Epic Underscore Return

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RealPickle
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Epic Underscore Return

Post by RealPickle » Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:54 pm

Hi all,
This is my first time posting a piece with screener feedback in the forums, would appreciate any and all feedback.

I got a return for the Epic Underscore Instrumental listing. Here's the pertinent part of the brief:
Please submit well-composed Orchestral Underscore Instrumentals full of captivating, epic energy and lots of modern cinematic sounds and motifs. Arrangements that could enhance emotional impact without drawing attention away from a scene will work best. Please craft your pieces with dynamics, interest, and forward momentum by layering sounds in and out as the pieces progress. Modern Cinematic Instrumentation in the general stylistic ballpark of the references is needed. Please make sure that any virtual instruments or samples you use are high-quality, modern, and very realistic.

This screener has mentioned "Development" before in other tracks and honestly I'm not always sure what s/he means. I'm also confused by the comment about the progression since the harmonic progression changes in the back half of the piece.

At any rate, here's the feedback:
What I like most about this song
The orchestration and composition overall is sounding great. I like the style and vibe of this track.

I think you could improve this song by
It might be great to lessen the strings staccatos since it tends to get repetitive after a while. I think we can also make it less stiff overall. Some more development could maybe help. We can try changing the strings more or adding a new element that would change the progression.

I returned or forwarded this song because

Could be less repetitive (mostly with the strings).

I don't disagree that the staccato strings are repetitive, but that was intentional. I meant for that to be the engine that drives the piece forward. My contention is that the staccato parts are not so repetitive as to render this piece not worthy of a forward, and it's still quite effective and fitting for the brief. I'd love to get other opinions on this. Please be honest!

The track:
https://www.taxi.com/members/AtDl-WGNQ2 ... de-of-fear

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Telefunkin
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Re: Epic Underscore Return

Post by Telefunkin » Thu Jun 06, 2024 2:17 am

Hi,
I have to say that I totally agree with the screeners comments, especially the good ones :). However, the comments about the staccato line resonate with me too. 'Development' is the sense of getting somewhere or progression, and although the staccato line is the 'engine' I also think that it anchors the track too much so it sounds more static than it needs to.

In the 45s - 1:33s section it competes with the melody line for attention, so I found that section confusing to listen to.
Then it repeats through the section 1:303s - 2:02s so it feels like the piece is holding back rather than progressing because its a similar sound all the time.
Although from 2:02s onwards there's a variation in the part its still the same rhythmic pattern so you still get the sense of it continuing.
Basically then, the same part (give or take) repeats for 2m of the 2:30 track.
As suggested, changing registers and/or layering for the same motif (ahead of, and also within the last section) might help it move aside from other parts when needed, still bolster the heavier sections as appropriate, but also help provide more of a sense of progression.

I really like the piece but I think you can make even more of it. Just my thoughts though so see what others say. Good luck with it. :)
Graham (UK). Still composing a little faster than decomposing, and 100% HI.

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Re: Epic Underscore Return

Post by RealPickle » Fri Jun 07, 2024 7:16 am

Telefunkin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2024 2:17 am
Hi,
I have to say that I totally agree with the screeners comments, especially the good ones :). However, the comments about the staccato line resonate with me too. 'Development' is the sense of getting somewhere or progression, and although the staccato line is the 'engine' I also think that it anchors the track too much so it sounds more static than it needs to.

In the 45s - 1:33s section it competes with the melody line for attention, so I found that section confusing to listen to.
Then it repeats through the section 1:303s - 2:02s so it feels like the piece is holding back rather than progressing because its a similar sound all the time.
Although from 2:02s onwards there's a variation in the part its still the same rhythmic pattern so you still get the sense of it continuing.
Basically then, the same part (give or take) repeats for 2m of the 2:30 track.
As suggested, changing registers and/or layering for the same motif (ahead of, and also within the last section) might help it move aside from other parts when needed, still bolster the heavier sections as appropriate, but also help provide more of a sense of progression.

I really like the piece but I think you can make even more of it. Just my thoughts though so see what others say. Good luck with it. :)
Thanks very much for the thoughtful response, much appreciated!

