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Utopia - NGADM '13 Entry

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My entry to round one of the NGADM. Here's hoping I stack up against the competition.

This piece is a reflection of an idea I had a while ago. In every bad situation, there is some bit of good. A "utopia" if you will. No matter what kind of problem you face, there is always a bright side. The song is somewhat of a representation of this idea. Amid all the fast-paced drama of the world, there is always time to slow down and reflect on the small things; in the song, there are breaks of calm in between rushes of action.

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Your NGADM round 1 review
As I don't generally work with Cinematic work, yours and TheBenjerman's tracks were difficult to judge. However I'll try and review this as best as possible.

First and foremost, you have a such a soft and soothing melody from the start, that brings a feeling of something coming to and end or a feeling of great acomplishment. However, at 1:03, this suddenly changes to something a little more dramatic. I must say it was a totally unexpected change but it defnitely brought a great variation to the track. Your usage of notes throughout the strong resolve lovely amongst the chord choices and I can see exactly what kind of piece you were working with here. I especially picked up on that cheeky glissando at 2:12, HOW CUTE IS THAT. Lovely little bit of work!

Now the majority of the problems I picked up have already been mentioned by the guys who have already reviewed this track so there's no need to go over them again! At 2:08 when you bring the piano in, the speed of the notes wasn't necessarily the porlbme for me but the choice of instrument. I don't feel a piano fitted in well at this part where I feel a lone string instrument would have held a much more subtle tone and personality against the piano. Again it feels a little repetitive and I will quite happily repeat that an extra layer of something new would have gave your track much more power where you intended it to be. Possibly an atmospheric fill in the background or a choir as jones said at 2:53, it just felt a tad lacking in that aspect.

Overall though, this was a great piece of work and I hope to see more from you soon!

This is an NGADM Round 1 review.

Really beautiful melody in the beginning here. I like the introduction of the low strings. Mixing seems to be a little heavy on the high end – the violins stuck out a little bit too much for me. I like how you layer the melody with a few different instruments, the piano adds some texture to it that I really enjoy. Some really good composition here. I would have liked to see more variation at your halfway point instead of going back and repeating the already “big” section (at 2:53). I think you could have really made it shine by bringing in a choir or something of the like, or changing the melody at this point. It feels almost like you copied and pasted the part at 1:25 and didn’t bother to add much more than a layer or two of new sounds. I understand reprising the theme there, which is awesome, but I want more! The drop-off at the end is lovely. I really love the way the piece ends (except for that last note, I want the tonic back!). It would be even more dramatic of an ending if you built the section before it a little more. All in all a great piece good sir!

Score: 7.5/10

This is an NGADM Round 1 review.


The song instantly starts with quite a beautiful melody that I think might be at least partially inspired by the fantastic Lord of the Rings main motif (although might not be). The piano sound is very soothing as well, and the strings are wonderfully warm! The whole atmosphere of this is very uplifting and I'm relieved to hear that you put in dynamic changes too, with smooth transitions on the whole (although I think you hyped up the 2:29 transition a bit too much since what followed ended up sounding a tad bit anticlimactic). This is great cinematic stuff that certainly has film score qualities to it.

There are a few issues scattered throughout the song, most of which were already mentioned by johnfn. The piano's quick notes at 2:07's and 3:36's section felt out of place, and the mix gets very muddy and full up during the louder sections, doubtlessly due to you having such massive and loud string chords playing. Another tiny complaint is that I'm not a big fan of your minor chord choice at 1:43 and all similar occurrences (but this is probably personal preference). One final problem this track has, however, is that apart from the main melody (which might have been focused on a bit too much for comfort), the melodic content in this track is a bit unsatisfactory.

That being said, this was a fantastic listening experience on the whole. Good job.

Score: 8.1/10

papkee responds:

Wow. Coming from one of the masters that means a lot.

Prepare for insta-hate, but I've actually never seen Lord of the Rings. *braces for impact*

Most of my melodies kinda just go something like this.
-*random notes all over the piano*
-Hey, that sounded cool

One of my biggest problems is and always has been melodic variation. Using FL Studio's patterns really makes it quite easy to "reuse" sections; something that is a very bad habit in my opinion. I have a lazy tendency to just copy whole sections over without thinking, which makes a track lose expression like nothing else.

Thanks for the great review, and keep pumping out amazing things.

great try on the main piano could of been a little better, great orchestral sounds, good use of the vibe, and i agree it sounds like its building up to something but not quite finished, i agree in the repeated melody, and about the notes johnfn pointed out, its a great song and i could see it (if funished) being used in allot of things, keep it epic man, still looking out for your stuff

Tad generic. Feels like its building up to something more complicated then repeats the same pattern. good melody and skill level. needs more megaman.

papkee responds:

I was not aware Megaman was a musical term. :P

Credits & Info


4.65 / 5.00

Jul 25, 2013
9:34 PM EDT
File Info
10 MB
4 min 23 sec

Licensing Terms

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