Non-Wesnoth works

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Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » March 30th, 2008, 5:11 am

I didn't really mention this, (unless my memory is serving me incorrectly) but I am currently writing music for a project, Hero of Allacrost, headed by Tyler Olsen.

I am interested to get a bit of feedback wherever possible so I thought I might show you guys what I have going on.

http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/rai ... HFINAL.mp3

This piece will be played in a snowy environment. The instrumentation is meant to reflect that. The player will be walking through a tundra, with a few lone trees being the only companion of the player. I wanted to create a feeling of 'beautiful desolation' and quiet solitude, hence the title, 'SNOW WARMTH'.

Thanks!

-Ry

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Dveman115 » April 1st, 2008, 10:25 pm

This is the forum for wesnoth music development. Please, post this on their forums or in game development.

You know, we're more than capable of keeping things in order and West knows what's he's doing here as well. That topic is good few hours old if it stayed here there must have been a reason for this. Like for example a possibility of using this piece in *both* games.

Mist

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 2nd, 2008, 1:34 am

Thanks for the heads up. :x I honestly don't see the problem. I post music I've created for Wesnoth over at Allacrost and no one seems to object.

If Wesnoth was hurting for attention in the musical department, then I suppose this would be an issue with posting my music here... which it is clearly not due to the influx of composers who have created quality music for Wesnoth in recent months. This thread isn't hurting anyone, hopefully.

I will mention that THIS music, in THIS thread is for allacrost and allacrost only. I'd like to be pretty clear about that.

Anyways, if indeed this thread is impinging upon Wesnoth's music making processes, completely devoid of the argument that Wesnoth has seen some of it's most productive music-making lately, then someone please feel free to move this thread to the proper location.


In the meantime, here is another piece. :)

A theme of Optimism.

http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/rain/OPTIMISMF.mp3

Cheers!

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by shadowm » April 2nd, 2008, 1:39 pm

Disregard devman's comment. :eng: Let's not allow it to hamper our purpose here (what is my purpose anyway?). I'll download these and listen to them later at home. So far I love your compositions for Allacrost. :)
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by West » April 2nd, 2008, 2:25 pm

I see no harm in this topic, which is why I haven't moved it. There's not much action going on in this part of the forum anyway, so it's not like it will be a great distraction or anything. Personally I think it's interesting to hear what Wesnoth's musicians are doing outside this project (that is not, however, an invitation for all music contributors to start posting their own off topic music threads ;))

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 3rd, 2008, 8:36 am

West wrote:I see no harm in this topic, which is why I haven't moved it. There's not much action going on in this part of the forum anyway, so it's not like it will be a great distraction or anything. Personally I think it's interesting to hear what Wesnoth's musicians are doing outside this project (that is not, however, an invitation for all music contributors to start posting their own off topic music threads ;))
Shadow Master wrote:Disregard devman's comment. :eng: Let's not allow it to hamper our purpose here (what is my purpose anyway?). I'll download these and listen to them later at home. So far I love your compositions for Allacrost. :)
Thank you. :)

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Dveman115 » April 5th, 2008, 1:52 am

Rain wrote:
West wrote:I see no harm in this topic, which is why I haven't moved it. There's not much action going on in this part of the forum anyway, so it's not like it will be a great distraction or anything. Personally I think it's interesting to hear what Wesnoth's musicians are doing outside this project (that is not, however, an invitation for all music contributors to start posting their own off topic music threads ;))
Shadow Master wrote:Disregard devman's comment. :eng: Let's not allow it to hamper our purpose here (what is my purpose anyway?). I'll download these and listen to them later at home. So far I love your compositions for Allacrost. :)
Thank you. :)
Oh no...I sense I bias against me coming on.... :(
No, I understand now. No need to tell me again .

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 17th, 2008, 4:39 am

http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/rain/Jazz2.mp3

Piece for jazz piano I wrote a few nights ago. It's strange. I just sat down and pretty much wrote the whole thing out in the span of a few hours. There aren't a lot of expression changes yet and I think the piano sounds terrible, but here it is!

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by West » April 17th, 2008, 10:54 am

Wow. :o That piano thing is really nice -- and very impressive seeing as how it was written "in the span of a few hours". I'm normally not much into jazz, but this is very pleasant and relaxing listening. You also have a very good piano sound (as far as a layman like me can tell).

