Original Tunes Contest 18: Ocean Theme

Theme: Ocean Theme
Deadline: 2018-10-27

About the theme… I was initially going for “underwater”, but ended up wanting to include the surface area of the ocean for those inclined. Dark, serene, dangerous, raging, beautiful - there are numerous different sceneries you can imagine with 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.


Previous thread’s winning track:

So I didn’t make this one specifically for THIS contest, but I made it specifically waiting to find some sort of ocean themed contest, so hopefully that’ll be allowed. If not, eh, oh well. It’s written to embody the adventure and mystery of the sea, as well as the devastation of it. https://musescore.com/jadenlothes/scores/4903590/embed

Bummed I missed the past two contests, but made it to this one! Here’s my track:

I went for the “underwater” interpretation of the theme. The end result is a sort of peaceful and relaxing composition that I thought worked well for what I imagined, that being a diver stumbling across and exploring some strange ruins, home to strange sea life never seen before.

Looking forward to hearing every body’s work. The past two contests had some really great entries, so this should be exciting!

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I haven’t participated in awhile, so here is a little something.

I spent an irresponsible amount of time on this during midterms lmao

I also went for a “mysterious deep sea” kind of vibe. Everyone’s is sounding great so far, hope a few more can join before the deadline!

On the photofinish, here’s my entry!

I’ll be done during today… Gonna trigger the voting probably tomorrow!
… 5 hours later: I’m done

I could have started already a few weeks ago since I had the idea in mind, but nooooo… This one is about manly sailing and firing cannons at others.

I found out that tremolopicking two strings is pretty hard…

Time to vote!

Pick top 6 (or 5 if you participated ;))

The most favored pick gets 6 points, second 5, and third 4 … . The voter gets 1 points for voting.

@Baiklzr entry is valid too - but to note for future, part of the fun is to meet the challenge/theme with the given short time frame.

Noted, thanks!

Awesome variety and unique tracks this month fellas, really enjoyed listening to them.

1. Evan Wardell: Nice composition Evan! Thought of a small crew crammed in one of those old tiny exploration submarines, in awe of all the exotic new species and sea life they discover, hastily jotting down notes and sketches. Also got a bit of a Pillars of Eternity vibe to it, which sealed the deal for me.

2. Avaruussaha: This nailed the “sailing” take on the theme for me, almost like struggling through a storm. I really liked the guitar work and the vocals were a nice touch.

3. Danilo Ciaffi: Got a Subnautica vibe from this one and gives that immersive ambient feel. The synth work really gives it that underwater flavor.

4. Baiklzr: Nice to see a written score. The track really kicks in around 20 seconds in for me and hits you with some surf rock into an almost medieval sounding closing, really unique and cool!

5. Metatron: Mellow and relaxing, perfect for an explore track. Really enjoyed the flute at 1:20 onward.

I know the contest it’s over and stuff… but I’ve just finished my theme. It has drifted quite far from how I imagined ocean theme, so I was not in hurry really… but I guess it’s worth sharing anyway?
https://soundcloud.com/re4der/gaze-from-below

I’m waiting for the next chance to compete with you guys!

Thanks, Tyler! I’ll admit, I haven’t actually played Pillars of Eternity before, but listening to the OST now I’m flattered to be compared to it :smiley:

And yeah wow, this month’s entries were super solid across the board! Here’re my votes:

1. Tyler Cunningham - There has been many a great track in these competitions since I started participating, but truth be told, this is the first one where I audibly said to myself, “holy shit, what samples are those?” That steel drum sounds so goddamn good (and is there a hand drum mixed in with that somewhere?), and you use it to start off such a nice texture. It evolves at a super organic pace; keeps enough things consistent to establish a consistent groove/feel, but always adds in just enough to maintain interest. The one thing I’d say is that I kinda wanna hear a bit more of the lower flute at its entrance around 0:32, but that’s cherrypicking as hell. Really well done.

2. Danilo Ciaffi - Really awesome, crystalline and enveloping sounds. I like the way that you use alternating panning on the delay/echos to create a sense of space (whether done manually or not). Also evolves very naturally, introduces some really interesting textures without feeling jarring when they come in; and while there’s not a whole lot of blatant melody to speak of, this is fine because it’s a feature that remains consistent, so the piece as a whole just gets to focus on developing its wonderful atmosphere.

3. Avaruussaha - Really fun piece, with a super solid guitar track at its core (I’m always very impressed with your recorded parts)! I’m glad you stuck it out with the two-string tremolo, because it sounds fucking awesome. The other voices/strings that come in add a nice variety to it, though I did finding myself wishing I could hear them a bit more!

