Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1066254 Posts in 43516 Topics- by 35539 Members - Latest Member: atrifox

November 24, 2014, 02:35:59 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeAudioSome shigi music
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Some shigi music  (Read 15519 times)
supershigi
Level 7
**


No Yoshi is an Island


View Profile WWW Email
« on: December 23, 2009, 12:15:33 AM »

Hi everyone, I thought I should probably make a thread here for my music so here goes... My name is Laura Shigihara, and I've been working as an indie game composer and sound designer since around 2005.  My most recent project was the soundtrack for Plants vs. Zombies, and prior to that I worked on about 15 other published titles.  In my spare time I've also been developing a melodic rpg called Melolune.  I think I first starting getting into video game music when I played the original Megaman series on the NES, and I first pondered composing for a living after playing Chrono Trigger... my two biggest influences are probably Yasunori Mitsuda and Yoko Shimomura, but I listen to just about anything ^_^ 

Well, it's nice to meet you all... here are some samples of my work:

Some songs from Plants vs. Zombies:
Zombies on your Lawn
Uraniwa ni Zombies ga! (This is the Japanese version of the 1st song)
Brainiac Maniac
Loonboon

Some songs from Melolune:
Melolune (main theme)
Eclipse and Starlight
Traces (Liele's theme)
Upplerlands Dungeon
Carya de Mio

Some songs from other games I've worked on:
Russia
Kitanai Sekai
Starshine
Ingredients Room
Cooling Room

Logged

Laura Shigihara | Composer and Game Designer
Facebook | Youtube | Twitter
noah!
Level 6
*


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 08:23:31 PM »

YES! I love RPGs, and I love music, so I just had to check this thing out. Well, the music; I haven't played the game yet. (expect that to change soon ;-)

I must say, I'm blown away. Normally I'm not a fan of the generic symphonic score that plagues most RPGs, but these songs just have such a level of polish on them that I can't help but enjoy them. Overall, there's just a melodic complexity that I haven't heard in quite some time. I want to hear more! ;-)
Logged
supershigi
Level 7
**


No Yoshi is an Island


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 01:59:10 AM »

Thank-you F687/s, I'm really glad that you enjoyed the music.  I know what you mean about the generic symphonic score... in a lot of triple A games these days there is an abundance of orchestral music that despite having very high quality samples (or in some cases live orchestras) and excellent production, it just feels like it lacks heart.  There are so few cases these days where I can actually even remember the music, as compared with the NES/SNES days where the melodies were so catchy and memorable. 

I was really happy today to find out that Plants vs. Zombies won "best music score" in PC VGChartz Game of the Year 2009 awards... My goal with PvZ was to create something melodic and memorable so the composition itself would shine, even though it wasn't produced in a super studio with a live orchestra and what not. So everytime folks notice the composition, I get so happy because I'm finally getting to share what I loved about the music I grew up with Smiley
Logged

Laura Shigihara | Composer and Game Designer
Facebook | Youtube | Twitter
Triplefox
Level 9
****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009, 02:34:17 AM »

I adore strong compositions with melody, and these are all really good. I wish I could get that kind of flow down. Sometimes I approach it, but mostly it comes out choppy....(envy)
Logged

Amirai
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2010, 04:42:05 PM »

Wow - congrats on winning best score! That's crazy impressive, especially considering that they were considering games from the whole industry!
Logged

HyperDuckChris
Level 9
****


Music and Noises


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 04:52:29 PM »

I was really happy today to find out that Plants vs. Zombies won "best music score" in PC VGChartz Game of the Year 2009 awards... My goal with PvZ was to create something melodic and memorable so the composition itself would shine, even though it wasn't produced in a super studio with a live orchestra and what not. So everytime folks notice the composition, I get so happy because I'm finally getting to share what I loved about the music I grew up with Smiley


This is excellent, I'm well happy for you! Congrats! I hope you celebrated accordingly!
Logged

ஒழுக்கின்மை
Level 10
*****


Also known as रिंकू.

