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Peach

Original Zelda-Inspired Composition WIP: "Zelda'esque"

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Greetings, fellow composers and remix fans! While I am a new composer/remixer to these forums, some of you may know my MIDI sequencing work from years ago. Such MIDIs encompassed both duplications and remixes of video game music, including songs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

As a fan of the Zelda series, I decided to compose a new Zelda-inspired song that I dubbed "Zelda'esque." Originally, this song was going to be part of the soundtrack for The Legend of Zelda role-playing sim in Second Life, namely the main overworld theme. However, plans have changed for the sim's setting from an original kingdom (for which this was composed) to future Termina. Instead, I will write another field song in Termina Field style (possibly a remix of a different official overworld theme) later.

Please feel free to listen to and offer critique for Zelda'eque below. Thank you!

http://www.designerpeach.com/ZeldaesqueDraft4.mp3

Required changes:

  • Quantisation
  • Velocity improvement for weak notes
  • Corrections for smooth transitions between sections
  • Alteration of the note run close to the end in order to avoid what sounds similar to the Spirit Tracks overworld intro

If you like this WIP, you can also listen to other compositions that I have written in the past by visiting either of following web sites.

http://www.designerpeach.com/

http://www.HarmonyOfArts.com/

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I just wanted to post saying, wow this is awesome. =)

I'm serious. The only thing is that the orchestral samples sound a bit synthy, but the thing about that is that you shouldn't worry about it so much. (I feel you could be fiddling around iwth samples for years not being satisfied with it/typical artists syndrom)

Good day to you. =)

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I just wanted to post saying, wow this is awesome. =)

I'm serious. The only thing is that the orchestral samples sound a bit synthy, but the thing about that is that you shouldn't worry about it so much. (I feel you could be fiddling around iwth samples for years not being satisfied with it/typical artists syndrom)

Good day to you. =)

Thanks! I think the "synth" feel you may hear from the orchestra is that the chord work is unrefined. I can switch to a different orchestra sound, but I will limit my selection to Roland's special orchestra pack, since I am composing on a Roland Fantom X6. The song will be complete in early January. Happy New Year to you and all readers. ^.^

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Thanks! I think the "synth" feel you may hear from the orchestra is that the chord work is unrefined. I can switch to a different orchestra sound, but I will limit my selection to Roland's special orchestra pack, since I am composing on a Roland Fantom X6. The song will be complete in early January. Happy New Year to you and all readers. ^.^

Oh, my apologies, you're using the Phantom. Nice stuff.

Keyboards are far superior to software sample libraries in my opinion because of ease of use. Once you get a good orchestral template up and running you should just be able to use that with a couple added patches without having to resort to the hellish east west quantum leap libraries. (they seriously bogged me down when I had them x_x)

The best part isn't the orchestration though...well that is definitely one of the pluses.

It's the song though, the composition, the music, not the sound, that really stands out here. It sounds very very Koji Kondo-ish. You should make an music video or play the game, turn down the volume, and try out your song in zelda 64, windwaker, or twilight princess. I bet it'd work just perfectly.

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That is very flattering. That was one of my primary goals when I was accepted as the composer for the Zelda SL project. I recall saying, "I hope to do Koji Kondo's style justice," when reflecting on the future soundtrack. So reading such a compliment, I feel as though I have accomplished that objective. Thank you. I hope you will hear the finished product once it is out in January (15 minutes away for me)! ^.^

Oh, my apologies, you're using the Phantom. Nice stuff.

Keyboards are far superior to software sample libraries in my opinion because of ease of use. Once you get a good orchestral template up and running you should just be able to use that with a couple added patches without having to resort to the hellish east west quantum leap libraries. (they seriously bogged me down when I had them x_x)

The best part isn't the orchestration though...well that is definitely one of the pluses.

It's the song though, the composition, the music, not the sound, that really stands out here. It sounds very very Koji Kondo-ish. You should make an music video or play the game, turn down the volume, and try out your song in zelda 64, windwaker, or twilight princess. I bet it'd work just perfectly.

