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arglactable

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Posts posted by arglactable

  1. I posted a track I believe over 2 years ago at this point, based the original Deus Ex soundtrack, had some useful conversations about it and then lost interest/faith in making it any better. Subsequently, I've revisited this, and now here's a thread about it. Scrapped probably about 75% of what I had before (because, I'll be honest, it was crap) and significantly reworked the remainder, plus a lot of new material, into a more focused and (I hope) competent piece.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/3sreq6bbargy5lz/Combine.mp3?dl=0

    Based on the UNATCO theme.

    Brief reference to Versalife - Conversation.

     

  2. Thanks for the feedback. Glad to see it seems like an improvement (the first version I posted sounds like complete garbage by comparison, IMO). I'll think about ways of potentially adding some interest to that section.

    Honestly, given how much work I've put into making the guitar not sound horrendous, I'm not feeling hugely motivated to do much else with it at this point.

  3. Although its length is short I'm honestly hoping the Phantom Pain is maybe 5x as long at most.

    I recently had the conversation regarding video game length with a film director and I think he made some interesting points. If you think about it, it's really only in the last 5 years or so that story has really been the selling point of some major games. GTA V, Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Arkham City being notable. The problem with some "story driven" games like Zelda: Twilight Princess or many JRPGS is that because it is still more "game" than narrative, you have all this gameplay in between that makes the story seem so much longer than it really is. The longer the story seems to go on, the harder it is to keep your interest. Quite often in older games, I found myself saying "Oh, it's that guy from 15 hours ago. He did something important....I think?" The problem with a lot of story driven games is that they have so much gameplay in between all the major plot points that the "story" goes on for 40+ hours and unless you're really dedicated, you'll lose interest. With so many gaps between the perceived "goal" of the game (to advance the story) you'll probably find some other game long before you reach the story's end.

    In my opinion, the game that nailed the whole story-length thing was Batman: Arkham City. It had a strong plot and it didn't take much more than 10 hours to beat. I can remember all of the main plot points quite clearly and because of a length that takes maybe a week or two to beat, I can and have played through it a couple of times now. Similarly to how I can watch a two-hour movie with a good story twice or more, I can play through a game with a good, ten hour story more than once. Plus, Batman has all kinds of open-world side missions and secrets that you can find at your leisure.

    Twilight Princess, despite being a great game...I doubt I'll ever play through it again.

    There was also an article on this subject a few days ago on IGN that found basically only a third of players actually finish most games story-lines.

    I think that's a complex issue and I certainly wouldn't say story-driven games are anywhere near that new. Mainly I think that the length expectations for games and the apparent desire for games to be more like movies are mutually exclusive with regards to a story that really works. The problem isn't really the length, IMO, it's the length in combination with a story that attempts to be paced like a movie, but is generally (at minimum) 2-3 times longer if not much, much more.

    I'm less concerned about this with MGS5, mostly because I like most of the story telling techniques Kojima has introduced here, Instead of tons of fluff that stops the game in its tracks to start being a movie for a while (not that it's been completely eliminated). Incorporating the story telling into the game-play works wonders. Collectible tapes that fill in back story, flesh out characters, etc, codec calls that don't require you to stop everything you're doing to crouch and chat for 5-10 minutes, and other meaningful techniques to telling a story like a game instead of just trying to be a movie. A lot of that involves the willingness to let players miss a lot of the content you wanted to put in there in favor of a focused core experience, which is something Kojima has been TERRIBLE at before.

    Basically, I think the problem is not that you can't tell a good or well-paced story in a longer game, but rather that having "the most ludicrously big map ever" or "over 200 hours of content" or even just general expectations of 20, 40, or 60 hour games doesn't work well when you are trying to use exactly the same story-telling techniques that a 2 hour movie does.

    I think Dishonored is a great recent example of this. It is entirely possible to blaze through that game in 6 hours or less, but I probably spent at least 20 on my first play-through, because there was so much optional detail there if you really cared. That's how it needs to work. Instead of using the game to pad out a movie story, make a compact core experience and then enhance it with the kinds of things game is better suited for. Overheard conversations, diary entries, lore gleaned from various books, environmental details and secrets that tell stories when you're paying attention.

  4. As someone who did buy and play it, I have to say that I am not furious about the price and I am still glad it got a boxed release. It does a really good job of showing off the engine and the (VASTLY IMPROVED) mechanics in a meaningful way.

    That said, 20 dollars or less would have been a more reasonable price for the one map, albeit a very open-ended one, in which the handful of missions (which are selected from a simple menu) take place. There is certainly a lot of enjoyment to be had in replay given the size and complexity of the base, the large number of weapons and gadgets, and open-ended mechanics if you're into game scenarios that openly encourage player creativity. Playing through the bulk of the content once would probably take 4 hours at most. I've probably put in about 7.

    Overall, I think they could have done better in terms of content or price, but they were pretty open about it from the start and it's still nice to get a taste of the Fox Engine this early. I think a lot of the really strong negative reactions, while not unjustified, are pretty reactionary and hyperbolic.

