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The Concept of Time

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Hello everybody!


This is my submission for the final round of this year's NGUAC. Time is a weird thing, isn't it? I tried to capture some of this weirdness with this track. I really hope you like it!

Feedback is very much appreciated!


You can also follow me here:

- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/KevinMuellerMusic

- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/27qBIzjjmxDRoJQf8Xc1LN

- Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/kevin-mueller/1514740528


As requested in the announcement thread, here's some evidence, that it is a 100% original track:


Software / Plugins used:

  • FL Studio 20 (DAW)
  • Kontakt 6 (Host for orchestral libraries)
  • iZotope Ozone 8 (Mixing / Mastering)
  • SPAN (Mixing)
  • OTT (Mixing)
  • Valhalla Room (Reverb)


Kontakt Libraries / VST's used:

  • Cinematic Strings 2 (Violins, Violas, Cellos and Double Basses)
  • Metropolis Ark 1 (Low Strings, French Horns, Cimbassi, Bass Trombones, Male Choir, Female Choir, Contrabassoons)
  • Cinewinds Core (Flute, Clarinets)
  • Heavyocity Damage (Organic Percussion, Cymbal rolls)
  • Jaeger (Various sound design elements)
  • The Giant (Piano)
  • Spitfire LABS (Dulcimer)


Soundeffects:


If needed, I could provide a midi export, the project file, and / or various screenshots.


Amazing artwork: https://www.deviantart.com/t1na/art/Clockwork-688594354


EDIT:

Thank you so much for the frontpage Newgrounds! :)

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I like the pensive mood at the beginning and the dark brass at :15. The harmonic content is a little bare, but the texture is still rich. I might’ve liked to hear a little more of the vocals at :48 in the mix, just because their part seemed a bit more mobile than the strings and brass, but the gorgeous melody at 1:14 helps keep me engaged shortly thereafter. The middle section of the piece has a really nice sense of triumph and direction to it, and the string riff at 2:24 was a fun play on the more legato version of the same riff at :32. I might have asked for a little more melodic flair and harmonic depth in the more energetic sections of the piece, but that’s being nitpicky. The production quality, sound design, atmosphere, phrasing, and melodies are all wonderful here. Keep up the good work, Kevin! ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
2/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
1.25/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
1.75/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.25/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
1/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
9/10

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks for the review and the kind words! :)
And thank you very much for hosting the NGUAC! Your patience with some of the contestants was amazing and inspiring. You did a really great job!

I would take the heavy reverb off of your mysterious ticking noise, and also by extension your brasses and drums. Back it down and shorten the decay. It sounds like with either compression or something else, the low end is getting muddied by it.

Originality wise, I am noticing a lot of cinematic tropes, as mentioned by other judges. That 7th to octave violin drag being a particular offender. However, I do feel like the track as a whole has been pretty well executed, and sounds close to, if not industry standard. It just so happens that from watching so many film trailers, film score for the pure virtue of film score has for me lost its epic sheen. So despite being well crafted for the most part -- aside from reverb, your leveling and use of instrumentation is quite good -- I don't get a lot of excitement or wow factor, and it ends up sounding very much like something I've heard before.

That said, I think it's great you can pop out a piece like this in 2 weeks, and am not the slightest saddened to see you on the front page. Congrats on that btw. There's a lot to be said for being able to imitate the world's most well-renowned composers in your genre. Great work. :)

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

KevinMueller responds:

Thank you for your review! And thanks for the tip with the reverb. :)

Well as many people have said, VERY Hans Zimmer, He is a HUGE, if not the biggest inspiration for my orchestral compositions I get contracted and whatnot. Lots of cinematic inspiration here.

Mixing, TOP NOTCH for an orchestral piece. The B section was an amazingly executed change in your piece. And the end section, so intense, so dramatic. I longed for a bit more originality, because as Everratic has said, it does seem to utilize common cinematic orchestral tropes in your themes.

That being said, this was amazingly composed and mixed and mastered. well done!

Overall Composition; 8.5
Overall Production; 8.25
Overall impression; 8

Score; 8.25

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks a lot for your review and score! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

-NGUAC Review-

I've been enjoying listening to your music and observing your progress since I discovered you around half a year ago. You've improved in many ways. With that said, I have to echo the point that this is not among your best recent songs.

Some things I really like about some of your other recent songs are that they sound much more lively, dynamic, and most importantly, original. They have adventurous vibes and evoke much more emotion.

With this song, it sounds like you hastily pasted together various tropes from epic music; I don't sense any meaning behind the song's structure and development, and it lacks a distinct identity - there are no memorable features. Memorable features can be a catchy melody, interesting sound design, unorthodox instrumentation, etc.

I'm sure that this song would be liked by a casual epic music audience. Unfortunately, by design, my scoring rubric does not reward songs simply for being industry-acceptable, and it greatly penalizes songs that lack originality.

I gave you a score of 6.9. I realize that's quite low, but bear in mind some of your other songs would get much higher scores from me.

If this is the type of music you want to make, don't let my feedback stop you. I'm just an amateur composer who tends to frequently disagree with the popular opinions here on evaluating music.

The production during the climaxes is solid. I like the punchy drums that cut through the mix.

I think tempo automation would be nice in the intro and outro, to change the pace a bit. These sections could also benefit from more background lines (maybe pads) to further fill in the frequency spectrum and draw interest.

At 1:05, there's a loud string sound that lasts until 1:12. It sounds fakes and is therefor distracting. I think it should peak at a lower point and fade out sooner.

At 1:28, you brought in the brass section, and the result is that the section sounds like a psuedo-climax that detracts power from the following main climax. You could have used woodwinds or solo strings to keep the section lighter and quieter.

There's more I could comment on, but you already received some good advice.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I look forward to hearing more of your music!

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks for the review! I understand your points, and I will try to do better next time.

-Official NGUAC 2020 Final Round Review-

This is a really interesting and complex submission. The strings are polished to the extreme, and the drums + percussions department is flawless, especially the clock ticks at the beginning and at the end of the track. I enjoyed a lot the section as 1:12, and I also noticed a quote to Skyrim at 1:24: a true man of culture indeed. I can tell you’ve been inspired a bit also by “The Dragon Warrior” by Zimmer for the movie Kung Fu Panda 3: the vibes are really similar. Back to the review, everything between 1:28 and 2:16 is amazing! The evolution of that section flows uniquely, and gives a lot of space to the imagination of listener: this is an aspect I really enjoy finding in cinematic and orchestral music, and you did it great. The choir at 2:23, even if it could have been louder, is well blended and gives richer goosebumps to the listener. Overall, this is a fantastic and well composed piece of music. Awesome job!!!

Originality: 2/2
Composition: 2/2
Structure: 2/2
Tecnicity: 1.9/2
Impact: 2/2
Total: 9.9/10

KevinMueller responds:

Thanks for the review and thanks for the great score! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I see, you're a man of culture as well. :P

Credits & Info


Listens
1,990
Faves:
11
Downloads
68
Votes
33
Score
4.47 / 5.00

Uploaded
Sep 11, 2020
4:51 PM EDT
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
7.5 MB
3 min 17 sec

Licensing Terms

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