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The soundtrack should be for the Zelda role-playing sim in Second Life. It won't be a game, but rather an environment. Some game elements may be included later, though.

Nice. Is it going to be a game that people might be able to perhaps...play on their computers?

(dumb question I know, but still legitimate I hope)

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Ah, original writing using themes from other games... This is pretty good (aside from any 'midi' sounding effects, of course). It sounds like you took mostly from the OoT music with a hint of LttP, motivically speaking. It's fun to do things like that, and enjoyable to listen to the results. Good job.

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A lot of your samples sound dry and low quality. :/

Especially the percussion: has no reverb at all.

The composition is nice, but you need better samples.

without having to resort to the hellish east west quantum leap libraries. (they seriously bogged me down when I had them x_x)

The best part isn't the orchestration though...well that is definitely one of the pluses.

"Without having to resort"? Keyboards are INFERIOR to sample quality of stuff like EWQLSO, especially since you can tweak EWQLSO samples better than on a keyboard. Also, you don't even need Quantum Leap. You can get a better sounding orchestra using FREE plug-ins than on a keyboard.

Don't believe me? http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01911/

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Thanks for the compliment about the composition, Neblix. The percussion has reverb—48/127—but certainly not enough, I agree. Admittedly, the percussion is part of the Roland Fantom X6's base orch kit. I may change this later to percussion found on the superior card. I can add more reverb to everything, as well (and change the environmental delay settings). Thanks for your input!

By the way, many established video games and anime use samples made by Roland. Listen to this piece from Pichi Pichi Pitch, an anime known for its music. It's not the best composition example, but the samples seem pretty decent and distinctly Roland.

http://www.designerpeach.com/Isekai_he_no_Tobira.mp3

Oh, and thanks awfully, Gario! With help, I'll have this piece in top form.

A lot of your samples sound dry and low quality. :/

Especially the percussion: has no reverb at all.

The composition is nice, but you need better samples.

"Without having to resort"? Keyboards are INFERIOR to sample quality of stuff like EWQLSO, especially since you can tweak EWQLSO samples better than on a keyboard. Also, you don't even need Quantum Leap. You can get a better sounding orchestra using FREE plug-ins than on a keyboard.

Don't believe me? http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01911/

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Thanks for the compliment about the composition, Neblix. The percussion has reverb—48/127—but certainly not enough, I agree. Admittedly, the percussion is part of the Roland Fantom X6's base orch kit. I may change this later to percussion found on the superior card. I can add more reverb to everything, as well (and change the environmental delay settings). Thanks for your input!

By the way, many established video games and anime use samples made by Roland. Listen to this piece from Pichi Pichi Pitch, an anime known for its music. It's not the best composition example, but the samples seem pretty decent and distinctly Roland.

http://www.designerpeach.com/Isekai_he_no_Tobira.mp3

Oh, and thanks awfully, Gario! With help, I'll have this piece in top form.

The percussion may have reverb, but it doesn't have enough reverb. Compared to everything else, it sounds like you put the drums inside of a tube made of sound absorbing foam. :P

There's a difference between samples and how you use them. You need to tweak samples and humanize them, which is much easier a software interface rather than on a keyboard screen interface, because not all instruments have the same humanization techniques as a piano.

Some would argue that humanization is easier on a keyboard, and they're right in most points of view. However, there's not nearly as much control for instrument tweaking AS ON A software library.

What I'm saying is, if I wanted more control, I would buy EWQLSO rather than a keyboard. If you already have a keyboard, I'd recommend buying EWQLSO and channeling through software using your keyboard as a MIDI controller. Lots of room for tweaking the instruments, and if you have the MIDI you can also edit the MIDI in a DAW/Tracker (like Fruityloops, Reason, or Logic) to fix some of the timing issues you may have in the future. (Missed a snare hit by a half step? No problem, go into the MIDI and move the snare hit back a half step)

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The next step I plan to do is to transfer the entire piece into a sequencer (Cakewalk, but eventually Cubase for other projects after I become more proficient with the interface) to quantise and tweak notes both automatically and manually.

