Jump to content
  • Advertisement
nsmadsen

Evolving Tension - Hybrid, Epic, Orchestral

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone! 

Here's a new track that I've been working on as a short, side project. The idea or goal behind this piece was to compose a main idea and let that melody evolve through production and instrumentation more than actually changing the notes throughout the piece. I could see something like this working pretty well as a trailer or certain kind of in-game cinematic. I also wanted to try out some of the new tools and production techniques I've been working on. 

Like with anything, I could probably keep tweaking and polishing this track forever and at some point you just have to release it out into the wild! As always, feedback is more than welcomed! I appreciate any and all comments and the listens! 

Thanks

Nate

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Why do they all keep doing that Hans Zimmer Inception thing?
Does anyone believe he would ever copy himself?
 
Anyways, let's get to the piece itself.
People usually prefer honest feedback, so I got a few "pro's und con's" for you:
 
I find the bass a bit too stereo. But if you do want/have to have that in your piece, don't put it on the left side, please.
Imagine any rock band or and orchestra or basically anything human that produces music.
From an audience perspective, the bass is always at your right hand.
 
At 1:17 percussions sound very strange (the sample that's fully panned to the right).
Also, generally, give your percussions a bit more reverb.
This gives'em a bit more rumble and thunk, making them appear even bigger.
Just be sure to not use too much pre-delay on your reverb here as you want to keep your drums sharp and incisive.
 
The nicest sound in the whole piece is imho the solo cello at about 0:20.
It does however disappear with a pretty unrealistic volume fade-out.
And even if that's such a strong carrier, it doesn't re-appear anywhere in the peace, which is kinda sad.
I know, the horns and stuff, but still...
 
The string section is best from 0:58 to about 1:17 when they play polyphonically and together with the horns.
Very good use of the section here, providing a bit of a spread.
 
I also like the 8th-note-staccato-percussive-guitar-synth-thingy that has its crescendo at about 0:40, really sets the tone (mood).
 
And I do love 1:37-1:47 as well. I like how those dissonant voices break the established harmony and how that sawtooth emphasizes and supports the mood that comes with it. Nicely done, here :)
 
A good thing (when thinking about actual use in a trailer or as soundtrack) is that you established a clear climax while at the same time the piece doesn't change a thing. You leave it as you've entered it. In short, it keeps the "current" mood, tone and setting and leaves'em untouched.
That's what you usually want to do in games rather than sending the player on a trip that might end somewhere completly else than what the game actually tries to tell. Having that said, I think, you still achieved your goal, building up tension! :)
 
Last but not least, you might have to work on your balance (think of the bass sounds).
Check out this post:
It's written for visual arts but totally applies to the orchestra as well.
 
Final words: Keep doing what you do, you're doing a pretty good job already! :)
 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, ptietz said:
Why do they all keep doing that Hans Zimmer Inception thing?
Does anyone believe he would ever copy himself?

Well, actually, a lot of really great composers started out copying others to figure out the nuts and bolts of not only a composition but it's production. Lots of top notch audio engineers have recommended the same thing to build up your production chops. But your second question is ridiculous. Of course he's not going to copy himself. Why even point that out? I'm emulating Inception because I think it's a cool soundtrack and feel I have some things to learn from trying to create something similar. 

Do you really start off all of your feedback responses with such sarcasm and/or attacks? And do you really expect people to want to hear more of your input after you start in such a way? Strange approach if you ask me...

48 minutes ago, ptietz said:
I find the bass a bit too stereo. But if you do want/have to have that in your piece, don't put it on the left side, please.
Imagine any rock band or and orchestra or basically anything human that produces music.
From an audience perspective, the bass is always at your right hand.

Fair enough. I'll have to check the session when I get home but, if memory serves, the bass elements you're referring to were not panned left. Again, I'll have to check. Certain things like bass and drums I usually leave centered, or close to the center. 

