DarkEco

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    74
  • Joined

  • Last visited

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About DarkEco

  • Rank
    Eggplant Wizard (+50)
  • Birthday 09/11/1989

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Scotland
  • Interests
    Sound design and writing music at a snails pace.

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGbDe6JrqPLoUIS9A7UbcMg

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    FL Studio
    Pro Tools
    Studio One
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Line 6 Helix, Omnisphere, Serum, Hive, SSD4
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Mixing & Mastering
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    Electric Bass
    Electric Guitar: Lead
    Electric Guitar: Rhythm
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Synthesizer

Converted

  • Steam ID
    DarkEco

Recent Profile Visitors

1,717 profile views
  1. Your teacher sounds amazing! Names of the scale degrees. I prefer to just say numbers like a normal human being. I'll often use the term Tonic and Dominant as you tend to hear them a lot more, but between that its just second degree, third degree etc. I call the 7th degree the Leading Tone because it has so much pull towards the Tonic. You don't really land on a 7th unless you want to go to the 1st afterwards, so the name makes a lot of sense. I never actively learned this, i just stumbled upon it one day, probably when i was supposed to be doing something more important. This community and their work is the reason I changed my my career prospects.
  2. I won't pretend to have any valuable experience to offer in your situation, but if i was to advise something, it would be not to establish your self limitations too early. It takes a while for ANYBODY to naturally start asking those questions. Just being able to isolate and analyse a single sound out of an ensemble with only your ear is a skill in itself. I'm a few years in and it's only now that i'm really thinking about music, because frankly if i had been too analytical too early then the passion would have worn out (in fact it did for a while). Years ago, I bought a theory book and began writing out fake lessons (they were planned for YouTube, because obviously YouTube needs MORE videos explaining what a major chord is haha), and i was abosrbing all this new information while doing so. I ended up with about 12 pages before stopping and i felt like i hadn't even scratched the surface. What did i retain from doing that? Mainly the formulae to build scales and chords because that was the one thing that was ALWAYS useful, but that's about it. I consistently have to remind myself how modes work, despite using them all the time, and who actually gives a fuck what a subdominant and submediant are. I can hear when notes work together and when they don't. On paper, i was getting it, but the time spent writing this stuff out was time not spent on just working towards what i was hearing in my head, which was much easier to realise by simply placing my hands on a piano or guitar. I would feel forced to apply something just for the sake of memory retention and frankly was uninspired by the whole thing, and i wouldn't even feel like i was learning how to utilise it properly. Theory rarely ever tells you how to actually apply all this jargon you're learning unless you have a good teacher right there with you, and the application is the most important part! However when i just sat down and played something that resonated with me, i would WANT to find out the theory. For example, i discovered that i naturally, in almost ever scenario, gravitate towards the Mixolydian mode when playing. It would always come through in my music, and from this i began to notice how much of the old video game music i used to listen to as a kid was also Mixolydian. Just making that personal connection was a thousand times for satisfying than learning the Circle of Fifths. Nowadays i definitely spend more time (not a lot though) reading about the "why" more than the "how". Sometimes i'll find something helpful, sometimes i won't. But asking "why" allows me to pursue the "right theory", which severly narrows the learning required, and you can gradually allow the not-so-important stuff to come together naturally over time. Patience is important in this, and i notice you mentioned impatience in a previous post. We're definitely not so different as people. Overthinking is creativity-cancer and i've been a long time victim myself. Overall when it comes to learning music, I believe that listening to what you like and imitating is the most important thing and i stand by that. That way when you're brainstorming your own ideas, you'll be applying more complex theory that they used without even realising it, and you don't have to worry about the analytics of it all until you're ready to. And you will never be completely imitating other peoples work because something will always happen mid way through the process that sets you apart, usually some form of happy accident. The key is to turn it into a happy not-accident As for your comment about motivation dwindling when it comes to the "tiny strokes", i don't know a single person who doesn't go through this. I don't believe it's possible to love a project from start to finish. Just because you care about something immensely doesn't mean you love it, or love sitting in front of it for hours every day. The two main points i've found to be consistently stressful are the halfway mark and the final stretch. The halfway mark is where you will most likely be lost for where to go next and also start obsessively fiddling with the material you already have. The final stretch is due to the fact a project is NEVER FINISHED. Perfection is impossible and even if you feel amazing satisfaction on the day you call a project finished, you'll listen to it a week later and want to change things. For example, i just submitted an OCR that i was immensely happy with. Listened to it a week later and wondered how the hell i didn't realise the rhythm guitars were too loud. Now i'm hoping they ask for me to resubmit it so i can fix it. It's natural and everybody goes through it, and i still struggle with it as much as i did when i started, maybe even more so now that i have a lot more knowledge rattling around in my head. My goal to eventually overcome this is again, consistency. Repetition breeds confidence, of which i have very little, but i do believe gaining confidence over time will make the process less stressful and the quesitons in my head easier to answer. EDIT: Btw i appreciate you creating this thread, as it's not only helped you but given me a good outlet to really sift through my thoughts and read back to myself just how i feel about these things. I've never said this stuff "out loud" to myself or really pinpointed my feelings this way. It's quite therapeutic.
