JohnStacy

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About JohnStacy

  • Rank
    Eggplant Wizard (+50)
  • Birthday 12/09/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Canyon, Texas

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    www.johnstacy.net

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Logic
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Cinesamples, Default Logic Plugins, Fluid GM3
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Mixing & Mastering
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    French Horn
    Trombone
    Trumpet
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Jazz Improvization

Converted

  • Real Name
    John Stacy
  • Occupation
    Teacher/Freelance Jazz Performer
  • Facebook ID
    thejohnstacy

Recent Profile Visitors

754 profile views
  1. I used to be a big gamer, but that gradually then suddenly stopped at one point. The most recent game I played all the way through was Twilight Princess in 2006. I occasionally played Smash Bros Brawl on the Wii, but I had to borrow my sister's console, and then when I moved away from home I couldn't take it with me. I occasionally would play my gamecube and earlier games, but even then I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety, so I couldn't play for more than 20-30 minutes a week before I would feel extremely guilty and worthless for not being productive with my time. I eventually got help for that, and was treated for the depression and counseling for coping mechanisms for the anxiety, so things did get better. I never really went back to gaming. Occasionally I would visit my hometown and would play whatever games were more recent on my sister's consoles, but couldn't get into them. I played Metroid Prime 3 and was like...motion controls? What is this? And I couldn't make it past the first 10-15 minutes. Same with Skyward Sword. This last winter break I didn't have anything to do, started to feel burnt out of music, had just graduated college, and was unemployed waiting for places to call me back, so I decided to play through the N64 Zelda games. I played through Ocarina but didn't get through Majora before things started again and I couldn't continue. I'm almost one semester into graduate school and am not going to continue that degree. I'm feeling very burnt out of music and things at the moment, so I'm going in a different direction. I'm going to study japanese, and will play games in that language as I progress. However, I probably won't really try to play catch up with games I missed. I'll do some older ones, maybe some 2010 era ones, but not really many new ones. When it comes down it it, I see everybody playing Undertale and Overwatch and I just am not interested. I used to be a gamer...but not anymore. Not even close.
  2. Sonic Adventure kind of sucked from a production standpoint. Wife could never beat Big's storyline because it would keep crashing. I could never play Sonic heroes because of load errors. Would play the game, would get to a point, audio would cut out, then the game would give a load error screen. I recently played through the games from my childhood because I finally had free time to kill and I needed a break from music stuff, so I did Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and other games from 98-04, and they were much different this time around. For one, Odolwa from Majora's Mask suddenly became much more difficult than I remember it. I actually couldn't beat that boss and as a result I stopped my playthrough there, partially because I didn't want to continue and also because work was starting again. There were actually quite a few places in those games I never had trouble with when I was younger but suddenly couldn't get past like at all now that I'm older. Not sure what's up with that.
