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3.7 MB
4 min 1 sec
4.28 / 5.00

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Rated 4.28 / 5 stars
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39,268 Plays | 2,678 Downloads
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Author Comments

EDIT (19/5/12) - Tomppaah was awesome enough to master this so I've uploaded his mastered version. Please go check out his music - a lot of his tracks are in a similar style to this and he has some really amazing stuff.


Wow, this took me ages. I started it on the 15th of January and now, on the 8th of February, I can finally call it done! Be prepared for a long-ass description

Right then, this here is my fourth ever full orchestral song, for the Orchestral MAC BrokenDeck is organising. I think it's my best too - Land of Kings isn't even comparable to this, and I don't think Journey to the Afterlife and Legend are better either. I tried focusing on three main things - composition, realism and instrumentation.

This song probably has some of the best composition I've ever done. It explores six different keys and two time signatures, and I've also worked very hard on the harmony and transitions. It has loads of mood changes too, since I wanted the song to tell a story. Basically *my* idea was of a person who constantly kept getting into danger and worked desperately to find a sanctuary, which he does find at the end. I'd write a scene but I guess the story should be left to the interpretation of the listener.

As for realism, I know it's not such a high factor the MAC judges take into consideration but I still worked a lot on it. I gave woodwinds occasional pauses, as if the players are stopping for breath, pretty much every note has a different velocity and doesn't start exactly at the right time (for humanising purposes), I tried loads of new orchestral effects such as flute trills and grace notes, and I played the harp intro and piano solo myself on my synth. The first part of the harp intro is actually improvised. The massive amount of volume and tempo automations helped too... And so did the realistic East/West samples :P.

And lastly I worked on arrangement and instrumentation. I've got 49 East/West instruments loaded (it was a KILLER for my CPU) and I tried to touch every part of the standard orchestra (Woodwind, Brass, Strings, Percussion and Choir). I even added things like guitars and pianos which aren't part of the standard orchestra.

So, as for the instruments, I used violins, violas, cellos, double basses, trombones, French horns, trumpets, flutes, oboes, a subtle choir, bass drums, taikos, shakers, tambourines, gongs, cymbals, snares, timpanis, bongos (djembe), a guitar, a mandolin, a harp, a piano, and some subtle drone effects to add to the atmosphere. Everything's from East/West - snare/timpani and the standard orchestra instruments are from Symphonic Orchestra, all other percussion's from Stormdrum and the guitar and mandolin are from Ra.

Also, as for the credits, I've got too many to name since so many people gave me feedback on this one which I improved on, although camoshark certainly deserves a mention for helping me IMMENSELY with many chords in the song (like those brass chords after the harp intro - those took like an hour, haha) and giving me all the feedback a guy could ask for.

Echo deserves a mention too for also giving me tonnes of feedback! And lastly thanks to samulis for giving me ideas for the 3/4 to 4/4 change. I didn't use the ideas though even though I planned to. I just decided to go for a more generic transition since the project file was lagging like crazy.

So, after 49 instruments, 45 automation clips, 200 patterns, 93 bars and nearly a month of work, here's Sanctuary. Fun fact: there used to be 199 patterns but due to OCD I wanted 200 so I added a timpani roll at the very end :3.

Wish me luck in the competition. I probably won't win because there are some geniuses like PeterSatera, Bosa, Echo, Computer112, blackattackbitch, samulis, etc... taking part, but I'm aiming to get in the Top 8 at least! Enjoy, and feedback is very much appreciated.



Rated 5 / 5 stars

This was so good I downloaded it twice because I had forgotten I had downloaded it the first time xD
But yeah, holy crap this is some good stuff! - On many levels! It sounds amazing, it feels.. Enchanting, even!

Trying to figure out how I would explain this song, I guess I would say it's kind of as if it starts off building energy, and just goes all out balls to the wall in the middle with a few short pauses as if it's an living and especially inhaling being! Then at the end when it's done with the outbursts, it's as if it just sorta dies out with the last of it... Then it starts over again because I have it on repeat :P

But yeah, amazing work, really really great song and you did really well on giving this song life and soul.

Step responds:

Hey, sorry for taking ages to reply. NG still doesn't notify you of any new reviews...

I'm really glad you think it sounds amazing! Comparing it to a living being is a pretty badass compliment too :3. Thanks a lot for leaving this review!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

This one of the most developed "epic" orchestral pieces I've listened to on Newgrounds. And as a classical music lover with a musician boyfriend (thus, forced to go to a BUNCH of wind and orchestra concerts), this sounds like one of those pieces that directors would usually have their symphony ensemble perform. Reading from your description...I mind as well not point of what you already have said, but simply say, good job ;) Keep it up, I'll be looking at more of your work.

Definitely would be great by itself, in a short, or in a game.

Step responds:

Haha you speak about going to wind/orchestra concerts like it's a bad thing! :P

I'm thrilled that you think this sounds like a piece you'd hear played by an ensemble. Having a track of mine played by some sort of orchestra is something of a silly dream of mine - I know it'll never happen but nevertheless I think it would be absolutely incredible.

Thanks for the feedback!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I dont always review but you qinned congrats as the others ars saying this qill be the peak of a movue or story part iof some game o you can make your wnstory ok godd
God luck

Step responds:

Typos much? :P

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reviewing!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

I think everyone is wrong!
This belongs in the intro of an RPG or an MMORPG or any medieval game that begins cheery and happy.

A movie is cool too, but this is only 4 minutes.
A separate story can go with it, but imagine playing that story instead.

5 stars, you have talent, use it wisely since it gets harder to find talent every year.
Good luck!

Step responds:

Haha, could be! I didn't make this with any intention of it being used anywhere but it can fit in different scenarios I guess :P.

Thanks a lot for the review!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

So, so BEAUTIFUL. It's a really great and emotional piece. I know you've put a lot of effort for this one. I may not be able to make music, but I know good stuff when I hear one.

And thank you to firethunderclash for the imaginative story! It really suits the song!

*p.s Somebody should really make a movie out of this. ;)

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Thanks a lot man! I'm surprised you find it emotional because I never actually put any emotion into my works; I just try and go with whatever sounds cool. Still, I'm happy with that!

Yeah, firethunderclash wrote a really fitting story. And I'd obviously be absolutely honoured if someone made a movie for this but I doubt that will ever happen, haha.

Thanks a lot for reviewing!