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Posts posted by zircon

  1. Nice lifts! 

    I finally saw a specialist about my back... turns out I have something called facet joint arthritis, otherwise known as facet syndrome. No bueno. My discs are fine but the joints in my lower back are inflamed. It explains a LOT about so many things, and I'm really happy we figured it out. Currently taking some very strong anti-inflammatories, after which I'll be on slightly weaker (but still prescription) stuff to get the inflammation under control, and then it's back to physical therapy. Definitely disruptive to my workouts too, but I'd rather heal up than be at 80% capacity for years.

  2. I think the Final Fantasy series has always been about evolving and trying new stuff out. They've very rarely stayed the same from game to game and almost always have tried very new things with each release. 


    FF2 totally changed the character advancement system to be based on combat actions.

    FF3 introduced a basic job system.

    FF4 had ATB combat for the first time and a rotating cast of unique characters.

    FF5 used a greatly expanded job system.

    FF6 did tons of new stuff, from tactical multi-party battles to the ability to switch people in and out of your party, the esper system...

    FF7 was a drastic departure in tone and style, not to mention visuals, plus the materia system, limit breaks etc

    FF8 took a whole new approach to advancement again, plus a totally new magic system and pushed even more into sci-fi territory.

    FF9 was probably the 'safest' in that it re-used a lot of concepts from earlier games - I'll give you that one.

    FF10 used a new combat system - turn-based, but with free switching within combat and character agility mattering way more, plus again totally new character advancement.
    FF11 was an MMO, nuff said.




    While technically FF2 and 10 are both "turn based" they're extraordinarily different games in terms of how combat, progression, equipment.. EVERYTHING.. works. 


    SE trying new stuff with FF12, 13 (and 13-2, 13-3) is to be expected!

  3. Impact Soundworks, developer of the highly acclaimed SHREDDAGE II virtual guitar, is very proud to announce the release of SHREDDAGE DRUMS


    This badass, thundering collection of acoustic drum sounds (raw + produced) was designed from the ground up for rock & metal music. The library was created in collaboration with award-winning composer/producer FRANK KLEPACKI (Dune, Command & Conquer series, Star Wars: Empire At War, Rise of Immortals, Grey Goo, etc) who recorded, performed, & engineered the drum kits.




    Shreddage Drums is built around three unique drum kits spanning three kicks, five snares (maple & steel), twelve toms (8" to 18"), and a variety of cymbals (crashes, chinas, splash, hihat, ride). All drums were recorded in great detail, with FULL bleed control, key articulations, and lots of dynamics & round robin variations.


    The library also includes two PRODUCED versions of all kicks and snare samples, using the finest equipment to sculpt and polish these individual drums to perfection. We've created dozens of kit presets to inspire you, from big and roomy to dry and tight, punchy, high-tuned, low-tuned, and everything in between.




    We've partnered with Groove Monkee to include a substantial collection of kickass hard rock, metal, and power rock MIDI grooves - all recorded live with real drummers. With over 700 grooves, fills, and variations to choose from, you'll have plenty of inspiration to kickstart your tracks.




    The engine of Shreddage Drums is far and away the most deep and powerful we've ever created. ALL drum sounds are available in one convenient patch with comprehensive mixing and mapping controls.




    The MIXER offers total mix control with separate buses for kick, snare, toms, hihat, overhead, and room mics, plus a MASTER bus. Each bus has its own FX rack and the direct mics have their own OH/Room sends for precision mixing. Full Bleed control is also available, so you can easily mix a little bit of snare bleed into your toms, kick into your hihat, or any combination you want. Plus, you can send different buses to different Kontakt outputs for further mixing in your host.


    The DRUM EDITOR gives you precision control over envelopes, volume, tuning, and mic mix for *individual* drums. For example, you can adjust the volume of JUST your 20" kick and give it more sub mix, while leaving your 24" kick alone. Or, mix in more TOP mic to your piccolo snare and a tighter decay, while letting your deep 14x8" maple ring out longer.


