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Everything posted by ubernym

  1. While it may lack the level of production of other pieces, this is actually lends more the the Django Reinhardt comparison. It's a sweet little tune and well played. It certainly deserves the exposure it's getting, but I must confess that it just feels a little too much like a novelty piece. I mean, the fretwork is great; hell, the overall performance is well done and sounds very natural. In some ways, it embodies the essence of the majority of "cover" songs: they are interesting because they sound different, and we like them because they offer a fresh perspective of the sound, but they do not necessarily offer a fresh interpretation of that sound. It's like the difference between two covers of Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower: You've got Dylan's source tune, which is very folksy. But the cover that always stands out is Hendrix's kick-ass rockfest guitar-orgy. It's not a novelty cover, it's a complete redux of the entire piece, from sound to silence, Hendrix took Dylan's piece and turned it on its ear, then gently lit it on fire for all the world to see (and hear). It is a piece transformed, so much so that many people don't even realize that it was originally a Bod Dylan song. Now take the latest cover of the song, recently played in a trailer for Tom Clancy's GRAW. It's a cover, not of the Dylan piece, but of Hendrix's cover. It was performed by several notable rock musicians (Everlast – vocals; Billy Gould (Faith No More) – bass; Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory, Killing Zone) – drums; Doug Carrion (Kottonmouth Kings, Dag Nasty) – guitar; Russell Ali (Kamana/Killing Zone - local LA bands) – guitar.). No one can decry it as poorly done, and it does add a bit of a contemporary edge to the Hendrix version, but it is ultimately a novelty piece, and will not remain fixed in anybody's permanent memory (possibly not even the performers'). That's how I see this ReMix. It's well done, and I enjoyed it, but it is not utterly remarkable. This is not a bad thing, it is just a thing.
  2. Well, I can certainly see why there was such a debate over this piece. It's quite obvious that the arrangement is absolutely stellar. I'm not a big fan of chiptunes in general (mostly because they seem like a novelty genre), but this one is so well done and a fresh enough take on the original that I'm happy to add it to my collection. Edit: and I know it isn't technically a chiptune, but really, it sounds like a chiptune to me (and probably most people), so the description fits.
  3. When I started writing computer music I was using Cakewalk 7 and soundfonts. All I ever did was load Cakewalk, load my soundfonts, and write all my music with their (very limited) notation editor. It was the only thing I was comfortable working with. In fact, I was so uncomfortable with pian roll that I eventually bought Finale 2004 and started using that instead. I could write some really cool stuff, but couldn't really get it to sound good without a real orchestra playing it. I'm a wiz at notation, but it wasn't getting me anywhere with computer production. People kept trying to convince me that piano roll was the better way and I didn't believe them. I just couldn't figure it out. Recently I started using Fruity Loops, which doesn't have a notation editor. I was forced to use the piano roll. But I must say, I'm never going back. Now that I've actually learned how to use it, I LOVE the piano roll. It's so versatile, so flexible. I highly recommend it. If you can stand to learn just using the piano roll, go with Fruity Loops; it's cheaper and quite powerful. Of course if you're dead set on using a notation editor, get a program like Cubase or Sonar. And if you do get one of those programs and do most of your editing in notation, I still recommend tweaking your edits in piano roll, especially for velocities. Velocities will make or break your mix.
  4. Exactly. That's why they call it music theory and not music law. Study of music theory is a great way to understand the framework of music and how it affects us. But honestly, doing what sounds good to you is more important than adhering to any arbitrary model. That being said, one can never know too much about the way music is made.
  5. Just wanted to clear up/elaborate some things here: This is probably what you meant, but to be more specific, sing from your diaprhagm, i.e. your gut. Untrained singers tend to sing from their chests, and this really harms the control of pitch and tone. This requires further elaboration. When you sing in a group, you have to exaggerate most of your vowels and soften most of your consonats (with the exception of plosives). There's quite a lot to remember, actually (rolling certain "r" sounds and opening others, pronouncing "v" sounds closer to "f" sounds, etc.). Sounds kind of like a snotty but slightly retarded Briton. This is done to make it so that several people and sing the same words at the same time and still sound coherent. If 20 people sing a closed "r" it sounds really, really bad. This is not so crucial in (most) solo singing, because you're all on your own. You should develop a solo singing style that is comfortable to you, that you can own. This may or may not involve specific enunciation. The most important thing to remember as for as singing words goes is avoid widening your mouth. If you sing with a wide open moute (i.e. horizontally wide) your voice will sound squashed and flat (pitch wise). You want your mouth to be vertically wide, in a general oval shape. This also helps control the flow of sound. One really tangible exercise you can practice is singing while pinching your nose. If you find it difficult to do this, you aren't singing correctly. A lot of people sing through their noses, which, naturally, creates a nasal tone and doesn't sound very nice. In reality you do have to use your nose for certain words, but you shouldn't be using it for the actual singing. You want the sound to come out from your mouth. There are also three types of singing voices: chest voice, head voice, and falsetto. Chest voice is similar to our natural speaking tone. It's very powerful. It will be the easiest to sing from, but without head voice, it's a pretty limited range of notes. Head voice represents the higher register of notes, but can also sing part of the chest voices register. Head voice is airy and light sounding, quite different from chest voice. They are called head and chest voice because that's where the sound resonates in your body. Also realize that the more you sing the better you'll start to sound. That is, as long as you're singing correctly. If it ever hurts to sing, STOP. It should never ever hurt to sing. Ever. Very sage advice. But we're only scratching the surface here. Singing is a technique so refined that there are people who devote their lives to it. There are also lots of different methodologies. Much like martial arts, they are all based on some core principles, but differ in practice and execution. Singing, however, is 90% psychological and 10% physical.