  3. The thing about it is that there is no answer to your question. On this website's database, the remixes of the theme are very conservative, not changing much from the original. Although I have heard other arrangements in other genres, there aren't many. Most of them are very conservative. There are several reasons why it could work and not work in other genres. For one, the rhythmic motives of the melody are pretty idiomatic to the commercial genres of music, rock, jazz and latin, so it works very well in those areas. Metal is a wildcard genre, as literally anything that doesn't swing works well in a metal setting. On the flip side of that, those rhythmic motives don't work well in many genres without sounding like a parody of that genre. This deals with idiomatic writing to various genres, and is the reason that things seem to work or not work in many genres. For example, take something from the swing era, particularly around 1940, and then arrange it in the style of Bach. Suddenly you can't have the swing, so the music loses quite a bit of the drive. You can't use a lot of the harmonic devices because they don't function in the same tonal aspect as they did during the common practice period. I was working on a smooth/acid jazz arrangement of the theme, but couldn't make it work. Part of that reason was the form of the original tune doesn't lend itself well to other genres outside of its original habitat; that is to say that it doesn't follow an AABA, AB, ABA, or any other form that is widely common in the genres you would want to go to. In order to make it work and sound idiomatic to the point that it could have been written in this new style just as well, there would be quite a bit of mangling of the form, and when you start doing things like that, the things that make Guile's theme what it is start to disappear. I have an argument that the joke that is Guile's Theme goes with everything is largely what it is because of the intro. Most of the time when I see one of those videos, I don't listen very far into the melody, I heard the intro, saw the joke, it was funny, I move on with my life. That intro is very distinct, and also falls into the pitfalls I mentioned above in regards to idiom. The rhythmic motif is basically exclusively idiomatic to the commercial genres, and it is very widely used in jazz and Latin music. When it comes to genre, there are expectations that are established when the genre becomes a definite entity. When you listen to rock, you expect a 4/4 time signature with a strong beat on the 2nd and 4th beats, and syncopation is not a key feature. Harmonic progressions are generally somewhat slow and not overly complicated, generally dealing with triads rather than extensions. Jazz is similar, where it has the strong off beats, however there is more syncopation and the beats are generally pushed by a half count in a lot of places, to give that forward feeling motion. Classical has none of these things, having emphasis on the down beats, generally little syncopation, and rhythmic figures that more evenly divide into subdivisions. To flatten out the rhythm of the intro causes weird things to happen, and it loses that distinct character. If you flatten out the rhythm of the whole tune, it loses the impact it has, and suddenly everything you do with it sounds like it isn't Guile's theme anymore. Essentially, you either have to be really conservative with the arrangement, or you suddenly end up being really liberal with it. When going from genre to genre, it is important to note that while a lot of things claim to be in a genre, the actually aren't. It isn't really apparent in genres that people generally deal with, such as rock, metal or EDM, for several reasons. For one, they have a strong familiarity with that genre because it's all they have ever dealt with for the most part, so it's kind of like speaking a native language. And since a lot of video game music that does genre hopping starts in a genre that is similar and shares a lot of genetic similarity, the work transitions well. For other things, like jazz or classical, there are many more stylistic nuances that aren't picked up by the arranger or performer, and although it "sounds" like that genre, an analysis of it ends up showing that it's basically gibberish, or more specifically like trying to write Japanese like this: あいらいくとぷらえだじゃずあんづろくむじく Ai raiku to purae da jazu andu roku mujiku. It "sounds" and "looks" like Japanese, but for somebody familiar to that language it doesn't mean anything. An example of this is the Godot theme from the Phoenix Wright series, everybody's like "AHH so jazzy so cool" but if you analyze it, it actually falls into a genre that is better described as anti-jazz. But it sounds jazzy, so people think it's jazz. Same thing when I see people do a "classical" remix of something where it ends up being an epic orchestral version. Yes, it uses an orchestra and no electronics, but it is in no way classical because it doesn't follow the conventions of the mid to late 18th century. In conclusion, while Guile's theme does go with everything for the reasons that have been mentioned above in regards to tempo, it does not go into every genre. That is to say that the theme as we know it does not retain its character when put into different genres, sometimes to the point that it is no longer recognizable. Unless there is a lot of work done to make the tune work in a new genre, it may end up sounding to somebody familiar with that genre like the Japanese comparison I made above. In a new genre with just an attempt to make it "sound" like it works: あいらいくとぷらえだじゃずあんづろくむじく In a new genre with an attempt to follow the stylistic nuances, but still trying to make it "sound" like it works 愛雷くとぷらえだ邪案緑麦く In a new genre following the conventions and nuances of the new style: 私はジャズやロックミュージックを好きです。 It may not sound like the original at the point, but at least it will be stylistically true.
  4. In Sonic Adventure DX (the Gamecube port of Sonic Adventure) there was one level in Eggman's base/city thing that took me forever to beat just because it was so glitchy. There were so many places in that level where I would fall through platforms or walls, then have to start over because I would run out of lives. It wasn't a hard level, so to speak, but for whatever reason, it had to be done *perfectly* or you would fall through a surface due to poor collision detection.
