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Xenon Odyssey

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Posts posted by Xenon Odyssey

  1. Why would he not be human? Why would he not be free of error?

    He could be referring to aliens who can produce things we merger humans can only dream of before they slip into the ether.

    Also, I feel as if Sam has encountered a lot of people who are nervous to write for the sake of their egos/reputations being on the line, which is clearly absurb when discussing the very idea, but a delicate issue depending on who is being involved with it (hence why he posed it in the first, imho).

  2. On a similar vein to Garpocalypse, I think it has more to do with how others will perceive your music. As a musician, you're putting your heart and soul into something, and it could indeed not be well received, and some people don't have the discipline to look at their work objectively when people offer good critique and critism. Obviously, the good critique has to be there; people says 'that sucked' or 'that was awesome!!' don't really do much to help you improve and grow as a musician. However, it's also a two-way street with perception; you can act all high and mighty like you are some new hottness, but you better be ready if your words are doing the talking your compositions should be doing (this mostly isn't an issue save for people who want the drama it entails).

    In addition, it's also another matter of perception when you have put out something successful that was well received. How do you follow-up? Do you just write what you want to, or do you feel like you have to out-do yourself with every new piece? That's one of the basics in composition: to not let preconceptions take over your thinking. Rule number 3 from the Composers' Rules of Engagement:

    Avoid the Edifice Complex.

    Do not regard your composition as a magnum opus.

    Learn from but do not be intimidated by the masters of the past.

    This point on number 6 is good as well:

    Under no circumstances should you judge your work based on how it matches up to the work of others. What is important is your participation in the world of ideas, not how you measure up.

    Of course, there are people like me, who are lazy bastards who don't know how to market themselves very well :) Are those excuses? I think my problem may be making too many plans; I seem to enjoy thinking of different ideas and whatnot, rather then spending the time to execute them...but in leiu of the topic, writing music has never scared me, neither before nor after I got a degree in it. I think I may just be a bit of perfection with my own stuff, which I need to learn to let go at some point or just work more productively.

  3. Dan could be referring to the abrupt change to minor at 0:48, or the fact that there are 'two' influences. Usually, you'd only want one influence on a track so that it doesn't try to be every song at once, you know? You would find it out of place if a piano ballad went into a heavy metal section (not saying it isn't possible, but highly unlikely), so in terms of the NES and its limited capabilities, having two styles is enough to make the two sections 'feel' different enough.

    I can't speak for what he thinks isn't enough compositional coherency, but I think it's coherent enough: you've got an A, A*, and B section before the thing loops again. Short and to the point! My only qualms with this is that the DCPM samples are very loud in comparison to the rest of the channels; I can barely tell there's a triangle (bass), and usually it's the triangle that's overpowering everything else with its lack of volume control! In addition, the B section at 0:48 does feel slightly out of place. The minor vibe is nice, but might be better suited for another track itself, just to keep the track in a certain vibe, rather than take it all over the place. If you really wanted to keep that section, I would suggest extending the track, having more of a build-up to that section, and then a wind-down from it, so as not to abrupt jump from major to minor (granted, that works in some cases, but now is one I don't think that it applies).

    Other than those points, very nice work dude! I could easily see this in a campy sort of platformer that isn't trying to impress but just about having some fun.

  4. Well, your average person associates chiptune sounds with video games, which is why I said that. It's for effect. But I'm hoping for covers of certain popular tango songs in chiptune style.

    Gotcha! Well, recently over in the Sonic Zone Remix Competition, I made a chiptune track: http://soundcloud.com/xenon-odyssey/unda-presh-shah

    It might not have the glamour of tunes that just use a chiptune aesthetic with modern instruments/production, but it's a 'true' chiptune, meaning that it can be played on the original hardware. I'm not sure if that's something you are looking for or not; there's a lot of layers to what the whole chiptune sound means!

  5. It was the melody. Like, most of the song. I transposed it to Spring Yards key, but it was definitely the melody of Hill Top, as well as the inspiration for the pad/chords. Also, there is a little bridge part which is taken directly from Hill Top. I know the slowed tempo makes it a little difficult to decipher, but it's the same progression, note for note.

