Music By Jason
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1  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Asv's Grand Music Thread on: October 26, 2009, 09:17:48 AM
I post so much of my rendered MIDI, I'm just gonna make myself a thread. Cheesy

Besides, Dannthr mentioned he looked forward to hearing some of my 'first' entry:

Astral Malady
Duel with the High Priestess

Not only do you hear the Lunis leitmotif, I've also got my Boss leitmotif in this as well.  I supplied Astral Malady again, also a Boss tune, so that you can hear the leitmotif relationship.  I just need to work on my pixel art skills now...
2  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: Feedback for a newbie please :-) on: October 25, 2009, 08:38:25 AM
Do you play oboe, Asvarduil?  Because if so, well met!  It's not too often I get to talk to oboists from places outside my own region of the United States.

Yep, I'm a Texas oboist Cheesy

I personally strongly dislike the oboe in the higher register.  Sure, I realize it's pretty.  My personal opinion, born of a decade of playing the instrument, is that the oboe sounds most evocative in its lower octave.

Besides, the high fingerings are extremely squirrely, and requires some crazy embochre oboe instructor here in college had me trying to get up to the second A above the staff, and I pretty much couldn't, no matter how hard I bit down.

3  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: Now For Something Slightly More Different on: October 21, 2009, 08:32:26 PM
Another double-post, but for a good purpose.  I've been working on a new song:

Hamlet Among the Wildflowers

This is my generic village/town tune.  The only thing I'm not happy with is that my acoustic guitar samples in my soundfont are unusually crappy.  But, C&C is always welcome!
4  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 21, 2009, 12:11:48 AM
Yeah, transitioning gives me trouble.  I've never figured out how to do it great without dynamics, and if you listen to what I've composed, you realize how much I do without recourse to diminuendos or crescendos.  This is mostly because Anvil Studio has a MAJOR weakness - to make a note loud or soft, I have to manually change its volume, unless I put in some Controller effects (which I don't know where to begin with, to be quite honest.)
5  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: Now For Something Slightly More Different on: October 20, 2009, 07:59:47 PM
Well phrased, sir! Cheesy Wink
6  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: Feedback for a newbie please :-) on: October 20, 2009, 06:56:19 PM legendary.  No, really.  I heard a mix of Halo and Jason Hayes' styles in there, which was something VERY special and awesome!

I have to agree with Dannthr - the strings sound a little bit unreal.  Some of those high string runs might not go off so smoothly in real life.  A rule I use is to try to keep my skips within one octave - it's actually one of the principles of voice leading, too.

I heard the F Horns, but I think the effect would be much improved if you backed everything off on their initial entrance and gave them a few measures to state their idea that the whole orchestra would then go on and epicify.

GREAT song...I just need time to listen to the others!

EDIT: Eeep.  Skips within an octave are good, but I also try to avoid skips beyond a perfect fifth.  I know beyond a 5th can be difficult on guitar (especially if you're near the top of the range of the key you're playing in...), and on Oboe beyond a fifth can be pretty painful as well.  I try not to think of Piccolo, much, and don't have to because the keys are so close together.  But still.
7  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: Now For Something Slightly More Different on: October 20, 2009, 02:26:24 PM
I've been trying to get "back to the basics" - sure, using Jason Hayes' techniques would be awesome, but I've gotten so hung up on harmonization and the mathematics of the music I've been ignoring the musicality of the music.  Uematsu's work is really musical, so I'm kind of retracing my steps, but with the benefit of the disciplines I have to enrich what I've written.

That, and power chords only exist in rock music. Wink
8  Music By Jason Forums / Game Music Discussion / Re: Games sites on: October 20, 2009, 02:18:55 PM
It's magic. Cheesy

Actually, it's just the normal process of making music.  Music in a game is a powerful force; music defines the emotion associated with a scene.  Check out the Composer's Workshop subforum there if you want some ideas about how music of any type is made.
9  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Now For Something Slightly More Different on: October 19, 2009, 07:21:10 PM
I've been playing with the comments/critiques I was given in the "B Section" thread.  I've been working on thinking of my music in layers a little bit more.  So, now I've got a new song:

Astral Malady

This is the boss music for part of the game - namely, the Astral Plane.  I've set the song up similar to how Nobuo Uematsu's Black Mages are set up:

           Bass     Perc.   Synth2
  Synth1   Gtr2     Gtr1

I'm looking (once again) for C&C.  I think I've done a much stronger job this time.  Not so sure about my melody line, but the project is a) free and b) as yet still unfinished, as my artist is going slower than a glacier.  And I doubt global warming could speed him up.
10  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 17, 2009, 09:04:30 PM
I dislike double-posting, but it's for a good cause!

I have recomposed Title - The Legend of Jaegen.

Your comments have vastly improved this, especially to my ears!
11  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 17, 2009, 06:03:01 PM
All that makes perfect sense, actually.

That "music in layers" bit, though - I think that's some powerful stuff right there.  I'm working on rewriting the songs for Jaegen's Treasure now, with a little bit of what I've learned from you guys.  I should have revised versions of Lunis Tower and Title up by tomorrow.


