We're grateful to RandomBC, our latest supporter!

We're 5 people from our target today. Why don't you be one of them?

You can support NG too and get tons of perks for just $2.99.

Create a Free Account and then..

Become a Supporter!

Author Comments

EDIT (19/5/12) - Tomppaah was awesome enough to master this so I've uploaded his mastered version. Please go check out his music - a lot of his tracks are in a similar style to this and he has some really amazing stuff.


Wow, this took me ages. I started it on the 15th of January and now, on the 8th of February, I can finally call it done! Be prepared for a long-ass description

Right then, this here is my fourth ever full orchestral song, for the Orchestral MAC BrokenDeck is organising. I think it's my best too - Land of Kings isn't even comparable to this, and I don't think Journey to the Afterlife and Legend are better either. I tried focusing on three main things - composition, realism and instrumentation.

This song probably has some of the best composition I've ever done. It explores six different keys and two time signatures, and I've also worked very hard on the harmony and transitions. It has loads of mood changes too, since I wanted the song to tell a story. Basically *my* idea was of a person who constantly kept getting into danger and worked desperately to find a sanctuary, which he does find at the end. I'd write a scene but I guess the story should be left to the interpretation of the listener.

As for realism, I know it's not such a high factor the MAC judges take into consideration but I still worked a lot on it. I gave woodwinds occasional pauses, as if the players are stopping for breath, pretty much every note has a different velocity and doesn't start exactly at the right time (for humanising purposes), I tried loads of new orchestral effects such as flute trills and grace notes, and I played the harp intro and piano solo myself on my synth. The first part of the harp intro is actually improvised. The massive amount of volume and tempo automations helped too... And so did the realistic East/West samples :P.

And lastly I worked on arrangement and instrumentation. I've got 49 East/West instruments loaded (it was a KILLER for my CPU) and I tried to touch every part of the standard orchestra (Woodwind, Brass, Strings, Percussion and Choir). I even added things like guitars and pianos which aren't part of the standard orchestra.

So, as for the instruments, I used violins, violas, cellos, double basses, trombones, French horns, trumpets, flutes, oboes, a subtle choir, bass drums, taikos, shakers, tambourines, gongs, cymbals, snares, timpanis, bongos (djembe), a guitar, a mandolin, a harp, a piano, and some subtle drone effects to add to the atmosphere. Everything's from East/West - snare/timpani and the standard orchestra instruments are from Symphonic Orchestra, all other percussion's from Stormdrum and the guitar and mandolin are from Ra.

Also, as for the credits, I've got too many to name since so many people gave me feedback on this one which I improved on, although camoshark certainly deserves a mention for helping me IMMENSELY with many chords in the song (like those brass chords after the harp intro - those took like an hour, haha) and giving me all the feedback a guy could ask for.

Echo deserves a mention too for also giving me tonnes of feedback! And lastly thanks to samulis for giving me ideas for the 3/4 to 4/4 change. I didn't use the ideas though even though I planned to. I just decided to go for a more generic transition since the project file was lagging like crazy.

So, after 49 instruments, 45 automation clips, 200 patterns, 93 bars and nearly a month of work, here's Sanctuary. Fun fact: there used to be 199 patterns but due to OCD I wanted 200 so I added a timpani roll at the very end :3.

Wish me luck in the competition. I probably won't win because there are some geniuses like PeterSatera, Bosa, Echo, Computer112, blackattackbitch, samulis, etc... taking part, but I'm aiming to get in the Top 8 at least! Enjoy, and feedback is very much appreciated.


*WARNING* Shitty english *WARNING*

Awesome. I'm just speechless. The different instruments are really fitting between themselfs and my favorite part was when it goes boom at 1:00 and 1:50. That is awesome and I cannot say anything more.

PS : I find it funny how the lowest review is 4/5, that means your music IS epic!

5/5, 5/5, Favorited, author favorited, downloaded.

That's the best I can do. Awesome work and I shall listen to more.

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Hello! Thanks a lot for leaving a review!

"*WARNING* Shitty english *WARNING*"

Lol you're like the second person in a row to claim that they might have bad English and then write a review with nearly flawless grammar :P.

"Awesome. I'm just speechless. The different instruments are really fitting between themselfs and my favorite part was when it goes boom at 1:00 and 1:50. That is awesome and I cannot say anything more."

Thanks a lot! I'm relieved to hear that you like the part at 1:00. It was very experimental for me and there were some people who liked it and some people who didn't. And yeah I'm quite proud of the part at 1:50!

"PS : I find it funny how the lowest review is 4/5, that means your music IS epic!"

Well it certainly makes me happy :3.

"5/5, 5/5, Favorited, author favorited, downloaded.
That's the best I can do. Awesome work and I shall listen to more."

Whoa thanks a lot. If you're ever interested in hearing my other songs, you can check out this handy little list of my better songs!

I really appreciate the support and feedback. Thanks again!

Wow, it's an amazing work you did!
The structure is just awesome, and it leads to so many variations!
Nuances are great, and they trully improve the different parts of your song...
I don't even know how to express the awesomness of what you've done!
Congratulations! And sorry if my English sucks... ^^

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Whoa, thanks for such a supportive review!

Also your English is great! The only tiny grammar problem is "it's an amazing work you did!". You say "amazing work!" or "it's an amazing job you did!" but not "it's an amazing work you did!". Still, that's just me being a grammar Nazi :3.

I'm very glad you enjoyed the piece!

OK so that was awesome. The whole thing flowed together nicely and the wide variety of instruments just made it better. However the piece would sound much better if a really orchestra played it, but I guess that's a bit obvious. But fuck that last bit, this song is awesome. One hell of a job you did on this Steph, keep it up.

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Thanks dude! Yeah, it would be so great if this was played by an actual orchestra, but there are like 50 different instruments (hundreds if you count how many of each instrument there are, since there are like 11 violins, 7 violas, etc...). You'd need a pretty bigass orchestra :P.

Thanks again, really appreciate the review!

I am stunned. This is absolutely amazing! You good sir, should be composing film scores. The instrumentation you use is different from the norm, which is incredibly refreshing and it makes the song all the more interesting. Keep up the amazing work!

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

Wow thanks!

I kept the instrumentation different since the standard orchestra has been used so much now that it's very hard to get something original sounding out of just standard instruments, so I threw in a few guitars, a piano and a harp :3.

Thanks again for the review!

Dammit Steph, your music is too damn good!

People find this review helpful!
Step responds:

D'aww thanks :3.

Click on an icon to vote on this!

Credits & Info


4.28 / 5.00

Feb 8, 2012
5:11 AM EST
File Info
3.7 MB
4 min 1 sec

Licensing Terms

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