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About JohnStacy

  • Rank
    Goomba (+100)
  • Birthday 12/09/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Clarendon, Texas

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  • Website URL

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    3. Very Interested
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • 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
    Vocals: Male
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Jazz Improvization


  • Real Name
    John Stacy
  • Occupation
    Teacher/Freelance Jazz Performer
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  1. So a live performance is unlikely to happen. Maybe if you contacted the Game Music Ensemble at UCLA or the Gamer Symphonies in New England it could, but otherwise unlikely. BUT If a fan orchestral album does happen, I would gladly provide brass recording for that. I have worked with quite a few people in the VGM community doing orchestral brass sections. I think a project like this would be fun to record. I am an experienced orchestral brass musician, and this kind of thing is right up my alley.
  2. So I recently figured out that since I have a windows computer, I can get Anvil Studio again. I pride myself in my ability to sight read. I can very successfully read most things handed to me. This is where it started. I would read thousands of midi files of different types of music and had so much fun reading until my face wore out. Today, in my excitement, I grabbed a backup horn from the office, a mouthpiece I don't normally play on, and just wanted to share this excitement with the world.
  3. JohnStacy

    How do you make a theme villainous?

    So generally, there are two ways that I think of to make things villainous: 1. Slow harmonic rhythm (chords don't change rapidly), and a lot of tonally ambiguous melodies. Usually, this will involve a chord that drones on say F minor, then having the melody focus on D natural, E natural, G natural, and B natural. Essentially, the melody is in G major-ish, and the harmony is in F minor. But the starts and ends of phrases will be in F minor. A melody I would write would be...F-D-E-G-B-C-Ab-G. Something like that. 2. Building on the chromatic mediant idea, going from a minor chord to a 7th chord adds a sour, villain flavor. Example - C minor (C, Eb, G) moving to Ab7 (Ab, C, Eb, Gb) has a sour feel to it. 3. I lied. There are more than 2. Chromatic movement is beautiful for this. Start with a minor chord, then move parallel chromatically, such as C minor, B minor, Bb minor. OR C minor, B major, Bb major, A major. The overarching idea I have when writing these things is to start with a very usual, tonal idea, then go against the tonal expectations in a deliberate and consistent way.
  4. JohnStacy

    Kingdom Hearts 3 Is Finished...But Who Is It For?

    I would be interested in checking that series out. So I guess I would be part of the group that would buy it. It sounds like a great series, I love the concept, and I've enjoyed the soundtrack. But until it releases on a Nintendo console, like the Switch, or PS emulation improves drastically, I'm not going to do that. Just because I have never had, and probably won't get a PS of any variety. But my sister got me a switch, so that's an option. Being 25, married, with a full time job and grad school but no kids gives me a little bit of free time but not enough to branch out to a new console.
  5. JohnStacy

    Inspirational OC ReMixers. Ego food donations.

    I think you're pretty neat. You released a soundtrack a while ago that I still listen to.
  6. JohnStacy

    Inspirational OC ReMixers. Ego food donations.

    Neblix, Bustatunez, Detective Tuesday and Sixto were the main ones that I became friends with and talked to a lot. Wiesty was the one who welcomed me into the OC Jazz collective which made me examine my arranging style more closely. There are plenty more, those were just the ones I interacted with the most when I became active in 2016. Although far from a musical newbie (I had already finished a music composition degree and was working toward a career as a session horn player), I was a newbie to this scene.
  7. Take elements of the things you are transitioning to and from and mix them together. If you're transitioning from something that is slow and legato to something that is a little faster and more detached, start altering some of the things near the end of the slow section to be more detached, so that the style change doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. Take themes from the later sections and introduce them as secondary themes in the current section. Essentially, it's just a matter of introducing stuff in little bits before you get there so that it doesn't seem like you suddenly arrived out of nowhere.
  8. Here is more or less the final version. Recording/production should start before too long. I sent out parts to some people for proofreading/suggestions. Rhythm section parts are finished minus minor notation edits.
  9. JohnStacy

