I Will Stay By Your Side, Forever - Epic Emotional Track

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ninvoid
KVRist
110 posts since 15 May, 2016

Post Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:44 am

Hi guys! This is my new epic emotional track, mostly an orchestral work but it also has some hybrid elements. The approach is fairly minimalistic and the structure is very standard for the genre, but I hope you'll like its spirit and atmosphere. Any feedback you can give is, of course, very much appreciated! :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i1CRLnHFFo

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:44 pm

but I hope you'll like its spirit and atmosphere.
Yes, i did, enjoyed it...it's skilfully done overall and generally well produced, but...
The approach is fairly minimalistic and the structure is very standard for the genre
Your words, not mine! It does fall into quite a few harmonic, melodic and instrumental cliches...they're GOOD ones, but I think that it just doesn't have a strong enough individual voice at the moment...too generic.

Just before 1 min 30 secs - lovely drop with some contrasting, gentle timbres, but you still use the same harmonies...why not go somewhere musically further from home...it was needed here, maybe so that the return to the main theme is even stronger.

2 mins onward - yes, the big finish...highly appropriate...full choir etc, but a couple of things let it down to my ear...

1) Those drums - too much...too upfront...too many hits...don't fit with the overall flow?

2) the production here suddenly has a slightly squashed / constricted air about it and loses a certain amount of power because of that. (My guess is that you've been a victim of the 'loudness wars' maybe and have pushed everything up close to clipping and then slightly over processed it with compression / limiting etc.

It might also partly be:

a stereo spread issue

A slightly flat sound stage from front to back problem...everything with very similar amounts of reverb?

A clashing EQ situation with some sculpting needed of individual sounds so that they blend better?

That sounds like I'm ripping it to pieces...I'm NOT at all. It works well, but for me, could be even better!
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

User avatar
ninvoid
KVRist
110 posts since 15 May, 2016

Post Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:26 am

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:44 pm
but I hope you'll like its spirit and atmosphere.
Yes, i did, enjoyed it...it's skilfully done overall and generally well produced, but...
The approach is fairly minimalistic and the structure is very standard for the genre
Your words, not mine! It does fall into quite a few harmonic, melodic and instrumental cliches...they're GOOD ones, but I think that it just doesn't have a strong enough individual voice at the moment...too generic.

Just before 1 min 30 secs - lovely drop with some contrasting, gentle timbres, but you still use the same harmonies...why not go somewhere musically further from home...it was needed here, maybe so that the return to the main theme is even stronger.

2 mins onward - yes, the big finish...highly appropriate...full choir etc, but a couple of things let it down to my ear...

1) Those drums - too much...too upfront...too many hits...don't fit with the overall flow?

2) the production here suddenly has a slightly squashed / constricted air about it and loses a certain amount of power because of that. (My guess is that you've been a victim of the 'loudness wars' maybe and have pushed everything up close to clipping and then slightly over processed it with compression / limiting etc.

It might also partly be:

a stereo spread issue

A slightly flat sound stage from front to back problem...everything with very similar amounts of reverb?

A clashing EQ situation with some sculpting needed of individual sounds so that they blend better?

That sounds like I'm ripping it to pieces...I'm NOT at all. It works well, but for me, could be even better!
Thanks a lot for your comment, ChameleonMusic! I truly appreciate the criticism, as I think it is of a very constructive type. I did have to sacrifice a bit on the production of the climax in order to get it into a certain level of loudness... These are always hard choices to make, but I guess I have to try to obtain a better balance on this. All of the points you mentioned were smart observations and will keep them in mind for future tracks. Cheers! :-)

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:18 am

I did have to sacrifice a bit on the production of the climax in order to get it into a certain level of loudness...
Yeah, I know what you mean, but there are ways of doing it without sacrificing anything production-wise, although it can be very tricky at times! Got it wrong myself many times over the years!

Just the things that have helped me get a punchy, balanced but powerful orchestral mix...

EQ -
Use it to sculpt instrumental sounds so that they have a degree of separation, but...
Always cut if possible and if you have to boost any frequencies, do it very subtly.

SOUND STAGE -
Stereo spread is obviously important, but don't ignore spread from FRONT to BACK as well...adds depth to everything and helps with balance.

COMPRESSION / LIMITING -
Crucial, but can cause issues...

Try using it in layers instead of one big hit?

If you've already pushed the dynamics to high before you compress / limit then you will almost certainly damage the clarity of the mix...when balancing dynamics between individual tracks - again, cut rather than boost if possible.

MID / SIDE PROCESSING - don't necessarily treat the whole mix in the same way!
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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Frantz
KVRAF
5576 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:25 pm

The composition is very good. It sounds like something by Vangelis.