RinkuHero
View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 05:18:40 PM »

the saddest part is the prevalent business model means you don't get any royalties from the sales and success of that song/game, right? i don't really like that approach, i make sure to give royalties to anyone who works on my games, and they keep the ip of anything they make for the game. i wish everyone did that.
Logged

HyperDuckChris
Level 9
****


Music and Noises


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 05:26:01 PM »

Well you're a pretty nice chap for doing that, but alas that just isn't the way everybody is built. It's not as generous in the world as it could be, but I'll settle for what we're getting at the moment. Lauras very talented, I am sure there are even bigger things coming her way and she will get everything that she deserves, this is just a prime example that things are only beginning, even if they have been going for a while, it's nothing compared to what the future can hold.

Logged

ஒழுக்கின்மை
Level 10
*****


Also known as रिंकू.

RinkuHero
View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 05:32:31 PM »

i don't think it's generous, just fair. i think it's unfair to benefit disproportionately from the work of someone else.
Logged

HyperDuckChris
Level 9
****


Music and Noises


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 05:57:19 PM »

I agree, other developers will still see it as generousity, however.
Logged

supershigi
Level 7
**


No Yoshi is an Island


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2010, 03:46:30 PM »

Thank-you everyone very much for your nice comments ^_^

@Paul and Hyperduck: It's interesting that you guys should bring this up, because it's something I've been researching a lot lately.  I'm not sure how it would work had Plants vs. Zombies been a purely independent game (it actually started out that way before George went to PopCap), but since it was published through PopCap, none of the core team received royalties on game sales.  However, I'm a big advocate of songwriters receiving royalties on ancillary materials... I know that if a company hires a songwriter to write them a theme song, most AAA companies these days will go by the Hollywood model of paying out 50% of royalties on ancillary materials (soundtracks, iTunes sales, licenses, etc.) to the publisher, which is then split between the composer, artist, producer, etc. 

I usually try to get it worked into my contracts that I would receive 50% of the royalties on ancillary materials.  I hope that this method will eventually become standard for the whole industry and not just AAA companies, because it really is the fair method.  If a soundtrack is being sold, there's no reason the composer shouldn't get to participate in this revenue.  Same with if the company wants to license the music to another company who might use the music in a car commercial or something; there's no reason the composer shouldn't be properly compensated... that's how it works in the film industry and in most AAA companies.

Unfortunately, I was not given a formal contract until about a week before the release of the game, so while I wanted to negotiate including very fair and standard legal language concerning a soundtrack and other ancillary materials, I was being pressured to just sign the contract.  I don't want to get into all the details, because I think for the most part I'm really happy with how everything turned out... but I felt that the way they handled the contract was very unprofessional.  Hopefully it'll be better in the future though; we're taking steps to improve things.  How have your contract experiences been... either as the composer or developer?

On another note, Paul, that's cool that you allow your team to retain their IP and receive royalties.  Although I'm doing all the music/sound for Melolune, if I was using a separate composer I would allow them to participate on royalties just because the music is so central to the game and is actually a huge part of the development (there will probably be about 70 tracks in the game and the music and puzzles were built concurrently because of how intertwined they are). 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 03:55:05 PM by supershigi » Logged

Laura Shigihara | Composer and Game Designer
Facebook | Youtube | Twitter
HyperDuckChris
Level 9
****


Music and Noises


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2010, 07:52:58 PM »

Unfortunately, I was not given a formal contract until about a week before the release of the game, so while I wanted to negotiate including very fair and standard legal language concerning a soundtrack and other ancillary materials, I was being pressured to just sign the contract.  I don't want to get into all the details, because I think for the most part I'm really happy with how everything turned out... but I felt that the way they handled the contract was very unprofessional.  Hopefully it'll be better in the future though; we're taking steps to improve things.  How have your contract experiences been... either as the composer or developer?

All contracts I have signed to date have been contracts I have assembled, let the developer see over and over, amended again and again, until we're both happy, so I have been lucky in that respect to have great personalities to work with, from Iji up to (and including) Dust, they've all been down to earth guys who are just wanting to make it work for everybody and themselves in a totally fair and approachable humanistic manner.

That is quite a distressing situation to be rushed into signing a contract, I really (who would??) would not like that kind of treatment, it would almost force me (without fully reviewing the contract and it's potential consequences) to pull out of signing.

