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RIP for me. So much detail here, and everything works beautifully and cohesively. I'm glad I didn't go with the electronic approach. The tones and beat kicks ass. I admit defeat. Love it

Tomhson responds:

Thank you very much! I am very honored. Although I don't think you are done for this round yet! There is quite a lot of potential in your track!

I like the melodies in this one, and the harmony is bitter sweet. It's catchy and the arrangement is good and it's reminiscent of some love themes within a 90's adventure film I've heard in the past. I mean that positively as this writing isn't done in today's cinema. You show moments of light immediately resolving into despair that makes this fit the description accurately. This is tough to pull off in realism. You would have to automate the tempo quite a bit for each motif. Slow down and speed up in a way a string section would play the melodic contours. Moreover, I'm constantly fighting string samples to make them sound more real by automating the volume in the beginning of each note so it doesn't sound so abrupt when they play. There should be a wave in the volume automation for each note as a string player moves the bow on the string when it's a slow piece like this, because it sounds like a producer playing the notes on a keyboard with each note being released as the finger lifts up from the keys. That's what it sounds like for example in the opening lines of the string section. Each note is played the same way whereas a musician playing to your piece would slur these notes a bit more and add vibrato to make sense of the melody. I say this to you, because this is universal among all those that have to deal with samples to create their beautiful orchestral pieces. You kind of have to compose toward the strengths of the sample library as opposed to on paper and trying to make it fit.
If this is a bit long winded, just note that I'm writing to you as if I were writing a journal entry since this is what I struggle with. This is why lately I'm leaning away from bigger orchestral writing as I now just want to write for instruments that I have access to if I were to perform in person. Production and mixing has just a big of a part in the feeling of a piece as the notes themselves. How often I hear a mediocre, uninspired piano piece on Youtube with much following simply because it audibly sounds well. And no one wants to hear Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata via Midi. To the general public, simply having superb production and realism in the timbre of a piece will alone draw an emotional response. The fact that you can convey emotion in your piece here shows how strong the melody and arrangement is. If only we can hear actual musicians playing your piece would we find the flaws in the composition to be beautiful as human.

Everratic responds:

Thank you for the review. I enjoy reading your thoughts about music in general as you seem to have an excellent ability to sense a composer's intentions, and you know a lot about maximizing emotion.

If you recall the name of the film, I'll definitely check it out.

I totally agree with your comments on the lack of realism. I automated the expression on all the legato and long patches, but my efforts are clearly insufficient. Tempo automation is not something I could have done at the time as I was working on a mid-end laptop; fortunately I have a high end pc now, so I can automate the tempo as much as I wish, within FL Studio's limits - I hope to buy Cubase in the near future. The high strings note at 2:09 is the worst offender; I hate listening to it. I imagine it will take a lot of time to master tempo automation, but I think it will be worth the effort.

Due to this problem, lately I've taken an interest in dynamic arc patches, specifically from 8DIO's Adagietto. They evoke a lot of emotion on their own, and I don't have to do much humanization besides changing the start times of each note. These patches are quite limited in use, but can sound beautiful in the right contexts.

Having musicians play one of my pieces is a dream, and one of the things motivating me to improve. I'd be very interested in the tempo variation and vibrato usage.

Thanks again!

When I first heard this, I was quite impressed. The drone and the first opening chords are gorgeous. I appreciate the drone getting louder after 30 seconds. It was a little awkward when it just stopped, but overall I really enjoy this one. The clicking and the strings playing closer to the bridge is a favorite sound of mine. The overall structure is what I would like to do with my own work. I love how the beauty falls apart at the end. That bass line at 1:45 really blends well into that industrial style of yours. It's really cool to hear these notes in this setting. Ontologically, this is how I view music in the natural world. Although these sounds at the end can make people uncomfortable, the ending in all music reflects that we are all going to die is made obvious when you write it in these tones. It reminds me of the following: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”― Cesar A. Cruz
Thank you

TheHeartgrinder responds:

Man, I'm glad I'm not the only person that likes imperfections and signs of human error in music.

Thanks for the generous review, buddy. I just wish I could muster the words for your work like you have mine. But, alas, I'm no writer. It's probably why I cling to music production so enthusiastically.

When I first heard this piece last week, my reaction was similar to Mookes, "Woah!" I wasn't expecting something this well produced and ambitious from you. The title, theme, arrangement, and tone has made this track the most fun for me in this round to listen to. The instrument at 18 seconds with the chanting was a great idea. The different time signatures, and the chord progression at the end with the frantic violin are some of the highlights for me. You have a lot of different ideas going on here that makes this interesting to listen to multiple times. I appreciate the flanger effect as well. Please experiment more with these types of effects. I could totally see how someone would like to do dark magic with this piece.

LucidShadowDreamer responds:

Thank you for the extremely kind words, and for the fun review!
I decided I want to approach the NGADM differently this year. Last year, I wanted to create solely solo piano tracks, as they are my forte, and I had computer issues at the time. This year, I have a great set-up, and I want to show that I can do other things than just piano!