The Roland Fantom X series has an on-board sequencer, too, which I have used. It's called Microscope, and it allows users to perform edits like that which you mentioned. However, like you said, control is limited, or at least inefficient. Thanks again! ^.^

The percussion may have reverb, but it doesn't have enough reverb. Compared to everything else, it sounds like you put the drums inside of a tube made of sound absorbing foam. :P

There's a difference between samples and how you use them. You need to tweak samples and humanize them, which is much easier a software interface rather than on a keyboard screen interface, because not all instruments have the same humanization techniques as a piano.

Some would argue that humanization is easier on a keyboard, and they're right in most points of view. However, there's not nearly as much control for instrument tweaking AS ON A software library.

What I'm saying is, if I wanted more control, I would buy EWQLSO rather than a keyboard. If you already have a keyboard, I'd recommend buying EWQLSO and channeling through software using your keyboard as a MIDI controller. Lots of room for tweaking the instruments, and if you have the MIDI you can also edit the MIDI in a DAW/Tracker (like Fruityloops, Reason, or Logic) to fix some of the timing issues you may have in the future. (Missed a snare hit by a half step? No problem, go into the MIDI and move the snare hit back a half step)

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The next step I plan to do is to transfer the entire piece into a sequencer (Cakewalk, but eventually Cubase for other projects after I become more proficient with the interface) to quantise and tweak notes both automatically and manually.

The Roland Fantom X series has an on-board sequencer, too, which I have used. It's called Microscope, and it allows users to perform edits like that which you mentioned. However, like you said, control is limited, or at least inefficient. Thanks again! ^.^

The problem is you cannot control your samples as far as instrument tweaking goes. There are special things VST's like EWQLSO offers for tweaking with their instruments that you can't do using default effect plug-ins from programs like Cakewalk.

There is a free version of EWQLSO, grab it while you can.

Seriously, I recommend talking to "Nutritious" about your sounds. That guy knows his stuff when it comes to making virtual orchestras with entirely free plug-ins.

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Sounds like a plan. Arigatou gozaimasu!

The problem is you cannot control your samples as far as instrument tweaking goes. There are special things VST's like EWQLSO offers for tweaking with their instruments that you can't do using default effect plug-ins from programs like Cakewalk.

There is a free version of EWQLSO, grab it while you can.

Seriously, I recommend talking to "Nutritious" about your sounds. That guy knows his stuff when it comes to making virtual orchestras with entirely free plug-ins.

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Actually, Neblix, I would have to say that it sounds just fine with these midi samples. There are many soundtracks, from what I've heard, that change from midi samples to a real orchestra and start sounding a lot less bright. A real orchestra, sonically speaking, is much heavier than a midi one. So, for this particular song, I would say it works perfectly.

Some examples in where a real orchestra made things heavier are Dragon Quest 8, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, Twilight Princess or the anime Naruto: Shippuden (Naruto had sampled strings, which seemed lighter than heavier)

There are many modern games that use midi over real orchestra to get a brighter, lighter, feeling (loads of wii games).

The less complicated the sound sonically, the lighter the feeling. The more realistic reverb something has, the more complicated the sound gets. That's how I see it. midi samples are beautiful, and they should be used more often. It adds diversity. =)

So, as I hear it, it's perfectly fine. And as Gario heard it, it's perfectly fine.

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Actually, Neblix, I would have to say that it sounds just fine with these midi samples. There are many soundtracks, from what I've heard, that change from midi samples to a real orchestra and start sounding a lot less bright. A real orchestra, sonically speaking, is much heavier than a midi one. So, for this particular song, I would say it works perfectly.

Some examples in where a real orchestra made things heavier are Dragon Quest 8, Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, Twilight Princess or the anime Naruto: Shippuden (Naruto had sampled strings, which seemed lighter than heavier)

There are many modern games that use midi over real orchestra to get a brighter, lighter, feeling (loads of wii games).

