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Turn up the volume to full 'cause here we go!

Friends, this is my submission for NGADM 2012 Round 4 against Waterflame. The words 'mio' and 'homura' are Japanese for 'waterway' and 'flame' respectively -- a reference to Waterflame's username. This is a humble attempt at replicating the sounds from Ar Ciel Ar Dor and Infelious Rhaplanca. It's definitely one of my more dissonant works to date, what with some of the harmonic vocals forming strange chords. It was difficult on all fronts: composition, vocals, layering, mixing, but here you go.

The work is a programme piece, or a piece which tells a story. It is divided into two parts: first, the slower part (Mio), a song of supplication, used to mark a time of suffering. Then, the faster part (Homura), a song of praise, used to mark a time of relative calm and greater joy. Both parts are linked together by vocals, symbolising the singer's passage through two periods of life.

I know I haven't used this much in previous NGADM rounds, but I am making use of my favourite instrument -- the drum -- a bit more. Also, insane amounts of vocal layering. By insane, I mean almost 20 layers in two hours. I had to borrow a mic from one of my friends at Kingdom of Herts. And no, I could not take my time with it. As such, I was rushed to finish all vocal layers on time.

I cannot say I know where this piece is taking me. All I can say is that I am unleashing all my emotion, all my fury, all my sorrow and joy, into this piece. At least the first half of the composing/submission period has not been the best point in my life, but if the song is a reflexion of what is inside me, so it shall be.

FL Studio 10, Audacity and a better mic than the one I had for the last three rounds.
Special thanks to Kingdom of Herts' Richard White for lending the mic to me over the last two hours of the morning.

Lyrics and translation to be found here:
https://docs.google.com/f ile/d/0B0w47qIj_GR9bHhIaU pMU1lOam8/edit

(Please inform me if the link works or otherwise.)

EDIT 6.10.12: Apparently, I can't access the doc when signed out. I never had the problem before, but...... I guess the judges are going to have to rely on pure luck. Or Camoshark.

SECOND EDIT 6.10.12: Yes, the song ends at 5:00. I did not take enough care to cut off the silence after that point, and I'm sorry. T_T


Round 4! WoooooooohooooooooooOooOoooOOOOoooo! Yeah okay, enough sillyness. (Also, yep, since you got here you get custom introductory messages to my reviews! Yaaaaay.)

The Good:
-That is a GREAT intro. It really fits well.
-The water sounds are very nice.
-I like the feeling of a 'chant' in the background from your voices.
-The percussion in this is great.
-The recording quality is MUCH better in this. It improves the sound of your voice by a large amount, as I'm sure you noticed.
-I like the way you used the bells. It was very skillfull usage.
-I loved the staccato strings at 4:00-4:30.
-The outro was nice, but... well, I'll

The Not-So-Good:
-Initially the synth you used in the intro seems off-key, but this isn't as much of a problem.
-At around 1:10, your voice sounds like you're straining a lot for the high notes. Similar things happen in various other areas throughout the song. I feel like you're experimenting with your voice. This is good, but some of the experiments didn't turn out that well. I am *guessing*, however, that
-The mixing kinda falls apart at around 1:20 with the bass frequencies of the drum and bass, try cutting back the bass frequencies a little bit. At around 2 minutes in, the cymbal roll has a 'shaky' feeling from this.
-When things come back in at 2:38, it's a tad sudden. The voices come in a bit suddenly at other times. I also noticed that they're a bit too much in the foreground, which is causing clipping and distortion - try compressing it a bit or equalizing a bit more.
-...uh, it sounds like you kinda forgot about the last minute and a half in this song. The outro was great, then you just kinda let it sit there for an entire minute and a half. Misleading song length much? :P
-2:00-2:38 is rather long-winded and boring. You could have improved that transition by a TON. :(

Overall: This is REALLY nice. I'm not going to poke at the overall compositional format as much because you stated the form of it already. I think that this is an amazing piece of work, and you've improved *so* much over the course of this competition, but I think that you still have a ton of room for improvement. :( Gonna have to give this a 8.8/10.

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NGADM Round 4 Review


Idea: 5/5
You have great ideas, and well developed, and a very nice vocal counterpoint.
Also made good use of pentatonic scale

Interpretation: 3/5
This is what I don't want to say, but since I judged you, I have to: you have a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice ( here, I insist, it's amazing.), but unfortunately, you often sing out of your range in this song with makes some of the notes sound out of tune.

Listening: 4/5
You keep the listener interested with good development throughout the piece,and it sounds very catchy. My only negative point is the outdo, wich is not bad in itself, but feels like a let down after all that wonderful music. I understand what time constraints you had, but your material wants to say more (at least, I want to hear more). I would very much like to hear a continued version of this piece.

Mixing&Technical Stuff: 4/5
Your water sound is too loud for my taste; that's a background element, and you have it in the foreground.The bass frequencies of that sound just clutter that range and makes some of your instruments, such as drums, hard to hear. Seems to distort sometimes.

Total: 16/20 - 8/10

Beau texte, en passant, mais on ne comprend pas toutes les paroles cause de ton contrepoint vocal. Excellente pièce. Ma pièce préférée du ce tour.


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Good effort with the multiple voice harmony, but some of the vocal parts
were slightly weaker, as in thin, than the overall song. It got a little
hectic around 3:10, and the harmony was hard to place. The execution was
weak, but the composition itself, I felt was wonderful.

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This song is utterly spectacular. And the fact that you made it in only two (rather stressful) weeks? A miracle! I once spent six months (on and off) working on a track that holds no light to this.

Making a song like this is truly ambitious, and I think it's fabulous that you just leaped forward and did it anyway. The vocals were hauntingly beautiful and the instrumental was spine-tingling on its own. I can't imagine how awesome this would have turned out had you been able to spend more time on it.

The only problem I can see isn't in your mixing per se, but your vocal processing. The instruments were produced very well, but the vocals didn't seem to fit quite right in the mix. I'm sure you could have made this better if you weren't literally working on borrowed time. It's easy to look past this small flaw, however.

I adore non-English vocals, so I was instantly emotionally enamored, and when I read the English translation I nearly cried. Beautifully done! One question, though: are you planning on tweaking this some more now that you don't have to worry about a deadline?

Downloaded for sure, I can tell that you poured your heart and soul into this.

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Troisnyx responds:

T_T I'm just honoured that it touched you so.
When I tweak it, I don't know. I don't even know how to tweak it. I am still reeling from the embitterment, it's not even funny. But I do want to make this better.

When a song sends a shiver down my back in the first 20 seconds, I know it's going to be a good one.

Reminds me somewhat of Baba Yetu, the menu music for Civilization IV. Perhaps with the addition of more instruments- horns, timpani, orch bells, and doublebass, etc. it would be more incredible. I can imagine a killer horn part echoing the vocals etc.

You did an amazing job through all that was arrayed against you... I could never have pulled off that much and that quality of music in the time you had.

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Troisnyx responds:

Baba Yetu.... I can only dream of hitting that level. T_T *sob*
If you are on Skype now, please, let me speak to you.

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Credits & Info


3.79 / 5.00

Oct 5, 2012
11:08 AM EDT
File Info
7.5 MB
6 min 31 sec

Licensing Terms

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