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Credits & Info

Date
09/24/2013
File Info
Song
5.8 MB
2 min 34 sec
Score
4.56 / 5.00

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Licensing Terms

Attribution:
You must give credit to the artist.
Noncommercial:
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Score:
Rated 4.56 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
4,050 Plays | 250 Downloads
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Genres:
Other - World
Tags:
epic
desert
eastern
exotic

Author Comments

This here is a custom-made demo for the Dan Tranh VST released by Versillian Studios. Check it out here:
http://goo.gl/regMnA

For a very reasonable price tag, you get a sampled Dan Tranh, the Vietnamese plucked instrument you're hearing in this track. I personally loved working with it, especially since not only does it have round robin and velocity layers and all that jazz, but tonnes of keyswitch perks like glissandi, effects, real vibrato, muted notes and tremolo! Plus it's sounds amazing, there's that too...

Its creators, samulis and camoshark, asked if I could get a demo done for it. I had to get it done in two days due to the release being today, so after around 15 hours done in two sessions (first being around 3 hours long, and then a full 12-hour music-making marathon to get this done because I'm a maniac) I managed to whip this up.

I'm really sorry if you think it sounds rushed, uninspired, generic or whatever. If it does, I totally understand and agree with you about it - I wanted to spend more time on this, maybe think of some better melodies, and make this a bit more authentic, but alas, the deadline was strict. For something like the 20th time in my lifetime I wished I had the power to pause time. That would be SWEET.

Anyway, this uses the Dan Tranh VST as I mentioned above, along with a free VST called Mini Dizi for that eastern high-pitched flute you're hearing. Everything else is East/west Stormdrum 2, Symphonic Orchestra Silver and Ra, except the choir which is Omnisphere. This was inspired by bassfiddlejones' song "Labbaik", and by the Misty Peaks battle theme in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - two very good tracks I urge you to check out!

Thanks goes to stunkel, samulis and camoshark for giving me feedback! I'd love some other feedback though, so please leave a review if you're got the time. Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy it!

Reviews


MaliskophMaliskoph

Rated 5 / 5 stars

:O this is incredible! Professional composition! I could say great things about every aspect here but I suppose the things I notice first are the percussion being so interesting and sprinkle-y , and I love the eastern instruments. This is superb :D


Step responds:

Woo, thanks for another review ^_^. I'm not too much of a fan of my melody work here but I am quite happy with the percussion and instrumentation.

Appreciate you stopping by!


johnfnjohnfn

Rated 4 / 5 stars

I essentially disagree completely with Rahmemhotep. First of all, the production is immaculate. I'm always impressed by the amount of energy that you can inject into these cinematic pieces. I think that the main secret is those brass blasts that you're doing all over the place, but there's a lot more to it than that. Another key is definitely the big boomy hits. Reminds me of The Festival all over again. That piece rocks by the way. I mean, I already told you that, but... yeah.

But getting back to that main point, your tracks seem to have this Step-esque sheen to them that moves them along and makes them captivating. While I can't quite put my finger on what it is (because it's a bunch of different things), rest assured that the overall affect is awesome.

Though now that I think about it (and now that I think of The Festival again) I notice that there really isn't any bass in this piece to speak of. Yeah, there's a string droning out the root note, but nothing really interesting other than that. I don't think that's a particular problem, since this piece is pretty focused on the high end blasts and flutes and (yes!) dan tranh, but you should realize that there's a possibility to do more. I know that in pieces like Polargeist you've done some cool bass grooves.

The hilarious thing about this song is that although it was written to be a demo for the dan tranh, I actually feel like it's out of place in the song! Like, it just kinda randomly meanders its way through the song and doesn't add all that much. Again, I'm not saying that it's *bad*... but if you got rid of it, I probably wouldn't even notice. (Though I'm not sure if those shakey things - can't think of another way to describe them - at :22 and elsewhere are the dan tranh. I like those.) I can't help but think that perhaps the dan tranh is a more intimate instrument, suited to a more stripped down arrangement.

Now... I said that I disagreed completely with Rahmemhotep, so you know what's coming next: the melody! Yes, I have a one track mind, and it's always focused on melody. Now, since we are basically the same person when it comes to listening to music, I know that you already know what I'm going to say. And since there's no way I can suggest you to improve a melody, I don't even know why I bring it up. Still though, yeah, the melody isn't all too interesting. I know that you have written good melodies before (Festival and Sky's the Limit come to mind immediately) and I can understand time constraints, but, you know. I'm contractually obliged to complain about it.

Overall, I enjoy it a lot. I'm impressed by how high quality your pieces are. The melody is holding me back a little, but other than that, it's pro.

Finally (and the true reason for me writing this review comes out! ...not really), I want to YELL AT YOU. It's been like 2 months since you wrote this piece, and that is FAR TOO LONG. Nah, I don't want to berate you. I understand you're super busy with college, (when I went to college I stopped producing for quite a while) so just know that I will just be sitting here impatiently, waiting for you to find some free time. :)


Step responds:

Aw man I just love your reviews. As you said, we agree on just EVERYTHING. I'd say "commence operation quote response" but it'll be more like "commence operation quote agreement". LET'S GO.