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    My last thought, which I'm giving, leaving, and not coming back to: One of my remixes is so far removed from the original that if you take away the original melody, because of the altered harmony and counterpoint, it sounds like a completely different piece. I've actually performed said remix without the original melody as an original composition for a graduate composition recital. An analysis of it shows that without the melody, the style, harmony, and counterpoint are so far removed from the original that it can classify as a completely different piece no matter how you look at it. I mean's now less than 10% the speed of the original, the melody was almost completely reharmonized. The harmony doesn't even classify as tonal anymore at this point. It has a loose key center, so it's key centric, but the function of the chords don't exist in a traditionally tonal sense. If you speed it up 10x, then the groups of measures together suggest a tonal progression, but the actual phrases in the piece are not tonal. Basically I wrote a contrafact of the Underwater theme from Super Mario Bros. I'm a jazz musician, so the idea of taking several tunes with the exact same content and changing the melody is normal. The concept of contrafact is kind of a center point of the genre. Sometimes when people write a tune, the original writers fade into obscurity while the performers of said piece get credited. Donna Lee is credited to Miles Davis, but that is heavily debated. It is a contrafact of the tune Indiana, and is practiced as such. The chord changes to I Got Rhythm are so iconic that we just basically call them rhythm changes. There is no effort at all to hide the fact that it's basically the exact content of the song minus the melody. There are other times where tunes are arranged in DRASTICALLY different styles and although they are the original song, they contributed to the development of the genre, or in some cases multiple genres in a significant way. Many musicians do arrangements literally all the time to develop their compositional and arrangement technique. More times than not, doing an arrangement of a VG tune in the style of a composer helps me learn more about the writing of that composer than if I were writing an original tune in that style. It takes less time, so I can get more out of it really quickly. Brahms wrote Theme and Variations on a Theme by Haydn. But Brahms is credited as the composer, not the arranger. In the classical canon, having a theme and variations form virtually always results in a new piece, even though the melodic content was written by somebody else. Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss are some of the major composers in the classical canon, and they all wrote theme and variations on the themes of somebody else, yet are credited as the composers. Theme and Variations on a Theme by Haydn was basically a remix of a piece by Haydn. But Brahms is credited as composer. I mean if by added some seasoning you mean I dumped so many seasonings to it that it's basically a mountain of rainbow powder with no liquid left, then yes. I just added some seasoning of my own. That is a simplification of what goes on and you know it, so please drop the condescending attitude toward the matter, thank you very much. And please for the love of God don't do the thing where you quote each individual sentence of this post and make me defend it line by line, because I have better things to do with my time. People get tired of that REALLY quickly, because more times than not, you simplify what they said in your response, which just adds fuel to the fire rather than continuing the discussion. People waste so much more time correcting your simplifications than actually continuing the discussion because you "don't give a shit."
  10. JohnStacy

    The Best Video Games of This Decade

    The last game I played before this year was in 2008. That said, in this decade, I have played Super Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild. I liked Super Mario Odyssey better.
  11. JohnStacy

    Zelda OoT has still the infamous chanting

    I thought I dreamed the chanting at first. The neighbor girls had the game in a 1.0 cart, and we went through the game together, but didn't make it all the way through. I got a 1.2 cart later on when I got an n64 for Christmas and entered the fire temple again on my own, and thought something was missing, but just thought I dreamed the chanting. Through the power of the internet, you can find out that you weren't dreaming. Magic Technology from the future!
  12. My skills leading ensembles transfer to using samples, in the times where I use samples. More times than not, I write in a very realistic way, then try to make the samples conform to this. For example, the piano sound I use in virtually everything I do is very mediocre. It's not great, but it's small and sounds consistent. I record all my piano stuff in manually, even if I have to do it at slower tempo and speed it up. Because of the recording everything manually, the velocity data is recorded from the keyboard, so it adopts my performance style. The result? With a little bit of EQ it actually sounds like a pretty good performance. I also have to apply humanization in Logic to it because my midi keyboard sends velocity somewhat uneven. A gradual crescendo sometimes turns into something that suddenly gets much bigger. Same for drums. I record all my own drums now on a free drum sound. Sennheiser released a drum library called Drum Mic A (Drumica) that was designed as an advertisement for their microphones. Their microphones are great, and the library sounds great. Record those sounds on a midi kit and you can have some REALLY good drum tracks. That said, if you do this for all instruments, it helps. Mediocre sounds, if you just punch in the notes as all the same velocity, perfectly identical note lengths, etc, will sound bad not only because the sample quality is low, but also because the actual music data the samples are applied to is dull, inhuman, and static. Even the worst samples sound better if you apply musicality to them, and include the little inconsistencies and imperfections that come with it. Going further than that, quantization is a pretty bad thing to do when you have lower quality samples. Many samples, when played exactly on top of each other will sound very unusual, which can be a neat effect but otherwise is not what you want. Most of the time, depending on the tempo, I will quantize to the 32nd, or for really fast tempos, the 16th note. This makes everything line up, but allows for some variety that comes across as performance rather than sloppy rhythm. Doing a lot to balance the samples you use in context also works wonders. Applying reverb, predelay, and other basic audio techniques can create a space and a field that can be believable. You mention orchestral samples, so thinking about writing orchestral music is a really solid idea. In an orchestra, you probably aren't going to have a flute that sounds louder than the entire orchestra. In an orchestra, especially one of good players, sounds will blend and come out when needed, back off when not. Filter automation can assist with this, lowering the cutoff for softer dynamics, and raising it for louder dynamics. Having a trumpet section playing with a soft tone (darker, less brassiness, lower filter cutoff) but being heard loudest in the mix just sounds off, in a very extreme way. Having a trumpet section playing with a loud tone (brighter, more brassiness, higher filter cutoff) but buried in the mix also sounds off. Balancing the sounds with your writing is a big way to continue. On that note, a thing I stick by is that if your orchestration/arrangement sounds badly balanced, and muddy in general midi sounds, there is going to be an extreme amount of mixing gymnastics you will have to do to fix those balance and transparency problems. If the general midi sounds applied to the arrangement sound balanced, just with bad sound, then applying any better sounds will improve the sound of the mix. This is only if the orchestration is good to begin with. TL;DR - Focus on audio production and orchestration, then apply the samples to what you have done.
  13. Really, I do this intuitively as imagining how to make a band of bad players sound good. Have to make the samples blend together and balance well, and also match style. You'll be surprised how far that goes. Really just work on production techniques and write in a way to take advantage of what you have. I can elaborate more, but won't be able to until tomorrow.
  14. JohnStacy

