Recieved my first hard rejection, feedback appreciated

Hello all,

Received my first quality-based rejection today on the track below. Advice on what I did wrong is most appreciated.

Hi @Nathan-LaMotte-Compo,

here my impression as I heard your track. I know, it’s hard to catch a rejection, but in this case the reviewer was right. By the way: He’s right every time, even though everyone thinks, he was wrong - but that’s another chapter of the book. :wink: In this case the reviewers decision matches to my impressions.

  • the song has nearly no progression. You’re using three chords over the whole song in the same order, from start to end. The only progression elements are adding instruments (staccato strings)and playing the same melody added an octave higher (guitar).
  • your drums are boring as hell. bum-chak-bum-chak…that’s not enough. Excuse me please, if I say this in clear and hard words. Also the drums are thin, powerless and they have no pressure
  • every note of your guitar sounds so much different, I got the impression, that different instruments playing. Search for a better and consistent guitar sound.
  • the used staccato strings are also boring. Staccato strings can be used more versatile than only in halfes.
  • your song has no composed end. The song ends totally abrupt and unexpected.
  • your song mix is flat and thin and in my opinion it has too much high frequencies. The guitar is too loud. Most of the instruments have too much reverb.
  • the song title used the word “corporate” which is an own genre in commercial music, but your song is hardly to assign to the corporate genre.

I am interested, how long did you need to produce this song? Have you heard some songs from other composers here before you started your work? If not: I would recommend to do that. If yes, I am interested, if you made a comparision between your finished song and songs from other composers. Have you noticed any differences?
Also I recommend to play your song to a corporate video from youtube to get an impression, how your music works with a movie clip.

I hope, that helps a bit. Good luck next time.

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Right off the bat, it’s too mid heavy especially when that guitar comes in 0:30. Put this through a spectrum analyzer and compare with other tracks in this genre and you will see what I mean.

You also need something to fill up the bass and sub bass region. Right now the bass is pretty much nonexistent. Bass guitar, subtle synth pluck bass… you can choose the instrument you think sounds good, but you can’t just leave that part of the frequency spectrum empty or the mix will lack fullness and power.

Finally, it needs more motion in the percussion. The kick and clap are alright, although I would choose a more organic sounding clap instead of a house/edm clap… but the main thing is you need stuff like shakers, hats, tambourine to fill out the groove.

The best thing you can do is try to analyze tracks in this genre that have done well and identify differences between those tracks and your own. For example if you compared your track with a best seller by looking at them both using a frequency analyzer, you would easily be able to see that your track lacks bass and is too loud in the mid frequencies. Then you could take an EQ and correct that imbalance.

Similarly you would probably notice that best selling tracks have some interesting background percussion elements in addition to the kick and clap, and you could add those to your track. Just repeat this process until you can switch back and forth from your track to the reference without noticing a big difference in quality.

Of course this doesn’t mean copy the reference exactly, you should of course use your own sounds and ideas. But in terms of getting accepted or not accepted I feel like it’s much more about the quality of the mix and individual sounds used than the actual musical ideas. This site is full of tracks with boring 3 and 4 chord progressions that repeat for the whole song… but they get accepted because the mix quality is at a professional level and that’s what the customer is expecting to hear

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@Daydreamz-Studios thank you for your honest words. All of your points are well taken. I come more from a classical/cinematic underscore background, so I am a bit unfamiliar with the production aspect of pop-rock corporate music. Below are the three tracks that did make it through the review stage, but I haven’t had any feedback from them. Would you mind taking a listen? Thanks again!

Yeah the mixing in cinematic and the approach in general is much different than for corporate, which is why those 3 got accepted and the corporate one didn’t.

In cinematic it’s mainly about using high quality libraries, which it sounds like you’re doing, and arranging the sounds in an interesting way. You don’t usually have to worry about mixing that much because in general most high quality libraries already produce stuff that sounds good right out of the box.

For corporate it’s a lot different because you can’t rely on the high quality libraries to make the track automatically sound good so you have to pay a lot more attention to the mixing to make sure it fits what is considered “commercially acceptable” quality… which you can determine by just listening to a lot of examples (and there are endless examples on this site to choose from :rofl:)

Really good job on those 3 though, they sound great and I think you could make some very good corporate with just a bit more focus on the mixing and arrangement

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@add9audio thanks! I will try to get some reference tracks. And you are absolutely right about the bass. Should have added it. Like I told @Daydreamz-Studios , I come from more of a classical/cinematic underscore background. It’s clear I need to learn more about the arrangement and production aspects of pop-rock. Thanks again!

Thanks @add9audio !

It seems, these genres fits more to your personal taste and talent. I really like the “Let your Light Shine” song and the Shopping theme.
Here’s my prediction/opinion:

  • shopping theme is good, but could be a “borderliner”, which means, the chance to get accepted is 50/50
  • Let your light shine has a good chance to get accepted
  • the epic drums will be rejected - it’s hard to get a solo drum track accepted, because it must be really good. The drums replacing all other instruments in an end product and therefore it must be played and mixed pefect - but your track doesn’t match both criterias.
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@Daydreamz-Studios @add9audio Actually, all 3 were accepted. But from now on, I will ask for feedback BEFORE submitting for review.

And not to pester you both, but since we’re on the subject of “corporate music”, what are your thoughts on this track? It’s still in the review stage