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998174 Posts in 39144 Topics- by 30553 Members - Latest Member: drako30

April 18, 2014, 12:05:42 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeAudioTIGSource Musical Challenge XXIII: "Love"
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Author Topic: TIGSource Musical Challenge XXIII: "Love"  (Read 4220 times)
Steparnicus
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« Reply #45 on: May 14, 2013, 04:13:04 AM »

Steparnicus/Hartisan
I think you really summed it up well when you called this a "digital daydream." It has a very floating feeling, like a secret world in an old Nintendo game. I could imagine it with lyrics but that would take a lot more work and an entirely new melody. I think what you did best here was layer the sounds. There's a wonderful synth pad in the background,  the little bubbles of sound float above it and the sparse drums carry it all.
This entry feels, to me, like one of the more complete songs that I'd expected from this thread.
Cheers!

Thanks for the criticism!  There are quite a lot of layers in there, and im glad you picked up on the floaty/airy vibe =)

I really enjoyed your entry as well! the sound design elements really give the track some added texture against the minimalistic chip sounds.  I also really liked how the tempo and arpeggios give a dizzying feeling to show a sense of panic that comes from the idea of love as a virus.

Im sure it'll be tough to whittle this one down! Good Luck all Coffee

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elizabitcrusher
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« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2013, 09:29:40 AM »

MuuurghYou devil!
This piece has an incredible form in how the melody develops and returns toward the end. the intro is fantastic (although I wonder if it'll come back at some point). The scoring for woodwinds is really masterful. I am super impressed by your composition chops.
I will say that the quality of the sounds is lacking. It's hard to make instruments sound real- like they're in a real environment. I'm not the best at all at mastering, but some tricks that I think are effective are panning and reverb to imply that the instruments are in a real room.
I'm thinking about your choice of instrumentation and I got the feeling you're going for a jazzy feeling (although I get that more from the chords), and the choice of piano and woodwinds makes me think it's going for a more old-timey feel, like maybe film noir era. The melody is so lovely, though, that I bet you could score this for orchestra, with emphasis on the strings, and either score the melody for cello or maybe even for french horn, if you wanted a really epic feeling.
Okay. I've blathered long enough.
Kudos to everyone! I have had SO MUCH FUN!!!
-E
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Muuurgh
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« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2013, 12:13:48 PM »

MuuurghYou devil!
This piece has an incredible form in how the melody develops and returns toward the end. the intro is fantastic (although I wonder if it'll come back at some point). The scoring for woodwinds is really masterful. I am super impressed by your composition chops.
I will say that the quality of the sounds is lacking. It's hard to make instruments sound real- like they're in a real environment. I'm not the best at all at mastering, but some tricks that I think are effective are panning and reverb to imply that the instruments are in a real room.
I'm thinking about your choice of instrumentation and I got the feeling you're going for a jazzy feeling (although I get that more from the chords), and the choice of piano and woodwinds makes me think it's going for a more old-timey feel, like maybe film noir era. The melody is so lovely, though, that I bet you could score this for orchestra, with emphasis on the strings, and either score the melody for cello or maybe even for french horn, if you wanted a really epic feeling.
Okay. I've blathered long enough.
Kudos to everyone! I have had SO MUCH FUN!!!
-E

Yes... mastering... my old nemesis... especially when you talk reverb... Actually, I got reamed by Zach Parrish in the "Harsh Criticism" thread (lol) about things such as my lack of reverb for my "Fanfare and Jubilee" track, which I saw you commented on... about reverb  Facepalm Haha. Yeah, basically I'm really lacking in knowledge on how to make it effective for my stuff and it's something that I'm working on figuring out.

As for orchestrating it further, that was my original intention and I may revisit it in the future to do just that! Actually, I first imagined that the trumpet or french horn would play the melody backed by a brass section, and that would be followed by strings. As you now know, though, I scrapped those plans in favor of the woodwinds and piano.

Thanks again for all of your comments and compliments here and on SoundCloud  Smiley
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CasePortman
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« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2013, 03:17:59 PM »

Good luck everyone! There's some awesome pieces here.
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Mono
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2013, 03:36:16 AM »

Come on man! Waiting for the next challenge.
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elizabitcrusher
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« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2013, 09:10:36 AM »

Heyo!
Did I miss something? Was there a vote??
What's the next challenge??? When's it due?Huh?
I WANT TO WRITE MORE MUSIC!
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eernstrom
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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2013, 09:19:11 AM »

No vote yet. . . but we're all at the edge of our seats!
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mscottweber
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« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2013, 09:51:15 AM »

Sorry for the delay everyone.  I foolishly left all of my review-writing till after it ended, and its taking me a long time Sad

I'll have the reviews and voting poll up VERY soon, jujst sit tight a bit longer
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petertos
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« Reply #53 on: May 20, 2013, 12:21:41 AM »

Bravo! This is my greatest chance to listen to some good music in a row. I like a lot all the entries, and I also like the fact that there are so many of them! Congrats all and thank you.
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« Reply #54 on: May 20, 2013, 04:08:48 PM »

TIGSource Musical Challenge XXIII Love - Reviews

First of all, great work everyone!  All of these tracks a really good, and its no small feat to finish a composition in 2 weeks.

