JohnStacy

Contributors
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    161
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About JohnStacy

  • Rank
    Mudkip (+150)

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Amarillo, Tx

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    www.johnstacy.net

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
    Reaper
  • Software - Preferred Plugins/Libraries
    Cinesamples, Default Logic Plugins, Fluid GM3
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Mixing & Mastering
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
    French Horn
    Saxophone: Alto
    Saxophone: Baritone
    Saxophone: Tenor
    Trombone
    Trumpet
    Tuba
    Vocals: Male
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Jazz Improvization

Converted

  • Real Name
    John Stacy
  • Occupation
    Teacher/Freelance Jazz Performer

Recent Profile Visitors

2,540 profile views
  1. I saw it on a date with my wife a few days ago. I thought it was very good. Enjoyed it from start to finish and would highly recommend to people.
  2. I have a lot of music I need to write over the next few months. None of it is NDA (most of it is for my entry portfolio for a doctorate program), so I can be completely open with it. If I were to livestream composition on twitch, what kind of format would you enjoy to watch? Just dry composition, or what?
  3. Wait, so Renaissance modes are basically quite similar to modern modes, just following counterpoint rules from the period? I thought they were more similar to the ancient Greek modes.
  4. I was mainly approaching from a performance practice standpoint and how to apply it appropriately in the writing process. I am going to read through this Treatise you have presented here, because I am quite interested in learning about Renaissance modes, and possibly applying them to modern music.
  5. You know what, now that you put it this way, that really seems to be it, now doesn't it?
  6. The identity thing is one I actually hadn't even considered, but now that you bring it up, I definitely think that is a big factor. I actually realize that I did the same thing with both the playstation and xbox, and also different games and series. My first jrpg was Tales of Symphonia, and turn based games really didn't appeal to me after that. This was 2004 and it has taken me until this year (2 months ago) to actually start playing Final Fantasy, and that's because I actually played Tangledeep first. But I think that was because the people who played those games were people I didn't want to be around, so I did make the association. You've given me a lot to think about.
  7. For the most part, any good DAW will be good for this, provided it has the right features. Apple Logic, REAPER, and Cubase are all used to varying degrees. It's also dependent on how many mics you're using, what your interface/console options are, etc. If you're wanting to use a spot mic on every section, a decca tree, and hall mics, you're using something like 19-20 mics minimum. If all you have is an interface with 2 inputs, it isn't going to work. Alternatively, if you have the most awesome 64 input console ever, but only 2 mics, that obviously won't work. Even more, the amount of mics/inputs you have is completely irrelevant if you don't have a good connection. A lot of larger interfaces with more inputs use firewire connection, and some use other specialized connections. Most DAWs that are worth anything have the capability to process/record from many different inputs at the same time, provided everything on the input side of things is configured correctly. I get a lot of hate when I say this in certain circles, but Protools (we affectionately call it proodles) is the industry standard BECAUSE it's the industry standard. For the most part, there's this huge complex around "GOTTA USE THE INDUSTRY STANDARD OR YOU AIN'T KNOW CRAP ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING." This is wrong. Even more so, the sentiment continues to Logic, Cubase, etc. If it functions well and does what you want it to do, it works. Reaper is a perfectly functional DAW for what you want to do for $60. Logic is cheaper than it's ever been, but still highly functional.
  8. You're really asking about an area that people actually get degrees in. Early music is basically the study of performance, theory, and history of the early classical period and before, usually about 1775 and earlier. Is a thesis on the subject. A treatise on the subject is not likely to exist. For the most part, instrumental training of the period required a master teacher to teach their students using their own methods, many of which either didn't survive or didn't age well. Composers also didn't really document these things until the end of the Baroque period, in that area of music that could just be called "18th century." The divide between classical and baroque at 1750 really doesn't make much sense, especially if you're trying to find stylistic information to inform your writing in the idiom. Rameau wrote a treatise on music theory, but that is more theoretical and less performance practice. I did some research, and found that harpsichord methods actually do an okay job of introducing the concepts, although a lot of it isn't really clear unless you have somebody familiar with the style going through it with you. You're going to have to look at it through the lens of a performer, and really try to dig in to the performance aspect of it before you try to apply it as an arranger.
  9. It was a very good deal. I only bought 2 more games since then for that console. I sold it to one of my wife's friends this last summer. Wanted her kids to be able to play what she had growing up. So now it is being put to good use.
