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undersea and lost.

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i wanted to write a really intricate piece with a lot of details so then this happened. i'm really happy with it mostly because it sounds quite different than my standard stuff. Umm, I mean, it doesn't sound different in some ways, but in terms of sound design it does. I actually synthesized all of the instruments in the song on the spot, using none of my presets. Yay for FM!

I wrote it in about 1.5 hours.

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I understand your feeling of underwater but i get the impression of being on top of the waves soaring around clearer in my head. looking out onto endless ocean and knowing you can choose any destination, the song makes me feel free and open.

The intro is very distinct and iconic, it stands out and i personally feel it doesn't sound repetitive at all.

the main melody has a beautiful sweeping effect, everything melds and go together. when the intro returns it feels in place with everything else. however maybe it can go somewhere else? a little drama at the end or different beat to separate it.

I did really enjoy this piece, keep it up :-D

johnfn responds:

I always like hearing different interpretations for my piece. It makes me think that maybe I should be even less specific about my pieces, because then it allows the listener to come up with their own interpretations, which probably makes the piece better for them.

Thanks for the review. :)

I, for one, completely disagree with BlueOceans. I'm not quite sure why; maybe it's because we play similar games, maybe it's because we think different, but I really think this sound very marine. However, I'm not quite sure where 'lost' comes from. I can easily get that it's undersea, but it feels more mysterious and exploratory, not really lost.

I think you could've explored dynamics more in the intro. I would've enjoyed it a lot more if it weren't so, eh, jarring. You used dynamics very well in other locations, though, such as the background synths in places like 1:14. You ought to use stuff like that in the future. i also loved the return of the glitches from 'The Fight'. Or at least, it sounded like them. :)

I think my biggest problem with this is its repetition. However, I guess if it's supposed to be an underwater level for a game, that's excusable. I just don't think that level of repetition is justified in a piece of music for music's sake.

However, great song. It could use a few tweaks here or there, and maybe be a little shorter, but it's amazing nonetheless.

johnfn responds:

This is a pretty great review, it gives me a lot to think about. Thank you.

I think you're right, I could have started with a fadein in the beginning. Right now having everything being equal volume makes the piece a little flat.

The song IS a little repetitive. I'm constantly working on striking the right balance between repetition and ... non-repetitiveness, I guess. Back when I wrote stuff like "The Fight" I would switch up the piece every 8 bars. While it was successful, I'm now more interested in exploring the idea of songs that sort of linger in the same space for a while. I think with a little more variation and movement on the synths that I currently have I could have cured it of the repetitiveness you mentioned.

Thanks for the great review. I think you raised a lot of valid points.

I agree with blue oceans when I say it doesn't feel like an underwater level.
It's still a fantastic peace nonetheless.
The melody and mixing is absolutely superb, something I can only dream of doing.
Keep up the amazing work!

johnfn responds:

Yeahh I've been thinking more about leaving my songs up to interpretation rather than explaining what I think they mean (which is kind of limiting). I can't really help with mixing but I've been thinking about writing some stuff up about how I mix. Despite what everyone thinks I think that mixing is a fairly straightforward process.

Thanks for the review.

Wow, this IS different than many of your other tracks! You really emphasized the harmonies more in this one. I love the structure, btw. The transition from energetic to pensive is done very well. However, I think when you transition back to a more energetic vibe at 3:29, it could be smoother. It got a little repetitive after a while, especially with the riff that pops in at 3:29 and other places. Also, for a piece that's so atmospherically driven, it ends a little suddenly. However, I must say I never got tired of the riff at :44 that just seems to encase the entire atmosphere of the piece. I think you did a good job with the dynamic contrast, too. Overall, of course, it's an excellent piece. Before I started listening to you, Johnfn, I didn't like chipstep that much (or maybe I didn't know exactly what it was), but either way all I know is that I'm a big fan of this style of music. Keep at it, Johnfn! ;D

johnfn responds:

It's funny you call the transition at 3:27. I agree with you but the one thing I do like a lot about this piece is how that 2:57 arp thing sort of fades out the middle section into the final section. The main problem with the transition is probably just that 3:29 repetitive melody. It's interesting how you say it's repetitive. While composing I figured it would just be one of those melodies that can't be repetitive because it's too simple and you'd hear it as just background noise (like the quick arps that kick off the piece). But after re-listening I agree with you. Learning things all the time. :D

Anywho thanks for the review. One final comment is about the genre of pieces like these. I normally put my pieces in the chipstep genre when they'd more traditionally fit into something like "chiptune", because the "chiptune" genre doesn't fit on here. But recently I dunno if this is even chiptune because it's using a lot of non chiptune elements too. It'd probably be closer to 9-bit, which is like chiptune that's been enhanced with sounds that aren't found in traditional chiptune.

Or maybe it's something totally different!

this made me feel very contemplative and kind of sad in a nostalgic way, something no other chipstep song has done. and then when the beat came back in towards the end, I had a nice sense of closure and hope. really nice work.

johnfn responds:

Thanks! Yeah I get that vibe from it too. The funny thing about the genre is that I don't really consider it chipstep. I just put my chiptune songs under chipstep because it's closer to my intent than any other genre (except video game I guess...)

Credits & Info


4.50 / 5.00

Jan 3, 2014
12:16 AM EST
File Info
4.2 MB
4 min 37 sec

Licensing Terms

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