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Scary discovery
by Chris H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2013 14:52:29

The music in this MP3 would work reasonably well under a short RPG scene in which the PCs make a “Scary Discovery.” A feeling of suspense and urgency permeates the track, but the track remains nonintrusive enough that it enhances rather than distracts from gameplay. The track does not appear to have been composed with looping in mind, however, and the fade-in and fade-out produce a gap of silence when you loop the track. On the negative side, if the titular discovery is scary, the metadata tags in this MP3 are downright terrifying. The album is given as “Album de geoffrey gerbou” and the track’s title is given as “original theme 2 jdr d”—the latter being particularly annoying because I wouldn’t think to search my iTunes library for “original theme 2 jdr d” to find a track that’s supposed to be called “Scary Discovery.” No artwork was embedded in the MP3 or included with the download, leaving the track with an ugly generic tile in iTunes or similar software. Sure, the track is only $1, but when you’re selling digital music at any price you should pay attention to industry conventions and user expectations, and you shouldn’t make it hard for your customers to use your product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Scary discovery
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Shot down in flames
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/26/2013 11:06:18

I should start this review by pointing out that I’m something of a philistine, where music is concerned. I don’t know anything about the technical aspects of music, and imperfectly deconstruct something that I’ve heard enough to discuss it in any sort of practical context. Please keep that in mind as you read this review.

“Shot Down in Flames” is an instrumental track that’s just over four minutes in length. It starts out slow, with a rhythmic, repeating “crackling” noise that could conceivably be the sound of flames. Minor keyboard notes complement this intro, conveying a generally unsettled tone as the track begins. It helps to evoke a sense of immediate but passive anxiety – the sort of sense you’d get if you found yourself stuck in a bad place or situation, but weren’t in immediate danger.

This changes fairly quickly though, as the music adds a quick beat to the mix, increasing the tempo considerably, along with a synthesizer at roughly the one minute mark. I had mixed feelings about those parts of the song, as they add a much more active element to the feelings the music evokes.

Presumably, this is trying to convey a sense of urgency, that there’s an imminent threat to your situation. I can appreciate this, but as the track continues, I can’t help but wish that it had let there been a longer build-up with the slower music first, to let the tension build over time. As it is, the music does let the tempo wind back down in the last twenty seconds, but at that point it’s for a noticeable fade-out, and lacks the earlier emphasis.

To be fair, the sense of heightened threat throughout the majority of the music is done fairly well, but the techno-sounding beat used to do it seems to undercut the keyboard used at the beginning. It does create a rising tension, but I can’t help but feel that a slower use of minor chords to unsettle the listener would have been more effective. Still, this does help to create the sense of a narrative, so I can’t find too much fault with the track.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shot down in flames
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Frozen blood
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/27/2013 06:16:44

Something spooky, technological perhaps, to play in the background during those creepy moments as deserted buildings or spacecraft are investigated...

... or something to play when writing such adventures, get those creative juices flowing!

I like custom background music, if I use it at all, because you don't distract your players by having them trying to identify a half-remembered track.

The tempo varies, slowing towards the end. Is it that you have found something... or is it that everyone's dead already?

Enjoyable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Frozen blood
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