Lunar Event

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I am super excited to be participating in the Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch! Unfortunately, I spent the first week of the competition on vacation in California without my computer, so I got off to a bit of a slow start. I spent the following 6 days bashing my head against this track, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I encourage you to check out the other participants in the competition as well--there's a pretty wide variety of music.

This is the first of my electronic pieces to use guitar parts, minimal though they may be. I also once again took the opportunity to sample objects around my house--in this case, tapping on the lid of a skillet and a tape measure snapping. This was a lot of fun.

As usual, I made most of my sounds in Wolfram Mathematica, and assembled the piece in Tracktion 4.

Constructive criticism (or praise, or questions, or interesting facts about giraffes) would be appreciated. And make sure to check out my other music, and the rest of the NGADM submissions!

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Did you know that male giraffes use their necks to fight each other an assert dominance?

This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.

Let's start by breaking down your score:
Production: 25/30
Composition: 26/30
Instrumentation: 15/15
Originality: 10/10
Interest/Emotion: 8.5/15

Total Score: 84.5/100 or 8.45/10 or 4 stars.

Good Things:
- HUGE amount of creativity, especially in the sound design. It's great to see someone work so hard on a piece, and it really shows!
- The atmosphere is great, and the sounds are very intuitively blended together into a coherent work.
- There's a great deal of diversity in the piece, even with the minimalist vibe going on. I really like the flow between parts, it all just made sense.
- The piece felt like a more techno approach to the music in Age of Empires I and II. I definitely recommend checking out the music in those games.
- $60 DAW? You making good music on it? Sign me up! :D

Not-so-good Things:
- I agree with Step that there really isn't a lot to love about this piece aside from the technical mastery displayed. It doesn't really say anything, which is fine for some applications where more emphasis is put on technical prowess than saying something.
- Related to that, the piece gets pretty dull after the fifth time or so.
- I think more experimentation with arpeggios and textures that move in and out (crescendo then diminuendo) might be worthwhile. It would be nice to have more parts that just kinda came into being and then went back out.


secantwave responds:

Thanks very much for the thoughtful review! I agreed with most of what you had to say. I know that the time limit of the contest, combined with personal obligations, meant I didn't really have the opportunity to develop this piece as much as I would have liked. I'm planning to come back to it later and finish it for real.

I'm particularly glad that you liked the sound design and the atmosphere; I was very proud of it as well, and my main goal in creating the piece was making a rich atmosphere. One of the advantages of working with Mathematica is that there's a lot of flexibility in generating basic sounds, which can be improved further by combining it with other applications like Audacity. (In my view, this counters the main disadvantage that it is, by any measure, kind of insane.)

Thanks again!

This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.


The most obvious adjective to describe this track would be "original". As if sampling sounds from household objects wasn't enough, you had to go the extra mile and actually make your sounds in Wolfram Mathematica. I find the fact that you used the very same program I use to help me with my mathematics studies to make MUSIC both hilarious and ingenious, especially after googling to make sure you weren't just joking and then, to my surprise, finding that "the Wolfram Language supports state-of-the-art sound generation". I don't know how you did it, but I am all but fascinated. With beeps, boops, glitches, occasional atmospheric elements and sound effects from around your house, you've managed to create an extremely interesting and original track with a commendable atmosphere and intriguing blend of sounds.

Even with such a minimalistic approach, there are some pretty awesome little sonic tidbits in here, such as 0:31's distorted pad sound, or 1:44's silky sine/triangle lead. On top of that, you have an extremely clean mix, showing mastery over the skill of blending different sounds and patterns together while keeping everything clear. It's great stuff, but ultimately I agree with johnfn that the experimental nature of this submission does cut down on its enjoyability. The melodies almost sound like MIDI values randomly generated from a computer - they don't make much sense, so to speak. The thing is, I don't know whether making more expressive/sensible melodies would ruin the originality and innovation of this track. The track is doomed by its very nature. It's a track that communicates an idea without aiming to impress, and while I for one adore your approach, in a contest where you're being compared with other pieces of music that are far more musical, and ultimately impressive, I couldn't give you an amazing score.

This was certainly a tough nut to crack, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed the listen and it'll remain in my head for quite a while now!

SCORE: 7.7/10

I take back what I said to skyewint the other day, which is that he had the most experimental and risky track in the NGADM. THIS is the most experimental and risky track in the NGADM. (Well, unless I hear an even more experimental one later...) It really stands out in the playlist against the backdrop of orchestral and more standard-fare edm stuff.

Of course, experimentalism is a double edged sword, and this song might lack a little in enjoyability that a more straightforward track wouldn't, but it is undeniably fascinating. I just wanted to tell you that.

Good luck in the NGADM!

i love how the main melody and the guitar work together, really nicely done, love the atmosphere it brings.
- Pandasticality

Credits & Info


Waiting for 1 more vote

Aug 18, 2014
10:49 PM EDT
File Info
7.2 MB
3 min 10 sec

Licensing Terms

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