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Credits & Info

Uploaded
Dec 31, 2013 | 10:09 AM EST
File Info
Song
5.2 MB
2 min 16 sec
Score
4.22 / 5.00

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.

Score:
Rated 4.22 / 5 stars
Plays & Downloads:
835 Plays | 27 Downloads
Share Links:
Genres:
Other - Cinematic
Tags:
forest
walk
cinematic
pizzicato

Author Comments

I'm trying to learn new stuff on Cubase. I was too lazy to finish mixing this one entirely, so sometimes the tempo is really weird (and the instruments are not necessarily that good). If I could, I would also have added precussion (would love some cymbal smashes), but I suck, thus I would only have destroyed the song. The piano is definitely over the top etc.

Otherwise, I'm quite fond of the mood of the song, although I don't think that this composition is all that original.
This is my first 'real' shot at composing using music software.

- For this one I used DSK Overture and Cubase VST instruments (Halion Sonic SE).

Reviews


satyresatyre

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Amazing song, full of atmosphere, with a touch of sadness. Great work. Would fit into an RPG very well.


LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Oh, hi again satyre! Thanks for leaving a review on THIS song :'D!

Good job on sensing the sadness too. If I redid this with better instruments, better automation and I added some stuff, I think this might really be a pretty good song, and might consider using it in a game :) So basically, if I followed all of Sir Step's advice, this would be an even better composition XD


StepStep

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Hey there! Told you I'd get round to reviewing this :p. You know, I'm glad that you asked me to review it because this is actually a fun track to dissect, plus it's a considerably enjoyable and memorable listen as well! You've got some really solid work here. I need to also add that for being your first real/serious attempt at composing something with a DAW, this is ridiculously impressive. I couldn't make this quality of music after a year and half of constant music production. You must have had some prior experience composing or know a lot of music theory. I won't believe you if you tell me otherwise!

Anyway, all that aside, let me say that right off the bat I think your composition is strikingly solid. You think it's not that original and I reluctantly agree - I would not call it creative and unlike anything I've heard before, but you've crafted a wonderful theme and atmosphere with nothing but tasteful instrument choices, and a strong sense of melodic and harmonic structure. That is certainly something to commend. Highlights would definitely be the excellent mood-setting intro, the introduction of warmth from those strings at 0:37 and the lovely ominous chord change at 1:34.

I don't think this song needs any percussion. Sucking at percussion or not, I can't see how anyone could pull off some suitable percussion here, except maybe some percussion leaning more onto the atmospheric to accentuate certain dynamics (cymbal rolls, timpani rolls, that kind of stuff). However, one thing I need to point out is that at times your song arbitrarily slows down. 0:52 and 1:24 are examples of this.

Changing the tempo of tracks can really add layers of expression but in those two instances (unlike 1:43 where it fits wonderfully), all it really does is disrupt the flow. I used to have a habit of adding tempo changes when they weren't necessary (and had a lot of people point out that they didn't fit) so maybe I'm biased, but hey, maybe you'll agree! This kind of criticism is generally very subjective.

Anyhow, moving on to the production, this is quite pleasant-sounding. There's no clipping, good volume levels, good balancing, etc. I would've liked some more drastic dynamic levels (right now your song retains a pretty minimal volume deviation, preferring to stay at a more constant volume level), but that's just me. Oh, and props for the reverb. There's a lot of it, which would usually make the track sound unrealistic and washed out, but it works so well here, giving this track an otherworldly vibe, and working wonders to that great atmosphere you've got going.

I'll have to agree that your instruments aren't very good. Some sound pretty terrible, like the flute at the beginning (which I literally thought was a raw sine wave at first haha) but there's not much you can do about that, and what you lacked in instrument quality you certainly made up for in melodic quality. If you start getting serious about composition, then getting a good instrument sample library would be a wise investment. Hit me up via PM if you want me to suggest some sample libraries!

