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~SW~ City of the Clouds

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Credits & Info

Date
06/21/2013
File Info
Song
9.3 MB
4 min 5 sec
Score
4.35 / 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 4.35 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
5,902 Plays | 552 Downloads
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Genres:
Other - Cinematic
Tags:
None

Author Comments

Inspired by http://www.newgrounds.com /art/view/scottr5680/head -in-the-clouds

Made for the Art Inspired Music contest.

Warning: If you'd like to feel your own story out of this with or without Scott's awesome artwork which you should check at some point either way, don't read any more of the description. It contains my own story and interpretation.

Section Titles and Story
0:00 - Coming Into View. Flying slightly above the clouds, the small planet's curvature hides the city from view. You've been told about the city and its wonders, its beauty and power, but have never visited yourself. As you fly by the rain-farms, excitement builds as you anticipate and imagine the splendor you are about to see.
0:48 - Industry Appears. As you fly on, you begin to see mechanics flying between large machines that appear to be harvesting sunlight. Large airships and starpods are going toward the city as well, heightening your excitement.
1:04 - Sunset. Finally, you can see the city. The sun is passing down below the horizon, and by the time you reach the city, the only light from above is of the stars. Appropriate, you think, as a sign proudly proclaims "Welcome to Starlight City!" Your excitement is higher than it's been the entire trip as you dive into the city.
1:20 - Starlight City. The city is bustling. Partying. Lively. Amazing. Fancy. Technological. Urban. It is far more than anything you've been in before, and you can feel the energy. It thrums through the air, it makes you want to dance, to move, to fly as fast as you can. This place is indeed a wonder to be in.
1:54 - Relative Peace. But everyone needs some time to rest, and eventually you need it as well. Fortunately, you've found a perfect place - the city's park, housed on an island kept afloat by vacuum chambers embedded within. This place is peaceful in comparison, though not so compared to outside the city. While you rest, your excitement builds again. After all, you've barely seen anything of this wondrous place! Your excitement mounts for hours and hours, before finally you cannot take it anymore and return to the chaos of Starlight City.
2:56 - Return. Back into the city, the energy returns. All the tension and power has made for a spectacular trip. You've seen the beauty, the technology, the incredible wonders. You have not seen it all. You could not see it all if you spent an entire lifetime here. But you have seen enough. And eventually...
3:28 - Home again. You've left the city after a night and day of splendor and energy. Though your heart may still be out here, in the peaceful lands of your home, the days of the city are burned into your memory. Memories of flying through the streets at breakneck speeds, watching the turn of gears, watching the ships fly away and back from the City of the Clouds.
End of the TItles and Story

-Enjoy!

P.S. I think I really outdid myself on the mixing of this one. If anyone has some comments on any part of the piece, please please please leave it in a review or something - I LOVE feedback from people! Also, if you review, feel free to leave the name of a piece of yours in the review and I'll try to get around to reviewing it. Thanks!

Edit June 22, 2013: Made ending slightly longer, also added list of programs used.

---PROGRAMS USED AND THEIR FUNCTIONS---
FL Studio - Main sequencer.
Reason - Drums in KONG.
Omnisphere - Almost all instruments.
Mini ErHu - Erhu.
Sytrus - Bird sounds.
FL Sampler - Reverse crash and sound FX.
Samulis' Zither VST v2 - Zither.
Midi Out - Getting all the instruments and drums out from Omnisphere and Reason. Such a hard worker.
Guitar Rig 5 - Effects and drum compression.
Fruity Parametric EQ 2 - Almost ALL mixing.
Fruity Compressor - Compression, leveling, and some mixing.
Fruity Spectroman - Extra spectrometer for when the EQ 2's spectrometer didn't show enough.
Fruity Reeverb - Getting the organ and electric guitar-like synth to ring out after their respective solo sections.
Fruity Stereo Enhancer - Enhancing the stereo of TEH BURDEH NOISES.
Maximus - Mastering.

Reviews


BenmodeBenmode

Rated 5 / 5 stars February 25, 2014

This is SO ace!
You created some seriously cool atmospheres here. It's inspired me to play with Omnisphere more.
Very proggy in places too, I like.

