Recent Movie Reviews

"The Waterman Movie" "The Waterman Movie"

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Holy Shit?

The animation was pretty much... professional quality, like you'd see in a real movie. Do you actually have Leslie Nielsen VAing for you? Because I seem to believe you do.

Kind of a rare sight on Newgrounds, really.

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Cold Hands # 2 Cold Hands # 2

Rated 4 / 5 stars

Good style, strange story.

I liked the style of animation, the strange character design, and the wonderful setting, it's very unique for a place like Newgrounds.

I didn't understand the logic behind the story though. It led up to strangeness, but it didn't make sense. Originally I thought he was going to wake up to some prehistoric world, but the world outside the lighthouse remained intact.

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Recent Audio Reviews

The Globe V3 The Globe V3

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Oh man, this is why I favorited you.

I can't wait to hear the finished version of this.

Cahzmana responds:

working hard to complete the composition part.
its still not perfect.
but thanks for your precious time!

Southern Pastures Southern Pastures

Rated 4 / 5 stars

You know shit gets real when you provide a score and conceptual notes, which is, in the end, what matters the most for a competition like this. Not only that, the music is extremely well composed. Things flow into one another and there's a large amount of material presenting a maximalism that is the hallmark of cinematic music.

That being said, I'm not going to kid myself or you by saying it's perfect.

For one thing, the mix holds the emotion back. A lot. The reverb is rather unrealistic, having too much presence in the higher frequencies and having too long of a decay. There also seems to be no equalization or mastering done on this. You could get away with that if your goal was towards the more theoretical classical fringes that exist (Cage, Stockhausen, anything that focuses on experimentation in music theory), but because this is an emotional piece you have to think in terms of the physical product. This is actually not that much of a daunting task - I find that an EQ on the master channel of your library with a very large increase in the upper 1/3 of the spectrum and a medium increase in the lower 1/6th does a lot for you if you're in a pinch (individual track EQing is always better, though). In the case of the highs, this accentuates the hits and spectral identity of each instrument, and in the case of the lows you're adding more oomph to the tails of the percussion.

And, unfortunately the worst of all, there's no identity here. It's generic. And I don't just mean that it sounds like everything else (although it kind of does) - It's well composed and fits the purpose, but nothing about this sounded like the Civil War. At all. There are times where you vaguely take a note from Copland (mallets at 2:23 - 2:35) and give it the American sound and perhaps you try to give it a folkloric edge with the solo violin, but those elements ultimately fall flat in their own separate ways. In the case of the violin, the melody just didn't sound like a Civil War folk tune - and I'm going to remind you that you ACTUALLY CAN STEAL FOLK MELODIES (I'm typing this in caps because there's no bold or italic and I want to stress it as much as possible). Not only that, but you're encouraged to do it. Copland did it. Stravinsky did it - in fact, all the famous Russian composers did it for the very reason I'm telling you to do it here - they wanted to create a sound which was wholly Russian, just like Copland wanted to create a sound that was wholly American. If you want to create a sound that is wholly the embodiment of the civil war, take my advice here and STEAL. It's too late now, of course, but do it in the future any time you're writing a historical tone poem such as this.

Also, don't try to be John Williams. John Williams does what John Williams does because he is, in fact, John Williams. And only John Williams truly knows how to be John Williams.

Despite writing a review that mainly focused on negative elements I am giving you a 4. Mainly because of the score and conceptual notes that show your thought process. I would have written more about what you did right, but you know what you did right.

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deadlyfishes responds:

Thanks for all the feedback here, it is a lot to chew on but you are right, I know what I did right and what needs improvement. I am still tinkering with the mix of the samples and currently doing EQ, I was pretty happy with the mix but I found that it can still be improved.

I had to keep in mind that this will be recorded all by live players when writing this but that has nothing to do with the engineering portion of it.

Also, there is some backstory to how this concept came about. I was assigned to do a project for one of my college film scoring classes and I wanted to do this contest as well so I decided to work towards both since it would fit the project and this contest.

"It's well composed and fits the purpose, but nothing about this sounded like the Civil War. At all."
We had several examples of FILM SCORES of CIVIL WAR movies, and it was mostly meant to be all underscore music in the style of Elmer Bernstien, Gabriel Yared, and some others..

"I'm going to remind you that you ACTUALLY CAN STEAL FOLK MELODIES"
As part of the same project, we had other projects where we wrote SOURCE music that had to be folk melodies, and then write an UNDERSCORE with the folk melody quoted in them in those film compositions. This project was all about creating dramatic underscore for picture. There was no picture for us to see but there were storyboards and scripts etc...

I have changed the title and subtitle several times, and it's REALLY more cinematic than conceptual, but since there are musical sections that represent certain scenarios I did believe it should be considered that. If anything these are more or less sketches of what I could possibly do when I actually end up writing for the actual picture.

I'm not usually so defensive but I just felt like in this case you just didn't know some of the restrictions I had when writing this, and what guidelines I had to abide by for this project. I have two other scores that come from the same projects on the Civil War film and I do cover most of what you were talking about.

And I do agree with you about John Williams, I just can't think of another popular film composer that most people recognize that does that kind of thing with ornamental phrases in action sequences.

There is a lot here I see as a composer that is very lacking and I'm always working to improve. Film and game composers are pretty much bitches and have to do everything the producer wants even if it means we have to make something sound more generic -________-

Clueless (Rextended Mix) Clueless (Rextended Mix)

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

This is pretty much the only good house song on the top 40 or whatever right now. It's near-perfectly mixed, the sound design is great, and there's a very good use of dynamics throughout.

There is a bit of spacial issues going on though, mainly due to slight phase-pan on the chords and the piano that comes in at 2:34. They should probably be panned to the extrema or centered (I'd wager centered). If you change that I think it would just sound much better.

Cahzmana responds:

thanks allot! and you're probably half right, i use a flangus on the chords, and i always do.
i cant just put it down like that, that would ruin the whole depth of the song.
you might probably think right now; depth? with a flangus?
yea man. i dont use it to create a flanger effect.
anyways, i could atleast try the piano idea. probably gonna centre it.

thanks again for your time, kind word none the lé.