The less complicated the sound sonically, the lighter the feeling. The more realistic reverb something has, the more complicated the sound gets. That's how I see it. midi samples are beautiful, and they should be used more often. It adds diversity. =)

So, as I hear it, it's perfectly fine. And as Gario heard it, it's perfectly fine.

So that's 2-1 so far in favor of "You don't absolutely HAVE to have it sound like a real orchestra".

Go back and read Gario's post.

Anyways, you're turning this into a game?

"2-1"?

How childish.

From a guy who got offended when people told him to get higher quality samples (and also pretty much ignored everyone who gave you honest crits that had a problem with your mix), I hardly think you have any say when it comes to thinking samples "sound good."

I used to think bad samples sounded good too, but over time and with experience, you'll realize what sounds good and what doesn't.

And you're missing my point. The main point is not that it's a MIDI, but the fact that it LACKS humanization and a realistic sound.

It adds diversity. =)

It does NOT add diversity.

It adds a lot of people being lazy about their sound to the community. Sequencing without humanizing and adding reverb and etc. is called taking the easy way out. Some people may like it, but others don't like listening to something they know was done on a keyboard. There's such a thing as "too mechanical", and it's actually pretty easy to reach.

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If I may humbly interject, I'm under the impression that you are both right. The recording lacks realism and humanised play, but that could be what works. Since the composition should sound like it is appropriate for a Zelda game (perhaps the GameCube generation), I am concerned about having an overly rich (and receding) sound that a true orchestra tends to project. Any suggestions for balance?

Go back and read Gario's post.

Anyways, you're turning this into a game?

"2-1"?

How childish.

From a guy who got offended when people told him to get higher quality samples (and also pretty much ignored everyone who gave you honest crits that had a problem with your mix), I hardly think you have any say when it comes to thinking samples "sound good."

I used to think bad samples sounded good too, but over time and with experience, you'll realize what sounds good and what doesn't.

And you're missing my point. The main point is not that it's a MIDI, but the fact that it LACKS humanization and a realistic sound.

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If I may humbly interject, I'm under the impression that you are both right. The recording lacks realism and humanised play, but that could be what works. Since the composition should sound like it is appropriate for a Zelda game (perhaps the GameCube generation), I am concerned about having an overly rich (and receding) sound that a true orchestra tends to project. Any suggestions for balance?

The problem is you're not striving to make your sound the best it can be.

You're actually using the fact that it's game music to be lazy about your sound, even if you don't think you are.

That's kinda harsh, but sorry, that's what I think.

There's a difference between N64 sounds and sequenced sound.

N64 may have had bad humanization, but the level was already low enough with the quality of the instruments, so it was balanced between quality and humanization.

You have high quality instruments with low humanization. There's no balance, no compromise. If you're going for an older Zelda game sound, then don't use high quality stuff (or if you want the high quality stuff, don't be lazy about humanization), because it won't work that way.:tomatoface:

Also, I am not using "lazy" in the sense that you're a couch potato, I'm referring to the fact that you are not humanizing because you think it's okay just because it's designed for N64/Gamecube/Whatever.

Think of it like this:

You can't have good BAD music (good low quality N64 type stuff) if parts of it are good (high quality and some humanization). It has to be all bad (low quality and some humanization) to get that real "nostalgic N64 sound chip" feel.

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I want to get back to the song, for other people to listen to it and see what they think or feel of the song....but...

I agree with the point that you are making, maybe it would sound better with realistic samples. For a lot of people, that's definitely the goal, to get better at mixing samples together to get the most realistic recording possible. I know what you are saying, and it is definitely very helpful to anyone that wants to improve in creating realistic mock-ups with samples.

I would think, though, that it's all about what you want, or what you intend for.

- To improve in music composition.

- To improve at realistic mock-ups. (sample mixing/arrangement)

- To advertise a bit of your music online so that more people can hear and appreciate your composition.

- To advertise a bit of your music online so that more people can hear and appreciate your realistic mock-ups or ability with mixing samples together.

