I remember really liking some stuff you did for BRUCE, and this is no exception. I love the echo-y intro and subsequent melodic section at :15. It's a little minimalistic, yet has a lot of character to it all the same. My one complaint would have to be the samples - their lack of authenticity detracts from the mood a little bit. The pace of the piece is pretty quick structurally, with a lot of transitional moments, yet it seems like it would fit well with a video game intro that gives some context to the story. :) The ending is really majestic and bright, too. Solid composition! I hope you can post more often in the near future. ;)
I agree about the samples! I didn't have any others of the particular instruments I was asked to include though. I probably could've tried humanizing them a bit more though :V
BRUCE was nice in that it often brought me a bit out of my comfort zone (apart from the ambient stuff). But, there was also less freedom in what I could do. There is complete change huge in the middle of the piece, partly because I wanted to try out something else, and partly because I had kinda done what I wanted with the other instruments (The samples are a bit better towards the end).
I spent 16 hours yesterday composing! I made a track for a contest. I'll likely upload it to NG once the judging is over :)
In my estimation, it's better than most things I've uploaded lately :D
Thank you for reviewing, as always!
On the melodic plane, the song sounds very professional. The melodies sound familiar and effectively evoke a video game feel. You’re extremely talented and skilled in that you can listen to any soundtrack, recognize the defining components that constitute the style, and successfully imitate it while preserving your own style and preferences.
The way the melodic focus shifts from one instrument to another seems a bit undeveloped; it could be more seamless. But I do like the idea!
Your selection of instruments themselves is pretty good! As you noted, the quality isn’t the best, but thankfully, the video game feel negates this shortcoming to a decent extent. Such quality plugins almost sound welcome in this kind of song. I particularly like the accordion and woodwinds! The harp glissandos are very pleasing and do a nice job elevating the excitement.
The percussion is rich and impressive. You don’t use percussion very often, especially cinematic percussion, but you did a pretty good job establishing certain moods and creating vivid visuals. I adore the metal percussion with the panning effects; it makes me visualize an armed knight moving across the screen.
I can discern all the instruments, and the track sounds saturated, but I still have some criticisms of the mix. The piano in the beginning sounds harsh, like you hastily edited the EQ to force it to fit. The mix becomes somewhat messy once the drums and flute come in, probably due to the abundance of reverb in the background. The melodic instruments have noticeably less reverb, which almost makes them sound detached; but it’s not quite there. On my computer speakers, the harp glissando sounds fine; however, with my headphones, it’s begging for a place in the mix. The crash that marks the second part of the track sounds dry and linear; you could have used a lot more reverb and delay –and maybe you could have added a bell to both enhance the cinema and make the transition more defined? –. Fortunately, after that point, the mix dramatically improves, obviously because there are fewer, and different, elements.
I like the structure of the track, especially the fact that it has two distinct parts, but as I mentioned, some transitions could be developed more.
When I listen the track casually, it’s a really enjoyable experience and the melodies are quite catchy. This is one of my favorite tracks of yours from this project :)
Those are quite some compliments, and some valid critiques!
I'm glad you like the melodies. I think I played it pretty safe in order to keep it interesting, Irish, and still original. Having a bit of a familiar feel, even if it's a new melody, often helps capture some attention and make a piece more easy for a first time listener to enjoy :)
There are way more skilled people at me, when it comes to capturing the elements of a genre or style! I try though, so I'm glad my effort shows. I actually really like that I never had to be confused abut what my "own sound" was. It kind of developed naturally! On the flipside, one often recognizes works as mine, when hearing them. Not necesssarily a bad thing at all, though!
I think I get what you're saying with the shifts in focus between instruments. There are some parts I feel work quite well, while you're definitely right about certain parts. This song is a bit wishy washy in structure, to say the least, and doesn't really take its time establishing its array of sounds. That's probably partly because I wanted to do so many different things, in so short a piece.
It's interesting that many people seemed to liken this to video games, and the music of say Zelda! I'm happy to hear that :)
I actually selected the instruments before I started composing. Partly, because about 4-5 of them were suggested by Jay, and partly, because I just took whatever I had with an Irish sound xD
So that's why they mostly go together stylewise, at least in the first part!
The quality of the instruments in the second part are better (which is another reason it seems to be better mixed), but they are less style-specific.
