Jump to content

Paul Levasseur

Contributors
  • Content Count

    55
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1

Posts posted by Paul Levasseur

  1. Ok, since another week has mostly passed, here is the latest upload.  I arranged & orchestrated a beginner violin piece I had composed for Chrono Trigger sounds.  The original title of the work has been preserved but it's just a bit more lush now in terms of colours.  It is very simple, as it was originally written for beginners, but I think it works nonetheless.

    [edit]  Don't worry, I'm planning to write something less 'laid back' soon!

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/wildflowers-chrono-trigger-sounds-1

  2. So, I decided to try and create the ubiquitous, generic town theme using FFVI sounds.  While writing the track I tried to treat the different instruments more so as they would behave as a live ensemble.  So, the guitar writing sounds more as a guitar would play and the wind instruments have more 'wind instrument' like gestures.  The track uses 5 channels, Flute, Ocarina, Guitar, Strings, & Upright Bass.  
    In terms of form, after composing once through the melody I could have looped but generally, VGM tracks will have some sort of variation on the orchestration to create more musical interest with minimal additional investment from the composer.  I attempted to do this but then my 'classically trained' ear took over and I ended up exploring some modulations that become a bit more novel later on.  Also, another large difference between this work and an average VGM track is that a lot of the dual wind harmonies do not move strictly in parallel but there is some attention given to the independence of the line.  I think, overall, the track is musically interesting but perhaps is more 'forward' than what would typically appear in a game.  This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the context.  Anyhow, I hope you enjoy.

    Seaside Town - (Composed with FFVI sounds)
     

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/seaside-town-ff-vi-sounds

  3. Ok, so THIS is why all the Super Metroid soundfonts were out of tune as well!  It was making me want to pull my hair out!  

    Since my training is specifically in concert music, I am dealing with a bit of a learning curve on the production end.  It would be great if we could put our heads together and try and figure this out so that the finished product will have more polish.  UGGH, ESPECIALLY with the Super Metroid example =-/

  4. Ok, it's finally working.  This track definitely builds really well.  As a general observation for your orchestration, you approach the craft like a midi orchestrator would.  What I mean is that you build the track up around a repetitive note pattern (ostinato) and you create the momentum by adding layers of activity on top of that.  Your instrumentation doesn't really behave the way a live orchestra would so this raises the question:  Do you wish to get better at midi orchestration to create epic tracks, or are you more interested in emulating the sound of a live orchestra in your writing?  

  5. I really like your production on your tracks.  I think it's just glittering with professionalism, something which is absolutely necessary to be successful these days.  I'd like to have a conversation about that specifically but my questions should be handled in a more private setting. 
    I particularly enjoyed the ethnic chinese style track, as I felt that one was the most effective musically.  RE electic guitar, you should make friends with a very good guitar player.  As a player, for me, the synth guitar just was not convincing.  Sure, midi guitar is what it is, but when the line doesn't really move in the way a guitar would play it, it's a bit jarring.    

  6. When I started doing my research project for my DMA in Music Composition, I wanted to look at VGM and fan compositions specifically.  I interviewed a few fan composers, had them fill out a survey, and began transcribing videogame music.  Now, as part of my research I stumbled upon SNESology and man, I thought that was cool.  So I grabbed some soundfonts off of the internet and started experimenting.  This is addictive and now I want to screw around with the Secret of Evermore sounds. SO RAD.

    Here are a couple of SNES style tracks I did for fun and for procrastination. 

     

    In the style of Secret of Mana



    Using Super Metroid Sounds.  This one isn't strictly SNES style since I used EQ and I combined sounds to create the atmospheric effects.  I really don't know if it would be possible on the SNES.

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/super-metroid-style-ambient-track

    I'll probably create more at some point.  My goal is to create a portfolio of tracks in contrasting styles.
  7. Yes, competitions are awful things; as Bela Bartok said, they are for horses!  As I mentioned in my original post, I think the real issue here is that you were not afforded the opportunity to work with a director, like you would in an actual, professional setting.  It's a bit of an artificial situation and honestly, it is not representative of what a composer is truly capable of.  In my experience, I absolutely would NOT have been able to create the scores I did without the scratch track and the patient input of the director.  

    And yes, I can recall more than one competition where I was thinking 'why did THAT win, why didn't I win'?  Then I imagine of all the times where I did get something and how the other artists must feel.  It sucks.  But be encouraged, you do great work and it's some of the best I have heard here.  

  8. Scoring a film as part of a competition is an interesting exercise and thankfully, it is one that I have yet to undertake.  I think the biggest missing piece of the puzzle here is the director, since when scoring a film with a director, there is someone with whom a composer can discuss the 'sound' of the film as well as the artistic vision of the project in general.  I think without this input, it can be difficult to wrap ones head creatively around what is required as an appropriate sonic backdrop for the film.

