Hello - music submission

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

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Ewing
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Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 18th, 2010, 2:24 am

Hi guys,

I've been kind of hanging around here as a guest for a while now, while working on this piece of music for consideration. I love the existing soundtrack pieces and hope I can add something to the community.

Thanks for listening!

EDIT: please scroll down for updated version

-Blake
Last edited by Ewing on July 1st, 2010, 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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artisticdude
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by artisticdude » June 18th, 2010, 1:23 pm

:o Wow. Very nice piece. You're obviously no beginner, that's for sure.

I'm nowhere near as skilled in composition as you are, but I think this piece is awesome. The one thing that's rather off to my ears is the part with the timpani and the strings at 0:35... it seems rather choppy and repetitive. Perhaps if you had the strings flow from one note into the next instead of dying out abruptly? Of course, take this with a grain of salt, since I am very much an amateur at this sort of thing. :) The Lords of Music will give you much better critique (and they will also decide whether or not to include your piece in the game).

Overall, I really like this piece. The part at 1:05 was pure win. :)
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PPH
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by PPH » June 19th, 2010, 3:02 pm

This is very good. I disagree with artisticdude on the strings, but maybe it's because I've become used to strings getting cut off this way. Still, even if it sounds artificial, it sounds good, and I'm not sure it sounds artificial. And it seems it's done on purpose. I do think that the dynamics are a little exagerated. If I put the volume at a reasonable level so that I can hear the beginning, I have to decrease it a bit when the loud part (1:05) begins.

EDIT: The beginning of the main melody reminds me of the soundtrack of Braveheart.

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Ewing
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 19th, 2010, 4:23 pm

Thanks for the complimentary words!
artisticdude wrote: The one thing that's rather off to my ears is the part with the timpani and the strings at 0:35... it seems rather choppy and repetitive. Perhaps if you had the strings flow from one note into the next instead of dying out abruptly?
PPH wrote:I disagree with artisticdude on the strings, but maybe it's because I've become used to strings getting cut off this way. Still, even if it sounds artificial, it sounds good, and I'm not sure it sounds artificial. And it seems it's done on purpose.
You're correct PPH, this section was done this way on purpose. My intent was to have a nice "calm (mp-p) before the storm" section leading into the more climactic ff section. The end result is hopefully a kind of weighted tenuto that sets up the chord progression but delays the sweet stuff for just a bit.
PPH wrote:I do think that the dynamics are a little exagerated. If I put the volume at a reasonable level so that I can hear the beginning, I have to decrease it a bit when the loud part (1:05) begins.
This again was mostly intentional (in the way a classic orchestral recording is more dynamically varied than a typical movie soundtrack), but I might be able to compress it a bit to bring their relative volumes more in line, if that's preferable.

Thanks again for the feedback and for listening!

-Blake

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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by PPH » June 19th, 2010, 9:06 pm

Ewing wrote:
PPH wrote:I do think that the dynamics are a little exagerated. If I put the volume at a reasonable level so that I can hear the beginning, I have to decrease it a bit when the loud part (1:05) begins.
This again was mostly intentional (in the way a classic orchestral recording is more dynamically varied than a typical movie soundtrack), but I might be able to compress it a bit to bring their relative volumes more in line, if that's preferable.

Thanks again for the feedback and for listening!

-Blake
Yes, I thought it might be intentional, and it may be a matter of taste (I'm not very fond of listening to music very loud). I know that this is common in classical music.

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Ewing
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 23rd, 2010, 1:03 am

I've tinkered around with the volume levels a bit to normalize the whole piece a bit better, and I think this sounds a lot more even. I'm including another link to the original just for comparison/contrast sake:

EDIT: please scroll down for updated version

What do you guys think? Better?
Last edited by Ewing on July 1st, 2010, 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PeterPorty
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by PeterPorty » June 23rd, 2010, 2:23 am

Good, good, very good... May I use this in my campaign? I'd really love to.
PPH wrote:The beginning of the main melody reminds me of the soundtrack of Braveheart.
I thought about the EXACT same thing!
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by PPH » June 23rd, 2010, 12:40 pm

This is excellent. I'm no Lord of Music, but I think this piece deserves a place in the soundtrack of the game. Not only is it good, but it is also very "wesnothian" in nature.

The first six notes or so of the melody are the same as those of one of the themes in Braveheart, and played with the same instrument (flute). That's why I'm not the only one noticed the similarity, I guess. Still, it's a different melody. I don't think this is a problem.

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Ewing
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 24th, 2010, 1:41 am

PeterPorty wrote:Good, good, very good... May I use this in my campaign? I'd really love to.
Absolutely. See link below.
PPH wrote:This is excellent. I'm no Lord of Music, but I think this piece deserves a place in the soundtrack of the game. Not only is it good, but it is also very "wesnothian" in nature.
Awesome, I hope they agree! I am providing the link to the .ogg file here for use as the Lord(s) of Music see fit.

Through the Woodlands - EDIT: Please scroll down for updated version
( I set ogg export quality to 8 )

Please let me know of any more suggestions/tweaks, if they are needed.
Last edited by Ewing on July 1st, 2010, 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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CheeseLord
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by CheeseLord » June 24th, 2010, 5:40 pm

Hi,

I'm not going to try to speak for the Music Lords, but like others have said, this is pretty good!!

