix/mastering lacks punch. Try to give the sound more energy to match the energy of the arrangement.

I think this track has great selling potential with some updates. Hope these observation/suggestions help with that. Happy Holidays! :slight_smile:

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You made some good points which I will think about for my next track.

This was a hard reject, so this is for the bin… unfortunately :disappointed:

Not so fast MM :slight_smile: Envato states that a resubmission needs to be significantly different from the original - or something to that effect. If you do a good job with the new mix, change the sound of the beginning bass and change up the ending so the arrangement is different…then that could be significant. Note that you must state in the comments how it is different, and what the improvements are. I only bring this up because I think your track has potential for you. Your decision of course :thumbsup:

I think its mixing/mastering problem. Drums are too quiet with kinda room reverb applied, while everything else it too bright and punchy.

And overall harmonics reminds me of Ricchi e Poveri - Mamma maria (its even in the same pitch) and Jean Michel Jarre a lot.))

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In the reject emails they normally just give a list of possible problems, one of which is commercial quality mixing/mastering etc but I suspect its almost never about commercial quality. Just go right now and listen to the newest releases, for example all the Jingle bell rehashes in Holiday & Seasonal category. Loads of poor quality tracks being accepted no problem. Its normally a different issue for rejection. Here you probably just need more variation in the track and also the instrumentation.

Here are a few random thoughts on the mix and production:

  1. Very mono
  2. Piano sounds cheap and fake, not up to the standard of modern piano sample libraries
  3. Drum beat sounds weak and thin and sub-standard
  4. Strings are very dated and synthy
  5. Mix has absolutely no separation between the instruments, everything is coming out of one place in terms of EQ, which leads to clutter and confusion and lack of FEELING in the sounds
  6. The quieter concluding section would make it a bit difficult to use, I would recommend an alternate version with that part, and a main version with a proper build up to a button ending after a peak section.

I hope you don’t mind my blunt comments, but realistically you will continue to get rejections if everybody listens to this track and tells you it’s fine or that it’s as good as other tracks on AJ. I don’t see AJ reviewers approving tracks with these kinds of problem areas. Yes there are tracks I don’t like, or tracks which are too repetitive, or too long or too short, but time and time again the approved tracks on AJ usually have a pretty good mix and certainly you will hear high quality piano sounds everywhere.

Your bluntness is fine as the truth is the truth - it was rejected for probably those reasons. Thanks for the pointers which I will certainly take note of, I need to improve. How did you learn your skills, are you self taught?
If you have time does this track fall short of my other tracks, as I thought this was better commercially?
I may be overcrowding the mix with sounds to try and make it stand out, but maybe that’s one of the problems?

Thanks for your great attitude, I admire that.

Yes, I am self taught, I imagine most of us are.

I haven’t heard your other tracks, if you like choose one and link it in your reply.

You are not overcrowding your mix with too many sounds, not at all! That is definitely not an issue with your track, the issue is that they are not SEPARATED in the mix, instead they are crowded on top of each other with no EQ differences and no panning. :slight_smile:

I tend to use a spreading plugin incase tracks don’t sound good when played on a phones loudspeaker.

I have recently moved to a new but better room to work so maybe that has had an effect on what I am hearing?

Here are two track below to compare:

Hello again MM, “Inspiration” is far better than your new track, I really like it. It suffers from some big problems in some areas, like the drum mix, and the bad string sound, but overall the message of the track comes across well and the ideas are great.

“Gentle Motivation” is the same composition almost! How did you get away with that? Once again it has mix problems throughout, and bad string sounds, but it is a nice creative effort and I find I can still enjoy it.

Good luck!

Thanks for having a listen.
They are sort of similar but I hadn’t really noticed until you mentioned it.
Yes there are some problems. I’ve noticed that with the toms on ‘Inspiration’ - too dry and not panned correctly although it passed the test which is up to the reviewers.