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Credits & Info

Date
06/10/2013
File Info
Song
9.8 MB
4 min 17 sec
Score
4.28 / 5.00

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Licensing Terms

Attribution:
You must give credit to the artist.
Noncommercial:
You may not use this work for commercial purposes unless you make specific arrangements with the artist.
Share Alike:
If you alter, transform, or build upon this image, you may distribute the resulting creation only under a license identical to this one.
Score:
Rated 4.28 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
4,497 Plays | 441 Downloads
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Genres:
Electronic - Ambient
Tags:
space
planet
biodome
ngmt

Author Comments

This track is for the NGMT contest that's currently going on. It's split into three rounds, and each round has a different theme and challenge. I couldn't take part in Round 1 since I had A-Levels but after I finished them I just had to take a shot at this round. I even asked Echo to help out, so this was a pretty ambitious project, especially since the challenge of this round was to make a track in 3 days! The theme which our tracks had to follow was:
"Biodome - On a new planet or future earth where the surrounding environment is hostile, a biodome is a place where normal life can still exist."

And we had this awesome artwork to inspire us:
http://goo.gl/FwwXa
http://goo.gl/GF4jo

The contest runs on a system of votes; whoever takes part is allowed to give in one vote. 16 people took part, 13 people gave in their votes, and this got a total of 4 votes, which was enough to win Round 2! There were plenty of other tracks who deserved to win though, and to be honest I'm surprised this actually came out on top!

For this track, I used:
East/West Symphonic Orchestra Silver
Omnisphere
Sytrus
Vengeance

And Echo used:
East/West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum
East/West Symphonic Choirs
VOXOS
Cinebrass

We worked like crazy on this track. It was started a day late, so we only had two days. Over the course of those two days I worked on the track for a total of about 15 hours, and that's not even factoring in the amount of hours Echo worked on it as well!

Props to whoever got the object-oriented programming reference in the title by the way :3.

Hope you enjoy it!

Reviews


stunkelstunkel

Rated 5 / 5 stars October 5, 2013

Okay... I promised I would do a review for you on this song, so here we go. I plan on making this a good one and worth your time. You give everyone a kickass review, you don't give a "This sounds good LOL" or a "Nice work man!" you pour everything into it. So I'm going to give you the best I can give! I have heard this before and I thought it was near perfect, so it might take me a few listens to find some flaws... but I will find them... even if I die trying.... WELP HERE WE GO ^_^

First off, omnisphere is freaking amazing. I feel like the reason you asked me to review this song is because you are trying to convince me further to buy omnisphere, and I think the way you use it's instruments on this song alone may have pushed me over the edge to where I am hanging on by one finger (my lack of money and CCC2 are keeping me on barely) But the more I listen to it, the more I want to get it x_x. This song is so atmospheric and creates a world unlike any other, the elements that you pull into the song from synth pads to what I thought would be a secret agent song, BUT NOPE, you went to some ethnic song to cinematic to secret agent for real, to... an atmosphere and vision that I can't describe. There is so much to this song, so many dynamics in composition and instrumentation and playing. I think I may have hit Nirvana while listening to this it is so immersive. And you two made it in just 3 days?? I honestly have nothing but praise for this song.

Let's go into the composition. I REALLY wish I hadn't heard this before reviewing so i could really just lose myself completely when listening to this (best way to listen to music in my opinion, and it's partially a reason why I think electronic is so awesome, it's very easy to just fall into the atmosphere created). But anyways, the start of the piece makes me feel nothingness and just going no where, I'm actually a little stuck while writing this review because I don't know what else to say... The use of the symphonic orchestra strings in the beginning as pads was a really nice touch. They can blend REALLY well with the electronic genre, and I personally think that you nailed it. The piano gives off a bit of life to the song and it really makes me feel like the song is growing as a person... is that weird? HA I WAS KIDDING? HA? The little radio effect you put on the piano makes it feel like it's smaller than it really is and really does have a great build into the next part with the heavier electronic drums.

