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Orion

wip I like to compose STUFF

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Hello. My name is Ryan and I write video game music. :ocrgreen: < love this emoticon.

Now that the introduction is out of the way...

I've been writing music in the indie video game scene for over 10 years. A lot of my projects just sound unrefined in terms of the quality and mastery and organization of various elements of sound. It's a process that I haven't sweated until now ... which brings me to why I am here.

Basically I am here to learn and get better. I want to gain a more critical ear and mind for the purposes of sound mixing and music. I hope to see many of you around.

Cheers and good vibes to ya'll

Ryan

Here is my latest work for CrystalKingdom, a sprite-based mmo rpg largely inspired by early Squaresoft rpg titles for the SNES.

https://soundcloud.com/crystalkingdom/unpeacefulrespite-cemetary

And a few other things.

https://soundcloud.com/crystalkingdom/boss-dialogue

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/frogatto-map-and-orchestra

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/wellputfinal

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/symphony-no-1-melody-outline

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/chip-and-bass

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/chipzen-final-track-1

(i got my work cut out for me)

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Well, okay, let's see.

--Boss Dialogue--

The majority of the instruments come in so early, and that really limits the piece from evolving more elegantly. All the instruments come in literally 2 seconds in. When they do, I immediately hear an overcompression by the limiter, on the drums and bass mainly. The bass is playing too quickly to be a realistic acoustic-esque bass, and the piano sequencing is mechanical. Piano needs some more adjustment with the velocities to make it sound realistic. Right now I'm not really hearing an actual structure because of the lack of dynamics. Everything sounds the same volume the whole time.

--Frogatto Map and Orchestra--

0:06 has the desire to have jazzy harmonies due to the bassline, but there's no textural harmony anywhere in the middle of the bass and the harp, piano, or flute. Lots of instruments come in one by one without a cue at all, and all that does is crowd it for no apparent reason. This has no solid or clear plan of arrangement. The flute is unrealistic or unrealistically sequenced, especially at 1:42 with the slow attacks. 2:31 was welcome, but there was no hint of it coming. No buildup, no leadins, nothing. However, there's some muddiness between the bass and brass, even with the creative panning.

--Well Put Final--

The 0:04 harpsichord (?) is dry, and doesn't sit nicely in the mix. Try adding enough reverb so that it sounds like it's in a room, but not too much. It also sounds a little stiff, especially at 0:49. 0:47 has a random bass that just came in. No idea why. Must be missing something. (hint hint) 1:11 has another random instrument that just jumped in doing something, but again, no leadin. 2:00 has a breakdown, but... why? There's nothing transitioning into it, so it might as well be something completely different, but it's got to be expected. 2:30... same thing.

------------

I'm gonna stop here. Seems like your main problem is stiff sequencing, dry samples, absence of transitions, and EQ. Try looking at these:

How to Humanize Velocities

How to Use Reverb Part 1

How to Use Reverb Part 2

Song Structure

How and When To Use EQ

All About EQ

Edited by timaeus222

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Well, okay, let's see.

I'm gonna stop here. Seems like main your problem is stiff sequencing, dry samples, absence of transitions, and EQ. Try looking at these:

You bet. Thanks for these.

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That's a huge improvement!

The flute is a tad fake-ish because of the few articulations, but it works alright. There's a good amount of bass at 0:33. Choir fits in nicely.

0:48 gets a tiny bit cluttered, and could do with some wider or farther panning. The piano is interfering with the plucky string instrument playing at the same time.

The 1:33 and 1:50 chords are pretty messy. It would help to either spread out the notes over octaves or lower velocities of some of the low notes.

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Cool cool cool

0:48 gets a tiny bit cluttered, and could do with some wider or farther panning. The piano is interfering with the plucky string instrument playing at the same time.

The 1:33 and 1:50 chords are pretty messy. It would help to either spread out the notes over octaves or lower velocities of some of the low notes.

I think there is some fighting going on between the piano and the lolectric guitar. I'll keep this in mind for future tracks. Thanks for the feedback!

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Solo piano piece had mechanical sequencing. Harmonies and mode shifts were awkward at times, like at 0:26, 0:31, and 0:54. Fast sections emphasize the mechanical feel.

Main theme was alright. Again, piano was mechanical in velocities and timing. Some harmonies or intervals were awkward, such as 0:38, 0:43, 0:49, and 0:55. 0:24~0:26 was a nice chord progression, but I barely heard it, as it was split between hands in diads. 0:55 was static with its constant 8th notes in both hands. 1:06 choir felt mechanical with the fast release.

Cave song was the best of these three. You got the feel you were going for. Piano is again a bit mechanical, even in a non-solo context. Bells are, too, as well as being low quality. Low end is iffy on the mixing. A tad muddy. 1:05 was nice, but there wasn't any signal into it. Not as majestic as it could be, because of the limited clarity. Choir is a tad buried as a result of little stereo separation or ineffective stereo separation. Strings are unfortunately fake-sounding and sound like a soundfont or some sort of free Kontakt samples. Harmonies are simple (4ths, 5ths, etc.).

Edited by timaeus222

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Yea. My samples... they're not great. They may not even be good... but they are workable. For now I need to learn how to get the most out of what i have available. I am planning on integrating higher quality orchestral samples in the future. This is all logic 9 now. I use Garageband samples as well. But better samples ... yehhh. It would do a lot for me. I am not doing a great job of taking nothin' and makin' somethin' out of it. :D Thanks for your insight, Timaeus.

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Doom Castle sounds like it would be cleaner with better stereo separation. Try panning creatively and using delay creatively to pan. 1:45 needs it, for example.

Walking Through the Woods was starting with a sine wave, but for some reason I couldn't hear that afterwards. Sine waves are supposed to be easy to mix, so there's something wrong here. Maybe it's too crowded. You could try adjusting octaves. 0:57 lead stuck out too much as dry and static. See if you can do some modulation, like vibrato or tonal shifts using LFOs.

Crystal Kingdom sounds alright for what samples you used, but of course you know that it's really fake-sounding.

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Thank you for your continual ear-support, Mr. Timaeus!

Doom Castle sounds like it would be cleaner with better stereo separation. Try panning creatively and using delay creatively to pan. 1:45 needs it, for example.

That's pretty much the same assessment I've been hearing from peeps all day. I look forward to getting back into the mix and seeing what flies.

Walking Through the Woods was starting with a sine wave, but for some reason I couldn't hear that afterwards. Sine waves are supposed to be easy to mix, so there's something wrong here.

Leave it to me to make something simple, needlessly complicated. :banghead: I guess I got lazy with the mix thinking I was good enough to get away with it... yea. LOL. Not happenin

Maybe it's too crowded. You could try adjusting octaves. 0:57 lead stuck out too much as dry and static. See if you can do some modulation, like vibrato or tonal shifts using LFOs.
Agreed
Crystal Kingdom sounds alright for what samples you used, but of course you know that it's really fake-sounding.

Agreed. It should still sound a little better in terms of mimicking a live environment than previous works... but I take it you didn't get that ...

Edited by Orion

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Agreed. It should still sound a little better in terms of mimicking a live environment than previous works... but I take it you didn't get that ...

Well, it's not that I didn't get it. I just didn't say anything about it. You've got the idea though, and it mainly just needs better samples.

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Nice atmosphere on Crypt and Mausoleum. You might be able to tell by now that the piano is mechanical. Might take a bit long to build up and progress.

There's some weird boominess in The Happy Circle that shows up at 0:12 and then doesn't come back. Otherwise, aside from preferentially getting the velocities fixed and adding adequate reverb, it sounds good.

The 3/4 RPG Melody has some sub bass issues mainly at 0:17 and on. It's cluttering up the soundscape. As before, the piano velocities and timing are mechanical. :)

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The piano ... Mechanical? I never would've guessed. DAH aahahahaha. Beat that dead horse! And I will do the same :banghead:

Yea. I should be getting Symphobia 2 SOON-ish. Hopefully that will get me a bit better sounds.

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YOU DON'T HAVE TO RUB IT IN, BREW. :x

If you want, I can give you a before-and-after example of mechanical piano versus more humanized piano. :)

... could you? :nicework:

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Okay, this might seem pretty hard to distinguish at first, but since it's easier to distinguish if the worse thing in a series comes last, I put the humanized one first and the stiff one second.

Naturally, I played the humanized one, and the stiff one has exactly perfect rhythm and flat velocities.

https://www.box.com/s/vg1qxcnbc1wx6vpdmrm4

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I appreciate the example. The difference between the two parts is very subtle here but even so this comparison can prove very helpful for analysis. /bows

Okay, this might seem pretty hard to distinguish at first, but since it's easier to distinguish if the worse thing in a series comes last, I put the humanized one first and the stiff one second.

Naturally, I played the humanized one, and the stiff one has exactly perfect rhythm and flat velocities.

https://www.box.com/s/vg1qxcnbc1wx6vpdmrm4

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