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Everything posted by Moseph

  1. Depending on exactly what bottlenecks you're running into, you may find that putting more RAM into a single machine is a more cost effective solution than VE Pro. 8 gigs isn't that much if you're doing a lot of heavy duty stuff.
  2. Just relistened to the Phantom Menace score today and I prefer the Force Awakens score. Rey's theme is one of my favorite bits of Star Wars music in any of the movies. While actually watching the movie, every time I specifically paid attention to the score, my thought was "Yeah, this sounds like Williams and I love it and it works really well." And it only just now occurred to me that most of Williams' fantasy/adventure scores are actually too florid for my taste -- Force Awakens is all the things I like about his music without any of the things I don't.
  3. Lemur (iOS/Android). Lets you design music-focused touchscreen interfaces using both drag-and-drop and -- for more advanced users -- a fairly robust scripting language. It produces both MIDI and OSC output, and the latency even over WiFi is low enough that you can use it as a MIDI controller for recording. Pair it with Pure Data (Win/Mac/Linux), a Max-style visual programming language that accepts both MIDI and OSC input, for even more fun.
  4. At the start of the fight between Kylo Ren and Rey, I thought for a moment that Rey was accidentally holding her lightsaber upside-down as she activated it, and I was like . I like how Kylo Ren's lightsaber is slightly more flamey-looking with a less cleanly defined edge than normal lightsabers. Really nice visual touch.
  5. Watched the movie yesterday not having seen any of the trailers or knowing much about the story or characters at all. I was pleasantly surprised by how restrained the whole thing felt compared to the prequel trilogy. No Duel of the Fates in the score, no massive space battles, no over-the-top lightsaber fights, no needlessly convoluted story threads, and no one building secret bases in lava biomes just for the hell of it. Still not sure how I feel about the direct parallels between VII and IV, but the idea that the trilogies are supposed to reflect one another in themes and story arcs was already established by Lucas in the prequel trilogy, so I'm entirely willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt on this one.
  6. Oh man, the Ircam Tools bundle is on sale this week. Maybe Mom will let me move back in.
  7. Cool toys are their own reward. At least, that's what I tell myself.
  8. NB: I have never used either library. Judging by the descriptions the ProjectSAM site gives of the patches each includes, it looks like OE1 contains mostly patches that blend each section's instruments together -- workhorse ensemble patches in both long and short articulations without solo patches -- while OE2 has mostly patches with smaller and more eclectic blends (low bassoon with piano and harp, horns with trombones in octaves, etc.) -- stuff that can add detail and color but that might be difficult to construct a satisfying orchestral texture with on its own. OE1 seems to be designed for broad strokes of orchestral color, and OE2 seems to be a grab-bag of more specific instruments and instrument blends that don't necessarily have a lot of articulations each. I think the difference can be illustrated fairly clearly by looking at what each library gives you for strings. OE1 has: Real Legato Violins with Flutes unison -- a common doubling used for melodies Real Cellos with Basses -- a common doubling used for basslines String Ensemble Arco (sustained notes) -- important articulation String Ensemble Staccato -- another important articulation String Ensemble Tremolo -- another important articulation String Ensemble Pizzicato -- still another important articulation String Ensemble Cinematic Effects -- stuff for color and pizzazz OE1 gives you a functional string section with all the important articulations, plus legato doublings that accentuate melody and basslines. OE2 has: String Ensemble Sordino -- strings played with mutes; not a super-common technique Violins Flageolet -- harmonics; not super-common Violas with Cellos Ponticello Tremolo -- glassier-sounding tremolo in a doubling that keeps it away from both the melody and the bassline String Ensemble Fast Crescendo -- articulation for special cases String Ensemble Textures -- color and pizzazz String Ensemble Effects -- more color and pizzazz String Ensemble Effects (speed control) -- still more color and pizzazz OE2 has a bunch of special case stuff that can't be used to build a functional standard string section. It's stuff you might want if you already have a basic string section and want to flesh it out with less common blends and playing techniques. For what it's worth, this is not an uncommon way to divide content across libraries. VSL and Cinesamples have libraries that do this, too. They give you the workhorse stuff in volume 1, and volume 2 has the obscure articulations and/or the more niche patches.
