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Author Comments

This is my submission for NGUAC Round 2, and I've got a lot to say. So here goes.

I was excited to move on past the audition stage, but it couldn't have come at a worse time. I had a road trip planned with my family to visit friends and relatives over the East Coast and Midwest. Which meant no computer, so no Ableton, no Serum, no samples.

What I did have was a Macbook with Logic Pro X, and fortunately, Logic has an amazing library for orchestra instruments. So I began making my first purely orchestral piece, with full orchestral arrangement (except for saxophones, because they suck).

The song itself was me seeing how I could change the feeling of a melody using different harmonic contexts, while maintaining the same key. The common idea is that major keys are happy and minor keys are dark and serious. I wanted to challenge that.

The main melody, carried by the brass, is constant. The only alterations made to it are timing-based (and some notes changed by a semitone to increase dissonance early on). But it retains the same structure and remains in C minor with the rest of the orchestra throughout the whole piece. I'm proud of the result I got out of it.

All VSTs are included in Logic Pro X. That's it. All the sounds are
from Logic's base instrument library.

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I like the sense of masked tension at the beginning and the violin tremolos. The brass at :27 sounds a bit inauthentic, and also has a bit heavy of a panning pattern. Nice job with the evocative mood of this one. The climax into :59 was well-done, although at times I wanted to hear more lower tones in the texture. The mix is also rather quiet here. I like the re-intro at 1:45 and the melodic content at around 2:00. The abrupt transition actually works really well, and I like the change-up in the instrumental hierarchy there, including the fun percussion at 2:14. You might’ve needed a smoother transition at 2:25, however, and overall I think the arrangement of the piece is a bit choppy. I liked the variations on the melodies at 2:46, although I would’ve liked to hear the drums a little more up-front in the mix there, which would’ve heightened the sense of climax. The drawn out tonic chord at 3:10 was also a nice touch. Overall, strong work with the harmonies, rhythmic components, melodies, and clarity of the production. The structure of the piece could be a little more flowing, and the mixing details could use a bit of polishing, but it’s still an enjoyable and uplifting track. Keep at it, SirQuebi! :)

Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
Composite score

I like the composition itself. It's pretty energetic and catchy. I think the instrumentation arrangement needs a lot of work though. One easy change you can make to improve this quite a lot is to layer to brass leads, which tend to sound thin when played solo in one octave. Don't just copy and paste the melodies though, because as you move further down in the register, it becomes increasingly difficult for the instruments to effectively carry a melody. I think the percussion lacks much-needed power; it could benefit a lot from more cymbals, or maybe even a shaker or tambourine. I noticed many missed opportunities to slightly alter the instrumentation to create some subtle contrast between different parts of certain sections. For example, one common technique is to play a phrase with a string ensemble, and then the phrase is repeated but with woodwinds (I'm not suggesting you do this exactly, this is just an example to help convey my thoughts). This is a solid foundation but it sounds incomplete to me.

I lack the knowledge to phrase it any better, but something about 0:26 to 0:36 sounded a little flat. After that, however, it's fantastic. Thrilling, even. It's as if you wanted to summarized one man's entire adventure within a single piece of music.

Excellent work, SirQ.

Quebi responds:

Thank you! The idea was actually making this uphill/downhill movement of a journey or adventure.

I love melody, atmosphere, feel, but this tracks needs more dynamics. This can be suuuuuper cool almost finished track, but it really needs more humanized notes:)

Quebi responds:

You know what? Im on it

Credits & Info


3.79 / 5.00

Aug 1, 2019
1:43 PM EDT
File Info
7.6 MB
3 min 18 sec

Licensing Terms

You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions:

You must give credit to the artist.
You may not use this work for commercial purposes. *
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*Please contact me if you would like to use this in a commercial project. We can discuss the details.