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I'm a bit late to the review party on this one. You have a ridiculous library of sounds, Step. Ridiculous. I'm so goddamn jealous. I don't know where you get the drive to work tirelessly on all the nuances that go into arranging and mixing.

There are so many subtle things happening within this arrangement I don't even know where to begin. I've said this time and time again, but your orchestration is phenomenal. You have a fantastic ability to break an orchestra away from tutti which I just don't understand at this point in my orchestration education.

The way you've incorporated the 8-bit into an orchestral setting is a pleasure to witness. I've never heard it done before, and I don't think I'll ever hear it done better than this. Bravo to you.

Best,

Chio

Step responds:

Oh geez, wow. What a review. I don't know where to start! Thanks for the huge boost in self-confidence!

Honestly, I don't know what tips/pointers I can give about the balancing of the orchestra. Thinking back, a lot of the stuff I do while composing is almost done subconsciously. Sometimes I finish a section of a song and think to myself "how the hell did I do this". I guess all I can say is keep on practising and racking up experience until all the tweaking you do on the orchestration becomes natural. I don't have any formal education on orchestration so I just try and judge by what my ear thinks haha.

That last comment really got to me. I really appreciate that. I'm sure there are plenty of excellent chiptune/orchestral hybrids out there though! (in fact, I was semi-inspired by this one, even though it's not quite as chiptuney as my arrangement: https://youtu.be/5tSTEa3G9Ng?t=9971).

Anyway, thank you very very much for the review!

This is sounding pretty damn good, man. Your sound patches are fantastic, and really compliment the material. I've made an almost identical review earlier tonight, but I think it's even more applicable here:

You spent nearly three minutes developing one theme. Don't get me wrong, it's a great theme, and you can spend as much time on it as you want, but this is nearly a three minute piece, explore the sonic spectrum a little! I noticed right as the piece was ending, you started using brand new material. You tease us with material we've never heard before, but then you stop the piece! That's the perfect time to keep the piece going. You spent three minutes developing one theme, perhaps you should spend some time developing another one.

One thing I've learned in my time composing is that structure is very important. Even if you do something simple like Theme A, Theme B, Theme A, then End, you have a good, solid piece. But if you put all of your eggs into one basket, you better hope those are some damn good eggs, you know what I mean?

Anyway, you have a real nice thing going for you here. I look forward to more content, Aleksandr!

Best,

Chio

You know, I don't think you've ever composed something (or arranged in this case) that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed, and I've been following you for a while. You have a very deep understanding of orchestration and balance with music, and as a composer that's such a skill to have. Things that are supposed to be in the foreground are in the foreground, and the things that are supposed to be in the background are in the background, but regardless of their respective roles in this mix, all of it is clear and easy to pick out, and that's a telltale sign, to me, of good orchestration and mixing. So a fine job to you. But, I'm no professional, and you're the artist; I'm sure you hear flaws that I simply don't.

Either way, very well done. 5/5

Step responds:

Wow, thanks for the hugely encouraging review! You're very perceptive. The idea of balancing foreground and background is something I ALWAYS pay particular attention to. I think I've become very accustomed to making that kind of separation, and even though I'm not perfect at it, I think it's one of my stronger points. However, it also makes counterpoint very hard for me, since I'm used to having one foreground voice and everything else accompanying it. I find it hard to balance instruments together when there's no clear foreground/background separation I can make, if you get what I mean.

Anyhow, thanks for the great review!

Your diction is so interesting. I love what you've done with this.

So lanky.

samulis responds:

An interesting choice of words.

I still can't believe how well you improvise. This is a skill I've been working on for a while and I've still not come close to this. Really great work, man. Never stop what you're doing.

BlazingDragon responds:

Thanks so much! If you haven't already, you should definitely post some of your improv work. :)

Haha, somebody seems to know their theory, or at least their harmony. I really, really enjoy your use of of functional chords when they happened. At around 1:15 (I think) you improvised a secondary leading tone through a diminished chord, which is awesome in that it was improvised. I really enjoyed the structure of this too. Your improvisational chops are just astonishing. Spectacular. 5/5

BlazingDragon responds:

It's great to find someone else who knows their stuff!

When I took music theory classes, it seemed like most of my class mates were bored and hated it. I tell you though, I loved it. Every time we learned a new concept like circle progressions, secondary dominants, borrowed chords, neapolitans, augmented sixths, tri-tone substitutions, modes, or anything else, I'd run to the piano and see if I could write a song using the new harmonic vocabulary. I'm still pretty lousy improvising outside of the key of C unfortunately, and my technique is minimal for a pianist. I don't know my arpeggios and just barely finished learning all my minor scales. I have a lot of awesome, sweeping lines in my head when I improvise, but I can't pull it off. So I mostly rely on memorable melodic lines and beautiful harmonies.

Haha, look, you got me ranting! This is what happens when music theory gets brought up. XD
Thank you very much for your review, and Merry Christmas!

The sound used for the guitar is a little abrasive. But that aside, the actual music is really quite pleasant. Very enjoyable.
I like the switch between strings and guitar on the melodic prominence. My only suggestion for that portion is the remember what makes a guitar a guitar. The guitar is capable of being a lone, self harmonizing instrument. It can carry a melody and harmony at the same time. So, while the strings were already doing the harmonic work during that section, you can still have the guitar lightly harmonizing itself there. Might be something to try.

All in all though, I really liked this. 4/5

Haven't been disappointed so far. Really great stuff back to back.
I really liked what sounded like pitch swaying on the high note of the guitar. It was a really cool effect. The ambiance is great and flatters the story in the comments. 5/5.

And here we are again. More water music. Your capture this stuff very well and it's clearly got a lot to do with the ambiance. It must, because somber piano over top of relatively unimposing chords can't just capture the sea.

I really enjoyed the part coming in at around 2:43 with the pausing, allowing for the ambiance to play its role. Very enjoyable.

Your melody here is very cool. And the way you play with the rhythm around 3:20 and on is interesting. Once again, very cool piece. 5/5

I am a disciple of music.

29, Male

Composer, Performer

New York

Joined on 12/29/09

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