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Darkest Hour

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My try for the Art Inspired Music Contest 2014.

My song was majorly inspired by this picture:

http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/surfsideaaron/knight-guy-3

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Not bad... not great.

The composition is decent. The repetition is okay for maybe the first 30 seconds but after that it just gets annoying. There are hundreds of chords in existence, why not use a few! The lute-like instrument in the start could definitely use a more interesting arp or at least some variation every once in a while. The key to any good ostinati (loops) is variation! You MUST vary your ideas... even Philip Glass does!

Instrument-wise, it's fairly bare. I would have liked to hear more percussion... maybe some chimes/bells, hand drums, maybe tambourine. That would better help approach more of a medieval style than snare drum. I also missed some nice bass. I really suggest you check out the music for Age of Empires II, it reminds me a lot of this and was one of my inspirations for starting composing. :)

Mixing/mastering wise, it also needs some work. The reverb is a bit too wet and some instruments are poorly balanced. Experiment around more with different panning and effects to better spread and balance your ensemble. I understand you may be working with limited soundsets, but you can still do a helluva lot with limited resources, trust me.

Think of your mix in three levels: Foreground, Middleground, and Background. The foreground is the melody. Generally try to have something going on in the foreground 3/4ths of the time or so, but make sure to leave some time for the audience to appreciate the other components. The foreground is melodic, evolving, and likely lyrical. Regrettably many beginning composers do not add a true foreground to their piece, as it takes time to really understand how it functions. The middleground is your texture- arpeggios, countermelodies, and responses. The middle ground exists to "converse" with the foreground and create a feeling of accompaniment to an otherwise lonely song. The background is your chords and bassline and anything extraneous- ambiences, pads, etc. Mix accordingly so the foreground is in the front- clearest (i.e. least reverb), loudest, maybe closer to the center (maybe). Keep other things clear.

Maybe take some time to check out some medieval/renaissance music (most music we refer to as "medieval" is in fact renaissance). Stuff like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XvVtszPyTs (noting that that is dance music, there's still other music that's less on the happy side too).

Keep compos(ed/ing)!
-Samulis

=========
My ratings:
Originality- 5/10
Relevance- 21/30
Composition- 15/25
Instrumentation- 7/15
Mastering- 4/10
Emotion/Interest- 5/10

Total: 57/100 (NG: 3 stars)

Credits & Info

SoTJake
Author

Listens
2,154
Faves:
6
Downloads
43
Votes
6
Score
4.39 / 5.00

Uploaded
Mar 14, 2014
11:27 AM EDT
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
5.2 MB
2 min 18 sec

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Licensing Terms

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