Good work :)



eatmeatleeteatmeatleet

Rated 5 / 5 stars August 26, 2013

great i like this sort of filtered drum feel and the door feel. Keep it up


SkyeWint responds:

Cool, thanks man


StepStep

Rated 5 / 5 stars July 18, 2013

Hi. Yeah I know I said I'd review this and I took ages to get around to it (but in my defence I was in Spain and I am certainly not analysing a track on laptop speakers or Apple earbuds thank you very much). Now that I'm back in Malta, I can finally review this, and let me just say from now that this is your best work. I greatly admire Birth of an Astral Nation for the whole size, ambition and creativity of it, but this is hands-down your most solid unified song. On top of that, I absolutely love it, and let me tell you exactly why.

This has EVERYTHING*. It's like my new smartphone. It can do everything save for make me my breakfast (but I'm sure there'll be an app for that in the future). This has parts that are slow, parts that are energetic and bursting with speed, parts that build up, parts die down, atmospheric parts, insane solos and even traditional instruments like the dizi and zither for God's sake. What's not to like?

This is such an ambitious project, just like a lot of your other works. There's a big diversity in sounds, effects and melodic content. This song is like a starry night sky. Look up at it and you've got a beautiful array of stars. Look closer and you start seeing more and more stars pop up here and there, and the more you look at it, the more stars come up and the more beautiful the sky becomes. Same thing here; if I listen closely to the song at any one point, I'll always pick up some new little detail which I didn't notice before. Yes, your song is a smartphone and now a night sky as well. DEAL WITH IT.

The insane amount of detail provides a very slight negative effect. It's very tough to add in so many instruments and soundscape layers playing together because that then diminishes the effect of each individual instrument, which makes this track fall in the same trap a lot of your other songs have. No sound truly stands out in the mix (except that open hat at 2:52 which ironically stands out too much. Turn that crap down, man). HAVING SAID THAT, this is very slight issue because 1.) It makes sense with the theme to have so many things playing together...

...and 2.) you've actually done a much better job on the mixing than you've ever done before on a track. This makes the problem of no sound standing out much less apparent because even if there isn't the clarity I want to hear in certain sounds, I can still feel the power and statement of certain instruments.

This issue is slowly dying away the more you make music, so I think after some time this issue will have disappeared for the most part and you'll be able to separate sounds more adeptly and suitably in a heavy and detailed mix instead of having them competing so much. In all fairness, your mixing skills right now are already great anyway. It's just that you use so many sounds that it ends up being a massive chore to control them all and mix them suitably, and you're already improving rapidly at that.

Now, I often start with composition when I review melody-heavy tracks like these but I wanted to get all that stuff out of the way first. The composition is stellar. I can't begin to express how much I love the leitmotif you've used here or how much I enjoyed the guitar solo towards the end without sounding like your number #1 fanboy or something. Not to mention that great rhythm guitar-like thing you use in the background during energetic parts like 1:20 which is coincidentally one of my favourite things in this track. Overall, you used just the right amount of quirkiness and just the right amount of excitement. This sounds very inspired and creative.

Something I would particularly commend you on is how you manage to combine a light, floating atmosphere with an energetic and fun atmosphere, even adding hints of deeper reflection in certain parts like the end. The sound effects and layers of drone ambience only assisted you in this feat. At the risk of sounding too much like an A.I.M. judge, this fits excellently with the art you chose in my opinion. Your story also fit so well that while I was trying to read it in sync with the music, I practically got goosebumps. It really works.

Notwithstanding the little mixing issue I mentioned above, the technicalities are pretty much nailed. Fitting intro and outro, superb transitions, great choice of sounds and choice of chords, and a very solid structure to boot.

There's nothing more I can say about this piece right now because I'm getting sleepy. I can tell you're proud of this and you should be. You worked hard on it and the result, without a shred of doubt, paid off. You get a 10/10 from me. Keep in mind the issues I've mentioned above and keep on improving please!

10/10
5/5
Download.
Favourited.

* except a cowbell.