I have only started considering the prospect of selling the soundtracks from games we write for, and have considered putting Iji back into remix production amongst a few others, depending on the response I suppose. I suppose you gauge it on the response you receive back from the game & the music? Though, if not, what do you gauge it on? : D!
Logged

Craig Stern
Level 10
*****


I'm not actually all that stern.


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2010, 10:13:39 PM »

Unfortunately, I was not given a formal contract until about a week before the release of the game, so while I wanted to negotiate including very fair and standard legal language concerning a soundtrack and other ancillary materials, I was being pressured to just sign the contract.  I don't want to get into all the details, because I think for the most part I'm really happy with how everything turned out... but I felt that the way they handled the contract was very unprofessional.

I assume that you've already completely performed your part of that contract? In the future, if you're subjected to undue pressures during the contract negotiation process, I'd advise you to consult an attorney. There's a little thing that we call "undue influence" that many judges don't look kindly on...
Logged

supershigi
Level 7
**


No Yoshi is an Island


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2010, 02:42:37 PM »

@Chris: That's good that you've always had positive experiences working with developers.  It sounds like the folks you've worked with are great guys.  That would be great if you guys ended up doing an Iji soundtrack; the other day George and I went back and listened to some of the mp3s from the game and were commenting on how cool they were.  He thought one of the sounds sounded like Rush, which is cool because he's a big prog rock fan.  If you ended up releasing a soundtrack, do you have a duplication service in mind for making the CDs?  I've been trying to decide between Discmakers and CD Baby for duplication... although I wish I could find a company similar to the one Alec described, because it would be so cool to make Plants vs. Zombies posters to include in the CDs ^_^

@Craig: Thank-you for the advice ^_^  In any other situation I totally would have fought for my rights.  I knew what I was asking for was fair, and I knew it was their fault for getting me the contract so late... This situation was unfortunately very tricky for me, as the game's designer is also my boyfriend.  Basically, someone in the company was threatening to just remove the credits sequence altogether and delay the release of the game if I didn't sign... and I knew how important it was to George to have that credits sequence and to release the game on time.  So they basically used my concern for him against me... Even though I knew it wouldn't take more than a week for them to insert very fair legal language into the contract, I didn't want to risk messing up such a great project if the company was going to be retarded about it and actually take out the ending credits (incidentally, if I didn't sign the contract they wouldn't own any of the music, not just the ending credits song, so I knew this guy was just trying to push me around). 

In the end I just tried to look on the bright side; it was really only one person who was doing this... everyone else was really great and awesome and I had a great time working on it.  So for future projects I'm just being very upfront about them being more responsible about getting me a contract early on, so that I can make sure it's fair.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 02:47:06 PM by supershigi » Logged

Laura Shigihara | Composer and Game Designer
Facebook | Youtube | Twitter
Daiz
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2010, 11:55:05 PM »

So I've been listening to these tunes you posted and now having heard them quite a few times I guess I could share some views.

You seem to have quite an identifiable style that all your songs are in... even though they vary (as usual), I could probably easily tell that "these songs were made by the same composer" if pretty much any of these two were played after each other. I'd also say the style is kinda, well, JRPG-y. At least in quite many songs.

Then, regarding this:
I know what you mean about the generic symphonic score... in a lot of triple A games these days there is an abundance of orchestral music that despite having very high quality samples (or in some cases live orchestras) and excellent production, it just feels like it lacks heart.  There are so few cases these days where I can actually even remember the music, as compared with the NES/SNES days where the melodies were so catchy and memorable.

I also agree with this. Some of those old NES/SNES melodies are very memorable. However, your compositions don't really feel like they're there yet. I found these songs quite hard to grasp in a way that would have made me hum them afterwards or even when listening to the songs again. I'd say that if you want to make catchy melodies, you need to repeat elements a lot more and not stuff so much in a single song; this is how you make pretty much anything extremely catchy. More on this a bit later in this post.

