Second attempt (VERY sketchy stuff!)

Create music and sound effects for mainline or user-made content.

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West
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Second attempt (VERY sketchy stuff!)

Post by West » November 12th, 2006, 7:36 pm

*sigh*

First of all let me say that I'm not very happy with this so far, and that it's just a very crude thing. I'm obviously going to have to work a great deal more on it. But right now it feels like I'm going nowhere and everything I try sounds like crap, so I wouldn't mind some feedback. I'm very, very close to just giving up on this idea, so I would like to know what you guys think.

Please keep in mind that I'm aware of a number of problems. The orchestration is just a shrug right now -- I really don't know which instruments should be playing what -- and the dynamics are awful. The tempo is totally static but there's a couple of places where I will add changes in tempo later on. Some parts are very sloppy and not in time. This is more a rough sketch than anything else.

You can get the clip here.

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vonHalenbach
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Post by vonHalenbach » November 12th, 2006, 8:16 pm

I have listened to it several times.

( I am no musican so maybe it is not true what i say)

I can see that you are stuck with this. This song begins very sad (where you probably want to build some atmosphere), "lets dance" in the middle (the marching sound), and "danger, hide behind a bush" in the last seconds.
:o :cry: :D :D :o
You want to tell a story, but the pages have fallen to the ground, you pic them up and read them not in line.

I think the song should start at 35 seconds.
ditch the sad start completly.

:D :D :D 8) 8) :o :? :) :) :D :D :wink:

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Post by DraconicBlessing » November 13th, 2006, 1:33 am

Coming at this purely from a gamer's perspective, that was bloody good! I was able to listen to it while reading the forum without having it distract me from what I was doing, until it stopped of course!
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Post by West » November 13th, 2006, 10:40 am

vonHalenbach wrote:I can see that you are stuck with this. This song begins very sad (where you probably want to build some atmosphere),
Yes, that was indeed my intention. The woodwinds part at the beginning was meant to sound... mysterious and slightly threatening rather than sad though.
vonHalenbach wrote:"lets dance" in the middle (the marching sound), and "danger, hide behind a bush" in the last seconds.
Hehe. I envisioned it like something completely different but I'm not gonna tell you what. It's good that the music at least conveys some kind of vibe :)
vonHalenbach wrote:You want to tell a story, but the pages have fallen to the ground, you pic them up and read them not in line.
Very well put. That is exactly what it feels like. I have a number of loose pages from the same story, but many pages are missing inbetween them.
vonHalenbach wrote:I think the song should start at 35 seconds.
ditch the sad start completly.
I'm not too sure about that. That would be too abrupt I think, that theme at 0:35 needs building up to a bit. But that does not mean the current intro does a good job building up to it (it really doesn't).
DraconicBlessing wrote:Coming at this purely from a gamer's perspective, that was bloody good! I was able to listen to it while reading the forum without having it distract me from what I was doing, until it stopped of course!
Glad you like it. Any ideas on how to improve it?

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Post by DraconicBlessing » November 14th, 2006, 10:14 pm

I'll have another listen and see if I can't come up with some constructive critiscism.

[edit]I've been re-listening to this constantly for I don't know how long now. I think it's more or less fine as is - just requiring some sort of more polished ending.
Otherwise, it sounds like it could carry on with what I think of as haunting music and build up to something again.

My two non-musical cents.[/edit]
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Post by traverser » November 22nd, 2006, 4:01 pm

If you made it part of a 90 minute symphony and sold it I'd be the first to get it :wink: It is kind of in need of the rest of those 90 minutes the changes from one part of the "story" to another are rather sudden and the parts could be shuffled maybe the terror part first than the middle and later the sad ending.
Remember to play a scenario in wesnoth it takes more than 1.5 minutes and the game engine will be constantly replaying the composition.
Stupid question :roll: :did you actually have people play the music and direct it or did you just cut and paste music of others?

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Post by DraconicBlessing » November 22nd, 2006, 8:50 pm

I'm pretty sure West is using professional software to do this, so he's only "cutting and pasting" if you're really cynical.

Guess you're letting this sit on the back-burner, whilst you try your hand at some art, West?
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Post by West » November 22nd, 2006, 9:05 pm

Cutting and pasting? Uh... no. All parts were played on a midi keyboard, recorded in a sequencer program (Cubase SX) and the sounds are provided by a VST isntrument i.e. a software synthesizer (Edirol Orchestral). So it's 100% original music performed by a human (me :)) but it's not real orchestral instruments playing if that's what you mean :)

Hey... I hadn't seen that edit of yours DraconicBlessing. But yes, I will let this thing rest for a while and focus on the artwork. I listened to it today and it's not as bad as I initially thought. It needs a lot of work of course but it's a decent thing to build on.

Anyway, I'm glad you guys like it. Hopefully I'll get some fresh ideas if I leave it alone for a while.

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Post by Lord Xerxces » December 10th, 2006, 5:22 am

Well, I listened to it for a while.

