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Neifion

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Everything posted by Neifion

  1. I said your statement was hypocritical, because I've seen you post critiques listing a lot of problems and no praise. Don't think that's quite as overboard as calling me arrogant. You're right though, this is about RoeTaka, and like I said, he did a solid job with some ways to improve.
  2. From reading some of your critiques, I find your statement about me a bit hypocritical. But I know you're just being honest and trying to help, which I am too. As for standards, your thinking that those two tracks were the best film music you ever heard has no bearing on whether mine are too high or not. To each their own, although I think if you're evaluating orchestral music on bass mixing then that's a little weird (of course bass, rhythm, and the demand for "epic" and "BWAH" seem to have toppled having a lyrical, memorable melody in this day and age).
  3. Those two links you listed are not film score quality; the first is good enough for trailer music (which it was, from my understanding), the second is for a low-budget indie fantasy B-film. (Coincidentally, I got approached by Arrowstorm Entertainment for one of their fantasy films, turned it down though). They're decently programmed (writing is pretty generic, but that's another critique for another day), but not above what the bulk of working composers in the industry are putting out. It's fine that you were evaluating to OCR standards, but like you said, they're not that high (even lower for orchestral, which I feel is disappointing). I just wanted to give him feedback in general to improve; why stop at OCR standards when he can do better? He seems to want to continue improving, so no point in stopping where he is just because it's OCR-approved.
  4. Not noticeable to you, perhaps, but they definitely were to me. I don't know your experience level with emotive orchestral music, but I have a high standard for it; it's my main focus and I do a fair amount of orchestral film scoring. I didn't say it was poorly done, just pointed out some things that I hope will help. I hear you, and sorry if my feedback sounded at all harsh. Like I said, it's pretty solid overall, but could just use some more attention on the performance. 8GB is definitely a challenge to work with for a full orchestral template; I have 32GB these days and I would really love to bring it to 64.
  5. The orchestration and arrangement is good, but honestly I disagree with the judges about the emotion and performance of the samples. To me it all sounds rather flat, keyboard-y, the sustains have plenty of weird bumps in dynamics (high strings dipping suddenly at 2:38) and seem to be devoid of dynamic breathing (arcing the dynamics within a note, not referring to the dynamics of the song overall.), and the legato transitions on all sections need work. Particularly, the solo violin portamento at 2:43 and then the fast legato at 2:50 stand out as sounding pretty fake (also kind of weird hearing it on the right side where the cellos are). The Friedlander has a lot of control, but you have to be careful because some of its performance quirks lend to an exaggerated legato. Also, layering in different articulations for the string sections (V1s on normal with V2s on tremolo harmony, for example) instead of just plain sustains all the time could introduce some more interesting musical textures, and help break up the blocky pad sounds of the violins from 1:13-1:39, for instance. Listening to live orchestras and noting the dynamic range and how it brings out emotion, and translating that to match the phrasing and note-to-note arcings, would be a help. As it is now, it sounds a lot like playing the keys and not enough controlling of the CCs (dynamics, vibrato) in a musical way.
  6. No, they won't. They're going to go with the cheapest option that gives them good-enough music to serve their purposes. And many of those cheap ones are usually good enough for them. However, if those cheap composers started charging closer to the rest, the developers would have no choice but to pay fairer. Again, this is just concerning those developers who have the budget and thus the choice. Some developers do want the best, and will go the extra dollar for it. But I feel that more often, they'll go with who can get the job done for the lowest price. It makes no sense to pay more if you're getting what you need.
  7. I think what he means is by charging really low, or working for free, you're making it harder for those who compose for a living because they either have to charge less themselves, or face losing work. It's gradually making it less viable to be a "working composer". It's not that composers just care about money, but we gotta eat. We gotta survive. So I think the argument is more aimed at the hobbyists who have a primary income from elsewhere, who compose for cheap or for free, and who make it harder for the working composer who composes as their sole income. It's not that we don't love making music, or that all we see is dollar signs. We're just in a situation where we rely on this for our living, and it's hard when other people do our job for free. As a side note, it doesn't bother me when a developer tells me they can't pay me for my work (i.e. they don't have the budget). It does bother me when a developer can pay me for my work (i.e. they clearly have the budget), but doesn't feel like they should. I feel like developers are more and more encouraged by the oversaturation of free and low-cost composers to not feel like they should have to pay for music. And I think that is what is watering down the quality and integrity of music, because most indie games simply go with the cheapest option. It seems like the "middle class" professional composer is slowly going extinct. Either you're a big-name composer who has enough clout to make a living working on high profile AAA titles, or you're working a day job and composing on the side for little to no money. No room for the guy who just wants to make a modest living doing what he loves.
  8. Adding to what Garrett said about ownership, basically there are two types of contracts you'll likely see: "Work-for-hire" and "Licensing". In the work-for-hire contract, the composer basically gives ownership to the publisher. This is more common in big-budget, AAA productions when having ownership is critical to secure a broad distribution deal, particularly an international one. Since the publisher owns the music, they can do whatever they want with it; not just use it within the originally intended project, but also in another game, sell the soundtrack as an album and keep profits, alter the music in any way they want, or sell the rights to someone else. Typically, they'll at least allow the composer to include the music in a portfolio or demo reel, and of course give the composer visible credit for their work. Often times they'll also work out a deal with the composer to share profits from the soundtrack album. But the key is that the composer does not own their work. In the licensing contract, the composer gives what is known as a "synchronization license". This is more common in the indie world, where it's not really vital for the developer to legally own the music. This is simply the right for the developer to use the music in their project, nothing more; the actual ownership remains with the composer. It may be specified as an "exclusive" license, where the developer enjoys the privilege of being the only one able to use the music, or a "non-exclusive" license, where other developers may also purchase a license to use the music. Sometimes the contract will state exclusivity only for a set amount of time (usually a few years at least), after which the license becomes non-exclusive and open to others. Because work-for-hire requires the composer to give up their work intellectually, and to forfeit basically being able to make a profit from their music unless a special deal is struck, it's not uncommon for composers to ask for more money upfront. Conversely, synchronization licenses can be more affordable and still provide full use of the music, and so are very common in the budget-conscious indie world.
