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AIM - The Little Warrior

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EDIT : Got the first place to the AIM 2016 contest, woohoo ! \o/

Your yearly emotional roller-coaster checking in !
This is probably one of my biggest orchestral projects to date. I uploaded it about ten minutes before the deadline of the AIM 2016 contest, and there are some things I'm not completely satisfied with (I didn't had the time to check the mix on other headphones), but more generally, I'm happy with how this turned out. Especially since most of the time, when I compose something that sounds epic, I always end up using a lot of synths and other sci-fi stuff, so that's kind of a personal achievement.

Inspired by KillaMaaki's Little Warrior :

The relation between the image and the story may not be obvious, but I actually tried to imagine the story of the character, and to illustrate it through music. Yeah, I know, it's not the first time I'm composing as if I was writing a story, but I love that.

While you can interpret the various elements of the piece as you like, in case you're interested in how I imagined it, I began by looking for any elements that may seem significant. The setting was easy to find : A medieval-fantasy world, so I didn't use any synths this time.
When I saw this character, I imagined him to be agile, I also noticed his expression is either neutral or slightly sad, and his dagger/sword/weapon/whatever it is.
The main points I tried to develop was his agility, with fast, moving melodies, something that just doesn't stay in place, can be surprising at times, but also a potential backstory related to his dark-looking weapon : maybe it saved him in some way, but with a heavy trade-off he has to bear since then - a secret dark enough to prevent him to smile ever again. I'll let you find the leitmotiv associated with this "pact", it's not too hard :p (spoiler : It's the one at the end.)

Sound libraries used : CineSymphony LITE, Albion Legacy, EWQL Symphonic Orchestra, Olympus Elements, Embertone Crystal Flute, NineVoltAudio Shimmer&Shake, Spitfire Labs' Bike Bells, Native Instruments' New York Grand Piano

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This is just another one of your amazing tracks! I don't understand how you get your instruments to sound so light but so full at the same time. There's only a couple playing at a time (in most cases) but it fills up the mix so well. I guess that's just the effect an amazing mix will have on your songs. Great work! I really can't find anything wrong with it. The fact that it can tell a story too is just mind blowing.


Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot ! :)
" I don't understand how you get your instruments to sound so light but so full at the same time."
Actually, I love playing with contrast, putting a lot of very different-sounding sections in my tracks, with some that are more heavy-sounding that others. In order to achieve that, I of course play a lot with the dynamics of each instrument and the characteristics of each articulation (using quieter strings in quieter passages, with less short notes, this kind of thing), but I also try to fill a bit more the frequencies when I'm writing an epic part than when I'm writing some smaller passages like at 2:10.
Choosing your sounds can also help a lot - an example I like is how a choir will give different colours depending on the vowel used for your legato/sustained passages. I tend to see the "Aaah" and "Oooh" vowels as what you want if you're trying to make something either epic or more "spiritual", the "Mmm" vowel makes for a very mellow sound (First Flight, the part at 1:20) that works perfectly well as soon as you try to make something sound more "emotional"... When you think of all the possibilities, when taking into account all the instruments and articulations available, that makes a pretty wide palette already, but layering different instruments add even more choices.

To be honest, there are some parts I find quite empty now, and surprisingly, it's the more epic ones, but on the other hand they still work pretty well, so maybe that's not too much of an issue, for once. I guess it works because there's also a lot of movement - that's what I was aiming for, something reflecting the agility of the character. But there isn't any sustained notes for example in the last epic part (apart from the choir, but it's more marcato notes than actual sustains), and it's probably a bit poor in terms of harmony.

And yeah, I tend to think music like a story - I actually try to write stories through music, I just love working this way when I'm not writing for a specific project, it helps when you're trying to find which structure you want for your piece. And sometimes, you can come up with some interesting ideas as well thanks to the story you're working with - that was the case with the part at 1:30, which I still love. This darker part was actually inspired by the look of the character's weapon, and it influenced everything that follows - even the way the last epic part sounds... well, epic, but neutral at the same time, not too heroic or dramatic - because the character himself comes back as an hero, but he knows that behind the looks, the story is somewhat darker.
Another thing I love with this process, too, is that since you're creating a story with music, the story can be somewhat vague, and the listener can imagine the details himself. You put the basic plot structure and events in place, and let the listener imagine the rest, putting him in his own creative process.

Sorry, I wrote a long reply, I hope you don't mind. xD

Sounds really good! Perfect for the character theme of the inspired art.

And the last chorus part is so epic!!!

Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot ! ^.^

Great Job!

Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot ! :)

This so SO SO awesome!!!!!!

Ylmir responds:

Thank you !

Very realistic sounding track and solid composition!
02:24 part is fav, beautiful melody, so dramatic, truly great music for epic project.
Finishing melody is catchy.
Reminds a Conan-style movie, great job.

As for sound, no special "booming" (listened on Sennheiser pro studio headphones), I might say otherwise, that seems it a bit lack of low frequiencies.

P.S. added to favs

Ylmir responds:

Thanks a lot !
Actually, I replaced my computer not so long ago, and this was only the second track I made on my new config. It is a gaming laptop, and the integrated sound card has a really different sound compared to what I'm used to (more lows). You just confirmed that my good old UX1 still had the most reliable sound - I'll still check on my laptop for compatibility, of course, but now I know which one I should use primarily.

Credits & Info


4.81 / 5.00

Jul 24, 2016
11:51 PM EDT
File Info
8.5 MB
3 min 58 sec

Licensing Terms

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