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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperAudioTIGSource Musical Challenge XIX - Leo J wins!
Poll
Question: Which track should win the TIGSMC XIX?  (Voting closed: February 02, 2013, 09:14:27 AM)
"The Mystery at Sundown" by Leo J - 15 (57.7%)
"Through the Dust" by somnia - 2 (7.7%)
"Boiler Room Groove" by BleakProspects - 9 (34.6%)
Total Voters: 23

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Author Topic: TIGSource Musical Challenge XIX - Leo J wins!  (Read 2838 times)
MoritzPGKatz
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« on: January 26, 2013, 09:14:27 AM »

Leo J wins the TIGSMC XIX! Congrats!

Phew! Shocked

We may have a new record with 15 (!) entries.
A big thank-you to everyone who entered, listening through these was a lot of fun.

I've picked three possible winners for this, the poll will run for 7 days from now.
Below you can find a short bit of feedback on each track, sorry if it sounds a bit harsh from time to time - take everything I wrote with a grain of salt and know that though I tried to be as objective as possible, I can't possibly blend out my personal taste completely.
All of the tracks had their very own unique sound, and it was really difficult to compare and choose three favorites.

Next up: Finally getting prepared for the TIGSource Musical Challenge Album - this has been on my table for quite a while now, please Panda bear with me and feel free to share any last-minute feedback before I set up the polls for runner-up tracks and charity organization.
Also, spread the word and if you know an artist who could do some cover artwork, have him/her get in touch with me. Thanks!

Cheers,
Moritz

---

So here goes the feedback by order of application. Click on the track titles for a direct link to listen to these awesome pieces of music.

"Rendez-vous" by MattZ2007

Some very nice motives in here, very playful stuff - sometimes even a bit too "busy" for my taste, sounds like you wanted to fit as many ideas in there as possible. The chord progressions and build-up towards the part @ ca. 2:00 are particularly nice.
I'm amazed what you were able to do with those GM-ish sounds - investing in a few better samples would boost the quality of your music tenfold, though!
Regarding the theme, I know what you tried to do, but for me your piece lacks the fire's energy a bit, probably due to the lack of powerful dynamics.
Still, a lovely composition!

"Cactus Juice Makes The Ride Taste Longer" by Leo J

I messed up and saw your actual entry too late, so here's the feedback on your first track anyway. Scroll down for the actual entry.

The atmospheric sounds in here are brilliant and convey just the right atmosphere without sounding too cliché or dull.
I kinda missed a strong melody or at least some percussion to give it a bit more drive - it's a great take on the theme though, I definitely worked up a sweat listening to it. Did I mention the track's title is great?


"Latin for Volcano" by PythonBlue

Nice work! I'm not too much into 80's snares, but it mixes well with the heavy synths and gives the track a lot of energy.
Again, I miss dynamics - the track doesn't have much of a build-up, you can even tell by the waveform. It's a big-ass wall of sound, but it doesn't quite capture the "Hot!" theme. Good production, though!

"Dunes" by pgil

This instantly sets the right mood. Lovely oriental percussion and melodies in there. I also like the little details: the filter sweeps and short bass motives mix it up a bit.
Some of the motives sound a bit too arbitrary in my ears, especially the piano in the second half. Seems like the instruments don't give each other enough space to interact. This - again - results in less dynamics than the piece could have had, which is a real shame. I would have welcomed a little break-down, some kind of modulation, anything that would have caused me to go "Whoop, what was that?". Theme-wise, it's spot-on!

"The Mystery at Sundown" by Leo J

Okay, this time it's for real. Wink
Again, you seem to have a very strong sense for conveying themes. The spaghetti western surf guitars are awesome and I'm a sucker for mysterious mallet motives. Also, this track is a great example of what I mean by dynamic change: there are distinct parts with clear variations and a nice tension in-between the different instruments, they work very well with each other. The only thing I kinda miss is a strong climax, but that's really just nit-picking. Production-wise, it's excellent.

"Sunday Morning Radio" by Ozoh

Neat idea! What I particularly liked is the clavinet sound and motive at the beginning and end of the track. The music's more "Warm." than "Hot!", though. Also, your drum sounds and programming could use some work, they're a bit too plastic-sounding for my taste. You might also want to invest in speakers or at least headphones that help you with the low-end, the bass is creating quite a bit of mud on my big speakers.

"One Hell of a Desert" by 8thMode

Yes! Immediate tension! Nice dynamics, good sounds. A good example how even harsh dissonances work when you put a groove to them. Overall, a great track that seems to tell a story, and a good take on the theme. I wish you had taken some more time to develop the more "open" sound you seem to hint at @ ca. 1:30, but that's just me.

