Thanks for the comments, all! I actually had a good amount of free time at work today (lull before the new semester starts), so I tried to listen and relisten to get together some specific, potentially actionable feedback. After the fact, I now realize it likely comes off as just a wall of text, so here’s a disclaimer: I genuinely enjoyed them all, and certainly don’t claim to be any more of an authority than anyone else here. I just wanted to share my perspectives since we’re all (hopefully) doing this to grow, and different perspectives help us do that! Tl;dr take w/ grain of salt and I love you all:
floflo79 - Fun track, and fits the theme quite well! The strength of this style of production imo is how much clarity it offers more active/complex melodic lines, though, and I’d love to see this with a bit more emphasis on that throughout (which is utilized really well in the outro!).
Basisti94 - Very impressive (especially if you haven’t touched this genre before)! Has a really nice energy to it, and doesn’t feel overly generic at all. The first shift to major at 0:17 felt a tad bit jarring after the decidedly minor intro, but I did still really enjoy the variation in sections, and it didn’t feel as out of place by the end.
PaperCoelacanth - SUPER crisp production; I’m very much about this. The melodies are incredibly fun, and I love both the ⅞ breakdown and the way in which you transition it back into 4/4. Well done!!
Danilo Ciaffi - I like the intensity and overall production, and feel that this fits the theme pretty well! Not super sure how well the clarinet voice meshes with the rest of the production, though; I’d love to hear that on something with a clearer attack and tone to cut through. Maybe some kind of mallet-like voice?
SlashBib - Nice production! Has a very fitting tone for the theme, and builds gradually and organically enough to give the track a sense of motion without interfering with the sense of place. I think that while the melody isn’t super active, it’s fitting for the style; that’s not to say it couldn’t be a bit more varied, though! I feel like a small change to the melody at 0:54 could go a long way in contributing to the otherwise stellar sense of motion of the track.
SMAC88 - Pretty crisp! Is the low-pass section at 0:54 meant to represent the submarine tunnel section you mentioned? Because if so, I love me some low-pass for underwater sections. Would definitely be interested to see an additional stem or two that comes in on top of it, though; it’s hard to say independently of the sound design of the game it’d be in, but it might be able to use some more interest in addition to the shift in tone there.
Tremendouz - This is some great VST metal production! And I do like the synth melody when it comes in, though I would definitely like to hear more of it, both in terms of mix (I actually almost didn’t notice it the first time) and duration.
Avaruussaha - Yo this is hype. Maintains melodic interest and intensity throughout without being too in your face, and provides a really nice, varying texture while keeping the mood consistent and appropriate. Solid track!
Jmdamigamusic - Solid groove! I’m always impressed at what people can do within Amiga limitations. I’m a little thrown off by the harmony though; not sure if the bass voice is just super out of tune, but it sounds like a C#/Db minor pentatonic groove in the bass with D minor pentatonic in the guitars? I could see it being kind of hip when the offbeat D first comes in, but it felt pretty dicey to me when the full D pentatonic groove came in, especially with the C on those downbeats. May have been an intentional creative decision, but especially when they’re all in such a similar register, it came off to me as a bit too muddy and confusing for what’s otherwise a really nice standard minor pentatonic groove. If it IS intentional and you’re going for that crunch, maybe try moving the part that comes in at 0:39 up an octave?
Thanks if you've read this far lmao, sorry again. This was a really impressive round, and particularly difficult to decide for a few. Great job, everyone!