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[Experimental] Sundown City
#1
Listen to the track on either Soundcloud or Newgrounds:
<URL url="https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815505">https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815505</URL>
<URL url="https://soundcloud.com/user-156979353/sundown-city">https://soundcloud.com/user-156979353/sundown-city</URL>

For this experimental chiptune/blues/jazz/whatever track, I used the oldschool composition software "Pixtone Collage" developed by Pixel (mostly known for his epic pixel game, Cave Story/Doukutsu Monogatari). PTCollage, Cave Story, and other of Pixel's projects can be found here: <URL url="https://www.cavestory.org/">https://www.cavestory.org/</URL>.
Having finished the instrumentals, I imported the track to Audacity (a total amateurish music software) and added vocals and intro.

The mood and lyrics of the song are inspired by one of my drawings (the picture beside the track on Soundcloud). Maybe I'll make more tracks inspired by drawings in the future; it's a funny and kind of simple creative process, with the music and visuals complementing each other.
THE VISION OF THE PROJECT IS ALL
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#2
Hey Serpent, I gave the track a listen and would like to give some constructive feedback if I may. Let me start out by saying that I typically like experimental tracks -- however I can't totally say that because it's such a wide wide ...and vague genre. I like the artwork btw, when in combination with the music though it seems like a horrific place to be. Lots of violence imagery flashes for me when I think about it, but with the warm colours I could see somebody thinking the opposite (despite the straightforward use of the word dead)

I like the electric tom "solo" near the beginning, after the intro.
0:25 very nice transition, and I love the synth sound on that. The arpeggios and the synth fills are cool, I think the vocals for that part ("Sundown City, Sundown City") are pretty good too. I would recommend off the bat maybe adding some more width to the stereo, space out the sound -- I think more stereo mixing would be perfect for this.
I like the instrumentation going into the verse. The vocals here though, they have a very harsh alteration in quality and polish -- kind of like a hiss. I think the vocal delivery // rhythm here could use some work. Also, the articulation here gets a little muddy.
Something difficult about talking about experimental tracks is that everything is probably intentional....but I will move forward.
0:58 -- this transition is jarring for half a second, and it works really well. There's that great synth again too. Transitions are always hard, so good job.
I love the instrumentation in this section and your use of slight pitch shifting, it creates a sort of twisted -- but grandiose atmosphere.
The vocals are strange following that part, but I think it's like a (more) bizarre wizard of Oz sound. Pretty cool
1:33 -- same criticism as before, but the annunciation is worse than before. After that though, when you're singing the last "dead" you're wildly off pitch. I think you know that though, I'm guessing that part is creative choice.
1:46 Very rough transition, in fact there's a second (or maybe 1/2 a second) of DEAD silence -- it just cuts off and then the next piece of music sounds, and definitely was just tacked on. I would work on that. I love this part musically though, so kudos. Interesting synth, it's like the other side of town/ the city.
2:16: There are very cool and effective vocal harmonies here, however in some of them the pitch is definitely off. When they're not though, they're great! There's like 2 times where it's out of key, the rest is perfect.

And then! The ending, a chord held out and then it decays. Not in volume, but it just sounds like it breaks, no sudden stop in audio -- so nice way to end!

Overall I had fun analyzing this, musically, and I hope my feedback is useful. I liked it, thanks for sharing.

Edit: I forgot to say it slightly reminds me of Dan Deacon, have you heard of him?
<B>|</B><URL url="https://soundcloud.com/mutant_christ">My Primary Soundcloud</URL> <COLOR color="#000000"><B>|||</B></COLOR> <URL url="https://soundcloud.com/gravaged2">My Secondary Soundcloud</URL><B>|</B>
If you have any questions or need to contact me, email <EMAIL email="gravaged@superwerer.com">gravaged@superwerer.com</EMAIL>
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#3
Hello Gravaged, thank you very much for your detailed analysis of my song, I appreciate it. I'll keep in mind some of your feedback points for my future work.
I'm glad that you liked (some of) the transitions...

And you're right, I probably need to practice my voice work a bit, my pitching stability is pretty thin. That said, I like the idea of singing in an "ugly" way, although it certainly lowers the appeal of the song to some listeners. But then again: Singing in an ugly way is also a thing that must be practised.

About the harsh vocals in the chorus: I tried to create that "muffled megaphone voice" (used by e.g. Tom Waits in some of his songs)... don't know why, actually, but thought it would be cool. However, my microphone is pretty bad, so maybe that was a wrong choice.
I like what you write about "violence imagery", hadn't actually thought about it that way myself.

No, I don't know Dan Deacon. I'll check him outSmile
Againg, thank you very much for your review, it's useful!

PS: If you'd like to hear the track without the vocals, I've posted it on Newgrounds: <URL url="https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815944">https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815944</URL>
THE VISION OF THE PROJECT IS ALL
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#4
You're very welcome! I agree with your sentiments about ugly singing, I don't have an issue with it. I actually think it's acceptable/fine EXCEPT for the fact that some parts of it are inaudible, and then the second time I think it's a bit much with the warbling high note. That is just my opinion though, the vocals haven't really turned me off too much. If you don't do anything different with that part, I just really urge you to fix the harmonies near the end. I have listened to this track several times.

