So I'm looking through previous NGADM threads because 2014 is my first one, right? To see what's what.
Well, I know this isn't in particularly good taste, but:
Thanks man! Although I'm really kind of ashamed of this piece. Out of all the other music I wrote before and after, this one was sort of a step backwards.
This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.
What I liked:
-This is an extremely well thought out, nicely composed piece. I love the flow of it.
-Your use of percussion is fantastic. I think that more than anything else is what sets this piece (and your music in general) apart.
-I liked the transitions. While listening, it doesn't feel like anything is particularly out of place.
-Great sound quality for your samples.
-Use of dynamics, that crescendo near the end was awesome.
-Great ending! I liked the cymbal.
What could have been better:
-Your music is very loud, which isn't a bad thing by any means, but you may be losing some quality with compression.
-I would have liked to see more of a theme throughout the piece, it would make it more cohesive.
-The inception horn at 3:59. Part of me actually likes this, but it's an easy trick to use in cinematic music which many Hans Zimmer fans are guilty of, myself included.
Overall, this is a fantastic, well composed piece. I very much enjoyed listening, and you have quite high production value. Great use of dynamics and percussion really set this piece apart. Great job!
I give 5/5 when I can think of any negatives to point out. And I can't. I hear what the judges are saying about randomness and lack of complexity ... but I think that's a bit hogwash in both cases. Complexity for the sake of showing "Ooh look, I can put in a diminished 13th and get away with it!" doesn't necessarily add anything to a musical piece (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. For the sake of the competition, that's potentially another thing, but my original statement stands. And who cares about winning competitions? It's all about making good music, right? ... Right? :P). I think the sudden rapid-fire transitions (or lack of transitions) also fit in with the often frantic feeling of the piece, and ditto for the abrupt ending. If anything, the nice beginning doesn't fit with the rest of the piece, but there you moved us there gradually at first, so it's fine.
There can be such a thing as a soundtrack piece without there being an actual thing that is being set to music (composers have done it for centuries before movies existed), and I think that's what you have here. And that it is very good.
Once again, I am incredibly impressed with what you've managed to come up with. This is everything I look for in an orchestral track; emotional, smooth, varied and well built. Great work overall!
I particularly like the piano at the beginning, and also the way the piece changes and builds up to a climax. All this is done very smoothly, with great transitions and use of musical sections. The drums too are impressive, nice and driving with impressive focus on quality and detail. The instrumentation too is great, with fantastic orchestration to compliment it.
That being said, the conclusion is a bit disappointing, considering the overwhelming awesome of the main sections. It could have used more work, maybe a reintroduction of the piano motif, or an even bigger climax to top it off on a cliffhanger, so to speak. Just my two cents.
Overall, great piece, fantastic work. Definitely a big fan of your work, and I look forward to hearing more from you, as always!
-Pretty piano beginning with a background pad. Classic.
-The opening up at 0:36 is a VERY beautiful moment.
-1:06 sounds sweeeeet, the foghorn/gated synth combo is indeed spectacular and amazing.
-The drumline at 1:46 is amazing. Over-the-top or no, it sounds amazing. Same goes for 3:56.
-The transition at 1:06 is also a tad bit sudden, it feels like it would work far better if there were a background animation, as if it were intended for that or a movie.
-This is lacking cohesion. There are a lot of different sections, but none of them are specifically related to each other except by mood and transition.
-The ending is sudden and there's very little conclusion to the piece.
Overall: Score of 8.5/10. This is spectacular, powerful, and all over the place without much connection. There needs to be more cohesion and connectivity throughout the piece - otherwise it is more of a soundtrack and not standalone.
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.