  5. Well, there is no such thing as headphones/speakers that don't color the sound and using monitors is always preferable (headphones have hugely exaggerated channel separation and major limitations in bass response). That said, the advice in here is pretty solid. I also had decent experience with Grado SR80i's for that price range, though they are a bit treble heavy and they are far from stylish.

    I currently use some V-Moda M-80s as a nice contrast to my monitors. They are more fine tuned for recreational listening, so they emphasize the mids and the bass a bit more and roll back the treble.

    You pretty much can't go wrong with K240s. I'm a proud owner of them, and the only thing you trade up for for $300-$400 headphones is the durability of the product, not the sound quality. Take PRECIOUS care of them, and you'll be alright.

    :-? As a general rule, build quality and durability is not what the cost increases are based on at all, with the possible exception of stylish consumer brands like Skullcandy and Beats, which often just put the same drivers in a different shell.

  6. A cadence is just a harmonic progression that indicates the end of a phrase, section, piece, etc. You could go into the specific classical cadences (authentic, half, plagal cadences), but I basically just mean some variation of your progression that tells your listener that they've reached end of the track.

    I think that fade-out style works a bit better with a more traditional pop song structure (though, it's still not my personal preference). Your remix is basically an "A" section, followed by a bridge back into the "A" section. Attempting that kind of fading chorus without the contrasting verse seems kind of awkward to me. It doesn't sound like the ending of a pop song as much as the beginning of a loop fading out much like simple album edits of looped vgm.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.

  7. Overall, I think this is a pretty good deviation from the source material in terms of basic harmony and structure

    Right off the bat, that piano part sounds incredibly stiff and artificial throughout. Right now, it very clearly sounds like a mouse-sequenced performance. Some velocity variety, beat emphasis consistent with the meter (beats 1 and 3 in 4/4 time), and perhaps a tasteful touch of rhythmic sloppiness would help a lot. Given the prevalence of this instrument in the track, it would be a pretty major change.

    In terms of instrument choice, I think you could use something to fill the frequency range between your bass parts on your melody (maybe some harmony) in a lot of the track. A pad could do the trick. It would also give you a bit more timbral variety, because you have a lot of sharp, plucky sounds with short attack.

    Your percussion part is pretty good, but I think it could be a bit more forward in the mix and I would personally add some variety to the hi hat part (some open hits), because straight 16th notes isn't terribly interesting, especially given the kind of loop-oriented structure of the piece. You might also consider putting some snare hits a beats other than 3, for pretty much the same reason.

    I'm not a big fan of the fade out ending as a rule. It usually ends up sounding like you didn't bother to write a legitimate cadence. Your source may be a looped track, but your remix should have an ending.

  8. I personally went with the Komplete Audio 6, over the 2i2. It's USB 3 compliant, it has a greater variety of inputs and outputs (2 XLR and two balanced 1/4" inputs, 4 balanced 1/4" outputs, MIDI in/out, S/PDIF in/out,), it has a headphone output with dedicated gain control. It's more expensive, but it's feature rich for an interface in its price range.

  9. I wasn't suggesting using only reverb to hide synthetic-sounding articulation, but it would certainly help an already improved performance sound better. There is only so much you can do with automation to make free strings sound better, especially dry. Fluctuations in velocity and pitch are doable, but fluctuations in timbre that aren't already present in the synth/samples are less so.

  10. Cool. Shin Megami Tensei.

    Humanization is definitely your biggest problem, pretty much all around.

    The piano in the bass is pretty iffy throughout, not just in terms of velocity and timbre changes, but arrangement. I would not recommend using it as a simple bass instrument the way you did (following the melody's rhythm on the root). Adding some movement to that part would go along way towards making it sound not only a bit more believable, but just better. You could just start with the root and the fifth of each chord and expand it from there. I'm also curious what exactly you're using for the sound here, because I know of a couple of free sampled/modeled pianos that would probably be an improvement.

    As for the strings, the staccato suffers from the kind of "chugging" effect that's generally caused by utilizing the same staccato string sample in series. It's pretty common with free samples/soundfonts that don't have any sort of round robin support (which is pretty much all of them, especially with strings). Changing up the velocity can help, but getting the variety of timbre from a real performance could prove challenging. I've had some success with LFOs.

    I'm not sure exactly what sounds off about the sustained strings, though I would add some harmony in there, as opposed to the unison octaves.

    I would also recommend some tasteful reverb, not just to give it a sense of space, but because that added distance from the listener will make some of the more mechanical sounding parts less noticeable in general.

  11. Well, my collector's edition arrived a bit late, but it acceptable condition (which, frankly isn't a guarantee with Amazon's unpredictable packaging choices).

    It's a hell of a lot of fun and a nice change of pace from the ball crushing feeling of the Atlus RPGs I got tons of last year. The social features are a lot of fun too. I need more people on my friends list that have the game.

  12. I think this track would work a lot better if it had a sense of progression. Right now, you add variation and cool little details in percussion and such as it goes on, but it always feels like it's in the same place, because it's basically just looping with different glitch effects. It doesn't ever really build on those ideas. It just doesn't feel like there's enough development to justify over 3 minutes of run time. Nothing is really added to the mix after a certain point pretty early on. What you have here is pretty cool, but it doesn't do much to keep the audience's attention for the duration.

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