Also, regarding your style, it seems quite limited right now. All your songs are pretty much slower-paced and the "feel" they have is kinda similar all the way through. When listening to music, I often find myself thinking about some of our games playing to the music, but I couldn't really think about this while listening to your songs. Though bigger part in this is probably the fact that the kind of music you make wouldn't really fit any of the projects we have in mind.

I know a lot of composers who have an amazing range in the styles of music they can produce, most of them Japanese. To be honest though, most of these are anime soundtrack composers - I don't really know all that many game composers, I can mostly name Nobuo Uematsu and some others whose names pop up ever so often in various places. But for example take the likes of Yasushi Ishii (Hellsing OST, Darker than Black S2 OST) or Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black S1, Macross Frontier, Turn-A Gundam to name a few) or Tsuneo Imahori (Trigun, Hajime no Ippo, Gungrave) - these composers produce an amazing variety of music for the stuff they do. Take the most recent one, Darker than Black S2 for example. The music varies from aggressive rave to jazzy rock to moody and melodic piano tunes, all in the same soundtrack. It's quite amazing.

Then there's also composers who have very identifiable styles, like Yuki Kajiura. Though even though she has an identifiable style, she can also vary quite a lot - most importantly, she can make very moody slow tunes as well as fast-paced action themes. And whenever she teams up with a singer, everything she produces is pretty much amazing (see FictionJunction YUUKA or Kalafina songs for example).

But back to game composers, there's also one game composer who has pretty much perfected the art of making extremely catchy and amazing game music. He also happens to be Japanese and as indie as you can get. In other words, as you probably already guessed, ZUN, the man behind Touhou.

Touhou music is probably one of the ear-wormiest music on earth. How does he achieve it? Well, when you listen to his compositions, you can hear that he usually has about 3-4 "element" sections per song, which are varied as the song progresses, but there's usually one or two strong and followable main melodies going on at every section. After hearing a Touhou song once, you can usually hum it afterwards whenever you hear the song again or even hum them when you're not listening to them, since the main melodies are very catchy and stick to your mind. He's probably one of the most successful indie composers ever when considering the huge amount of fans of his works alone. And then there's also that 500 gigabytes worth of remixes and re-arrangements of his songs. You don't get that much of fanworks without doing something right.

<EDIT> One more thing I completely forgot about and probably one of the most important points: Peaks. Good songs will have points where they "peak" in terms of audio satisfactory, which is preceeded by build-up for this peak. Your compositions seem to lack this. Like said, your songs have some pretty complex stuff going on at times, and the tempo seems to remain quite slow throughout all songs. During songs, they don't seem to "grow" - in quite many cases, when a song ended, I thought "oh, it ended already? It hardly even managed to began" because there was no real build-up to be found. There were elements of build-up and places where the songs could have peaked, but they didn't because there wasn't enough emphasis put on the peak parts or the build-up parts. So to sum it up, the feeling I get from listening to your songs is that they are flat and "bland" through the whole song and maybe a bit too complex for their own sake. These combined result in the fact that the songs are pretty hard to grasp, and thus they don't turn out to be something really memorable. </EDIT>

Have you listened to any of the composers I listed above? I'd love to hear your opinions regarding these too, and also I'd like to hear about your goals as a composer. I know you want to make catchy and melodic tunes akin to the ones produced in the NES/SNES era, which I totally respect. But for that, there's still work to do in my opinion. You're clearly talented and clearly do something right already (I mean you don't win "best music score" prizes for nothing), and I'd love to hear more about you and your songs in the future.

PS. By the way, based on your name, I take it you're american-japanese? Nevermind, browsed your site a bit and found out that this is indeed the case.

EDIT: Looks like I accidentally quoted my own post when I meant to edit it... removed the duplicate now.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 03:41:50 AM by Daiz » Logged
supershigi
Level 7
**


No Yoshi is an Island


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2010, 01:20:45 PM »

Hi Daiz, thank-you for taking the time to leave such a lengthy reply ^_^  I do recognize many of the composers you've listed; I enjoy Yoko Kanno's work a lot as well as Nobuo Uematsu.  One of my favorite Kanno-tracks is the opening song to Stand Alone Complex (the one with the Russian vocals)... it's very beautiful and lonely. 

