JohnStacy

The OverClocked Horn Sound - Video Game Music Arrangements featuring the Horn

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Last summer I had much more free time than I had ever had before.  As a result I decided I would begin work on a youtube channel producing arrangements and remixes of video game music for (french) horn ensemble.  I would write the arrangements, then record both video and audio, do editing, and have a video ready to be released on a regular schedule.  Not long after starting, I decided that keeping a regular schedule would be more work than I could do as my free time would quickly run out.  Quality was selected over quantity, and I would save these arrangements for future use, possibly on OCR.  I wouldn't get involved with the OCR community until December of 2016.  My first submitted remix to the site was a success, so I figured out I had found a home here.

As a horn player, I've been told by so many people that the horn is a classical instrument, and it is not possible to play in other genres.  I then proceeded to play professionally in a jazz ensemble, rock band, funk group, and other non professional ventures in other genres such as a gospel choir and mariachi band.  I am not the only horn player who has done this.  However, the view that the horn is a strictly classical instrument is still very common, and I believe that it is a very limiting viewpoint.  There are many horn players who do not feel they are capable of venturing into new areas because they do not think it is possible, and there are many more who want to venture but are held back by teachers, peers, etc.  I was told that I couldn't play jazz, a genre I was raised on, and the horn was literally taken away from me when I tried to play.  They told me I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO play on trumpet or trombone, then when my skill level was so much lower than it was on my primary instrument, basically told me that I was no good at jazz.

I want to contribute to the solution of this problem.  My contribution will be a series of arrangements for horn in many genres.

This is where the community comes in.  As it stands now, I have 4 arrangements that are complete and awaiting recording, and others that are in various stages of completion.  I would like to make a whole disc's worth of music, however I would definitely not object to having two or more.  I am looking for collaborators on this project.

What is the purpose of this project?

The purpose of this project is to produce music with the horn as a central feature.  One of the arrangements being recorded is a rock track.  There are 8 horn parts, and a collaborator is recording guitar, bass, and drums.  I recorded all the horns and programmed piano.  The horns do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to presenting themes.  The other instruments are primarily support, however they are invaluable for the end product.  For a different track, it would be different, such as working with a vocalist.  If that were the collaboration, they would be the primary feature, with the horns supporting.  I am a little split at the idea of having a solo wind instrument other than horn as a feature, however I am open to suggestion.  After producing this, there will be a body of work that can be referenced to say "Yes, the horn can do that, and yes you can do that too!"  Or for arrangers, composers, or remixers to see what is possible and create new works inspired by this.

What would be needed from a collaborator?

There are two ways to contribute; as an arranger or a performer.  Arrangement contributors would write the arrangements to be performed.  Most of the work would be left to the collaborator, and I would edit minor details as needed for playability or effectiveness.
Contributing as a performer could involve arranging as described above and also performance with the voice or another instrument.  Performers would be highly encouraged to participate in the arrangement process to highlight their strengths.
Non musically, an artist to design artwork for the album would be needed.

What genres are possible?

Many genres are possible.  Due to the nature of the project, some genres are more difficult than others.  For example, predominately electronic genres such as EDM or dubstep that are driven by synths would be much more difficult to keep the acoustic horn as a central feature.  However, if those genres could be made to feature the acoustic horn I would be more than happy to oblige.  I have performance experience in jazz, rock, funk, gospel, mariachi, country, and others, and have worked in even more genres not as a horn player, so gaining familiarity would not be much of a problem.

I am looking at the London Horn Sound albums for reference. 

I am excited to work with people on this project, and am even more excited to see what can be produced!

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This sounds like a really great project!! French horn is such a beautiful instrument, and I love how you're trying to expand it's current limited fieldwork. I'd definitely be interested in helping out with arrangement stuff. What's the time schedule you have in mind? 

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If possible I would like to have something done by the end of next summer (Let's say late July).  Once I get an idea of who wants to contribute and whatnot a schedule can be nailed down.  

Going faster than next summer actually couldn't be out of the question.   

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Despite my lack of hardware, it isn't stopping my interest in this project. I'm getting a new computer for school sometime this summer probably, so that helps. I have an 88 keyboard and it has a decent built in piano/electric piano sound. That being said, at the school I'm going to, there is a recording studio, so that might not be as big an issue as my empty wallet makes it out to be. All I'd have to do probably is just book recording time, if I was a performer that is. I guess my question is, what's the idea for game/era or what have you?

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@Ridiculously Garrett

Maybe it would be easier if you recorded your performance as midi data?  Then we could experiment and find the best sound for each arrangement.

I'm not aiming for a specific range of games or eras.  I have a slight preference for older games, just because I'm more familiar with them, but not a preference in a way that influences the track selection.  If the arrangement is good, I'll take it.

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I could figure out recording, if you need a piano player, I can probably find some way to do it. I just gotta put the time in and though I'm gonna be at school after the end of this summer, I'll have to adjust to a schedule where I have some free time to play around with anyways.

 

I'm interested in this one, I think you've got good ideas. I wouldn't be opposed to older games, I'm familiar with a bunch of older (mostly Nintendo) games. Most of my mixes have been from Gamecube games and earlier. I think more people should jump on this, it could be something good. And if it's time you're worried about, if I could find a way to record personally without a studio, I could get a lot done on my own, I feel like. One of my mixes I haven't finished yet because I was waiting for someone on the drums, and even my most recent one I would've gotten done if I could play the guitar myself (which I might start teaching myself this summer...) But, I digress, I'm interested as a performer, this could be a good learning experience for me. And, I could arrange something, I would only be comfortable arranging jazz for something more professional like this because that's what I'm most experienced with.

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