As you read my reviews, please don't be discouraged by my constructive criticism.  Part of the reason we do these challenges is to get better at writing music, and you won't get better if you only ever hear "Awesome track!  Its so preeettty!"

Moromis - Amor omnis vincit
I really like the feel you have going for this track.  As you mentioned in your description, the piece is less about melody and form than it is about color and mood, and I think that is perfectly fitting for a love theme; love doesnít always fit into a box, and it certainly doesnít always follow any type of pre-set form or pattern.  Also, I think this track would realistically fit nicely in a game simply because of that - its not too distracting, it has a very specific mood/vibe that doesnít ever change, and it would loop upon itself pretty easily.  That being said, from a purely musical standpoint I would have loved to see it develop a bit more.  Maybe have the seemingly random and separate parts unify a little bit more as the piece progresses, or maybe change up the instrumentation/sounds gradually over the course of the track.

KeepItSimple - One Last Kiss Goodbye
This is a very intriguing piece. Just like saying goodbye to your love and not having a clue what the future will bring, good or bad, everything about this track is open-ended.  For the first 44 seconds there is no melody at all, just a beautifully unresolving chord progression.  The melody that does enter is very pretty and in a different setting would sound quite happy and content, but that eerie string progression anchors it in mystery and melancholy.  Artistically I really like and appreciate this, but it leaves you wanting more.  The piece ends and you feel like it never really got to where it needed to go.  Which, I suppose, is the perfect metaphor for saying goodbye to someone you love.

MA-Simon - A Romance In Space
Although it doesnít have any of the traditional ďspaceĒ sounds (you know, synths and bleep bloops and the like), this is a very open and free track that is right at home in outer space.  The piano playing is exquisite, and the piece as a whole has a very nice structure to it.  In addition to being beautifully written, the track is beautifully produced as well.  My only gripe with the piece (and its a minor one): the drums are too straight and donít sit right with the rest of the ďensembleĒ.  This track is begging to have a live drummer, playing in the same room with the bass and piano players, recording everything together in the same take. 

MoritzPGKatz - The Crowd Parts
A perfect piece for when you see your true love for the first time.  This track is very ďfilm-scoreyĒ in that its more through-composed than repetitive, which TIGSource challenge entries tend to be (guilty as charged, here).  The production is realistic and top-notch, and its a great piece compositionally, too.  I LOVE the descending bass line that starts right at 0:48; you get really close to that ďDisneyĒ sound that Iíve never really heard in anything other than Disney productions.  Although its short form works well, it might be interesting to see this piece extended in length a bit more.

Mono - Carnaval de líAmour
A cool track, it makes me feel like Iím walking down the street in an oceanside French town.  It is very reminiscent of (and would fit perfectly in) late 90ís/early Ď00s adventure RPG games.  By todayís standards the track does come off sounding a bit dated.  I think if you experimented more with altering the velocities on the instruments you used, you may be able to coax more realistic performances out of them.  With that being said, it is a very well written piece musically.  The structure is concise and effective and the accordion melody is carefree and beautiful, a great love theme for a game!

Somnia - A Reckless Dance of Two
Another accordion melody, I love it!
I really like the tidy and concise structure that this piece has.  The woodwinds sound great when they enter on their own, and then they do a wonderful job of backing up the accordion when it comes back in.  On a production/performance note, the woodwinds sound nice and realistic but the acoustic guitar and accordion definitely sound like they were programmed in the computer.  Iím not sure about accordion, but I know the acoustic guitar part could be fixed by playing with the velocities of the notes some more (a specific example would be the 8th note that it plays right at 0:35.  If the velocity was brought down on that note, it would up the realism of that part by quite a bit).  Apart from that minor gripe, its a great track!

Lihwem - A tragedy occured
I like the electric piano chords at the beginning.  Thats a great, classic sound that sets up the mood for this piece perfectly.  The harp that enters shortly after is very nice as well.  A couple things that I think might make this piece really killer: 
-Try experimenting with dropping the accompaniment instruments out here and there, and/or changing their parts up.  The piece, as it stands now, is rather stagnant and changing up the background parts would help that.
-The melody right now is decent, but its not very memorable.  Experiment with making it more simple.  Or more crazy/complex.  Or make it much more repetitive.
Donít let my criticisms deter you, though.  Its a great sounding track!