  9. Somewhat related to Neblix's post, I find the libraries I use most often are the ones I spent $500+ on -- not because I think oh man, I need to get my money's worth but because those libraries weren't impulse buys and I bought them because I already knew I would use them.
  10. Your RAM needs will depend almost entirely on what samples you're using and the way you're using them. You'll likely be fine with 8 if you aren't loading lots of articulations on several large multi-mic libraries at the same time. If, however, you're trying to build something like an orchestral template out of high-end libraries, you'll want as much RAM as you can get.
  11. In brief, if you're performing live, it's the venue's responsibility to pay for licensing. If you're releasing recorded covers, getting a license (known as a mechanical license) is your responsibility and is typically done through a third-party -- dunno how well represented VGM is with it, but generally in the US the Harry Fox Agency/Songfile would be a good first place to check. If it's not in their database, there are other companies that can get you a mechanical license. I don't, however, have any personal experience with the acquisition of mechanical licenses, so I can't give details on the process.
  12. And in rare cases (e.g. EastWest) a student license prohibits you from commercial use of the software. Definitely read the EULA before purchasing a student license.
  13. I really wish 2010 Moseph had actually gotten around to doing that Schenkerian analysis of the Mario 1-1 music ...
  14. Sample Logic has a marching drums library called Rumble, though it's a bit pricey ($299 MSRP).
  15. If it won't interrupt your workflow too badly, you might consider freezing or bouncing tracks that you've already completed so the samples can be unloaded to free RAM. PLAY also has a feature to unload samples that haven't been triggered since the session start (or since hitting an associated reset button) that can help free up RAM from individual instruments without actually freezing/bouncing. It's found under Main Menu > Advanced Instrument Properties > Sample Purge. These might work at least as stopgaps until you get more RAM.
  16. I like the way Dark Souls conveys its story because the lore is suitably sophisticated and engaging but the gameplay itself is mostly about exploration and combat and isn't bogged down with extensive story/dialog nonsense like most RPGs are. I find it to be both satisfying storytelling and satisfying gameplay, whereas a lot of RPGs try to integrate the two more directly and end up weakening both. Unlike in many other video games, I've never felt at any point in a Souls game like the narrative was trying to convey something that would have been better conveyed by a movie or book. I disagree. I tend to prefer movies that tell stories this way, at least in part because they engage me in the story rather than asking me to sit passively and absorb it. Working out what Mulholland Drive was about was one of the most fulfilling movie experiences I've ever had.
  17. Right, and judging both by the Souls games' continuing reputations as very difficult games and by the pride Souls players generally take in their hard-won boss victories, it's pretty clear to me that having the option to substantially reduce the challenge of bosses hasn't cheapened the boss fight experience for those who choose not to exercise that option. It's a beautifully organic way of allowing players to, in effect, set a difficulty level.
  18. I've never summoned anyone for boss fights in Dark Souls. It would feel too much like giving up. In that respect, I guess, it doesn't seem like a problem to me that assistance might make a boss fight extremely easy, because it seems to me like the whole point of the assisted boss fight mechanic is to allow people to get through frustrating, progress-blocking sections of the game in a fun way that fits with the benefit-from-the-experience-of-others theme that's already present in the message system.
  19. So, the Samplemodeling alto sax can get reasonably close to the sax in that Megaman video. Takes a bit of work, obviously. Samplemodeling sax playing the video's sax line (in isolation) Samplemodeling sax (on left) with the video's sax (on right) EDIT: And just for fun, here's the same thing played with the Cakewalk TTS-1, which is not multisampled. I believe the TTS-1 uses the same samples as the Roland SC-55 sound module. Cakewalk TTS-1 playing the video's sax line (in isolation)
  20. The Firelink Shrine music in DS1 is one of my favorite pieces of music from a video game. Also one of the least bombastic pieces of music in the game.