4. MetatronLives - I love the sound palette you use, and the general atmosphere you create with it. It’s mixed well, and it gives off a great Chrono Trigger sort of vibe (especially with those MIDI choir voices, goddamn that brings back some memories). Would have probably appreciated a more melodic voice coming in somewhat sooner, though; doesn’t necessarily have to be as in your face as the flute part, but I think it’d help with making the whole piece feel a bit more cohesive!

5. Balkizr - Great piece! There are a lot of really fun ideas in there, and you string them together well in each section. As far as representing the sea, though, while I don’t think it can’t work, I do think there are some settings a bit more heavily implied by the styles; there’s a lot of pentatonic emphasis in the faster section, which tends to codify some sort of east Asian setting (not that they don’t have oceans!). And the more Baroque counterpoint in the end, while great, tends to imply some sort of regal setting (probably not helped by the fact that the Musescore guitar kind of just sounds like a harpsichord). Again, not that neither of these codes have any place near the ocean, it’s just that those associations would probably come first! (Maybe a water race in an Okami-esque game, and some story interaction between royalty on a boat level in a Fire Emblem title?)

And re4der, I guess I won’t rank you out of fairness, but just wanted to mention that I really enjoyed your piece! I can see the ways in which it might have, er, drifted haha, but I do think it could still work! There are definitely some elements that work for an underwater theme regardless, and I think the more tribal elements would just need to be justified by the rest of the setting (doesn’t sound too far off from something like a war tribe of naga in Vashj’ir in WoW, for example).

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Aaaalright, voting:

1 - Tyler: Very ABZU, definitely fits your setting. Is that ample sound cloudrum I hear? :stuck_out_tongue:
The tracks evolves smoothly and it has quite a hypnotic pace, very well done.

2 - Evan: The 3/4 gives a nice sense of waves and the texture is perfect to make the listener feel he’s floating. Very cinematic too!

3 - Avaruussaha: I get a really clear picture from this of people for whom the sea is home, sailing in a cloudy and cold bay. I was very positively surprised be he vocals.

4 - Metatron: Love the arpeggio getting lost in the distance, sounds static yet eerie and gives a nice sense of being deep under the sea.

5 - Baiklzt: The picture I have for this is to sail for an epic adventure in a sunny day, lots of uplifting and positive vibes.

I feel like i’m late to the party :smiley:
Really good stuff guys! =)

    1. TylerCunningham - Forgotten Depths
    1. Avaruussaha - Sails Ablaze
    1. Danilo Ciaffi - Underwater
    1. Evan Wardell - Drifiting Through the Abyss
    1. Metatron - Aegean Sea
    1. Baiklzr - Wisp of the Sea

Is that ample sound cloudrum I hear?

Oooo I was unaware of this resource, that’s one beautiful free instrument

Baiklzr - Wisp of the Sea
Theres this grande feeling on this, like sailing through waves with huge splashes. Until the mood changes completely, at least.

TylerCunningham - Forgotten Depths
Wow, the hang sounds great… What are you using for that? I can imagine diving among the jellyfish and corals while listening to this… Don’t touch anything though!

MetatronLives - Aegean Sea
Sounds cold but peaceful. Also sounds like theres something about the Aegean sea that casts this mood on it…

EvanWardell - Driftin Through the Abyss
The name fits very nicely. Feels slow and heavy, fitting to what I imagine deep underwater. Your stuff has so much interesting details once again its a bit hypnotic.

Danilo_Ciaffi - Underwater
I hear bubbles! When the bass joins it sounds very dark too, we are very deep… Kinda makes me think of Terraria, but underwater.

Re4der4d - Gaze From Below
Sounds quite dangerous, I kinda see this in the same ballpark as mine, cannons blazing and ships sinking. In this case I see galleys ramming each other and greek fire ruining the day for many unfortunate people.

5th: Re4der4d - Gaze From Below (you late-er!)
6th: Baiklzr - Wisp of the Sea
4th: MetatronLives - Aegean Sea
3rd: Danilo_Ciaffi - Underwater
2nd: EvanWardell - Driftin Through the Abyss
1st: TylerCunningham - Forgotten Depths

Heres the results. TylerCunningham took this one unanimously, such a nice piece it was!

I’m short on theme-ideas (I’m leaning on love/romance/something like that if nothing else pops in in Discord or here), so better start throwing ideas around in these threads again!

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Wouldn’t have it any other way, tbh. Congrats Tyler!

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Thanks fellas, for you guys wondering, the percussion instrument was a hang drum from Stormdrum 2 and wow that Cloudrum sounds great, had no idea about it!

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