Phonetic Hero

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About Phonetic Hero

  • Rank
    Temporal Duality Asst. Director
  • Birthday 01/10/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender


  • Biography
    Multi-genre game composer and arranger
  • Real Name
    Pete Lepley
  • Occupation
  • Twitter Username

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    FL Studio
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design

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  1. Phonetic Hero

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    So does literally every piece of music ever
  2. Phonetic Hero

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    I'm not saying there won't be people who don't like everything you do, because of course there will. I'm saying that the people who don't care for your original work but DO like your remixes weren't going to be drawn to your original work anyway, so it's not a "loss" in terms of your audience. On the flip side, there are people who WILL like both who will have only heard of you because of your remixes. Being sour about someone liking one thing you do and not everything you do is stupid and a waste of energy imo
  3. Phonetic Hero

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    I write for games full time, but I still see a lot to be gained from arranging. So yes! I still remix when I have the time. I'll try to be concise for a change: You get to make a piece of music you enjoy listening to (and perhaps learn what exactly it is you enjoy in a piece of music) You get to study that piece's structure, harmony, etc. and apply what you learn to your own originals (though I find straight transcription to be even more useful for learning) You get to practice strengthening your weak points without the pressure of writing an amazing original melody/chord progression/bassline/drum groove/whatever, since it's already done You get to learn how to reuse pieces of a track to improve your arrangement game (mostly for soundtracks or theme-related albums, but it's been extremely useful for me in a work setting) I think in terms of potential for musical growth, there's a LOT to be said about arranging, and I think the inspiration and forward momentum someone can get from an existing tune/game they love is also an important part of the remixing game. For what it's worth, I don't find the "is it mine?" debate to be very useful. Something I consider MUCH more important when I make a remix (or any piece of music) is "do I like listening to it?" EDIT: I also think looking at building an audience in terms of remixing vs. originals is silly. Those who will be interested in your originals will be interested regardless, and those who won't, won't - it's not a matter of "splitting your audience". If a remix was what got the ears there to listen to your other music in the first place, it can only help
  4. Phonetic Hero

    2. ready for review Bloody Tears for a Dancing Monster

    Hey man I really like the arrangement for the most part, but I think dropping it down to just the piano at 0:38 breaks the flow in such a short track. I think keeping the energy a bit more during that section would help the track's progression a lot, and transitioning to Monster Dance right out of Bloody Tears' arpeggiated intro section is a strong structural choice. I also think the piano isn't carrying the track as a lead instrument. It sounds pretty dry and fake, and it's mixed pretty far into the background. The drums also hit me as too loud and compressed. The cymbals are pumping on a lot of their impacts and they get pretty sizzly at times - heavy compression can be pretty unflattering to cymbal hits. I really like the timbre of the snare and kick though (with maybe a tad more low end on the latter) and the funky writing works great, I'd just pull the drums down a bit as a whole. No qualms with the guitar/bass - once the rest of the balance is touched up and the weak lead instrument addressed, I think this'll be a sweet track. Hope that's helpful!
  5. Phonetic Hero

    How Significant Is Forum Feedback In Improvement?

    Fair enough, my counter-point would be that it's a teacher's job to be hard on you and expect more out of you though. When people don't (appear to) have any motive other than the commentary itself and providing their opinion, it can be a real kick in the ass to hear someone doesn't like something. And whether or not the commenter actually knows what they're talking about vs. just trying to puff themselves up, if it pushes you to improve, the effect is the same (at least in terms of general advice/impressions - if someone's telling you to blow up the low mids on all your instruments or something like that, that's another story). Using myself as an example again, I used to think of myself as a great composer, even after I found out exactly how bad of a producer I was. But when you hear "wandering melody" and "stagnant harmony" (or whatever variation of that, if the feedback was coming from someone who didn't have the musical vocabulary to describe it as such) over and over from people on forums or non-musician friends or comments from complete strangers on music hosting sites, it eventually sunk in that "oh wait a second, maybe I'm actually not nearly as good as I think I am". That was what it took for me, and it made much more of an impact than it did in situations where someone whose outward purpose in critiquing me was to help me learn. I guess some additional context is also necessary to clarify my point - I've never been a good student until I "decide" I want to learn more about something, and I know I'm not the only one. Again, that's what it took for me, and I have to wager there are others who operate the same way. As a bonus, I came to find out eventually that a lot of those people giving me that feedback actually WERE being hyper-critical and couldn't follow their own advice. But the result was the same - I put my nose to the grindstone to learn how to better structure a tune, how to write stronger melodies, how to mix better, whatever the criticism might've been. I still learned as a result of the feedback, regardless of where it came from or how much the person giving the critique actually knew themselves. Hopefully I didn't botch the point I'm trying to make in so many words, but basically: feedback from different sources can have drastically different effects, and people will respond to the effect it has on them accordingly.
  6. Phonetic Hero

