- producer / multi-instrumentalist /
Atlanta multi-instrumentalist, Derrick Dickey, aka "dirty", is the latest member to join the "Digital Slumber Party". Derrick brings his signature rhythms and ear for melody to the table, playing a critical role in the makeup of the group. Derrick has over 20 years of experience behind the drum kit, & has performed in multiple projects across the nation. Rock & metal to experimental electronica, Derrick has an understanding of all styles he finds interesting. You can contact him @ - firstname.lastname@example.org Derrick currently is writing & producing new material with the other members of Digital Slumber Party for their follow up album, due in early 2015.
- Atlanta GA USA
Hi Chris: I like the vibe your going for, though I think for EDM purposes (and take my opinion with a grain of salt as EDM is not my forte) it's a bit downtempo and lacks "hard" hits that I'm accustomed to in rave or EDM tents at festivals (for example, I think the level of the "scratches" at 3:05 (and other spots) could be leveled up. Also, as and aside and along the same lines, in "The Gentle Collapse" demo, I really think that level on the kick drums to could boosted a bit as well. Maybe its because I'm listening to the track with great speakers (listening through my computer without headphones). That being said, for this track I really think adding a vocal line with at least a chorus would really enhance the rich music that you already have. I think that notion could apply especially to "Skip The Day" at 1:17 and 2:25 and the outro. Good start. Keep making the good music.
This sounds very good and professional! You could definitely use this for a video game and video game video on Youtube. Not to mention a film reel or something else that needs background music. I would recommend reaching out to gamers and film directors to see if they need any sort of background music like this. Also bloggers could help you out a lot to help you get more views on your SoundCloud. Keep working and reach out!
"Another Late Night" projects a gripping and dark atmosphere in its first few moments alone; the dark gurgling bass-synth provides a striking counterpart to the more playful, lighthearted synth lead. Like my favorite NIN tracks, I'm drawn in very early and captivated throughout. The track's alternation between more percussive-heavy sections and bare elegance (like from 01:45-02:23) provides yet another striking structural dichotomy that does the track's atmosphere and infectious appeal great justice. I also love the gradual additions - like the whirring arpeggio around 03:30 over the hypnotic synth lead - that steadily reveal themselves. This is a really nice track -- great work! Look for a post on Obscure Sound in the near future, and reach out to me at email@example.com if interested in details (rates, success stories) regarding my PR servicing.
Hi, Not sure what your goals are with this track; I don't normally review electronica music or listen to this style, but I will try to give my feedback from the context of a DJ or somebody who might be into this style/genre and review it in that context. I used to produce some IDM when I was younger though, and tend to enjoy DNB from time to time so I'm not totally alien to the style. 0-1:15 - i like that there are a few different melodic ideas going on, especially at different tempos 1:15 - a little boring (cliche drum production and drum rhythm) Later, you return to the introduction melodic material which is nice, but I wish it developed a bit more into something else - a bit repetitive (although for a dance mix/club usage, this might make sense). The repeated material is also equally dense; you may be able to do some more layering (or "finish" with all the layers/tracks, but perhaps thin out the beginning a bit so it doesn't sound like a cut and paste job). The outro - very strange to me; didn't flow with the song. Interesting in that it's different, but it felt different for different's sake. In terms of finishing the tune, I feel like you need a stronger "B" section and you need to work on a closer "C" section. you seem to have good ideas for the A section (form being ABAC overall). As a percussionist, I'm very tired of that same snare drum fill you hear on countless tracks: 8ths->16ths->32nd notes, and then the rhythm drops in again. However, one could argue repetition is normal in the genre. Hope that helps!
Much different than what I normally hear from independent electronic artists. Never once did i lose interest and I found myself wanting to dance to it to bad my two left feet prevent me from such a thing. I would play this on IMLH, if interested feel free to send an MP3 of the track to me.
Really really good! Keep up the hard work and someone will find your work. If you go on YouTube and type in Call Of Duty or some other video game there are always videos of people showing their Kill Cams and highlights with this type of music playing behind it. Look into doing that.
