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Repurposed Souls - A.I.M. 2018

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This is my entry for the 2018 A.I.M. (Art Inspired Music) contest here on Newgrounds!

This is the artwork that inspired my song:

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Official AIM2018 Review!

I'm definitely feeling waves lapping up against our boat, watching the sunset, flames of the oil rig in the distance.

Only thing killing my enjoyment of this mix is the super loud hi-hats in comparison to the rest of the mix. Got a lot of muddy reverb elsewhere as well, a high fizz that persists from the intro. I would recommend a tighter EQ, hi-cut, lo-cut, etc. Cut and compress, cut and compress, shape EQ, etc. Chernobyl Studios on YT does some wonderful guitar/drum/master mixing tutorials, which I feel this piece would have benefited from immensely. I almost feel like I'm listening in a tin can on the waves at points.

Didn't like the abrupt stop, record-yank break in the middle either. It kinda just confused me. Second listen, I'm used to it, but first I was like wut. It's a very jarring end to that earlier cadence.

Kick and snare could probably come up in the mix just a little, or be compressed somewhat. Drum track as a whole was nice and pensive until those quarter crashes, which I understand we metal heads are soooo fond of.

Also feel like bass needed more distortion, could have come up in the mix a bit. Lead is almost screaming over everything.

Composition itself is very laid back, appropriate to the piece, and makes great use of delay. Reverb wet signal is a bit too high and is covering up your articulations.

Other than that, sweet, laid back jam. Fits right in with the art you selected. Quality is passable. Could have used some mastering and polish on the mix, but I liked it nonetheless. Thanks for turning out to this year's competition!

You definitely chose an interesting piece to make music for! :D First pixel art I see in the contest. The introduction seems to capture the calm of it. The beautiful sunset. The waves. The boats in the distance. A serene scene... that slowly morphs into something else as you notice the fire on the right side. Something's wrong. Subtle shiver. It keeps building, but never turns to full-out chaos, just like with the picture, it's an almost unnoticeable threat you suddenly discover, the brooding starts... but it never transcends into chaos all the way. The ending: all up to you.

I really like the mood here. It's subtle, and soft, but masterfully brooding after that initial, almost jazzy ambience. Paints the night well, and the gap is seamless before the tension starts. It has an industrial tone to it too, so I'm curious if that's what you went for after the initial phase, or if it's anything like the impression I had above? Great sound work, great balance; great composition overall. The latter part in particular. Really like the tension there.


Insomnimatic responds:

Wow, thank you for the review, I really appreciate it. I decided to try something a bit different and go with a soft ambient sound to contrast two things.

The first contrast is that I normally write heavy rock / metal music and I wanted to see what I was capable of doing outside of that but with the same instruments

The second contrast is to the image itself. There would be people hard at work in a setting like this and most people that passed by would see it just as that, a place of work. I however, see a place where people make a living, possibly even living on these barges, the beauty of their surrounding but also the extreme potential for a hazardous event to take place. This space is calming, beautiful and seems to be peaceful but there is still that underlying feeling of danger that could not be ignored. Storms, Possibly falling over the edge not knowing if you'll be swept away by the currents or be lucky enough to survive, Oil that could explode and / or set ablaze everything that is yours.

To answer your question on the industrial tone, I actually created that by accident while writing and loved the sound so I kept it in. I pretty much went into old habits and was playing a few barred chords (set your guitar to a dropped tuning and play the 4th, 5th and 6th string all on the same fret) with some delay and a tad bit of reverb. I started to write around it and everything sort of fell into place.

One other accident that I was pleasantly surprised with is at about 2:00 into the songs, I decided to tremolo pick to get a pleasant "wave-ish" vibe going and the reverb / delay settings I used along with the notes created what sounds to be wind in the background and it brought so much more of the artwork to life.


---Official AIM review---

I liked the dreamy, pensive beginning. The drums are also a strong addition to the texture. The progression was a little slow at first, but definitely goes in a different direction by around the 1-minute mark. The track certainly has a unique structure. The glissando at 1:40 didn’t quite work for me. I think you needed to prime the listener more for a change that sudden. The section at the end with the echoy guitar ambience was absolutely haunting. That said, I think you could’ve done a lot more with the textural fill of this piece. It’s quite minimalistic the majority of the time, and lacks an emotional height or refrain to tie it all together. The result is that it feels both experimental and in a way incomplete. I think you nailed the mood and atmosphere. I also enjoyed your creative rhythmic work with the drums, especially around :47. I think that the reverb may have been a tad excessive at times, largely in the interest of making the drums sound as crisp and clear as possible. Another problem I see with the mixing is that the bass could’ve come through a lot stronger. More bass is certainly a potential solution to the lack of fill in the texture as I see it now. Overall, though, chilling piece that absolutely stays true to its thematic purpose. Instrumentation was also a highlight. Keep it up, man!


personally this song is great i like the how its rock yet its calming and makes you picture some calming meadow or something well that's just me tho

Insomnimatic responds:

The genre, if you're interested in hearing more, is Post-Rock. Check out the band "Distant Dream" on YouTube. They are the first Post-Rock band I heard and my inspiration in this writing style comes from them. Thanks a lot for the feedback my dude!


Credits & Info

4.09 / 5.00

May 13, 2018
11:20 PM EDT
General Rock
File Info
6.8 MB
2 min 59 sec

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