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What Lies Beyond

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A magnificent journey into the frightful world, one fraught with untold risks and rewards. This piece tells a tale of a truly dangerous affliction that has infected the characters in all the best stories. The malady known as...

Wanderlust
noun | wan·der·lust \ˈwän-dər-ˌləst\
: a strong desire to travel

Perhaps some of you have traveled the world, seeing sights that few have ever had the privilege of witnessing. The Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, The Colosseum, Angkor Wat, The Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, or The Forbidden City. Places of renowned beauty and wonder that can only be seen in all their glory by those gifted with this unique sense of adventure.

Simply stepping beyond your front door can be a courageous endeavor when you allow your feet to take you wherever they will. But there is a certain thrill in getting lost, if only for a time. It can be as simple as taking a left turn when you were intending to go right. And suddenly you're off!

Where will you go? None can say. How do you know when you have arrived? You simply do. The instinct is there, waiting for you to allow it to take hold.

Today, your story has brought you here.

Welcome, weary traveler. I hope that you have been enjoying the journey to your heart's content.

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This is a NGADM Round 2 Review.

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Good:
- Beautifully written.
- Story-driven and whimsical.
- Perfect blend of instruments.
- Incredibly evocative.

Chrono, this is so pretty. I can't get over how beautiful this sounds. I have to say that this filled me with a sense of both wonder and, well, has awaken my long-since dormant wanderlust. I have to disagree with Ryan on this one, because I found it to be quite emotional. I think this is because you wrote this piece in a way that allows the listener to recall personal memories, or to imagine themselves as a traveler in some fantasy realm (the harp, glock and strings working together have an uncanny way about bringing out a lot of emotion in this way).

Oh, and it definitely has that RPG vibe to it. Love that.

What to consider:
- Somewhat empty throughout.
- Dynamics and composition could be more profound.

While I disagreed with Ryan about the emotional response that the song is able to evoke, he has a very good point about the composition and dynamics of the track. There are times where I felt that things seemed a little too empty, or that certain instruments could have floated higher or settled down lower (in the mix) to truly accentuate the feeling that you were going for. I still think you achieved the sound you were going for, but I also feel as if the intensity of the track would have evoked an even greater response if it was developed with more instrument dynamics (crescendos, diminuendos -- note velocities, etc.)

What a wonderful piece of music. I cannot believe that I haven't been following your music...that changes TODAY. :)

Score: 8.6/10

ChronoNomad responds:

Hail and well met, Neon-Bard! Is this another NGADM review I see before me? Many thanks, kind sir.

I am quite simply tickled pink that you find this so very enjoyable! Happy to bring out that moth-eaten wanderlust, shake the cobwebs out, and give it a new coat of fresh paint. And the fact that you still find this to be an emotional piece despite the lack of added dynamics tells me that you are indeed an adventurer like me. Or at least you used to be, before taking an arrow to the-- HA! I shan't be dragging that tired old meme out of the broom closet where it belongs. That's almost like rickrolling someone in this day and age, for goodness sake. But in all seriousness, your appreciation of this piece really means a lot to me. Tapping into that vein of nostalgia is one of my favorite pastimes, after all.

And the RPG comments continue! Most excellent. ^___^ I never tire of hearing such things, in fact I fairly live for such compliments, so thank you again.

You guys are all making some very legitimate points about the overall composition and dynamic quality of the track. I guess I kind of counted on the dynamic qualities of the instruments themselves too much. It's always such a shame that the individual note velocities mean almost nothing when it comes to most VSTs, but that just means that I need to focus on taking more time working with the channel variables themselves. What I have here is good, yes...and I really appreciate you saying that, but it could indeed have been better. I'll most certainly be putting more time and effort into these subtle - yet incredibly important - nuances in the future.