The song has a bit of an evolution to it. Start off in a world of mystery then a build in evolution, and discovery. The electronic drums bring in the feeling of evolution and progression, and the acoustic guitar really brings in a very interesting vibe to the song. It was an interesting choice as well... On paper if you were to play a song like this and say "I want to throw an acoustic guitar in there" then I would probably disagree or let alone even try it, but it actually worked beautifully and it totally threw me off as to where the piece was going to be going. I think the effects you threw on it really made it sound nice and blended well with the track. The transition out of it with the sliding guitar into the next part is just awesome with synth going doo dee doo dee doo dee (1:46) The doo dees was playing earlier in the song and playing it at the end there after that part was an awesome idea. (I have no idea why that stuck out with me so much)

What's great about this song is, no matter how different you make it, it stays to it's electronic/cinematic roots. I think it's great when songs change things up and go from one genre to the complete opposite, but here I think the fact that you kept it semi electronic the entire time was a nice touch. And of course for the competition with the Biodome, the song should stay electronic and it really does fit it perfectly.

On to the next part! These transitions where you just let the song sit and play some synth pads in the background are really showing off the songs compositional dynamics and make the bigger parts of the song pop way more. Great compositional technique there good sir! And it isn't in a way where I am just waiting around for the next part to come or I am listening to just one chord, there are little chord changes here and there to immerse me into the song and change things up for me. And that really brings a nice cinematic element to the entire track.

I love the staccato strings (cello?) coming in at 2:05. Like I just said two sentences ago, it brings in that cinematic feel to it. However I think that maybe they could come out a little bit more. They seem to be very quiet and are a great addition to the song, so why not turn it up a bit more :p I love how you bring the piano back in at 2:16, it's not the same melody, but it gives off the same feel as before. Sometimes even putting in the same exact melody as was played before is cool because people have heard it before and it gives them a connection that they had earlier in the song. It's obviously not something they would get hooked on, but you get what I mean.

Although you change up the melody and the instruments, I still notice a little bit of the same theme play throughout everything in the entire song. That is some nice composition right there. Changing up the melody a little bit and spreading it across more instruments and such. Again it gives people that little connection from one part to the next, and maybe that is why this song flows together so well, because everything can be connected in one way or another.

Okay this might be a little nitpicky, but for some reason, the brass at 2:27 sound like they are a little too lonesome. They do pick up eventually but for that one moment they sound like they are a little too by themselves and there isn't too much going on there. There is a lot going on, but it feels empty when it shouldn't be. Maybe just adding in a little bit of background instruments like you did throughout the rest of the song would be a nice touch. The little background noises are so subtle but at the same time they have such a big impact to the final piece. It can really make or break the piece. Again, just nitpicking a bit. The drums picking up more while the song plays is just freaking awesome man. It does it so subtly too which is awesome, the first time listening i caught myself bobbing my head more and I didn't even know why.

The ending is just epic man. The part with the choir at 2:50 was awesome. The only thing that bugged me was that the last part didn't go on long enough! It was such a good part and it deserves more time! Keep on building on it as that part goes. A key change could have been epic, the ending is definitely the most cinematic part of the entire piece and it would have tied in greatly! Maybe you could have played the ending play once with an instrument replacing the choir, and then have a key change where the choir comes back in. Just an idea! And of course, ending with a solo piano and synth pads. It gives me an empty feeling, the piano ending is a little cliche, but it works so well (hell, i'm guilty of it too :P). It really does work well and no one can deny that XD

Hey guys, I had a blast reviewing this song. The melodies were powerful and they really speak to the listener. The song changes up in ways that I can't wrap my head around. I just had some small little problems with the song, but it's the nittiest of the picks that I am making on the song :p Just some stuff based off what I might have done differently really. Most of the track sounds very realistic (where there was orchestra anyways) and the electronic parts were mixed in very nicely. There are some parts throughout the song where some instruments sound very quantized like the staccato strings at 2:05, or even the spiccatto strings at 2:16. Well I've been rambling on quite a bit, but I think this is an outstanding track. Great work guys, this is probably my longest review yet, and there is a lot of fluff, but I had a lot of fun doing it! Oh and btw, throughout all of the times listening to the song, I never really got bored of it, so that's another plus. Nice work guys, you two work very well together!

5/5

-Ryan


People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

OK wow this is just crazy. You promised a longer review than your previous one, but I expected maybe 3 or 4 paragraphs max and then BAM, 10 HUGE PARAGRAPHS (and 5/5, and -Ryan) OUT OF NOWHERE. This is incredible and you are absolutely awesome for writing what seems to be the biggest and most detailed review I've ever received.

I don't even know where to start! But a detailed review like this deserves a detailed response so HERE WE GO.

"First off, omnisphere is freaking amazing."