People find this review helpful!
SkyeWint responds:

FIRST THING. YOU ARE AMAZING AND HANDS-DOWN THE BEST REVIEWER I KNOW. PERIOD. This is not up for debate, you are not allowed to complain. So shush with the downplaying of yourself. I need to review a piece or two of yours (or like, 5) to repay you for all this great stuff.

Now, copy/pasting and responding to your points.

"this is your best work"
:D :D :D :D :D ME GUSTA. Definitely was my goal, though I hope to overcome that... like, 4-5 times during the NGADM.

"even traditional instruments like the dizi and zither"
Okay, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. But I must do this. It's an erhu, not a dizi. ;_;

"This has EVERYTHING* * except a cowbell."
...so is it like Omnisphere then? :D

"Yes, your song is a smartphone and now a night sky as well."
Okay, I can deal with it being a high-def picture of a night sky on a smartphone or a smartphone app depicting the night sky. Seriously though, I am highly complimented by you noticing this. I work incredibly hard to have tooooons of little details in my music which people can pick up on if they look deeper, and it's great to have someone comment on that in such an artistic way. ^_^ Also, of course... I always try to have things be diverse and 'different'.

"(except that open hat at 2:52 which ironically stands out too much. Turn that crap down, man)"
Yeah, people have mentioned that before. I guess I should probably change that at some point, lol.

"you've actually done a much better job on the mixing than you've ever done before on a track"
Thank you so much. x.x I hope that each individual instrument had a lot more space and was a lot clearer than they've been. I tried to give them each more room to breathe, and let the relevant instruments stand out a bit more when they're given their chance.

"It's very tough to add in so many instruments and soundscape layers playing together because that then diminishes the effect of each individual instrument"
You can say that again. :\ I like to add a lot of detail in my music as I said. Unfortunately, it can make mixing a complete nightmare. Still though...

"This issue is slowly dying away the more you make music, so I think after some time this issue will have disappeared for the most part and you'll be able to separate sounds more adeptly and suitably in a heavy and detailed mix instead of having them competing so much."
This be good. If I can seriously manage to do that then I want to be crowned the damn mixing king of the world (lol yeah right).

"I can't begin to express how much I love the leitmotif you've used here"
Will send if you want. c:

"the guitar solo towards the end"
Will also send if you want. C: It's this really cool and crazy synth I found lurking in the depths of Omnisphere, actually. No guitar related at all.

"without sounding like your number #1 fanboy or something"
:D PLEASE DO SO. I will give you a cookie the size of a car tire. Or possibly some pancakes, I know a place (went there this morning and they served 3 pancakes the size of hubcaps. I only managed to eat one and then was stuffed for the next 7 hours).

"Something I would particularly commend you on is how you manage to combine a light, floating atmosphere with an energetic and fun atmosphere, even adding hints of deeper reflection in certain parts like the end."
Atmospheres are actually something I also work heavily on. ...okay, so I try to work heavily on almost everything, but atmospheres are still an important thing I try to add into most of my music. :P They help so much in storytelling... which is apparently a good thing since my story came across well. :D So I think that's it, and I'll take my leave... oh wait.

"Keep in mind the issues I've mentioned above and keep on improving please!"
YES SIR!

.

(...but it's not in your favorites. ;_;)


RealFactionRealFaction

Rated 5 / 5 stars July 4, 2013

This could be used in the opening of a movie. Great use of sounds, really comforting to the ears with the music. This definitely fits the image, making the sounds of the serene and bizarre landscape. Also, solid job on that nifty guitar solo. Great job here overall.


SkyeWint responds:

Hey there!

Thanks for the review - the 'guitar' solo was actually some crazy synth I found hiding in Omnisphere. :P I have to say, I went a bit crazy having fun with it, lol. The mod wheel did some really crazy stuff with it too.

Glad you think it fits the image! Hopefully the story was helpful in explaining my viewpoint. :)


BlazingDragonBlazingDragon

Rated 5 / 5 stars July 4, 2013

This is sick! Great mixing, slick bass lines, and awesome solos. Sorry for the short review, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy this.

Added you to my favorite artists. :)


SkyeWint responds:

:D Sweet, one of my favorite artists added me to their favorite artists!

I'm glad you like it, and it's totally fine that it's short. I'm cool with that.