  5. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate your sincerity in what you write. I'm a little confused by this. I'm not being specific with my genre that much, because jazz is extremely wide to begin with, including swing, Latin, funk, and many other subgenres. One of the things I keep seeing is that you need to be a group that does something well and then can venture off, and the reason this band doesn't work is because it's a bunch of jazz musicians being told by their leader to play all these different songs from other genres by just giving us chord changes and nothing else. A lot of those genres don't work with a live brass section unless it's arranged that way. If all the brass players are just making up a part, it doesn't work coherently. If I were to just do jazz stuff, then it's people who are doing what they're good at drawing from an already impressively large body of music that is designed to work with this instrumentation. It's also that I'm not wanting challenge by the music to improve as a musician, that's not my goal. I play it for fun too, and enjoy playing. It's what I want to do for my living because it's so much fun. But when you're playing the same lick over and over and over, and that is not even fun to play, also referring back to the main problem of this band is that we aren't just jamming on stage, we're noodling to create our own parts and it doesn't work. There are solo opportunities, but it needs organization. There's no lack of effort to fix mistakes here, we legitimately don't know what our mistakes are beyond "hey that didn't sound good." Models for this kind of thing are Postmodern Jukebox and bands like that that are strictly jazz ensembles that play pop music, which is what I think we're trying to be but can't do that because of lack of arrangements. If I started my own group, I wouldn't do hard stuff just for the sake of being a challenge and improvement. When you have musicians playing at their level and they can put a lot into it because it isn't just solid whole notes or the same lick over and over and over, that enthusiasm comes out in the performance and the audience enjoys it better. Sorry if it seems like I'm picking apart your advice. It has, however, given me a new perspective and a new way of looking at it that is encouraging. Maybe I am wrong, and I am driven in this group by improvement and not playing for fun, and maybe I need to just roll with it. Thank you for your thoughts.
  6. EDIT: Please don't say "Move somewhere else." I can't do that for another year at the earliest. I live in a small town outside of Amarillo, Texas called Canyon. For reference, Amarillo has about 200,000 people, canyon has about 30,000, so it's not that big compared to say Houston, LA, New York or any other large city like that, but it is big enough to have 4 high schools, a professional symphony orchestra and choir, a 4-year state university, and other things like that. However, the music scene is also the size you would expect from a city this size. Due to being in Texas, country, Tejano, and pop music are king, meaning that even if the quality isn't that good, people will eat it up just because it's the music they are used to hearing. There is a slightly smaller rock scene, which is still very popular, but jazz, which is my area of performance is very small. Because of this, there are a few small jazz ensembles that play around the area for private parties and bars, I'm in one of them, and the other is pretty well established in the area. I am thinking of leaving the group I'm in, but am hesitant. This group is virtually the only performance opportunity I get currently. The gigs I get with this group are nice and can pay one or two bills, but I am worried about staying with this group. For one, the leader is, let's say in a different place than he used to be, and has a history that has yet to follow him here, and if it does follow him I'm worried that the association will kill my professional reputation. For another, the group is very disorganized. The biggest part is that we aren't a specific type of band. In one 4 hour gig, we will play some Frank Sinatra, some 1950s Jamaican pop music, some American pop music from the 2010s and later, some 1940s swing, some Beatles, etc. The problem with this is that although we are a jazz instrumentation (piano, bass, guitar, drums, 4 wind instruments, and a singer), we play all these different styles on the same set, and most of it doesn't work because we aren't a rock band playing music in rock style, or a world music band playing music from around the world, we're a jazz band modeled after the swing bands of the 1940s trying to play all those styles in their original forms with no arrangement (basically trying to take these genres and literally shove them into a shape that they don't fit). We don't generally have rehearsals, just show up at the gigs and play, using chord sheets which just have the chords of the music. No words, no melody, no nothing. Which, despite the fact that the 2 "leader" wind players (myself and a saxophone) are adept jazz musicians and the other two are less experienced (one is a community college student and the other is a Mariachi player who can somewhat do jazz), it ends up that we have 4 people just noodling and playing random stuff that sounds too busy. Any attempts