I know ;_;. The reason I asked you to review this wasn't really because I think you should get Omnisp-screw this, of course it was ^_^. Well, partly, at least. Omnisphere is just the best thing since sliced bread and while it doesn't help that much for pure orchestral or tracks which are supposed to sound realistic, it has such a huge variety of sounds that it's impossible for someone not to find a use for it.

"This song is so atmospheric and creates a world unlike any other"

I'm proud of the atmosphere in this track and I think that it's so atmospheric compared to my other works because of the fact that I originally intended for this to be ambient, but then halfway through I kinda realised I had no idea what I was doing in the genre (a notion which was verified once I made the track explode with over 20 instruments playing at one go towards the end).

"But anyways, the start of the piece makes me feel nothingness and just going no where"

Nothingness and emptiness is totally something I was aiming for, mostly in the intro and outro. It's such an awesome feeling/atmosphere to depict in a track. Glad you caught that message!

"The use of the symphonic orchestra strings in the beginning as pads was a really nice touch. They can blend REALLY well with the electronic genre, and I personally think that you nailed it."

Strings are some of the most dynamic instruments I find. Not as much as piano, of course, but I find that strings can work in a lot of genres.

"On paper if you were to play a song like this and say "I want to throw an acoustic guitar in there" then I would probably disagree or let alone even try it, but it actually worked beautifully and it totally threw me off as to where the piece was going to be going."

I'm not entirely sure why I added that acoustic guitar. I think it might be because I'm a bit more adept at using real instruments than synths, so you'll find that the instruments that carry the melody in this track are always real instruments - strings, brass, piano, guitar, etc. I thought it would be better to play it safe in that department because whenever I make songs whose main instrument is a synth it often doesn't sound that great (unless that synth is a square synth but it's PISS EASY to make a synth sound based out of square waves to sound awesome).

"synth going doo dee doo dee doo dee (1:46)"

Oh I'm happy you noticed that! It's an FL Studio preset which I heavily detuned and distorted. Wasn't sure what to do with it so brain was like "DOO DEE DOO DEE DOO DEE" and I was like "k".

"What's great about this song is, no matter how different you make it, it stays to it's electronic/cinematic roots. "

I don't usually have genre switches in my tracks (or if I do, they're usually forced). Although I do try and have a few mood switches, which I hope this track had!

"And it isn't in a way where I am just waiting around for the next part to come or I am listening to just one chord, there are little chord changes here and there to immerse me into the song and change things up for me.

Hell yeah, this is what I wanted to hear. Ambience is hard for me to make since I'm constantly worried that if I keep everything low-key and without much happening, it'll get boring.

"I love the staccato strings (cello?) coming in at 2:05. Like I just said two sentences ago, it brings in that cinematic feel to it. However I think that maybe they could come out a little bit more."

That's Echo's part. I agree, he should have turned them up a little more haha. They are pretty awesome. Maybe their rhythm might've clashed with the rhythm of the drums if they were louder, dunno.

"I love how you bring the piano back in at 2:16, it's not the same melody, but it gives off the same feel as before."

That's another one of Echo's ideas. He has a habit of using piano in quiet sections and I shouldn't be complaining because he generally does a good job with it haha.

"Okay this might be a little nitpicky, but for some reason, the brass at 2:27 sound like they are a little too lonesome."

Oh right, now that I think about it that's a good point. I felt like Echo's brass work is awesome but sounds a bit empty and dynamically flat at times.

"The drums picking up more while the song plays is just freaking awesome man."

Woo thanks!

"The ending is just epic man. The part with the choir at 2:50 was awesome. The only thing that bugged me was that the last part didn't go on long enough!"

Yeahhh, you're not the first to mention this for sure. I actually think you're like the fourth or fifth haha. Totally my bad.

"And of course, ending with a solo piano and synth pads. It gives me an empty feeling, the piano ending is a little cliche, but it works so well (hell, i'm guilty of it too :P). It really does work well and no one can deny that XD"

Yeah man it's entirely cliché but I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF ;_;. I had to do it, and it's been getting mixed opinions. Some people hate how it ends, others say it's the best way to end the track.

"it's the nittiest of the picks that I am making on the song :p"

Nittiest of picks... I'm definitely stealing that one.

"There are some parts throughout the song where some instruments sound very quantized like the staccato strings at 2:05, or even the spiccatto strings at 2:16."

Yup - johnfn and SkyeWintrest mentioned the quantized thing. Certainly an oversight on Echo's part. What a dumbass :3.