Hey Chris: I should have just focused on the last song I reviewed for you cause I actually mentioned this track also in my last session for your track "Another Late Night". lol. If I had to add more suggestions/notes, I do like the way this tracks crescendos throughout, but I think adding a break-beat at around the 1:43 mark would really pump the track up even more. You could even tease a break beat somewhere in :45 - 1:25. You note that you want feedback on how to complete tune. I would just tag along with my prior comments form my review of "Another Late Night", since I'm partial to vocals, I think a vocal line in this track would also add to its appeal.
A cool, surreal track that would be a good pitch to video game soundtracks. Love how the track meanders, but moves consistently forward. It is like a sonic adventure. Clean production, tight hooks, and hot beats. This is a great tune. Cheers.
Happy to give another listen to your fantastic material. I find this one even sleeker and more effervescent than the excellent "Another Late Night", which is a testament to your stylistic versatility -- not always a given in electronica. I have no doubt now that your project is something special, though. "The Gentle Collapse" has a wonderful driving beat with airy synths and playful arpeggios that would be nicely set alongside Tokyo neon lights, or a thriving dance club anywhere exotic. The track's structural repetition is part of its strength, the vibrant synth leads and more patient warbly bass combining for a truly memorable melody. As mentioned earlier, with "Another Late Night", look for a post on Obscure Sound in the near future, and reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in details regarding my PR servicing. -Mike
That FM-y delayed line in the intro is a little too brilliant. You might consider EQ-ing it to bring out a little more warmth. Once the beat comes in, the bass seems too quiet. Or maybe the kick and snare just need to come back a little bit to balance. The 1:13 double-time section seems balanced, and then the kick/snare seems too out front again. So yeah, I'd pull the kick and snare back a little and bring up the bass a half dB or so. Also, maybe you could cut a little of the high frequency snap from the kick to give it more thump/oomph. Perhaps with the bass as well. I'm hearing too much of the upper octave(s). At 1:43 I'm not sure what I should be listening to. I hear the square wave lead, and that's where my ears tends to gravitate, but it's so far back in the mix, I almost feel like the lead element is missing. Maybe you could bring that out front, and after 8 bars or so, bring in a harmony or extra layer for variety. Obviously that applies to the beginning as well. You might work your way through the track and ask yourself, what is the listener's focus at any given moment. Because we can only really listen to one thing at a time, right? I definitely wasn't expecting it to end so early! But it sounds like you're wanting to keep it going. I could imagine some sort of interplay between the melody line that opens the track, and the main square wave melody, plus a harmony. I don't think we've heard those all at the same time before, and it might be fun to intertwine those two ideas. So bottom line, I'm digging the sound and the vibe, but I feel it lacks focus. If someone asked me, "Which one is The Gentle Collapse again?" I wouldn't know what to sing. I guess that square wave melody, but it's not much of a hook. It feels a little like background music at this point, but it deserves better, and I know you can deliver!
Unfortunately I am not a big house/electronic fan so I do not have a lot of constructive criticism to give here or what I feel would make it better. I can easily see this song being added to my instrumental playlist I listen to while train riding to and from work, the chill vibe and easy flow is nice and calming. Thanks for sharing!
This is a good track. I like the mellow yet heavy flow of it And I like the different sections. I think it needs work in the arrangement and in the instrumentation. Make the intro more dramatic. Tease the baseline a little and build into it with dramatic flair. The sound of the lead line that comes in at :40 should be more compelling. It not the melody but the sound used that is weak. It sounds thin and basic. I think it could be more attention grabbing. The melody line you use just repeats the same on each drop. I think repeating the same melody line on at three drops prevents the song from evolving. Put a variation in there. The filtered bass sounds that come in at 1:50 are very basic sounding. Same with the arp sounds. They don't add much to the melody. It would deb more interesting if there was some kind of call and answer between the different parts. Otherwise its just multiple melodic lines all playing but not relating to each other - like a party where everyone is talking and no one is listening. The builds and drops are a bit underwhelming. Don't be afraid to pull out parts and create some some space so that the drop has more impact. I think a choir or "ahhh" type sound that mirrors the bass would fill out the track as well. Something a few octaves above the bass. Bring it in for the drops and pull it out before the breakdowns. Hope that helps!
