AIM - Something Evil In The Forest

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A young woman's toddler son has disappeared, and the police have been no help in finding him. She knows there is an evil presence in the nearby woods and begins to have visions of finding her son there. No one believes her, so she ventures out into the heart of the woods alone to confront the devil and demand the return of her son. The confrontation with evil begins...

I made this for Newgrounds' 2018 Art-Inspired Music contest, and I had a blast making it. Inspiration for this song came from the awesome artwork, "Figure In Fog," by @AtTheSpeedOf at https://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/atthespeedof/figure-in-fog.

I'd guess I spent about a total of 40 hours on this song, which combines 28 tracks. Along with Logic Pro X's Alchemy, I used the following from Komplete 11 Ultimate:
- Battery 4
- Damage
- Rise & Hit
- Absynth 5
- Skanner XT
- Symphony Essentials
- Evolve Mutations 2

I hope I'll have enough time to make a second entry into the contest. We'll see. Thanks for listening!

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-22160075
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatemodified/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FateModified
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHCz-GKZfZCdP2LlC9_Qgw

Check out the Youtube video for this song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjpNfDSGhXg

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Official AIM2018 Review!

Loving the atmospheric sound effects. Tasteful reverb -- occasionally sounds like a bit of clipping in your mix but that may be SFX or unchained sub 20 Hz noise. Do rein some of that in.

I'm definitely feeling the dark forest vibe of the artwork chosen.

Could have probably used a little more low end on your kick and some other hits, but as a whole, this piece really does convey the angst of a terrified mother, fighting against impossible odds to get her son back. You've done a masterful job here maintaining that atmosphere consistently. Very engaging piece.

Use of SFX at the end is perfect. My only complaint would be occasional muddy distorted sound throughout, which may be a thematic statement. Thanks for turning out to this year's competition!

FateModified responds:

Thanks for the review! I noticed what sounded like clipping too during the pad at the beginning that sounds kind of like a low dragon's growl. If that's what you're hearing as clipping, it actually was an effect built into that preset which I used in Absynth. I wasn't sure I liked the 'clipping' effect so much but I really liked the way it sounded like a dragon growling quietly, and I couldn't figure how to get rid of that effect so I just went with it. I think that pad preset might be the source of the "muddy distorted sound" you mentioned. I really need to learn to use these synthesizers better to create my own perfect sounds, but I'm a long way off from that I'm afraid due to the limited amount of time I have available to learn the complex process of synthesis.

I did have a bit of trouble with the kick. I really wanted the "breathing" kick effect which I created with some delayed reverb, but I found that to get the effect right I also had to use a certain kick with a certain sound, and so maybe I sacrificed the sound of the kick itself a bit in order to get the effect just right.

Thank you for saying I've done a "masterful job," and for calling this a "very engaging piece." I put a lot of work into it and so I'm glad it turned out as well as you and others say it has. :)

It's interesting to read the description as it's such a different interpretation than the one I drew from the piece! Not just the backstory, but also the sense of threat and darkness. The woods seemed, to me, more mysterious than sinister, more forgotten than relevant, yet enter this music and it's suddenly a very living and vivid place, the shadows creeping along the vines, the darkness twisting and fading as the sun moves with the trees, and the leaves rustle in the sinking darkness... it really paints a very ominous setting! Listening to this as I see the image I still don't feel the music in the visuals, but I do love how this plays out. I love the ambience and the sense of suspense, the beats that seem to form steps in the background, the rising, and fading, and creeping motions of the sound... it all builds up perfectly.

Until the point around three minutes it felt perfect, but the break there's a bit long, and silent, compared the brooding before it. After that it really changes, and rises, and goes into a pretty climatic phase before that whispering end... really nice work blending in sounds of nature with the music itself, and the break's really the only part that brings down that setting a bit. Masterful work.


FateModified responds:

Hey thanks! I guess I have an overactive imagination sometimes... I saw the way the stones on the ground were arranged into circular patterns and the little wooden strange-shaped crosses and thought maybe it was actually a site where satanic rituals were carried out. I've been watching a lot of supernatural horror movies recently, and so maybe that's why my mind wandered in that direction. Plus, I love the music in horror movies with their dreamlike, creepy, or disturbing ambiences.

Perhaps I should have added something else in the break. I really liked the distant alarm-like wailing sound and in the end decided to let that be the focus during that part, just because of how eerie it sounded to me. What I hear in my music is often way different from what others hear, so it's great to get feedback like this.

Thank you so much for your review, cd. BTW, in case you don't remember, you are the one who first scouted me for the music portal back about 4 and 1/2 years ago when I uploaded my first song to Newgrounds. I was called "HelpThePoor" back then. It's great to hear from you again. :)

This paints the picture perfectly!

Also, Komplete 11? Lucky.

FateModified responds:

Hey, thanks!

Not just Komplete 11, but Komplete 11 "Ultimate." It's got so much stuff, it's gonna take me many years to get used to it all, I think! So much awesomeness awaits... :)


FateModified responds:

YOU are great for saying so. Thanks! :D

This is a delightfully creepy track with a fantastic piece of artwork for its inspiration. You've nailed down the suspenseful vibe with your intense mixture of ambient sound effects; deep, throaty brass; and cinematic string ensemble. Your drum riffs are equally solid, and they serve to ramp up the tension even more.

That said, the main issue I found was that there was no real break from said tension. It ebbs and flows, but remains constant. A bit more harmonic work within the piece would be really effective, and I can easily imagine some equally creepy yet sparser sections where the main focus could be some kind of piano or, better still, music box progression. Oh, a bit of hellish music box would fit right in, especially since - in your version of the story - the woman is searching for her lost son.

Some variation in tempo could have really changed things up nicely, too. While the slower, more even tempo works well enough, slowing things down or speeding them up a bit can really spice up the storytelling. You clearly put a ton of time and effort into this, so I'd love to see it go the distance!

FateModified responds:

The music box is a great idea, I don't know why I didn't think about that, darn it! I think you're also right about the tempo change. I've thought about using tempo changes in my music before, but I'm not sure why I never have yet. I'll have to experiment with that next time. I can see how it could add dramatic intensity to the song.

Thanks for your review, I really appreciate it! :D

Credits & Info

4.65 / 5.00

May 18, 2018
9:18 PM EDT
File Info
11.6 MB
5 min 4 sec

Licensing Terms

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