  3. My life. I'm starting to find that having more of a "leap before you look" approach to things helps. Come up with a project idea and then try to fulfill it to its full potential. You will naturally do all the learning you need along the way because your curiosities will guide you. Theory books do nothing for me unless i need them for a specific purpose. Reading through a few consecutive chapters about chords, scales, modes, cadences, circle of fifths etc just overwhelms me, because i can't possibly apply all that to the next thing i write and still have a natural flow of ideas or any amount of FUN, and without application all those concepts are just abstract, which really doesn't gel with me. However, If i'm halfway through a piece and i'm struggling to make a melody and harmony work, then it can be helpful to maybe ask myself what my notes are really doing and what my options are, and the experience is far more beneficial because i can apply my learning right there and then. To begin with, you can't easily come up with a direction for a piece unless you listen to the music that fascinates you and pay attention to the composition, arrangement, sound design and production in said music. That will raise questions in your head. "Why does that lead sound soar so well?", "Why does that melody over that chord change give me butterflies?", "How is that kick drum so punchy?". This will start your process, even if it's simply Youtubing "How to make dank kicks yo?" (Disclaimer: I can't make dank kicks). Doing this will eventually open up a rabbit hole of resources and learning; the tricky bit is trying not to fall too far into it otherwise you'll get distracted and the project will get shelved in "that folder". You know the one, with the 50 other projects you never finished that makes your stomach sink when you think about it. I think we all have that folder. So make sure you only go as far as you need to in order to fulfill the project. The next project will reinforce and build your learning further as you'll already have that base experience that you'll be applying and can afford to dig a little deeper. Don't right off the bat think "Fuck! I need to know sidechain compression! I'll never be able to do a proper music without it! All those popular people like Skrawlex and Ziggy Dog Dog use it!". Yes it's useful, but not using it doesn't make your mix unlistenable, and not every genre requires it. Unless you're trying to make a dance music-esque "pump" then the mix benefits of sidechaining are subtle and only necessary on something that repeats a lot e.g kick and bass as it's really just automatic amplitude automation. Don't think i'm understating the benefits of sidechaining though, it does make a noticeable difference that's worth it when you get a better ear for mixing. But before worrying about "mix tricks" like that, i'd say it's more important to understand general mixing practice and balancing of levels, then enhance that understanding with sidechaining. This will make you more assertive and justified in your choice of using sidechaining, rather than just doing it because other people do and you think it's helping (I'm saying all this because you mentioned sidechaning in your post above). By the end of a project you probably won't remember everything you've learned, but something i do is to just have a small notepad on my desk for "Session Notes", stick the date at the top and any time you learn something or discover something that could be important, just jot it down quickly. For example, i learned when doing my last remix that the tom drums in my plugin needed to have their release times turned down to almost zilch because they were overlapping and creating a lot of mud and resonance. I wouldn't have been able to pinpoint the toms as the "bad mix culprit" without painstakingly soloing EVERYTHING, but now i don't have to do that again and i'll have a note on how to set up my drums next time. I still don't have notes on how to make a perfect snare drum, but i have some notes here and there. Over time i'll have more and i'll start to realise what it is i actually like in a snare sound, and then crafting what i like in the future will become second nature. By the end you'll have a pile of these notes and you can flick through them to remind yourself of small things. Eventually you'll have so many you'll want to consolidate them, and by this point you will have been through a fair few projects so it'll be easier to know which notes were valuable to you in the long run. Maybe by this point you'll have experience in mixing an entire drum kit and not just the kick, for example. Why not use your compiled notes to write a mix strategy for drums and pin that shit on your wall? What i'm trying to get at is that it's more important to just "do". The learning comes with the doing. I can vouch for it as i've been doing this for a few years now and this is the first time i'm reading back a post and feeling like an actual human who kinda knows what he's talking about. Sitting, paralysed with anxiety over what i should be learning didn't get me anywhere. I'm assuming from your OP that you know a fair bit of piano. Well when i started i was just putting my fingers in random places, but it was enough to get SOMETHING down (I also cared a lot less back then). Over time i'd just hit a wall and start to ask myself "Right, how the hell do i make Major and minor chords, because this shit just ain't working for me anymore", and that was my learning motivation. When Major and minor chords weren't doing it for me anymore i started adding some 7ths etc. Simple example, but you see what i mean. The "doing" part is daunting, but not necessarily difficult. The hardest part for me personally is coming up with a defined style in the first place, which is where listening to already existing elements of your favourite tracks comes in handy. The best starting point for anyone in my opinion is to take elements you like from the genres you like and try to mash them together and see what happens. That's your ruleset established and your necessary learning narrowed down and from there you can refine your style. That's how i made my frankenstein of a debut track on OCR. I mean, I'd love to learn how to write beautifully composed scores on a piece of manuscript and conduct a symphony orchestra, but that'll only come after i learn how to make a song out of mic feedback and guitars processed through 12 synthesizers while i play with my feet! This is how you make a Doom 2016 soundtrack and change the game, guys! Mastery comes with repetition. Don't listen to the voice in the back of your head telling you you're doing it wrong, or you should be learning this or that. You can't do it wrong, and i believe it's an impossibility to somehow lose progress and get worse over time. Just keep doing shit. As @Rozovian said to me when i made a similar post some time ago... "Keep making pancakes."
  4. Great feedback as always, Greg, and i agree with it all. Originally i actually had the entire piece simply as filler, void of melodies because i had created a randomised playback system since the game plays as one long level that gradually increases in difficulty over time, and i didn't want the music to get too repetitive. It was all working, but the client said there's much more value in a melody that never gets old, and that i should start practicing writing said melodies now. So i stripped the whole piece apart and built it again from the ground up with new melodic content and old rhythm and harmonic ideas. It was quite last minute, so yes, the melodies aren't quite realised yet, but i'm glad to hear it's still a solid piece for a demonstration. Also glad to hear there are no issues with the low end of the mix, because that always seems to be my biggest issue.
  5. This is my first game audio project (also a student project) and the client is pitching to a well known publisher at GDC this month. Now i think i've got it in a good place overall, but the anxiety bells are ringing a fair bit so i could do with some solid feedback on things. The game is being pitched in a prototype state so i wanted to get a 3-4min loop that demonstrates the overall vibe of things. The genre is a tropical themed, competitive multiplayer, collect-a-thon, brawler type thing. Music inspiration came from games like DKC: Returns, Move or Die, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Spyro, Crash, Candy Crush (for musical type SFX), Sonic CD (US) and various Rayman games, as well as trying to add a bit of an electronic aesthetic to match the clients more recent releases. I'm at the point of polishing but not sure if i'm looking for issues that aren't even there, so if there's anything glaringly obvious then i'd love you to tell me <3 FYI The abrupt ending is because it loops, and the semi-abrupt start is because it cuts from the menu music (on the beat) as soon as the gameplay begins.
  6. DarkEco

