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Gunslinger's Waltz [NGUAC 2020]

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Cracks at the beginning and the end are supposed to be there, it's not a glitch or anything, so don't throw away your headphones.

Phew, that was a wild ride. Doing a track in two weeks? It's totally not like I have done that before! (more details 'bout that... some time soon) But seriously now, I have to admit that having a deadline really made me much more focused, if not more productive - despite being on vacation the whole time (so I am thankful to Caustic for being such an amazing mobile DAW)! Well, maybe I should then also apply this lesson to game dev and try participating in a game jam?

So immediately after doing a short celebration with my family when I found out that I got shortlisted, I finally unleashed my experimentation powers. Eventually I settled on a pretty nasty lead (btw, I absolutely love foldback distortion) and a bass that produces really interesting cracks at the extreme of phase modulation (those I put a disclaimer for) and made an intro out of them. As for the first verse, I really wanted a guitar part, but neither had I one handy, nor was I able to record one with Caustic's lack of audio clip support, so I simply synthesized one and it sounds close enough.

At this point the song started to sound quite westerny (and my mind just kept giving me images of McCree from Overwatch), so I came up with the final title surprisingly early - oh, and I got the idea to use the word 'Waltz' actually because the song was in 3/4.

And after that I simply expanded the song (I even added a part that was made to sound like a waltz), got into a few arguments with my "testing group", made some late changes and tweaks, worked on the mix and here am I now - publishing the song with a few hours remaining on the deadline.

During the trip I was reading FL Studio's manual (cause I'm thinking about getting a copy of it) and I came upon an article about mixing. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but after reading it (and watching a few videos about mastering) something just clicked in my mind and I somehow obtained the skill of mixing. Yes, I didn't really know what was I doing with all of my previous works and now that I posses this immense power, I feel like I should try to improve some of my older works... but not now, I've got other things to worry about.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-621585144/gunslingers-waltz

DAW: Caustic 3, mastered by Bandlab

Image source: https://www.pikist.com/free-photo-xjnpc

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Pretty interesting piece, building upon itself. Sounds pretty tight. I'm noticing a tendency to prioritize higher frequencies in the mix over low frequencies. Part of that could be the bass you chose -- but most of the time I can hardly hear it over sibilants. And I'm on headphones that are known for not really having the tinniest highs -- AT m40x.

There's not a lot of mid range in the piece. Part of this could come from the bandlab mastering. Try some other free masters and see how they suit your fancy.

The interplay between instruments keeps things interesting more so than would be otherwise, but there's still not a lot of thirds or harmony to go on. The bass is on the same note as the lead, meaning. Those chords on the side are panning up and down the exact same chord. I would strive to avoid that. It gets a little cheesy, no offense intended.

Other than that, not bad at all.

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

Credits & Info


3.30 / 5.00

Aug 24, 2020
12:40 PM EDT
File Info
11.1 MB
4 min 50 sec
  • BandLab
  • Caustic 3

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.