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Everything posted by Neifion

  1. Thanks! Flight to Neverland is a great cue; John Williams really captured the fantastical feeling of flight to perfection.
  2. I think the positioning is fine, it's just too wide. It's like the listener is sitting in the middle of the orchestra, with the musicians to the sides and all around, rather than the sitting in front of the orchestra. So for instance, if you have your 1st Violins panned 50% to the left, try putting them at 30%. If they're already around 30%, try panning them a little closer to center, etc.
  3. I thought it was pretty good, but you're panning is waaay too wide to the point of being distracting. Get things off the sides some and I think you'll be pretty good to go.
  4. You misunderstood. My fault for not elaborating more clearly. What I was referring to was exactly the instance of inserting a minority where it doesn't belong. I agree completely that minorities are regular people too. So Lee from Walking Dead is black. Chell from Portal is a woman. It's random, it's just there, and like you said, that's how real life is. That's perfectly cool. Where I think it is not cool is, say, if you had a game that took place in historical England, and King Henry VIII was black "just because". Now, if they had a good reason to make him black besides "being ethnically diverse" or "just because", perhaps that would be fine depending on the reason. (Ridiculous example, but you get the point). For the record, I'm an ethnic minority myself. I love seeing more diversity in all types of media. I just don't like it when it's done stupidly. I run a sole proprietorship and I keep my business PayPal separate from my personal PayPal in case one or the other gets compromised by hackers, thieves, ruffians, etc. Just seems safer that way.
  5. MORE SPOILERS Perhaps not her gender/race, but definitely her age was an intentional inclusion, and that has it's own set of bias that's clearly put to use in the game. From a story standpoint, it's very much a coming of age topic that is of definite focus for the developers (the 400 Days story with Becca, who shows a lack of attachment as a means of coping is another example besides Clem). From a gameplay standpoint, there's a lot of extra difficulties Clem has to deal with that an adult male, for example, would be able to handle differently. Sort of toying with "how would a kid develop in this F'ed up world". I think the gender attachment thing is more personal: I have a young niece who I'm protective of and I guess I project her onto Clem a lot (and myself as a not-badass Lee, haha).
  6. Money. What else? On a slightly more serious note, let's do a music analogy. The Journey OST had a beautiful bass flute performed by Amy Tatum. Bass flute isn't used that much as a "workhorse woodwind" in the orchestra. Certainly not compared to the regular C flute, or even the alto flute. When I heard it in Journey, I loved it. It delivered a distinct character, one that was appropriately suited to the atmosphere of the game. I applauded Austin Wintory for writing for an instrument that is somewhat underrepresented in the orchestra, and even moreso in video game music. But does that mean we should have bass flute in games just because it's underrepresented? Or even because it simply adds a rare, distinct flavor? I don't think so. I think it should have to say something. It should have to be indispensable; like the soundtrack and the game would be lesser without it. SPOILERS below * * * Look at Clementine from The Walking Dead. They could have had a male, or an adult, or a male adult be the protagonist. But for me, playing as a female child made me feel more vulnerable, unsafe, and consequently, more badass as my heroine developed into a strong, smart, capable survivor. Part of that was somewhat transferred, I think, from playing Season 1 as Lee. Over the course of the game, Lee's fondness and protection for Clem became my own. And when he died, and I took over as Clem, that protectiveness sort of continued for me. Even Lee himself is a topic to discuss. Leaving the matter that he's black aside, let's just focus on the fact that he's a murderer. A lot of the interactions you have with characters is based on trust, and multiple times your past is brought up in that regards. People are biased towards you. And for me, that mattered (even though the story ends up the same no matter if you chose to acknowledge their bias or ignore it). They didn't have to make Lee a murderer any more than they had to make Clementine a little girl, but they did, and they did it because it actually served the game, not just because these people are underrepresented or to make a blind attempt to sprinkle in "variety". I anticipate some dissenting opinion about race, gender, etc. versus being a murderer (because you can't control your race or gender, but you can control whether you kill someone, yadda yadda). But that's looking at the act, which in and of itself, does not constitute bias. Instead, look at the effect is has on other people. If you're black, people are going to be biased. If you've murdered in the past, people are going to biased. Effect-wise, it's the same, and depending on how you look at it, murderers are a minority as well (at least I think they are!)
  7. https://soundcloud.com/jeremy-soule/official-soundtrack-sample-3-everquest-next-landmark Yet another piece of music to show someone who tells you that video game music isn't fine art. Bravo, Maestro Jeremy.
