Got to say, this song has all the ups and downs to it. it has depth and could easily be in a movie sound track. love it. keep up the good work.
This composition really hits all the buttons for me. There are a few little flaws, but to me they seem insignificant. This is the kind of song I would have on my iPod and actually listen to as-well.
I love this! It's got a real Hans Zimmer feel to it. Can't wait for the next version of it.
Epic. But bland.
Not to say it's a bad piece of music, because it isn't, but it's just so... Hollywood.
I could go on and on and give you praise about how epic it sounds, or how cool it is, or how it would fit in a film trailer behind exploding cars and stuff, but again, it's just so... blah.
Sure, I could just say "epic lolzors ur awesome" like many of the other reviews, but I think that there's just so much more you could do with this track. Other than "film trailer."
Besides that, it's a good enough track. I just wish there was some more variation, different instrumentation (big horns, more trombone & tuba? That would make it feel more epic in the beginning).
Other than that, I'll just say that the end bit -- the solo piano -- was my favourite part. It sounded like Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori's work on Halo -- perhaps a bit *too* similar to some of the Halo piano music...?
So to summarize:
- More fracking giant ass brass sections
- More solo piano
- Less standard Hollywood trailer music
That's my two cents, at least. Take from it whatever you want. (Pepole will think this review is worthles beacuause I offered criticism.)
Orchestral MAC Review
I like your ideas Nick. There is a lot of maturity in your writing, both in your ideas and control of the ensemble. The beginning was very strong - you set the tone of the piece well and I could imagine this in a movie trailer. You did a great job building intensity by moving the bass line upward at 0:16. Don't be afraid to use cymbals to help swells within the music. To heighten the intensity even further, you could have added a suspended cymbal along with a choked crash cymbal to close the intro at 0:27.
My favorite part of the entire piece began at 0:30. You show maturity here - your swells within the orchestra were very well done, and the introduction of the choir and percussion at 1:07 was particularly moving. While following all the rules of traditional voice leading techniques isn't necessary, you have a couple of spots where rough voice leading considerably weakens the music. One particular part is at 1:09 in the trombones. A diminished 5th should be resolved inward (in this case Eb and G). I can almost guarantee you'll find this a smoother, more pleasing resolution than what you have. In a piece that relies so heavy on smooth, powerful movements within the ensemble, having a weak resolution can completely undermine the otherwise beautiful atmosphere you've created.
The section at 1:51 feels cluttered to me. There are multiple moving string lines that line up well at times, and not as well as others. I'd have to look at the score to give you specifics as I'm having a hard time hearing the cello(?) line. Try isolating those two parts and see if they sit well with you. You may find having the trombones double the bass line up the octave more fitting, as it'd provide more stability. I loved the piano part at the end - it's very fitting and provides a satisfying yet unexpected closure to the piece. The tempo was a little uneven. I understand you wanted to keep it freer here, just make sure the fluctuations in the tempo are smooth. Lining up the hands when they have notes together should help remedy the issue.
Overall your orchestration was pretty good. Your flexibility with the ensemble (as I mentioned earlier) is very commendable. It can be difficult to have the ensemble swell for over a minute as you do 0:30-137. Well done!
You could be more liberal with the cymbals at the beginning (again as previously mentioned). Cymbals are extremely versatile instruments - they can be used for swells, transitions, abrupt hits, and more. Be careful not to overdo it though! At 2:10-2:30, you use them so much that their value becomes diminished. Try to reserve crash hits for particularly important moments. This will maximize their effectiveness and prevent them from fatiguing the listener.
I have a few suggestions about the mixing, but overall I felt it was good and didn't detract from the listening experience. Solo melodic lines that you want to stand out can be artificially raised (volume) in the mix. Also, reducing the reverb slightly on these instruments will give the impression that the player is in the front of the ensemble and the ear will naturally be drawn to the sound. With full sections (I.e all violins) it can be trickier because you don't want to create an unnatural sound, but the same rule can apply. The section at 1:52 could be assisted by applying this idea to the cellos and violins . As it is now, it sounds cluttered and undefined - but if you back off on reverb slightly and raise the volume you should get a cleaner sound.
You have a maturing sound that enables you to create truly moving music. I think you'd benefit most from paying a closer attention to your voice leading, and ensuring that the choices you're making strengthen the mood you're trying to set. It can be easy to get lost in the sea of instruments that is the orchestra, but that is what makes writing for full ensemble so difficult (and satisfying). The strongest point of this piece lies in the contrasts you create - however you decide to further develo
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.