Compo Status :: Round 89 Voting :: Ended 2015-01-29 00:00:00 *CST () :: 7 Votes

Adrenaline by fractaural_motif

Round 66
Author fractaural_motif
Title Adrenaline
MP3 Link
Module Link sdc66_fractaural_motif-Adrenaline.xrns
Filesize 17056KB
Score 4, 1, 1, 1Total Points: 7 (4 Votes)
1st Place Vote5 Points2nd Place Vote4 Points3rd Place Vote3 Points4th Place Vote2 Points5th Place Vote1 point

Authors' Notes

Hi all, I really enjoyed putting this one together. It's still on the short side, but nearly double what it was before we were allowed the extension. :) Thanks organic_io! This one includes some recordings from my violin. I loved the TAL noiseMaker VST, had a lot of fun with that one.

The piece kind of has two different themes/genres in it. I'm not sure if it would be better as two different pieces, or if the combination is good. Let me know what you think. Looking forward to hearing what others have done!

Regards, Matt


Comment by organic_io on 2012-04-30 11:48:27

Hey, no problem for the extension! If it gets more entries, I'm glad to provide it. It's more about the music and community than the technical details.

It's good to see another American entering the compo, we are a minority in the tracker scene :)

Regarding the actual song: I think the two themes would work better as separate songs, so I will address them separately

Part 1 (techno): Nice rumbling acid bassline. Some solid pads and synth sounds.... Everything sounds pretty clear and nice... My main criticism would be the drums -- They could use more loudness and punch.

Part 2 (violin): This is just really excellent!!!! Really cool bell type melody, but then when the violin comes in it's just astonishing. I noticed it's a little out of tune (Some strings are flat I think), but I actually like that about it too... Gives it that flawed and human characteristic to contrast with the electronic instruments. The first melody that you played from about 1:31 to 1:37 was really cool and in my opinion a unique compliment to this chord progression (which although beautiful, is also very commonly used).. After that the violin melody isn't quite as special to me. While it's still beautiful and I can tell it's very expressive, I think the melody here is just too similar to so many other songs I have heard. But I think you have a lot of room for expansion of this theme, tying the first melodic part (1:31 to 1:37) into the rest, and then returning to it.... Lots of potential actually. I just want to re-emphasize that the violin melody from 1:31 to 1:37 was really good and not something I have ever heard before.

I really really like the violin playing. Thank you for entering it! P.S... What microphone did you record it with?

If you'd be interested, maybe sometime we could work on a collaboration together which includes your violin playing? I have always wanted to get more acoustic instruments into my music but I don't really know many people who play instruments.


Comment by Shadowbane on 2012-04-30 14:36:09

I will have to disagree with the comment that the parts would be better separate, the use of the melodic ideas from the electronic part in the violin part tie the piece together nicely and the transition is smooth. It may have been really cool if you had brought back the synths at the end and had both the violin and synths going for the finale. It seems you started playing with this kind of idea at the end but didn't take it very far before ending the piece. Very clean mix, I liked it.

Comment by Knetter on 2012-04-30 15:22:52

Great mix! like the part where the violin takes over the melody. Also the flanger FX adds some real futuristic-classical-themed atmosphere to it :)

Comment by tenfour on 2012-04-30 15:58:52

Violin samples are perfectly fitting and the fx applied to them are tasty.

The combination of fx really makes this sparkle - I love when songs are a "holistic" experience where everything needs each other in the song including the engineering. You nailed it.

I think Lead2 should be quantized; it's a bit out of rhythm sometimes.

The master track fx are too aggressive I think. The sweeping comb filter is a nice effect, but when it's not being used it should be turned off completely; it affects the whole song in a negative way.

And the master compression is way too aggressive and actually makes the mix fall apart a bit. Try mixing everything without any master compression first, and apply the master compression as late as possible in the process. For example right when the violin comes in the intro, you can hear the entire song get quieter just from that one instrument. Better to work on the volume of that instrument specifically, and use master compression as a last resort.

Love the transition to the slow section around 1:10 and the "lead2" entrance, it sounds so natural. Then the transition to violin... delicious. I think you crafted this transition so the two major sections really make way for each other.

