This is a guest post from KSHMR announcing the winner of the “Sounds of KSHMR” contest. Participants created an original track using samples from Sounds of KSHMR. In announcing the winners, KSHMR offers detailed feedback on the grand prize winner and five runner ups. Thanks to everyone who participated! Find the original contest page here.
Grand Prize Winner – Leroy & Nykko vs LoaX
Works: Next Level was the most well-produced submission I heard. It was unique how they delivered a “call and response” type drop using the “Atom” style percussive bass sound and the “Mammoth” style lead. The melody is dark and moody but still exciting. I could see myself playing this live.
Needs work: To really take this track all the way, my one suggestion would be this: add a new melody in the second breakdown to keep things exciting. Maybe something dark that will make the track tell more of this haunted story we hear in the drop.
Works: I thought it was awesome how he flipped the Omnislash melody. It has a whole different feel and still grooves. The drop catches you off guard in a great way. The use of orchestral elements is really well done and combines effortlessly with the regular drum samples.
Needs work: The mix overall could be brightened a little bit. On the drop especially I wanted to hear the main synth bright and in front of me, with a more percussive transient on each note it played. That way the melody is more defined and catchier.
Works: The main synth line really grooves and feels great the whole time. The mix is professional. I love the way synth LFOs are automated and go crazy before the drop
Needs work: Overall, I think the track needed some diversity. The beginning uses the Hans Zimmer style horns from my pack which is cool to start with — although unfortunately I think people might be starting to abuse them a little bit — but it needs a switch up half way through the song to stay interesting. Of course, this could be due to the fact he lost access to his music computer and had to use the most recent bounce he had. Taking that into consideration, it’s pretty damn good.
Works: The main melody is great. It feels good and it’s catchy too. The kick and bass work well together. The arrangement is interesting, with a half build around 2/3rds into the song.
Needs work: I think we hear the main melody too much overall. After the first drop, I’d like to hear it get a little darker and more mysterious before returning to the uplifting main melody. The staccato strings at (1:38) feel a little uninspired. After a while they sound repetitive and too in front of the mix.
Works: The break melody (0:30) is great, catchy and interacts well with the chords. The synths he picked for that section are good as well. The transition at (1:15) as we get ready for the drop feels just right, the filtered lead is an excellent choice there. The drop has some great elements too, especially the fills going into it and throughout serve really well to keep things exciting.
Needs work: Something feels off about the mix on the drop. The main lead is perhaps a little too front of everything else. This could be the sidechain, its reverb or simply it’s volume. Maybe a combination of all 3. On the breakdown I would personally do some kind of switch up; for instance, at (1:30) I want to hear the pads and bass break from the sustained noted and do a more punchy, staccato take on the melody a la Secrets to break up the monotony a little bit. The second break, while not identical, feels a little copy and pasted from the first one. I would try switching up a bit more, maybe introducing a new synth to play the break melody.