  10. Lately, there has been a storm of things attacking Ocarina of Time as being a sub-par game entering my view, and I find the different perspectives interesting, and a lot of valid points are made. A lot of these things actually come from a wide time span, from about 2010 to a month ago, but for whatever reason the first time I see them is today. So I am going to offer my opinion on the subject, mainly because my graduate thesis piece on Ocarina of Time is to be released soon. Background in spoiler tags. Critiques are a wonderful aspect of the creative process. As a music composition graduate student, my professor tells me that if nobody hates what you do, it's because it's bland and uninteresting. If you have anything of value, somebody somewhere will hate it. So I see things I like in the same light. However, the intent of critique seems to carry a lot more weight because of this. More times than not, the intent is a lot more clear than the author may have thought. Most of the recent criticisms of Ocarina of Time seem to come from a place of "let's knock this game off its pedestal because it is only good because nostalgia." The reason I have a problem with critiques that come the place of dethroning is that they critique aspects of the gameplay and story much more harshly than they do for other games. In the example of story, one such critique praised Wind Waker, Link to the Past, and Zelda 1 for their stories, but attacked Ocarina of time for being uninteresting purely for the aspect that the whole story was centered around "go get these things, beat Ganon." The bad part about this is that the games they praised were centered around the exact same concept so the critique fell flat. This kind of critique happens any time somebody doesn't agree with the success of a creative endeavor. A few years ago, a list started circulating of the most overrated jazz artists throughout history, along with reasoning. The two most overrated jazz musicians on this list were Maynard Ferguson and Stan Kenton, with Charles Mingus being 3rd. This really struck me weird, as the reasoning was very shallow. Ferguson was attacked for his "sparkly, overly bright sound." He was a trumpet player who played in the high range. High trumpet is sparkly and bright. You can not like trumpet, but you have to admit that bias if you're going to give the defining aspect of the instrument as the main critique of the artist rather than dancing around it entirely. The same thing happens in critiques of software all the time. A while ago the notation software Sibelius was featured in a video on bad design, and within days there were people who had never touched the program talking about it like they were long time experts on it. It was interesting, because these people I know had never used notation software were suddenly questioning me why I used it, as if they were a mentor suggesting a better alternative. People who had never used notation software were all suddenly popping up with the exact same complaints about the program overnight. (Manifested in discussions about notation software and people trying to convince others away from sibelius because "but the ribbon is bad, and so are the dialogue boxes!") Back to Ocarina of Time, and to a similar extent Majora's Mask, a lot of the critiques really do seem to be trying to say "you only like this game because of nostalgia, and if you didn't have the nostalgia you wouldn't like it, and if you do like it it's because you don't know anything about good games." I will not contest that first part. If you honestly think that Ocarina of Time is viewed like it is without at least some nostalgia, you're wrong. The second point also is somewhat valid. I have known of quite a few people who played it for the first time as adults and didn't like it. Younger people who played it for the first time also don't get it. So you can make the argument that nostalgia fueled the view of the game as a masterpiece. However, if you're going to make that argument, you have to take into account that Link to the Past, Zelda 1, and Wind Waker typically get the same response. Apply to Mario games, Metroid, etc. This is where the argument actually falls apart in most cases. The last point is one I highly object to. I really never have gotten into the idea that people have where "if you like this, it's only because you don't know what good <thing> actually is." I was told that I only like Herp Albert, Weather Report, and video game music because I didn't know what good music is. I am almost done with a master's degree in music composition, have played as a professional session musician for a groups of a lot of genres (pop, rock, country, jazz, Latino, etc). I STILL like Herp Albert, Weather Report, and video game music. But now I know what really good music is, and I can listen to that too. I can listen to the greatest composers of the Classical music canon. I can listen to the greatest jazz artists. I can appreciate the greatest rock artists. I enjoy and appreciate all of those. But I can still listen to the ones I used to listen to. I have played great video games. I still like Ocarina of Time. I still like Majora's Mask. I am a casual gamer. I don't like highly difficult games, and never really have. Difficulty isn't a sole factor in determining a game to be good or not. I am not really interested in playing Cuphead for this reason. I play games mainly for story and progression. Yet, people like me are referred to constantly in these critiques as being "not real gamers." This is the equivalent of being told