"Well I've been rambling on quite a bit, but I think this is an outstanding track. Great work guys, this is probably my longest review yet, and there is a lot of fluff, but I had a lot of fun doing it! Oh and btw, throughout all of the times listening to the song, I never really got bored of it, so that's another plus. Nice work guys, you two work very well together!"

Yeah, I really don't know what to say other than THANK YOU SO MUCH for the incredibly detailed and helpful review. That was awesome and I feel like all the cookies in the world wouldn't be enough to repay you.

THANKSSSS.


SkyeWintSkyeWint

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars August 7, 2013

Hi. I'm going to nitpick the hell out of this because there are few major things to comment on. Be warned, there will be no mercy at all. Period.

The Good:
-Intro is nice, I like that kinda little glitchy sound along with the background ambiance. Definitely not Omnisphere there right? c:
-Plenty of little details everywhere such as the little subtle drum fills in the intro.
-The buildup to 0:46 is niiiiice, the release there is great too.
-I still love those bitcrushed high-hats starting at 0:46.
-The two main melodies are very good, very nice-sounding and soothing overall, even in the 'epic' zone.
-White noise sweep leading up to 1:20 is very nice.
-I particularly like the synth arp at 1:26.
-I love the little reversed mechanical groan-like noises at about 1:52-2:05. Would they happen to be filtered bass drums?
-The overall flow of the piece is wonderful. Two nice rises and falls. Classic.
-2:50 I've said this before, but DAT CHOIR BE SEXY.
-Transitions are fine. As I said, the buildup and releases are good, the overall flow is wonderful, and the transitions get in the way not at all.
-The final climax isn't TOO short IMO, though it is a bit on the short side.
-All those effects, you really brought in the motherload this time. Where the hell did you get all of those.
-The ending is nice, I'm glad you finally brought back that piano riff.

The Not-So-Good:
-Unfortunately, by 0:46 that hit is getting a tad bit overused, awesome as it is. Also by about 0:46, it would have been lovely if there were some melodic development. Y'know, not just the atmosphere (as nice as it is).
-The release on the Cryogenic Freeze pad is a tad quick and sharp at 0:51-0:54 for my tastes. It just dies VERY quickly. After that, I do like how it builds up in the background. However, it would have been nice if the release were extended a little bit.
-There is very little melodic development at all. While I understand that this is meant to be more ambient, that doesn't mean there can't be melodic and thematic development. Ambient is NOT solely about atmosphere.
-The electronic synth that comes in at 1:08 gets off-key in the background at 1:18.
-YOU USED THE EFFECT AGAIN AT 1:20 AND 1:42. Effects are nice, but one thing to remember is not to go overboard with them.
-In the climaxes, the mixing sometimes overpowers other elements, such as the bitcrushed high-hats during 1:20-1:42. They're fairly underneath the rest of the mix, only barely coming out mainly when they're allowed into the high end of the chat.
-I also notice about the synth arp which I said I like (at 1:26 and other places) that it has a bit of a lead-in sound, which almost sounds like a mistake.
-Stop using that effect everywhere. You're using it like you used to use cymbal rolls. Just. Stahp.
-The spiccato strings at 2:05-2:25 sound very quantized and inhuman.
-Now for something I don't normally say - more advanced composition theory. The melodies from about 2:05-2:50 are disconnected from the other parts of the music. They are simply filler - lead-ins for the rest. Before that, there was a decrease in tension which works. However, beyond 2:05 there should be *something*.
-johnfn is absolutely right. In the second climax there's even more drowning-out of other instruments, particularly the bass. But overall, the mix is just plain stressed and I can barely hear any of the effects and stuff. You say I have a muddy mix sometimes where instruments are drowned out, but holy crap man. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Overall: Great ideas, spectacular ambiance and atmosphere, flow is spot-on. On the other hand, there are some mixing problems, you obtained a replacement for your cymbal roll, and there's extremely little melodic development. As far as I can hear, there are precisely two points where each main melody is played, and the rest of it is filler as far as composition goes. You did a spectacular job, but you CAN do better. Ecosystem was far more impressive in terms of composition, though when it comes to atmosphere and effects it loses by far.

Good luck!