    Video Game Addiction

    I can't absorb myself in long gaming sessions anymore because I start to feel guilty and anxious about not doing other things. Even if I've sat at my desk and worked for 12 hours I find it really hard to relax in the evenings. Part of me thinks it's because I don't actually want to play games as much in my free time, but i'm so used to seeing it as the only option that I feel obligated to do it out of habit. Heck, if i'm honest they feel like work now in a lot of ways. I've been wanting to get back into Terraria for months but every time I open it I feel overwhelmed about the amount of work it would take to build something cool. Same with Skyrim. Additionally, with the speed games are released these days I feel more pressure to play often so I can actually feel that sensation of knowing a game inside out like I did when I was younger, because to me that was the difference between just playing a game and loving a game. It was so much easier when I would get a game maybe once every 6 months and completely master it because of the multiple playthroughs I would have to do. Nowadays it feels more like a race to just finish the games that are being spat out every week. To remedy things I've started only buying games that I believe will offer me a valuable experience and preferably has a start and an end. I'm putting a serious dampener on games like Fallout that could potentially go on forever, and I've pretty much quit Guild Wars 2, Warframe and anything that has a grind factor like that (though I will get Monster Hunter World because I love the series. To scratch the online competitive itch I play Atlas Reactor, because it's a quick 15-20min game I can play in work breaks on my laptop with little commitment. Forcing myself to reduce the gaming scope has opened up some time for things like reading, which is nice.
  7. I've been offered an opportunity to collaborate with a fellow student on some game music. This isn't something I've ever tried before, even with basic songwriting, and I was wondering what people's workflow would be for something like this? We'd both be using different DAWs for one thing, so we couldn't easily share the project back and forth or anything. I'm so used to working with and keeping midi tracks, but obviously I'd need to print audio to send it over, which feels like committing to ideas way sooner than I'm used to. It all feels quite alien and uncomfortable. I don't want to waste too much time tripping over each other at the start, so any pro tips to help get a running start would be much appreciated.
  8. DarkEco

