Original Tunes Contest 13: Desert

Theme: Desert
Deadline: 2018-05-28

About the theme… As we know, there are different kinds of deserts all around the world, and its not all about sand. Going with the middle-eastern and oriental sounds is the easy way to go, but not necessarily the only way. This is a vast area, where only the well adapted people (or flora and fauna) can thrive. But crossing the desert is necessary at times, so that is where we hear this theme.

Every music style is welcome, you can make 8bits musics, orchestral arrangements, live recordings, electronic music… As long as it fits the theme, everything is allowed!

To enter your song must be an original creation of your own made specifically for this contest.
You can upload your songs on youtube, soundcloud or any other place that allows the listening without having to download it.

Your song must be 1 minute long MINIMUM.

At the end of the month, during 2 or 3 days people will vote to elect the best entry (voting info provided later on).

Good luck.

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Again, kinda done in a hurry, but still, here’s my lil’ track : https://soundcloud.com/florian-decros/desert-theme


Oh you went for a Western Style, Great! you are my type :thumbsup:

Thanks !
By the way, there’s a better-sounding version of this track on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUSnFrfhsNw

A track I feel would go well with a fun, and motivational journey through a desert. Not sure what genre/sound to really classify it under…


Here’s my track.
From the start I knew I wanted to do an Ancient Egyptian inspired theme and went the ethnic/orchestral route.
This one was a ton of fun to work on and was a great opportunity to compose with a bunch of instruments and techniques that I’d never used before.

Looking forward to hear what everybody else comes up with.

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I did the first 8 seconds right after opening this thread, and let it be… I wouldn’t have finished it, if not for waking up at 4:30am and being unable to sleep anymore (deadline day as it happens) for who knows what reason.

Its quite plucky, if something…

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So many neat theme’s in these contests as of late, hmm may see if I can squeeze in some time to do some writing.

Here is my submission! (Hopefully it’s not too late…it’s still the 28th here in the UK…)

I imagined a marketplace in the Desert, before going a bit AWOL, but I hope you enjoy it!

I don’t know if some will relate to my struggle…but I ran out of time to re-record the guitar, because I wanted the ending, ever so slightly slower…


Sorry, running late again

At first I thought a middle eastern style would be too obvious, but it turned out alright. The first idea was more of a Spaghetti Western/Morricone type song. Here’s the intro just for fun:

Probably won’t go back to it, I already did something in a similar, though more upbeat, style a few years ago.

I count 6 entires - closing entry window here.

TL;DR: Pick top 3, name a honorable mention if you want. Comments appreciated, but not mandatory.

Each voter chooses top 3 entries. The most favored pick gets 3 points, second 2, and third 1. The voter gets 1 points for voting.

The participant with highest TOTAL is assigned a score of 10, followed up by 8, 7, 6 … 1 (never less than 1). The participant with most honorable mentions gets an extra 1 point when final scoring is given. If the TOTAL, or Honorable Mentions result in a tie, both participants are assigned with the same values as if they won the position alone.

A shame there are so few submissions this time. It’s a fun theme that can go in so many different directions and all the entries are high quality this month.

@floflo79 - Very Morricone with the instrumentation and that galloping 8th-16th-16th rhythm. Inspiring melody and the youtube version is a much needed improvement, the soundcloud one doesn’t do the song justice, you might consider replacing the audio on SC with the YT version. Can I ask what programs were used for the two different versions?

@SombraDLG - Welcome Sombra! Surprisingly lighthearted, other than the middle section, for a distorted electric lead. Would work in a MMORPG. That waterfall song is cool too, I’ll have to check out your guitar covers later!

@TylerCunningham - A bit more understated compared to the previous two entries. Feels like exploring a forgotten temple. Sounds grand yet a little uneasy.

Avaruussaha - The repeating string ostinato that starts at 0:03 gives it a Chinese flair to my ears (probably not what you were going for), which is not a region that is explored in VG deserts. Interesting and relaxing track with lots of variation in such a short time.

@Kwok_Works - Another newcomer! I’ll likewise have to check some of your work, looks like you compose quite a bit of film music which comes across in this track. Unique setting with the market, sounds like the protaganist is getting chased out by guards near the end.

All great entries, here’s my picks:

3rd - TylerCunningham

2nd - floflo79

1st - SombraDLG

Everyone vote so we can get started on the next theme! And the Tribal Village idea would be a good follow-up to the desert.