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Step responds:

Ugh my god I wrote a massive, massive response to this, but it didn't post and now I lost it! x_x

Basically, my main points were:

1.) THANK YOU for the enormous review. This is seriously helpful, and just like with johnfn I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this.
2.) Yup that intro glitch effect is Omnispheah!
3.) Those 1:52 things are all Omnisphere's work!
4.) All those effects are Vengeance and Omnisphere playing together in beautiful harmony :3.
5.) I'm glad you like that ending. Two people said it was lame and others - including you - said it was a great way to end the track. Controversy controversy controversy.
6.) YEAH SAY HELLO TO MY REPLACEMENT FOR CYMBAL ROLLS MUAHAHAHA.
7.) 0:51's release is pretty sharp, you're right. Would be cooler if I kept it ringing a little more.
8.) The off-key things I can't quite hear because my musical ear suuuucks.
9.) You're right about the melodic development. I thought that having each main melody repeated twice was good enough, and didn't bother developing them more, although in hindsight some more development would have been nice.
10.) The quantized spiccato strings are totally Echo's fault :3.
11.) The melodies from 1:52 to 2:50 are all Echo's work. I suppose it's the risk of doing collaborations - sometimes the result may turn into a conflict of ideas.
12.) The thing about the elements being drowned out in the second climax is that it really is quite intentional. Reason being, there are like over 20 sounds playing in there (minus drums). We've got the foreground strings, two background strings samples, the pad-with-the-small-release, the distorted-bass-drum-thing, two arps, a foreground choir, a background male choir, a background female choir, a guitar playing bass notes, a square pluck playing three syncopated notes at the beginning of each bar, the bass, the piano, the glitch effect used at the beginning and various other miscellaneous effects.
It's impossible for me to be able to make each element clear, but Echo gave me such a big buildup I had to give it a massive sound. I went for a "throw in as many sounds as possible that contribute to the overall sound" rather than "throw in a bunch of sounds and make each one clear". The only few I wanted to be actually clear in the second climax are the kick, snare, bass, foreground choir, foreground strings and to an extent the piano. Apart from that, I wanted everything else to just contribute to the atmosphere, even if it's done indirectly and in an unclear manner. The bass was a bit drowned out which was my fault though. Also I wanted everything in the first climax to be clear so I have no excuse for that. x_x

So yeah I've responded to pretty much every major point here. Thanks a LOT for such a wonderfully detailed and helpful review! I'm too busy right now to spend time fixing stuff in here, but your review and johnfn really gives me every reason to make an extended version of this with everything fixed and more melodic development.

THANKS THANKS THANKS.


johnfnjohnfn

Rated 5 / 5 stars July 27, 2013

Alright, well Step left this absolutely massive review on my piece a while back, and I would embarrass myself if I just let this piece go by without at least saying something on it. Plus he has this ability to pick up on tons of details, so I thought I'd give that a try too. I don't have a lot of critique because the song is REALLY good, so I'll just walk through the song and point out my thoughts at the time.

But before that, can I just say that I never hand out 10s? Or rather, it's incredibly rare... Some people just hand them out like candy. I just checked - in my last 50 reviews I gave exactly two other 10s. And it was a real beast of a song. (I feel like people take down the songs that I vote 10 on, because they're too good to be here or something.) So...

So yeah this is a really awesome song. Unlike you guys I had no doubts this was going to take first place. It was head and shoulders above the rest. Don't let all my compliments get to your head though. :D OK down to the nitty gritty.

This song is really based off of two really beautiful parts, the acoustic guitar section at 1:20 and the buildup/vocal climax at 2:50. The rest of the song moves through ambience and filters. Although you listed it as an Ambient piece I'm not totally sure I buy that - it seems a little too explosive to be ambient. Cinematic is probably the best bet. But this is just a total nitpick!

We start off with this one leitmotif (I was going to write riff, but that would make me look unintelligent) that we'll hear again later (at 1:57). I thought this was a very clever way to unify a song that, without it, might sound a little disjointed. It also introduces a little bit of tension into the song. And can I say that the attention to detail with the effects is really well done. One thing that really intrigued me about the first almost-minute of the song is that it's not particularly melodically interesting (this is totally fine btw, it happens a lot in ambient music), but it doesn't get boring. I think this is accomplished though a lot of great attention to detail - adding effects here and there, having little echoing taps in the background, etc.

We only really start getting some melodic stuff around :55 with a really nice sounding muted instrument (what is it?) on top of some nice filtered panning percussion. Again this isn't saying anything melodically profound but I think that it establishes a really nice atmosphere. And the percussion is just awesome!