"First of all, the production is immaculate. I'm always impressed by the amount of energy that you can inject into these cinematic pieces. I think that the main secret is those brass blasts that you're doing all over the place, but there's a lot more to it than that."

I think one of the secrets to it is just to make the piece really detailed and full of intricate things, since I find that, with a decently quick tempo, it can really add some energy. Plus, of course, the brass blasts and crescendos upon crescendos probably help a little too :3.

"Another key is definitely the big boomy hits. Reminds me of The Festival all over again. That piece rocks by the way. I mean, I already told you that, but... yeah."

Yeah I'm kinda proud of The Festival. I wasn't at first since the intro was a little boring and two other musicians told me that the second part is too bouncy and upbeat, but it kinda grew on me a little.

"But getting back to that main point, your tracks seem to have this Step-esque sheen to them that moves them along and makes them captivating. While I can't quite put my finger on what it is (because it's a bunch of different things), rest assured that the overall affect is awesome."

Cool. Yeah, I can hear that Step-esque thing too. I find that the less inspired I am while making the track, the more it sounds like generic Step music haha.

"Though now that I think about it (and now that I think of The Festival again) I notice that there really isn't any bass in this piece to speak of. Yeah, there's a string droning out the root note, but nothing really interesting other than that. I don't think that's a particular problem, since this piece is pretty focused on the high end blasts and flutes and (yes!) dan tranh, but you should realize that there's a possibility to do more. I know that in pieces like Polargeist you've done some cool bass grooves."

It's actually pretty tough to add a lot of bass to orchestral tracks, since while there are bass-dedicated orchestral instruments, it's not as easy to get a powerful low end from them unless you do some EQing. I'm pretty conservative when it comes to adding bass to melodic instruments though. I like to leave space for the drums as I'm sure you noticed. But yeah I agree, I could've added some really low bass without making the track sound too beefy, and I could've definitely made the bass more interesting than just playing the root note. It's become a bad habit.

"The hilarious thing about this song is that although it was written to be a demo for the dan tranh, I actually feel like it's out of place in the song! Like, it just kinda randomly meanders its way through the song and doesn't add all that much. Again, I'm not saying that it's *bad*... but if you got rid of it, I probably wouldn't even notice. ... I can't help but think that perhaps the dan tranh is a more intimate instrument, suited to a more stripped down arrangement."

Yes, exactly. I admit I had to force the instrument in at times just for the sake of having a demo. I think it sounds great and I loved working with it, but yes it's entirely suited for more intimate pieces. Still, samulis told me that my track's good because it shows that it's possible to make cinematic stuff with the VST, which, for the purpose of a demo, is a pretty good marketing characteristic.

"(Though I'm not sure if those shakey things - can't think of another way to describe them - at :22 and elsewhere are the dan tranh. I like those.)"

Yeah! That's a tremolo patch from the dan tranh, when you finger the same note quickly and consistently.

"Now... I said that I disagreed completely with Rahmemhotep, so you know what's coming next: the melody! Yes, I have a one track mind, and it's always focused on melody. Now, since we are basically the same person when it comes to listening to music, I know that you already know what I'm going to say. And since there's no way I can suggest you to improve a melody, I don't even know why I bring it up. Still though, yeah, the melody isn't all too interesting. I know that you have written good melodies before (Festival and Sky's the Limit come to mind immediately) and I can understand time constraints, but, you know. I'm contractually obliged to complain about it."

Totally understandable. Yeah I'm not a huge fan of the melody here either. I need more time to be able to make a good melody haha.

"Overall, I enjoy it a lot. I'm impressed by how high quality your pieces are. The melody is holding me back a little, but other than that, it's pro.

Aw yissss. Thanks!

"Finally (and the true reason for me writing this review comes out! ...not really), I want to YELL AT YOU. It's been like 2 months since you wrote this piece, and that is FAR TOO LONG. Nah, I don't want to berate you. I understand you're super busy with college, (when I went to college I stopped producing for quite a while) so just know that I will just be sitting here impatiently, waiting for you to find some free time. :)"

Yeah, uni actually not college. It is so impossible to find time! Factoring in time spent waiting for/taking the bus to uni and time spent on campus, on Monday I've got from 10:00 AM till 1 PM and then from 2:00 PM till 7:00 PM. On Tuesday I've got from 8:00 AM till 5:00 PM (used to be 7:00 PM), then from Wednesday till Friday it's 5:30 AM till 8:00 PM (with Friday being till 6:00 PM instead of 8:00 PM).

Then on Saturday I've got piano and my little brother's friend comes over and wants to play Minecraft with my brother on my PC and laptop. Then on Sunday I'm at my grandparents since we go and visit them every Sunday. And then the cycle starts all over again.

It's not that there's a lot of work because I spend a lot of time on campus sitting at lectures with crappy lecturers who don't project their voice enough and don't explain properly (so basically a waste of time), and also a lot of time in the study area either playing some game or working. Our timetable is really spaced out with like 1 - 4 hour gaps between lectures, full of crappy lecturers, and couple that with the terrible bus system and you've got a lot of time wasted, even if the workload isn't huge.

