Gario

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About Gario

  • Rank
    Judge
  • Birthday 06/17/1985

Profile Information

  • Location
    Vagabond in the Southern California region

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Reason
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Piano
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Percussion

Contact Methods

  • Skype
    TheGreatGario
  • AIM
    TheGreatGario

Converted

  • Real Name
    Greg Nourse
  • Occupation
    Math teacher / Music Theorist / Construction Superviser / Electrical Engineer

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  1. Oh, that sounds interesting. Well, let's see what happens - at the end of the day this ISN'T an OCR submission, so if you can justify your stuff then you might be able to get away with it. I just know what has qualified before, so there ya go.
  2. Well if it helps contextualize this a bit, take a listen to some of the past competitions on here (like 2010 & 2011), and check out how they integrated the sources. Also, while not strictly called for, a good rule of thumb on handling the sources would be to pretend you're writing it for OCR - that is, make sure either of the sources are recognizeable for at least 50% of the track (either in the background or front & center). In 2011, for example, I did a funky arrangement where I pulled from plenty of alternative sources (including Schala, for shits and giggles) - but I made sure the sources I needed to include were there for at least 50% of the track. I'm certain if you want to do some more original writing you'd be alright as long as there's about half of your arrangement where people can recognize the sources somewhere. Aside from that, go nuts - whether the source is in the background over something more original or if the sources are more front and center, as long as they're there. Just realize that this is being voted on by regular people and not necessarily judges, for better or worse, so I suggest not being TOO subtle with your sources. If people feel like you're not really arranging the sources and instead going on your own rail that could impact the vote (even if you can prove that you're subtly using the sources). Of course, time stamping in here wouldn't hurt your chances if you feel it's pretty subtle, so hey. Hope that helps a bit!
  3. Mmm, I'm lovin' the energy in here - glad I'm participating this year. TBH I haven't seen people getting excited for one of these like this in a while, so maybe we'll have some really full brackets to vote on next week. Can't wait to see which RM I'm gettin' next week, seeing that mine is contested with another user on here. Well, if I don't get Windman maybe I'll be matched against the person that does get it - would be pretty funny if that happened.
  4. This one is in a funny place - we did an evaluation for this album about a year ago, and at that time there were seven tracks, of which 6 were of good quality / close to postable (and three were already OCR postable in their state). Only one song was rejected outright. If someone else is willing to take the mantle and give the album a nice little push over the edge (get 2-3 people to finish their tracks) then this could still make a nice little EP in a very short amount of time. If anyone wants to take it, send me a PM and I'll work it out from there, getting more staff permission, etc. It's definitely looking like Touchstone is a no-show at this point, so I'll do what I can to make the transition as easy as possible.
  5. I'm intrigued. I'll listen to it when I can have an hour to focus on it.
  6. Sounds like the people have spoken - bumpity bump it a week, if that's what's necessary.
  7. Gario