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Re: Epic Underscore Return

Post by fascinatedlet » Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:52 am

You share really great topics. Let's research to create the most perfect musicgeometry dash lite. Each instrument is unique and impressive.

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Re: Epic Underscore Return

Post by macomposer » Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:26 am

Hi uh... Pickle, :D
This is a really good piece, and I commend on it! To me, it's about... 75% there...

A few thoughts:
1. I take your point about the string ostinato. I often will write a piece around the motor of the ostinato too. But I have found that in most cases when I do that, it indeed becomes too repetitive. For me, the next step is to edit/re-write that part, and that is typically harder than the initial writing. How much is too much? What bits need to be changed? One thing that I have been thinking about lately is the idea that the 2nd violins (or whoever) would be pretty bored just playing those 16ths for 2:30, so I try to consider and think about what I can do to help them out - give them a rest; change the pattern, etc.

2. It may just be me (it's early and my ears haven't warmed up yet), but the whole thing is a bit mid-rangy sounding.. There's a lot going on in the middle of the EQ spectrum. The bottom is okay, but that 2K range could use a small cut.

3. The mid-rangy thing speaks to another issue.. And this is also one that I'm seeing lately in some of my pieces. It may not be the mix (i.e. you technically should not need to do a 2K-ish cut in the strings, but most of us do it as it just helps reduce that buildup that happens as you layer and add string lines). It may be the orchestration. Don't get me wrong - it's good!! But I will write something and it will just not sound as... clear as it could. And I suspect that it has something do with my orchestration. Not that I want it to be as efficient as Mozart's orchestration, but there is something to that... I don't know - the easy fix is the EQ cut. The harder fix is the orchestration. But something tells me if you can go back through it and check it, it might clean it up, which will make your intentions even clearer.

You're on the right path - keep at it and you'll get there.

All the best,
- Mark
Mark Anthony Chubb
https://www.taxi.com/my/artist
markanthonychubb.com

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Re: Epic Underscore Return

Post by RealPickle » Mon Jul 08, 2024 10:03 am

macomposer wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2024 8:26 am
Hi uh... Pickle, :D
This is a really good piece, and I commend on it! To me, it's about... 75% there...

A few thoughts:
1. I take your point about the string ostinato. I often will write a piece around the motor of the ostinato too. But I have found that in most cases when I do that, it indeed becomes too repetitive. For me, the next step is to edit/re-write that part, and that is typically harder than the initial writing. How much is too much? What bits need to be changed? One thing that I have been thinking about lately is the idea that the 2nd violins (or whoever) would be pretty bored just playing those 16ths for 2:30, so I try to consider and think about what I can do to help them out - give them a rest; change the pattern, etc.

2. It may just be me (it's early and my ears haven't warmed up yet), but the whole thing is a bit mid-rangy sounding.. There's a lot going on in the middle of the EQ spectrum. The bottom is okay, but that 2K range could use a small cut.

3. The mid-rangy thing speaks to another issue.. And this is also one that I'm seeing lately in some of my pieces. It may not be the mix (i.e. you technically should not need to do a 2K-ish cut in the strings, but most of us do it as it just helps reduce that buildup that happens as you layer and add string lines). It may be the orchestration. Don't get me wrong - it's good!! But I will write something and it will just not sound as... clear as it could. And I suspect that it has something do with my orchestration. Not that I want it to be as efficient as Mozart's orchestration, but there is something to that... I don't know - the easy fix is the EQ cut. The harder fix is the orchestration. But something tells me if you can go back through it and check it, it might clean it up, which will make your intentions even clearer.

You're on the right path - keep at it and you'll get there.

All the best,
- Mark
Mark,
Thanks very much for this thoughtful reply. I hear you on all of that. One thing I noticed on reviewing it is the top note of my repetitive ostinato is the same pitch as the repeated long note of the melody. They definitely get in each other's way and I need to mix up the ostinato so it both gets out of the melody's way and has a bit of variety. (I'm waiting until the next relevant brief to get around to it :) ) So yeah, I've got a lot going on in a pretty narrow pitch range (basically a 6th) and I'm sure that makes it sound a bit squidgy in the middle. And I agree that with orchestral music, the vast majority of issues we find with production/mix can be fixed with better orchestration :)

Thanks again for the input,
Geoff
(Also Pickle...)

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