Breaking Crystals

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This is my entry for the A.I.M. contest 2014.

Thanks to <a href="http://misledin.newgrounds.com/">Misledin</a> for the beautiful art <a href="http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/misledin/crystal-caverns">Crystal Caverns</a>.

Guitar used: Schecter SGR 006

When I first saw the picture, I knew it was the right one.
I don't had to think very much... I made a Intro which should reflect the picture and then I took my guitar and began to play some power chords. Then I wanted to add an other "turning point" and finally a end with my emotions in it...
What gave me the idea for those sudden changes of atmosphere was this picture. The crystals seemed so fragile and I had the impression that they would break at any moment creating a unique mood around them...
I know that there's no breaking crystals on this picture but this is what I interpret from this picture.

The creation of this song was a lot of fun and I want to thank Misledin for his support.

Enjoy my journey in this cave :)


I'd have to agree with several below- the beginning and the point after 2:20 is far improved from the middle. I know it's easy to go in strange directions when the muse hits you, but scoring is all about being able to find the balance between you and the requirements of the image (or game level or movie scene) you are working with.

The trick I always use when scoring to a picture is to play through the WIP I have while looking at the picture. If it "clicks" in my mind as revealing something about the image, it's good. If the image itself seems to move or waver with your music, you did a frelling brilliant job, congrats. In this regrettably, it clicked at the start and at the end, but that's about it.

Instruments are interesting and varied, but not all are really needed or applicable to the subject matter. As I said in a previous review, think about each instrument like a color on an artist's color palette for a painting. In some cases, you might use yellow, in others, you might not. Examine the colors the artist uses and try to find tonal equals. In orchestral terms, it might be cellos = blue water, glockenspiel = green crystals, brass = black darkness, violins = white light. For electronic, the timbres of each instrument you use would similarly have a chromatic equivalent. Symbolism goes far beyond the feel of the track and also applies to your choices in instruments. :)

FD had a good point in terms of composition and form. Think about the image you chose- it's pretty static in the state it is. You're looking at a cave with crystals and water... it's probably been this way centuries and will be this way for centuries. This means your song should try to reflect attribute this symbolically. Think about the best way you can really describe the essence of this long, dark solitude that the crystals go through, the contrast of the light on the dark walls, the cold, icy reach of the water across the hard granite basin. It's an interesting choice you made, but in terms of the contest, an ineffective one I believe.

Production is pretty good. I thought the glass breaking might have been a bit too loud, but hey, it's glass breaking, it's pretty f'ing loud when it happens.

Keep compos(ed/ing)!

My ratings:
Originality- 6/10
Relevance- 19/30
Composition- 15/25
Instrumentation- 9/15
Mastering- 7/10
Emotion/Interest- 6/10

Total: 62/100 (NG: 3 stars)

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aCreator responds:

Thank you very much for this hyper complete Review :D!!!
I'm afraid I won't be able to write as much as you...
When I made the song I was aware that the mood really "went away". And I also thought about if it was really a good idea... But it was the way I felt about this picture and yes...
So I thought why not...
I see now that it wasn't a very clever idea but that doesn't matter for me anymore. So many people found things that could be improved or gave me tips... So actually I'm very proud of my song... Because of it I learned really a lot!

I will really consider your tips for the next A.I.M. contest! they will without doubt be very useful!
Thank you very much for taking your time to write such awesome reviews! :)

The intro was amazing :D.
When the guitar comes in though I feel like the track dropped in quality. The guitar sounded really low quallity really low quality. Lowed the drop though. Really like this kind of melodic dubstep :). Wish you had varied this a bit more though. The clap sample you used also sounded bad. They sound like the basic Fl studio claps which I honestly have learned to hate from the bottom of my heart :3.

Anyways I loved this track except from the clap and guitar. I liked the way you used the guitar. just didn't like the sound of it.

4 stars.

People find this review helpful!
aCreator responds:

I made a huge mistake with the guitar that's right... The problem was that I recorded with the microphone input of my computer. Was really a stupid idea... Now I bought an interface and I can clearly hear the difference! Huge difference...

And that's a reason I really like Newgrounds. The people here know their stuff and help each other. That's really great :)
(And I'm sorry to disappoint you but I use Logic Pro, not FL Studio. But that doesn't change the fact that my clap sounds like crap)
Thank you for the nice review!

I'm going to be honest about this: I wasn't quite expecting the "turning point" that ultimately quite ruined the intro ambiance. I like the fact that you tried experimenting with something unusual and collage'd different pieces together, but it's also the same reason why it doesn't sound a cohesive effort to my ears.

The reason is simple: there are shards that can go well together because they enhance the experience while still maintaining a certain degree of experimentation, like the intro ambiance, the dubsteppy drums and the last progression after the second minute. Those alone could have, in my opinion, already made the song. I don't think the guitars could have had any positive contribution in this context at all at this point.

Overall it's an interesting track, with some ideas that can work together and some other ones that I advise you should keep for other efforts.

People find this review helpful!
aCreator responds:

I think it's always "risky" to try doing experimental stuff because the idea comes from you alone and when you listen to it you get used to it and finally (even if it's completely wrong) you feel that there is some sort of "right" in there. And as you said... Sometime you're lucky and it sounds really good for some people or other times it won't sound as good as you wanted it to sound...
So thank you for this review (not only yours :) ) because you showed me what could sound good and what sounded "bad" from another's perspective than mine. And I will use your advices in the future to make better music!

Have to say that this is a fun piece of music you've written. Just to counter some of the perspectives, I didn't mind the guitar work so much as I heard worse. It reminded me a little bit of the late 90s first person shooter games. The synth progression at 2:20 is definitely the best part of the track.

aCreator responds:

Yes... This last part!
I really enjoy to play flemenco on the guitar and I always use this a, G, F, E theme. So I thought: Why not use this theme for this track?
Happy that you liked it!

Firstly, I'm extremely flattered you picked my piece to do this. And like RealFaction said, it has amazing potential I would keep working on it regardless of the contest. My favorite parts were the beginning and right about at 2:00 and beyond. I actually listened to that part several times.

Also, thank you for inspiring me to continue to do more art. :)

aCreator responds:

I'm really happy that you actually like a part of my track! I mean it's quite special...
And keep on doing awsome art!

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Credits & Info


4.29 / 5.00

Mar 22, 2014
9:38 AM EDT
File Info
8.4 MB
3 min 40 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.