I must say though, the feedback that you've left is quite interesting to me because most of the feedback I receive is actually about how creating earworms/memorable melodies is one of my strengths.  Take the "Zombies on your Lawn" song for example... I think part of the reason people liked it was because it was such an earworm.  I've received thousands of emails about this one song alone commenting on how it was stuck in their head, or how their whole family starting singing it, or how their small child would throw a fit if they stopped playing the song... I've also read a number of articles that talk about the music video, and they always include something to the extent of "but be careful, this song will be stuck in your head for weeks."  Basically, although I can definitely see where my music could use work, I really don't believe that creating catchy melodies is one of them.

The other thing is that I think I'm fairly aware of making peaks and repeated parts in my compositions... When creating a piece that has to loop, it's important to consider where the peaks should be, since the song might be heard multiple times throughout a level so you need enough material in between in order to make the "peak" more exciting.  I'm kind of wondering which pieces you've listened to, because I have plenty of songs that are fast-paced, and many of them have quite definable peaks.  Take Ultimate Battle for example, it's quite fast paced and has a noticeable breakdown which begins at 1:04 and then rises at 1:20 which gradually builds until 1:50 before it loops.  Upperlands Dungeon as well has quite a noticeable the peak from 0:36 to 0:50.

Logged

Laura Shigihara | Composer and Game Designer
Facebook | Youtube | Twitter
Jonathan
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2010, 05:30:45 PM »

Wow, I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with just about everything Daiz said about your music... he couldn't be further off.  Basically, everything he said you needed to improve was everything that most people think is good about your music.  Case in point: "Zombies on your Lawn" is undeniably catchy.  There's a reason that Zombies song has become such a viral phenomenon, it's because it's one of the catchiest earworms ever made.  Your music is very catchy and memorable and I'm pretty sure quite a few people think so... there are probably thousands of comments at that youtube video where people say just that.

My wife and I were humming the music from Plants vs. Zombies for like a month after we finished the game (along with pretty much my whole office)... The roof level and the pool level were particularly addictive.  And I'm pretty darn sure you know what you're doing when it comes to building peaks, either in terms of intensity or just the "feel good" part of the music.  But I don't need to tell you that... judging by how ubiquitous some of your work has become, I think it's fairly obvious how catchy your tunes are, and that they are not "flat" or "bland." (Wow... seriously, those are the last words I would ever use to describe your work)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 07:44:39 PM by Jonathan » Logged
Daiz
Level 2
**



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2010, 05:57:23 AM »

Quote
I must say though, the feedback that you've left is quite interesting to me because most of the feedback I receive is actually about how creating earworms/memorable melodies is one of my strengths.

To be honest, I also think it's weird how my feedback seems to differ quite notably from the rest, but it's honestly what I feel like, which is why I decided to write a longpost about it.

What makes it also weird is that I generally like all type of music (save for western rap). Though then again the type of music I listen to at a given moment depends a lot on my mood and what I feel like listening to. So far I've only listened to your songs on their own, I haven't actually played any game with your music in it. Games with their narrative and other aspects obviously will affect the player's mood which obviously will affect how they receive the songs they hear.

Quote
Take the "Zombies on your Lawn" song for example... I think part of the reason people liked it was because it was such an earworm.

Well, from the songs I listened to (which were all you listed in the opening post of this thread), this one was certainly the most catchiest one of them, but even then it took me quite many listens before I could start humming it without the music and recalling the song right now feels quite hard, like I can hum "There's a zombie on your lawn" but I feel like I'm getting the melody wrong. It just doesn't remain clear in my mind. I can sing along if I'm listening to the song, though.

Quote
When creating a piece that has to loop, it's important to consider where the peaks should be, since the song might be heard multiple times throughout a level so you need enough material in between in order to make the "peak" more exciting.

Through, which is why I brought up ZUN. All the music he makes loops indefinitely until you beat the stage/boss. More on this after the next quote...

Quote
I'm kind of wondering which pieces you've listened to, because I have plenty of songs that are fast-paced, and many of them have quite definable peaks.  Take Ultimate Battle for example, it's quite fast paced and has a noticeable breakdown which begins at 1:04 and then rises at 1:20 which gradually builds until 1:50 before it loops.