    I think as an art piece, the score is compelling and the production is very high quality and expensive sounding.  As a unit, it was my perception (opinion) that the musical style clashed with the art style.  Perhaps it is because the overall symphonic sound that is achieved is a tad too generic, filled with common cinematic tropes.  To explain another way, if the entire film had been rendered with live action, it really would have been perfect but somehow the girth and fidelity of the sound really highlights the absurd look of the animation.  For me, that really draws me out of the film.  Again, this isn't so much a critique as an opinion, and I don't know that it is entirely appropriate considering the lack of involvement of the director in communicating with the composer.  

    As a general observation, I'd say you (the composer) are very talented with tonnes of potential.  I think the biggest oversight is what appears to be an intense focus on a certain sound and approach to creating music while neglecting all other possible influences and ideas.  I don't know if this is fair to say based on the little amount of music that I've heard, but I would recommend venturing outside your comfort zone and exploring many contrasting approaches to music creation, that is if you wish to pursue this rigorously as a profession.  

    Once again, aside from mustering a critique, I'd say the production is top notch and the music writing is excellent.  I'm curious, if you don't mind me asking,  what sound libraries are you using?

  9. Hey, My soundcloud is acting up but I can offer some preliminary and hopefully helpful suggestions for the time being.

    I'm not sure what your musical background is so I'm not going to assume anything.   In other words, this is the advice that I would give to anyone who asked me how to write for orchestra while having little to no musical experience.

    Start studying scores and listening to orchestral music.  The Idea is to learn how the ensemble sounds and how to achieve various types of colours.  When studying a score you can see what exactly the composer has done to achieve the desired effect.   Now, there are two schools of thought here but my friend, who can create a fantastic sounding midi orchestra, says that if you write for midi instruments the way you would write for a real orchestra, it will sound much more realistic.    So, I'm going to try and separate these concepts out a bit:

    To write effectively for orchestra, here are the basic skills you will need.

    1) Theory.  Understanding harmony and being able to read notes is exceptionally helpful, especially when dealing with large forces where it will be difficult to fully 'hear' everything that his happening.  Counterpoint is also an exceptionally helpful skill to have.

    2) Orchestration.  i.  You need to understand the capabilities and limitations of all the various instruments that are commonly found in an orchestra.  What they can play, what they can't play, and what they play easily.
    ii.  You need to understand how the instruments fit in with the larger ensemble.  e.g.  flute is exceptionally quiet in the low register and the oboe is exceptionally loud in that same register.  You also need to understand the ways in which the various choirs  (Instrument groupings) interact with one another to create common orchestrational tropes.

    3) Composition.  Orchestration and composition are very much related but they are also skills that are independent of one another.  Learning how to be a better composer will allow you to create more interesting musical works.  

    Uggh, Soundcloud is still not playing =-(  

     

  10. [EDIT]  I'm just going to use this as a master thread for all my VGM style tracks from now on.  If / when I decide to post concert music, I'll put it in a different thread.  

    Go Here for Short Films:  http://ocremix.org/community/topic/34055-short-film-scores-for-animations/

     

    Here for Concert Music: http://ocremix.org/community/topic/36224-concert-works-by-paul-levasseur/?p=732645

     

    So, I heard some of you creating music using samples from SNES ROMs so I decided to try my hand at it.  This project is a pastiche (Imitation) of Hiroki Kikuta's style.  Almost all the sounds are from the SOM cart except for one of the marimba samples, which is from DKC.  (I wanted to double the Marimba in places)  Now, I didn't really stop with Hikuta's world in this project, I decided to be a bit more creative with the structural harmonies in the work as well as the rhythmic aspects.  The work is quite polyrhythmic in places and there is quite a harmonic shape with modulations / modal shifts, etc.  

    It was a fun experiment, I hope you enjoy it!!

    -p

     

    Dusty Plains - Secret of Evermore Sounds
    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/secret-of-evermore-dusty-plains

    Wildflowers - Chrono Trigger sounds

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/wildflowers-chrono-trigger-sounds-1
     

    The Summer Fields - Hiroki Kikuta Pastiche
     

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/the-summer-fields-hiroki-kikuta-pastiche
     

    Seaside Town - A 'town theme' composed, using FFVI sounds.

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/seaside-town-ff-vi-sounds

  11. Since I'm skulking around here anyway I should probably offer some comments / observations.

    I personally appreciate the high energy level and I don't think that it's necessarily problematic in and of itself. There's a lot of good stuff happening and some careful attention to detail could make this much more effective overall. Now, I understand that old SNES RPGs are known for their repetitive drum parts but consider that back then, composers were trying to compress the data as much as possible and I'm sure the music was no exception.

    I think the big thing to think about is orchestration / arrangement. With the drums, using the same beat pattern over and over is easy to sequence but it can tire / bore the listener. Don't completely change it but go through and add some variations, like what a set player might do in a live situation. I can add some specific examples / ideas if you require.

    Aside from that, just work on your proportions in the first part and maybe find a way to make the first riff / chord progression more interesting through the multiple times it happens. Good star though, I'm curious to hear how your material develops.

×
×
  • Create New...