Facing the Stormy Sea

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Well then.

Someone asked me to make a pirate themed track, for a project of theirs. However, as I'm not getting paid, and the description of what I was to make was vague to say the least, I took a lot of liberties with this track :)
However, it is not certain whether this will actually be used for anything or not, as the developers are facing some issues. Either way, I'm glad I made the song!
Also, even though this is a pretty climatic track, I tried to make it so that it kinda loops, just in case.

I noticed the changes to the audio uploading process, and I really like them! I usually won't do this, but as this was a requested work, I picked the option which makes it so that you need to ask me before using this track in a project you're working on :)

Now then, as for the music itself. It's still blatantly obvious that I'm no master when it comes to mixing... Yet. In some places, the percussion is meant to be barely noticable, but in many other spots, I'd like it to stand out more. I probably could've done seomthing about it when I was nearly finished, but that would've required a lot of extra work, especially as my current DAW is limited, and I had to divide the track between 5 different sections and renders.
Other than that, a few parts may be a bit muddy, although not as much as usually. The final part (after the one minute mark) is meant to be a bit wet, as this is after all a track about a stormy sea, but I think I went a bit overboard (hehhe) :p

Aside from the obvious "Pirates of The Caribbean", I was very heavily inspired by this track: https://goo.gl/zfvzv1 , as you can easily notice XD

Also, the volume is probably a bit low because of my masterful mixing.
Everything was made using EWQLSO, Silver edition, in Cubase.

Oh, and also, a huge thank you to @dem0lecule for giving me great mixing tips which I lazily DIDN'T follow, but mostly, for convincing me to add the final 10 seconds to the track, which made the ending much better.

But, instead of boring you with an even more extensive description, I'll let you enjoy the track, in case you find it possible ;)

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Fantastic man. The cymbals feel like water sprays on a stormy sea.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Wow, thanks a ton, dude! :D
I'm glad you found this among my other stuff :3

Yes! Pirates ftw!!! :D I love the melodies, which really reasserted the pirate themes, and despite a lot of call-and-response style mini-phrases (i.e., :46 - 1:03), it actually flows really well, like most of your tracks. The composition is rather good, which comes as no surprise to me. The thing I just can't stop myself from saying is that, unfortunately, the mixing (or lack thereof) seriously detracted from my overall enjoyment of it. Take, for example, the drums between :27 and :35. With all due respect, they sound like indistinct static. I know you upload a lot of these tracks just for fun, but I really think you should focus on your mixing a lot more in the near future. Perhaps it would be more ideal for me to critique your most recently uploaded tracks in order to maximize your productivity regarding improving your mixing techniques. I will commence doing so tomorrow. Otherwise, this piece tells the same story as many of your other non-piano-solo pieces I've been reviewing recently: good composition, but less-than-good mixing. Until tomorrow, then, old chap! ;P

LucidShadowDreamer responds:


Nice catch with the call-response thing between 0:46-1:03. I don't always take this kind of approach, so I though I'd try it here.

There's certainly no lack of mixing here, even though it may indeed be bad. Out of curiosity, do you use headphones, and in that case, what kind?
The worst things about the mixing here is 1. The percussion (duh), 2. The overall volume (it's low), which means one should listen to this with higher volume settings than usually, and 3. The trombones and such in certain parts + a small bit of muddiness. Other than that, the mixing should be pretty fine, with panning and EQ as well. It's just the few things that drag down this entire track pretty heavily.

0:27 is mostly good, but I'd want a higher volume to the percussion, and perhaps more punchiness to it. Not achievable with the snares, but I should've used the tipmanis to highlight the hits better, in retrospect. So I totally get what you mean here!

