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Festival Day

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Author Comments

Hey everyone, this here is an entire remake of an old track of mine entitled The Festival. It was the most well-received track from the trio of songs I made as a soundtrack for the game "Lost Ball", and I always thought it had a lot of room for a remake, so here it is! I entirely scrapped the minute-long intro of the original since I had feedback that it didn't quite fit with the rest of the track, and added in a whole bunch of new stuff, basically making it again from scratch.

More importantly, this is a demo for the upcoming flutes VST by Versillian Studios, the same people who worked on the Dan Tranh VST I also made a demo for. It's not out yet but this track should give you an idea of what the VST is capable of. Every flute sound in this demo track, including even a piccolo, blown bottle and whistle, whether staccato, legato or sustain, came from the plugin. It's a really fantastic plugin!

Everything else - brass, strings and drums - comes from East/West, except the guitar which is Omnisphere, AND major props goes to samulis for recording the clarinet (that can be heard mostly at the beginning), trombone (1:13) AND voice (1:13) in this track, plus giving me valuable feedback along the way (along with being the person who actually developed the VST...).

Feels nice to be uploading music again after such a long break! Hope you enjoy this, and comments are muuuuch appreciated!

Reviews


I love this song.

I can't help but be swept away to a mountain town, Tibetan-style, with the long colored streamers waving in the breeze. High above the plains, near the roof of the world we will have out festival.

*This monastery here probably has killer-sweet festivals that need a jam like yours.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2e/1_jiuzhaigou_valley_shuzheng_village_panorama_2011.jpg



Woah! Iove the Japanese style of the song! Well to me it sounds kind of Japanese.


Step responds:

Japanese... that's interesting. I was aiming for a Celtic kind of vibe but Japanese is cool too.

Thanks for reviewing!


This has so much awesomeness in it. It sounds absolutely amazing.

I love the flute intro. Since it’s supposed to be a demo for a flutes VST, it makes sense that they should be highlighted, but damn. That’s some high-quality stuff. I can’t think of any real-life flautist I know in person who could play that well! It’s such a shame that the only background for the intro for twenty seconds was a long sustained string chord. The whole song is really progressive, and twenty seconds of a single thing is a bit of an outlier. :P

After the song really starts twenty seconds in, it blows me away. It builds up with real high-quality sounds, but the mini-climax at 0:40 seems a bit anticlimactic, regarding what follows it. It just feels like such a well-written buildup would’ve let to a more exciting part of the song, but the Celtic music that follows is great and helps show off the flute you used in that section really well. The sound of people celebrating (at least, I think it is) at 0:59 and 1:32 really helps sell the idea of a festival day where people are excited to go outside and have fun!

I can see why you really enjoyed samulis’ trombone and voice at 1:13 - it really adds so much to the jumpiness of the track. You’d expect them to be buried in the mix, but you did a really good job with the mixing - everything is clear, so we can fully appreciate your instrumentation. Then, when you bring back the 0:40 motif at 1:32, it’s with a much more orchestrated background. I wish you’d focused on the flute more past 1:32! It sounds so real, and you replaced some of the melody with the plucked strings. I guess it’s for the best of the song, but I really want to hear more of the flute VST now. :D

The blown bottle sounds at 1:50 are really intriguing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that sort of thing featured prominently in a song before. Maybe you should do one! And then comes the ending. You know, with all the feedback you give people in the NGADM about having good endings, I think a non-fadeout ending should’ve been expected. :D Maybe this means you’ll come back and extend this someday! One can always hope, right?

Honestly, I prefer this one to your first song. Maybe it’s because of the picture you used? I like to listen to music on Newgrounds with visualizations off, so I guess I’m more exposed than people who don’t to the art musicians use to represent their work. I think all the colorful streamers represent the idea of a festival much better than just a simple green backdrop, so I really commend you on providing a full listening experience. :)

Thanks again on all the work you do in the NGADM! All the hard work you put in is sure making a ton of people really happy.


Step responds:

Oh wow, LunacyEcho! This is really something. Thanks a lot for such a huge review!

"I love the flute intro."

Flute (or in this case piccolo) and high strings for the intro is almost overused in a lot of music that's supposed to give off a majestic kind of feeling haha. I was worried it'd sound a bit cheesy, but in hindsight I'm pretty happy with it.

"The whole song is really progressive, and twenty seconds of a single thing is a bit of an outlier. :P"

Oh man you're right haha. I can't argue, totally a fault on my part.

"the mini-climax at 0:40 seems a bit anticlimactic, regarding what follows it."

That was actually intended. I wanted the first 20 seconds or so to signify the people waking up on the day of the festival, then up till 0:40 signifies them noisily gathering to the town centre, excited. Right at 0:40 they suddenly become silent as they notice the flutist begin his performance. That was kind of the idea I had in my head when I made that. However, I almost ALWAYS follow up a buildup with a suitable climax so I have like zero experience with anticlimaxes. Maybe I could've executed it better!

"The sound of people celebrating (at least, I think it is) at 0:59 and 1:32 really helps sell the idea of a festival day where people are excited to go outside and have fun!"

Oh man you noticed the 0:59 one. Nice! I thought that was almost too subtle for people to recognise it haha. 1:32 is a little more obvious, needless to say. I'm glad you liked the idea!

"I can see why you really enjoyed samulis’ trombone and voice at 1:13 - it really adds so much to the jumpiness of the track. You’d expect them to be buried in the mix, but you did a really good job with the mixing - everything is clear, so we can fully appreciate your instrumentation."

