Rock hard rejected 😎

Well it doesn’t happen often, but here we go again!

Obviously on the “rock” side of things, and not your typical Corporate / Inspirational track, so probably not ideal for AJ anyway, but any relevant feedback from a listening / songwriting / production perspective is welcome.

(Download link here)

As you all know I am all for raising the bar in general, so in the spirit of quality vs quantity, please feel free to sharing your most brutally honest opinions :sunglasses:


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To my mind mood of song well and suitable to AJ, but sound of guitar are not well… Also to my mind drum sound not well. Arrangement and song is cool, maybe try to mix it better and it will be OK :blush: Good luck! :slight_smile:

Overall the track lacks fullness and sounds very dry. The mix is the problem here - the track itself is good, and with some TLC, it should be a solid item.

The main problem for me is the guitar - the tone is not right. There’s a huge concentration of frequencies in the 4Khz range that need to come down. Aside from backing off the distortion a bit (I understand you’re going metal, but it’s still a bit strong, imo), I would go and EQ out that 4Khz area, as well as boosting some of the 700-1000Hz range to beef up the sound.

Putting aside the vocals, the track has a distinct lack of mid-range in the 500-100Hz area. After cleaning up the guitar tone, I’d lower the vocals (great-sounding, but a little loud), bring up the bass, and try to better fill the rest of that area with the guitars. You may also want to double-track the power chords for some wideness.

The drums are a bit dry and mono-sounding, and lack a sense of space. They could also use some more 8KHz+ sparkle. Try dialing in some reverb or more of the room / overhead mics if you have them available in the library. This should help fill the mid gap in the track as well.

There are also some very minor timing issues between the guitar and drums at points.

Other than that, it definitely has potential. It’s just the mix letting the track down at the moment. Keep working on it! :slight_smile:

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Hey there,

First off, cool melodies and singing, BUT

the key issue is that the song is too much of a “song” to be well suited for background music. You have several parts in it, half-time, full-time beats going, verses, choruses, breaks, guitar solo - all the good stuff that you want to have in a cool song but really don’t need in a background track.

On the production side of thigs I don’t like the drums very much, the way they play feels overcomplicated and artificially sophisticated, not really supporting the song - you know the “I learned that fill yesterday so I’m gonna play it”-type of drummer we all know and hate :wink: That, and the way they’re mixed, very dry, makes the track fall apart at times. The sound of the guitars is boxy as well and not sure the timing is always there…

Cool song tho :sunglasses:


Hello Stockwaves,

Cool song! :sunglasses:

I think the main issue with your track is that it’s too obtrusive for background music. Sure, it could work well for a montage sequence in a romantic film whose storyline roughly follows your lyrics. But this is a bit limited.

To me, but this is just my opinion, there is also a genre issue. The lyrics and vocals have a carefree Teen punk-pop quality while the shredding guitars are more eighties hard-rock.

Production wise, the vocals are a bit too hot I would push it down a bit. Guitars are a bit bleedy and undefined, some eq carving could help. Drums are bit all over the place and too busy which makes them sound weaker and destroys the groove of the track.

Still, impressive work :smile:

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It could have been a nice song. As it is it sounds to me as every instrument is on its own. I mean there is nothing much in common for drums and guitars and singing. As if they don’t belong to the same song, which is shame because song is nice especially after 1min when chorus starts.

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Added to some things already said, as a side comment I’d say as soon as she started to sing, Avril Lavigne’s song Complicated jumped in my head a bit too vividly.

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I agree with this.

You used Pantera/metal scooped guitars with a very non-aggressive “nice teen pop” voice. I would go more for a “natural” crunch on the guitars without scooping the mids so much. Much less distortion. Think more Paramore (or maybe more like Avril Lavigne) than Pantera.