The reason I'm not as focused when it comes to mixing yet, is because I learn things in a certain order. To begin with, I'm trying to grasp the compositional aspects of orchestral music, and which instruments go well together etc. I think I'll focus more on mixing when I have a good grasp on that. As for the percussion though, I think I'll try to improve that already to the next bigger track. Another problem is the fact that I had to divide this song in to 5 different parts while making it. This means it's a huuuuge pain in the ass to go back and mix something, and I still want the mix to be consistent, instead of mixing say the middle part differently from the rest. But ultimately, it all comes down to laziness XD When I upgrade my DAW, I think I'll automatically improve in these kinds of areas :p
That, and I'm not in a hurry to become a master! I improve from every track no matter what I do, and I don't want to kill all my motivation (which is why I can't sight read sheet music at all)!

Anywho, thanks for the fast review streak! In a few hours, I'll probably upload something quite interesting >:D

Awesome track. It has a hint on Final Fantasy about it - perhaps IX more so than others. But the phrase at 1:35 particularly so. Keep it up!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Hi there, and thanks for the review!
Yeah. In terms of composing, the Final Fantasy games are probably my single biggest influences, even though Kingdom Hearts is way up there too :D
I get what you mean with 1:35! There is a hint at that earlier in the track already, at 0:35 XD

If you want some music for a project in the future, don't hesitate to ask ;)

Your composition is as amazing as ever. :) Can't fault you at all for it. (Well, there is that thing at the beginning where the percussion plays in 4/4 instead of 6/8, but that really doesn't impact the amazingness of the track at all.) The instrumentation was great - the harpsichord and clarinets made it sound much more pirate-y. And all those sound effects at around 1:13 were great! Did they come with EWQL too?

Your mixing as also gotten better! Man, I really need to get me some EWQL. There are a few nitpicks I could make - The percussion in the first part is too quiet, the trombones at 1:03 sounded too mechanical, some of the notes had too much sustain, so they overlapped, and your higher notes were sometimes drowned out. But, man, those are tiny nitpicks, especially compared to the amount of gloriousness in this piece. 0:27 was especially impressive in all of its mixed crispness!

Dude, this is amazing. Keep this up for a few years and you're well on your way to becoming the next PeterSatera/SoundChris/Step/all the other orchestral greats! I'm expecting great things in your contest entry and other future projects too. Great work! :D

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks dude :3
Know what? I just realized that I totally forgot to review your latest song that you posted ages ago D: !!!
I will redeem that after replying to this ;)


=> The track is in 4/4 tho... It begins at 0:03, whereas the first notes are in the previous measure o.O
I guess it's possible to interpret it as 6/8, but man, that feels weird for me to think in XD

I'm glad you liked the intrumentation! A lot more brass then I normally use. It feels good to finally have brass that sounds pretty good!
I also wanted to find a spot for the clarinet, which I found to be surprisingly difficult. I've used them so rarely before, but it seems like their use was a sucess :D

And yep. All the sound effect came with EWQL! Most are different hits on the Chinese Tam Tam, or cymbals and stuff.

I'm glad that you noticed the slight improvement in my mixing as well. Next, I need to focus much on bringing forth the percussion, and on getting an overall higher volumed track.

The trombones at 1:03 are some kind of modified trombones (not by me, the "effect" came with EWQL). I used them, because they had a much harsher sound, which I wanted for the part, but may be they soud a bit unrealistic XD
But yeah, you should totally get EWQL when it gets cheaper again!

And wow, really good catch at 0:27! That's most likely the part where I put the most effort into the mixing, to get the sound that I wanted :'D

While I like doing tracks like these, I think I'll take a short break already. Of course, I'm already working with Dem0lecule on some amazing stuff, but other than that, I think I want to make a new piano composition, something more relaxed and electronic (if possible, maybe for robot day!), and such things XD
But I will definitely keep doing orchestral tracks too. I think I want to do a slower one next, as that too, is very good practice :3

Thanks a lot for the great review. Now, it's time to repay the favor ;)

Wow, this is astonishing! I especially like the bit at 0:38 :)

Keep up the good work!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you!
It's interesting that you like 0:38, as I was wondering whether the part is good or not. It's nice to know that it is okay :D

Credits & Info

3.17 / 5.00

May 13, 2015
10:47 AM EDT
File Info
1.6 MB
1 min 45 sec

Licensing Terms

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