The ending does sound squashed. YouTube normalized the volume by turning it down by 5.5 dB which is a lot. This is visible if you right click on the video and choose "stats for nerds."

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:35 am

It sounds like something by Vangelis.
i'm simply gonna resist the temptation to get into a discussion here on that idea! :help: :roll:
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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ninvoid
KVRist
110 posts since 15 May, 2016

Post Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:16 pm

Frantz wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:25 pm
The composition is very good. It sounds like something by Vangelis.

The ending does sound squashed. YouTube normalized the volume by turning it down by 5.5 dB which is a lot. This is visible if you right click on the video and choose "stats for nerds."
Thanks a lot for your kind words, being compared to Vangelis is far more than I ever asked for! :wink: Thanks also for letting me know that YouTube provides that sort of audio info, was totally unaware of it... and yes, I do need to be more careful with the loudness levels in my tracks! Cheers!

User avatar
ninvoid
KVRist
110 posts since 15 May, 2016

Post Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:49 pm

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:35 am
It sounds like something by Vangelis.
i'm simply gonna resist the temptation to get into a discussion here on that idea! :help: :roll:
I know that, although still being fairly young, I will likely never get even close to being as good as Vangelis. He is, however, a composer that has always inspired me and I do might end up using some elements that recall some of his music sometimes. If I may ask, why do you think this comparison is so unthinkable?

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:00 pm

ninvoid wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:49 pm
ChameleonMusic wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:35 am
It sounds like something by Vangelis.
i'm simply gonna resist the temptation to get into a discussion here on that idea! :help: :roll:
I know that, although still being fairly young, I will likely never get even close to being as good as Vangelis. He is, however, a composer that has always inspired me and I do might end up using some elements that recall some of his music sometimes. If I may ask, why do you think this comparison is so unthinkable?
Huge apologies...that wasn't what I meant at all! :oops:

I should've realised that you might take it that way...

I aimed it at Frantz as he might remember that I'm a bit of a Vangelis 'nut'...I've studied all his work in depth and even written essays on him + i think it's fair to say that at times some of my more electronic pieces are heavily influenced by him as well - not necessarily my finest compositional moments, but they illustrate my point:

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... g-assassin

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... d-the-moon

Clumsily, what I meant was that if I replied i would go on for ever analysing his comment and then compare and contrast Vangelis with your piece in huge and probably pointless depth...yeah, I'm mildly obsessed by the dude! :borg:

I might as well (hopefully briefly) do that comparison now I've started... :roll:

V is NOT just one musical genre / approach by a long, long way, but, I think that there is definitely more than a simply superficial resemblance to certain pieces of V in:

general musical style + underlying harmonic structure + melodic motifs and shapes

The difference is (and this is obviously purely opinion) that:

1) V is an absolute master of Harmonic pace - the ebb and flow of when the underlying chords do or do NOT change.

In comparison (this is not an insult at all) your underlying harmonies are more pedestrian for me in this...mainly changing predictably and very evenly throughout each phrase. Often the very best musical sentences increase the rate of harmonic change towards the end...for example peaking (speeding up) at bar 3 out of 4 or bar 6 in an 8 bar phrase.

NOTE: in your defence, V does also have a number of pieces where the harmonic change is similar to yours (more evenly paced) and both of my examples above do just that, but...

In V's case (maybe in mine, maybe not) there are other musical elements constantly developing and evolving when the underlying chords are a little more predictable....ebb and flow of texture, timbre and rhythmic motifs for example.

2) The melodic content of many of V's pieces in whatever style / period you choose is honed down to the bare bones at times...his tunes are full of exactly the right notes at exactly the right time...they are often incredibly simple, but at the same time full of extraordinary subtlety and nuance on a par with the greatest classical composers.

Your melodies are good - no inappropriate notes whatsoever as I so often hear on KVR (drives me bloody mad)! But, I think there are moments in the flow where they 'stutter' to some extent...the rise and fall / the ebb and flow could be organised even better...maybe too many notes at times...V is a master of sustaining a melodic note a little bit longer than expected and the gaps in his tunes are as important as the notes.

If I've learnt anything from studying him over the years, it is hopefully the above two points more than anything else!
I know that, although still being fairly young, I will likely never get even close to being as good as Vangelis.
Very few will get close, but there's no harm in aiming high...not at all!
Last edited by ChameleonMusic on Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:11 pm

Told ya I would go on a bit! :)
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

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Frantz
KVRAF
5576 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:37 pm

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:00 pm
I aimed it at Frantz as he might remember that I'm a bit of a Vangelis 'nut'...I've studied all his work in depth and even written essays on him
I was curious what that was about. I didn't follow up because work is draining all my time and energy these days and I have limited time for internet stuff.