And I'm a composer, too, so I'll try to give some kind of comment.

The static tempo makes it easier to listen to while trying to play Wesnoth. The 'out of sync' or whatever section you mentioned above somehow escapes me.

Anyway, I think that my only criticism would be that it's a little cheesy.

I'm not sure if that counts.

...

Yeah, that's about it.

..
...

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Post by West » December 13th, 2006, 9:02 pm

Lord Xerxces wrote:Anyway, I think that my only criticism would be that it's a little cheesy.
Could you be a little more specific?

edit: Apparently not.

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Post by TimothyP » December 20th, 2006, 7:27 pm

Hey, West! Glad you finally posted again. I've been looking forward to hearing more.

Some comments:

- Woodwinds at the beginning: tasty
- Intro section: nice with interweaving lines, I would like this to be longer
- Middle section: That horn is getting high! Your real life horn player is likely to squawk some of those notes unless he's very skilled. Be nice to the performers!
- Strings in intro starting to sound fake. Try to put more life in them, work on phrasing and dynamics.
- Middle section, sounding really sparse. I'm sure there is something to add to make this a bit more rich.
- Harp entrance is very welcome after middle section.
- Resolution from woodwind intro to cello line sounds kind of silly. It starts off with a lot of atmosphere, and suddenly sounds like a Classical period resolution. After this, the violin arpegg section isn't too bad.

Here's what I like: you seem to have a lot of good ideas. Many of your ideas are more mature than other submissions we get. You have nice melodic motives, which is a must.

Here's what I think you can improve: you have more skill than you are putting into your recordings. I think you could add much more to this. There is very little blending and phrasing. The instruments don't sound like they are being played by organic beings.

If you apply your skills, I think you could do some tasty work for some custom campaigns. I'm sure you can get more lifelike sounds out of that orchestra too. It will certainly require time and effort, but, hey, that's what it takes.

Post more! We like it!

--Timothy

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Post by West » December 31st, 2006, 3:51 pm

Whoa... I must have missed your comment completely Timothy. Sorry 'bout that. I must say though that I will not continue working on this piece -- at least not in its present state. It all feels to random and... I dunno. Improvised. I will however reuse some parts of it -- I like the woodwind intro and that D minor theme (though you are absolutely right about the horn, I don't know what I was thinking :)) -- and work them into other material. I'm working on some music for Taurus' Nothern Rebirth campaign now and some stuff from this piece will probably end up in it.
TimothyP wrote: - Intro section: nice with interweaving lines, I would like this to be longer
I like that one too, I just don't think it fits in very good with the other stuff. A little too happy maybe.
TimothyP wrote: - Strings in intro starting to sound fake. Try to put more life in them, work on phrasing and dynamics.
I'm aware of that. But then again I often just record melodies and worry about dynamics later; I won't bother with details when there's a big chance the entire melody will change ten times before I'm happy with it :)
TimothyP wrote: - Resolution from woodwind intro to cello line sounds kind of silly. It starts off with a lot of atmosphere, and suddenly sounds like a Classical period resolution.
Guilty as charged. I think that was just some improvised thing.
TimothyP wrote: Here's what I like: you seem to have a lot of good ideas. Many of your ideas are more mature than other submissions we get. You have nice melodic motives, which is a must.
Thank you.
TimothyP wrote: Here's what I think you can improve: you have more skill than you are putting into your recordings. I think you could add much more to this. There is very little blending and phrasing. The instruments don't sound like they are being played by organic beings.
Well, I'm trying :) At the risk of sounding defensive though, I must add that unless I clearly state that "this is almost finished", all music I post here should be considered demos. In other words, if something sounds very sloppy or undynamic, chances are I'm prefectly aware of that and will fix it later. I have a tendency of giving up if I get caught up with the details before the piece is finished. It's often better for me to just get the basic structure and themes down, and then go back to make adjustments and enhancements.
TimothyP wrote:I'm sure you can get more lifelike sounds out of that orchestra too.
Some of it can be made to sound good, some of it can't. The brass is troublesome. It works fairly well for smooth melodies and such, but I can't get those fat, jagged brass stabs. But I'm trying to make the most of it.
TimothyP wrote: Post more! We like it!
Believe me, I will :)

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Post by Rain » March 1st, 2007, 3:40 am

This is very musical. Just some random thoughts to keep you going :)

I agree with Timothy that your sense of orchestration could help embroaden your musical identity instead of harming it.

I think the flutes are working but they aren't standing alone very well. Some kind of bass might serve as a nice accompaniment

The opening is killer! Some cymbal crashes and gongs might make those first few chords stand out a bit more. Perhaps adding some timpani would also be helpful.

Lastly, be careful not to overwhelm the music with too much instrumentation (like I oftentimes do). The musical premise is good but just needs a few assorting characters (in the form of persussive instruments) to really make the piece jump out a bit more. ;)

Keep at it!

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