Running up to the guitar solo we have this tiny white noise build up (1:17) that IMO was really tastefully done. I've started to dislike white noise cause it heralds bad edm (I am a particularly egregious violator) but I was impressed by how in this case it makes the song feel very airy and atmospheric.

Something I didn't even realize until I listened to the song closer is that the guitar solo at 1:33 is actually the same melody as the vocal stuff that comes later at 2:50. It really says a lot about production and instrument choice that the first solo sounds chill and the second one sounds like the most epic and beautiful thing ever.

I really like the acoustic guitar solo. It's the first hint that the song is going somewhere special. It has some really nice attention to detail with the slides. There's a nice filtered arpeggio in the background too. Something I didn't even notice until like the 6th listen is that there's also a really subtle countermelody on top - sounds like some sort of plucked instrument/synth. This gives it a lot of depth - and can I just applaud your mixing at this point for fitting all that stuff in. But what makes it particularly special is the beats! It sounds to me like there are two layers - a normal layer and a filtered layer. The filtered stuff gives this great mysterious/open/techy feel to the whole solo while the normal layer drives it forward.

Alright, moving on. Oh God, this review is getting long. I have to say though, applying the Step Review Process (TM) has given me a lot of appreciation for details.

I'm really loving the techy beats at 2:20... the little synth in the lower registers really adds a lot to the feel there. And then suddenly brass! Your handling of the orchestra is great. The brass adds a lot of tension, asking to be resolved in some giant explosion, which it is.

Dissecting the climax at 2:50 is really hard - so much is going on! The vocals are just amazing, first of all. (What are they saying?) I'm crazy jealous of the speaking choir. The melody is matched with what sounds like an entire orchestra. The beats are strong without being overpowering. One of my favorite bits is the little "drop drop drop" in the high registers. It's a subtle idea that adds a lot of atmosphere.

One of my favorite bits of the climax is how it's presented - we drop into it suddenly with almost no warning (besides the brass). In a world where your average edm song has a 1 minute build up to a lame climax, this decision was probably my favorite of the entire track.

One minor critique at this point - it sounds like the bass in the climax has been totally drowned out by the rest of the sounds.

One thing that I would like to bring up is that I feel like the post-climax section of the song drops away from 'epic' too suddenly. I hear this a lot in Step's songs actually, because I feel like he's scared to make you get bored of the great melody - a valid concern! My suggestion is that you can pad it out just a little bit by dropping almost everything and then playing the same melody on a single flute or something. This idea comes from the song Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros - they have this epic melody, and then once it's all done, they have some silence, and then a single flute plays the melody. It's a really great idea, makes it sound like the melody will live on even after the battle is over, or whatever. Something to think about!

Like I said, I don't hand out 10/10s. I try to reserve them for songs that either knock me off my feet or inspire me in some way. This one did both. Keep up the work you two.


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Step responds:

SWEET JESUS. I saw "1 New" written down near my reviews count on my projects page and I thought "oh cool a new review". I reached for the mouse and went to check out my reviews feed and BAM I nearly fell off my chair.

This is insanely detailed, even more so than my reviews usually are. It must be the second largest review I have ever received. I have hypothesised that you have either bribed Echo for the project file, or have invented a device that can read my mind, because you pointed out details and things that I had previously thought only I knew about (hell, some things I had to cross-check with my project file to verify since I wasn't even sure myself!).

This review is too big to do my quote-respond procedure so I'll just quote a few important bits off your review and respond to them separately.

"But before that, can I just say that I never hand out 10s? Or rather, it's incredibly rare..."

Damn, now I feel special. To be honest I give out 10s like candy on free candy day (unless it's NGADM reviewing, in which case it's much harder to get a 10 out of me because that's srs bsns), generally because firstly if I can't find anything to critique in a track (which is rare) I'd unquestionably give out a 10, and secondly because it takes a pretty major issue to bring my score down from 10 (I start from 10 and stay bringing it down with each major issue I find). I'm thinking of becoming harsher with my scores in the near future though.

"This song is really based off of two really beautiful parts, the acoustic guitar section at 1:20 and the buildup/vocal climax at 2:50."

I'm glad you noticed that; those are, so to speak, the two "main" sections that most everything else builds up to. However, I tried to make the section at 0:56 a little important too since I use it to end the track.

"Although you listed it as an Ambient piece I'm not totally sure I buy that - it seems a little too explosive to be ambient. Cinematic is probably the best bet. But this is just a total nitpick!"