My only difficulty is, as you've heard, I'm using Rendered MIDI.  Sure my SoundFont is at least acceptable (you all didn't mention any major ear-bleeding from SoundFont-failure, which gives me some hope.)  I'm using Anvil Studio to create my MIDIs (it's the best I've been able to find that fits my extremely non-existant budget.)  I'm going to use more than five tracks per MIDI for sure, and as another friend of mine, swallowtail, mentioned in this thread in the community for the engine I'm using, I would also do better to control my soundboard more effectively by using panning for all tracks.

Anyways, I need to spew about what I can do in theory less, and make it real more.  Working on it now!

For glory!

EDIT: Oh yeah, I'm UltimaWizard over on Toolkitzone...that might help alleviate any confusion.
12  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 16, 2009, 09:18:00 AM
Thanks for the link - I'm about halfway through Lesson 1, it's exactly what I needed!

EDIT: The little flash movie at the end of Lesson 1 is most helpful.  When I've been writing more "orchestral" pieces, I've been panning pianos in the center of the sound, which isn't the typical setup.  I'm going to rework the Title this weekend and post it...this is such a wealth of knowledge, it's amazing...
13  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 15, 2009, 03:02:00 PM
Yeah, I was thinking about that during my Data Mining test...

Another quick, and perhaps noobish question.  Since Instrumentation seems to be my Achille's Heel, do you know of any decent online "tutorials" for it? 

I would just break down and take the class at my university, but I'm a) about to graduate and b) don't have $1800+ for the tuition + course fees for it.

EDIT: Hmmm.  This all also got me thinking.  Here's a second song, same game soundtrack I'm working on...

The Lunis Tower

I was working on this last night at one of my friend's suggestions.  I hear some of the same things I "messed up" on in my Title theme, but I think I did a better job with this piece.  I could use some C&C between the two, because I personally feel that I just did a better job with The Lunis Tower.  That, plus my impressions from the Cutthroat Island intro, should help me grow at least a little.
14  Music By Jason Forums / The Round Table / Re: Just stumbling around the interwebz... on: October 15, 2009, 12:50:52 PM
Thanks guys! Cheesy
15  Music By Jason Forums / The Composers' Workshop / Re: B Section of doom... v.v on: October 15, 2009, 12:49:48 PM
First phase of self-refinement: doing your excersize (first pass through all three questions)!

I: Most obvious to my ears, Debney dosen't do what I (almost certainly wrongly) do and stay still on a 4mm-long motive he likes - he uses 4mm-long motives that go somewhere.  His chart has direction; where in the posted piece I rely on a harmonic ostenato, and in some places a snare drum ostenato, Debney will have a progressing musical idea in a section in the form of what instrument has the melody, which evolves the piece as it progresses.

To my ear, I hear an ABCD form - it's not staying still, returning to a particular theme - to be adventurous the song itself is adventuring and finding new melodic and harmonic ground with different sections.

II: A trumpet's usage of a theme is powerful in the sense of its timbre - the trumpet is the King's instrument, it's proud, it's bright, it's courageous!  The strings are elegant, refined, smoother in their character; Horn is rich, deep, but edgy as well - best characterized to my ear by sheer ferocity!  To refine my chart, I need to consider adding more instruments; I don't have enough instrument types to characterize what I say I want my chart to say.  I need to specifically use instruments' timbres more correctly, and not rely on the strings, or a single instrument, to do my dirty work (unless of course I'm composing in a situation where it's necessary.)

Timpani Drums have rhythmic purpose, but Piccolo/Flutes/Trumpets/Trombones/Low Brass in general also keep the rhythm moving forward at times, especially at the beginning of the D section.  To refine my music, I need to, again, rely less on just drums for rhythm - other instruments can achieve similar effects, and with better quality!

Movement of instruments - goes back to the first question you asked me of this section.  Instrumentation matters greatly.  Flute, strings, harp, oboe/cor anglais, and clarinet are capable of being gentle.  Brass is typically more bold.  Human voice can be either, depending on the instruments its interacting with.  To refine my musical techniques, I'd do good to look up that instrumentation book on Google books, and do some experimenting between classes...

III: Debney's harmonic rhythm is significantly slower than what I used in my chart.  He stays on a I for the first eight measures of the A section, before finally moving to a V or v, and then moving the piece in another direction.  Of course, he's also letting the melody drive the piece a great deal, not relying on harmony, except in that it improves the overall effect of the piece.  Learning 4-part harmony was a good touch for my skills, yes, but I've grown to overuse when it's less effective.  All things in moderation.

Debney's harmonic movement is pretty cool, to my ear.  When he's declaring a musical idea, he lets it stay the same.  When he's ready to let the idea begin to evolve, he starts moving his harmonies.  Harmonic movement means the piece moves; harmonic stagnation means the piece dosen't move.  Both have their functions in a piece. 

...I feel smarter already.  Still going to give this a few hundred more passes...

...And it's an UBER song!  Thank you for the link!  Now, to work on some rewriting...
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