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[WIP] Schala's Theme. I haven't given it a name yet.


harrr0
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I put this song together in about 2 hours. Tinkering with different instruments and adding things as I go. Not the finished product (not even close) but I just thought you all might want to give it a listen. Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated. Well, time to hit the sack for a great adventure in lecture-land tomorrow.

[Schala's Theme]

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Eh, not enough variation on the piano. You can really do a lot with some dynamics in here, especially the beginning of the chords. Also, it's pretty static, just standard theme playing. It needs some original writing and changes. As is, it seems pretty midi-rip-ish.

Piano is too loud, it drowns out any accompaniment, see the above statement about balance.

Very simple and minimal, if you want something like this to work, you have to put a lot of effort into the individual instruments, and do a lot of original writing that just isn't there at the moment.

Percussion is weak and all the same volume, play with ghost notes and dynamics, also watch for repetition.

Production values aren't that great. Do some panning and get a better drum sound, work on any backup instruments to help fit with that rich piano sound.

This piece as a whole isn't really going anywhere. It doesn't build up or change and develop. You really need to decide where you want to go with this as far as beginning/middle/end. Start with an idea, change it as the song goes along. Right now, like I said, It's just the original theme melody on the piano with a few tidbits here and there. It really needs a lot more work before I can comment on specifics.

-H

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hewhoisiam has hit the nail on the head here, I think everything has been covered with his crit on this.

However, I did like aspects of the piano sequencing, it may have sounded a little mechanical, but you added release on the piano parts which makes it sound a little more natural, but velocity changes can't hurt.

as for the piano volume, do turn it down, its so loud its clipping and thats never a good thing :D

not going to comment on source since I don't know it, but you need more variation at the very least later on if not during this segment of the arrangement.

Also it sounds like it is going somewhere to me, but it sounds like its in its really early stages, :P.

Judging from the quality of the samples your using, you do have the sounds to make something great, you have everything you need to make this awesome, work on making it sound more natural and progress the arrangement for now/

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Thanks for the response, guys.

Hewhoisiam, thanks for the extreme critisism, it does help me make it into something better. But I do too think it won't go anywhere...Mainly because I start songs and don't finish them... (I usually have trouble ending the song, so I put it off.) But I guess there's some hope for this song, since it is my favorite song from Chrono Trigger.

As for the midi-rip-ish part, I can assure you this isn't a midi-rip. I learned this song by ear. As I stated in my first post, I said this song was thrown together in 2 hours... It's still in its baby stages. I didn't have time to get into any stages of tinkering of EQ or panning dynamics yet.

The piano does sound super loud, because I thought it was too quiet, lol. So I boosted the whole song in Audition by 4 dB...I guess it wasn't a good thing.

I'll be working on the song more later tonight and I'll keep updating it as I go.

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Just a bit of clarification then.

When I say midi-rip-ish, I don't mean that as a bad thing. I can't hear things and write them very well, so I almost always use a midi to help me. I mean that it repeats about like the original music without much variation. The game music is usually really repetitive and you see people try to make a remix track the same way, so I was trying to bring that to your attention; not so much that it's a bad thing, sorry if that wasn't explained well. :tomatoface:

As far as tinkering with EQ and panning, again, just pointing those things out. You did say it was early in the release in your first post, but you didn't say anything about not doing EQ or not doing panning.

Compression might be better than a simple boost of a part in this. Take it back down to its original 0, and put a compressor on it to normalize the output some, don't kill the dynamics by using too much compression, but it should help bring things into balance.

hope this helps

-H

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Oh I like ett. You might want to have a longer introduction before you jump right into that rich melody though. Kinda ease up on it sneaky like.

I don't know that these new heavy sounding melodic toms really mesh with the Latin style percussion. I'd use congos and bongos if you were going to go that route, maybe timpini if you want the sustained power.

A few added 16th notes will really help the hi hat part along, it's kinda few and far between at the moment, it doesn't sound so much like a part as a filler. You can add some dynamics to it to make it a fuller sound while still keeping the emphisis where it is in the beat.

I do like this much better, kudos:tomatoface:

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Oh I like ett. You might want to have a longer introduction before you jump right into that rich melody though. Kinda ease up on it sneaky like.

I don't know that these new heavy sounding melodic toms really mesh with the Latin style percussion. I'd use congos and bongos if you were going to go that route, maybe timpini if you want the sustained power.

A few added 16th notes will really help the hi hat part along, it's kinda few and far between at the moment, it doesn't sound so much like a part as a filler. You can add some dynamics to it to make it a fuller sound while still keeping the emphisis where it is in the beat.