Really interesting way to start the track - you get right down to business! Things really start grooving along from bar 1. I love how open the first few bars after the intro are, and the pacing of the build is spot on. Right when the syncopation in the drums feels like it's getting a bit much, they drop out completely to start a new build. Ah, and there's I guess what I'd call the first real drop at 1:50. Gratifying and worth the wait! Still managing to hold my interest into the climax at 2:58. Really digging the sound design. Some current sounds along with some bleepy analog goodness. I guess the only part I'm not 100% sold on is the closing "digital wind." It overstays its welcome by a good 15 seconds, but I suppose it could be serving as a transition into the next track. All and all, I'm really impressed! Keep up the great work!
What I Like: I like the melodies I like the arrangement What I think can be improved: On the second and third drop a new element needs to come in The drop at 3:13 would work well in the middle of the song I like the bass kind of subdued and low in the mix but I would make the high end and the wobbles a little more audible with some EQing The song has an underproduced vibe to it that I like but I'm not sure if it's intentional. The sounds are simple and I like that element. That said, if I were to mix it I would make the mix much brighter and not as heave in the mids and lows.
Exceptional! I love the darkness and enigmatic nature of this soundscape. This would be perfect for a dramatic scene or an action packed scene in a film. This keeps the listener engaged from start to finish.
What I liked: - I really like how this comes in. I think it could even build a little more in the intro before the guitar sample comes in What I think can be improved: - The mix here is also muddy. It needs more mid highs and highs and less low mids and lows - the change at 1:29 doesn't work for me. I wouldn't mix that heavy baseline with the guitar loop. I think both parts should live separately - I think it would be a stronger song if the first section and second section alternated instead
Sounds like it should be part of a video game soundtrack in deep space or some new area of darkness where the hero has to fight like hell to escape something insane coming after them, but in the best way...dig the production and atmosphere conveyed with this tune...
The cover art is exactly what I saw when I woke up this morning! 6:30, but 7:15 would've felt much better for all parties. Since you're looking for feedback to improve, I'll focus on the production to start. As best I can through SoundCloud's encoding anyway. I'd love to hear a little less brightness and a little more meat in the snare. It's a little thin, and needs more "thunk" to balance out the bass. If you feel the mix gets too dull as a result, you can always pump up the hats a few dB. It's really hard to judge sub bass in this context, but it seems a little heavy and wide on my end. So it's 2:30, and we've finally hit the climax. Bass is definitely too heavy here, and is masking a lot of the mid and high frequencies. I'd like to hear something enter on the high end of the spectrum to at least balance out the heavier lows. I'd pull out the frequency analyzer and see if you can make it basically flat in that section, for even energy across the entire spectrum. Arrangement-wise, I feel like you'd be better off getting to the climax (I hesitate to call it a drop) faster, pulling back, and hitting it again. You probably don't want to reinvent the wheel at this point, but I think it would hold the listener's attention better, and you could do it in under 5 minutes. Right now it feels like it takes a little too long to get to the point, and then ends too quickly. That said, it's a promising track and a good mix that could benefit from some fine tuning. Thanks for sharing it with me!
Things I like: Very nice melodically Drums sound punchy Things that could improve: Snare is too loud for my taste I would be nice if everything dropped out before the bass comes in at :45. That would give it a more dramatic entrance Although the dubstep drums sounds good I think the style of drums is a bit overused The wobble bass that comes in at 2:30 gets repetitive The theme that comes in at 3:00 needs to be more in the front of the mix
Props from the start - Perhaps you shouldn't just a song by it's title, but in this case the vibe of "6:30 am" is conveyed. While there is a 'shimmer' about this cut, it shimmers in spite of its minor key, which is a nice 'musical oxymoron' you might say. Musically, the sounds used are definitely thoughtfully chosen and keep the track interesting throughout its duration. While the track is impressive to me as is, if you wanted to give it even more 'oomph', you might try to throw a music monkey wrench into it. What that means is surprise the listener with an unexpected change of some sort, whether it be the groove, or a left-field synth that truly goes against the grain of what's been established. Sometimes, such surprises can pay off. But as it stands, this is well done.
Like the contrast between the rhythm and the buzzy melodic element, and the way the noise builds and recedes as the track progresses. Glitchy bleep-blorp elements add texture. Perfect length, in that the track doesn't overstay its welcome.
It's good, but music like this is very, very hard to sell in a 'single' form. Rather you almost have to hear the whole album for it to make sense or fully appreciate it. That said, some very dark vibes like an understated Nine Inch Nails circa 'Ghosts I-IV'. Only those with a taste for this sort of music will enjoy it.
