Veil of Dreams

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Author Comments

This is my first entry for the NIM. It's for the "Main Menu Theme" category.

This piece is inspired by a work by the same name, by my friend and occasional collaborator Scott Rogers. He did the art for Skye's NGMT contest, which I helped to run, and since then I've worked with him on a number of projects.


I've been playing around with the violas you hear in this piece all evening while putting the samples together into patches and I just had this idea of these pad-like tension-infused chords just sweetly moving loosely around a tonic. When I sat down to get out the itch of ideas, I looked around for something that just "sighed" to me. I guess I must have been dreaming of this work while writing. XD

This piece is particularly special to me. I've been working on building my own sample library from scratch, and this is the first time I've been able to write a piece using only it and been satisfied with the result. Every single note in there, either I played or I was in the room monitoring and directing at some point over the last year, and it is indescribably satisfying to hear it all work as one.

It's also special to me because it's the first work I have really written "freely" (meaning not for a project) in about a year or so. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to just write, haha.

Feedback, thoughts, visuals brought up while listening to this work, etc. are all welcome.

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I added you to my favorites. I'm super impressed with your incredibly clean and expressive instruments and compositional ability. If you don't mind me asking, what is your background? The samples are so clean and perfect, either you have access to some super legit studio space, or you have some really great DIY tips to share with the community!

Well done! 5/5

samulis responds:

Haha, actually the space these were recorded in was quite bad! A drywalled classroom (luckily with high ceilings). My "secret", I guess, is a stereo pair of Rode NT1-A's. I'd put them on anything imagineable. I don't understand how damn good they sound, but they do! Now Rode has an even better version of the NT1 (it's jet black too), that I really want to get at some point.

It's actually very very basic recording stuff... just a spaced stereo pair of NT1-A's, like 2-4 feet apart from each other, high up pointed down towards the sound source, then a close mic.

The secret sauce is, of course, good convolution reverb. I swear 90% of how people perceive sample libraries is the reverb used in the demos. Convolution reverb well used is the difference between realism and flatness. A little white noise/hall noise stuck in there is no bad thing either.

My background is exactly what you hear... game music. Although I've dabbled in everything from 3D design to tutorial writing, game design, and more.

If you're around in a few months, I plan on releasing all of these instruments soon. :)

I love how you seemed to progress from a dark place into a better one. Keep it up.

samulis responds:

Thanks! Contrast is one of my favorite tools. :)

You talented son of a gun. This indeed makes good menu music. Beautiful, and dynamic. This has some great transitions, and for some reason makes me think of the music from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the description is really interesting :) I can see that hard work reflecting through this piece. Great to have you here. Nothing I can see wrong here, you got my 5.

samulis responds:

Haha, thanks RF! I'm glad you liked it. :)

Ooo...I love the mood. This has a strange sort of energy to it, apprehension even. All of a sudden at :39, I picture someone lifting up the last branch at the end of a narrow, windy forest path and the sun hits her, a view of mountains beyond like an enlightenment, a revelation. I admire the progression! I will say that I thought the transition at 1:31 was a little sudden, but the phrasing and articulation in this piece is beautiful overall. The church bells were also a nice touch at the end. Your samples are amazing! Which plug-ins/VSTs do you use? It sounds like main menu music more for a PBS movie than a videogame (and that's a good thing!). Haha, keep up the great work, Samulis. ;D

samulis responds:

Thanks for the review, man! That little turn at :39 is my favorite part, it gets me every time I listen. :D

The samples used are actually all of my own creation. Believe it or not, the samples used here were no different from the ones in the contest I just ran, there are just quite a few more than 25 in use, haha. I'm thrilled you think they are amazing, it was a massive amount of work to make all these samples and the resulting plugins. Hopefully I will be able to share them with you and everyone else soon. :)

This is a nice piece. Soothing, peaceful and not too over the top. Would be a great fit for an adventurous fantasy game. It's pretty impressive that all these sounds are fresh from your own sample library. I was thinking the other day that its so easy to recognise what sample libraries are being used in music these days because everyone (including me) is using them! (unless they're over processed with effects and editing). Only recording your own sounds or tweaking around with a synth gives flexibility to explore new avenues. But ain't nobody got time for that!

samulis responds:

Isn't that the case! It's taken me over a year and an enormous amount of time, not to mention a considerable investment in money to make this thing a reality. Really makes you appreciate what the folks who make massive libraries get themselves into!

Credits & Info


4.15 / 5.00

Jun 29, 2015
12:10 AM EDT
File Info
3.3 MB
1 min 48 sec

Licensing Terms

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