"Norn Spirit" by HD

If you were wondering what I meant by "open", this is it. A very sombre piece, some nice ideas in there. The percussion feels a bit out of place (you might want to practice placing sounds in the conceived room better by using the right reverb and panning) and the strings lack dynamics. Also, it doesn't quite capture the mood of the theme. Thanks for entering anyway, keep at it!

"Sand Mans Dance" by JudahRoydes

Polyrhythms for the win! I had fun figuring the meters out - I guess you could count it as 3/3/2 as well as 2/3/3? Anyway…
Hot sounds and motives, well done! Nice change-ups, too. Wish the whole thing was longer, what do you mean by "There's no five-minute guitar solo."?! The thing you did at the end is awesome, however. (definitely 3/3/2 in 8ths here! Tongue )

"Through the Dust" by somnia

This wins the special "Best Percussion" award, brilliant work there!
Great production and nice harmony progressions. The changes @ ca. 1:30 and ca. 2:45 are great. The big string sections are a bit too static, but the gliding leads make up for it. I wished there was some kind of percussion break where the drums go really nuts like they use to do in the kind of folk music this reminds me of. Needless to say, you're right on spot theme-wise.

"Boiler Room Groove" by BleakProspects

This one made me smile. You've got quite the unique sound and a great sense for melody and detail, also there's lots of dynamics in here which you know I love if you've read all of this so far. Also, the track's freaking groovy with the hard shuffle going on. This would be great for a platformer game. Not much I can say besides that, of course some of your sounds could be replaced with better-quality ones, but then again the lo-fi character is just part of this track's charm.

"City of Magma" by eidobunny

Curious ideas in here, neat change-ups and an interesting take on the theme. I think the track could use a more consistent percussion groove to compliment the heavy-ass bass synth, right now the drums are just kinda clattering on top of it. Also, the synth lead sounds very distant compared to the rest of the instruments, which separates it a bit too much from the rest. Still, an interesting piece of music that does some decent story-telling.

"TIGSource Musical Challenge XIX - Hot!" by Lauchsuppe

Jazzy stuff! Are these your vocals? Unusual for game music, but a really fresh idea. Again, the percussion lacks focus and a clear groove - a nice clean shaker or hi-hat playing 8ths or 16ths, combined with the bass drum motive would have done the trick. There are a lot of things I love about this track though: the slap bass, the organ, the cheesy brass kicks and the synth shwoops all go very well together with your vocals!

"Hot" by KeepItSimple

A lot of interesting chaos in here. It's a bit too chaotic for my taste. Again, you would have gotten away with it with a more clear and consistent rhythmic motive. There are parts where I start bobbing my head, only to be thrown into the next wild idea. You mentioned it was hard for you to focus, my advice is to pick out one of the many ideas and stick with it for a while so the listener can really indulge in your track.

"Para Bailar con las Ascuas" by ifmcmaster

This is another one of those tracks that really made me smile. The way your piece develops is awesome and the mix of clichés works well without giving the track a too-hackneyed sound. Experiment a bit more with room placement, the bass is right next to my ear while the strings and brass sections are playing in a big concert hall. Another critique point would be that with all the changes in the music it sounds like a bunch of songs rather than one complete piece of music. If that's what you were trying to do, it's great - if not, try to find better transitions between the parts. Theme-wise, this is a definite check!

"Fireside story" by tao-tao

Nice groove and pads! The chiff lead stumbles a bit, but apart from that it fits well. Despite not much change in the general beat and bass motive, you added a new element each round, which can also be a good way to get some variety.
I can't really hear much hotness in this track though… try to listen to some more references next round, don't expect other people to see what's playing in your head when you listen to your own music!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 10:46:22 AM by MoritzPGKatz » Logged


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PythonBlue
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 11:04:47 AM »

Your critique of my piece is accepted. It was surprisingly difficult to think of something that would reflect the theme, other than the interpretation of hot meaning sexy.
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Lauchsuppe
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 12:02:22 PM »

Holy shit, I didn't notice there were actually that many contestants this time.

Your feedback is appreciated. Now where you mention it, the drums could really be a little more focused. I guess I got a little too carried away experimenting with all those funny percussion segments, haha.

And I'm glad my one of my personal favourites is among the nominees.
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KeepItSimple
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2013, 01:41:56 PM »

Thanks MPGK! You had a lot to chew on but you chewed it well.  Wink
Good feedback all around. Honorable mention to you for judging so many entries so seriously!
Good luck to the nominees!
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 02:52:45 PM »

Thanks for the feedback Moritz. Glad to see my favorite made it into the top three. The 3/3/2 count is pretty much how i kept track of all the stuff on the top end. the bottom end with the bass a kick is a little crazy. Its split into two 4 measure sections with their own counts.
First four measures
3/3/3/3/3/3/2/3/4/3/2
Second four measures
3/3/4/2/3/3/2/5/2/3/2

It's a little ridiculous for me to count it out this way but I feel like it helps me keep track of the pattern if I start a new 1 with every kick and bass hit.
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 04:02:10 PM »

I actually found "The Mystery at Sundown" and "Through the Dust" to be incredibly boring in terms of melodic progression and percussion, but to each his own.
I know it's a forum where free speech is all good and well, but "incredibly boring" seems a bit harsh don't you think?

