Music Contest #7 - Location

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Art by Dkundzinsh

Location
Participants are to create a song that depicts a place. It can be generic place, a biome, an actual existing place or a fictional location. Example themes: palace, swamp, dungeon, Azeroth, Stonehenge, My Little Pony Land, Vatican, "I-Just-Invented-This Forest", "Palace of Madness", etc, etc.

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  • No submission may violate any of the site and contest rules.
  • All submissions must follow the current theme. If any musical piece does not fit, a moderator will tell you as soon as possible as to avoid confusion.
  • Your submission must be posted before the deadline. Your post must include the music in an accepted file Format (MP3, OGG, or MIDI) and an accompanying explanation of the song (i.e. explain how it fits into the theme).
  • Your submission may not be started/made before the official launch of the contest.
  • Judges may not participate.
  • Teamwork is not allowed.
  • You may not include long periods of silence in your song - rests are allowed but using 30 seconds of continuous silence simply to fill up space is not allowed.
  • Songs shouldn't contain only a single instrument soloing.
  • You must post at least 1 WIP (Work-In-Progress) before the deadline so your final work can be verified as your own.
  • Minimum length is 1 minute, there is no maximum length (please keep it reasonable, 20 minute entries may create the necessity for a maximum length).
  • Any method of music production is allowed, including using sequencers, virtual instruments, sound samples and standard recording.
  • No former works can be submitted, the piece must be new and created to fit the theme.
  • All entries must be accompanied by an explanation of how the song fits into the theme.
  • Vocals can be used, though the part being judged is the overall sound. Essentially the Vocals are being treated as if they were instruments. Since this is a music contest, the sound is the product being judged, not the lyrics.
  • Though sampling is allowed, it must be within reason:
  • If you use an instrument sound sample for a Sampling VSI (basically if you just use the sound for the instrument, and make it play your music) you must provide the source of the sound, be it a website or an individual.
  • Sampling copyrighted material without the consent of the owner is illegal and will not be tolerated.
  • You may use Royalty free sound samples - but you must provide the source of the sample.
  • The final song must be at least 75% of your writing - In essence, you can use a royalty free drum loop (or other form of sampled material) in your song, but if you chose to you must create enough of the other material or use in such a way that it can be said that you wrote 75% of the song. Samples of instruments are simply to be used for a sequencer (like building a drum line out of specific drums or using a pitch altering sampler to make a melody out of a sound sample from an instrument) are exempt from the 75% rule.

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  • First Place: 40 reputation points and your entry on the award icon
  • Second Place: 25 reputation points and an award icon
  • Third Place: 15 reputation points and an award icon
  • Participants: 5 reputation points

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  • Mr. Vacant
  • Ms. Vacant

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Theme

How well does it demonstrate the feeling of the theme
/15

Creativity/Originality
How original is the piece? How creative are you with the theme/instruments/etc./10

Production

Basically, how well does it flow? Are accents used to good effect? Do overall levels make sense? etc.
/10

Composition

How well is it composed? Do the key changes make sense?
/15
  • 75 % of the winner shall be determined by the contest's appointed judge(s).
  • 25 % of the winner shall be determined by the results of a public poll.
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  • The contest shall begin on 1st June, 2017 and conclude on 1st August, 2017, GMT

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Here are some free to use resources that can get you started:

  • Audacity: Free Audio recording program - though you have to start a new track every time you record (cut and paste across tracks to deal with this), this handy audio program has nearly no latency (non-noticeable) and is a great start for people recording actual instruments.
  • ModPlug Tracker: A tracker composing program. Pretty easy to use and powerful. Doesn't come with very many instruments although more are easy to get.
  • NoteWorthy Composer: Another composing program that relies heavily on sheet music.
  • FL Studio (formerly known as Fruity Loops): Another powerful composer. Has a bit of a steep learning curve and also is not free but there is a trial version you can use.
  • Switch Audio Converter: Free audio file changing program - can convert to less commenly used audio file types like RAW's and Orggis Vorbis along with the big ones like MP3's (Can convert iTunes locked format too).
  • Psycle: A free sequencer type program - similar to Mod Plug. Has a bit of a learning curve, though it's pretty powerful when used correctly.
  • Mp3 Direct Cut: Simplistic audio editing program that allows you to edit Mp3 directly, from their original file (don't forget to back up the original).
  • Krystal Audio Engine: Similar to Audacity, though this program is tooled more towards people editing or mixing music - recording can generate some terrible latency. (Essentially its more powerful then Audacity, but much more difficult to record a sound directly to it)
  • Hammerhead Rythm Station: A free drum machine that has built in sounds geared towards Electronica and Dance music. Also supports importing your own drum sounds via userbanks (some userbanks are provided on the site) and the entire sound library can be edited if you get more advanced with it - Drum parts can be exported as wav's and then used in your music. You will want to use Switch Audio engine if you plan on importing your own sounds as it only supports the RAW format.
  • Guitar Pro 5 - A popular Tab program that is capable of producing MIDI works. When used with the RSE plugins it can produce some realistic guitar/bass/drum parts. There is a trial version that allows for 15 days free - RSE can't be used in the trial version
  • Acoustica Beatcraft a drum machine that works similarly to Hammerhead but with more power (like the ability to use triplets). The free trial can be downloaded multiple times
  • FamiTracker: Sequencer for producing old school Nes/Famicon music. Music made from this can be played on an actual NES or Famicon (if you happen to know how to transfer such works to a game cartridge)
  • Suggest some more!
  • Another one could be Tux Guitar which is a MIDI based program like Guitar Pro with a much more simpler interface: .:: TuxGuitar ::. Open Source Tablature Editor :: TuxGuitar