    Castlevania Season 2 Cometh

    First season is a great series of pilot episodes (four in total) for a potentially great show - which is probably the first season's greatest weakness. It sets up to be something great with excellent animation, solid character building for all of it's characters and some great action in short bursts, then it's over before it can actually do something amazing with that set-up. You don't have to be into the game series at all to enjoy the episodes, either, as it does a solid job building it's world in it's own right. It might in fact be a reason gamers have mixed reception to this - it actually takes time to acclimate it's non-gamer audience, where the gamers would probably rather spend in the damn castle. Finishing your analogy, it approaches a climax with some excellent foreplay, but then it never gets there, which blue-balls you for a whole year before the next season comes. But yeah, go watch the first season - it's a great pilot opening, about as long as a short movie, and shorter than the Ducktales' pilot series of episodes. Then be pumped for the next season, since this is where shit is gonna get real, boyz. Considering they're only making eight episodes for this season (iirc), I doubt the quality will suffer; they've had plenty of time to spend on a relatively short series.
  8. Hey @DarkeSword if we get 15 people in on this you should fill in the last slot to participate, too. It'd be a pretty fun change of pace, and I'd personally be interested in your take on this thing. I mean, sure, you probably don't have time... but I don't buy it! I ain't got time for it either, and I'mma make time for a few hours in a week to give this some attention. Give this one some personal attention!
  9. Quick(ish) note about the uncanny valley: if you work toward a realistic sound and you can only get kind of close to it, it's worse than having something that sounds intentionally fake. The concept as applied to visual appeal is that psychologically the more human something robotic appears the more appealing it is (since the human features pop out, give more familiarity). However, if the robot is close to looking human without being exactly human, the brain instead focuses on the robotic features that make the otherwise human features look... unsettling. Get too close to your goal and the brain focuses on what's wrong rather than what's right with the image. This concept does apply to samples in some fashion (though for different reasons) - if you're pushing for realism and can't quite achieve it near perfectly, the listener will more easily notice what isn't right. If the instruments sound like they're supposed to be "fake", the listener will acknowledge this and instead focus on how they sound in the arrangement in their own right. Similar concept to above. It's... more of a speculation on my part, to be honest, but I've found that getting close to what you want without actually getting there can be worse than going for something different (even if fake), but doing it solidly. It's easier on a budget to make synths, chips, etc. sound great than it is to do this with sampled instruments, so often for free instrument and sample users I advise utilizing these kinds of instruments. It helps give a solid foundation as far as learning how to mix, avoid production errors, basic arrangement practice, etc., prior to learning how to make simulated instruments sound as realistic as possible. Just my two cents on that topic, because it coincidentally perks my interests.
  10. Yeah, it's legit one of my favorite MM songs to arrange; it has a lot of potential for expansion, with it's constant mixture of major & minor. Here's hoping I get more than one arrangement out of this compo, too (assuming I get Wind Man, of course).
  11. Alright, so sorry for taking so long to get to this after your request, Audiomancer; work has given me little space to work with. EVAL Dragonquest - a classic series that doesn't get enough love, that's for sure. I'll say this first: for the most part, the production is fairly good. The mixing is generally where it needs to be, and I don't hear too much crowding, so nice work on that. The arrangement would probably cause some issues for an OCR submission, since this sounds like two very different songs put together rather than a single, cohesive experience, and I don't think the songs are expansive enough to count as individual arrangements in their own right (really just playing through one loop of the source each, if I'm not mistaken). I hate to come down on instrument quality since understandably not everyone has the money to fork for better instruments, but I can't deny that many of the instruments in this are too low quality to pass the panel. The organ is pretty solid, the choir can work and the square waves are... well, square waves (they're fine), but the other instruments definitely felt low quality. One can still make them work with a LOT of envelope manipulation (e.g. automating the attack, delay, reverb, levels, etc., to make them sound more "real"), but it would be crushingly difficult to do so. What you have here is really cool, but it's difficult to write orchestral music with cheap or free instruments. It's not impossible (Darkesword does a pretty good job with free soundfonts, iirc), but it's very tough, so be prepare to learn how to automate the envelopes of your samplers in order to get the most out of your instruments, if you want to keep going down this route. Alternatively, you can take a more hybrid approach (which is how I like to do things, personally), and utilize more synths and such - make something sound intentionally fake rather than emulating reality. More than one way to approach this, but yeah, if the arrangement didn't hold this back the instrument quality would get this rejected on the panel. Again, though, the production quality (clipping, mixing, etc.) is pretty good here, so I think you show off some solid skills with this. This wouldn't pass on the panel, but it does help illuminate what does and doesn't work, as well as why. I do hope to hear more from you sometime, even if it isn't this track, per se. Hope this helps!
  12. HMM... I really do want to go for this. It's an oldschool tournament-style knockout compo, which I can appreciate, and more Megaman music under my belt isn't a BAD thing... Eh, what the hell, let's do this - worst case scenario I really can't muster the capability to make anything competitive I'll just get knocked out, I suppose, so this tourney format works in my favor. My computer doesn't handle my DAW very well anymore, so it's been tough to make as texturally rich music as I'd like. Excuses, excuses... Welp, here's my picks: 1. Wind Man 2. Cloud Man 3. Tornado Man ... Got a bit of a theme goin', here. Also, curious why the Megaman & Bass Robot Masters aren't included in the list this time - they were allowed prior. I suspect you might've just forgotten about 'em, Darkesword.
  13. Hey, I saw THX post that on Facebook. Pretty neat, and a great example of alleatoric music (a.k.a. chance music). You just look at that score and you can tell exactly how it's going to sound - a mess of sound that swings down/inward, then slides into a big, broad chord. Not something you'd think has a score, but then you realize that, yeah, they would've had to have some sort of performance in order to achieve that sound. Cool stuff.
  14. Gario

    2. ready for review Zelda (NES) - Dungeon

    EVAL Hey, I remember this one from the Meat & Potatos compo - I even gave it some praise, though I didn't believe it followed the spirit of the compo due to how liberal it was. For an OCR submission, though... Let's go through the good, first: the production is quite good on this! The crunchy percussion, the gating, the well mixed synths, etc., it all blends well, it's all easy to hear and distinguish, and overall it's quite pleasant to the ear. I mentioned before and I'll say it again, the variations on the theme are quite cool, too - lots of chord changes to keep things recognizable and yet familiar... periodically. While the composition has a lot of cool ideas, there are two things that do hold this back, as far as chances on the panel are concerned. Firstly, while for some portions the source is easy enough to hear, a lot of this (likely over 50% of the track) really deviates to the point where the source is impossible to hear, outside of the shape of the texture in the background. A rule of thumb that's often followed is if the source is clearly present for at least 50% of the track, and from a glance I'd suspect that this arrangement doesn't pass on that front. You MIGHT be able to make a case here, if you give some timestamps where the source is used, so if you feel I'm missing something then put out a timestamp and I can evaluate what you're talking about - I've seem minds change as far as source usage is concerned, but without a timestamp and an argument this'll probably be turned down on those grounds. The second issue that hold this back is the flow of the arrangement. As far as form goes, the track doesn't seem to have much direction or sense of beginning or end. The chords used, while great in isolation, don't make too much sense in sequence. This is a hard thing to "fix", though - considering it's so integral to an arrangement I can't give any suggestion that doesn't really come to "rewrite the piece". I'd say this'll probably get to the panel (well, it WILL get to the panel, I do the inboxing, lol) and get rejected, but I suggest making a timestamp to justify source usage and sending it off, anyway. While I have some issue with the flow of the arrangement, others might not, and if you can convince the panel that the track indeed uses enough source with a time stamp then you might have a shot on the panel. A long shot, sure, but a shot nonetheless. Best of luck!
  15. Ooo, this is a pretty nice homage to Undertale, using the hidden track of Gaster as the glue that keeps it all together - I'm liking this idea. I do think it's odd to include SNES Bowser's theme in here (at 0:42), but it does sound pretty cool regardless. No rule against breakin' the game mold and expectation, eh? The performance is quite good, though the overuse of lower tones muddies the performance up, especially when the lower tones carry the themes. It's not bad, per se, but in combination with the overuse of the sustain pedal the clutter does add up (especially during the SMW segment, as MW said). It's not an EQ issue, though; it's a performance (pedal usage) and arrangement (utilizing that range excessively) issue. Not a deal breaker, but keep that in mind next time. That aside, I think it's a solid piano piece, and for the faults that overusing the lower end causes, it DOES create an overwhelming experience for the listener, in the best possible way. I'm all for this; let's get er' up. YES