Yeah I guess you're right. I just wanted to pretend I made ambient for once because I secretly suck horribly at ambient. c: This was actually supposed to be an ambient attempt at first but that quickly started to change with the introduction of the guitar section, and was shot out of sheer existence with the 2:50 climax haha.

"I thought this was a very clever way to unify a song that, without it, might sound a little disjointed."

Yeah, definitely got to thank Echo for that idea. I tried to put in a lot of effort to avoid making the song sounding disjointed. I even repeated the 0:23 motif at 3:12 in some sort of lame attempt to send the track around a full circle :3.

"One thing that really intrigued me about the first almost-minute of the song is that it's not particularly melodically interesting"

Yeah, I agree. I just put in some simple chords to build up an atmosphere; I'm relieved you don't think it was boring!

"We only really start getting some melodic stuff around :55 with a really nice sounding muted instrument (what is it?)"

That's a patch in Omnisphere called "Old Distant Piano". I loved its atmospheric sound and I'm glad I chose it over a typical piano, although it was absolute hell to mix because its "distant" sound has a habit of clashing and muddying itself up.

"I've started to dislike white noise cause it heralds bad edm (I am a particularly egregious violator) but I was impressed by how in this case it makes the song feel very airy and atmospheric."

I know exactly what you mean; some people just throw in white noise sweeps all the time in their tracks and it really makes them sound unclean, although I used it for the exact reason of giving the track an airy sound. (Read: I don't know how to make any other effects :3)

"Something I didn't even realize until I listened to the song closer is that the guitar solo at 1:33 is actually the same melody as the vocal stuff that comes later at 2:50. It really says a lot about production and instrument choice that the first solo sounds chill and the second one sounds like the most epic and beautiful thing ever."

Aw shucks, thanks!

"It has some really nice attention to detail with the slides."

Credit goes to Omnisphere; in a lot of its guitars, when you hit a note at highest velocity, it'll do some cool effect like a tremolo or in this case a slide. Really brings the guitar to the next level I think.

"Something I didn't even notice until like the 6th listen is that there's also a really subtle countermelody on top - sounds like some sort of plucked instrument/synth."

Yeah, over here I thought to myself "what the hell is he talking about", I opened up the project file and was like "oh yeah, he's right, apparently I DID put a counter melody over there D:". That's actually the Old Distant Piano patch used to play the passage before, except this time playing short high notes in the background.

"It sounds to me like there are two layers - a normal layer and a filtered layer. The filtered stuff gives this great mysterious/open/techy feel to the whole solo while the normal layer drives it forward."

Another thing that makes me think you took a few peeks inside the project file. That is indeed how I set up my drums for this track.

"I'm really loving the techy beats at 2:20... the little synth in the lower registers really adds a lot to the feel there. And then suddenly brass! Your handling of the orchestra is great. The brass adds a lot of tension, asking to be resolved in some giant explosion, which it is."

That's all Echo's work (except the drums), so he deserves credit for that haha.

"Dissecting the climax at 2:50 is really hard - so much is going on!"

I know, what was I thinking x_x. I just checked now; there are up to 21 instruments/sounds playing at that point, plus 3 drum layers. Echo gave me a bigger buildup than I could've ever asked for and like I said to the reviewer below I needed to put in any and every instrument humanely possible in that part. Needless to say my CPU and RAM weren't very happy with me.

"The vocals are just amazing, first of all. (What are they saying?)"

At this point I would love to come off as deep and sophisticated and say something like "those choirs are actually singing a Latin proverb about the direction of our species as a whole" or whatnot... but they're just singing the phrase (translated into Latin by Google Translate) "I like to eat candy floss naked on the beach" two times over x_x.

Naw I'm joking haha. Pretty sure they're just random Wordbuilder phrases. I'd have to ask Echo to verify though, since he's the one who took care of those voices (which I also share your jealousy of since I don't have fancy choir VSTs :c). I can give you the choir on its own though, maybe you can hear what's being said more, if you're curious: http://instaud.io/7v

"One of my favorite bits of the climax is how it's presented - we drop into it suddenly with almost no warning (besides the brass). In a world where your average edm song has a 1 minute build up to a lame climax, this decision was probably my favorite of the entire track."

Haha thanks, I'm genuinely glad you liked it!

"One minor critique at this point - it sounds like the bass in the climax has been totally drowned out by the rest of the sounds."

