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This is Not the End

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- Third Round submission for the 2013 Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch -

Edit: This version replaces the previous piano with one that has a much warmer, richer sound. Your browser may need to be restarted after clearing the cache to hear this new upload if played previously.
Also, if anyone was wondering why my usual author comments are missing, that one's on Newgrounds and its update issues; I did indeed write them, but they were somehow lost during publishing. Still, I daresay the music speaks for itself.

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Beautiful, I absolutely love it ^u^
Do you mind if I use this piece in my animation?

ChronoNomad responds:

Many thanks, Xaolan! I do not mind at all, please do. As long as you credit me for the music, it's all good. ^__^

NGADM R.3 Review

What I liked:
- Great piano progression and sound.
- Strings, OMG the strings... so warm and rich and pretty.
- Overall atmosphere the song creates, very mellow, yet with a hint of tension throughout, it's a nice balance.

What I didn't:
- There needs to be something occupying the low end in this, it all seems to be stacked in the mid-high range with nothing down below, which I think made it feel a little less full than it should have.
- First half of the song was quite varied as far as how the piano played, key changes, rhythm changes, etc... but the second half felt a bit more lazy, as if you ran out of ideas and opted to go with a more generic melody to just fill out the rest of the song.

Aside from a somewhat repetitious second half and the lack of low end, I really enjoyed this. How it creates an atmosphere both relaxing and somewhat tense at the same time I think is a great accomplishment.


ChronoNomad responds:

Thanks for the review, Purgy! Everyone seems to like pretty much the same things (which is awesome) and dislike the same things (not so much), so there's not really much to add response-wise at this point, but I hate to short-change someone who takes the time to leave a review, so...

I am happy to hear that the piano progressions and strings impressed pretty much all the judges, so that feels like a solid success. Knowing that the intended-yet-subtle tension can be felt also feels like a win, as that was the balance that I was aiming for. A sense of hopefulness. Or is it...? The end comes for us all, but to delay that for but a little while is still a victory. Therein lies the main theme.

I would love to have a better cello that I could have transposed down another octave, but it just didn't sound right with this one. Even now that I've spent hours getting new SoundFonts, I still have only a handful of nice cellos, which is a shame. Words like lazy, generic, and sloppy are basically anathema to me at this point, and there was certainly no intended laziness that went into the melody that seems so repetitious to everyone, so these kinds of comments are simply frustrating...or would be if I didn't feel nice and numb about it at this point. I tried building on top of a melody over time, but it just comes off as being repetitive to those in the judgment seats. So be it. Life goes on.

I am glad that everyone seemed to at least enjoy listening to this piece. That's quite heartening to know, and making it this far in the NGADM has been a very interesting learning experience. I really appreciate your time and it's very nice to know that the atmosphere comes off as being appropriately relaxing yet tense. Thanks again. :)

NGADM Review


My word...this track is just so rich with detail, soothing sounds, and brilliant melodies. Your introduction is magnificent; I was lost in the wonderful melodic melancholy of it all. The instrumentation and orchestration in this piece is fantastic, and the mixing defines all of the instruments quite clearly (though there were some minor issues that I'll get into shortly). This track is quite moving, and you can hear the emotion in almost every note and chord right until the very end. I love, love, LOVE that sliding effect on the strings.

As others have said, the mixing comes across as a little flat (this could be indicative of instrument and sound choice) and there could have been more variety with those lower frequencies and bass instruments. Also, the chord pattern tends to get just a tad repetitive...but not so repetitive as to hinder the listener's interest in the song.

Well done, ChronoNomad! I love this track and I am looking forward to hearing some more of your work! :)

Score: 8.5/10

ChronoNomad responds:

Many thanks for such a positive review, N-B! I would definitely say it was worth the wait. :)

I put a lot of effort into this piece, and it's nice to know that - even though it ultimately lost the NGADM battle - it still holds a special place in people's hearts. Even I am surprised at the beautiful melodies that emerged during this phase of the competition, and that's how it still feels so often when I compose a new piece of music. The instrument selection was mostly predetermined in my mind before I even started working, but that ended up evolving a bit, as also tends to happen.

Initially, the idea was to simply use piano and cello, which - rather like chocolate and peanut butter - are two things that just seem to naturally go great together. Big brassy instruments and percussion had to sit this one out, but the addition of choir felt appropriately reverent even though I had just used the same one in my previous submission. The music then proceeded to seemingly write itself, which is always a good sign.