  8. Hello! The Hook score has always been near and dear to my heart ever since first seeing the film in theaters back in Christmas 1991. You Are The Pan has always been my favorite track because of it's spine-tingling emotional power (particularly that heart-wrenching solo flute passage). I thought it would be good practice to see if I could capture some of that emotion with the samples I have, as well as for ear training (no sheet music). The programming is far from great, particularly the violin legatos, but I had to stop the tinkering eventually, as I have projects to get on with. Let me know what you think! https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/hook-you-are-the-pan
  9. To make your orchestral tracks sound more full, two things: reverb (already mentioned a lot) and mic positions. Sections that are closer (ie 1st Violins and Cellos) might have a little close mic dialed in with a lot of room mic. Mid sections (rest of the strings, woodwinds) will be mostly room mics and a little ambient mic. The farther sections (brass, percussion) will have some ambient mic along with the room mic. Have a listen to this piece I wrote for full orchestra: https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/heart-and-hearth It's a pretty full sound, and believe it or not, I used chamber-sized sections for all of the strings (4 1st Violins, 3 2nd Violins, 3 Violas, 3 Cellos, 3 Basses).
  10. Hey there, nice track! Definitely has a soothing, reflective sound to it. Reminds me of summer at the beach in Santa Cruz. Good performance too; it has that sitting by the side of the road vibe.
  11. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/liang-jiang A revisit to a simple theme I wrote several years back. I took it and tried to give it a sort of epic Chinese fantasy film vibe. Feedback welcome!
  12. Hey there! I like some of the melodic ideas in there, but yeah, things are panned pretty weird; not just the kick, but for example what I think is a solo cello pizzicato line that starts at 0:33, it's way over to the right. Yes, in a traditional orchestral setting the cello section is to the right, but since it's soloing and exposed, and since the track is already so sparse, there's nothing filling out the middle or left. It sounds uncomfortable to my ears; like my left speaker dropped out or something. I think focusing on getting your writing and arrangement skills up to speed is a good idea. I don't think you need to focus on those things exclusively; you can still work on your production at the same time, but I think making writing the priority is a good way to go. Keep in mind that production skills are something that even pros with decades of experience are still trying to improve; keep learning and working at it and you will definitely learn a lot as you go along.
  13. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/your-numbers-up Modern spy theme inspired by The Bourne Identity, Bond, etc. Had a lot of fun with the guitars.
  14. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/do-you-want-to-run-a-dungeon This was a lot of fun.
  15. What I do when I have a slump is I take a cue from one of my favorite film or video game scores and I mock it up. Then I go back and change some things; try a different harmony, add a counterpoint, different rhythm, etc. Great way to get some ideas, get practice, and not feel lazy too.
  16. I know your question was originally about panning, but if you're really going for a sense of space, and if your orchestral libraries have it: mic position mixing. Most medium-to-high end orchestral libraries have mic mixers built in (close, stage/tree, ambient) whose purpose is to give that sense of depth. Panning doesn't give you that. Volume is one dimensional; near and far. Reverb, you get a little, particularly with a good convolution, but mic positions really introduce your ears to that important three-dimensional spatial sense: Also, you don't have to follow the traditional orchestral set-up to the "T". Yes, if you're going for a classic orchestral sound, do it. But almost all modern cinematic music, especially all the hybrid and "epic" stuff you hear nowadays from the likes of Hans Zimmer, Steve Jablonsky, etc. fudge the traditional setup to at least some degree. For instance, Hans Zimmer's famous pounding ostinatos typically have the cellos and basses up front in a wide semi-circle (24 cellos, 8 basses). You can't get that power from a traditional setup. I used a similar setup for the deep staccatos in my song Blackened Sky (start at 2:25): https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/blackened-sky The new Universal logo has twelve horns (six on the left, six on the right). For the first measure, the left side plays; for the second measure, the right side plays in response. And for the end, both sides are playing: My advice is: don't be afraid of trying out non-traditional setups; they can open up a lot of possibilities!
  17. Hey everyone. Finally got around to recording my wife's vocals for our cover of Let It Go. Let us know what you think! https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/let-it-go
  18. -0.2 to be absolutely safe, while being imperceptibly lower than 0.0 to the average listener. I've read books that say either -0.1 or -0.2, but I do -0.2 just to be safe.
  19. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/algorhythm Featuring my wife and her awesome set of pipes!
  20. This isn't meant for posting on OCR or anything. Just a quick demo I threw together this evening, trying out a new violin VST update. Very rough still; gonna continue smoothing out the legatos and working on getting the sound I want. EDIT: Took the song down to work on it some more.
  21. I agree with everything said here. Meeting people locally is the best way to go. An additional option, if you're currently in college, is to make friends with other students in film/art/programming. Many colleges, mine included, require a senior project for undergrads and a capstone project/thesis for master's students. I've found that a lot of people either want to do a movie or a video game. Get on board with them; it might not pay upfront, though some people do mange to sell their "college game" (thatgamecompany). More importantly though, you've made a game with people who are getting degrees and are serious about making games. After college, you guys may all go your separate ways, but you're likely to be on their mind when they need a composer down the road, or if they're working for a company, they might recommend your name.
  22. Just want to also point out that Cubase Artist, which is what I solely use, is $299. Not nearly as cheap as Reaper, yes, but certainly more affordable than the flagship Cubase version. And honestly, unless you need to mix in 5.1 surround or pitch correct your vocals, Artist has pretty much all the functionality of its big brother.
  23. Just a short track I wrote to blow off some steam. https://soundcloud.com/kekopro/the-gum-tree
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