Lastly, this track isn't repetitive but the pizzicato/staccato string accompaniment in the background did get a bit monotonous. It sounds excellent, don't get me wrong, and the harmonies are nice. Plus, for 2 minutes and a quarter, you do have an excuse not to vary your accompaniment, but still, if you were to flesh this out, then remember that those pizzicatos get pretty monotonous, especially rhythmically, so some variety in that department (by use of different instruments and accompaniment) would've helped.

Anyhow, I actually really like this. It's a well-composed track with a lot of good qualities. Bravo! Keep up the excellent work.

7/10
4/5


People find this review helpful!
LucidShadowDreamer responds:

You really are an honest dude aren't ya :'D
I hope your exams went well btw.

Firstly, I'm surprised to see that I agree with pretty much everything you said, and that I had noticed many of those things myself, after editing and looking back at the project. This means you are a really good listener! You noticed and mentioned pretty much everything that is possible o.O
And omfg thanks for such a long and exellent review! This is seriously very helpful :)
Down to the details then...

"I need to also add that for being your first real/serious attempt at composing something with a DAW, this is ridiculously impressive. I couldn't make this quality of music after a year and half of constant music production. You must have had some prior experience composing or know a lot of music theory. I won't believe you if you tell me otherwise!"

=> Then again, you were a lot younger than me when you first started; we should be pretty much the same age right now :p
I know the basics of music theory, but no more. However, I have been playing the piano for pretty much exactly five years now, and I've been composing for three and a half, especially much last year. As you know, you don't really 'need' to implement music theory into composing. If you just try stuff until it sounds good, you can get good results, as well as learn. I wish I knew more music theory though, since it is definitely a helpful tool, if you keep it from being distracting.

"Anyway, all that aside, let me say that right off the bat I think your composition is strikingly solid. You think it's not that original and I reluctantly agree - I would not call it creative and unlike anything I've heard before, but you've crafted a wonderful theme and atmosphere with nothing but tasteful instrument choices, and a strong sense of melodic and harmonic structure. That is certainly something to commend. Highlights would definitely be the excellent mood-setting intro, the introduction of warmth from those strings at 0:37 and the lovely ominous chord change at 1:34."

=>Yeah. The basics for this composition are pretty simple, so it was pretty easy to keep it solid. You should see what other random creations of horrible unsolidity I've created... Never when I'm serious though. Even the very first real composition I ever made was pretty solid. Let's move on.
The athmosphere is indeed at focus in this song. Since I haven't used any DAW's before Cubase, I naturally wanted to focus on the added effect of more instruments than just the piano.
About the higlights. Gaah that Recorder in the beginning, but we'll get to that.
The strings... It took me a good while to figure out how to get that sample even that soft and warm, and I still think it could be much better. I don't really like any of the string samples of Halion Sonic SE that much, but I tried to work around it. From a composing perspective, I think they were necessary though.
That chord change was actually pretty spontaneous, but I instantly liked it, as it also gave a perfect opportunity to return to the original key.

"I don't think this song needs any percussion. Sucking at percussion or not, I can't see how anyone could pull off some suitable percussion here, except maybe some percussion leaning more onto the atmospheric to accentuate certain dynamics (cymbal rolls, timpani rolls, that kind of stuff). However, one thing I need to point out is that at times your song arbitrarily slows down. 0:52 and 1:24 are examples of this."

=> You are probably right. The only thing I really miss is just those atmospheric things you mentioned, since I think they could have added to the composition at some parts. I certainly would not like an entire drum beat track, unless someone could actually pull that off and add to the song as well, without killing the mood.
Yup, those were exactly the two "weird tempo" places I was hinting at in the description. My initial idea was that a well done short slowdown would have somehow emphasized the transition at those parts, but the execution was very sloppy. And looking back at it you are right in that they are superfluous in a bad way.
I'm glad you liked 1:43 though! I actually thought that might have been a bit overdone, but now that you say it, it actually is much more fitting than the other slow-downs.
When it comes to music, I think that very much is subjective, so you are right. But I definitely agree with you in this case, so there is no need to worry about you being biased.

