Newgrounds Background Image Theme

Someone gifted CasperTheRamKnight supporter status!

We need you on the team, too.

Support Newgrounds and get tons of perks for just $2.99!

Create a Free Account and then..

Become a Supporter!


Share Download this song

Author Comments

My first submission of 2015!
I started this one by playing around with a steel string guitar VST by 8Dio. I really wasn't expecting to make a song out of it so quickly! I had another pretty cool guitar effect in this song but I took it out because I felt like it was too much. It still feels like this is missing something though, maybe flute articulation.

No loop for this song, looping from the beginning didn't feel right.

Log in / sign up to vote & review!

Newgrounds accounts are free and registered users see fewer ads!

I like the guitar a lot in this, though it kinda brings out some of the flaws of the other instruments a bit more. I'll admit right off the bat that the title of this one confuses me, haha. I'm not exactly sure what it's going for, though I do enjoy each of the sections for what they offer. I don't see it fitting into the context of a game with some of the sudden mood shifts, but I think it's a nice standalone piece. I'll try and take it step-by-step:

The intro is very sparse, and I like it a lot. The organ and guitar both sound good together, and it only helps that the quality of the steel string vsti is strong enough to stand on its own. 0:22 has a nice thing going on with the guitar, organ, and very heavy wet reverb bell-ish instrument. Some of the notes get a bit messy with all that reverb, but it's not too bad. When the drums come in, I don't find myself a big fan of the snare sound. It's a bit dry and lifeless, and for some reason the hits sound incredibly quiet even though it sounds like head was struck quite firmly with the stick (which is very possibly just a limitation of cheap drum vsti). It does get a bit better when it's playing the louder velocities in the middle of the song. The hi-hat is panned to the left, but most of the drums are firmly stationed in the middle, including the snare. Personal preference here, but I'd pan the snare slightly between the hi-hat and bass drum since that's where it sits on a real kit. Most of your instruments are panned down the center of your stereo space, too, so those big sections (1:30) can tend to get a bit crowded with everything going on.

When the two flutes come in at 0:43, some of the phrasing is a bit unrealistic (0:51) in how the notes are played. I'm no expert of legato phrasing for wind instruments, but definitely listen carefully to how real players phrase passages and try to apply some of that into your pieces. Some of the notes here sound too separated and all at the same volume. Singing the line to yourself (and carefully listening) as expressively as you can may give you a good idea of how to properly phrase things. Oftentimes conductors do this to paint an image for the orchestra members to observe. Singing your melodies to yourself in general is a really nice habit to get into :)

1:04 takes the song in a direction that I wasn't quite expecting. It sounds like something out of The Dog Island, actually. Good job on the subtle hi-hat(-ish) rhythms floating in the background, very subtle and effective. I almost didn't notice them happening. This is just personal taste, but when the snare comes in, I might have opted for rim knocks instead of the snare head just to help differentiate the texture of the section even more from the following section. That's just me, though. At 1:25, this might have been a conscious decision on your part, but one unspoken drummer law (guideline, really) is that we tend to always accent a crash with the bass drum in order to give a nice low-end impact to the sound. It's pretty rare that I'd ever play a cymbal without the bass, unless someone directly asked me to omit it. As for the rest of that section, I hear the bell sounds from the intro making their return. They fit pretty well here, too. The chimes you added in this section sound pretty good to me, though I think you could make them a little more present in the mix. They're a bit lost in the background at the moment.

The little transition between the deviation and return to the theme (1:25) is decent. I don't know what it is about it, but I feel that it could have been slightly stronger in some way. Disregarding that, there's some reverb tail that's persisting through there. I don't know if that's from the instrument currently playing or from the chimes/bells in the preceding section, but I think it would be a good idea to try and dampen some of that feedback. It sounds like undesired air slipping into the mix.

Onto the payoff, 1:30. There's a nice homophony happening here with the flute and oboe in unison (a texture that I tend to personally enjoy myself), and the organ is an interesting choice for the harmony. The bass gets pretty active with an 8th-note pattern here, which works fine. The problem I have with this part is that everything sounds like it's being brought down the middle of the stereo space, which makes some of these parts compete with each other for presence. I'd at least pan the flutes and oboe a bit away from each other. The second time the section repeats, I hear the organ increase a bit in volume and play along with the flute/oboe melody. Feel free to ever-so-slightly adjust the velocities in the flute and oboe part to allow the organ a bit more wiggle room. Adjusting for other instruments is a very common point of consideration in real bands. I think I hear some of those odd reverb tails coming back at 1:50, are those coming from another instrument? Am I just hearing things there? Anyways, the transition back to 0:22 works just fine, and I don't really have any issues with it.

I definitely don't mean to imply that I didn't like this piece. I quite enjoyed it, in fact. You are still quite creative in making melodies and have some really good ideas peppered throughout all of your songs. I simply had a moment of time and felt like giving as much of my thoughts on it as I could. I have no doubt you will be making some really kick-ass stuff not too far down the road. All the best!

ILG924 responds:

Wow, that's quite the review!
I appreciate your panning tips, I really need to get better at figuring out where to put instruments. I'm really quite limited when it comes to drum vsts (I have one that doesn't vary much in style), but it is already set up to pan properly with real drum kits. I think what happened there was a slight reverb squished everything (especially the low end) together. Now I know what not to use over the entire plugin!

Flute phrasing, I think its one of those things I don't know how to listen for, so I'll keep that in mind.
I didn't know about cymbal + bassdrum, so I'll be using that in the future.
I think the instruments you hear lost in the background is from my bad mixing skills, I couldn't bring much more out without drowning something else out. I imagine panning everything properly was all I needed to fix that.
The reverb you hear at 1:25 and 1:50 is intentional, it's actually the lower octaves of that heavy wet reverb bell thing you hear in the beginning. I thought it sounded neat, though I probably could've made it a bit quieter.

I checked my project at 1:30 and I do see how little I panned the instruments, the oboe's right in the center. Again, that's something I'm not good at listening for so thanks for bringing that to my attention.

As for the title, a much darker theme would've fit better I agree, but I figured the semi-dark sounding melodies and unexpected change in the middle fit the elements of a betrayal. Probably would work better during a cutscene or something, but I don't really think of a theme before I write a song. I'm also pretty bad at thinking of good names so the first thing that popped into my head was what I stuck with.

You're the first person to actually give an in-depth review of my songs, so I really appreciate it. It's helped a lot!

Also, I'd like you to know that you most likely won't be getting massive walls of helpful text from me on your work lol. I do listen to them all though. Clearly you're more experienced with music production so you'd only be getting my personal thoughts, and I've yet to dislike one of your songs.

Credits & Info


4.69 / 5.00

Jan 16, 2015
5:08 PM EST
Video Game
File Info
6.1 MB
4 min 28 sec

Licensing Terms

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