I can't believe you haven't been following me all this time either! But man, it sure is fantastic of you to rectify that today. I truly appreciate the insights, as well. Bro hug. :D

NGADM review:

Hey man, so this track was really pretty to listen to. I really love orchestral stuff and this wasn't an exception. I think the main thing that bothered me in your track was the general sound of it. I think this has to do with the realism of the instruments and your samples used in the track. It sort of just felt flat in that regard. There are tons of guides to help you with making your orchestrations more realistic, I'd be happy to send you one through PM if you need one.

Another area where it fell sort of flat was in the dynamics and compostion. I didn't feel it building up or dropping down at all in volume or frequency content. Layers were added and subtracted quite often I noticed, but it all felt a little too balanced for my taste. I do like how this fits nicely in an RPG genre, but it just doesn't move me quite as much as I'd like emotionally if that makes sense. Anyways, nice track! And thanks for following btw c:

8.6/10

-Ryan

ChronoNomad responds:

Hey, Ryan! So many NGADM reviews at once, it's like Christmas...

Pretty to listen to is good. Glad that the orchestral stuff is to your liking, and I would certainly be interested in ways to make the orchestrations sound more realistic. Been doing my best in this regard, but can't say anyone's really offered me any guides or actual insights, so I would be a fool to turn down such aid. PM away, my friend! Please do, and thank you for the offer. I'm here to learn and improve, after all! :D

Ah, well...this is true, I suppose. All the rampant EDM tracks get away with being compressed to the gills, but I can put more effort into the rise and fall of the Roman Empi--er, I mean orchestral instruments. Yeah, those. I guess adding and subtracting layers on a regular basis does not equate to the same thing, so you got me there. Once again, I really love the RPG comparisons, but I definitely don't want the music to seem lacking in emotion. That is essentially the holy grail of the media world, after all.

Happy to follow, man! You're one talented dude. Been enjoying your tracks for a long time now, but sometimes I forget to click that tiny heart. :v

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review

--

ChronoNomad! You've recently undergone somewhat of a jazzy phase for the NGADM, considering that your last couple of NGADM tracks have leaned more towards the jazz side, and as much as I think you're hugely talented in that area, this is a (definitely welcome) reprise of the style that originally hooked me to your music. There's a certain sense of unwavering, steady flow in this piece that gives it its character. You effortlessly weave melodies from all sorts of instruments together with seamless transitions and transfer of the lead voice. It's a composition style that's not uncommon in RPGs, and like Geoplex it gives me enormous nostalgia for Runescape haha.

Now, my main problem with this is that it's extremely generic. Kidding, just wanted to get you worked up because I know you hate that word :p. I actually adore the style of this piece, even though it's nothing particularly new, since it's what gives it its likeable, RPG-esque charm. However, I absolutely think that you could've gone for a more dynamic approach here. It's a complaint I have for a lot of NGADM submissions and it's starting to make me think it's more personal bias than anything, but it's an opinion I still believe in strongly.

I feel like instead of taking us on a journey, as your description implies, you seem to lull around one particular spot, without exploring anywhere new (save for a slight hint of danger/tension at the end). On top of that, there's no melody the listener can really attach himself to. It feels more like an exercise of "question answer" between various instruments, and while it all flows very well and I respect that stylistic decision, it unfortunately doesn't do the song's memorability any favours. This is why, like Geoplex, I think this falls more under "starter village background music" than "magnificent, unforgettable journey soundtrack".

Despite that, I still love what you've done here, and feel like this could easily grace the soundtrack of any RPG. Wonderful work, and it's a shame to see you go!

--

SCORE: 8.6/10

ChronoNomad responds:

Steppeus Maximus! What can I say? I love getting NGADM reviews from you, man. Always have, always will. It must be because I hold your talent in such high esteem. You blushing yet? Good! On we go...

As you say, I had been enjoying a more Jazz-centric sort of experience recently, but I wanted to go back to those roots that so many are familiar with. Before I continue, I just have to say that I was really hoping to get a review from you on One of Those Days! Not that I didn't get some excellent feedback already, but yeah...figured it couldn't hurt to ask. :3 I really like that this one's giving folks such awesome nostalgia trips. Makes me wish that I'd played a bit of Runescape, myself...