Additionally, this page can help some new composers to create better music if they don't have any good workstation to work on:

The 10 Best Free DAWs Available - RouteNote Blog

Extra two here as well:

SAVIHost – Standalone VST host for Windows
Ohm Studio - this might be paid by now.

Download Free Digital Audio Workstation plug-in: Podium Free by Zynewave its in the DAW list but i feel its better than most options,FL Studio is good but not being able to save a project is a big minus
Komplete : Samplers : Kontakt 5 Player | Products Very good and comes with a bunch of good stuff already,plus just googling ''Free Kontakt player libraries'' and you'll find a lot of stuff no doubt
Ultimate List of Free Kontakt Libraries A list of free libraries for kontakt.Be aware though,not all kontakt libraries will play on the kontakt player,some will play in demo mode as they require the full kontakt version,others will play normally
bigcat Instruments This guy makes a lot of good stuff for kontakt,free.

Assigned Staff: Naze
 
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Level 28
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___________________________________

So guys the thread is up! As it'll start in June 1st, we still have some time to check for eventual mistakes and get a someone with powers to move it from the Contest Submission forum to the main Arena.

*cough*
@Heinvers *cough*
 
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Level 4
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Aug 4, 2015
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78
I was thinking about participating in this, but then I realized that I don't know anything about music making and that I lack anything that would atleast remotely resemble musical hearing. *CRIES IN ARRHYTHMIC*
Ehm. Anyway, good luck to you all! Listened to almost all the WIPs so far and I like every single one of them.
 
Level 14
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Here is my first WIP.
I know it's not too match with the theme, but I can't match it more of this. I hope you enjoy!
Sounds pretty good @PrinceYaser but I have something in mine your guitar is too sratchy and what was the in the biggining vultures or birds? And the song sounds like a Filipino Folk Song just saying if you don't know that then try searching in Youtube.
 

deepstrasz

Map Reviewer
Level 53
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My submission.
You shouldn't submit a WiP and the final version at the same time. What's that even supposed to mean? Don't tell us you've made both in the same day or so. Well of course you did not mention that the other one is the final touch. However, it's a strange move.
I'd take that end part after the waves out since it's basically like another song and also short too. Really feels superfluous.
 
Level 9
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Alright,this seems interesting,im joining in,the theme is much more open this time,i like it,and thanks deepstrasz for giving me a heads up about the contest,much more time to work this time as i joined much earlier than before.
 
Level 3
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You shouldn't submit a WiP and the final version at the same time. What's that even supposed to mean? Don't tell us you've made both in the same day or so. Well of course you did not mention that the other one is the final touch. However, it's a strange move.
Hi, according to contest rules, a WIP must be provided in order to verify that the work belongs to the submitter.
It is a final work and it was finished in two days, in a WIP version I simply turned additional instruments off, as I don't render anything until it's ~95% finished.

I'd take that end part after the waves out since it's basically like another song and also short too. Really feels superfluous.
I actually wanted to do another piece of music that follows after this one, making the ending part a bridge between them, but once I rendered the song, my creativity kind of evaporated.

Awsome entry dude! but it is actually a little bit boring like a lulaby but that is your submission I like in 100% (makes me slopy lol
Thank you very much, I kind of like lullabies, something my kids would listen to in future before falling asleep:)
 
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Level 9
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Hi, according to contest rules, a WIP must be provided in order to verify that the work belongs to the submitter.
It is a final work and it was finished in two days, in a WIP version I simply turned additional instruments off, as I don't render anything until it's ~95% finished.