Song is compelling and dynamic. Nice build at the start, and shifting sonic textures help keep things interesting as the tune progresses. Not sure I'd want a whole album of this, but the track is enjoyable.
This is pretty nice. The mix is clean and there's a nice amount of space between the instruments. Maybe a wee bit of sidechain compression triggered by the kick/snare to really make those punch through the mix more would be helpful, but that's a personal preference. My only criticisms are that the melody/hook line is a bit static - it's just quarter notes rising and falling most of the time, and it feels a little predictable. Maybe syncopate a note here or there or throw in a melodic variation every few iterations. Also maybe vary the kick-snare pattern a bit more over the course of the song - start with a simple boom-bap kind of thing at the beginning and stick with it and slowly get more complex as the track builds. Right now it feels like the same 4-8 bars are looping. Other than that, nice mix. I'd play it in my car.
I think a different mix would help this track. What makes dub step exciting (for me anyway) are the rhythm elements, and this mix is putting too much emphasis on the pads and bass for my taste. Speaking of bass, this track uses a smoother bass then I'm used to hearing in dub step, which could be really cool, but I feel like it's taking up the wrong spot. Over all, I think there a few moments you should experiment with flipping the entire two track to make evolutions. This will help give the track more dynamic, which is critical since it's instrumental. I like the arrangement over all, and I dig on the chords and vibe. This is not far away from being "done."
80's dubstep? I've gotta hear this! ;) Okay, yeah. I hear both of those! Nice. Love how the track gets right down to business. The bass is huge, but maybe a bit much. I'm guessing the lows are overlapping from multiple synths, in which case you are probably better off choosing one to occupy below 150 Hz, and roll the other off. I'm hearing a particular note that rubs me the wrong way. In the main section, it's on beats 1 & 3 of bar 5. I think one of the synths plays two notes, or maybe it's just one of the oscillators on one of the synths creating a pitch that doesn't fit the key. Really enjoying how this one unfolds. As it grows bigger in the 2:48 section, the 16th note cymbal(?) moving to a roll provides a nice contrast. Still building and holding my interest through another repeat, where it falls off to end. I'd prefer a hard ending rather than fading that last little bit, but that's a quibble. Compared to the other tracks you've shared with me, I feel like this one best holds its own without needing a vocal or other lead instrument to point my ear in the right direction or sustain interest. Once the bass is fine-tuned so it's not masking the rest of the spectrum so much, you'll have that massive sound down, and it will be much more satisfying! Other than that, I've got nothing. Really enjoyed this one! Thanks as always for including me in the process.
I would make the intro more subdues so that when the bass comes in at :33 its much more of a drop - more dramatic. The drums needs to evolve with each new section. I like the breathing sound. The main melodies should be louder and fuller. The drums sound like 80's rock drums. The turnaround at 1:28 is really nice. Thin the drums out in parts to give it a nice dub vibe - Snare delays. The melody at the end is the same - it should have chained in some way.
I love these kind of intros, where you can tell if it's in 4/4 or 12/8. The beat makes it very clear though! Sounds big but not as massive as it could, probably because the drums are a little too out front. Check out some Glitch Mob to hear how tight their balances are! When it's really dialed in, it sounds HUGE. Structurally, the entrance of the melody comes at an odd place. If you cut the two bars right before the lead synth entrance, it should feel "correct." That lead melody sound kind of blends in with the rest of the track. Maybe a different patch, or an extra layer or two, could help it stand out. Once the melody drops out, I feel like the track loses direction. It sounds like the instrumental for a vocal track. Without the vocal, my ears aren't sure what to focus on. Maybe you're planning to lay down a vocal, in which case, disregard! At 2:33, we're back to where we were before. Which kind of took me by surprise. Like the double-time feel and the dropouts. It's a nice way to change it up, but the energy drops too soon for my tastes. Now we're back to the melody, coming in 2 bars off (to my ears) again. This time, I'd put an extra two bars before it to build up to it. Ah, okay, this time we're going to build a little more on top of the melody. Good stuff! It's impossible to tell through SoundCloud's encoding, but I'm willing to bet there is way too much sub-50 Hz energy in the bass. Maybe load a reference track into your project, match the volume, and compare with a frequency analyzer. Ending is dragging a bit, even though you switch it up with the double-time feel. And yet, when it finally ends, it feels abrupt. You've got the makings of an interesting track here! I think you can do a lot more with the structure, to make it build more dramatically, and hit harder with a wall of sound as a payoff.