While I'm glad you noted my use of percussion, I admit to some laziness! About 50% of the percussion is loops, while the other 50% are things I actually "programmed" myself in the key editor. Percussion was required to drive the piece, I feel, and I wanted it to sound pretty good. I find loops are good for practicing mixing too, when it comes to percussion. Thanks to them, I've progressed slightly in that area :)
I really like the metal as well! I want to try out similar things in the future. I think the metals are actually ceng ceng cymbals. They are also loops, but I modified them a fair deal, to get the sound you hear in the piece. To begin with, the loops are fairly short, so I had to make them seamless, and give them the right place in the mix, and use them atmospherically. You'd understand what I mean if you heard the original sound :D
Thanks for taking the time to analyze the mix! I don't think I EQ'd the piano in the beginning. It's a preset of the Maverick, which happens to have a more in your face and "cold" (imo) sound. I recall you not liking that preset earlier as well, when I used it as an example for "Recovery".
I agree the mix becomes messy! I don't think it's the reverb, I think I simply crammed in too many instruments with similar frequencies at the same time. It's because I had decided to only use the Kontakt ones there, and I wanted to use all of the Irish/celtic ones. Silly, I know! But eh :V
In general, if the arrangement isn't good, no mix can save it. That said, the mix could be improved from what it is atm anyway, ofc. But someone more talented than me would have to do it!
I 100% agree when it comes to the harp glissando, and I knew about it when I put it there as well. I kinda like that weird sound though. I kept it in because the sound reminded me of a track I like from an old game. It's not just the mix, but the notes played actually don't necessarily go along well with the melodies played there. But I like the weird harmonies there. It also distracts the listener from main melody at that part, and makes the transition easier.
You may be right about the crash! I don't hear it. I just used it for effect, and though it did the job well of covering the tracks of the previous part. I used a fair deal of reverb, I think it's once again the sample that's not to your taste, and maybe I used the wrong sound at the wrong place (That crash doesn't have much of an actual crash, but is kind of more like this weak "dushhhh", kind of floaty and atmospheric). As for where I placed it in the mix, I think there could've been a better place.
The bell in a nice idea from the perspective of sound! But, I think that would've been a bit too generic there, and also wouldn't fit the genre or sound I was going for too well. But I think you're right about there being something missing... Well, it's like it is now! Thanks for the great suggestions :D
The mix improves indeed, because it's not as crammed, and because the instruments are simply better at that oint.
I'm glad you like the structure, because I think it's a complete mess! Not that I mind complete messes :p
Thanks again for all the kind words, and the super thorough and thoughtful review!
It's like a cross of Zelda and Ori and the Blind Forest soundtrack. I hope this get frontpaged. It's very chill and folky like. Amazing how you used mostly Factory Selection for this. :O Like Lich said, it's amazing. Great job dude!
That's a wonderful compliment! To have my piece compared to the music of Zelda and Ori, is quite an honor :O
I doubt this'll get frontpaged, but I'm really glad you like it!
I used the fatory library, not the selection, but they are similar! They're alright, but definitely not as easy to use (nor as great) as some other instruments out there :D
Thank you ^ ^
Well you've definitely made good use of the Kontakt Factory Library, much better than I could pull off haha.
Big fan of the folk-esq overall atmosphere and the creative panning work you've done throughout the piece, it works so nicely with the Maverick supporting it aswell. Into the favourites it goes ;)
I mean, its the only thing I had with specifically Irish instruments (and I wanted to somewhat follow the description I was given, for the piece)! I'm glad it sounds okay :D
Thanks for listening, reviewing and favoriting!
I'll review your piece soon, once I get a few things done first :'3
This is definitely transporting as well as a refreshing, original take on a classic feel! Lots of interesting and fun elements come together within the brevity of the song. I'm hoping you go 'weird' again in the future so our ears can benefit from the creative endeavor. :D
It's nice to hear you liked it!
I did indeed combine a fair amount of different things. That's why it's good to do stuff a bit out of my comfort zone. It also happens because I get bored if I do the same things every time, so I try to see what else I can put together with the tools I have at my disposal >:D
Thank you for listening, and for reviewing :3
P.S. I'll definitely go weird again, haha
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.