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The Tridecahedron Blood Summoning - Insanity Abstract Emerges

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NGADM 2021 GRAND FINALS ENTRY!

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EDIT: 1st Place!


Project Technical Info

Name: The Tridecahedron Blood Summoning - Insanity Abstract Emerges

Project Type: Experimental/Atonal Orchestration

Persistent Time Signature: 13/4

Tuning: 427hz (440 - (13))

Tempo Range: 59-65bpm (it's fastest stages @ 65 being a division of 13)

Key/Scales: Atonal (with select sections such as the Choral Legato Sting Quartets + Build-Choir(s) otherwise in Whole-Half/Diminished Scales with Atonal Pulses)

DAW Notes Total: 6136

Recorded Time Spent Actively Composing: 92 Hours


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"Within this hallowed chamber, where the walls between the mortal realms and the maw of oblivion are at their closest."

"We, the servants of the higher consciousness trapped between dimensions, bring forth thirteen blood sacrifices to offer in this summoning."

"May the magics of this ritual, drain from the torn open incisions from the flesh of the sacrificed, to form a cocoon, to form a vessel to synchronies your greatness back into the living realms."

"From the Tridecahedron, you shall be reborn in this realm!"


"Emerge, from your slumber. Unleash your beautiful insanity upon life!"

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So here we are. The Grand Finals of NGADM 2021. Has composing this kind of project (in the finals of all places) showcased that I've probably broken my mind even further? I'll leave that one for the audience to decide! I took a big risk trying to do something like this in the finals of all places instead of playing it safe with like, any other idea I suppose! Even got a chance to do some processed voice acting for this one, so all good!


I had issues last round with mainly my reverb settings and ensemble processing not being up-to-scratch with doing orch work. So this time around, I've ran some new processing chains /settings to ensure that clarity & sub-presence are much more defined. The overall project loudness for what I'm doing here specifically has been also adjusted to ensure that even the loudest sections maintain near enough all of their original dynamic range (other than a minimal amount of peak control and Dynamic EQ, as that's tbh necessary!). The project visually looks pretty quiet, but for any kind of project like this: Dynamic Range > Loudness (besides, the loudest peak of the track is at like -0.3dbTP, the track is long enough to get the visualiser make the waveform look small!). Steps have been made to try and make it sound like everything is within the same chamber environment in addition to the above etc.


One of those projects where I had more time available to do much more and maybe add a few mins more onto (13 minutes would of been great!). Had to cut some sections short due to the time constraints of NGADM and my work/life/composing balance etc. Pretty much been Wake Up --> Work --> Eat --> Compose --> Sleep, on schedule without stop for the last 2 weeks.

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heard it with headphones. This is the most intense experience I have ever had. I felt like i was watching a movie but with only audio

Fuck yes lich, this is sick.

This is an official NGADM 2021 final round review

Alright 9 minutes long. Before I get to reviewing it's definitely been a pleasure seeing you through the years even before judging NGADM. You've been largely influential in helping me appreciate and enjoy other genres I wouldn't have considered otherwise. Welcome to the final round

First impressions as I'm listening. It's very cinematic and clearly haunting. I never hear enough pipe organs in my life. I really enjoy the haunting choir. What's great about the loud section is I can clearly tell it's your style even though there isn't the usual synths I'm used to hearing. The composition overall is a nice blend of tonal chaos where there's voices/instruments coming through, but it's all just sounds so broken which I'm intending that in the best way possible. Everything is clashing together like the world is ending lol. The choir especially represents it well. It's basically just wailing and gnashing teeth. The song is a constant 9 minute reminder that this blood sacrifice is more than mildly traumatic, and everyone is crying out at the horrors taking place. The only thing in this whole cacophony of vocalized anguish that has any sense of control is the calm but brooding voice that's directing the whole theatrical. I wouldn't have expected what I feel like is your heaviest work to be something that's completely orchestral. You've satisfied my expectations lol.

As far as what I think of the composition, I think most of what I've heard was mentioned in my first impressions. My only complaint I would give would be one of personal preference. I know that it's intended to be atonal, but if it were me I would have at least had something like a rhythm or a tune that would be repeated periodically to be a cool connection throughout the whole piece. It's possible that what was used in the violins/violas starting at the 4:30 area is reprised at 8:10 and I didn't catch it on the first listen, but again this is personal preference. Taking that aside there's definitely a clear arc happening. You have the calm before the storm intro, and 2:30 is when events are really set in motion. Like I mentioned it's a very cinematic feel because there's a good sense of imagery of what's happening. After the initial shock of events, there's a steady tension and events that only increase until the end. It's all being told through fun filled details too. The choir as I've mentioned already is a wonderful tool you're using. There's dynamic range of the brass instruments that either help continue the unnerving tension, or they come in very dramatically and powerful. There's lots of good dissonance with the string instruments, and the percussion is very dramatic. And you have very literally wailing samples/vst. This would be a fun concert to witness live lol.