Great catch at 0:18! The intro and transition into that part is what sparked my idea for this piece, and the rest quite naturally developed from there. I also wanted to practice a bit with transitioning between time signatures, and not being afraid of "breaks" in the music, short as they are. The NGADM is always such a great motivator for musical development :D

You can certainly look forward to more experiments if I move on to the next round ;)

Something I haven't realized before: you have a lot more in common with the early works of minimalist composers as the interesting thing about your music is how it changes and progresses from one rhythm to the next while the motifs float around consistently. It's a bit strange to describe it as such because this isn't quite minimalism in a traditional sense, but I think the mentality is similar. You can't just jump around looking for a certain buildup or climax to find the music's identity, but the interest lies in its entirety of listening to the many instruments contributing to the rhythmic changes. It progresses slowly so it could easily be missed if one isn't paying attention. It blends and transitions well.

Mooke responds:

Thanks for your reviews Phono.

Once upon a time, I started out as a minimal 'classical' composer on NG. I basically had little understanding how theory work (still don't) so I make stuff with minimalistic style. In fact, it was @Samulis that pointed it out the genre for my music. I owe him a great debt because without him I'd have stuck with that style forever, probably given up on music long ago mainly because I had no idea how melodies work until Samulis tutored me with the three collabs we did on.

@LucidShadowDreamer is the next iteration of mentor that evolutionalized my composition techniques and skills. I learned like a lot from the collabs we did together and practically ever changed my ways of approaching arrangement. LSD is greatly known for improvisation with his work, and yet still able to keep them fluidly sounded. I adapted a lot of his techniques into both my perc programming and melodic work. As the results, I was able to work on some amazing melodic and percussive work whenever I apply LSD or Samulis tutored skills into my production.

Like people also said, it's a blast from the past. Our work carries the imprints of everything we have learned, experimented and created. We all started from somewhere and bloom along the way. We being the aspiring musicians is as important as anything else.

Man this is nuts! loved every moment; very clever how you introduced the bass after 2 minutes of just percussion. this is the sound of anarchy no doubt

Mooke responds:

Thank you again for the review, Phono. :)

I put all my faith in you to win NGADM. I'd probably make it into next round just to get slaughtered in honor by @LD-W, which I'm perfectly happy as long as I get knocked-out by friends :D

My words might be meaningless to you as I don't listen to House or any other EDM, but I wanted to offer some encouragement from someone that is curious about genres that I don't like. I think you have some interesting ideas here though they're not completely fleshed out as they could be. The mixing is fine: there aren't any issues that distract, but there isn't much there that sticks out in a unique way either. I think you have a lot of potential and with your age, if you keep writing music while having fun, I'm sure you'll find a spark that more listeners will be drawn to. I do appreciate you transposing the music at the end.

Semicedevine responds:

yeah, admittedly I did end up succumbing to time pressure a lot during this piece, there were some ideas that were technically forced to begin with which made it hard to flesh them out later on; regardless though, ty!

The intro/ambient section is really something. I would love to write this myself or at least listen to a whole track of just that. It's such a great build up.
By the time the piece abducts us, I can't visualize a better description of an alien horror flick.
This one is very alluring. Would of loved to hear it conclude with another ambient section after all that energy to conclude the piece. Would be a perfect bookend to the madness.

LD-W responds:

Ayy thanks, yeah I'm planning on revisiting this piece in the next couple/few months to finish it off properly. If only I had an extra 4 hours or so, I would of had the ending segment a tad longer (along with a greater diversity of rhythm and texturing), followed by a proper dark ambient ending to extend the run length out to 4-1/2 minutes.

I am working on a full dark ambient piece at the moment which follows a more 'Underwater/Abyssal Tech' theme and is in a similar kind of style to the intro of this track, current plans are for it to run at least 5-7 minutes. Chances are that I'll release it for Robot Day in less than 2 weeks time since it could tie into it fairly alright haha

Mixing is done well for this timepiece, and the percussion is fun to listen to. I just get tired of hearing drone instruments like bagpipes after a couple minutes because I just want that note to change. Once I get past that by listening to the melody and percussive parts, this becomes quite enjoyable. There are quite a bit of different parts one can listen to, and they sound like they were played individually as if I was hearing an ancient jam session. Would have been more so if it was less quantized, but the expressiveness makes up for that. Good work.

Everratic responds:

Hey Phono, thanks for the review!

I happen to greatly enjoy compositions based on a drone. They can feel much more earthly and emotionally transparent than classical and contemporary music, so it's refreshing to listen to sometimes. I don't mind listening to the hurdy gurdy drone/rhythms for minutes at a time, but I can understand how some people find it annoying.

I'm glad you like the percussion and expressiveness :)

I'm also happy to hear the mix is well done. The library was recorded dry and mono, so I had to stereorize the instruments then apply early reflections reverb. The process is new to me so I'm glad it worked well.

Very smooth and pleasant to listen to. It reminds me of some of the music I would play along with during the Unreal series mixed in with what Philip Glass would do if he was into writing fusion. The whole piece sounds like a constant transition as it just cycles through and through. Hence the title I suppose and it fits.

FateModified responds:

Thanks!! I gotta check out some of the music you mentioned that it reminds you of. I’ve heard of Philip Glass but I’m not sure I’ve heard much of his music. They sound cool! And actually I named the song after the current state of the way life seems now in these very uncertain times, but I do like your interpretation of its meaning. I’m horrible with naming my songs lol, but I’m glad you thought this name is fitting. Thanks for the comment! :)

“Most people die with their music still locked up inside them.” ― Benjamin Disraeli

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