Anyway, congrats to the top three! Looking foward to seeing who comes out on top!
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mono
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 04:10:37 PM »

I actually found "The Mystery at Sundown" and "Through the Dust" to be incredibly boring in terms of melodic progression and percussion, but to each his own.
I know it's a forum where free speech is all good and well, but "incredibly boring" seems a bit harsh don't you think?

Anyway, congrats to the top three! Looking foward to seeing who comes out on top!

That track has more of an importance on creating a groove and the end result being simply hypnotizing. It's wonderfully cliché and well produced with some interesting synth parts to spice it up.

A lot of good and even great entries but my vote goes to Leo.
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Blambo
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 04:29:15 PM »

...damn, this is already over?

Awesome stuff this time!
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HDSanctum
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 09:33:57 PM »

Awesome work everyone and grats to the top three, they are well deserved! Thanks for the fun feedback MPGK Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 06:12:22 AM »

Oh god, I'm in the top three. Thank you MPG, I'm really glad you liked it. Smiley Awesome feedback too. I'm also thrilled that my favorite is in the top three, which isn't Through the Dust, obviously.

@eidobunny:
Even though I think that "incredibly boring" might be a little hurtful from time to time, about your critique about my piece, I kind of agree with you. When I saw the theme "Hot" I saw the chance to do what I don't usually do (and don't usually like to do), and I decided to go full on oriental and exotic, as cliché as I can. I myself don't think it's boring, but I can see how one could feel so. So thank you for your comments.
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 06:39:40 AM »

Quote
Neat idea! What I particularly liked is the clavinet sound and motive at the beginning and end of the track. The music's more "Warm." than "Hot!", though.
Thank you for the truly-constructive feedback! Yeah, I agree that it ended up in being a lot more Warm than Hot music, but no can do Shrug

Quote
Also, your drum sounds and programming could use some work, they're a bit too plastic-sounding for my taste.
Hmm, any examples of good drum sound/programming?

Quote
You might also want to invest in speakers or at least headphones that help you with the low-end, the bass is creating quite a bit of mud on my big speakers.
Ahh, I think I found the problem. I'm mostly using Logitech G35 (a gaming headset) as my headphones, and they have this 5:1 surround-sound option, which I usually keep switched on, since games and music sound better in general with it. Now that you said it, I switched it off to regular stereo, and the bass indeed is too deep/low/loud, that's my mistake! And about the speakers, I don't have very good ones and am planning to get a pair eventually, could you/anyone here perhaps recommend good, cost-effective ones?

Thank you again for the feedback, and congrats to the top three! Wink
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 07:07:39 AM »

@eidobunny:
Even though I think that "incredibly boring" might be a little hurtful from time to time, about your critique about my piece, I kind of agree with you. When I saw the theme "Hot" I saw the chance to do what I don't usually do (and don't usually like to do), and I decided to go full on oriental and exotic, as cliché as I can. I myself don't think it's boring, but I can see how one could feel so. So thank you for your comments.
Wow, you really are a good sport! :O
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 04:24:14 PM »

Wow, I'm in the selected 3, thanks guys!
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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 01:25:18 AM »

Thanks for the feedback and kind words people. Definitely lot of personal preference involved which is unavoidable. The quality w as high and I predicted a different outcome.
By the way Judah, I find your main sandman riff randomly popping into my head all the time. Great stuff!
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 11:46:33 PM »

Thanks for the criticism and hosting the competition Moritz! I did try to put hotness in my track, but didn't want to do the obvious oriental/desert tropes. But of course the listener may interpret things in a different way. Maybe next time a more clearly defined theme would steer the participants in the right direction?

However, there are some very good tracks here! Boiler room groove is very hot and The mystery at sundown has a fun spaghetti western feel. Good work gentlemen!
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Voltz.Supreme
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 12:50:43 AM »

Thanks Tao! I'm not sure how a theme could be much clearer. It definitely allowed for a ton of possibilities but it led to an interesting competition. I enjoy observing the styles and methods people use to convey a theme. Narrowing it down further would only reduce that aspect.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 02:24:02 AM by Leo J » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 01:40:32 PM »

Congrats Leo J! Hopefully I'll have time to compete the next compo. Looking forward to see what you choose as the theme!
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 03:51:44 PM »

Congratulations Leo J!  Beer!
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 08:27:06 PM »

Ah! I appreciate this new feedback system! It makes this site that much better.

Congratulations!
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2013, 09:09:03 PM »

Congrats Leo! Ready to go for no. 20 now! Hand Thumbs Up LeftAddicted
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