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Bastion Soundtrack using Logic Pro

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First of all I would like to say - Bastion's soundtrack by Darren Korb is my favourite video games soundtrack ever.

Now that we got this out of the way - while browsing Apple's loops I was pretty surprised to find out that some of these loops were used as main parts in some of the tracks in the soundtrack.

As an example:

- this is "The Mancer's Dilemma".

The harp that plays at the beginning and continues during the rest of the song is exactly "Orchestra Harp Pattern 20".

Also - there's another part in the middle that sounds like the beginning of "Orchestra Harp Pattern 27" only faster.

What is your opinion about this? Is this ok to take an Apple Loop - available to everybody - and use it as the main piece in a commercial release?

I'm not meaning in a legal way - It's legit.

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Darren Korb actually mentioned this on Top Score. Aside from the guitars and a couple other sounds, he was perfectly okay with creating the entire soundtrack using Apple Loops and instruments.

OCRemix tends to frown on an over-reliance of loops, because it displays laziness in arrangement and composition. However, some of the most prominent remixers and artists here openly admit to using default loops. As long as the final product is diverse enough and stands out, no one really cares.

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If you listen to and appreciate a lot of soundtrack music, then prepare to be massively disillusioned if you start delving into things like commercial loop libraries. They're used quite often to meet a deadline. One of the first games I really noticed this in was Command & Conquer Generals. It seems composer Bill Brown put most of his actual time and effort into the USA faction music. The other 2 factions are almost exclusively made out of prefab loops.

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Isn't that what they're there for? To allow people to get their work done quicker/more easily. If I remember correctly he talks about using them in his GDC talk.

As long as the final product is diverse enough and stands out, no one really cares.
^ This too.

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This is a good convo, but not really off-topic - moving to Community!

My two cents, well... Nonamer summed it up perfectly. It all depends on usage/reliance.

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The stigma of the commercial loops baffles me. It's like people on here go, "I want to be a composer just like that guy! I need to get all the tools and stuff he/they use!"

Then they find out a loop from a readily available loop package shows up in one of their soundtracks and they're like "wow, that's really disillusioning..."

:P

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All I've learned from this thread is that there's probably more potential to make money from raising baby goats into adult goats and then either selling them or milking them for their milk. I guess when the question is whether you'd use samples or start a goat farm, I think the answer is kinda obvious...

As an aside I was never too impressed with the Bastion OST apart from a couple songs. This is kinda disappointing to find out anyway.

Edited by Brandon Strader

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Relevant:

j4z61uI.jpg

In the end, does it sound good? Do you like it?

As Carl Sagan said, "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

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There was a dude from ThaSauce IRC who told me straight I should be hanged for using synth presets instead of making my own.

If I could remember his name I would damn well shame him here. :P

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There was a dude from ThaSauce IRC who told me straight I should be hanged for using synth presets instead of making my own.

If I could remember his name I would damn well shame him here. :P

=P Presets are fine, as long as they fit in context. Otherwise, how would synth sound designers like me make money? :D

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I think using presets is fine, but.... using someone else's loops is basically the same as manufacturing inspiration, which is embarrassing to know that an OST like Bastion's could win so many awards and be so loved but just be a combination of public assets. Credit should be given to the people who created the loops that make up the OST. If someone thinks it's fine to use loops.... that's their prerogative... but it is cheating, and also a very cheap way of creating music just for the sake of having music. No wonder I didn't dig most of the OST. You can't put heart or passion into someone else's work before claiming it as your own. It just doesn't make sense. I realize it's not a matter of plagiarism, but it's not much better than that. The legal use of someone else's music.

Not to mention I know people from OCR who could make music from scratch, be inspired, and do a better job. It's not fair at all.

Edited by Brandon Strader

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I think using presets is fine, but.... using someone else's loops is basically the same as manufacturing inspiration, which is embarrassing to know that an OST like Bastion's could win so many awards and be so loved but just be a combination of public assets. Credit should be given to the people who created the loops that make up the OST. If someone thinks it's fine to use loops.... that's their prerogative... but it is cheating, and also a very cheap way of creating music just for the sake of having music. No wonder I didn't dig most of the OST. You can't put heart or passion into someone else's work before claiming it as your own. It just doesn't make sense. I realize it's not a matter of plagiarism, but it's not much better than that. The legal use of someone else's music.

Not to mention I know people from OCR who could make music from scratch, be inspired, and do a better job. It's not fair at all.

The Apple Loops are royalty and attribute free, meaning that they were created explicitly for other composers to use. Whoever recorded the loop earned their money from Apple already, on the condition that everyone else uses their work. It seems primitive, but for an indie composer you use what resources you have. Expecting musicians to replicate similar sounds, which could cost thousands of dollars, is slightly unrealistic.

Music is a market just like everything else. Some people prefer purity in their composition and arrangement, while others only care for "what sound's nice." The only "winner" is the one that either earns the most success or the one who has the greatest impact on their music scene. How he or she got there does not matter unless plagiarism is involved (ie the whole DBZ Budokai music fiasco).

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If someone thinks it's fine to use loops.... that's their prerogative... but it is cheating

What does it mean to "cheat" in the context of making music?

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I guess not starting from what is wholly yours, or taking an "easier" way out?

What do you mean by "wholly yours"? Does using samples or presets make a song not wholly yours?

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Using instrumental loops

If you didn't write it, if it didn't come from your head, if you are not in any way emotionally invested in the material, it's not wholly yours and it's just a cheap product.

Being a professional composer is no place for creativity.

i laughed :<

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Don't see a problem here. Anybody can play a 4 second harp loop.

A good composer can make something out of that loop. Kind of like those artists who take stuff from garbage cans and makes really cool stuff with it.

edit: i sincerely hope you wouldn't use that kind logic to crap on decades of good hip-hop, would you Brandon?

cause i'd be mad.

Edited by urdailywater
modified!

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Using instrumental loops

If you didn't write it, if it didn't come from your head, if you are not in any way emotionally invested in the material, it's not wholly yours and it's just a cheap product.

I don't have a problem with instrumental loops if they are incorporated well and don't feel out of place. It's all in how you use the tools available to you.

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A while back I had wondered how people who were very new to producing (like only a few months) were making music that sounded very high quality in terms of production, and then I realized they were using vengeance loops and other "high quality" (depending on how you look at it) samples, where as I was striving to create everything from scratch, such as synthesizing my own kicks, creating my own drum loops, and starting new synth patches from a default sine wave.

This saying gets tossed around sometimes which I think is very accurate in many ways: "It is a necessary evil."

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There are a lot of amazingly creative things that you can do with loops. I found that the Bastion soundtrack to be one of those cases where this was done. In a lot of ways, I feel that it's no different than stealing a couple of bars from Bach of Beethoven. For decades people have been using the building blocks of their predecessors. You may not realize it but you most likely do so unconsciously or without knowing it all the time. People really need to get over the subject and just move on with making tunes.

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You can't put heart or passion into someone else's work before claiming it as your own. It just doesn't make sense. I realize it's not a matter of plagiarism, but it's not much better than that. The legal use of someone else's music.

Not to mention I know people from OCR who could make music from scratch, be inspired, and do a better job. It's not fair at all.

Brandon, this might be one of those times we talked about where you're articulating an opinion just to evoke a response, rather than because you legitimately feel that way. At least I hope it is - Darren Korb is awesome, and if you give most people 89,456 loops, they're still not gonna end up with the Bastion OST...

What does it mean to "cheat" in the context of making music?

Milli Vanilli

Don't see a problem here. Anybody can play a 4 second harp loop. A good musician can make something out of that loop. Kind of like those artists who take stuff from garbage cans and makes really cool stuff with it.

I'd modify that to "a good composer" instead of "a good musician"...

I feel that people like Brandon, and many other talented multi-instrumentalists, might be more opposed to loops simply because it goes against their instincts, but the thing is... music is a broad enough medium to incorporate genres & works that absolutely hinge on live instrumentation, and others that absolutely do not, and everything in between.

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I use a few Apple loops here and there (mainly shakers or percussion loops), but honestly I'm not a huge fan of people using Apple loops when it's noticeable. It's kind of shameful to people who use Logic Pro because when you've searched throughout that whole library and you know all those loops pretty well, you'll know when one's used in a song.

I hear them frequently, actually. In fact, I've even heard them pop up

It's pretty common to hear Apple loops pop up.

Because of that, however, that motivates me even more to sound different by completely creating my own sounds. Just because everyone is doing it and it's working does not mean that I encourage using Apple loops. In fact, I'm going to be blatantly honest here, that Mancer's Dilemma track from Bastion kinda annoys me because of how heavy it is on the loops. I feel there isn't much originality going on there, to be perfectly honest.

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What do you mean by "wholly yours"? Does using samples or presets make a song not wholly yours?

Wholly yours, as in you didn't just buy it and use it exactly like it was. i.e. if it was wholly yours, you'd have written it yourself or synthesized it from scratch, among other methods. Think of a shoe factory / shoe cobbler analogy. Maybe that can be interpreted in other ways, but that's what I mean. :)

I really only use drum loops, and I try to just use them to gain the context unless I'm strapped for time.

Edited by timaeus222

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