Traveling Minstrels

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

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West
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Post by West » September 18th, 2007, 4:49 pm

As mentioned in an off-topic thread a little while ago, I've been busy putting together a custom orchestral setup the latest months, hence the lack of any new or updated material on my part. While there is still some work left to do, I'm slowly getting there and I would like to present to you the first slightly longer piece of music that I've written with these new sounds.

This is still a WIP but if there's any demand for more mainline gameplay music I will be happy to keep working on it. Just let me know how I can make it better.

You can get the piece here.

As you can hear it's somewhat less dark, intense and neoclassical than your typical Wesnoth tune (it even wanders off into some kind of David Arkenstone territory around 1.02 or so) but hopefully that is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm still in two minds about some instruments, mainly the solo violin, and I'm also on the lookout for various percussion sounds (anybody have a nice bass drum sample?). So there might be some changes in the samples department later on.

Anyways, all comments and critique are welcome. I'd be particularly interested in knowing what feelings and mental images the music might evoke. I know what *I* had in mind, but it's more fun if I don't give you any clues :)
Last edited by West on January 27th, 2008, 12:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

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thespaceinvader
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Post by thespaceinvader » September 18th, 2007, 5:51 pm

Starts out quite oriental, but overall, i get an elf-y sort of feel from it. Nothing too dramatic. Could easily be a theme for a quiet scenario in a campaign, something set in forest or plains terrain. Or for a sad moment in a storyline. But i think mostly, i get elf.

Very nice, though. If anything, it benefits from NOT having heavy percussion.
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vonHalenbach
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My comments.

Post by vonHalenbach » September 18th, 2007, 6:00 pm

Grand music. It is a good start. You know, that i love your music?

In the beginning of this piece plays a flute the melodic part of this piece. In my ears it screaches a bit. Could you replace it with a dark/deep sounding viola (a big fat violine i don't know the correct name) or something similar? Some deep sounding drums, quietly played, would be a very welcome addition in the beginning 40 seconds and very sparsely at a later time. As ear-candy. Maybe i can help you with it. I can make a sample recording for you.

In my opinion it could start a little bit slower and last longer. It gets too fast to the dynamic middle. Go slow, take your time and experiment a little more with the beginning. EDIT: Now i think the beginning sounds too much like the beginning of your song "Northern-Rebirth-Idea". I would start with only the harp and then a little bit of deep- bass-viola. No flute until 0:52.

From 1.02 on it sounds very fresh and alive(dynamic). Sounds like grand film music and is very well made. So 2.05 seems to be the end of this piece and after this point it is propably an alternitive beginning? Or would they be merged together? I almost can hear it.

My PC-Speakers and ears aren't of such a quality to differentiate between 120Kbps and 240Kbps. You can make the download much smaller with 120Kbps or even 94Kbps.

It is IMO a bit early for a mental image, but i can say, that it sounds fresh and happy. Freedom in elfland. The elfes were having a party with dancing.
Last edited by vonHalenbach on September 18th, 2007, 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by hiro hito » September 18th, 2007, 6:21 pm

Really nice piece!!!

There are some good vibes in it!!! IMHO, i would like to hear it for the game (isnt it too short?)...

Maybe i would like to hear some more low strings when horns appear...

This piece can work for a good movie with grand landscape and an happy end!!! :D
"Of course His Majesty is a pacifist. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed.Thus, gradually, he began to lead toward war."-Emperor Shòwa (Enlightened Peace)'s chief cabinet secretary

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Jetrel
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Post by Jetrel » September 18th, 2007, 7:18 pm

Wow.
(it even wanders off into some kind of David Arkenstone territory around 1.02 or so) but hopefully that is not necessarily a bad thing
Yeah, I might suggest toning that down a little bit. :lol: It does almost end up feeling like christmas towards the middle of the song, but..

The piece is excellent, though.