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    Man I ain't read That's a lot of text Anyway, side conversation. How far do you have to go to manipulate source material to make it something that could be considered new? Ives wrote a piece that is literally just a hymn slowed down beyond recognition. He is credited as composer, although he didn't actually alter anything else beyond the speed of the music. There is also another that stretches a recording of Beethoven 9 to be 24 hours long. Again, credited as a new composition. I am no stranger to this, Reflecting pool slows down the Underwater theme from Super Mario Bros to 12.5% speed. The melody is the only thing, and it goes so slow that most people don't catch it at first. If I were to remove the first part (melody), the other 6 parts would be heard as a new piece entirely, but with the melody, it could be seen as a very liberal arrangement. The law can only be so clear due to the subjective nature of it. For the people in this discussion, what are your thoughts on this? There is a point where you can move far enough away from the source for it to be considered a new work. Where does this happen?
  15. JohnStacy

    Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

    Not to sound patronizing, but duh (starting a sentence with that can carry more connotations than you think) I'm sure a lot of people don't look at is they hold creative ownership over what they create. Almost always, when discussing remixes or arrangements, they are always remixes OF <game> by <composer> remixed/arranged by <arranger>. Tribute would be a more accurate term. That said, the creative work that happens to it really does reflect on the person remixing. Listen to Aquatic Ambience, now pick 50 remixes of it (as good as the track is, I think it has been done to death), and tell me how many of them sound like the same person doing the same thing over and over. Many will sound different, although the source material is the same. Some may sound very similar (there are a few EDM versions that sound too close) but for the most part, it will be 50 different interpretations of that track, influenced by 50 different peoples' musical experiences. Generally, yes, the work is not yours and remains property of the original composer, or in a lot of cases, the company that owns the game property (a lot of composers forfeit rights as part of contract). But then again, what is fan media but not just a community that loves to commit copyright infringement? Tales of Symphonia fanart of varying degrees of disturbing? Copyright infringement. That beautiful picture of Link, Bowser, Samus, and the digdug guy playing leapfrog while Sonic and crew watch in amazement? Copyright infringement. A lot of people do these things and understand this. But they're doing it because of a love of the source material. This gets into an area of understanding copyright law that a lot of people just don't get. Legally you have no protection and you are in fact committing a misdemeanor/felony depending on the extent of infringement, but for the most part, a lot of companies look the other way until it catches their attention. OCR is a testament to that, and has been for quite a few years. The instant OCR gets a strike and is taken down completely will be a dark day for copyright enforcement. I don't think most people who do remixes are claiming complete creative ownership, and I also don't think people are going into the mindset of "change one note and it's yours." Instead, it is what it is, a fan tribute to a form of media many people hold dear, leaving the copyright legality at the door under the good faith that rights holders will continue to look the other way, as a lot of them do. In my experience, attempting to carve out a market for video game marching band arrangements (both halftime shows and stand tunes), Nintendo will, with one or so exception that comes only on February 33 every 10000 years, decline all rights requests for first party property. This doesn't count mechanical licenses, which is how most legal game covers happen. Still working on that. Going to work through indie companies first.