Generic--!? Oh, you! Got a mind like a steel trap, you have. But yes, for some reason the g-word really bugs me...even if it happens to be true. I mean, it's just such a generic comment, don'cha know! ^__~ The fact that you really enjoy this style makes it all worthwhile, and I'll probably be making music of a similar ilk for a long, long time to come. Admittedly, I could have taken a more dynamic approach, but I'm not convinced that even doing that would have secured my spot when I'm up against the ball-busting tag team of LSDem0! And interestingly enough, I agree that it's really been the case with a lot of tracks in the NGADM. Funnily enough, while I tend to see such things so clearly in other people's work, I guess I'm just too close to my own. And maybe a bit too stubborn about some things...but I worry about how many changes from outside sources just end up taking away the instrinsic me-ness of the music. If I make too many compromises, I just don't feel like I'm being true to myself. Foolish pride, no doubt--but there it is.

Well, I suppose this actually turned out to be more like the music that plays as you prepare for such a wayward journey, as opposed to something that plays during the epic wanderings of an adventurous soul. Still an homage to wanderlust, but only a taste of the beginning. I'll be keeping the idea of a main theme in my mind going forward, and I appreciate that you respect the decision, but it nonetheless didn't do any favours to the composition. Apparently trying things out at crazy times is something that I excel at! But yes, ultimately this falls under the umbrella of "Hey, let's go on an adventure" as opposed to "Wow! This adventure is totally EPIC!"

Really happy to hear that you love the track despite its shortcomings, and all the awesome RPG comments are exceedingly well-received! Thanks so much for the opportunity. I'm sorry to go, and it's been a lot of fun, but I'm damn proud of everyone going on for being so filthy stinking talented. The bastards. :D

This is an NGADM 2015 review.

This is a nice song, nice instrumentation, pretty good production, pretty good composition. One thing I really have to get out as quickly and effectively as I can is that, because of the pizzicato, harp and bells, this song is intensely Runescape to me. I don't know if you ever played Runescape but this is bringing back so many memories for me lol. It's great :P It's mostly in the instrumentation because this song is a lot better composed than those old Runescape songs, but yeah - you get the idea.

Part of my rabid association of this song with runescape is probably also because it's very RPG, and I gather that's obviously intentional. It's got a great "starting village" kind of vibe, where the player is somewhere safe and looking at setting off on adventure. I like that you kept the song fairly interesting, not sticking to one rhythm or tone for too long. I feel though that a consequence of this is that your song feels a little aimless, if you will. Were it designed as background music, that would be perfect, though, so I really can't take points off for that :)

I feel there are some things to mention production-wise, namely that everything sits in the mix a little equally - this is also how it reminds me of runescape, lol. I feel that this is the kind of song that would benefit a lot from some subtleties. You've got a lot of potential dynamic range to use, but the levels are all quite similar, you know? This is compounded as a problem by the fact that almost everything in the song is very high frequency, there's very little going on below 100-200hz in most of the piece (there are definitely some exceptions to both these comments, but you get the idea.) This isn't inherently bad and the mixing itself is pretty good, I just feel there's more that can be done in this respect.

Anyway, this was a nice listen and a nostalgic one at that, regardless of how intentional that was :P If you were attempting a classic RPG style, you've nailed it in my opinion.

ChronoNomad responds:

Thanks for dropping another NGADM review on me, Geoplex!