I do like this much better, kudos:tomatoface:

Yeah, I plan on making the drums sound a lot better; a different rhythm in fact. The intro does need to be longer, I agree with you on that one. Starting soft with some brass maybe, then fade in with some pianos. I might lose the harps and switch back to the piano with a reverb.

Also, I was thinking of fusing it in with a sort of DnB mix with it. I don't know if want to do that yet...what do you think?

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If you want a DnB type beat, a lot would have to change with this bass wise. I'd have to hear it. Though you could prolly get away with something like half time. Picture a fast, erratic hat and a snare on 3 of every measure. Have Latin percussion fill in the gaps. Might work. It's really really going to change the feel of this though.

I don't know that you really need more voices in the introduction, just longer development of what you've got. More with the harp. Not that you shouldn't add more voices, just that it's not 'do or die, add more!'

And before you get there, have in mind what you want to do for the middle and ending of this piece:tomatoface:

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The double time drum part you have can work, to me it's the right idea, but needs a few improvements.

It's too busy sounding. Volume and accented notes will be a huge help with this. The main hits should be on 3, and you've got that. But your Latin and lighter stuff should be much lighter. Also, you don't really want to flood anything with bass drum, so more hits on the auxiliary drums and less bass drum.

Too bassy, If you're going to a traditional DnB feel, then this bass part is a lot closer, but in my opinion, this is not really a DnB piece, it's just that fast, half time beat. So it needs more elements of the latin percussion and less from the bass drum. Since its half time, the big hit will be the 1 of every measure. 1 bass, 3 snare. A few off beats here and there are also possible, or something like I do when I play latin on a set is just a low repeating ostinato patern with hat and bass. If you want to do an ostinato, it's just the same repeating pattern, but it's much more of a background role then a traditional bass drum fills. Ostinato latin polyrythems are a drummers hell, I remember them... fondly 8-O

Variation would help as well. Latin is very off beat heavy, this is much more DnB on beat BOOM BOOM. You want off beats and lots of them. Without delving too far into nerd drum-dum; you have primaraley an 8th note beat. Cut out a few of the hits that are on the beat, in favor of the ones that are on the &s, and put some 16th notes into the Es and As to taste.

-H

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The double time drum part you have can work, to me it's the right idea, but needs a few improvements.

It's too busy sounding. Volume and accented notes will be a huge help with this. The main hits should be on 3, and you've got that. But your Latin and lighter stuff should be much lighter. Also, you don't really want to flood anything with bass drum, so more hits on the auxiliary drums and less bass drum.

Too bassy, If you're going to a traditional DnB feel, then this bass part is a lot closer, but in my opinion, this is not really a DnB piece, it's just that fast, half time beat. So it needs more elements of the latin percussion and less from the bass drum. Since its half time, the big hit will be the 1 of every measure. 1 bass, 3 snare. A few off beats here and there are also possible, or something like I do when I play latin on a set is just a low repeating ostinato patern with hat and bass. If you want to do an ostinato, it's just the same repeating pattern, but it's much more of a background role then a traditional bass drum fills. Ostinato latin polyrythems are a drummers hell, I remember them... fondly 8-O

Variation would help as well. Latin is very off beat heavy, this is much more DnB on beat BOOM BOOM. You want off beats and lots of them. Without delving too far into nerd drum-dum; you have primaraley an 8th note beat. Cut out a few of the hits that are on the beat, in favor of the ones that are on the &s, and put some 16th notes into the Es and As to taste.

-H

I haven't worked on the song tonight, but I think I'm going to ditch the DnB thing, I've tried it, but it didn't sound too good...

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The intro strikes me as something straight out of Kingdom Hearts. This percussion is begging for some reverb and eq. And by the time it ends, it's really repetitive.

Wow, you're right on point about the intro! And yes, the drums do need the reverb and some EQ... I thought I reverbed enough, but it didn't sound good enough after I exported it from Live. I don't plan on using that same rhythm over and over, haha. It's only just to give and idea of what the song might sound like in the end. This is only the beginning of the song. I haven't even gotten to the middle of the song yet.

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I'm not familiar with the source, but the piano is sounding nice and lush. Very minimalistic, which, despite my own tendencies, I really like. The lead string needs some serious upgrading (oddly the pad strings are much better). And the bongos were a good choice, but right now they sound like they've simply been laid over the track. Match their reverb to the piano and cut the volume a bit. Some greater stereo separation would help. And their entrance is way too abrupt. Have you tried a fade in?

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