XS - Sanctuary (NGADM14)

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So here is my piece for round one!

It's a classical story with a lot of growing and organic harmonies all tied together with some synth and dubstep beauty.

If you are just hearing my stuff and like it then listen to more!

You can get all of my albums here: https://xsentinel.bandcamp.com/

All free (or pay what you want) and for a quick listen to some of my song go to www.youtube.com/xsentinelofficial, and subscribe if you like!

GL to all.

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Why someone so mystically talented accepts to be evaluated in a way so rational: my rate is "something dot six/two". Really? What is the prize of this competition... a car or something like that?

xSentin3l responds:

Haha no it's cool man, the other contestant were incredible! I probably didn't spend enough time on mine, but thank you.

This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.

First, here is your score breakdown:
Production: 21/30
Composition: 22/30
Instrumentation: 10/15
Originality: 8/10
Interest/Emotion: 9/15

Total: 70/100 or 7/10 or 3.5 stars
The Good:
- I really enjoyed the choices of chords you used.
- You had a pretty decent blend of organic and synthetic elements.
- Production was solid throughout.

The Not-So-Good:
- I would really like to have seen more variation in the piece... have a really chill section with maybe a choir and harp or something just to really contrast all the other stuff.
- The piece didn't really flow between parts and had all these sudden jolt-y leaps between parts and ideas.
- Some parts of the piece are just sort of "grooving" with no one really playing a melody out above everything else, as if this track was supposed to have lyrics on top but you forgot to add them. Having a strong, clear melody that is above everything else is important for creating the space and asserting the texture of the piece.
- I would have liked to hear other things than just the same EWQL SO staccato strings patch over and over again... why not have woodwinds? brass? pizzicato strings? legato strings? There are tons of different textures within an orchestra, so definitely consider experimenting with more ways to use and blend them together.
- The "climaxes" in the piece are all kinda the same sort of thing and none of them really "get there" for me. Consider having a more full climax that is really filled-out but not too crowded.

Keep compos(ed/ing)!

xSentin3l responds:

Sorry for the late reply! I remember reading this and thinking "I'll have a real read later when I'm not busy!" and then I forgot completely -_-

I totally agree with you though, good intention but left it a little bland. I always do because I worry about over clutter!

Thanks again.

I listened to this song when it first came out and, admittedly, I didn't think much of it back then. However, I just listened to it again about a week ago and this song (along with Kainé Absolution by Nemesis Theory) has been stuck in my head ever since. There are a couple of parts with just violin that go a little too long (like at 1:55 and at 2:52), but other than that, I love how epic-ly chill and awesome this song is :)

xSentin3l responds:

Thank you! I think it does have boring parts too, it really does, but then again it was wrote in a week so I stopped being hard on myself for it ;p

You will be very happy to know though my next EP will be all in this epic and emotional style but with the right amount of thought and time invested into it. It wont be for a while but I promise it will be music worth waiting for.

I just love your music. I always have, I always will. I'm so happy to see more amazing tracks from you :)

xSentin3l responds:

Aww shucks :3

There will always be more. There's always better I can do and I WILL write a masterpiece one day, but it will take my whole life of working towards. I hope you'll stay for the journey.

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.


Let me start off by saying that DAMN that's a nice intro. The atmosphere, the smooth synths with the subtle bitcrushing, that awesome motif... it's all nailed, man. I loved hearing the intro and it set high expectations for the track. In the production department, I can gladly confirm that those expectations were sufficiently met. While I would've liked to hear some more interesting sound design for sure, what you've got here is mixed very tastefully. The staccato strings are bright, snappy and clear, the drums (snare in particular) are earcandy, and the pads offer a spectacular, warm sound to the piece, to the point where I would've personally given them even more love in the track if I were the one making this. So yeah, while I expected a little more in terms of out-of-the-norm sound design, if you get what I mean, you've got a super clean mix with lovely sounds.

When it comes to composition, however, the aforementioned expectations weren't quite reached I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong, SOME of your composition is great, really! The motif you introduce at the beginning which is played at various other points during the track was a spectacular idea and has decently interesting chord changes. That being said, most of the other melodic content is lacking and simply sounds uninspired to me (starting from 0:57). Not to mention, the instrumentation you use during the sections is very bland to listen to. I mean if you had an actual violin playing with more articulation than just staccato I might enjoy parts like 0:57 but as they are now I just long for them to finish. Some transitions, such as 0:57, are abrupt, and a lot of the buildups aren't very satisfying and end up sounding anticlimactic. Lastly, the track did overstay its welcome in my opinion. I wasn't as invested towards the end as I was during the first two thirds or so, even if you introduce a pretty nice high synth at the end. Great way to end the track though!

Despite everything negative I mentioned, it's a strong submission no doubt! Good job; hope to see you once again next year if we do another.

SCORE: 8.3/10

xSentin3l responds:

That's a brillaint review, thanks for everything! I agree with everything you said here too and this track will go into the "to be finished" pile (which, let's be honest, it'll probably never come out of). But the fact that what I thought was good was and vice versa means I can work on those other parts.

Of course I'll be back! GL for the rest of the contest!

Credits & Info


4.75 / 5.00

Aug 11, 2014
3:35 AM EDT
File Info
9.5 MB
4 min 8 sec

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