that "because you play casually, you don't know what a good game is, therefore you are wrong if you like this game." Part of the reason I dislike this kind of critique is largely because the intent drenched in passive aggression. The passive aggressive tone quickly becomes very obvious the more the person giving the critique repeats the phrase "I just don't get it is all." Backing away and looking at the discussion as a whole, it is perfectly clear that there is no intent to understand or try to communicate about it. You can say "I don't like this thing" without having to hide it behind a "I don't get why people like this" if you're not actually going to make an attempt to understand. It is okay to not like things, and it is okay to accept that people like things. It is okay to come out and say that you don't like a thing, and it is okay to justify why you don't like it. On the other hand, it's okay to like things, and it is definitely okay to not attack people for not liking things, which is what got us in this mess in the first place. For the most part, most of these critiques are riddled with people in the comment section that just attack back without actually contributing. "THIS GAME WAS GREAT YOU"RE STUPID" kind of comments. I guess that's just what has been bugging me lately.
  11. First game I bought with my own money was probably Super Metroid. From an ebay auction for a SNES and 16 games. This cost me $100, which I got from allowance from doing a lot of chores for people up and down the street. My family was quite poor, so $100 was a big deal.
  12. A good starting place is: http://vicfirth.com/percussion-101/ It serves to introduce concert percussion, which can help in writing for them. A lot of people venture into orchestral/cinematic style writing, and write really bizarre things for percussion that sound mechanical and unmusical. Understanding how these instruments are actually played helps write for them effectively and improves the humanization of the music. For drum set, there is a spot here: http://vicfirth.com/a-fresh-approach-to-drumset/ Also published by Vic Firth, this is a good starting place to understand drum set. If you have a functional understanding of how drum set is played, you can write and sequence drum parts that don't sound mechanical. Then just a general percussion thing: http://vicfirth.com/education-resource-library/ These places are a solid place to start to understand percussion.
  13. Actually my focus for my master's is recording. The issue is that I'm isolated from campus, so all original composition recording basically falls on me, and I haven't been able to record the stuff yet. BUT I am releasing an original album in the next few months.
  14. So as an orchestral musician and and a brass player myself I really just wait around this forum for people to send orchestral stuff. So this hits both of the areas of things I do. The first thing I notice is that the mixing is actually pretty good, everything is really clear, and it's for the most part orchestrated well. That said, I do have some objections to the use of samples here. It seems like you're using cinebrass (or another similar sounding brass library), which is just fine. Cinebrass is awesome. I think you could do a little bit different job of using the articulations patch. In this case, using 2 layers, an articulation patch, and the legato patch under it. That gives you the sustain and power of the brass, but without the "pretty" articulation that that patch normally has. Let's take a timestamped journey: Beginning - Your use of the Captain Falcon samples throughout are hilarious, in a very good way. Beginning - This brass figure where you're repeating the note over and over, I can tell by listening that the velocities are either very similar or the same and you're just relying on the round robin articulations of the patch. I would suggest using the repeated notes in the strings, and letting the brass just hit accents. This is my orchestral brass player side talking. I have had to play many parts written just like this. They're tiring and really tedious to rehearse, for not much musical reward. I also think that doubling the horns and trumpets in octaves like this would be more effective with just the hits rather than every note. You can hear that this adds some mud to an otherwise clean mix. :21 - I'm listening with headphones now. I think you actually are using the sustain+articulation thing I mentioned, but the sustain is so much quieter than the attack that it just sounds like attack to me, and it ends up doing that car horn, honky kind of sound. Balance out articulation+sustain and it'll work really well. Actually that covers most of the things I'm hearing here.
  15. I have a few non-vgm endeavors. I am currently working on a master's degree in music composition, and planning to continue in a DMA in music composition. As a result I'm doing a lot of composition and arranging of many different non-VGM things. Sadly I don't have that many recordings, especially of things done during the master's degree (I have recordings of undergrad things). The university I go to has absolutely horrible sound recording capabilities and most of the recordings of my pieces are borderline unusable. The performance quality is also iffy for some of them. BUT thanks to the magic of remote session musicians and modern recording technology, I am starting to get recordings this way. If you ever see anything released by the February 33 Jazz Orchestra, note that although it sounds like a hoppin 28 person jazz band, it really is only 6-10 guys that record everything themselves in about 6-10 locations from around the world and mixed.