As far as the production side of things go, it would have been nice if it was a little louder but I can just turn up the volume of my headphones. There was a couple of balancing issues or shall I say balance decisions I wasn't fond of. At 3:00 I couldn't tell that it was a tenor singer that was trying to ring out. He was getting buried by everything else, like the choir the crash cymbals and the brass. Maybe all that's needed to resolve that is to bring him up in the mix. The brooding voice gets overshadowed and hard to understand and most especially at 7:57. Which is a bummer because there's no lyrics(?) to see what the final request is aside from it being unethical. However there isn't much else that inhibited me from enjoying this. I really like how everything sounded on their own. It sounds just like what I would expect from a live showing aside form the tenor solo. The vibrato was too consistent I think when switching notes especially the higher ones.

I mentioned to you earlier in this contest that I dared you to go heavier. While I stated that somewhat jokingly you pulled it off in a way I didn't expect. I did not feel too long either and I'm glad you stuck to one project from beginning to end this round without trashing a project until 3 days before deadline lol. Again, it's a pleasure seeing you in the final round.

This is an official NGADM 2021 Finals judge review.

As always, your atmosphere here is really good. Like in many of your songs from the previous rounds, it seems to take priority for the intro of this piece and sounds really good. I also notice this changes drastically from every single section, which is important for a piece like this. The different ways you utilize each instrument is also pretty good, and it makes this feel like a scene out of some horror movie.
That being said, I think that some of your instrument choices are a bit questionable in certain areas. For example, at 2:59 I feel that the male voice that comes in is a bit too classical for the feeling of the moment. It sticks out to me like a sore thumb as something that is too... for lack of a better term, operatic and bright in a moment that is meant to be intense and gritty. Adding a choir into that part is understandable and honestly a good choice, but the voice used here doesn't give that intensity. Later on, the violins at 4:25 are again a good choice on paper, but they feel too much like MIDI instruments to fit in with the other realistic- and dark-sounding instruments playing around them. While most of the moments are really good, those two stuck out to me as being weird and questionable.
Overall, it's really good, especially for a piece of its length. There are things to improve of course, but it still provides a good competitive edge for others. I wish you the best of luck against your other three competitors :D

LD-W responds:

Thanks for the review!

I chose the Solo Male Opera line earlier on more as a nod towards Penderecki, one of the main influences for the project (but not trying to outright copy him either!), plus I personally liked it the most after running several other drafts for that section between different male and female solo styles. Even with my arsenal, there's a distinct lack of decent niche options available beyond scraping through whatever oddities are included in Omnisphere in this scenario.

The Legato Violin quartet (with the Viola quartet quietly supporting) at 4:25 - 6:12 in Diminished + pulses is running one of 8DIO's complex chordal legato scripts (heavy enough to require it's own NKI separated from the main lib) to play a mixture of Chordal Legato slur's and fast runs as realistic as possible from their Deep Solo Violin lib (with quick Virtuoso articulation playing at points on a separate violin). That lib was specifically selected for the role after alot of study and A/B comparing the sound of it's price/performance against other good choices such as Joshua Bell Violin (I don't like how the short notes on it's legato sounds) & Performance Sample's offerings (they're great at 1/2 specific things as a boutique, but nothing else, which is not flexible enough for my needs), plus watching how faster legato runs in small doses sounds from other players on Youtube. Alot of time was spent adjusting expression/dynamics points (about 12 adjustments a second average) and notation spaced out in a slower mannerism to try and emulate realistic playing. Notation was also shifted around so it doesn't sound 'mechanical' per-say. If that still sounds like a MIDI instrument despite alot of effort to make it sound as realistic as possible to your ear, then tbh there's absolutely nothing else on the market which will do it, and I don't really know what else to say, as I can't just go and hire x4 players out of my own pocket for just this project to maybe get a miniscule level of playable improvement (with the added headache of cleaning up recordings and ensuring that I 3D-Position them correctly without losing the rich detailing of said recordings).

EDIT: Apologies if the above comes across as a tad pointed, it's just insanely frustrating to try and achieve realistic playing + the time investment involved with studying it and micro-tweaking everything together etc.

Wow this is awesome!

Credits & Info

LD-W
Author

Listens
3,907
Faves:
25
Votes
47
Score
4.72 / 5.00

Uploaded
Oct 17, 2021
11:31 PM EDT
Genre
Classical
File Info
Song
22.2 MB
9 min 42 sec

Licensing Terms

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