If I may hijack this thread for a moment, here's a little something I recorded a few months ago. I was never happy with the vocals (and still isn't) so I never officially released it. I might attempt redoing the vocals eventually; I have a few more songs in the same vein and it would be fun to finish them.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 17th, 2008, 5:11 pm

West wrote:Wow. :o That piano thing is really nice -- and very impressive seeing as how it was written "in the span of a few hours". I'm normally not much into jazz, but this is very pleasant and relaxing listening. You also have a very good piano sound (as far as a layman like me can tell).
Thanks West. It was one of those pieces that just poured out of me. It was strange. I sat down at the piano, and the whole piece kind of just appeared in my mind as one song. I played it and I was like "alright. Why can't all my song-writing go this fluidly?"
I scribbled down the idea like a madman on a piece of paper, ran home and sequenced it!

... BUT Damn, the piano just sounds awful to me right now. :(
West wrote:If I may hijack this thread for a moment, here's a little something I recorded a few months ago. I was never happy with the vocals (and still isn't) so I never officially released it. I might attempt redoing the vocals eventually; I have a few more songs in the same vein and it would be fun to finish them.
West... that was beautiful. Jesus. Got me misty! :) The music is very heart-felt. (Well for me at least.) The guitar and bass sounds great! Very refreshing. Beautiful eq'ing. How did you go about recording the guitar? What kind of effects did you put on it, if any?

Pros: You really weren't kidding when you said you had a good grasp on popular song-writing. The piece is well written and very easy listening. Very nice work West.

Cons: The vocals kind of interrupted the quiet beauty of the song when the enter. Though this is coming from a perspective where vocals sometimes aren't needed to make an effective song, the vocals may benefit from having an effect or two inserted, because when they enter, they are taking some of the luxurious presence away from the guitar and bass. If you could find a way to insert the vocals while keeping that amazing feel you have going with the guitar and bass, you'll have something really special, imo.

Might try putting a slight chorus effect on the vocals... maybe add a lot more reverb tail on the vocals (to give the vocals an ethereal glow) and push it a bit back in the mix????? I am not sure. I don't ever work with vocals, but would jump at the chance!

Anyways, if you have any other non-wesnoth work, please feel free to post here! :)

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by West » April 17th, 2008, 11:46 pm

Rain wrote:... BUT Damn, the piano just sounds awful to me right now. :(
Really, why? Sounds fine to me. Admittedly, I'm not good at judging piano sounds as I don't play the piano and therefore seldom use it in my music. I have some rudimentary keyboard skills, but real piano playing is way beyond my abilities.
Rain wrote:West... that was beautiful. Jesus. Got me misty! :) The music is very heart-felt. (Well for me at least.)
Heh. Glad to hear you like it, thanks :)
Rain wrote:Beautiful eq'ing. How did you go about recording the guitar? What kind of effects did you put on it, if any?
The guitar is a cheap-o SX acoustic and it was miked with an SM58 (!) plugged straight into my soundcard. IIRC all that's on the guitar tracks is compression (Kjerhus Audio Classic Compressor) and a splash of reverb (Ambience). Plus some EQ'ing using Cubase's built-in parametric EQ of course. I don't really have the proper equipment for doing good acoustic recordings, but it turned out passable enough.
Rain wrote:Pros: You really weren't kidding when you said you had a good grasp on popular song-writing. The piece is well written and very easy listening. Very nice work West.
I said that? Huh. Well, thanks. Normally I don't write this kind of cutesy laid back stuff; I'm more into prog rock/metal so this was kind of a new direction for me. But having been a Sting fan for ages, I do have a soft spot for pop/rock with traditional music influences. The music of Loreena McKennitt was also a big influence on this particular track.
Rain wrote:Cons: The vocals kind of interrupted the quiet beauty of the song when the enter. Though this is coming from a perspective where vocals sometimes aren't needed to make an effective song, the vocals may benefit from having an effect or two inserted, because when they enter, they are taking some of the luxurious presence away from the guitar and bass. If you could find a way to insert the vocals while keeping that amazing feel you have going with the guitar and bass, you'll have something really special, imo.