Still that is slightly suspicious for a few reasons,im not saying you did these things,but just suspicions raised about the way you did things,of course im no mod here so its not for me to judge if you're breaking the rules or not.The fact you uploaded the WIP at the same time as the final song,and there's too little difference between it and the final song,makes some people think you either made this before the contest,or this isnt even yours,and you used a pre-made MIDI file.

But talking about your submission,i liked it,very calm mood,i can think of a character looking at the sunrise in some fantasy world while listening to it.More specifficaly Majula from Dark souls 2.

Also there's a bit of audio weirdness after the 1:48 mark,seems the song gets too loud and some clipping happens,try using a limiter effect on the master channel.Or if you're not familiar with these things,try using Audacity,just go Effects---->Normalize then Effects--->Compress and you'll have maximum volume with hopefully no clipping.That is unless you didnt make the piano in a DAW and it was externally recorded and the clipping happens because of the microphone,in that case turning down the volume of the microphone before recording would fix it.

Though as you already made it your final entry i think you cant go and fix that now,though try doing it futurely,just a suggestion.
 

deepstrasz

Map Reviewer
Level 53
Joined
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15,521
To EVERYBODY:
Let's just do this nicely. First, you announce you participate, then upload a sketch and then finally the full submission. Surely you can put how many WiPs in there along the way you want.

Though as you already made it your final entry i think you cant go and fix that now,though try doing it futurely,just a suggestion.
He can even change his song multiple times until the deadline.
 
Level 22
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Woah I didn't know this was going on.
I'm going to wreck you nuglets.
Devine's track was pretty fantastic though.

Edit: Thanks for that, moderator.

Also first WIP.
 

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Level 9
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Woah I didn't know this was going on.
I'm going to wreck you nuglets.
Devine's track was pretty fantastic though.

Edit: Thanks for that, moderator.

Also first WIP.

The start kinda startled me,try adding a fade in on your final sumbmission or next WIP,if you dont know how to do it just open it on Audacity highlight the beggining part of the song then go Effects->Fade in.There should be video tutorials on youtube as well.

I liked your track,very nice Lo-Fi vibe,made me think of the game Oneshot's city part.Though i still think you should either change the intro or apply the fade in as i suggested.
 
Level 22
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More instruments :D and chords :p. Anyways, that seawind at the start seems out of place (considering the name of the song too).

That's rain dude LOL. The piece is about atmosphere not instrumentation.

As far as startling you @Enzo, that's a problem of volume. Perhaps the volume of the rain and car ambience is louder than the synths db wise or perhaps your volume was just too loud. I may add a gap of silence at the beginning to compensate for abruptness but a piece this mellow shouldn't fade in.

Edit: my biggest self criticism is that the drums just don't feel /on/ and I think I blame that on the fact that the loop doesn't have a traditional 4/4 feel because I slur the first and last note of every measure.

Edit: another wip.

Edit: @Devine, I wish I had his quality production.
 

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Edit: @Devine, I wish I had his quality production.
A lot comes from your balance and tonality, actually. Your synths don't pop out the mix the way they could. Giving them some more presence by boosting that 1hz-4khz region and mixing them in slightly louder will give your song a less rough sound. Your drums are okay, but if you want more impact, mixing them in a bit louder, or changing/adding drumsamples might do the trick. Impact comes from sustain when it comes to drums. Your drums are relatively short and snappy, which will automatically make them sound thinner than a drum with a longer tail. I'd normally say compress them more, but maybe you're better off finding that tail elsewhere and adding it in on top of what you already have. Of course, you have to make sure the different samples don't drown each other out. The ambient intro is a bit startling, the other guys are right. I get that the song is about soundscapes, but your track starts of much less zen than you're intending it to be, which puts off the listener. Doing a small, growing fade, or lowering the volume of the noise will work wonders on your tune.

In other news, here's an updated version of my tune. Might be final, I don't know. I've decided in favor of a new name: "Arctic Crystal Cave Rave"
Enjoy!
 

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Level 22
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I intentionally high passed everything (or am I thinking low pass, (cutting from 4k-6k backwards)), in order to get a warm but distant vibe which is very bass centric. I don't want that pristine club sound. The problem is this obviously sacrifices presence as you said. I'd be all around satisfied with better volume levelling and drums that felt more /on/, by on I mean you can tap your feet to them, not the tonality. I quite like the way they sound by themselves, they're not really snappy, I think they just need some overhead space. There's a large amount of reverb behind a noise gate so it's got a really nice big sound to it by itself and cutting out the highs makes it feel kind of underwater which was also part of the idea.
 
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