50 minutes ago, ptietz said:
At 1:17 percussions sound very strange (the sample that's fully panned to the right).
Also, generally, give your percussions a bit more reverb.
This gives'em a bit more rumble and thunk, making them appear even bigger.
Just be sure to not use too much pre-delay on your reverb here as you want to keep your drums sharp and incisive.

Okay. I do worry about too much reverb muddying up the mix however. I'll give it a shot and see.

50 minutes ago, ptietz said:
The nicest sound in the whole piece is imho the solo cello at about 0:20.
It does however disappear with a pretty unrealistic volume fade-out.
And even if that's such a strong carrier, it doesn't re-appear anywhere in the peace, which is kinda sad.
I know, the horns and stuff, but still...

Actually, it does reappear later in the final section where the choirs join in as well. But since it's a full ensemble at that point, I felt having the solo cello up and above all of that would sound weird. So it's within all of those elements. 

52 minutes ago, ptietz said:
The string section is best from 0:58 to about 1:17 when they play polyphonically and together with the horns.
Very good use of the section here, providing a bit of a spread.
 
I also like the 8th-note-staccato-percussive-guitar-synth-thingy that has its crescendo at about 0:40, really sets the tone (mood).
 
And I do love 1:37-1:47 as well. I like how those dissonant voices break the established harmony and how that sawtooth emphasizes and supports the mood that comes with it. Nicely done, here :)

Thank you!

53 minutes ago, ptietz said:
A good thing (when thinking about actual use in a trailer or as soundtrack) is that you established a clear climax while at the same time the piece doesn't change a thing. You leave it as you've entered it. In short, it keeps the "current" mood, tone and setting and leaves'em untouched.
That's what you usually want to do in games rather than sending the player on a trip that might end somewhere completly else than what the game actually tries to tell. Having that said, I think, you still achieved your goal, building up tension! :)

Again, thank you! 

54 minutes ago, ptietz said:

Last but not least, you might have to work on your balance (think of the bass sounds).

Yup, agreed. This is partly why I chose to do this kind of song. I wanted to see what kinds of issues and choices are required when writing music in this vein. 

I appreciate your input and your listen. I didn't appreciate the snarky remarks at the very beginning but the rest of your post was well thought out and I thank you for it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, nsmadsen said:

I didn't appreciate the snarky remarks at the very beginning

Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you by any means. It's just that everybody does the Inception theme these days :D

 

6 minutes ago, nsmadsen said:

I'm emulating Inception because I think it's a cool soundtrack and feel I have some things to learn from trying to create something similar.

And yes, I'll give you that one. Sometimes, trying out a few things that you really find cool can help getting a grasp of the technique that's been used. I did it myself and I think every aspiring artist did it quite a bunch of times.

 

Again, please don't be mad at me. I'm glad, I was able to help :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all good. Sometimes when dealing with just text - it's hard to get someone's intention or inflection. That opening just kinda struck me as underhanded or a bit un-needed. The rest of the post was great. 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Popular Tags

  • Similar Content

    • By Luke McManus
      Hey all,

      So I have this unfathomable obsession with the games LIMBO and INSIDE, two games produced by Playdead Studios. But as a sound designer, I'm specifically into the audio of the game, its use of ambient tracks and specific sounds to create this level of emotion I've never felt in a platformer before.

      I took a stab at redesigning the sound and ambiance of one of LIMBO's trailers to see if I could replicate such emotionality with my own creativity. Check it out below. All feedback is appreciated. 
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LgHHBtAWwE
      Thanks!
    • By zminusone
      Over ninety minutes of solemn gloom and Gothic epicness, with faint glimmers of hope shimmering here and there...
      https://zminusone.bandcamp.com/album/unworthy-ost
      Hi, I just released the soundtrack to the new indie game Unworthy. I had fun making it and thought maybe some people around here would have fun listening to it!
      Cheers!
    • By CpawsMusic
      **The game must be in the final stages of development and be close to release. Willing to do SFX or Music for free since Horror games heavily interest me.**
      Hey there! My name is Cpaws and I compose music, sound effects and overall sound design for video games and film. I've worked on numerous games and I'm looking to specifically pick up a Horror game.
      If you're interested in working together, don't hesitate to contact me at cpawsmusic@gmail.com
      Here's a few demo reels of my past projects: 
      Game Music I've Composed: https://soundcloud.com/cpawsmusic/sets/cpaws-video-game-film-music
      Website/Portfolio: https://CpawsMusic.com/
      E-mail: cpawsmusic@gmail.com
    • By nihitori
      This is the official Sales topic for the acclaimed Colossal Game Music Collection (100+ five-star ratings on the Unity Asset Store) and its Lite version, the Essential Game Music Collection.