    How Significant Is Forum Feedback In Improvement?

    I think another deeply valuable aspect of public feedback that hasn't really been touched on is that you might find out you're not as good as you think you are. Sometimes people on a forum are blunt and brutally honest, and as far as I'm concerned, that exposure is extremely important. Because hey, that's the way the world is, and if you really want to improve then you have to learn to be brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes, that's a practice that begins externally. When I was 19 and first starting out, I thought I was amazing. After having my ass broken repeatedly, learning just how much there was to know and breaking through that Dunning-Kruger wall, I was able to be MUCH more objective and honest about where I actually was, what my weaknesses were, and what to do in order to address them (or who to ask if I didn't know). If you already think you're the best, you don't have much incentive to improve, and without people giving me their honest impressions (musically experienced or not) I doubt I'd be half the musician I am today. Often it takes time to sink in, and sometimes people can be very averse to honest critique (I certainly was for a good while), but I find it to be another valuable part of the process. In this regard, I think feedback from strangers is much more potent than that of a mentor or teacher - finding out what your peers or the general public thinks about your art can be a powerful agent for introspection.
  7. Phonetic Hero

    How Significant Is Forum Feedback In Improvement?

    I'll concede that feedback isn't technically necessary in a mentorship (which is extremely strange to read), but I still think you're reeeaaally glossing over the importance of feedback. A "mentorship" in which the mentor isn't observing the mentee's work and giving feedback more fits the description of a generalized teaching course, where a teacher/professor is going down a list and throwing out advice or covering topics point by point, regardless of whether or not it's pertinent to the student. At least in my opinion/experience, this isn't the most effective way to help someone learn. Back on topic (and a slight edit for clarity): the feedback process, to me, is about looking at where someone needs to improve and providing targeted advice to help them learn how to do it. The source of advice doesn't matter imo - whether it's a forum rando or someone you look up to, you're the ultimate arbitrator of which pieces you decide to listen to and which you don't. Yes, personal drive/ambition is obviously important to anyone's progress as an artist, but why undercut feedback (even "forum feedback") as a valuable part of the improvement process?
  8. Phonetic Hero

    How Significant Is Forum Feedback In Improvement? the fuck is a mentorship going to work without feedback? Lol A mentor giving advice without knowing what the mentee needs sounds like an extremely ineffectual relationship
  9. Phonetic Hero

    How Significant Is Forum Feedback In Improvement?

    I think it's very important when someone's starting out. I had no idea what questions I needed to be asking back when I first started, and having people to point out flaws I wasn't even aware of and explain how to improve them is, in my opinion, absolutely instrumental to anyone's development (whether I wanted to hear it or not at the time ). Whether someone gets the feedback from a forum, or friends/peers with more experience, or teachers/mentors, I think most people need feedback from those with more experience up to a point. I know I did. Once you're familiar with the general concepts of music composition and production (and know where to look to further your knowledge), improvement becomes much easier to pursue on your own. But it's hard to know what questions you should be asking when you don't know what you need to know, ya know?
  10. Phonetic Hero

