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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.


I dont always review but you qinned congrats as the others ars saying this qill be the peak of a movue or story part iof some game o you can make your wnstory ok godd
God luck

Step responds:

Typos much? :P

I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reviewing!

I think everyone is wrong!
This belongs in the intro of an RPG or an MMORPG or any medieval game that begins cheery and happy.

A movie is cool too, but this is only 4 minutes.
A separate story can go with it, but imagine playing that story instead.

5 stars, you have talent, use it wisely since it gets harder to find talent every year.
Good luck!

Step responds:

Haha, could be! I didn't make this with any intention of it being used anywhere but it can fit in different scenarios I guess :P.

Thanks a lot for the review!

So, so BEAUTIFUL. It's a really great and emotional piece. I know you've put a lot of effort for this one. I may not be able to make music, but I know good stuff when I hear one.

And thank you to firethunderclash for the imaginative story! It really suits the song!

*p.s Somebody should really make a movie out of this. ;)

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Step responds:

Thanks a lot man! I'm surprised you find it emotional because I never actually put any emotion into my works; I just try and go with whatever sounds cool. Still, I'm happy with that!

Yeah, firethunderclash wrote a really fitting story. And I'd obviously be absolutely honoured if someone made a movie for this but I doubt that will ever happen, haha.

Thanks a lot for reviewing!

Very well composed! I can think of a very good story that fits into this music. I'll say the main character would be John. I have a lot of details in this story so be prepared for a long review:

Background info: An invasion has been going on. John and other soldiers are trying to fight back the invasion. However, the invaders are winning.

0:00-0:15 - John is walking back through a forest to protect his village.

0:16 -0:20 - However, as he moves the last bush he finds out his village was invaded.

0:21-0:32 - John could not believe it. He looks at each house only to find bits of wood and furniture
and also dead bodies.

0:33- 0:43 - He soon reaches his house that is just the same as the other houses except one room still stands: his parents' room.

0:44-0:57 - Slowly, he lifts the tavern, shaking. Fearing of what to find in there. Then, a single tear is shed from the main character.

0:58-1:06 - He saw the most horrible image that will stick to
his mind for eternity: his parents bodies lying on the floor. Dead with blood oozing out. More tears came. The tears that exploded with anger and revenge.

1:07-1:27 - He prepares in a secret hut. He takes a knife, a map, a sword, and rope. He then put puts on a coat and walks out of the hut.

1:28-1:48 - He travels through a forest, a desert, a mountain range, and exits from another forest. Each scene has different camera views.

1:49-1:57 - Tired from all the walking, he notices a cliff.

1:58-2:10 - John gets a good view of the castle the invaders live.

2:11-2:27 - Night falls, John quietly climbs over the wall with the rope and sneaks past the guards in the courtyard.

2:28-2:56 - A series of scenes happen. John runs a hallway in the background while scenes appear of events where John is sneaking past the guards.

2:57-3:00 - John slows to a stop. He is just outside the king's room.

3:01-3:07 - John creeps behind the king slowly and knocks him out with a punch.

3:08-3:19 - Slowly he takes his sword and with the utmost hatred, drove it through the king's heart.

3:20-4:00 - He returns back to his village (without getting caught) and buries the bodies of his parents. Mourning over their faces as rain continues to fall. A tear from John falls down and makes the last note as it his the ground.

This is just my view on how I interpret this music. Although I do say this piece could also represent someone trying to find safety. Anyway, awesome piece and continue to make great music!

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Step responds:

Aw dude that's a really imaginative story. I was following it along with the music and hearing the music fit so perfectly in your story that I got the chills!

Thanks a lot man, really creative scene. I'm glad you liked the track :3.

Could go great as Credits to a movie, or an opener to a video game RPG =)

Step responds:

Heh, thanks! I'm glad you think so.

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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.