    Oh wow, I'm sorry dude; I did a back-to-back listen of Hill Top and your tune (which I was doing with the tracks at the beginning but then stopped as I went along since I was thinking 'I know these tunes'), and you're totally right; majority of your tune is Hill Top, albeit slowed significantly and enough to make me not even catch it when I listened the first time around. Really sorry about that! But like I said, repeating all of that stuff without varying it up somehow can be draining to listen to, so keep that in mind the next time you arrange something, and don't be afraid to deviate a little into your own writing; they just helps bring new blood and/or freshness to an otherwise known tune that people enjoy. Plus, it always helps to practice practice pratice, even when it comes to writing and arranging music. It something I still have issues with today, a year after getting a bachelor's in music composition (but please, don't take my word as the end all be all; I learn stuff routinely every day from different websites including OCR. One can never stop learning).

    Glad you guys enjoyed the write-up! Sorry for any bruised egos, but then again, you should have expected it if you joined the compo anyway!

  6. So I wrote up some reviews for the first round...I hope to crush all of your egos and make you spend the night with a tub of Ben & Jerry's and The Notebook.


    Magellanic - Proxigean Tide

    Intro felt too disjointed from the rest of the song; a kinda abrupt transition. The solo synth and drums at 1:36 felt too naked to a degree; some pads or something crescendoing there would have made the section not stick-out so much. Other than that, pretty nice; I don't know Tidal Tempest nearly as well as I know Star Light, but it seemed like you had more of the Light than the Tempest (as if I'm one to talk).

    AkumajoBelmont feat. DiGi Valentine - Pandemonium

    At 1:50 the piano seemed a bit delayed with its attack, but I don't know if that was intentional or not. Overall, solid arrangement, with the sources nicely intertwined. Only gripe would be its kind of repetitive and doesn't vary too much from the initial beat.

    SuperiorX - Liquid Hot Magma

    I don't really understand the transition at 0:47, but I guess it works. The naked bass could have used something to compliment it or something; felt like it needed more to me. I really like the pads at 1:37; it fills out the section up to 2:08 really nicely. I don't know if it's my declining hearing, but it seemed like it was panned to the right. Having a stereo panning between the right and left could have really given a full effect to it. Bass is kinda loud at 3:16. Again, I'm not too familiar with the Sonic CD soundtrack, but it sounded like more Lava Reef than Quartz Quadrant (and again, like I'm one to talk about equal source usage).

    Mr. L - Lumitron Quandrant

    Love the bass and drums! You've got some really nice sounds in this; I really dig the soundscape. The section at 0:44 is really really busy; I can't really tell what's going on with all the different parts. At 1:52, it sounds like you delayed a bit with the melody of Lava Reef and that threw you off of the beat until 2:08. Also, there wasn't really any changes to accentuate the melody. It sounds like most of the instruments are at the same volume, so when more than one plays together, it's like a fight for who gets the attention. And I didn't really feel a sense of direction with the mix; it was, to me, aimlessly wandering overtop of the b 'n d to try and weave something out of the sources. Like I said about Akumajo, it was kind of repetitive too; there were a couple of times you could have changed it up to keep it interesting, rather than riding the beat throughout the song. This kind of reminded of a cake from one of those design competitions...it looked (sounded) nice, but it was mostly frosting (nice instruments) and not much cake (arrangement structure).

    The RexAsaurous - NightCapped

    The pads at the beginning are kinda soft...I don't know if that's because of my ears though. The bass transition at 0:37 is kinda weird...I think it's because of the decrescendo and crescendo; it supposed to be an anchor but it sneaks in rather than establishing dominance. Transition at 0:55 is unsettling too, but I believe that's because it's only a half bar, rather than a full one or two bars. Also, I didn't really hear too much of Casino Night 2-player...just during 1:30 to 1:41, but again, whom I'm to critique about that?

    Rexy - Just Like College

    Don't know where the voice clip comes from...inclined to believe it was AoStH. The lead at 1:18 is kind of soft...feels like it and the strings were battling for attention. I liked the way you went back to the Genesis samples from the intro, 1:44 with the bass and 2:10 with the drums. Also at 2:10, the same lead is there with a solo, but I feel like it could have been louder; the bass and drums almost drown it out until it starts going higher in octave. There's a really high frequency at 3:02...I don't know if that was a sound effect or not. Good change of pace at 3:53; I was starting to worry this would be another constant-tempo track! Overall, I think you squeezed out all the possible ways you could put those two sources together. My only complaint there would be, aside from the solo, there wasn't much original material, and thus it made the mix feel a little homogeneous throughout.