Interestingly enough, while I have indeed heard of Runescape and had friends who played it (some of them quite religiously), I never actually did myself. I've tried out a handful of MMORPG titles over the decades, but very few really managed to hold my attention for long. The one I played the longest was Star Wars Galaxies way back in the day, and that one was put out to pasture permanently several years ago. Nevertheless, the impact of such nostalgia is certainly not lost on me, so I'm glad that this song could serve as such a pleasant reminder. :)

Console RPGs are my bread and butter, man! So that serves as quite the compliment to me, and while there are a lot of inspiration sources for my music, it is without a doubt influenced by the gaming culture that I frequently steep in. I can't really complain too much about any background music comments, especially since you don't actually make it sound like such a bad thing. I think that it's an important nuance for any musical artist to be aware of, that sometimes the music has to take a backseat and is not the driving force. Most of the time, actually. And that's just how our media-driven world is. Music with lyrics is at the fore of Pop culture while instrumental pieces are, more often than not, relegated to the background.

More Runescape ruminations! But yes, it is a fact that very little tends to stand out in this composition. But hey, it's all part of my growth process as a musician. I've got to take every little piece of feedback that I get and use it as I keep moving forward, making new tracks and breaking my own personal boundaries, while hopefully knocking down a few musical ones along the way. It is true that there's very little in the deeper range, and that was a conscious decision on my part. Do I kind of wish that I had added a few more touches? Yep. There really is more that I could have done with this, but at the time it sounded really full. And my last reviewer said that things already sound too crowded at times. Damned if ya do, damned if ya don't...y'know? Heh.

I'm glad that you like the music, and while the nostalgia trip wasn't quite as intentional as it may seem, I'm still glad that I could take you on that journey. As for your last sentence, I will take that as one hell of a compliment. :3 Cheers, mate!

__--=***NGADM Review***=--__

Lovely flow to the piece, the instruments seem to work well together although I feel parts are maybe a little crowded (too many notes), a little goes a long way in composition. The mix leaves something to be desired in terms of clarity although it has plenty of warmth to it, giving it a lot of depth/ a nice rich feeling, like an intimate setting, sitting together in a warm cave telling stories about your adventures.

I think the composition maybe lacks direction, I didn't feel like there was a continuous story to be told, more like it went from one idea to another without really transitioning.

Charming as always though, I've always enjoyed your style.
7.5/10

ChronoNomad responds:

Thanks for the NGADM review, MetalRenard!

I so often have people say that they want to hear more going on in my music, more instruments and rich layers of music going on at once, so when you say parts feel too crowded I'm not sure if I'm relieved, frustrated, or simply more confused. LOL! Different people always seem to want different things, so when I try to cater to one side of the equation, something else just ends up getting lost in the shuffle. I guess it's best to make the music that I want to make, for myself; no apologies and no compromises.

I'm glad to hear that the mix has a real warmth to it, and your analogy of telling adventure stories makes me smile. Not sure what to do with the comment on clarity, though. In what way is the mix lacking in clarity? To you that probably makes complete sense, but to me it seems vague and nebulous. I've always thought of you as a pretty harsh critic when it came to mixing in general, but without suggestions and ideas for improvement the feedback feels incomplete. For instance, what could be done to improve said clarity? I know well enough that you're an accomplished mix master, so it seems like you would probably have plenty of wisdom to impart on the subject.

The music feels relatively cohesive to me, but there's that good old subjectivity in motion again. Ah, well. There really isn't some huge central motif much of the time, and that really seems to bother folks, so I guess I can't fault you for saying that it lacks direction. But there is an overall theme that - at least to me - is crystal clear. Of course lacking that main focus through so much of the piece probably ends up relegating it to background music. *sigh* C'est la vie.

I am very happy to know that you find the music charming and my style enjoyable, and I appreciate the critique. I really like the song for what it is, but it certainly isn't the best thing I've ever produced, and I find your comments and scoring to be fair. Keep on rocking.

Credits & Info

ChronoNomad
Author

Listens
2,114
Faves:
8
Downloads
43
Votes
28
Score
4.38 / 5.00

Uploaded
Sep 3, 2015
12:03 PM EDT
Genre
Classical
File Info
Song
8.7 MB
3 min 49 sec
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