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West
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Post by West » September 18th, 2007, 8:13 pm

Well we have two votes on elves and one on christmas, so there you have it, the perfect title: Christmas In Elfland. :D

Seriously though, I was picturing a journey through some great woodland (Aethenwood, maybe?), you know, a dense, mysterious forest with the occasional sunny clearing and little streams.
thespaceinvader wrote:Starts out quite oriental
O.o Interesting point. I hadn't thought about that, but now that you mention it, I can hear it too.
vonHalenbach wrote:In the beginning of this piece plays a flute the melodic part of this piece. In my ears it screaches a bit. Could you replace it with a dark/deep sounding viola (a big fat violine i don't know the correct name) or something similar?
I would rather not. That flute is one of my favorite instruments and it really helps build up the medieval feel. The phrasing needs som work though, I'll try and make it a bit less forte.
vonHalenbach wrote:Some deep sounding drums, quietly played, would be a very welcome addition in the beginning 40 seconds and very sparsely at a later time. As ear-candy. Maybe i can help you with it. I can make a sample recording for you.
Yes, the intro needs percussion. And you know, I would be very grateful if you could sample something for me. Do you have access to any percussion instruments, preferably something in the lower register?
vonHalenbach wrote:In my opinion it could start a little bit slower and last longer. It gets too fast to the dynamic middle. Go slow, take your time and experiment a little more with the beginning. EDIT: Now i think the beginning sounds too much like the beginning of your song "Northern-Rebirth-Idea". I would start with only the harp and then a little bit of deep- bass-viola. No flute until 0:52.
Longer intro, gotcha. Which NB track do you mean? Breaking the chains?
vonHalenbach wrote: Or would they be merged together?
Yes, the last part, i.e. the intro reprise, will be merged with the rest, and move on to a variation of the section at 0:40 with larger instrumenation.
vonHalenbach wrote:You can make the download much smaller with 120Kbps or even 94Kbps.
Yes, I can ;) I didn't check the bitrate TBH, I just exported it with whatever settings I last used.
hiro hito wrote:(isnt it too short?)
It's not finished yet.
hiro hito wrote:Maybe i would like to hear some more low strings when horns appear...
Where in the song would that be? Horns are used multiple times...
Jetryl wrote:Yeah, I might suggest toning that down a little bit. :lol: It does almost end up feeling like christmas towards the middle of the song
You might be right. But damn, I like writing cutesy stuff. Sad and/or dramatic things in minor get boring after a while.

Thanks for your comments guys.

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vonHalenbach
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Post by vonHalenbach » September 18th, 2007, 8:50 pm

Which NB track do you mean? Breaking the chains?
Yes, this one. It sounds very similar. You have copied yourself. (Only the very first tunes) :D
Yes, the intro needs percussion. And you know, I would be very grateful if you could sample something for me. Do you have access to any percussion instruments, preferably something in the lower register?
Not to real instruments. My idea is to use what i have, to get a decend sounding bass drum, sample it, mix it to sound like the real one. It is worth a try. I send you the .ogg file of it to hear if it sounds acceptable for you. If yes, i can send you the wave-files. It might take one or two days, to get something together for you to hear.
I would probably use the big oil-tank drum in my cellar. :lol:

I was picturing a journey through some great woodland (Aethenwood, maybe?), you know, a dense, mysterious forest with the occasional sunny clearing and little streams.
Now i can see it too. :D I agree with you.
Last edited by vonHalenbach on September 18th, 2007, 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vonHalenbach
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Post by vonHalenbach » September 18th, 2007, 9:11 pm

hiro hito wrote:Maybe i would like to hear some more low strings when horns appear...
Better not! the strings and the horns make the "question and answer thing". This would destroy it.

