Funnily enough I listened to the Interstellar soundtrack earlier today, but I tried not to let that color my listening experience.
For a start "didn't really work out at all that well" is probably a bit an overstatement, though we tend to be our own worst critics! There are chunks of the piece that do have a nice sound to them. 01:05 - 01:45, has a nice blend of choral arrangement, with the organ just placed right in the mix, with some meaty clicking and clacking adding a little rhythmic spice. Texturally, it's definitely got something going for it. Mix-wise, consistently solid throughout.
In terms of detractions, I don't think it's what you tried sound-wise that "didn't work", to me it's the more basic structure of the piece. The only element that didn't work for me in that regard was the french horn at the end, didn't feel like it was sitting easily in the mix, and the line it was playing was weak.
Structure-wise, the chord progressions don't really develop enough to hold much interest and combined with only very shallow dynamic changes, the whole piece feels like it's in the same register and tone - basically pleasant, but without really taking one on a musical journey. For a piece which relies heavily on texture, I think you need to have the dynamics be a lot more interesting to carry the listener through.
In short, I think what you were experimenting with actually worked better than you thought, it's the basic musicality actually that could probably have done with some fleshing out.
One of the better variations of the modern ostinato-driven block-chord driven "sound" I've heard on the site. The mix is good, with solid dynamic programming - the drop off at 01:11 is particularly well-handled. Points for not using percs to cover up poor orchestrations. The inspirations are obvious as you note in your description, and I could see this sitting comfortably in a game.
I appreciate you taking the time to give such well-thought-out feedback. I generally try to shy away from the "ostinato-driven, block-chord sound" that you note is present in a LOT of modern film work, precisely because I think it's over-used, and often a crutch for poor orchestration skills.
This particular track just came to me that way, and rather than fight it, I decided to go with it to see what it produced. It won't be my norm, but it was a constructive and fun exercise to work through,
An enjoyable composition, a very nice texture with the glocks, plucks and chimes. I thought the beginning and middle sections were more intriguing and interesting, but that's really just personal taste. The arrangement is good, and it kept my attention throughout. It's nice to hear pieces with some variety.
The only criticism I'd make is production-wise it could use a little work. A tidier mix and better programmed dynamics on the strings would've helped to bring the tune to life a bit more. The plucking probably had a bit too much reverb as well.
Thank you for both enjoying the track, and the advice. I'll try to use it to make even better music in the future! :)
The staccato violin figures and friendly progression are generally agreeable, but it could definitely do with some more variety in instrumentation, rhythm and dynamics. The piece is a little repetitive. Structurally there's nothing wrong with it, but the sound feels like it could've been 'filled out' more, perhaps with some woodwinds, or brass, to truly evoke the majesty of a sunset. The track is at the same volume throughout, which undermines the effectiveness of the lush, 'heavier' parts. At 2:38 there's some crackling in the audio, and the mixing in general could've been stronger. That said, it's not a bad effort by any means.
I would be say it has a lot more of a 'Zimmer' progression, than 'Shore'. The vocals are cool.
Cool! Nice to be compared to the masters! ;)
Enjoyed this handy enough - pleasant progressions could definitely imagine this in a game.
Other reviewers have hit upon some good points mainly, about production, but for me, fundamentally it didn't really hit the tone of loss or grief. Of course music is subjective and what hits one person in the gut might not another, but hopefully I can offer you a useful critique none-the-less
It started off nicely with that cello introduction gently leading you into the piece, but I felt after that it lost its way. It goes through some stoic progressions, and I certainly get a defiant vibe from the whole piece, but it feels far too often like it rambles without really saying anything. Other reviewers have described the track as 'cinematic' and I'd agree insofar as that I could see this working as the sketch of a track at the end of a Hollywood movie, and that the chord progressions are prototypical modern day action/drama, but I don't feel like the music ever latches onto me, tugs on my heartstrings or pulls me into a narrative, and ultimately that's really what cinematic music is about.
To make the broad heroic statements more effective, I think you needed some gentler stuff to contrast them, and the broader statements could've been more full. Once the introduction is completed, the music goes on in the same key, the same defiant tone, the same volume level, and broadly the same instrumentation. It's almost like the music is a constant climax, and that can be wearying to listen to. Some variation in tone and instrumentation would've helped.
For example, the contrabass is ever-present in the track and I think that makes it a lot less effective and a lot more tiring to listen to. Having even a small section where you drop the bass frequencies can really help. After-all, how can it make much impact if it's just sitting there the whole time? Think of the music that sends chills down your spine, often it's the moments where there's a change that give you that moment, that don't let you get too comfortable, that tug on your heart. For example at 3:11, the track is *crying* out for a change of pace, or instrumentation or tone and it continues in the same vain, essentially restating what was said in the previous couple of phrases. Sometimes you have a to be a bit analytical with your music, as you would an essay and ask 'does this really need to be said? Am I making a relevant point here?'.
As cliché as it may sound, I really think a dash of woodwinds could've brought out some of the emotions you describe in the author comments. There is no also no real clear melody in this piece, and while that's certainly not a requirement for a composition to be good, it can definitely help when you're going for melancholia. It can also help anchor your composition and stop you getting aimless, and simply writing 'stuff' because you have that reference point to return to, and manipulate.
Production-wise, others have written plenty and you said yourself you're only getting started with the software. Needless to say you want your strings to sound less cluttered, and flow together nicer, you could try increasing the attack a bit, a small does of EQ to bring out the better frequencies.
With as critical as I sound, it's not a bad piece of music and I hope my comments are taken in the spirit of self-improvement. Good luck with future work!
Thank you very much for your comments! I appreciate your feedback. I am hoping that with my next composition to expand even more into the realm of patternless composition. As expressed earlier, I have a tendency to fall in love with a certain chord progression and/or melody and repeat it ad infinitum perhaps with slight variations here and there. Fruity Loops tends to make that very easy to accomplish. Thank you again for taking the time to share your comments!!
Hi there mate.
Yes, definitely hearing the Sherlock vibe, perhaps strays a little too close on occasion! Of course the whole thing about 'Sherlock Holmes', the first one at least, is it's all about its solo performances, whereas you've gone for a more standard modern orchestration. I think this track is alright, but it needs a more captivating idea. Again, the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack you take inspiration from has some pretty memorable melodies. This is nice enough but not all that captivating.
Good luck with future stuff.
hey MrBellington, thanx for your imput. I was definitely trying to capture more the overall vibe and stretch out the orchestration. I agree, the original has some standout melodies and really hooks you. Thats Hans Zimmer for you, hes the best!!! I appreciate your input:)
Definitely evokes the spirit of Age of Empires, one of my favorite games. Good stuff.
Thanks dude. Stephan Rippy is a boss!
I think this piece sounded like a decent working base to something better. I think it needed more to it, as it stands, it's basically pleasant without really being captivating,and that's what cinematic music really is about. Grabbing you and shaking you about and making connect to a story, an emotion, a character. It's just a bit too plain for my liking, I really feel you could've done more with it.
Good luck with your future compositions.
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