    Too many projects in general

    This pretty much resonates with what i was saying about hearing underdeveloped sections too many times and not being able to imagine them any other way. @Mazedude definitely has the right idea and it's been working for me as well. I'll wake up at 6am, get the usual morning habits done and by 7am i'm at my desk for a dedicated 2 hour period where i will concentrate on music production. Than when 9am hits i'll start to work on my more essential things like University work. That way i know i got two hours done and even if the progress i made was little, i know that i still made progress and i'm being consistent. I find i have a lot less anxiety by starting work in the morning since i've still got the whole day ahead of me, which free's my mind a lot because i'm not feeling pressure from the hours in the day running out. I hate doing anything that requires deep thought in the evening and would rather just read or watch Netflix. Now i don't feel guilty about having chill evenings. Actually getting up at 6am is horrible though.
  9. DarkEco

    Too many projects in general

    I definitely understand the struggle pushing past the 8-16bar "this sounds cool" phase. I'll often sit down to continue writing something and then realise that 3 hours have gone by and i've listened to the "cool loop" so many times i can't imagine it sounding any different. Usually within that time i'll have accidentally come up with a new 8-16 bar section for a completely different project, and so the cycle continues... I will say though, the only thing that has worked for me, even if i don't 100% have a direction or know what i'm doing in general, is to just plonk my arse at the computer at 8am and absorb myself in it for the next 12 hours. Something eventually clicks within that timeframe that makes me say "Yes! I know what i want to do next!". I find that listening to similar music as a reference often makes new ideas pop up.
  10. DarkEco

    I need to know if this is normal...

    Haha, I get what you're saying, however, this is my second time in uni (I'm 28). I did the straight to uni out of high school thing when I was 17 and ended up in a course I hated and left after a year , it wasn't audio related though. I guess I feel I wasted a lot of time in the past 10 years so the pressure to do well faster is always in the back of my head now
  11. DarkEco

    I need to know if this is normal...

    What a valuable post! Thanks for sharing, @Patrick Burns!
  12. Ok thanks for clarifying! I'll be sure to try out some odder time signatures too. The fact it seemed somewhat "tame" was one of the reasons I wasn't sure if it would be considered polyrhythmic.
  13. I'm having a difficult time getting a solid answer on this from Google (or i'm just not understanding it). I'm trying to find out if something i've written falls into either category. From what i've gathered: - Polyrhythms are triplets over duplets organised in a way that both rhythms will always land on beat 1. - Cross-rhythms are just two independent rhythms that can be duplets or triplets and don't really have any rules. The things is, i'm finding conflictions in various sources and i'm just confused now. Is this rhythm i've made an example of either a cross or polyrhythm? Audio file included. https://soundcloud.com/darkeco/rhythm-example/s-V5Lkc
  14. DarkEco

    I need to know if this is normal...

    Really sorry to semi-necro this thread, but i can't not reply to this and hate that i didn't see it sooner... @Sixto, the first OCR i ever heard was "Wicked Six". I was a huge fan of instrumental guitarists such as Satriani, Vai, John 5 etc, so it went straight to my heart. Before i heard that remix, i had never heard of a DAW and i had zero ambition in life. I had no clue what i wanted to strive to be. Listening to YOUR work turned a page in my life where i knew i wanted to become a part of this community and be involved in sound in some way as a career. I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the talent i heard from youself and others, and damn do i wish i could shred like you. Well. here i am, finally about to submit my own Castlevania remix (which i believe to be my most impressive work so far) and i was using YOUR track as reference along the way. On top of that i'm close to getting a University degree in an audio field, something that i never thought i'd be intelligent or ambitous enough to obtain. Believe me, your music (yes YOUR music) is making a difference to people, a huge difference! I'd listen to your version of "I'll Go" any day over the original because to me your vision is significantly better overall. It's one of my most played YouTube videos. I even modded it into Smash Bros Brawl haha. And i've never even played Tales of Symphonia, so your version stands on its own without any nostalgia goggles propping it up! Keep rocking, bro! @Phonetic Hero, i've finally got round to watching the 8bit Music Theory channel recommended! Holy shit! This guy's amazing! One of the biggest problems i've had with theory was not being able to truly understand it's application in writing. I'm supporting this guy! First channel i've ever supported!
  15. DarkEco

    I need to know if this is normal...

    That was a great comment, man! Thanks so much for that! It's made me feel more human and less broken. I always feel guilty if i'm not working on something, and i always assume that it's because i'm lacking passion/it's not for me. But there are just some days where i really don't want to sit in my box room for hours. That YT channel looks like something that could be very helpful too, so i'll be sure to check it out. What you said about adding a dummy wave to test things in your projects, that's something i'm going to really have to wrap my head around. See, i've being studying in more of a sound design focused field, so i've always put the sound itself over the composition. I find it hard to imagine how a musical passage could eventually sound if i was to make it enitrely out of pianos or simple waveforms. Is a triangle wave enough to let you know that it will sound good no matter what suitable instrumentation or synth patch is used in the end?