Also I see what you were going for now, with the megaphone sound. I would suggest trying EQ on a cleaner vocal track (I mean just with that effect / sound removed), and that EQ I would recommend you only have the high mid-range up, like a parabola. Just mess around with that shape and at different parts of the mid range area, but cut everything else! Every Newgrounds audio link I click just shows the spinning loading wheel but it never fully loads, so I can't listen. I would like to hear it though
<B>|</B><URL url="https://soundcloud.com/mutant_christ">My Primary Soundcloud</URL> <COLOR color="#000000"><B>|||</B></COLOR> <URL url="https://soundcloud.com/gravaged2">My Secondary Soundcloud</URL><B>|</B>
If you have any questions or need to contact me, email <EMAIL email="gravaged@superwerer.com">gravaged@superwerer.com</EMAIL>
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#5
<QUOTE author="Incorpserpent" post_id="1270" time="1531826252" user_id="562">
Incorpserpent post_id=1270 time=1531826252 user_id=562 Wrote:Listen to the track on either Soundcloud or Newgrounds:
<URL url="https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815505">https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/815505</URL>
<URL url="https://soundcloud.com/user-156979353/sundown-city">https://soundcloud.com/user-156979353/sundown-city</URL>

For this experimental chiptune/blues/jazz/whatever track, I used the oldschool composition software "Pixtone Collage" developed by Pixel (mostly known for his epic pixel game, Cave Story/Doukutsu Monogatari). PTCollage, Cave Story, and other of Pixel's projects can be found here: <URL url="https://www.cavestory.org/">https://www.cavestory.org/</URL>.
Having finished the instrumentals, I imported the track to Audacity (a total amateurish music software) and added vocals and intro.

The mood and lyrics of the song are inspired by one of my drawings (the picture beside the track on Soundcloud). Maybe I'll make more tracks inspired by drawings in the future; it's a funny and kind of simple creative process, with the music and visuals complementing each other.
</QUOTE>
Hey, I just have to say that I am completely addicted to this track, and I can't stop listening to it.
Anyways, what is the story behind the lyrics? Tell me more about this city and the lion.
[Image: GFBF9Xv.png]



John Chord never forgets.

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#6
<MENTION>[mention]Jonathaj[/mention]</MENTION> Sorry for answering this late, I've had a lot of things to do. Well, the lyrics... the whole project started with a contest on Newgrounds.com. You had to create a piece of music inspired by an artwork from the site's art portal. You could choose the artwork yourself. So I found a pixel art piece, a gif depicting the moving skyline of a city in the evening (I haven't been able to find the artwork ever since). And then I created a confusing piece of 8-bit music - just to leave it after having finished it, because it frustrated me so much. Then I started over with what later became the instrumental track of Sundown City. I worked across the deadline of the Newgrounds contest, well **** that, and then added vocals to the finished instrumental track.
Oh, well, but the lyrics: They're pretty random. Instead of using that pixel artwork as reference, I used one of my own drawings. On the drawing (which is the one you see on Soundcloud) there is a house in the foreground, a "golden" forest in the middle (with a road through it) and a mountain with a city on top of it in the background. So I actually just based the lyrics on the drawing.
Maybe "sundown city" is also a metaphor for the current state of modern civilization. "Up in the castle where everybody's dead", i.e. visible, traditional power has vanished from the world. The lion of truth is... well, just a lion, as is the forest just a forest.
Glad you like my song Smile
THE VISION OF THE PROJECT IS ALL
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#7
Okay, I just saw this one upfront in the homepage and tried to listen without any expectations (except keeping it in my mind that it is really experimental).

After listening to it, I think I got some insights in listening to music, whether it be something not my usual preference, something not others’ preferences, or something not what the artist usually do. I thought that you really put your ideas well enough to the track where I didn’t even need to nitpick on parts of it since everything seems to be ordered within the chaos of the theme. I, therefore, no longer think that the production value of a track could be disintegrated by the mixing or the sequencing or anything that is technical to producing as long as the essence is well-delivered.

What I really liked about this one is that it’s like telling me a story of that city where no one could even understand from your perspective but to my own understanding, it is actually the real world where we live in. It’s where we are welcomed to live in a place that could be somewhere we could be someone but we are just destined to live until our very own end. I imagined it in an 8-bit cinematic movie where a man just lives his life, day and night, walking along the streets where people do their own thing. Crimes, politics, depression, and everything what the world is to our blinded eyes, were evoked by the track you shared to me.

It’s pretty when I just appreciate music like this. It’s a little bit crazy for me to feel such things. Anyway, I might be saying the wrong stuff here but overall, without any hesitation, even though I must say that the mixing could be better, it’s wonderful.

Literally.
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