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Pulse Sketch 2

Author Comments

Exploring minimalist composition. Two channels, two voices, two simple wave forms. I've allowed some automation in the waveform envelopes, some delay and verb. Unlike #1, this is more song-like. Not minimalist music in the normal use of the term, but definitely minimalist in the materials used to create it.

Kinda has an ending credits vibe. Maybe also Space Harrier? Used to play that game tons on SMS.

Created using Ableton, Massive and pulse waves at 50% width.


This piece was PATIENT as hell. I normally applaud that, but it took me until around 1:30 when the rhythmic ostinato kicked in to hook me. I could have used more going on in the background layers to keep it interesting...or perhaps some sort of evolution of sound. The SUPER sparse space and long decay of the notes was just a little too long imho. I do like the fact that you're taking so many compositional chances with this. It goes in so many places!

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The synth at the beginning was cool, and I liked how you used a fair bit of reverb. The reverb really gave it a nice, atmospheric vibe. It progresses extremely slowly, though. That synth that comes in at :28 is way too high-pitched and harsh-sounding. I think you need to a) transpose it down an octave and b) add a volume automation and fade it in so that it's not such a shock at :28. You had some nice melodies, harmonies, and progressions in here, but this is an EXTREMELY long piece considering you have only 2 instruments and very little structural variety. It was hard to discern any distinct, repeated sections of the piece because of the lack of transitory material (which, of course, is rendered sort of unnecessary because, again, you only have 2 instruments in the track). I liked how you started to do something different (more upbeat, etc.), at around the 5-minute mark, yet at the same time the first 5 minutes and the last 2.5 minutes sound like two completely different songs! I think you needed some drums at the very least to move the song forward a bit and also to add some energy. It barely keeps my attention at times because, besides the progression, barely anything changes. In a piece this long, you NEED some dynamic contrast, melodic development, and also you need to build on the texture of the piece as it progresses (by which I essentially mean that you should add more instruments!). Again, I admire your sense of harmony and progression, but you also need to be concise! I usually think it's much more admirable when even a short piece can tug at my emotions than when a long piece can keep me engaged. If I were you, I would take the last 2.5 minutes of this piece, add some drums, pads, harmonies, and effects, and try to turn it into its own piece with all the twists and turns a proper piece should have. As ending credits for a videogame, this piece would work well, but as a stand-alone piece, it just didn't have all the twists and turns I was looking for. Keep working at it, Gruber99! ;)


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gruber99 responds:

Hey thanks for your comments!
The point of the piece was to create a full length composition, with multiple movements, with very minimal materials. No drums or pads allowed! Just 2 channels and 2 pulse waves. Composing this way poses some interesting challenges. Have you ever tried it? Would love to hear what you come up with!

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Credits & Info


3.70 / 5.00

Jul 13, 2015
9:39 PM EDT
File Info
10.2 MB
7 min 27 sec

Licensing Terms

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