I am very fond of the work samulis did for this track. I totally agree with how it adds jumpiness. Before he added his stuff, it sounded almost like a pretty standard epic orchestral fare, but his trombone and voice gave it a more... I dunno... authentic kind of feeling, I guess? Not sure how to explain it but to me it did a great job of metaphorically transporting the song from being played in some concert or cinema to being played at an actual festival with musicians and singers.

The point about mixing really relieves me since I get in mini personal battles with myself on how to balance the levelling of recorded instruments and vocals. On the one hand, they sound great and add a super authentic flair to the track. On the other hand, they're not processed heavily in a professional studio like some East/West sample would be, so it's up to me to make sure they're mixed in well, something which I'm fairly insecure about. Samulis had to help me with the levelling of the trombone especially haha.

"I wish you’d focused on the flute more past 1:32!"

I definitely could have! I thought I gave the flutes enough love throughout the track so I decided to end the track on a guitar and harp duet. Like I said to Ceevro below you, my version of the VST didn't have many articulations implemented yet, but I think if they were I would've played around with them more especially in the ending.

"The blown bottle sounds at 1:50 are really intriguing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that sort of thing featured prominently in a song before."

Oh damn, that's a good ear you have there. I knew I put in blown bottle sounds somewhere but I wasn't sure where, but you found the precise section which they play in. Nice one!

"And then comes the ending."

LOL you make a good point about the whole NGADM thing. I actually have a pretty clear mentality about fade endings though. I think that in some situations where, as the composer, you want to end the track with a feeling of continuity, I think they can be tasteful. In this case, I didn't want it to sound like the festival just finishes abruptly (like I did in the first version) but I wanted to die it down and feel like the festival is still going. So I felt like the best approach would be a fade ending. Most of the time, fade endings just sound like lazy cop-outs to avoid writing a proper ending, so I often dislike them, but there are times when I agree with it as a stylistic choice, like in this track: http://goo.gl/iMx0pb

"Honestly, I prefer this one to your first song. Maybe it’s because of the picture you used?"

There is an explanation for that green backdrop. This track was originally intended to be a soundtrack for a grasslands/medieval theme in a game, so I chose some generic green backdrop. When I came to extend it, I decided to give it more festival-like qualities, what with the vocal chants, claps, trombone, etc, and therefore felt like I could've given it a more suitable icon. Still, not going to lie, in both cases it was just me lazily fishing around in Google images hahaha.

"Thanks again on all the work you do in the NGADM! All the hard work you put in is sure making a ton of people really happy."

That means a lot. It really is my pleasure!

Sorry for such a large response haha. I'm very happy you enjoyed this, and good luck with your own music.


My, my...how the tables have turned, Step. Once you were reviewing me, but now THE POWER IS MINE!!!! MWAHAHAHA!!!

...but in all seriousness, I have nothing at all to complain about, in either composition or mix. This is pro quality, well-thought-out work. It belongs in cinema. This could easily grace the soundtrack of pretty much any Celtic faerytale.

My one complaint is actually the thing you seem most proud of, though: your lead flute! Sorry, but it still sounds artificial when played on its own, as most wind instrument plugins do. You totally sell it like a boss, but without the band blurring the edges, you can tell that the flute lacks the imperfections and dynamics that make a flute real. I might suggest experimenting with some tremolo to get ya through, but that trick would only hide a few notes...

Other than that, it might be time to send the score to an actual flutist...


Step responds:

"My, my...how the tables have turned, Step. Once you were reviewing me, but now THE POWER IS MINE!!!! MWAHAHAHA!!!"

You should have posted an NGADM-styled review with the headline and the decimal score at the end and everything, to really highlight the irony :3.

"...but in all seriousness, I have nothing at all to complain about, in either composition or mix. This is pro quality, well-thought-out work. It belongs in cinema. This could easily grace the soundtrack of pretty much any Celtic faerytale."

Damn, I'm honoured! Getting praise like this is very heartwarming and encouraging for me because I'm just a lowly amateur who merely dreams of getting his music in a high-budget film or game haha.

"My one complaint is actually the thing you seem most proud of, though: your lead flute!"

Hey, you said you have nothing to complain about! Haha I'm joking, complain all you want.

"Sorry, but it still sounds artificial when played on its own, as most wind instrument plugins do. You totally sell it like a boss, but without the band blurring the edges, you can tell that the flute lacks the imperfections and dynamics that make a flute real. I might suggest experimenting with some tremolo to get ya through, but that trick would only hide a few notes..."

You know, I think the best way to create realism isn't necessarily in the sound of each note, but the amount of articulations and grace notes used. My East/West Ra VST comes with a bunch of woodwinds that sound pretty good on their own, but it's when I break out the trills and the pitch altering and the other kinds of musical ornaments do I think "wow, this sounds real". Unfortunately, the version of the flutes VST I was using to make this had nothing of the sort (yet) since it was still under development.

I totally agree about vibrato though. It really helps in the longer notes. Funnily enough, the older version of this track had a piccolo from East/West which had TOO MUCH vibrato in the longer notes! But yeah, should've given that pitch vibrato. Pitches loooove vibrato.

Thanks a lot for dropping by mate. I'm really glad you like this.


I've heard the 2 versions, and I can't really tell which one I prefer. I love them both! I found celtic music is missing in this portal, and your contribution is AWESOME <3
Thank you :D


Step responds:

I agree, I love Celtic music and I think there needs to be more of it in the Audio Portal. Glad you liked this, and thanks for dropping by again and reviewing one of my tracks!

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Credits & Info

Step
Composer
samulis
Cowbell

Listens
13,784
Downloads
339
Votes
123
Score
3.88 / 5.00

Uploaded
Jul 7, 2014
6:02 PM EDT
Genre
World
File Info
Song
5.6 MB
2 min 27 sec
Tags

Licensing Terms

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