I'm glad you explained it. It was a good read. "Harmonic pace" is a very interesting idea that I hadn't heard of before. :tu:

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ChameleonMusic
KVRian
628 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:23 am

"Harmonic pace" is a very interesting idea that I hadn't heard of before.
You will have used it without even thinking about it consciously...

In its very simplest form it means something like this:

4 Bar phrase, 4 beats to a bar:

Bar 1: single sustained chord lasting 4 beats

Bar 2: single sustained chord lasting 4 beats

Bar 3: 2 chords lasting 2 beats each

bar 4: single sustained chord lasting 4 beats

Obviously it can get a LOT more complex than that! :)

Best recent example I have is this:

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... aneer-king

Listen from 45 seconds or so and you'll hear that towards the end of each musical phrase there is a lift in energy and intensity...that is partly down to the increase in the pace of change in the underlying harmonies...it then settles back down to a slower rate of harmonic change for the beginning of the next musical sentence.
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
5576 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:59 am

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:23 am
You will have used it without even thinking about it consciously...
Yes, I think so. Thanks for the additional explanation and example. :tu:

Paladin on a Horse
Banned
83 posts since 7 Nov, 2020

Post Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:08 am

I think it works as epic and emotional although I do think it is like a lot of other film music style stuff you hear nowadays.
Just an old bloke who likes listening to a wide range of music. I also fart quite a lot!

User avatar
ninvoid
KVRist
110 posts since 15 May, 2016

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:22 am

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:00 pm
ninvoid wrote:
Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:49 pm
ChameleonMusic wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:35 am
It sounds like something by Vangelis.
i'm simply gonna resist the temptation to get into a discussion here on that idea! :help: :roll:
I know that, although still being fairly young, I will likely never get even close to being as good as Vangelis. He is, however, a composer that has always inspired me and I do might end up using some elements that recall some of his music sometimes. If I may ask, why do you think this comparison is so unthinkable?
Huge apologies...that wasn't what I meant at all! :oops:

I should've realised that you might take it that way...

I aimed it at Frantz as he might remember that I'm a bit of a Vangelis 'nut'...I've studied all his work in depth and even written essays on him + i think it's fair to say that at times some of my more electronic pieces are heavily influenced by him as well - not necessarily my finest compositional moments, but they illustrate my point:

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... g-assassin

https://soundcloud.com/chameleon-music/ ... d-the-moon

Clumsily, what I meant was that if I replied i would go on for ever analysing his comment and then compare and contrast Vangelis with your piece in huge and probably pointless depth...yeah, I'm mildly obsessed by the dude! :borg:

I might as well (hopefully briefly) do that comparison now I've started... :roll:

V is NOT just one musical genre / approach by a long, long way, but, I think that there is definitely more than a simply superficial resemblance to certain pieces of V in:

general musical style + underlying harmonic structure + melodic motifs and shapes

The difference is (and this is obviously purely opinion) that:

1) V is an absolute master of Harmonic pace - the ebb and flow of when the underlying chords do or do NOT change.

In comparison (this is not an insult at all) your underlying harmonies are more pedestrian for me in this...mainly changing predictably and very evenly throughout each phrase. Often the very best musical sentences increase the rate of harmonic change towards the end...for example peaking (speeding up) at bar 3 out of 4 or bar 6 in an 8 bar phrase.

NOTE: in your defence, V does also have a number of pieces where the harmonic change is similar to yours (more evenly paced) and both of my examples above do just that, but...

In V's case (maybe in mine, maybe not) there are other musical elements constantly developing and evolving when the underlying chords are a little more predictable....ebb and flow of texture, timbre and rhythmic motifs for example.

2) The melodic content of many of V's pieces in whatever style / period you choose is honed down to the bare bones at times...his tunes are full of exactly the right notes at exactly the right time...they are often incredibly simple, but at the same time full of extraordinary subtlety and nuance on a par with the greatest classical composers.

Your melodies are good - no inappropriate notes whatsoever as I so often hear on KVR (drives me bloody mad)! But, I think there are moments in the flow where they 'stutter' to some extent...the rise and fall / the ebb and flow could be organised even better...maybe too many notes at times...V is a master of sustaining a melodic note a little bit longer than expected and the gaps in his tunes are as important as the notes.

If I've learnt anything from studying him over the years, it is hopefully the above two points more than anything else!
I know that, although still being fairly young, I will likely never get even close to being as good as Vangelis.
Very few will get close, but there's no harm in aiming high...not at all!
Very interesting info, ChameleonMusic! I had never made such a conscious analysis of Vangelis' music... It would be cool if you could give a few examples of parts of Vangelis' tracks in which some of those characteristics are on display! :-)

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