As I wrote above, I listened to all the stuff you posted in the opening post of this thread and these are the ones I'm basing my posts on. Anyway, I listened to Ultimate Battle. It's true that it's quite fast paced, but this is really compared to your other stuff. Comparing to something else, it's still in the realms of normal-paced or so. The biggest flaw the song has, though, is that if it's really the music for The Ultimate Battle(tm) in whatever game it is, then it honestly doesn't feel like the music for such an event. It's nowhere near as "epic" or "grand" for such a thing. Like, let's compare this song to three Touhou final boss themes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIwNJJ37LHk (from Touhou 8: Imperishable Night)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITYCfbE76ZM (from Touhou 10: Mountain of Faith)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy_-7OXophY (from Touhou 11: Subterranean Animism)

These are all notably faster-paced and to me they provide a lot, and I mean a lot bigger feeling of "epic final battle". In comparison, your "Ultimate Battle" is something that I feel could play during an exposition scene or a cutscene somewhere. Or maybe just be a puzzle level theme, or something similar. It is by no means a bad song (and I probably like it the most out of the ones I've heard from you so far), but if it's supposed to be the theme of an Ultimate Battle, it most certainly doesn't feel like that.

So ultimately I guess what I'm trying to say that your songs seem to lack pace and feeling of something epic. Obviously not all songs or soundtracks need to be like that, but if you want to evolve as a composer I think it's a subject you should focus on.

Fake edit: I just found this 60 second G.A.N.G. demo on your site:
http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=shigi.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ocf.berkeley.edu%2F~lkshigi%2Flivejournal%2FLaura%2520Shigihara%2520-%2520Demo%2520for%2520Gang.mp3

The part from 00:14-00:28 seems to hit most close to what I just said, but still doesn't feel like it'd be there yet, so yes, I'd say there's definitely room for improvement in this section. Is there anything longer available like this that you've done?

Also, to Jonathan:
Quote
Wow, I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with just about everything Daiz said about your music... he couldn't be further off.

I would like to remind you we are talking about music here, and judging music is pretty much based on opinions. I listened to supershigi's music, and it made me have opinions and feelings about them. I put in a considerable amount of time and effort to analyze why I formed those opinions and why I got those feelings in order to tell about them to supershigi and offer possibly constructive feedback from one angle by doing so. For you, my post might be "off", but there's no reason for you to state it like I was a bad evil person trying to hurt people. And there's no need to act all shocked about the fact that people have different opinions about things. Just saying.
Logged
Jonathan
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2010, 02:57:05 PM »

Quote from: Diaz
For you, my post might be "off", but there's no reason for you to state it like I was a bad evil person trying to hurt people. And there's no need to act all shocked about the fact that people have different opinions about things.

First of all, I'm not shocked that you have a different opinion than me.  I'm perfectly aware of the fact that people have different tastes in music, and I have no problems with that.  I do however take issue with comments like, "you need to make your music more like this composer" or "you need to do this in order to evolve as a composer" when you haven't even properly done your research.  You're basically saying that music which was specifically composed for scenes in a cartoony and humorous tower defense game isn't "as good" because it's not as exciting and grandoise as music which was composed specifically for final boss battles in a much more epic setting. 

Do you see the logical flaw here?  Part of what makes someone a good composer is that they can create music which is appropriate for the setting of the game, and according to basically all the critics, and a vast majority of people who have played the game, her music fits incredibly well.  Before you go telling her that her music isn't good enough, you might want to actually try playing the games that she's written the music for because that's a huge part of what makes the music good.  Personally I like the music in and of itself, and if you don't that's your opinion and you're entitled to it... but you really aren't in a position to tell her she needs to change her very effective style just because her songs aren't as epic as material written for a completely different setting.  It just makes no sense whatsoever.  Additionally, you can say that you personally don't like the music she's posted... but I think it's over the line to patronizingly tell her she can't become a good and grown up composer unless she emulates your favorite composers... she has a style that works for her, why would she want to go copy someone else in order to be good?  I honestly don't think she needs to do that, and I'd be disappointed if she did.