    Music Software and Hardware Deals

    8Dio's having 2 weeks' worth of flash sales to celebrate their anniversary with a new featured product every 48 hours. I think they're only a few days in - Epic Taiko Ensemble was directly before Rhythmic Aura, so there should be 5 more sales on the way. Definitely keep your eye out, 8Dio makes great stuff EDIT: Also going to include my personal favorite library for lead strings (does both agile and flowing lines very, very well), also from 8Dio. An absolute steal at $44 -
  11. I really don't think you need a MIDI controller, honestly. You can do anything a MIDI controller would let you do by properly routing controls to your MIDI outs and clicking things in - they're really only for expediting the process, if you're good at playing things in or recording automation live. I bought one when I was just starting out because I was under the impression that it was a necessity, but I've really never used it or any other hardware MIDI controller and I'm doing just fine (worth noting that I don't have piano chops anyway though, haha). If you're trying to save money, I'd say don't bother getting one yet and put that money toward improving your orchestral arsenal, if that's what you want. It's just another luxury.
  12. Phonetic Hero

    Castlevania Season 2 Cometh

    Super excited. That Alucard Sword effect at 1:20 has me all kinds of hyped
  13. I agree you can get plenty far for much cheaper. Miroslav is a great starting point and SUPER affordable. If you're looking for something more high end but still affordable, Adagietto, while not "over-priced garbage", is from 8Dio and is on sale right now for $118. It's got everything you need to get you going as far as strings - all instruments, sections and ensemble patches, any articulation you'd need (including nice legato patches), mod support on sustains/legatos. I also (foolishly) bought Albion years ago, and Adagietto pretty much eclipses it in every regard except for the spiccato articulations. Unless you also need to buy the full version of Kontakt, $700 is way more than I think you need to get going (which is hopefully good news!). Watch for sales! I always keep my eye on: Native-Instruments - they've had sponsored bundle sales of third party instruments, which has landed me some incredible deals Embertone - great solo instruments and prices, once you get to a point where you have a need Soundiron - they've got sales pretty frequently Ilya-Efimov - excellent ethnic winds and oddball instruments Strezov Sampling - while I don't own any of their instruments yet, they've got some affordable brass libraries that sound really great As blunt as MX is and as sour as I find almost every post of his I've read, I have a hard time disagreeing with most of his sentiments. I started with a pretty bare setup. I used the Kontakt's free factory library with Kontakt Player (also free) for my first game soundtrack years ago, and it worked out fine because I put in the time to figure out HOW to make it work fine. I think good MIDI composition is much more about creative processing and knowing how to use what you have than it is about what you actually have. Hopefully that's more encouraging than not haha. Good luck!
  14. Phonetic Hero

    Advice on Channeling Creativity from Anxiety

    I know I've suggested it before, but I really can't say enough about how helpful transcription is for me. If I'm feeling like I don't have much creative juice in the tank, transcribing takes a lot of the stress of "being creative" out of the process, and I always learn something when I'm so closely analyzing someone else's music. Just getting something out, even if it's a straight transcription, comes with the added bonus of feeling accomplished for finishing something, which I think is important for building confidence. If you find yourself inspired in the middle of the process and feel like changing some stuff around, roll with it and have fun - it could even turn into a remix if you're really feeling it (but doesn't have to!). I keep a notepad document on my desktop with suggestions for myself with games and specific tracks from those games that I like and feel I could learn something from. My go-to right now is the Mega Man X: Corrupted soundtrack by Dominic Ninmark - a fanmade game with some super great SNES-inspired MMX tunes. It's completely unrelated to what I'm working on outside of the transcription, but that separation further helps me find my motivation again.
  15. Phonetic Hero

    Video Game Addiction

    I'm SUPER glad you're not suffering from video game addiction, but please don't assume it isn't a real problem just because you don't have it. Keep in mind people used to doubt addiction to hard drugs and alcohol in the same way, attributing their addictions to "bad choices" rather than the actual neurophysiological changes that had taken place. Pretty much anything that produces a dopamine response can be addictive and lead to problems with impulse control as well as being extremely disruptive to motivation and memory circuitry. An inability to abstain is the feature of addiction, and video games are designed to keep people playing. This applies so much more strongly to modern games considering developers have had decades to refine their methods, and in a lot of cases modern games are downright predatory in this way (games that combine gambling with gameplay in particular). Not everyone who plays games will be addicted to gaming just like not everyone who drinks will become an alcoholic, but it IS an extremely fast-growing issue.