    The MAPPING EDITOR provides unparalleled control over the instrument mapping. Load ANY drum or ANY articulation wherever you want on the mapping keyboard. Want a whole octave of kicks? No problem! Alternating Snare L and Snare Right an octave apart? Sure, why not! Once you're done setting up the perfect map for your keyboard (or drum set), you can also adjust volume and tuning on a note-by-note basis.


    Other settings and features include:


    * Fully-editable velocity curve with a dozen presets

    * Humanize velocity/timing controls

    * Easy transposition

    * Visual drum kit with on-click triggers

    * MIDI learn to assign new drums/articulations

    * A suite of master mix & mapping presets

    * Alternate GRID mode mapping to view all mapped drums simultaneously

    * Auto and one-click purge to keep unused samples out of memory




    DEMOS on Soundcloud:



    FULL library walkthrough and overview:



    Interview with library producer, engineer & performer FRANK KLEPACKI who brought his experience of 20+ years as a composer to the table!





    Shreddage Drums is now available for KONTAKT PLAYER at the introductory price of $119, or only $99 for Shreddage 2 owners (MSRP: $139)


  4. Game reviews are subjective, just like any other kind of review. Even if you try to be objective, the critic's tastes and preferences will color their opinion. So if lots and lots of individual reviewers all say positive things, chances are that correlates with a game people will enjoy. 


    It's true that game sales don't necessarily translate to quality. Granted. But the combination of high sales and excellent critical response is a strong indicator.


    Also, marketing can't sell a bad game and it can't buy great reviews. The original Kane & Lynch was notorious for being aggressively marketed, but it was not a major success in sales or critical reception. The new Sonic Boom franchise had the complete marketing package including an animated television series, comic books, and toys, but the games were massive flops and critical failures. You do need at least a decent game to sell millions of copies.

  5. But if review scores are good and the games sold really well, what does that mean? I get that a lot of people didn't like FF13 1-3 but clearly a lot of people DID like it. That's why they made two sequels and the whole trilogy has sold over 10m copies. Even if you look at Metacritic user scores which are generally really negative for no reason... FF13 has a 7.5, compared to 7.8 for FF12. Not a big difference.

  6. Possibly rhetorical question... what is the problem people have with modern Square Enix, exactly? If we define "modern" as the last 5 years and look at RPGs...

    * Bravely Default is one of the very best RPGs in a LONG time. 85/100 on Metacritic.

    * FF13 trilogy - divisive and not without flaws, but average Metacritic score in the 80s (Lightning Returns is at 89/100 for 360)

    * Type-0 - Probably should have been on handheld, but a decent mid 70s Metacritic score

    * FF14 launch was a disaster, but Realm Reborn has been received extremely well

    * Multiple excellent ports/remakes like the FFX/X2 HD collection, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, Chrono Trigger DS, Final Fantasy III, FFT War of the Lions

    * Interesting departures into other genres like Dissidia and Theatrhythm


    etc... sure, they've released some bad games too. But I think they've done a pretty good job handling their beloved franchises and also making great games/ports.

  7. FF7 has three major things that drastically need improvement. One is the graphics. The models just look awful by any standards. Even by PS1 standards, they really don't look good (just compare to FF8 or FF9). So for that reason alone, a remake would be awesome. Another issue is the translation, which was not entirely faithful to the original Japanese.. to the point where fans have been working for years to completely re-translate it. Lastly, the music (while a personal favorite of mine!) has poor production.. again even relative to other PS1 games. 


    In comparison, FF6's sprite graphics look beautiful even by today's standards, particularly the enemies, bosses, and summons. The music, despite the SNES limitations, still sounds really nice. Again relative to other SNES games it's a standout. And then the translation is considered to be quite good overall. 


    On the gameplay side... there's definitely stuff to be fixed in both games, so it's a tossup there (IMO). Especially after playing a game like Bravely Default with such a fantastic battle system.

