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xkaiku

few pieces of music...

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"The Iron Price"

 

Up to 0:19 is fine, but then up to 0:43 we are just getting re-statement of the theme (boring), which is followed by the theme again. If you're going to play a theme three times in a row, you need to make use of different harmony (accidentals, substitution chords) and embellishment, and perhaps some changes of timbre, maybe even some call and response. 
At 0:49 those falling notes are very nice, but the 3rd set of them (0:53) seems boring. If I was teaching a student straight up music theory, that would be one of the theory chords to follow what came before, but this is composing, not theory class. Be a bit more ambitious.
1:09 is a nice something different and leading back to a variation on the main theme here would be fine.
1:38 -> 1:42 is another one of those very theoretically correct sounding transitions.
The rest of the piece seems a bit of a mess of themes and is a bit hard to coherently follow.

"Winter's Grace"

This piece is better than "The Iron Price". Up until 0:27 it seems pretty nice, but again on those falling notes I think you have a lot of room to be more harmonically ambitious. Kind of not much interesting stuff happens from here until 2:00. 2:00 is a really nice build of tension until 2:20, but then you let all the tension go for nothing!

If you are serious about improving, listen to some Mozart orchestral works (even better if you can read music and follow the score too). He is the absolute master of this kind of music. There's always something interesting going on in his music. Always embellishing themes, and moving melodies around the orchestra, changing dynamics and range of melodies. For some more modern examples, you might want to listen to the pieces Lavanya or Uliad by E.S.Posthumous*. Listen carefully to what these guys do with their themes and how their pieces develop and try to add some of that spark to your own music. It's better to be ambitious than do these safe and boring harmonies.

*I assume your trying to make game music, but you really can't go wrong with the composers I mentioned, even though they did not compose video game music. You could also do the same thing with listening to video game music in your favourite AAA games.

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Hi there, regarding the 'un-named orchestral suite', I think the composition itself is really powerful, with some great use of texture to ramp up the emotion.

 

With that in mind, I think it could be improved a lot with some better production / orchestral samples. Some EQ'ing could really lift the piece, as most of the instruments seem to be around the same mid-low frequency range. You could try taking reducing the middle frequencies  in your low strings for example, leaving the violins to ring through a lot clearer. Try to make each instrument occupy its own frequency 'niche'. I have not mastered this yet but having read around the internet this seems to be the way to go. Also, around the 1 minute mark there is some quite heavy clipping, try to reduce the volume slightly to reduce the audible buzzing sound. And one last thing - try panning the instruments a bit more. I've listened to some of your other pieces, where you have panned effectively, and I think some more of that could really help the orchestral suite.

 

Having said that, I genuinely did enjoy the track, and the actual composition itself seemed top-notch - I'm assuming you had some strong classical training :)

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The composition is good, but the MIDI patches sound really dated. Like Kerfuffle said investing in some new orchestral samples would help a lot. Also in all 3 pieces there are a lot of mixing/mastering issues. Right now the instruments are working against each other instead of supporting each other. When they're fighting for frequency like that it sounds very muddled and makes it hard to follow. New EQ, panning, and other tone/stereo field changes would really help these tracks. Don't get me wrong they are cool tracks and they're well composed, but they just need to be refined a lot to make them great.

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