Is there a flatness to the mixing? Yes, and I blame that mostly on my lack of experience with the Stereo Shaper at the time. I usually like to leave the piano to its own devices since it pans naturally across the field, but applying that bloody Stereo Shaper just seems to have bastardized the sound. A poor and costly choice, indeed.

Thanks again for the lovely review! Please peruse my musical repertoire at your leisure. ^__^

This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.


What I liked:
-The strings in the beginning sound great. Especially the slide in the cellos, very nice.
-Around :43 the chords/melody gets really cool.
-The chords you use around and after the 1:00 mark are fantastic, I'm a fan of all the key changes!

What could have been better:
-The mixing/mastering is a little flat. I would have liked a bassier, wider track.
-The IV, V, vi chord progression is nice, but is used a little too much.
-It feels a little repetitive in the second half.

This is overall a really nice track, with great melody work. I would like to see a little more bass and some creative panning of instruments to widen out the track. Great work!

Score: 8.2/10

ChronoNomad responds:

Thanks for another lovely review, BFJ. You gave this one a slightly higher score than Tir Na Nog, so I guess I must have been doing something right here! :D

It's nice to hear a good word about the cello slides, especially since I worked on them a lot to try and get just the right kind of sound and timing. I'm hoping to a find an even better cello soon that can sound even more solid when using tactical note slides. It's also great to see someone commenting on the rolling chords! I was beginning to feel as though they went rather unnoticed, so I am very happy to know that someone enjoys them. Seriously, bless you for that.

Still working on my mixing and mastering, but I think I like to think I'm getting there. I think that using too much Stereo Shaper in this track was a mistake, to be honest; it kind of made the music sound thin and less dynamic. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose. Hoping to make better choices in this regard in the future. I can't deny that there is a bit of repetition in the second half, but there was a purpose behind it, and I guess it's just a case where my own artistic vision didn't resonate with others in quite the same way. So be it. I can fully understand and accept the alternate point of view.

It is very nice to hear that the music is well liked, overall. There's certainly nothing to be ashamed of in the scores that I've received and I'm proud to have made it this far. I'll keep working on things and maybe take another stab at it next year. Excelsior!

What was I thinking not reviewing this one earlier? I absolutely love it. The melody that launches at :18 may be the best one I've heard all NGADM, so instant 9 stars already. There are three problems though-

1. The bridges between the different occurrences of the :18 melody are not very strong. I like some points, like 1:12-20, but generally they just feel like they're there to fill space. The thing is that when you have a melody as strong as :18, every other part of your song has to step it up or else it's going to be a disappointment.

2. You don't get enough mileage out of the melody. You wrote an awesome melody, you better get all you can out of it. Ideally I would like some strong bass and maybe even some big hits under it for some sort of climax, to really get the emotion out. I realize that might not fit the idea that you had for the song, but it's a melody that really seems to demand some more power under it.

3. Too much reverb. Easy fix, just turn down the release on your reverb. That will clean up your climaxes a lot, especially in the high end.

Anyway, I'm a huge melody guy, so this is already baller in my books. The whole song is great. Just wanted to make some minor suggestions to make it even better!

ChronoNomad responds:

You are seriously the best. Thank you so much for this outstanding review, John! Until now I've actually been really surprised at the lack of comments about the underlying melodies, so it's really good to know that those do not go completely unnoticed. I was starting to think that I was the only one who was really in love with them. :3

You've made some very nice suggestions in conjunction with your feedback, and I truly appreciate that. It's always nice to have some direction as opposed to the decidedly non-constructive "I don't like this" or "I don't like that" without any kind of explanation why or anything. I think I'm finally getting a hold of my love affair with reverb, but it's still a pretty delicate balance; less is definitely more in this regard.

Thank you again for leaving this very encouraging review. I'm happy to know that you enjoy this piece, and am still working on music post-NGADM, so I hope you'll drop by from time to time. Your presence is definitely welcome here!

Credits & Info


4.77 / 5.00

Sep 2, 2013
5:16 PM EDT
File Info
4.8 MB
3 min 28 sec

Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

You must give credit to the artist.
You may not use this work for commercial purposes. *
No Derivative Works:
You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

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