I would try and play with how your drums are introduced, and perhaps have them move to different sonic spaces. For example, you have a short whip (air blast thing) that you could be using as a transition to put the drums in a different place (and extreme EQ, or flanger, or Kaoss Pad). When the track gets heavier and the drums pick up, I would try external gates on some or all elements. The break down just after could use more left to right motion, possible with FX. Think mondomod, or flange with pan FX. I personally would make some of those leads even nastier, and put them more up front. Overall another very nice track. You guys make really cool stuff!
I like the sound design a lot here. Another nicely mixed track, a lot of openness and space in the mix. Might want to bring the open hats down a smidge, or vary the pattern a bit from the disco-offbeats, just so they don't become the focus of the song. The breakdown at roughly 2:40 is a crucial part to this song - I'd recommend making it even more dramatic in terms of contrast with the rest of the track - really contrast it with the louder bits - pull out the drums completely except maybe as a leadin to the melody coming back in, then really smack everything in at 3:05. Maybe even double the drums with something heavy so it has even more impact for that last minute of song. Basically make that the climax of the track.
Interesting opening sound! You've piqued my interest. The tonality is questionable against the lower tones. Ah, but it really works with the groove. Love the heavy reverb on the drums! Hmm... the sustained line (I hesitate to call it bass), feels out of time at points. Maybe it's entering a sixteenth note early for effect, but I find it jarring. Kills the groove. That guitar-ish sound could be even louder and meatier to my ears. And the sound on top of it. It feels like the mix is shrinking. Maybe you've got a compressor on the master bus? If so, I know it's just a demo, but I'd remove it or raise the threshold and set the ratio to no greater than 2:1. Cool rim taps. Yeah, it must be a compressor, because when everything dropped out, the volume didn't go down. Compressors... can't live with 'em etc... Like the question and answer with the two different sounds starting at 3:06. And how you nearly turned the beat around. All nice ways to change up the arrangement. Might want to smooth out the ending fade! I heard a click on my end. :) Again, this one feels a little like it's waiting for a vocal. But with the questionable tonality, that may not even be possible. Structurally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Pretending for a moment there was no compressor holding back the dynamics, you build and build in the first third of the track, and never reach that level again. I'd expect it to get even bigger or more drawn out a second time, but it never happens. If there's only going to be one climax, maybe you should just flip the whole thing around. I like where you're going with it! Lots of interesting sounds, and I'd be hard pressed to pin it down to a single genre. Keep up the good work!
It's nice to hear your work with a vocalist on it. I need to have a better understanding of the intent of the track to give you the right feedback. If you wanted to reach a pop format, there are some changes. I could use the "changing mirrors" phrase that happens about 1:40 as a repeat every bar or so in the intro, and also at the 1:40 mark. I would process the vocals a little differently as well; more up front, with automated fx moves for certain parts. Overall this as a concept of something commercially viable is much closer then the last track. Feel free to e-mail me, and we can have a back and forth dialog that may be the most productive for you. email@example.com
A galaxy of golden bass. Nice dynamic work with the breakdowns. The drums really deserve to be brought out in this one. Maybe layer the snares a bit with something a little throatier like a dubsteppy snare. and really bring out the attack in the snare you've got now, with a transient designer or something. The glissando-y square(ish) lead seems a bit loud in the mix (it comes in at 2:38 and 4:30). Since you repeat it a few times in a row, you may benefit from some additional automation on filter cutoff or some other effect after it's been presented. Or maybe transpose it up an octave (or, if you're really feeling crazy, just a 5th) for an iteration here or there. Maybe a little more buildup to the ending, too. You've got kind of everything going and then it just stops with a cymbal hit. I think I see what you're going for but it doesn't *quite* feel like the tension/release thing is quite there. Maybe add a riser over the last few measures and really hit that cymbal hit hard. Nicely soundtracky overall. This would be something good to pitch for synch licensing.