Thanks for the nice words !
To answer your question, I combined GuitarPro 6 (for the guitars and drums), TuxGuitar (for the trumpet) and FLStudio (for the strings and choir I think)

Thanks for the kind words @hslesperance

Definitely looking forward to participating with everyone in the future :+1:

@floflo79 Cool, the guitar melody during the second half sounds really nice.

@SombraDLG Your welcome, not sure if you are aware Sombra, but all the participants and even people who didn’t submit a track can vote for their top picks. And then we tally up the votes for the winner.

Very tough vote as everybody’s tracks were really well done and unique. Props to everyone who entered, top 3 and honorable mentions:

  1. Avaruussaha. Very immersive and fit the theme perfectly to my ears. Nice use of the ethnic instruments. I really enjoy this type of music.
  2. hslesperance Awesome, really got in the vibe of the old Pharaoh/Cleopatra PC city building games that I love.
  3. floflo 79 Well done, unexpected and really stood out. Felt like an old west adventure, you really nailed the setting of this one with the drum,guitar/trumpets.

Honorable mentions:
Sombra DLG Nice guitar work! Felt a bit of a starcraft Terran feel to this one, really great!
Kwok_Works: Very pleasant to listen to and great overall composition. Similar to what you imagined, I could hear this playing while exploring a desert town in an RPG

For the next theme, as mentioned above, tribal village sounds cool or perhaps an ocean/water theme would be interesting.

Gonna give my stance, but I genuinely don’t think anybody’s entry had negatives to them. Anyways…

  1. @Kwok_Works - I enjoyed that the music implied a story to it. I felt it told a bit of an entrance -> exploration -> action type of scenario. Really awesome stuff.

  2. @floflo79 - The Western take on the theme was pretty smart. Definitely felt a forward motion to the piece…like a mission, or purpose to a character’s actions. Props, man.

  3. @Avaruussaha - Really chill vibes from this one. Don’t know if it was intentional, but I could see it as a night-time desert theme.

Honorable mentions:

@TylerCunningham - Totally got some Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles vibes from the instrumentation at the beginning. Really liked the build up from light wind instrument to bassy orchestra.

@hslesperance - The bass line going on was really cool. The way the melody went towards the middle section and onwards was also pretty nice with how it behaved around the harmony. Nice stuff.

Finally voting, sorry for being late :smiley:
Damn guys those productions are GREAT, could be in an official OST of a Triple A game o_O

This time i decided to make a top 3 instead of a top 5, cause a bit less entries and also because the level of quality reached by those 3 are just FANTASTIC!

  • 1st) Kwok Works - A Hidden Marketplace
  • 2nd) Tyler Cunningham - Ancient Gods
  • 3rd) Avaruussaha - Desert

Congratulations to all the participant, keep on the amazing work guys!

Sorry for my late late voting contribution
(I stupidly forgot what my username was! Turns out my underscore was a space…?)

Here is my votes:

1 - @TylerCunningham
Really enjoyed the progression of the piece. I agree with Sombra, that the bass strings in the 2nd half are really nice…and I am always a sucker for a bit of cheeky Double Basses. Production quality is great as well! Which drums did you used out of curiosity?

2 - @SombraDLG
I loved loved loved the chords used and the harmonic dissonance during the 2nd half of the piece :smiley: For me, it would have taken 1st place if there was a slight either a development (rhythmically, melodically etc) or a change of instrumentation near the end! Otherwise great stuff!!!

3 - @Avaruussaha
The drums were definitely the centrepiece that stood out for me. Great variation in them! Good job :slight_smile:

Honourable Mention - @floflo79
Really like the retro sound of this and the fact that you took a different approach as most of us went for the eastern desert. Looking forward to listen to your next piece!

There’s my votes and thank you to anyone who left me some nice comments too :smiley:

Floflo79 - Desert Theme
Kinda like an opening credits scene where the names roll and horses are kicking up dust.

SombraDLG - Friends, Fiends, And Sand
Strikes out as a modern setting, theres quite a lot of power here, as opposed to ambience.

TylerCunningham - Ancient Gods
The second half is particularly pleasing and dark.

Avaruussaha - Desert

Kwok_Works - A Hidden Masterpiece
The marketplace description fits particularly well - the desertish vibes are there, but a bit subdued I guess.

Hslesperance - Across the Sands
The bass is quite crazy here! I like how exotic this sounds.

3rd: Floflo
2nd: Hslesperance
1st: TylerCunningham