    DusK - Tails Visits Green Hill Zone

    Man, I really don't have anything to say about this. Good sound, great arrangement. Love the chord at 2:27. I guess one nitpick could be the chords could have been a little softer when combined with the lead, and maybe a different timbre (I don't know squat about guitars though, so take that as you will).

    Main Finger - Seraphim Factory

    The stutter at 0:58 is awkward, especially since the bass makes me thinks it's about to go into a half-time feel. Key change at 1:12 didn't sound too hot; the transition into it could have done a better job leading into it. Other than that, fantastic stuff; loved the choir sample at 2:08 and all the change-ups throughout.

    Jakesnke17 - Chaotic Chemistry

    The progression at 0:54 doesn't really work for me with the melody; it doesn't seem like it fits together. The stutter at 2:10 seems weird, like there needed to be more to make it work, or not be so abrupt. There didn't seem to be a climax either...after a point it just coasted until the end. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it was kind of disappointing there wasn't a high point to top of the mix before conclusion. Aside from those, good stuff, nice sounds.

    PixelPanic - Spring In The Hills

    I felt the intro was a little long; you could have probably introduced more instruments at once than you did. The chord lick is nice, but having it constant until 2:08 makes it grating to hear after a while, especially with no variation in sound or notes. The organ/rhodes seems to be panned to the left mostly, but I can't tell if that's just my ears or not. The drop to just lead at 3:06 didn't really do much in terms of changing the pacing or having a tension-release effect, since there really wasn't anything built up in the first place. Overall, this mix was sparse, but not in the good way; there could have been more instruments, or the instruments present could have been doing more. The pacing was sluggish and not very Sonic-like, and there wasn't enough going on to compensate for this aspect. The arrangement also left a lot to be desired; as in addition to the slow tempo and minimal instruments, nothing was really happening to ensure the listener's attention. I didn't hear too much Hlll Top either, but that could have been disguised in the chords which were very static and didn't change too much besides the obvious.

    Phonetic Hero - Groovin' on the Hilltop

    When the melody comes in at 0:04, I think there's like an extra note or something, but I get thrown off. I don't know if it's a compliment or a complaint, or I guess take it as you will! Only issue I have is at 1:28-1:30 and 1:38-1:40, the bass and the Spring Yard lick don't really go together; it sounds like they wanted to do two different things, and the result didn't really mesh very well. Otherwise, quite excellent; great groove, solid arrangement, the whole shebang!

    Hakstock - Restoring The Groove

    The synths that come in at 0:28 have some phasing thing going on that doesn't sound too hot. I think it may be the release or something; maybe the doubling with the guitar? I can't quite put my finger on why it doesn't good. Aside from that, this was really nice; very cool use of the sources. Oh, yeah, the ending could have gone on for like two bars longer or so; it felt kind of abrupt.

    Amphibious - Aqueous Vibe

    Why did the guitar start to decrescendo at 2:13? By 2:24 I can't hear it over all of the other instruments. I don't really have anything to say about this; great arrangement, great sounds, good times, albeit on the short side.

    Benjamin Briggs - Trash FM

    What's that smell? Smells like CA$H

    Xenon Odyssey - Unda PRESH-SHAH

    So, where's the Aquarium Park? I heard the melody briefly at 0:27, and then at 0:59 and 1:31, but that was it. Otherwise, a glorified cover of Hydro Shitty Act 2 (no Act 1 love?) with a bunch of spastic references thrown around (actually, I'd call the whole thing spastic); I think I heard Star Light, Ice Cap, Lava Reef Act 1, Sonic 2 Race Results, Lava Reef Act 2, Marble, and Turquoise Hill. The soloing is alright but the backing didn't seem to change much. What's with the sudden halt at 1:44? Plus, you just rehash the beginning at the end, albeit it with a different lead. Oh, and real mature at the end there.


    Too bad I don't have ice cream; looks like Captain Morgan will have to do!

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