"Anyhow, moving on to the production, this is quite pleasant-sounding. There's no clipping, good volume levels, good balancing, etc. I would've liked some more drastic dynamic levels (right now your song retains a pretty minimal volume deviation, preferring to stay at a more constant volume level), but that's just me. Oh, and props for the reverb. There's a lot of it, which would usually make the track sound unrealistic and washed out, but it works so well here, giving this track an otherworldly vibe, and working wonders to that great atmosphere you've got going."

=> This increases my confidence a lot! I don't see myself as that good when it comes to production, but I guess that it is only expected since I'm new to these things. I actually have no knowledge at all about mixing and such, so I simply pressed many buttons and rolled some wheels until my ears stopped bleeding from how this initially sounded. As a first real try, I'm still kinda happy with the result.
There was clipping at first, but I did some stuff and then it was no more :p
This has a very constant volume level indeed. I think the problem is that my master volume was so low at the start, so I had the instruments at full power. This became a problem when I had already begun with the basic volume changes in some tracks, since there is a max level you can't overreach. And I didn't feel like redoing the entire volume automation :/
(Originally I did want to bring some parts out more, but meh)
You're observant o.O I think I liked the way how the reverb made the whole thing a bit more dreamy. I pretty much just checked out some of the basic reverb "rooms" that Cubase offered, chose some and made small adjustments, pretty much randomly. I think that a lot of the making in my compositions is processed unconsciously, which means I don't effing know what the heck I'm doing XD

"I'll have to agree that your instruments aren't very good. Some sound pretty terrible, like the flute at the beginning (which I literally thought was a raw sine wave at first haha) but there's not much you can do about that, and what you lacked in instrument quality you certainly made up for in melodic quality. If you start getting serious about composition, then getting a good instrument sample library would be a wise investment. Hit me up via PM if you want me to suggest some sample libraries!"

=> Uhh... That Recorder in the beginning... uhh... Wan't to know the story? I simply asked a friend spontaneoulsy: "Hey, I think I'm about to begin making a song. Should I use a Piccolo or a Recorder for the intro?"
My friend doesn't even know what any of those are, so he said Recorder fully at random (I hadn't even checked the samples yet). I then heard how the Recorder sounded and facepalmed, but I rolled with it. I tried to fix it a bit. Obviously didn't work :p
I have been downloading a lot of freeware these past two weeks, and many of them are at least better than what HSSE has to offer. However, some are just demos (like Alchemy Player), and are limited. I am planning on buying better stuff when I know what I'm doing and what I want a bit more.
I just figured that I don't want to pay for something I don't really need/want, so I will train up my DAW skills using free stuff at first. I will definitely contact you once I know more about music production in general! Since I like (love) your stuff, I should also have use of what you'd recommend.

"Lastly, this track isn't repetitive but the pizzicato/staccato string accompaniment in the background did get a bit monotonous. It sounds excellent, don't get me wrong, and the harmonies are nice. Plus, for 2 minutes and a quarter, you do have an excuse not to vary your accompaniment, but still, if you were to flesh this out, then remember that those pizzicatos get pretty monotonous, especially rhythmically, so some variety in that department (by use of different instruments and accompaniment) would've helped."

=> Of course, you are right. But since this is only a four hour project or so (most of the time spent trying to figure out the mixing D:), I didn't really put that much thought into the actual composition or arrangement. I wanted to keep it simple so I could easily get a foundation for using DAWs.

"Especially rhythmically", I'm glad you mentioned that, since it was something I had completely overlooked. I usually try to vary rythm as well, but this pizzicato track got so integrated in my mind that I wouldn't notice anything that could be done to it myself, without someone pointing it out.

I'm extremely glad that you got some enjoyment out of listening to this piece of mine, as well as from dissecting it :3
And once again, thank you so, so much for taking time to write such a detailed and honest review for a newgrounds newcomer, I won't forget this!

I will definitely try to keep up the good work, especially since you motivated me further. It's a shame that it is now time for me to read for a series of important exams D:
Oh well, oh well...

Thanks mate ;)