  9. Kind of off-topic, but I would love if there was a ride like Soarin' Over California, but to the music and imagery of Journey (the game).
  10. Classical: Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Gershwin, Saint-Saens, Mozart Film: Alan Silvestri, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Michael Giacchino, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman Games: Austin Wintory, David Wise, Yoko Shimomura
  11. I'm betting this will come to Orlando first. They have more room there, plus their Hogwarts is already done. California is really tight on space, and they're focused on finishing their version of Hogwarts over the next couple of years (as well as phase 2). As for Star Fox and Zelda, remember that both franchises are seeing major entries on the Wii U this year and next (since Zelda got pushed back... mrrgrrgrr). And the colorful, cel-shaded style of the new Zelda I think is at least partially intended to appeal to younger gamers, while Twilight Princess I think was them trying to appeal to the older generation. I think when the original Wii first came out, Nintendo felt they needed a major title that said their new machine wasn't just for kids. I feel that Nintendo is long past that phase now, and seem to be focusing on more of an even balance between young/older, casual/hardcore.
  12. Yooka-Laylee. Original teams members from B-K, DKC, DK64, etc. Music by David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Steve Burke. http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/04/30/spiritual-successor-to-banjo-kazooie-reveals-its-lead-characters?read http://www.playtonicgames.com/team/
  13. I primarily compose orchestral pieces, and write a lot of solo cello. Like others have said, it's important to know the physicalities of the instrument and to "think like a cellist", both when writing and programming. But it's more than that. It's about emotion. Making a cello sound real is not the same as making it sound good. The great cellists out there know how to access that emotion with each swell, where to add vibrato and when to back off, when to portamento, etc. A great VST that gives you all that control is the Embertone Blakus Cello. But it won't sound good all on it's own; you have to control the expression, vibrato, legato types, etc. I've heard countless demoes with the Blakus cello where the composer is controlling all those things, varying the vibrato and expression and legato, and they think it sounds great, but it really sounds bad. Because they seem to think that by simply controlling those parameters, that's all they need to do. They're not thinking of exactly where to add that swell, how to trail off that vibrato, when to bring the dynamics down to a whisper and when to bring them up to soar. I'm sure you've heard this piece before: Couple of pieces I did with the Blakus cello: https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/the-gum-tree https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/shadows-solace There's no special software that can play a cello well. Computer composers have to know how a real cello is played, how it feels, it's ability to convey emotion, and then transmit that knowledge through the often awkward interface of a keyboard, knobs, and faders. Making a cello sound good requires a strong sense of feeling and emotion. Think about what you want to say, what feeling you want to evoke, and hone in on that with both the writing and the performance. Make that your singular purpose at first. Practice that a lot, and the realism you want will develop.
  14. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/bounty-hunters-ballad This is a theme for a bounty hunter, taking some inspiration from the likes of Morricone and Red Dead Redemption. The client wanted a distinct moment (2:11) where, if a mark heard that part playing, they knew who was coming for them. Thanks for checking this out!
  15. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/one-spirit This one was very interesting; the client wanted a piece to represent five members of a family. They wanted five segments devoted to the personalities of each, with a recurring melody throughout to tie them together. They also wanted the song to incorporate both Japanese/East Asian and Irish influences, as those are the two cultures the family is supposed to be based on (it ended up leaning more heavily on the Asian side; guess that's just where I gravitated stylistically). Anyway, it was a good exercise ended up being a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it and thanks for listening!
  16. Hey there; nice stuff! Like the laid back pirate-y sound of this. The metal percussion seemed to be a bit too close compared to the other instruments, but that may just be my taste.
  17. I run Cubase 8 Pro on Windows 7 Professional, so if it's a Mac OS issue maybe that's why I haven't seen it. The file storing structure, at least on Windows, is pretty simple imo. Each of my songs has a folder with my save files, as well as a subfolders for recorded audio and frozen/bounced audio. When you play and the volume changes, does the Read Automation button get switched off?
  18. Never had an issue like that. What version are you using and Pro or Artist?
  19. Attempting to evoke a wandering soul. Thoughts appreciated! https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/company-of-shadows
  20. Not more sustains, just vary the dynamics of the sustains so that they're not just playing each note at the same dynamic (i.e. mezzo-forte). Swell the notes from mezzo-piano to mezzo-forte, or even piano to forte for the end of certain phrases to mimic realistic and emotional string playing. Real players are not going to play the same dynamic the whole time; they're going to get excited and then they're going to get mellow and back and forth, and they change the pressure of their bowing depending on the emotion that they're feeling. For the horns, I don't think you need a different articulation, again just vary the dynamics and get them to a forte at appropriate moments to get that excited brassy sound.
  21. Not bad. I like the melody. String sustains could use a lot more dynamic work; they're really flat and don't add much excitement. Try swelling them in places to create more of a dramatic presence. Those and the horns (? they're a bit synthy) also feel too soft and subdued when I feel they should have some more energy overall for an upbeat flamenco orchestral score. Also, the horns should be on the left rather than the right if you're going for proper orchestral placement. Good start, keep it up!
  22. Both the game and the soundtrack have been released! Listen to the soundtrack: Game Available Now for PC on Steam Early Access! http://store.steampowered.com/app/262630
  23. Launch trailer released! Available Feb 9th 2015 on Steam Early Access!!! http://store.steampowered.com/app/262630
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