Jump to content

Paul Levasseur

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Paul Levasseur

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I thought I'd share something simple that is not film or VGM related. For my 4 film projects I've completed thus far, reference this thread:


    My friend plays in a piano duo with his girlfriend and he strongly encouraged me to write something for them. So, I thought about what 2 pianos can do that one can't aside from more notes. This is kind of a musical solution to that. It is a very simply and open sort of a piece which is quite a contrast from other stuff I write but I think it is cool nonetheless. Of course, the antiphonal effect cannot be heard on this recording but it would be greatly enhanced with a proper stereo recording. For the performance the two pianos were beside eachother, one in front of the other. If they were panned right and left, you'd hear all the repeated notes bouncing back and forth. Hopefully I can record this some day!

    https://soundcloud.com/paul-levasseur-2/meadows-of-silence-performance (Check it out on soundcloud now.  Same performance / recording)

    Maybe you can tell me what this music reminds me of or if you think it would fit in a videogame somewhere. I'm curious what you think.

  2. Man, clocking in at over 14 minutes this is an extremely ambitious undertaking. I'll try and offer some constructive feedback based on my experience working with large forms.

    Overall, the best thing a composer can do with large scale work is to establish some sort of musical narrative. I'll try and give some tips on how to do this.

    i. Adding textural variety is helpful. There is some of this but add more. Varying instruments and density can add a lot of space. I find the texture to be dense throughout.

    ii. Adding variation in tempo. Basically, we have a 14 minutes of 8th and 16th notes. Having some slow sections in the right places will help retain the listener's interest. Like even REAALLLYY slow in one part. You can also do something faster later on, like twice as fast as what you have.

    iii. Harmonies. There are two things to think about with harmony.

    a) Key relationships. It is not advisable to have a 14 minute piece in the same key i.e. with the same tonal centre pretty much the entire way through. If you can make it work, great. But having some different keys will be very helpful.

    b)Harmonic rhythm. I can say that without question, you have a new chord pretty much every measure for most of the piece. There are only a few spots where you will maybe change chords every 2 measures instead.

    The role of harmonic rhythm in a composition is a huge one. Just look at a blues form. In the key of C major, we have C for 4 measures, F for 2 Measures, C for two measures, then G for one measure, F for one measure, C for one measure, and then G for one measure before repeating.

    Faster harmonic motion = more energy. Slower harmonic motion can = more tension. Imagine sitting on one chord for like 12 measures or even 16? Then when you move, it's a big deal.

    iv. Register. Everything is in the midrange with deep / phat lows basically throughout. You can do many things with register. You can have only high, high and low but no midrange, midrange but no high and low, low only, midrange and high, or midrange and low. This is just a basic idea bout this. Transitioning between registers can also sound really cool. Like starting really high and progressing down, down, down, down sounds rad as does starting low and climbing, climbing, climbing.

    For an example of a piece with shape in the VGM realm, listen to the overworld theme from FF VII. There are distinct sections and you can hear the one LOW section with the piano and brass with the much more extended harmonies as well as a key change partway through. Pay attention to the various harmonic rhythms too.

  3. Ha, I think the guitar tone is PERFECT for the genre. LOVE it!!

    For getting more 'production level' tones for rock music, it pays to have some good guitar equipment. I've found a Shure SM57 to be the 'magic mic', at least for entry level studio mics.

    I'm not 'experienced' at recording guitars yet but I have been having fun with micing up my cab and trying to see how the tone is affected by moving the mic around in relation to the speaker. The position of the mic between the dust cap on the speaker near the centre and the outside edge of the speaker makes a difference in tone. As you move the mic more towards the edge, you hear more low frequencies and less high ones. Closer to the centre yields the opposite shift.

    I was told that changing the angle of the mic, whether it be perpendicular to the grill cloth, or at and angle, also changes the sound of the mic. I have yet to experiment with this parameter.

  4. Isn't composers block the worst!?

    First of all, the opening chords are very interesting. You also have a lot of material you can work with already so that's a huge plus. Just be aware that you have used similar material up until the point where you are stuck.

    I like the pause at the spot you are stuck. I'd keep a pause there and do something new afterwords. I mean I can hear what I would put next but that comes from years of training. An idea.



    Just making stuff up on the fly.

    Then you could go into something similar to the beginning again.

    {edit) maybe this will be readable. This is only intended as a way to jostle your mind to get you unstuck!

  5. So basically, you have to be a hardass business person or you get fleeced? I've scored some animations for free through school but I don't know how many dues must be paid before getting $$$s becomes a requirement. For me, I could only slave for so many hours before some sort of payment had to be guaranteed.

    How do you go about networking?

  6. Ok, so let's look at your music here.

    You have the G F# Fnatural E bassline section as an introduction.

    It's roughly a G chord, D65 chord, G42, C6 progression that happens 4 times.

    That's your introduction.

    Lets label this A

    Then you have. C, D, G6, Eminor, C, D, C64, G. A nice catchy melody as well.

    Lets label this B

    Then we have A again with a melody. Let's label this A'

    So you have A B A'

    What can you do?

    There are a lot of options but let's kind of keep it simple here. What are you going for and what sort of a sound do you want? Any ideas? Do you want the tune to loop like in a videogame? Or do you want a definitive end?

    My first suggestion is to do something like bring back B. You can repeat it verbatim or better yet, why not make it slightly different?


    A (Intruduction)B A' (A with melody) B (write this)

    If I was to write a second B section or a B' I'd use the chords

    C, D, G6, Eminor, C, D, C64, Em for a deceptive ending right on the downbeat. Then I'd continue the E as a bassline for a measure or two.

    This is a transition that can go a number of ways.


    1) Transpose the opening part to the key of A instead of G and put a solo over top. Then you could go into B again and transition at the end back to G and loop the piece.

    2) Go into a bridge (New contrasting section in E) Then from there you'd go back into B twice (Do some variations for fun) and then you could end the piece.

    3) Use the bassline on E to walk down maybe with a riff to C and go back into B again. This is a great way to do an ending.

    4) You could walk the bassline down to C and do a bridge in D major or D minor.

    So I'm suggesting something that is similar to a song form although I have plenty of other ideas as well.

    So far.

    A B A' This is what you have.

    A typical song would continue with B or B' followed by a bridge C, and then back to B and B would happen twice.


    A B A' B C B B

    Or A B A' B A'' (solo in new key) C bridge B B


    A B A' B C Bsolo B'

    Just some ideas to get you thinking. Experiment and see what works. See what you like. I hope this is helpful.

  7. I think the guitar tone is perfect for an RPG Battle Theme. I had to write something in this style for a film I scored and I miced up my Peavey Rage 158 and played through that. My high end tube amps just didn't sound 'right' for the genre!

    If I was to suggest anything (since this is a work in progress), think about adding some rhythm shots near the beginning. Listen to some Motoi Sakuraba and perhaps some Dream Theater. The Bass Bass Snare, Bass Bass Snare drum pattern gets a bit old. Just refine the drum part to add intensity. Think spice, not unnecessary complexity.

    I think it's great, just trying to help ;)

  • Create New...