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Title:Treasures Of The Sea (Short Mix)
Author:Tranceparent
Genre:Trance, Trance
Comment:Trance track with a nice melody and a good drive. (use reverb)
Size:2275 KB
File:tots.zip
Date:2002-10-23

Sunbuster:   Average

Overview:
It's a dramatic tune, somehow it has this hero feel over it. Like "let's all unite and fight for our cause" feel, don't know how to describe it otherwise. I don't know why this is, but somehow the tune got me thinking of those "Van Halen organs", used in alot of their music :)

The good and bad
The melody is nice. As I said, it has this hero feel over it, slowly going up in the scale and the coming down again. The atmosphere, allthough not very big or deep, is there also.
The drum beat in the beginning and at about 3:25-4:00 sounds weird, mainly because of the pattern of the bassdrum. I think Tranceparent has tried to come up with an original break, but in this case, sadly, the originality is lost in that it somehow sounds as if the drums were tripping over themselves. I don't know if this effect is intentional, but it doesn't sound good in my ears (it kind of goes against the otherwise nice flow of the tune). The clap sample I think is a wrong choice in this case, more snap and definition would be good, or less reverb. Now it sounds a bit as if someone's hitting a plastic bag in a tunnel. In general also I would have liked a bit more variation in the drum programming, now I get this feeling that the artist has 3-4 loops which he goes through.

Sample quality is good, except for the hihat, clap and shake-like sounds. And this is a shame, because I think alot could have been done to lift the overall quality feel of the tune simply by using good quality samples for those instruments also. All except the shake-like sound are pretty "up-front" in the mix so one can hear their bad quality in the song itself. Especially the hihat sounds bad. These are instruments that need that high-end, that 8KHz samples in my opinion simply can't provide.

The mix sounds a bit right-shifted IMO, not much but still, and I think this is because the 303 like sound is the dominant instrument in the bass/low-mid range, and it is panned to the right a bit. Placing this one in the center, or adding another similar instrument that's panned a bit more to the left could help. This is most noticeable on headphones though, and it's not very obvious when listening on regular speakers, so no major glitch.

Madtrackers possibilites have been used to some extent, but alot could have been done more efficient. Like using three channels with the same reverb and three channels with the same analog-filter as it is now, instead of just using one of both and then routing the other channels to that one. Also, I saw no reason for there being three times the same sample (instr 09,0A,0B), only difference being that their panned differently. This could easily have been achieved by either just creating three instruments that use the same sample and then pan them in the instrument envelope, or better yet just have one instrument and do the panning by programming the panning column.

Verdict
The tune lacks a bit depth, and the mid range of the frequency spectrum sounds a bit muddy, but otherwise the overall feel of the tune is good.
Looking at this tune from a technical aspect (the use of madtracker, sample choices, mixing etc.) I'd rate it "Can do better". The musical experience though is clearly worth an "Average" if not even "Good". So, using my simple calculation methods I'm rating it "Average".

to the artist
Keep up the work, you clearly have the melody ear, just need to practice more on the final touches and explore the possibilites of Madtracker more. Learning a bit more about mixing and mastering could help also. But above all, practice, try out new things and practice again :)

-Sunbuster


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