- a bit of both

- To post up on the internet just for the heck of it

They are different goals, and if Peach is ok with how it sounds, maybe he or she would actually like to improve on composition, or maybe just advertise a bit of his or her music, though it doesn't look like the focus is sample mixing/arrangement.

And also, a lot of people do really enjoy sampled music over realistic music, and it's all about enjoyment anyway isn't it? I mean...midi is fun. It should always be about enjoyment and fun over improvement, in my opinion.

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It's a nice composition, I enjoyed it. :D Hard to crit this without talking about the sample quality (considering ocr's orchestral remix selection as the reference), but a more human-sounding "performance" wouldn't hurt.

To me it sounds like it could be a midi dropped onto a preset midi instrument bank with no regard to the dynamics of the individual instruments or any illusion of performance. If you're planning on remixing something for ocr, you're gonna have to do better than that.

Samples are not the least bit convincing. I can't hear anything human in it, sounds like a robot playing, not an orchestra, not a person on a keyboard... The emotional landscape comes from the harmony and sound choices, nothing from a "performance".

James' opinion concerning ease of use is in no way invalid, but ease of use doesn't translate into superior end result. This composition, properly humanized and rendered with VSL or QLSO would be far more convincing than what you can do with the Fantom (if I'm reading its specs right).

(...and dude, a "lighter" feel doesn't come half as much from sound complexity as it does from frequency balance, and choice of midi over audio is generally a technical concern more than an aesthetic one.)

Let me end on the note that it's not convincing, but still enjoyable. :D

And also, a lot of people do really enjoy sampled music over realistic music, and it's all about enjoyment anyway isn't it? I mean...midi is fun. It should always be about enjoyment and fun over improvement, in my opinion.

Just saw this. "Sampled" has many meanings, stretching from live recordings (sampled to digital format) to GM samples on a soundcard. Most orchestral tracks on ocr use sampled notes played with midi. There's no inherent contradiction between sampled and and realistic. You can create a realistic track from good note samples and the right composition and production, just as you ca create an unrealistic "orchestral" recording by playing/recording/producing it the wrong way. My point is - with iirc two exceptions - everything orchestral on ocr is midi.

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Neblix - As a perfectionist myself, I see what you mean. I'll do what I can.

James - I'm actually not completely satisfied how it sounds. The playing is sloppy, the orchestra is choppy, and even the composition is a little lacking in the transitional parts.

Rozovian - Thanks! I have to say, though... This wasn't written as a MIDI. I actually played this by hand. I'm just not a good player. Composition is my field, as is MIDI work.

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Hmmm...I see...I didn't mean to heat up the thread or anything...sorry about that. x_x

Well, personally, I thought it was orchestrated great for a midi composition.

A lot of times in East West Orchestra and VSL Vienna Orchestral sampled mock-ups there's this glossy-ness to the strings, which you don't hear in this one. It sounds clean and pure.

That's what I hear. It's like listening the soundtrack of a wii or gamecube game sound-wise, and music wise it's like it could actually fit in a zelda game.

I'm like you, though. I like to consider composition to be my field. That's why having a hardware synth (keyboard) over software samples is probably better for you. If you make a song that you really know is great, and would sound amazing with really good samples, you actually might be able to find someone on this or other communities that could help you out with creating an orchestral mock-up (so that you don't necessarily have to bother with samples). Or, if you're working a high paying job, you may just consider paying a sound programmer.

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Originally posted by Rozovian

If you're planning on remixing something for ocr, you're gonna have to do better than that.

I don't think this was written with OCR in mind, Rozo - it IS in the 'originals/other' section :)

Yes, better samples would, most likely, improve the sound rather than nullify it, since the real charm of the piece comes from compositional aspects (not from the timbral aspects), so I'm not against making a good piece better by using better samples (hell, there's a deal going right now for a free EWQL set - check it out and see if it helps).

On the other hand, whenever writing for your own enjoyment it doesn't really matter that much. That's how I take it, right now, so I'm not going to hammer you for sample quality. If you're writing for publicity or for a project of sorts then better samples would be a boon for you.

Still, it's a nice piece :)

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