Quote from: Daiz
So far I've only listened to your songs on their own, I haven't actually played any game with your music in it.

Which is precisely why you shouldn't be telling her things like, "if you want to evolve as a composer you need to make your music more like this..."  You have to realize that not all games call for the type of music you're linking (which I don't even think is that good... it sounds like really generic jrpg music in my opinion), it just doesn't fit every game.  Part of what makes someone a good game composer is knowing how to craft music that matches the game.  Plants vs. Zombies has a cartoony style and is a humorous game; if she were to write something like an over the top grand symphonic score for example it wouldn't match. 

Quote from: Diaz
The biggest flaw the song has, though, is that if it's really the music for The Ultimate Battle(tm) in whatever game it is, then it honestly doesn't feel like the music for such an event. It's nowhere near as "epic" or "grand" for such a thing. Like, let's compare this song to three Touhou final boss themes:

The biggest flaw in your feedback is that you haven't even played either of the games that this piece is written for.  In Plants vs. Zombies this music plays at the end of each stage; the setting is often something as mundane as a lawn or backyard pool.  There are zombies wearing buckets on their heads marching towards you, and sunflowers bobbing their heads back and forth.  Yet the player is wholly invested in what they're doing.  When you play the entire stage and reach the levels where this music plays, it's incredibly satisfying to hear it; somehow it's both exciting but yet not over the top so it really matches the environment.  I also recently played her rpg, and it matches the feel of cute little creatures battling birds and sea monsters.  You can't tell her "you need to make your music more like this composer's music" because you're completely taking it out of context.  The Touhou music is a final boss theme for a completely different type of game; they aren't comparable at all because the settings are so completely different. 

Also I'd like to add that a song does not need to be incredibly fast paced in order to be good or exciting.   

Quote from: Diaz
The part from 00:14-00:28 seems to hit most close to what I just said, but still doesn't feel like it'd be there yet, so yes, I'd say there's definitely room for improvement in this section.

Based on some of the things Laura has written around here and on her website, I think she knows how to make the type of music you keep talking about.  One thing she wrote that resonated with me a lot as someone who directly worked with hiring composer contracts when I was at EA, is that she's posting material that makes her stand out.  We would receive vast amounts of demo CDs from composers who showed us nothing but generic symphonic tracks.  They sounded fine and were well produced (quite similar to the music you keep linking); but we had no way of telling one composer from another.  Nothing was special about any of them.  And to tell you the truth, we had access to top notch musicians in that genre anyway so we weren't going to hire someone who just gave us another symphonic film soundtrack style CD.  What Laura is doing is smart; people are really starting to take note of her work because she has a unique and catchy style.  Whether or not you like it is your opinion; but I think what she's doing is clearly working for her because most people do think her work is catchy and memorable. 

This is what I like about the indie community as well; it's a lot easier to see unique musical styles here as opposed to folks who are just trying to copy other composers or putting out generic symphonic music.  Comments like yours, where you tell the composer that they need to essentially be more like another composer in order to be good, and you base this off of an incomparable set of tunes, are not constructive in the least.  If Laura went and tried to be more like the generic jrpg tunes you linked, it would be incredibly disappointing.

Again, it's one thing to say you like or dislike a kind of music.  It's another thing altogether to patronizingly tell a successful game composer that they aren't up to par and need to work on evolving their already well-liked style; and this "advice" being based off of comparing music that was made for a final boss fight in an epic setting to music that was made for a cartoony game where corn plants shoot butter at zombie Michael Jacksons.  Do your research before you so confidently put down someone's creative efforts.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 03:24:22 PM by Jonathan » Logged
ஒழுக்கின்மை
Level 10
*****


Also known as रिंकू.

RinkuHero
View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2010, 03:14:57 PM »

the only thing i have to say about yoko kanno is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOy3AuB5PtI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yupIJUbFNFg

i don't intend to link to these to bash that composer or anything, just that she was mentioned as something to aspire to here, so i thought those that didn't know about it at least deserve to know -- so personally i think supershigi is like ten times the composer kanno is
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic