Squint

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About Squint

  • Rank
    Octorok (+25)

Profile Information

  • Location
    Minnesota

Converted

  • Biography
    Graduated in 2005 as a Music Composition major. Now I uh, just play the piano sometimes. Hopefully I can start writing a little bit more!
  • Real Name
    Hai Nguyen
  • Occupation
    Something much less interesting than making music.
  • PlayStation Network ID
    Squint38

Artist Settings

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

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  1. Squint

    OCR02338 - Chrono Trigger 'Glenn'

    Hey guys, thanks for all the kind words, it means a lot! Vinnie - You're right. I only just used Finale to notate the music. It would be crazy if you could get Finale sounding that good! The little bit I mentioned in my writeup about Finale was just talking about when I used to listen to the piece on repeat and copy it note for note on my computer. Bahamut - Those small mistakes in the performance bug me so much! I hope they aren't too noticeable! Again, thanks for the support, and I hope everyone had a great holiday!
  2. Hey Martin, thanks for the comment! I'm really surprised (and relieved) that people seem to enjoy the feel of the piece - I was a bit worried that people would think it sounded too much like someone just trying to be jazzy. Which could still be the case, because really, that's sorta what I was doing anyway! I also just wanted to say, I hear what you're saying about the production issues that I had with my first two pieces and how they were resolved. For sure, I agree that production on a remix should be just as important as the arrangement aspect, and so of course, it should be on the artist to fix anything that is unsatisfactory. That said, though I was definitely willing to try and fix things up myself (and of course made my attempts at it), Vinnie was nice enough to help me out in the end, as it seemed like just a few little tweeks that were needed to make it sound a lot better, and where I didn't have the proper resources to make those tweeks, he did. He didn't have to, by any means, but that he did, I'm very thankful for. Anyway, just wanted to kinda explain the situation, because I don't want to come off as being ungrateful or lazy. I admire those who are able to produce great sounding remixes, and have since been trying to learn the ins and outs (pretty overwhelming, but I'm getting there). Just a warning, though - there is actually one more piece of mine that's in the judging process right now that Vinnie put his touches on, as I had originally given him three pieces at the same time, which all had similar sound issues. You've heard the first two, and regardless of whether or not the third gets passed, I'm glad I was able to get the help for it and again, definitely do not take it for granted, and do not expect any similar treatment in the future.
  3. Really good stuff here, man. Lots of variety throughout the whole mix - upon first listen, I don't remember hearing much repetition in the material (if any at all), yet it all seems very cohesive. One of my favorite tracks from VIII. Straight download on this one. Can't wait to hear more from you!
  4. Thanks for the tip Spikey! This is the first time I've used dropbox, so hopefully it works. Enjoy! http://dl.dropbox.com/u/30312375/Gusty%20Piano%20in%20a%20Garden.pdf And oh yeah, the tempo marking at the beginning isn't necessarily accurate through the whole piece. I've never been great with annotating tempo in compositions.
  5. Halc, you've quickly become one of my favorite artists here on OCR. I know you've been arranging for a while, but I only just really started paying attention to artist names, much thanks to you and your distinct style. Just about everything I've heard from your stash is top notch, which makes your prolificacy (pretty sure that's a word) that much more impressive. Keep it going, man.
  6. I would love to make it available to those who are interested in it, but I don't really know how to go about doing that if I don't have a scanner. I wrote it out in my version of Finale 2010. If there is an easy way to get it on the 'net, just let me know and I could put it up.
  7. This is great, very cool to hear a male voice on this one. Even though it sticks pretty close to the original, the little bits that are changed up (a slight pause here, a jump to a higher pitch there) make it a real fun listen. And I agree with what you wrote in your write-up. When I first played Lunar and got to this scene, it blew my mind that I was seeing and hearing what I was. It further validated videogames as a story-telling medium, and became a benchmark for other RPGs to aspire to.
  8. Speaking from a strictly pianistic point of view... If I'm working on something that's completely original, the first thing I tend to do is have a loose guideline of what kind of form the whole piece is going to take. Some sort of classic form (sonata, rondo, fugue, etc.) or something more free form. Since getting out of college, I've done a lot less strict form writing (not necessarily a good thing...), and have opted to do stuff with less "rules." Then I'll usually try to write out a simple melody, followed by other phrases or counter melodies that may have roots in the original theme (inverted, same notes different rhythm, same rhythm different notes, etc.) or may be completely different but complement it somehow. Then I will build off of that, depending on form, and add harmonic progressions (not necessarily chords themselves) to the mix. I like to keep a small motif in mind that I can sprinkle in here and there to keep things coherent throughout the piece. It's funny, I was just thinking of this the other day. When I'm doing an arrangement off of a videogame, my compositional process is a lot less organized. It's basically write from beginning to end. Meaning, I write the first measure, second measure, third measure, etc. (with some exceptions, but not many). It's weird, too, because I didn't really notice that I change my compositional style like this until after two or three arrangements. I honestly don't know if it's a good thing or not, but I've convinced myself that it's just a natural occurrence since the themes are already there.
  9. Squint

    Piano sound in FL Studio

    Eilios - I've got a Yamaha Clavinova CLP320: http://usa.yamaha.com/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/digitalpianos/clp_series/clp-320/?mode=model. I guess I haven't downloaded any drivers since I first got it a couple years ago, so maybe I can look around about that. Neblix - I was previously using Pro Tools (which you may know, since you were helping me on that other topic), which came with something they call the Fast Track USB interface. http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tools-Recording-Studio-Music/dp/B002P3KINE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296518498&sr=8-1. Does this qualify as an audio interface you mentioned? I used to record in Pro Tools, straight from my piano to the computer, using a line out from my piano, with a 1/4 inch converter cable to hook into that Fast Track USB interface. The sound from my piano was preserved that way, which was great, but unfortunately, it was only recording in mono, so I was limited with what I could do production-wise (which the judges were critical of). Should I be able to still use this USB interface, but with FL Studio instead, you think? I tried messing around with it a day or two ago, but couldn't figure anything out with it. Also, the only mic jack my laptop has is one of those real small ones (is that 1/8?), which I use to plug my ear buds in. Are you saying I could hook my piano into that small jack (using the proper converters if needed) and record straight up that way? Would that be in MIDI format, or would I be stuck with limited options as before? Thanks again for the help guys, it is much appreciated!
  10. Hey guys, I'm just sort of starting out in FL Studio (working with the demo version, currently) and have just been able to get my digital piano hooked up as a MIDI controller and start recording stuff. This may or may not be a pretty basic question (hopefully it is). Is there a way for me to record my piano with its natural sound? Like, as if I'm just playing without it being hooked up to anything. The only way I can seemingly record any sounds from my piano is by doing it through those plugins FL Studio comes with. So basically, the furthest I've gotten so far is to insert something like the "Concert Piano" plugin into a new channel and recording with that sound. The reason I ask is that my piano's natural sound offers way more touch and responsiveness than what's offered when I play it through any of the plugins. I understand that there are probably some pretty awesome plugins that would be superior to my piano sound, but I don't have anything like that at my disposal right now. Thanks if anybody can help, hopefully this question makes sense!
  11. Squint

    The Very Basics

    Mickomoo - I'm glad to hear you somewhat vouching for Pro Tools. I figured I just bought a dud (especially considering I bought the "Essentials" version"), but maybe I would be able to use it for editing after the initial record into something like FL Studio. I guess I never even thought of importing a file from one to the other - I still have lots to learn! I will definitely keep this in mind. Neblix - Thanks for the clarification, it helps to understand what the computer is thinking when it's using a VST, and how Pro Tools works a bit differently. You mentioned FL Studio as being "glorious." I think I know what you mean. I just downloaded the demo version yesterday, and am already getting way more out of it than I did in Pro Tools. Now, I'm not saying that it's necessarily a better program with only a couple days under my belt, but I can say that I've had an easier time at least getting something going, and the learning curve seems to be way lower than Pro Tools. Though I think the amount of YouTube videos on FL Studios is a major help, I do feel the program is set up more nicely for beginners.
  12. Squint

    The Very Basics

    Just wanted to say to all you guys who helped out on this thread, a many thanks. Unfortunately, the path I've taken has led me to realize that the DAW I currently have (Pro Tools - M-Powered Essentials 8 ) is unable to record MIDI from my piano, despite the fact that I got the fancy cord to go along with it. If I want to record MIDI, I'll have to upgrade to the full version. It's a drag, since I essentially blew $100.00 plus on that Essentials software, thinking that it could do the MIDI thing (though, I did know that it was a stripped down version of the full one) but that was almost a year ago, so I guess it's not that big a deal. Anyway, I'm either going to shell out for the full version, or look into purchasing Fruity Loops or Reaper, as I've heard better overall things about the latter two than Pro Tools. Plus, I've just sorta had a beast of a time with tech support with Pro Tools at this point! Thanks again for the help, and don't think it was for nothing. I've got this thread bookmarked so I can look back on it once I get everything set to go. Eventually.
  13. Squint

    The Very Basics

    Yoozer - I bought some Hosa brand cables. Gonna be honest, didn't do too much research into those, just what I saw on Amazon. Figured I'd buy them today at Best Buy since I could get them right way and would be able to return them - I mainly just wanted to test them out and see if I could get my piano going as a MIDI device. Turns out I'll be returning them tomorrow, as I'm having a good bit of trouble getting it to work. I even brought in my laptop and software to Best Buy so they could show me the ropes, but they couldn't figure out why no input seemed to be registering for any instrument they hooked the cables up to. "...some vague manufacturer that only supplied Windows 98/XP drivers from a photocopied faxed page with an ftp adress pumping bits at the blinding speed of 300 baud or something." Dude, you hit it right on the nose. The only driver support I could find was a step-by-step PDF file, and I couldn't get past step two, which was to go to an FTP address (which didn't work). I just ordered the ones shaggy suggested from zZounds, as I've read at least one anecdote from a person who had the same problem as me, bought the M-Audio ones, and everything worked fine. I'll cross my fingers that my problem is with the cables, and not my Pro Tools software...
  14. Squint

    The Very Basics

    "For general use, most of them are okay but you can run into issues if you're doing more than just sending CC messages from your MIDI controller. That probably doesn't mean a hell of a lot to you, though." Yes, you are absolutely correct in that regard. But it's still helpful, I just wanted some sort of validation of the increased price tag, and I think I got it. Thanks!
  15. Squint

    The Very Basics

    Quick question - is there a difference between the quality of MIDI to USB cables? I just went to Best Buy and grabbed a 10 foot cord for $60, even though I saw one on Amazon for $7. I made sure that I could return it within 30 days, just in case there is no difference (sort of like there's no difference between an $80 HDMI cable and a $3 one). Looking around a bit, it seems like some cheap ones may have a hard time getting all the notes, or information, you play on your piano to register onto your PC. Would I be a fool to stick with the $60 purchase?