I also think the drum patterns could be worked on to play more together with the guitars. I think they are a bit too compressed and “snappy” for my taste, but that’s more subjective I suppose…

I don’t agree with the people saying it’s too obtrusive for AJ. This site is not just for background music. It’s for licensing music for video. Many, many projects don’t have any dialogue and need a real, full track.


The vocals are great, hopefully you can rework the rest of it to a higher quality and you could end up with a really good track. Aside from production issues, I’m actually not crazy about some of the guitar riffs (the very beginning for example) and even the solo could be a bit better. Seems to me you can develop the instrumental parts more. But the vocals have the making of a really cool song with a good feeling, so hopefully you can make a better version.

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i’ve mixed many rock albums over the years and i can give you some feedback !

  1. seems that vocals are really front and out of mix ! even if you have a great reverb added !
    2.Guitars are really distorted ! like extra disto added ! (listen to sepultura 1990s tracks)
    3.really bassy and bommy kick(sounds like a cajon) and over compressed snare !
    4.really nice track for an album but not suitable for background music
    Hope that helps !
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Arrangement and song is cool, maybe try to mix it better OK :blush: Good luck!

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It’s a cool track and a lot of good suggestions so far but you also need to have some more guitar lines. I’d put an arpeggiated part and maybe a lead line to fit with the guitars already there. You’re drums feel too slow too, I’d either double up your hi hats or double time the whole groove.

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I also might stick an acoustic in the background doubling up the electric parts to give it a little more frequency depth.

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Thanks a lot guys! Much appreciated feedback here, I will take as much as I can into account and revise the track accordingly. Also a lot of food for thought for coming endeavours.

I plead guilty on all points, it’s kind of funny how some of things pointed out were deliberate decisions on my side, such as “mixing nasty metal with nice voice”, “go for snappy over-compressed drums” or “have an edgy eq”. At the time they seemed like brave ideas, but as for most bravery in music, in hindsight it feels more like I was carelessly tweaking with long-established concepts better left untweaked.

Thanks also for complimenting on the song and the vocals! It’s always nice to have something to feel good about in the centre of things when there’s a lot of work to do cleaning up the surroundings.

Cheers :sunglasses:

I think too that vocals are great! Also the guitars parts are nice but I don’t like too much the kind of sound.
Strange but seems that vocals and arrangement are on separate worlds… it seems a rock remix! :smirk:
As said a little bit “open” mix would be better to me. :+1:

New mix! :sunglasses:

(Download Link)


I think this song has huge potential but for me the arrangement doesn’t feel quite right. The intro feels too long, and there are (for me) too many instrumental sections and it doesn’t flow naturally. If it were my track I’d probably try editing it down to shorter version and see how that felt. But could just be matter of personal taste. My other thought is it sounds more like a hit single than AJ top seller but you never know…

As others have said, fantastic vocals!

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This version sounds pretty great! I think you’ve got it right this time, very cool to hear how it’s improved from the original. I would love to live in a world where this kind of track would work well as a stock track, but I have no idea about that. :smiley:

Personally I don’t agree with Paul Graves, the arrangement sounds pretty good this time and I don’t think it’s too long or has too many instrumental parts.

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While it is better than the last one, much better in fact, I still find that something is fundamentally wrong with this track.

I thought about it and came up with these things:

  1. Sound: IMHO, it would be much better for this track if the sound was more gritty, garage-like, instead of this metal/pop blend. Think Green Day, something along these lines:

  2. Guitars: Less is more! A well-played driving 8th chunk played with a kick-ass attitude would give the track that little something it needs. Right now, although the guitars are very busy they seem too laid back and dragging when everything is calling for a solid rock groove.It’s almost as if the guitarist was thinking hard about what to play. That’s why, to my ear, the track lacks a real fundament and I just don’t get that feeling that a real band is playing together.

Overall, simplify guitars AND drums, focus on a solid warm rock sound, and off to the charts with you :sunglasses:

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Great song, but the guitar sound is very bad and unnatural, i think need a more mild and fat sound

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