  6. Honestly, that's one sales job I'd really really like.
  7. Sweetwater is all about massaging the customer. It's an excellent way of doing business, considering the type of product they sell. They're like salesman in a fine clothier for gentemen...it's all about you and what you. The model is so succesful the Musician's Friend (the largest music retailer in the world), is planning on launching a similar site very soon...but I think that's still kind of a secret.
  8. Well, I'll have to tinker around with that. Thanks for the advice.
  9. So why do the GPO section strings sound so crappy? The "lush w/mutes" sound like synths to me...am I doing something wrong here?
  10. A really, really good, inexpensive (relatively) option is the Edirol HQ Orchestra. I've tried various programs like GPO and EWQLSO, and those definitely have higher quality samples (and wider selection), but Edirol HQ is really quite astouning for what it does...and it's only like $200 or something. You could save up for that if you wanted to. Alternatively, check out the soundfonts/samples thread, and definitely look into squidfont orchestral soundfont. It's great. It really is.
  11. I'm an unabashed fan of Finale, but it is more expensive, and quite an extensive tool. If all you want to do is basic notation (aka Piano), Noteworthy Composer or Midinotate will suit you just fine.
  12. Samples are well and good, but no amount of money spent on quality samples can make up for poor orchestration. Writing orchestral music is an art in and of itself; several great composers have written entire books dedicated the subject of orchestration alone. So get samples/soundfonts and learn how to use them, but you also need to learn how to write music for orchestras. Get a simple theory book, listen to orchestral music. The secret to writing music of any style is to completely immerse yourself in it.
  13. I've never played an Asterix game, but this is one of my favorite ReMixes on the site.
  14. Hrm? I assume you forgot about Herbie Hancock. He's like the god of jazzpiano... Totally spaced it.
  15. You want to be a better jazz player? 3 things: 1. Learn the blues scale 2. Get a Real Book 3. Listen to as much jazz as possible, but especially musicians who play your instrument. If you play piano, I highly recommend the following artists: Thelonius Monk Chick Corea Keith Jarrett Brad Mehldau Jimmy Smith (organ, sure, but still good to check out) Dave Brubeck Count Basie Oscar Peterson Art Tatum Bill Evans Bud Powell Jelly Roll Morton Wynton Kelly Duke Ellington McCoy Tyner Ahmad Jamal And a whole lot more. But that should give you quite a bit to check out.
  16. Part of the problem with Finale is that it's not a sequencing program. It's a notation program with a very rudimentary sequence built in. Its primary concern is notation, not playback. When you use the record feature in Finale, it automatically quantizes all your notes and tries to assign them to the requisite value for the pre-assigned key and time signatures. The biggest difficulty you'll have is the fact that you are human and Finale is not. Finale has perfect timing, but you don't. So when you play, even slight variations will throw the recording and give you unexpected values. If you just want audio, simply record audio. Skip the midi altogether. If you want notation, go ahead an record into Finale, but be ready to do some extensive editing. As for the playback quality, you have a few options, depending on your hardware and software. Depending on which version of Finale you have, you can change the soundset. Finale 2004 and 2005 use a specific soundfont called synthgms.sf2, or something like that. This is a commercial soundfont that normally costs about $90, I think. It's actually quite good. Finale 2006 comes with GPO, which is a higher quality soundset, in that it uses a sampling engine and higher quality samples. Still, if you aren't satisfied with the synthgms.sf2 sound or the GPO sound, you could locate a piano-only soundfount, via the usual sources (aka the Soundfont/Sample request thread, Hammersound.net, etc). I think Darkesword has some piano soundonts on his site as well. If you need help changing the soundfonts in Finale let me know, but my suggestion is to forego the midi idea completely and just try to find a way to record some good audio.
  17. Well he did mentiona Borodin as a major influence for the style...even so, the similarities are not so "jarring." [Moderation Edit: Strong language not necessary] -Gray
  18. I'm always willing to lend my vocals, or my piano playing. A brief sample (done in one take; I have a cold and I did it in a hurry. It's rough but it should give you some idea of my capabilities).
  19. Well said. This is incredible. I don't even know the source tune, but I don't have to to realize that this is an amazing composition. Good job, Sam.
  20. I truly laughed out loud(lol) when I read that. But seriously, Isarfel, this is an excellent mix. I'm just jealous I never thought of it. Still, you've inspired me. Perhaps there will be some more minimalist remixes of video games in the near future.
  21. The first time I fought that one big breasted demon chick in Ninja Gaiden, I died like 20 times. Then, I was so furious (and had studied combos so much) that I killed her on my 21st play in less than a minute. It was AWESOME.
  22. IT WILL NEVER BE RELEASED Shenmue 2 was one of the most expensive games ever made, and it didn't make all it's money back. Ryo is forever trapped in that cave... just weep your tears now. There are plans for a Shenmue Online, but it won't continue the story.
  23. And that is why you suck at this game. Team Ninja actually punishes you for button mashing. I'm serious. I tried to play the game that way, and I eventually got frustrated with dying so much. Then I started all over. I learned the combos (placed conveniently in the inventory screen for easy access) and I learned to DODGE (essential life-saving tactic), and suddenly I was actually good at the game, and not using my Ninpo all the time. Button Mashing=teh suck Combos+Dodgin=Master Ninja
  24. This remix is special. It's special because it reveals a very unique talent: the ability to arrange/play/mix several instruments into a style that requires more than a passing understanding of musical styles. This remix displays Mustin's maturity as a musician and files him in the ranks of the great remixers...good job!
  25. Spoiler Information I can't even see the spoiler color. How is this going to help if you cant see it?
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