at using written out arrangements have failed due to the singer changing them enough that they can't be used anymore during performance, so most of the time it's like...okay we know what key we're in, but other than that it's a complete wildcard what will actually happen in performance. This has led to many performances that to somebody who knows anything about music sound horrible and are an embarrassment, but since we play to crowds of people who literally don't know anything about music, they're like..."wow this sounds amazing." Ex members of this band, including one of the founding members actually can't get hired on their own at the venues we've played in because of the reputation they've gotten from the group, which is bad because for some of them, music is one of their main sources of income and their market is shrinking. I have tried to start my own group, doing a more specialized kind of thing, where we do something like Postmodern Jukebox, but I can't get good musicians without paying them, and I can't get hired to play anywhere because the places have never heard the band perform, and because of that it's a cycle that is really hard to break. As I am now I can't afford to pay them without a place hiring the group and paying the group, which is how a lot of things work around here to begin with. For the most part, people think they want jazz, but then when actual jazz is playing, they ignore it or are annoyed by it (which is a consistent thing with the band I'm in now), but when we do pop stuff from today, even if it sounds bad, suddenly people are like..."wow this band is really good and I want to dance to this." Which is great. They like that kind of music. I am not the kind of musician that does that. I'm not a guitar player, and don't have time to learn guitar well enough to produce a quality performance on it due to going to school and having a job full time. I also feel like I'm not being pushed at all. I'm not getting any kind of challenge, nor do I have to think to play these gigs. There's very little musical reward because the performances aren't good, there is no arrangement value, and most of the time I can literally play whatever I want and nobody will notice. The OCRemix community is about as big as the town of Canyon where I currently live. What do you think I should do? Should I leave the group and try to form my own group again, basically biding my time until I move away from this area in a year? Or should I just power through it and just deal with any reputation problems that come from association with the group leader and name? I'm a little hesitant because although the performance experience is not rewarding, challenging, or otherwise worth it at all, I'm scared to go a whole year without any performance opportunities. Thank you for reading this.
  7. Thank you for feedback, I'll apply things soon! The tuning thing at :52 I'm not picking up on, maybe I'm just missing it. I think some of the issues here are mainly a problem where what I was going for isn't executed well. The trills for example, are just straight eighth notes put through a delay to sound like a wash of sound. It was a way to make a cluster, not a trill. The groups of 5 were actually delayed differently, triplet delay for the top part, dotted eighth for the second, so on like that. What do you think I can do to make it sound more like a cluster of sound and less like a badly executed trill? At 1:31, that note was intentionally changed to work with the harmony I was going for there, I tried to make the original note work as an extension, but it sounded wrong. The delay thing I will definitely fix. It won't take much work to make that happen. Reverse delay effect in the end is another problem with execution. I was going for the same wash of sound that happened earlier, however, I don't have a delay plugin that works with tempo changes. The tempo change at the end is very slight, but it's enough to make the plugin feedback. Do you have suggestions of how I can fix this? I want a delay that can use tempo information so I can stagger it like I did earlier, but also one where it won't feedback so hard. The reason it cuts off is because the feedback is a very weird 1960s B sci fi movie kind of sound effect, and I'm not digging that, so I automated the volume to drop instantly at the end of the note. If you can point me in the way of such a plugin, that would probably fix the above problem as well. Thank you for your feedback!
  8. Each time you borrow a chord, it's a specific sound and context that it works best. Generally, when you use a borrowed chord it is to suit that context. For example, using a tritone substitution to go from something like Dm7-G7-C could be substituted as Dm7-Db7-C. You could apply that any time you had what would be a 5-1 movement, but it wouldn't sound right in many different places. The same thing goes for things like a lowered 6 degree, like having an Ab chord in the key of C. It sounds nice, but if you just throw it in there without wanting that particular sound, it will just sound weird. Basically, know all the borrowed chords you can, know what they sound like to the point that you can recognize them without thinking when listening to things, then use them in places where you think that kind of sound would work well, and also where it can still make sense.