  21. By extended harmony, I mean a major, minor, diminished, or augmented chord that has additional thirds stacked up on top of it, with the numbers representing the intervals above the root (for example, the BbM7(9) from the above track is Bb D F A C). And unextended harmony is just the basic three-pitch chord with no additions. The notation conventions for these extensions vary a bit depending on whom you talk to, but generally: if min, mi, or m is specified, the unextended chord is minor a plus sign, aug, or #5 means the unextended chord is augmented a minus sign, dim, or mb5 means the unextended chord is diminished if there is no min/aug/dim etc. then the unextended chord is major if maj or M is specified, the 7 is a major seventh interval over the root, otherwise it's a minor seventh 9 is assumed to be a major ninth; a minor ninth is written as b9, and an augmented ninth is #9 11 is assumed to be a perfect eleventh; an augmented eleventh is written as #11 13 is assumed to be a major thirteenth; a minor thirteenth is written as b13 listing an extension implies that all the lower extensions are also present; if not, add is included before the extension (e.g. Cadd#11 is C E G F#) if the bass note is not the root of the chord, the bass note is written after a slash (e.g. C7/G is C E G Bb with G in the bass) So CM13 would be C E G B D F A; Cmi13 would be C Eb G Bb D F A; C13(#11) would be C E G Bb D F# A; Cmi7addb13/Eb would be C Eb G Bb Ab with Eb in the bass; and so forth. In classical music, these chord extensions were considered dissonant, and they were generally approached and left by step because doing so makes the dissonance "make sense" in that it is both led into by and resolved into notes that are not so dissonant against the underlying unextended harmony. And the song in the OP specifically doesn't do this, which draws attention to the dissonance. I think the F-C-F jump in particular is important to the overall sound of the example both because it's emphasized through repetition and because the way in which it's dissonant -- that is, the extension that it forms over the chord -- and the specific notes in the gesture that form the dissonance are different in the repetition from in the original. So when you hear it a second time, it's still dissonant, but it's dissonant in a different way. It's the old trick of recontextualizing a melodic figure, which is an effective compositional approach in pretty much every kind of music.
  22. The overpowered Estus Flask issue actually stems from the fast-travel/map design issue, because in the first game, until pretty late when you finally get limited fast-travel, the bonfire you're at is the bonfire you're stuck at, and if you want more Estus charges you have to expend your valuable humanity resources to kindle the fire. This mechanic wouldn't have worked at all in DS2, because you could just have warped back to whatever bonfire you'd kindled to get the extra Estus charges (as you can do from linked bonfires later in DS1). So instead, DS2 has a permanent Estus Flask upgrade system, which removes the resource management and response to individual bonfire situations that were part of the DS1 system and replaces them with a treasure hunt for upgrades that end up overpowering you for many of the individual bonfire sections. IMO, it's a step backwards in terms of game design.
  23. Currently playing through DS2 for the first time and thoroughly enjoying it, though even at 40 hours in I'm not entirely sold on the minor mechanical changes compared to the first one. The simplification of the humanity system and the ability to fast-travel anywhere at any time feel like attempts to make the game more accessible and, in the latter case, a way of dealing with a map that isn't as creatively laid out or self-connected as the first game's. And I already have so many Estus Flask charges and heal-over-time items that dying because I just didn't have the resources to heal myself after combat really isn't a thing at all, which feels weird to me given that it was a constant concern for me in the first game. Maybe I'm just better at Dark Souls the second time through. In any event, I've no doubt that DS3 will be fantastic. AngelCityOutlaw, I'm pretty sure that's stock trailer music and not game music. Gotta love the really exposed use of EWQL Symphonic Choirs at the start!
  24. Composers, like CG artists, face the uncanny valley when attempting to simulate realism. Things that are heavily stylized and/or clearly fake are often less off-putting than things that strive for realism but only partially achieve it. How far it's worth pursuing simulated realism -- assuming your work isn't dictated by a client's needs -- is a question of the extent to which you view the pursuit of realism as an artistic goal in itself. Personally, I'm fascinated by the pursuit of a technically unachievable goal, I'm interested in the technology driving that pursuit, I enjoy the challenge, and I think that grappling with the musical and philosophical issues raised by simulated realism has made me a better musician, or at very least a better listener and audio-editor. (Helps, of course, that I also have enough disposable income to overcome a lot of the cost barriers.) Your mileage may vary, of course.
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