      Updates will be made here every time a sale is taking place on either the Unity Asset Store or the Unreal Engine Marketplace.

      Current Sales:

      Summer Sale on the Unreal Engine Marketplace -

      - Colossal Game Music Collection at 60% OFF - https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/colossal-game-music-collection


      Please feel free to post here any questions you might have about either the sales or the collection itself.
    • By WillderBeezy
      This is a rescore of several Sin scenes from Final Fantasy X, put into an epic cinematic with accompanying, original soundtrack!
       
    • By JandersonComp
      My name is Jonathan Anderson. I am a professional composer with multiple publications. I have a degree in music composition from the University of North Texas and I have been writing music for over 20 years. If you would like a list of my accomplishments I would be more than happy to email you my resume.
      More to the point. This is my demo reel.
       
      Character Themes - 
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rt0B8EtRB0&list=PLsrxKkfCBcOgUNR8DpkRsAd0RUd7g0BWr
      Final Fantasy Style Piano Solo - 
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2kuI5P1BL8
      Chiptune - 
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XCNM-1MP9A

      While my demos advertise a significantly large range of composition styles it does not encompass my entire range.

      I have been working with people in both professional and personal settings for over 14 years now and am extremely easy to work with. I believe that music in many ways can make or break a game and it is my goal to provide your game with the musical life that you desire and it deserves.
      If you are interested in using my services you can contact me via email at jm.thedora.anderson@gmail.com
      Discord J.Anderson#0571

      Thank you for your interest!

      -Jonathan
    • By Alex Keogh
      Hey guys,
      I am a composer from Sydney, Australia, currently based in Munich, Germany.
      I've composed for short films, theatre and various other projects and am looking to expand my portfolio and write and adapt more of my music to games. I'm very passionate about your medium and would be thrilled to collaborate.
      Below are some of my compositions. I suppose I favour a more orchestral style, however, electronic, gritty or atmospheric would also suit. Open to many areas, really.
      Would love to hear from any developers who believe my music can fit into their creation!
      Rates would depend on the project and should be negotiated.
      Cheers,
      Alex
    • By TheRealm
      Hi, I've just finished a 4-year course studying Music Technology.
      I'm looking for work in Composition, SFX, Audio Programming, 3D Animation, 2D Game Design and more, on request.
      Some of my projects include:
      A 3D animation made from scratch + music:
       
      A 2D rhythm-based platformer game, made from scratch + music (Skip to 1:50 for gameplay):
       
      A small collection of my music:
      Message me at therealmmail@gmail.com for inquiries.
    • By Descent
      In this game you must transfer yourself into another dimension. You will be controlling a guy who must be transferred, and you will take the opportunity to help him. This is a logical game controlled with arrows. There is a secret location, but i advice you to not go there, it's missing the screen border... anyway, a game by InfernalBeast.
      transfer.rar
    • By bschmidt1962
      Hi GameDev Music folks!
      Submissions are now open to speak at GameSoundCon 2018 (Oct 9-10, Los Angeles).
      Any topic of timely interest in game music, sound design will be considered. Potential topics include:
      Audio for VR/AR/MR
      Game Audio post-morta
      Tools
      Interactive composition techniques
      Business/career/legal
      Cutting edge research in game music/sound topics
      Or any cool topic of interest for professional and aspiring game composers, sound designer, programmers, audio directors

      For details please visit www.GameSoundCon.com/submissions 

  • Advertisement
  • Popular Now

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      631395
    • Total Posts
      2999780
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!