Anyway, sorry for the mini rant :3. I've got another track in the works but it's just generic boring stuff for a pretty cool game and I'm not really proud of it either haha.

THANKS for the awesome review. You, Buoy and SkyeWintrest are my three favourite audio reviewers out there, just so you know!


Food123Food123

Rated 5 / 5 stars

this is neat and awesome
nice audio
love this theme
Food123

Nice work


Step responds:

that is good to hear
nice review
thanks
Step

thanks


RahmemhotepRahmemhotep

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

You (might) know how I am about world music, so let's get my punk ass a review in and get it over with, haha!

First things first, I do enjoy your composition, it doesn't really have any boring parts like some of the orchestra songs on here, where it sounds like they just wrote it while on the loo. Your compositional use of the dan tranh is commendable too, good show! Is it endearingly special, though? I think I'm going to have to say no on that. On that mark your 15 hour sprint shows.

The feel of the song, I'd say, does not really reflect the desert, as you have in your tags. I'm thinking it's more along the line of mountains. Like a mountain with an over-wealth of partially menacing greenery, or perhaps a barren and brown mountain. I just don't really get a desert feel and the main reason for this, I think, is the dan tranh and it's composition. If that was replaced with a different instrument and composition, I could easily see it swaying by way of desert winds. (I am also reminded of the Metal Gear Solid series)

I enjoy that the length isn't overwhelming and can be listened to casually. This is a good marketing strategy, lol. It could always be longer, but I must keep in mind that this is a demo for a VST when it comes to length.

I have an issue with how some things are mixed, though. The strings and choirs are an excellent way of 'beefing up' your track as you say, but they get a little too fatty at some points and become burger-like, rather than a steak (in other words, they get too fuckin' loud, G). I'm not bashing your use of dynamics, it's that they overpower the dan tranh a little too much at some points.

I also wish you would cut some of those low mids on those loud drums. It bothered me a lot on the first listen through, but not so much now (7th listen or so).

To wrap it up, you have a good song on your hands with extremely minor mixing issues that are more than likely just opinionated criticism, but it doesn't 'wow' me enough.


Step responds:

Whoa, big review! Thanks a million, Rehmemhotep!

"First things first, I do enjoy your composition, it doesn't really have any boring parts like some of the orchestra songs on here, where it sounds like they just wrote it while on the loo."

Hey hey, don't diss the loo. Some amazing ideas come out of there. Yup.

"Your compositional use of the dan tranh is commendable too, good show! Is it endearingly special, though? I think I'm going to have to say no on that. On that mark your 15 hour sprint shows."

I can't agree more. I won't say that if I had more time, the melodies would've been better - I would've tried to make some more interesting stuff, but in the end I don't have much control over it. Sometimes I go through droughts and other times through bouts of creativity. This time round I was feeling pretty uninspired, and the tight deadline didn't help.

"The feel of the song, I'd say, does not really reflect the desert, as you have in your tags. I'm thinking it's more along the line of mountains. Like a mountain with an over-wealth of partially menacing greenery, or perhaps a barren and brown mountain. I just don't really get a desert feel and the main reason for this, I think, is the dan tranh and it's composition. If that was replaced with a different instrument and composition, I could easily see it swaying by way of desert winds. (I am also reminded of the Metal Gear Solid series)"

Metal Gear Solid is awesome, so I'm glad it reminds you of it haha. I find that it's quite hard to make something reminiscent of a desert without it sounding thematically typical. I wasn't really aiming for a desert in this track but there are four tags and I'm not very creative with tags :3.

"I enjoy that the length isn't overwhelming and can be listened to casually. This is a good marketing strategy, lol. It could always be longer, but I must keep in mind that this is a demo for a VST when it comes to length."

A good but unintentional marketing strategy! I only made it this long because I didn't have time to lengthen it. In retrospect, that's probably a good thing for the purposes of the VST.

"I have an issue with how some things are mixed, though. The strings and choirs are an excellent way of 'beefing up' your track as you say, but they get a little too fatty at some points and become burger-like, rather than a steak (in other words, they get too fuckin' loud, G). I'm not bashing your use of dynamics, it's that they overpower the dan tranh a little too much at some points."

That's a good point that I hadn't thought about. Upon listening once again, I can hear exactly what you mean. I wanted to go for a massive, overwhelming kind of sound with the strings and choir, but might've gone too far and made a massive, overwhelming burger.

"I also wish you would cut some of those low mids on those loud drums. It bothered me a lot on the first listen through, but not so much now (7th listen or so)."

You talking about parts like 2:06? Because yeah, the low mids over there annoy me a little too!

"To wrap it up, you have a good song on your hands with extremely minor mixing issues that are more than likely just opinionated criticism, but it doesn't 'wow' me enough."

Very fair criticism! I agree - this unfortunately relies too much on loudness, powerful percussion, a fairly quick pace, etc... in an attempt to make it sound epic, but in the composition side, it's lacking in memorability.

Thanks for the super insightful and detailed review!


csasbacsasba

Rated 4 / 5 stars

I just played a video game in my mind. Good song! Thanks.


Step responds:

Haha thanks!