Might try putting a slight chorus effect on the vocals... maybe add a lot more reverb tail on the vocals (to give the vocals an ethereal glow) and push it a bit back in the mix????? I am not sure. I don't ever work with vocals, but would jump at the chance!
Yeah, I know what you mean. I also felt that the vocals almost killed the piece, which is why I gave up on it. Not only is the performance... eh, not so good, the vocals sound sort of flat and one-dimensional. I really don't have much knowledge when it comes to getting a good vocal sound. I might try that idea with the chorus, that sounds like it could work. As for reverb, I'm kinda allergic to using lots of verb on vocals as it tends to kill all sense of presence. But you're right, the vocal track is too dry and flat.
Rain wrote:Anyways, if you have any other non-wesnoth work, please feel free to post here! :)
Actually, I don't think I have that much stuff. At least nothing that is complete enough that I would feel comfortable with presenting it to the public. As mentioned I have two more tracks in the same vein as Wintersong, but those are only half-finished. Other than that and my orchestral music, it's mostly just old stuff.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by West » April 18th, 2008, 5:45 am

Talking about this tune made me want to fix it up a bit, so I did.

Wintersong

I touched up the vocals with some de-esser, autotune*, chorus, and a bit of reverb, and suddenly they sit a lot better in the mix. When mastering I fed the whole caboodle through a multiband compressor to tighten up the low end and generally give the song a little more bite and sizzle. I dunno, this sounds better here at least. The old version is still there if someone wants to compare.

* Yes, the old version had autotuned vocals too, it's just a little less blatant this time.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 18th, 2008, 8:02 am

West wrote:
Really, why? Sounds fine to me. Admittedly, I'm not good at judging piano sounds as I don't play the piano and therefore seldom use it in my music. I have some rudimentary keyboard skills, but real piano playing is way beyond my abilities.
Well, what I mean is that the piano has very few layers in GPO. (I am utilizing the piano that comes with this bundle) Velocity layers really can bring out the intricacy of the piano. However, THIS piano sample doesn't replicate a very realistic or sincere sound. Most piano samplers that you find nowadays can re-create better dynamics. I dunno. I am trying to get Steinway Grand 2 so I can really play with dynamics and layers so I can create a more realistic sound. :)
The guitar is a cheap-o SX acoustic and it was miked with an SM58 (!) plugged straight into my soundcard. IIRC all that's on the guitar tracks is compression (Kjerhus Audio Classic Compressor) and a splash of reverb (Ambience). Plus some EQ'ing using Cubase's built-in parametric EQ of course. I don't really have the proper equipment for doing good acoustic recordings, but it turned out passable enough.
Sm58... It's always a SHURE thing! That is such a versatile mic for the price. A lot of commercial bands, IE INCUBUS, rely upon the SM58 for its warm roll-off and good clarity. I actually bought one a while ago, but I have little use for it! If I could sing worth a damn, I'd probably put it to better use... so I sent my mic out to a vocalist in Boston (Berklee) so she could actually get it rockin'. It's a good mic. It's supposed to be a 'vocal mic' but it can do a lot of different things well.
I said that? Huh. Well, thanks. Normally I don't write this kind of cutesy laid back stuff; I'm more into prog rock/metal so this was kind of a new direction for me. But having been a Sting fan for ages, I do have a soft spot for pop/rock with traditional music influences. The music of Loreena McKennitt was also a big influence on this particular track.
Well, this is the post that I was referring to...
Maybe I should experiment more with traditional stuff. After all, I have a greater understanding of traditional music than of classicism or contemporary orchestral music.
Maybe I read too far into that!
West wrote:Talking about this tune made me want to fix it up a bit, so I did.

Wintersong

I touched up the vocals with some de-esser, autotune*, chorus, and a bit of reverb, and suddenly they sit a lot better in the mix. When mastering I fed the whole caboodle through a multiband compressor to tighten up the low end and generally give the song a little more bite and sizzle. I dunno, this sounds better here at least. The old version is still there if someone wants to compare.