Whoops, very good point. I think that there are so many sounds over there that most of them are drowned out haha.

"One thing that I would like to bring up is that I feel like the post-climax section of the song drops away from 'epic' too suddenly. I hear this a lot in Step's songs actually, because I feel like he's scared to make you get bored of the great melody - a valid concern!"

Yuuup this is where I think you're reading my mind. That is precisely correct. It's a bad habit of mine, and in this song in particular even PeterSatera mentioned that I got out of the climax too early.

"This idea comes from the song Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros - they have this epic melody, and then once it's all done, they have some silence, and then a single flute plays the melody."

I just heard that track now and heard exactly what you're talking about. That IS a nice idea. And damn what a nice track that was.

"Like I said, I don't hand out 10/10s. I try to reserve them for songs that either knock me off my feet or inspire me in some way. This one did both. Keep up the work you two."

That's crazy high praise. I'm still psyched by this review and your incredible attention to detail. I can't thank you enough! But I can at least try:

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.

...Nope that wasn't enough. Ah well. THANKS ONCE AGAIN.


DylnMatrixDylnMatrix

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars July 26, 2013

Wow...I really like this track. Love it, even.

Great intro into the track, and I love the strings used (of course I do, it's East/West). The mixing is amazing, making me jealous as I still have a long way to go. I also love the melodies that pop in during the breadowns and choruses. Around 2:30 onwards is my favorite part of the track and it just fills my headphones with beautiful sound. I also really love the outro starting at 3:40-ish. Don't know why, I just do.

One thing I did notice though, is that from 0:36-0:46, there's a weird popping noise. It at least goes with the rhythm of the track, so it might be intentional, but it is pretty much the only thing I dislike. I do like the effect you have before it starts, which makes me believe the popping's intentional, but I prefer the way you use it at 1:50 better than keeping the effect going for 10 seconds after it's done. Just a nitpick though.

Other than that, I really like the track. I've listened to it 4 times during writing this review and I like it more each time. You guys did a really great job on it.
Dylnmatrix


People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Heyyy thanks for reviewing!

"Wow...I really like this track. Love it, even."

Yay. c:

"Great intro into the track, and I love the strings used (of course I do, it's East/West)."

You know what, those strings actually aren't East/West! Those are from Omnisphere. Omnisphere has some absolutely lovely sustain string patches. I don't think they're sampled (but they might be). Whatever the case, I love their warm silky sound and I had to use them. The legato strings at 2:50, however, are East/West.

"The mixing is amazing, making me jealous as I still have a long way to go."

It's all due to experience. I never actually read anything on mixing or followed any tutorials (apart from one small one just to figure out what stuff does). I think it's something that a musician will just pick up naturally after a while so don't fret too much about it.

"I also love the melodies that pop in during the breadowns and choruses."

It's funny, the melodies I just jot into the piano roll casually (such as the ones featured in this track) come out nicely, and when I try and spend ages thinking about a good melody and trying to perfect it, it isn't nearly as good.

"Around 2:30 onwards is my favorite part of the track and it just fills my headphones with beautiful sound."

That's so great to hear. I worked crazy hard on 2:50... after such a massive buildup that Echo gave me, I had to throw all I had at the climax.

"One thing I did notice though, is that from 0:36-0:46, there's a weird popping noise. It at least goes with the rhythm of the track, so it might be intentional, but it is pretty much the only thing I dislike. I do like the effect you have before it starts, which makes me believe the popping's intentional, but I prefer the way you use it at 1:50 better than keeping the effect going for 10 seconds after it's done. Just a nitpick though."

You know, I think I know which pops you're talking about. Certain pops are intentional, but other pops are just unintentional... I have no idea what they are. I had to export this quickly to make the deadline and these must've been artefacts from the export (I sometimes get glitchy exports from using East/West because the VSTs are so CPU-intensive). Weird.

"Other than that, I really like the track. I've listened to it 4 times during writing this review and I like it more each time. You guys did a really great job on it."

Thanks a lot for such a great review! I'm glad you liked it.


instakillainstakilla

Rated 5 / 5 stars July 17, 2013

it provides a lax yet awing feel to it while still soothing it realy sounds like it was a more longterm project than what was said keep up the great work


Step responds:

Yeah, Echo and I went further than I had originally expected with this. I don't usually take just a few days to make a song!

Thank you for leaving such positive feedback.