  9. Bump. I am sorry to bump, but it has been a month with no evaluation, and I'm not sure what do to here. Please forgive me.
  10. Please forgive me, but could you clarify your post? I'm having difficulty parsing your meaning.
  11. I did a lot of experimentation with what I could do with foreground/background sounds. 2:22-2:33 is supposed to be background stuff. Should I make it more distinct? I could clean up the reverb a bit, possibly spread it out a little with panning. Thank you for your thought.
  12. In 2010 I started work on a video game. It was going to be a SNES game made in the same style as Tales of Phantasia. The visual style was going to be similar as far as environments and backgrounds go, but the character and enemy designs would be done differently. For this game, I had a synopsis completed that was actually somewhat solid. I had a small team that would work on the project. We were all dedicated and would work in our free time, since we were also young and money wasn't the biggest problem yet. I had myself working on writing, music, and sound design. My sister, who is a professional artist would do character and enemy design, as well as a little bit of other visual assets. I had two other artists who would do other visual assets. I had 3 programmers, and a few other people. The team wasn't the biggest, but it was a little smaller than the team that worked on Super Mario World. We also weren't aiming to make a game really quickly. It would be a process we worked on over 5-10 years, since it was on a volunteer basis and used as a fun project to learn new things about game design. My sister had already worked on manga, and did work in that style, so this would be a project in animation. The programmer had already worked on games before, and is actually a successful game designer now. At the time he had only worked in small scale 2d and 3d games, but never a large scale 2d game. I had never done a full soundtrack. The project was declared a failure when the team left the project. It wasn't apathy that killed it, the people were dedicated. It was things like having to take on a second job because of hard times, taking on more responsibility at school, other things like that. The team gradually thinned out until it was just my sister and I. At that point, I started two side projects that would allow development to still happen and things to be done, but not directly in the development of a video game. I would flesh out the story and add much more detail, to make it able to stand on its own. I would convert the story into a novel and a manga. As I got to writing, the story stopped making sense since there were suddenly a lot of holes to fill in. For example, the journey from one side of the world to the other took a while in game time, but only a sentence in novel form, and was very dull and uninteresting. By converting it into a novel, the story changed significantly and I started to enjoy where it was going. However, there was suddenly a huge hole in the middle because what was there originally no longer made sense. It is here that I got stuck, and I haven't touched the story much since 2014. What I have here is the prologue from the novel. If I fill in the gaps, I could finish this novel somewhat quickly, however, lack of time, motivation, and other things have caused it to fall into the land where things never get finished. I am posting the prologue here to see two things. One, if my writing is worth anything, and also to see if people would be interested in continuing reading. If you are interested, message me and I'll send you more to read. Click here to read a pdf of the prologue. Thank you for reading this long write up, and also if you chose to read the prologue. I am open to suggestions if you have any thoughts as to what I should do with it.
  13. It's also worth bringing up that the playing field is equal, however, some DAWs do some things better than others. Most of them do different areas of functionality well, and some areas very well. Reason I bring this up, I have used Logic since 2011, and am switching to Reaper. Logic does really good midi work, and Reaper does not as good midi work, this is something that quite a few people agree with. However, I'm moving away from using midi altogether. If I use it, it'll be very limited in scope, since I'm moving to using live musicians much more often than I used to. Reaper is better about working with audio than Logic is. I come to this conclusion at the suggestion of people, and also by my own experimentation. So, it really depends on what you are wanting to do, how you manage your workflow, and which DAW does which things better.
  14. 99%+ certain that it cannot be used as a VST. It is a standalone DAW. It isn't free. There is a 60 day trial period that you can evaluate it for, after which you would have to purchase it. However I have heard that the trial period doesn't actually run out as far as the program is concerned. You can save stuff and come back to it later. Basically, if you could use it as a VST, I don't know why you would want to, since you would have to spend a bit of time learning how to use it, and then you would have a lot of redundant functionality. Switching to Reaper from Logic, currently.
  15. I'll take people who can contribute somehow or another. I'll also take a trumpet player. Won't object to one.