* Yes, the old version had autotuned vocals too, it's just a little less blatant this time.
/thumbs up. The vocals blend SOOO much better in this recording. A million times better. :) They work really well with the instrumentation and don't go against the flow. The energy level of the entire piece really benefits from this. There is no disruption. Just a lot a very smooth and seamless flow. ;)

Overall, it's really to the point where it sounds like a 'commercial' recording, in my mind. Not sure if that is what you were going for, but it's at a point where it sounds pretty radio-friendly.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by West » April 18th, 2008, 5:03 pm

Rain wrote:Well, what I mean is that the piano has very few layers in GPO. (I am utilizing the piano that comes with this bundle) Velocity layers really can bring out the intricacy of the piano. However, THIS piano sample doesn't replicate a very realistic or sincere sound. Most piano samplers that you find nowadays can re-create better dynamics. I dunno. I am trying to get Steinway Grand 2 so I can really play with dynamics and layers so I can create a more realistic sound. :)
There are a few supposedly good free grands available in various formats. I dunno about realism and expressiveness though, but the ~900MB Maestro Grand (gig format) most likely has lots of velocity layers. It is probably not as good as newer commercial stuff but if you haven't tried it, you should give it a shot. I'm not so picky so I use a 32MB AKAI freebie that I like very much. It's not realistic enough for standalone piano pieces but it sits well in a mix.
Rain wrote:Sm58... It's always a SHURE thing! That is such a versatile mic for the price. A lot of commercial bands, IE INCUBUS, rely upon the SM58 for its warm roll-off and good clarity. I actually bought one a while ago, but I have little use for it! If I could sing worth a damn, I'd probably put it to better use... so I sent my mic out to a vocalist in Boston (Berklee) so she could actually get it rockin'. It's a good mic. It's supposed to be a 'vocal mic' but it can do a lot of different things well.
Yeah, the 58 isn't really suitable for recording acoustic instruments. I had to up the gain a whole lot, which means background noise, and alse keep it very close to the guitar so it would pick up the body sound. The mic was like one inch from my right hand so I had to be careful so I wouldn't bump into it when picking. But it's the only mic I own so... *shrug*
Rain wrote:Maybe I read too far into that!
I was talking about traditional music per se -- i.e. folk music. ;)
Rain wrote:/thumbs up. The vocals blend SOOO much better in this recording. A million times better. :) They work really well with the instrumentation and don't go against the flow. The energy level of the entire piece really benefits from this. There is no disruption. Just a lot a very smooth and seamless flow. ;)
Well, listening to it today, I notice three things. 1) The vocals may be a tad too loud, it wouldn't hurt if I knocked 'em back a dB or two. 2) The shaker is too wet; that verb splash after every accent gets very annoying. 3) There's not really any low end to speak of.
Rain wrote:Overall, it's really to the point where it sounds like a 'commercial' recording, in my mind. Not sure if that is what you were going for, but it's at a point where it sounds pretty radio-friendly.
It does? Well, that's good I suppose. I'm not much of an engineer really, I just try to make make my music sound as good as possible. If there's something I don't know how to do (like in this case, fixing up a vocal track), I just google around for some pointers.

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Re: Non-Wesnoth works

Post by Rain » April 25th, 2008, 9:26 am

West wrote:There are a few supposedly good free grands available in various formats. I dunno about realism and expressiveness though, but the ~900MB Maestro Grand (gig format) most likely has lots of velocity layers. It is probably not as good as newer commercial stuff but if you haven't tried it, you should give it a shot. I'm not so picky so I use a 32MB AKAI freebie that I like very much. It's not realistic enough for standalone piano pieces but it sits well in a mix.
Interesting. Do you know where I can find a (mac os) download link for this?
I was talking about traditional music per se -- i.e. folk music. ;)


Ah. Well, when I think of the word 'traditional', a million 'traditions' clash in my mind. I was originally thinking along the lines of American 'traditional' music, in congruence with popular music form. (hence the dumb comment)

Thanks for clarifying. (gesH)
There's not really any low end to speak of.
True, but it might not really be needed for this piece. I light the light-ness of the eq'ing and leaving those lower registers undefined might bring more clarity and purpose to the treble range. It's a trade-off... it'd certainly be interesting to see what the piece sounded like after you developed the bass registers a bit more.
It does? Well, that's good I suppose. I'm not much of an engineer really, I just try to make make my music sound as good as possible. If there's something I don't know how to do (like in this case, fixing up a vocal track), I just google around for some pointers.
Well, I just mean that the mix is clear, the instrumentation seems well-mixed, and is just crisp. It's definitely a piece of music that I could listen to repeatedly without getting ear fatigue.

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