Thanks for getting my advice on all three of these! I didn't even see the bad links, so no worries. :) 15 seconds in, this may just be my favorite of the three. You get right down to business! This time, the kick, snare, and bass feel like they could come up just a hair to balance the meaty synths. Hmm... but is that a compressor on the master bus again? I could be totally off, or it could just be SoundCloud's encoding, but the dynamics don't feel as dynamic as they should. Speaking of getting that massive sound, be sure to sidechain against the kick at least a little bit, if you're not already! Not to turn it into progressive house, but just a touch can be transparent and even out levels. The single/octave choppy note parts are interesting, but it still feels like accompaniment for a lead that isn't there. Really cool chopped up drum fill! Trying to follow the chord progression... At first you've just got the bass moving up a half step and then back down, which gets old quick. Then after that odd three-bar break, you've got a four-chord pattern, which is a little more interesting. I probably sound like a broken record now, but it sounds like it's missing the lead. Melodically there isn't enough going on to hold my interest, and every new sound that comes in seems to simply follow the chords in a predictable way. Love the way the arrangement starts to break down around 3:00, with the drum patterns getting chopped up and switched around. Now we're back to the half step chord pattern. It sounds really big, but that big hooverish bass overshadows the drums a tad. Okay, and there's the four chords. Glad you're keeping it moving. Good job maintaining interest in towards the end, with the chopping and broken beats. I'm getting to know all your tricks now! ;) If there isn't going to be a lead on top of this, I say get a little more dramatic in your chopping. Let's hack some holes in the whole mix! How about filtering the whole thing? You don't need to limit yourself to manipulating one or two tracks in the mix. Speaking of filters, I haven't noticed any in any of the three tracks. Another tool for the toolbox? The ending felt spot on this time. Any longer and you'd overstay your welcome. Still, it might be more interesting to build up to an explosion and end on a high note. In closing, I enjoyed all three of the tracks, but wonder if changes in texture alone are enough to maintain the listener's interest. There's a lot of room to experiment with melody or at least chord progressions.
My initial react is like! Has a NIN/Skinny Puppy vibe I dig. My first recommendation would be to find a vocalist; I hear a female. In your B section, the music moves a half step-i would avoid this unless you are making a modulated progression that continues upward (and for this track, that doesn't make sense. For TV tracks, thats a great move to build tension.) The break down parts are a great relief and leave an excellent chance for a vocal hook- as a pre or post chorus. The way is goes starting at 3:40 or so I can imagine as a bridge build, I would work the elements to build tension there. 4:40 brings that mod part back; I think those should be your "verses" and the breaks could be an easy "pre hook." The part that follows makes sense for a hook, you need the vocals to define which direction to take, and then another instrumental element to make the part different/lift from the rest of the song. The entire piece is arranged as an instrumentalist would arrange something; my opinion is to get a vocalist involved, and then take a fresh look at your arrangement overall. Follow me on twitter - @apnmusicgroup - I like where this is headed a lot, and may be able to recommend some vocalists for you, as well as help out with your mix/arrangements. Thanks for sharing!
I'm really town between thumbs up and thumbs down here. This track features nice production, decent mixing, but the real issue I have here is lack of originality. The writing is decent but the synths all sound like presets, right out of the box. The structure is predictable and I think that combo prevents this good track from being great. The switch-up around 1:20 is cool.... but it goes a bit too long without anything changing... and then right back to the virtually the same thing as the beginning. If this track is intended to be used within a dj mix set, the straight forward structure is fine, but I think it could stand some re-working, at least from a sound design perspective. Thumbs up because in the end, it definitely doesn't suck. Cheers.
I can't give you any production feedback, but you should submit this to Brian Trifon (https://fluence.io/brian-trifon), and he'll give you great feedback. So will Brian Hazard (https://fluence.io/colortheory) and Eric Oehler (https://fluence.io/eric-oehler). I like the ominous and energizing nature of this song. Only thing is I wish it switched up more and had a bit more open space to catch my breath in parts. Also, the kick is nice, but it'd be great to isolate it more and make it more pronounced to really spear that feel into my chest.
It's a little difficult to give feedback without knowing the goal of the track. Meaning "what's it for" I think it's off to a decent start, but it needs to go somewhere. It needs to build and take the listener on a ride. Hard to rate without knowing what the end goal is. For all we know you could have create this for a menu screen (which would fit) Always include a destination so you can get accurate targeted responses.
The Dutch Guy