  8. Jill and I are huge fans of Game of Thrones - her maybe even more than me! - and so we decided to do our own take of the main theme. Jill did a lot of the arrangement, writing and performing the lyrics in actual Dothraki, plus playing recorder & hand drum. I did most of the production and then Jeff Ball recorded violin & viola to make it even more awesome. Really proud of the end result.. but the music video is even cooler imo :D Check it out below!


  9. Alright - after bulking for 3 months I've gone from 162 to about 180 on the scale. Granted at least 5 lbs of that is water weight I'm sure. My lifts all went up and I'm pleased with my visual progress, namely on my arms and pecs. But now it's time for a cut again, since I only gain fat in my abdomen and nowhere else. Thankfully since I was eating ~3k a day for awhile I should be able to start the cut at a gentle 2100 a day ( + 20 min of cardio minimum) and then reduce from there.

  10. To me it's a dealbreaker because having to switch tools, change note lengths, etc. in an inefficient way literally doubles, triples, or quadruples the time I spend on a track. It's non-negotiable. The main features I heavily rely on:


    * No need to ever switch tools - left click to place note, right click to delete (right click can also delete multiple)
    * Left click + drag while placing to move in ANY direction, not just up/down

    * Drawing notes uses the length of the last-placed note

    * Edit velocity with one click, edit multiple velocities with one click (drawing a line/slope for example)
    * Very very easy and powerful quantize tools

  11. @zircon: Good work again on that bench.  You went from 185x2 to 215x1? Was the 185x2 just where you felt comfortable stopping at that point?


    Also, your incline bench is that much higher than your flat? I generally find the incline a lot harder than flat, even if it is on a machine.


    185x2 felt really really heavy, and I failed at 195. Tomorrow I am going to try 2 plates (225) for 1rm.


    Yeah, my incline is solid. But again that's on a machine and spotted...

    Anyway, here's a video of my last hack squat from wednesday. Have to say this really didn't feel great afterward on my back.. you can see the pain during the set. Plus I wasn't quite going deep enough. But damn if that isn't a lot of weight, lol.

  12. OK so actually that lift was 215 not 205. Cool! :D

    Here's what I'm doing for chest each week.


    1. Smith machine bench. Below is the weight I'm loading on, not sure what the bar weighs. Also these are spotted.

    • Warm up 45 lbs x 10
    • Warm up 90 lbs x 10, rest, 90 lbs x 8
    • 180 lbs x 8
    • 230 lbs x 4-5

    2. Cable crossover, one light set x 15 reps, one heavy set x 15 reps (with ugly form on the last 5)



    1. Seated incline chest press (on machine). Spotted.

    • 90 lbs x 10
    • 90 lbs x 8
    • 180 lbs x 8
    • 280 lbs x 6-8 

    2. Incline dumbbell flies, spotted.

    • 60 lbs x 15
    • 100 lbs x 15


    Saturday or Sunday

    • Flat bench unspotted, 10x135, 8x135, and then attempt at 1RM.
  13. You WHAT?! I swear, this had better be on a machine, or I quit lifting here and now. Even if it is on a machine though, that's damn impressive.

    Yes machine :-) I wish I could do normal squats but I'm still trying to heal this back injury... doing like 15-30 mins of stretching a day to help with that and tons of core stuff.

    I'm actually in the miraculous position right now of NOT gaining weight even though I'm trying. So I get to eat EVEN MORE YESSSSS

  14. We just updated PEARL to v1.1, adding a brand new "Dynamics Editor" feature. This allows you to customize the tone and timbre for every key on the keyboard. For example if you want to hear darker notes in the low register but brighter in the midrange, you can do that very easily and fluidly. Plus we fixed a couple bugs... one very major and one minor... so the instruments sounds and responds even better now!

  15. Now that I'm putting on some mass, my lifts are starting to increase and I love it. I mostly bench w/ the smith (spotted) but for the first time in a few months I tried the flat bench and got 2 reps at 185. Not huge I suppose, but I weigh 175 lbs, and that is generally one of my worst lifts. Before, I was having trouble with 165.

    On the other hand, my hack squat is insane, I just hit 5 plates today for 6 reps.

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