The start is pretty good - I love the interaction between the woodwinds and brass. The only nitpick here is at 0:18 when the high violins come through...it sounds as though you've used a tremolo patch, and the sound doesn't really chime with me TBH - maybe stick with either a violin section patch or a quiet full string??

The section after that it IMHO among the weakest section in this piece. Although I can see the idea you're getting at, it isn't really mainline (sorry and oops face if you disagree Tyler & West) The main problem is that the strings to me sound very synthy compared to the high standards we've seen. I'd suggest you mix a few more patches there for realism values - only 2 soundfonts going on at the same time is exceptionally rare in most cases, only in introductions/solos does this tend to happen for wesnothy pieces.

The initial is a little dodgy - can't pinpoint the cause, but it sounds a little like Age of Empires III there, at the birth of realistic music production. After that though, it seems fairly impressive - excellently orchestrated and mixed IMO, loved that :D

Just out of interest, those sounded like freebies, am I right?? And what is your rig, and how long have you composed for?? Sry if I seem like a inquisitive prick, but as you may soon find out, I'm really interested in these sort of things. I thoroughly enjoyed your piece, and all it needs for that perfect touch is a few little changes :)

Hope to see you around!!
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Ewing
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 24th, 2010, 7:56 pm

CheeseLord,

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions! I'm glad you liked the piece.

As to your questions...

Almost all of the samples I used are from the VSL Special Edition collection. I supplemented that with some other stuff, some of which were orchestral samples by Apple. The strings in the section of your complaint were from VSL, though. Definitely not free :) .

As to my rig - I use Logic Pro on a Mac as my DAW, but I also use a Gateway Windows PC as a slave computer for running VSL and other 3rd party samples through a networked program called Vienna Ensemble Pro that connects with Logic, in order to essentially save HD space and remotely add RAM and processing power to the master computer. I use a PreSonus FireStudio Project as my Audio/Midi interface and I use Sibelius for notation.

I've been composing with varying degrees of vigor and ability for about 12 years, most of which I might deny having had any part in :lol2: .

-B

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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by PPH » June 25th, 2010, 9:49 pm

Ewing wrote: I've been composing with varying degrees of vigor and ability for about 12 years, most of which I might deny having had any part in :lol2: .
-B
You're like me, then :D Except my setup is not that sophisticated.

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West
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by West » June 25th, 2010, 10:29 pm

Thanks for your submission Ewing! I think it's an excellent piece but I have honestly not had time to give any in-depth comments on it the latest days. Just letting you know so you don't think I'm ignoring you. I'll get to it sometime during the weekend, sorry for the delay.

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Ewing
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by Ewing » June 30th, 2010, 3:43 pm

West wrote:Thanks for your submission Ewing! I think it's an excellent piece but I have honestly not had time to give any in-depth comments on it the latest days. Just letting you know so you don't think I'm ignoring you. I'll get to it sometime during the weekend, sorry for the delay.
Thanks, West. I look forward to hearing your comments/suggestions.

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West
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Re: Hello - music submission

Post by West » July 1st, 2010, 4:11 pm

Sorry for the delay Ewing, as mentioned I've been very busy and I didn't just want to give you some off-hand comments. I needed some time to really listen to your piece.

Before I go any further I have to mention that I have a slight problem with my left ear ATM, basically I'm experiencing a distinct loss of high frequencies like having a lowpass filter on the left side. So I'm going to refrain from commenting on mix/production stuff as I'm not really a good judge of such nuances right now (and yes, I'm going to see a doctor if it doesn't get better).

Anyway. Like I said I think this is an excellent piece, it has some really lovely melodies and generally feels like a very mature and well thought-out arrangement. You seamlessly and effortlessly blend hummable melodic stuff with more dissonant textures and I have to say that the title of the piece fits to a 100%. It really paints a picture of woodlands, as it has both moments of pastoral beauty and a hint of the dangers of the wild.

TBH I can't really fault anything in the arrangement, everything works quite well. If I were to nitpick I'd have to agree with artisticdude that the strings/timp part early on doesn't feel convincing for some reason. Can't really put my finger on why -- might be the combination of very soft chords in the strings and a quite rhythmic timp accompaniment with nothing to lock the two together -- but OTOH it's not a big deal. From the top of my head I'd suggest having the celli and/or basses play soft staccatos to bring out the rhythm and make everything gel better... but then again, that might not fit the mood you're trying to set.

I also think you're overusing tremolo strings during the middle part. I don't want to get into a realism discussion but to my knowlede tremolo bowing is quite tiring and doing it for long intervals isn't possible in reality. Even if it's not a big issue in this piece, it's something to think about. Speaking of that part, the way everything just drops out with those descending bass pizzicatos at ~2:40 doesn't sound right either. Not a realism problem, it just doesn't sound finished. If you want to thin everything out, try removing stuff gradually rather than just stopping. You're probably aware of this, just saying.

All in all, I think this is a wonderful tune and I'd love to have it in the game. It could use a bit more polish (judging from the end, I'm guessing it's not finished?) but other that I see no problems with it. Of course, there's the old issue with having slow moody pieces in a war game, but I definitely think this would fit campaigns with woodland scenarios. Campaign maintainers might disagree, but I'll let them speak for themselves.

Great work!

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