Newgrounds Background Image Theme

Create a free account to unlock the full magic and wonder of Newgrounds!

Reviews for "To Save You"


LucidShadowDreamer responds:


melodically this is beautiful. good selection of instruments.. good themes.

the mixing could use a little more work. certain frequencies peak on my end.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

We totally see (hear) what you mean, especially in the mp3 version. That said, it's definitely true to some extent in the wav too. Perfect production wasn't our main focus for this competition; we really wanted to tell the same story as in the art. It's great that you liked the piece despite some imperfections! We both want to improve the track a bit more, after the competition, having heard and considered critiques. Thanks for the review!

I'm with sequenced on the mixing & mastering but you will always hear that crit from techno snobs. Great work you two. The strings were epic as fuck. Smart move to have two authors working on this given that the artwork seems to have a hard duality.

I had to speed through it a second time when I noticed that lovely piano melody at the end. Was that the only part to feature a piano?? Maybe the mix would have been fuller with some underlying piano chords or little piano motifs through out but given how intentional everything seems, perhaps it was decided not to do so? Either way this is a smart piece and I love it :)

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Sure! We're always happy to consider serious mixing advice, so that's great. The violin we used is just something else (Embertone's Joshua Bell Violin). The rhythmic strings are Native Instruments' Action Strings, for the most part. We probably used like a million plugins.

Fun story. We went through maybe a hundred artoworks from our own favorites in order to figure out what we both loved, felt inspired by, AND knew we could allow our own styles to shine through. We both feel like this artpiece is perfect in all those regards. There's some crazy good art on NG for sure.

I (LSD) felt like I wanted to include a little homage to what I'm perhaps most known for musically; the piano. There's something natural about playing an actual instrument (which hopefully adds to the emotion). Composing with a computer can certainly be great too.

There is some piano at one other part, but it's only light and a bit hidden. It's easiest to hear between 3:07 and 3:12, slightly to the right in the mix, playing the same melody as the violin. Other than that, we didn't feel the piano fit the other parts that well. The mix is probably not as much an arrangement issue, as a production one. We'll work on that some, after the competition. Thanks for listening, and for the neat review!

Okay, so first off, you guys have done a fantastic job with this AIM collab! The track had me enthralled from start to finish, and it possesses so many wonderful melodies that mesh together beautifully. The overall feel of the track changes so smoothly and effortlessly, from soft and light to big and epic, and back again. The track ends so prettily with the sound of crashing waves followed a sweetly nostalgic refrain. Quite the journey you have both painted for us with your joint musical canvas!

Like others before me, I do need to echo the somewhat thin quality of the mix and overall master. Most of the elements seem to exist more or less in the center of the mix, and I feel that the stereo field could have been put to greater use to make the overall sound even richer, fuller, and more expansive.

That said, the palette of instruments meshes together in a highly organic manner, and I adore all those little grace notes and subtle touches that beg for more than a single listen. In fact, I am currently on my third!

Such a gorgeous piece, LucidShadowDreamer and BlueOceans! You two seem to make an excellent team, and—as always—I really look forward to hearing more from both of you in the future. Best of luck in the AIM and all you do going forward!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you for all the lovely words, Chrono-chan :3

Fun story. Those waves are supposed to be a breeze soundeffect. We just downloaded a royalty free sound quickly, because symbolically it fit so well. We might update it to sound better in the future, even though it's not bad now. Also, it's no issue that you heard waves. Once again, symbolically that expresses the same thing, in this instance ^___^
Huge props to the art for the story, btw! We love it. That's why we wanted to translate it into music :)

It's possible it might seem like most elements are centered, because many of the melody instruments are within 50% from any extreme. Even more than so, some compression can probably be lowered a bit, and the reverb reviewed a bit. Sequenced also gave some good advice on discord.

It's awesome that you love the details! We put a lot of effort into making instruments play articulations in ways that both fits the piece, and feel natural. It seems like it paid off! :D
Aww, thanks for them listens!

We really debated a lot of parts in the track, until we were both content with them (arrangement wise, and regarding details). It's a somewhat painful way of doing it, but it means we held each other responsible for making the piece as good as we could, given the time! We're looking forward to hearing more from you as well! :333

P.S. Your NG page looks so cool now :O!

Official AIM Review!

Oh, trepid little violin -- perfect intro, fitting of such a broad and varied presentation. I found myself wanting a little more volume on the trumpet stabs at 00:36, maybe a bit more panning.

00:48 transition seemed just a little abrupt, as do some other transitions into other motifs and themes. At some points it seems almost as if two or three fantastical compositions are being spliced together! Of course, the artwork has several panels, and these must be conveyed, but at times I did find myself wanting a smoother transition.

Trumpet hard-panned right at 52 seconds enters a little over the top.

Loving the solo violin throughout. Just fantastically written, and fantastic synth.

01:21, not sure what oboe synth you're using there but you may try Synful Orchestra for a more natural sound. It's one of the few I've found to do any woodwinds convincingly.

2:13 choir synth stands out in a very positive way on those first 2 notes. Third could probably have used a bit more velocity play as it's a little more naked.

Fantastic dynamic range. 2:21 sub drop was perfectly executed. Felt like traversing a chasm.

This piece is an absolute journey. Really appreciated what sounds like an ocarina or irish tin whistle solo over the outro -- transitioning in to piano.

Overall, stunning piece. Great work you two!

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thanks for the detailed review!

We still can't get over how nice that violin VST is. That said, the brass instruments we own, while decent, aren't the best out there. We tried to do what we could with the mix, and we can try some improvements after the competition. In the future, maybe Cinebrass or something like that could be a nice alternative (once our wallets makes that possible, haha)!

As for transitions, we don't particularly mind them being abrupt, as long as they tell the story. While we think our piece does work as one, it's not fully meant as a standalone work. Sometimes it's nice to hint transitions so the listener is prepared; at other times it's fun to surprise the listener! :D

Nice catch at 0:52. It's probably part of the articulation, but it can sound a bit thin, especially in the mp3.

The solo violin is Embertone's Joshua Bell Violin. It's a Stradivari played by a classical violinist, and it's fantastically programmed. Highly recommended (in fact, probably the best digital instrument on the market)!

At 1:21, we used Native Instruments' Woodwind Essentials. It's alright, but there are certainly better oboes out there.

Another nice catch at 2:13! Maybe the note could start a few milliseconds earlier, as there is the slightest amount of emptiness there.

As for the sub drop, it's one of maybe 2 or so electronic-ish elements we used in the piece. It works well, but we wanted to keep the electronic additions to a minimum. It's great that the drop seems to have done its job!

The wooden flute is indeed an old Irish instrument, from ERA Medieval Legends I (not sold under normal circumstances at this point). It has a nice sound! A bit different from the rest of the orchestra, but we didn't want to be sticklers for traditionality; we focused more on conveying the art.

Thanks again for taking the time to listen to all the parts so carefully!