Comment by Airmann on 2012-04-30 19:14:36

Though part 1 is not bad part 2 definitely roxx ! Really awesome, - though pretty short. Will have to look at XRNX

Comment by fractaural_motif on 2012-05-01 03:05:41

Wow, thanks for all the very specific feedback! This is super helpful and I am very grateful. I'm itching to go back and rework this taking the various advice into account. I'll post link to updated mp3 when I do.

I'm wondering if anybody caught the heart beat at 1:06? The idea was supposed to be the adrenaline finally wears off, and after a short breather, the protagonist is able to recover & realize his victory.

Scott, again thanks for the feedback. I agree about making the drums more punchy. I could use some help in figuring out just how to do that. Also, I would like to use the initial violin melody you were talking about a lot more, but mainly I just was running out of energy close to the deadline to keep extending the piece.

For recording the violin, I have an electric pickup semi-permanently attached to the bridge on my violin, and I run it through a small pre-amp before it goes into the computer. The cool thing about this, is that I can do my violin recordings while my kids are running & yelling through the house. :) Of course, the pick-up doesn't really catch the full body of the sound like a microphone, and having something attached to the bridge kind of dampens the high-end.

I'm definitely open to collaborations, and for anything serious, I'd be much more careful about tuning & intonation. :-) I used to do a lot of music, now I only pick up the violin a couple times a month or less, so I'm a bit out of practice, but still very much enjoy it.

Tenfour, thanks for pointing out the comb filter issue... that does make a HUGE difference by turning it off when I'm not using it. About the bus compression, I really have no idea what I'm doing. I like how the compression is able to bring out some of the background sound, but you're right that it is also introducing some undesired side-effects.

To quantize or not to quantize is something I struggle with. In this case, I left it raw and just fixed up the timing on a couple notes, hoping to give a more human feel to the lead. I think you're right that with this piece, it would do just fine quantized. But I've had other compositions where I've recorded a rather expressive keyboard melody, and then when I quantize it, it feels very robotic. But unquantized, it just sounds out-of-sync. So, I need a quantizer that puts things in sync, but still lets me stretch the tempo in a musical way. :-) Of course, the beauty of these trackers is the fine-tuned control you have over things like tempo, so I guess maybe I'm just being lazy. :)

Comment by fractaural_motif on 2012-05-01 03:08:35

Shadowbane, I definitely like the idea of bringing back more of the original base-line at the end of the piece. But I have to figure out a way to do this where it doesn't sound like its starting over.

Comment by Chotoro on 2012-05-01 18:24:28

Like it!

The first thing that struck me about the second part was "there's an sd-compoer who's this good at playing the erhu?? what a combo!". Took me a while to realise it's actually violin, hah. This way of recording violin definitely changes the sound majorly, but it's quite interesting. I've considered buying an erhu, maybe this is cheaper :)

Regarding quantization, I think an important aspect of the humanness of off-beat playing is that it's consistent across tracks, i.e. different instruments play together as a team. If all instruments are wildly off the mark, but all in the same way, it'll still gel together. Hard-line robotic quantization is the easy way, tedious tweaking another way...

Gives me an idea for a Renoise tool: quantize a track using another track.

Comment by fractaural_motif on 2012-05-02 00:51:07

That's hilarious about the erhu. That would be a fun instrument to play. I intentionally modified the violin sound a bit with the FX to give it a different character.

I like the Renoise tool idea for quantization. The other feature I would like is to be able to combine traditional patterns with non-pattern tracks for recorded audio. Maybe others would find the non-pattern tracks limiting (no traditional per-tick sample FX), but you could always play your samples in patterns if you wanted to, and in the non-pattern tracks, you would be free to slide the audio along your timeline independently of the patterns.

Comment by JustinCredible on 2012-05-02 14:24:40


the violing part was really very excellent, i would have started with Track 20.
It's a pitty that it is so short.

Hope to here more of this :)


Comment by andyray on 2012-05-02 15:30:37

I'll just comment short :-b Liked it. Bring forward the drums. have to be clearer and punchier. bring back the first techno theme and combine the two themes in the end. that's it. killer track. ;)

Comment by juolac on 2012-05-02 16:00:28

I love the part from 1:10 and forward but wish you could have made that second part longer!
I beleive you had not time to finish it.
Very nice to hear real strings in SDC! My daughter is practising violin but she has a bit up to your standard :)

Comment by CAG on 2012-05-06 22:18:25

:D A violin player! The playing reminds me of folk music. Nice simple form with a solid execution... I look forward to seeing you around. :)

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