Ronald Poe

How to make a Field Theme (KH) and easy choices

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I love Kingdom Hearts and its music. I primarily write both original electronic music and remixes in FL Studio. Anyway I was curious what the common characteristics of a field/stage theme (the kind in JRPGs but especially Kingdom Hearts) are. I'm thinking of writing one myself and need some pointers. In fact any tips for KH-style music would be great. Here's a few examples of the stage themes from the Kingdom Hearts series.
"Welcome to Wonderland" from KH1


"Sacred Moon" from KH2


"Keyblade Graveyard" from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.


"Traverse Town" from KH1

 

 


Also does anyone know of any Video game songs/pieces that have simple melodies and/or are easy to remix? I dream of getting  a remix on this site one day. Too bad I have a very eccentric and unusual style to my music (both original and remixes).
 

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The most important aspect of approaching music for a game where the player is "out in the world" is capturing the particular feel and character of the environment.  In a typical Role Playing Game, the player is often times faced with obstacles (either physical features of the landscape or creatures who live or infest that landscape) that are inherent to the environment.  Your job as a game composer is to engage the area/zone/whatever's design and enhance the qualities that epitomize the feel of the obstacles the player will face according to the design.

Scoring is all about focusing and enhancing the player experience and so the emotional tones you want to explore are ones that convey the design premise of the area and create emotional connections for the player.

A town theme is often easy-going or pleasant/quaint because it's a safe-place for the player and usually a happy or simple place.  A menacing cave might receive a completely different emotional treatment from your town, you might want to express mystery or darkness.

All of these choices come from a design stand-point.  If the cave the player is entering is supposed to be wave after wave of action filled hack-n-slashing then the emotional tone of mystery and darkness isn't appropriate.

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Thanks for the advice. The stage I'm working on is based on KH version of Slender Woods (from Slender: The Arrival). Part of my problem is evoking the images/moods right.

I also wanted to include a boss theme I made for Masky (Marble Hornets). I know it's pretty unprofessional but I worked really hard on it.
https://soundcloud.com/dark-ronald-poe/behind-the-mask-masky-boss-th

 

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This isn't the recipe for every JRPG field theme, but it is for my favorite kinds; you need a very driving repetitive hook. This is a riff, short chordal phrase, guitar pattern, etc. You'll hear it a lot over the course of the song, and it should jive very well with the main percussive rhythms if there are any. You want to establish rhythmic motives; it's like a kind of rhythm or pulse that every measure has, that all the instruments kind of conform to.

Once you have your groundwork, you should have your hook and motives be able to sit by themselves, because you want a lot of the action to be able to sit there.

When you're ready to introduce the melody at key points (or just periodically), do it on a nice solo instrument that can cut the mix. A whistle, flute, violin, etc. Give it a good classic phrasing structure (halfway point on dominant, ending on tonic, or dominant again for continuous looping).

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Thanks Neblix for your help. I was curious how difficult "Villain of a Sort" (Kingdom Hearts) would be to remix (for beginners). I'm planing on transposing it to Am (or whatever C major mode it'll be).

 

 

Also what are some easy beginner tunes for remixers?

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On 1/19/2016 at 1:54 PM, Neblix said:

This isn't the recipe for every JRPG field theme, but it is for my favorite kinds; you need a very driving repetitive hook. This is a riff, short chordal phrase, guitar pattern, etc. You'll hear it a lot over the course of the song, and it should jive very well with the main percussive rhythms if there are any. You want to establish rhythmic motives; it's like a kind of rhythm or pulse that every measure has, that all the instruments kind of conform to.

Here is a great example.  

 

 

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Let me guess that the area for that theme is fairly relaxed and peaceful. I haven't played Rose Online and don't really plan on it (is it a really good RPG?), so I'm just assuming based on the music. I get what you mean.

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15 hours ago, Ronald Poe said:

Let me guess that the area for that theme is fairly relaxed and peaceful. I haven't played Rose Online and don't really plan on it (is it a really good RPG?), so I'm just assuming based on the music. I get what you mean.

The game was published by the same company that published Ragnarok Online. That track plays to a desert themed area of the game. The general mood of the game is pretty playful and the music fits it well but I thought of this track because, honestly, it's been stuck in my mind since I first heard it. and I didn't play the game for more than the 2 week trial it had when it first launched.  It's simple, repetitive and yet doesn't get stale quickly.  

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