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Post by zookeeper » September 18th, 2007, 9:12 pm

Excellent work! :o

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Post by Sapient » September 18th, 2007, 9:52 pm

West, I really like your new tune.
West wrote: Seriously though, I was picturing a journey through some great woodland (Aethenwood, maybe?), you know, a dense, mysterious forest with the occasional sunny clearing and little streams.
It definitely has an "Exploring" feel to it. It's definitely not a battle song; that part at 1:05 just rules that flat out. And there's an element of cautious mystery, then magic then finally exultation to it.

The cautious approach leading to magic makes me think we're visiting a wizard's residence, but the exultation at the end sounds more like we're up on the battlements of a Loyalist Keep and the flags are waving in the sunlight (which is a bit more extreme than a forest walk)! And yet the part at 1:29 makes me think something boy/girl interaction is going on, like a boy sees a cute girl or something. Putting all that together, I'd call it "The Wizard's Daughter" or something similar ;)
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Post by Jetrel » September 18th, 2007, 10:35 pm

West wrote:
thespaceinvader wrote:Starts out quite oriental
O.o Interesting point. I hadn't thought about that, but now that you mention it, I can hear it too.
This is sort of a pet peeve of mine, so I have to say this in bold:
Balderdash. Horse feathers.


A lot of traditional european musical styles share certain similarities with stereotypically "asian" music. There are also a number of more obscure instruments, especially things like dulcimers, lutes, and lyres, which are easily mistaken for "asian instruments" by the uneducated; it just happens that they're kinda similar in basic design, and so they sound kinda similar when you play them. And in fact there are a lot of motifs that are outright wrongly attributed to "asian" culture.

It's not that greater asia didn't come up with some cool shite, I just bristle whenever someone mistakes a mandolin for a koto. :annoyed:



I fixed a weird double-post by Sapient and the fact that your quote was actually from West, not Sapient. Hope you don't mind. ;)
~turin
Last edited by Jetrel on September 18th, 2007, 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by jeremy2 » September 19th, 2007, 12:22 am

I got it: An Oriental Forrest Christmas! :lol: It's a really great start, West. Could you give the clarinet a bit more expression in the vibrato, though? I am not sure what it is (it might not just be the total lack of vibrato), but something is just really bugging me about the clarinet - it sounds too 'straight'. You know you have a keeper melody when you come away from the song and start humming the melody without even thinking about it.

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Post by thespaceinvader » September 19th, 2007, 8:35 am

*shrug* that was my impression of it. I can't claim to be a music buff, so i wouldn't know whether i was right or not. Apparently not =P
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West
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Post by West » September 19th, 2007, 9:05 am

vonHalenbach wrote:
Which NB track do you mean? Breaking the chains?
Yes, this one. It sounds very similar. You have copied yourself. (Only the very first tunes) :D
Well... maybe a little bit. Doesn't really matter though as I will probably change or simply remove the intro from BtC. It never made much sense anyway.
Jetryl wrote:A lot of traditional european musical styles share certain similarities with stereotypically "asian" music.
Yep. That's probably because you can only get so much variation out of the pentatonic scale. :) Personally I don't have any real knowledge of Asian music so I can't really say much more on the subject.
jeremy2 wrote:Could you give the clarinet a bit more expression in the vibrato, though? I am not sure what it is (it might not just be the total lack of vibrato), but something is just really bugging me about the clarinet - it sounds too 'straight'.
Yeah I know, the clarinet is troublesome. :( I know exactly what you mean about it sounding too straight. The tone is so stiff and unmodulated it sounds more like some square wave synth lead than a real wind instrument. The problem is I don't have any really good clarinet samples; I've been scouring the web but it seems most clarinets are for some reason sampled without vibrato. Maybe I can cheat and use a bit of cc#1 but that seldom sounds any good on acoustic instruments.

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Post by Temuchin Khan » September 19th, 2007, 1:37 pm

I like the piece, too.

Also, I think the similarities to Breaking the Chains are superficial enough that the opening bars of both pieces could justifiably be left as they are. The notes are the same, but the rhythms are different.

EDIT: Or am I mistaken?

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