CasePortman - Cosmic Embrace
This is a very cool, very well done track!  Its dreamy and quirky, which makes for a really great love theme.  Compositionally, its really awesome how your main melody has so much space (no pun intended) in it for all of the other little sounds and textures to poke through.  The ďBĒ section that starts at 1:04, I wish that it came a bit sooner.  Or, instead, that the piece went back to the ďAĒ section again after it, and THEN went back to the ďBĒ section again to end.  I guess what Iím getting at is that Iím spoiled and impatient and I want to hear that section sooner more often.  Because it sounds really cool.

elizabitcrusher - Iím Just a Computer
I love this song!  The chord progression during the verse feels just familiar enough to be comfortable, yet it is different enough to still be interesting to listen to.  Also, I really like how all of the sounds morph in and out as the song progresses (around 1:30 when the synth arpeggio crossfades into a piano is a good example).  All of the sounds/instruments are very robotic and mechanical, yet everything moves so fluidly.  Although its a great song as is, I think it would have been interesting to throw in some kind of larger change at some point, either a more drastic instrumental alteration, or a keychange perhaps.  Verse verse verse verse verse verse verse verse IS a classic song structure (and an effective one for storytelling), but my 21st century pop music hamster brain is used to hearing choruses/refrains.  You certainly do have a lot going on in this piece, probably enough to keep it from getting old for most folks, but some type of drastic change during the song might help. 

ilyoung - The Embrace
Man, what an epic track!  All of the sounds you use are top notch (Iím in love with your rhythm guitar tone!), and the melody is simple and memorable; definitely a good love theme.  Iím being super nit-picky, I know, but it does sound like the lead guitar that enters around 2:00 has some timing issues.  Nothing bad enough to keep me from enjoying the piece, though!  Although structurally this track DOES work well as it is (with regards to the synth-pop thing turning into rock), from a game music stand point it might almost be more useful as two separate tracks, each one a different arrangement of the same musical idea. 

royaltmusic - Unfold
I could definitely picture this playing behind a cutscene in a game, its a great homecoming track for when the hero returns from battle to his love.  All of the instruments sound really great, especially the harp; the arpeggios that come in right around 0:22 are subtle but they add sooo much!  I DO think the piece either needs to resolve back the D major chord at the end, or it needs to spend more time embellishing on that little key change that happens.  As it, it feels very abrupt ending it where you did.  All in all, great work though!

Steparnicus - Excuse Me, Princess
You mentioned on the soundcloud page that you originally meant for there to be lyrics/vocals on this track, and I can definitely tell, as there is no real melody throughout the entire piece.  However, the mood/vibe you have going on is great!  It feels like Iím sitting on the beach with my girl, drinking something cold and watching the waves crash into the sand.  The production on this awesome, especially how the drums build up to the 0:46 mark.  Once the chorus comes in, though, Iím not too fond of the snare sound.  Its probably just personal preference, but I feel like it distracts from all of the other wonderful layers and colors you have going on. 
I hope I donít come off too harsh, this really is a superb track!

eernstrom - The Farewell
This is one of the most beautiful (and sad) things Iíve heard!  Itís expressive and dynamic in a way that is really rare in the game music world.  I love that low chord at 0:34 that just stops so abruptly.  Its completely unexpected, and a little off-putting, but then at 1:23 when the low chord repeats and rings out, it brings closure.  This track is filled with little subtleties like that which make for a very mature piece of music.  From a production standpoint, I love the piano sound, except there is this one really loud pedal noise that happens a few times throughout the piece that I find distracting.  I usually like pedal noises in my piano music (most of this piece has just the right amount), but there are 3 or 4 spots where its a bit too loud and distracting.  Really, a very minor blemish on an otherwise flawless work.  Great job!

Muuurgh - A Binding Harmony
I would LOVE to hear this performed by a live ensemble.  Compositionally its very interesting and beautiful, but the midi orchestration keeps it from working well as a finished track.  In order to get realistic orchestral tracks using sample libraries, you have to know the quirks and characteristics of your sample libraries and compose FOR them.  Often times, what sounds good on paper, and probably sounds good with real players, doesnít translate well to sample libraries, and I feel like that may be the problem with this track.  But as I mentioned above, its a very cool piece with some very wonderful things going on, such as the walk up the bassoon does right around 2:00 leading into its melody.  I DO wish the little piano thing that started out the piece came back at some point, and I am a bit confused by the ending.  Is it meant as a looping point?

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Ok, this was insanely difficult to decide.  SO MANY KILLER TRACKS!  I'm really glad I only had to narrow it down to three finalists...








CasePortman - Cosmic Embrace

elizabitcrusher - Iím Just a Computer

eernstrom - The Farewell
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Steparnicus
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« Reply #55 on: May 21, 2013, 11:09:25 AM »


Steparnicus - Excuse Me, Princess
You mentioned on the soundcloud page that you originally meant for there to be lyrics/vocals on this track, and I can definitely tell, as there is no real melody throughout the entire piece.  However, the mood/vibe you have going on is great!  It feels like Iím sitting on the beach with my girl, drinking something cold and watching the waves crash into the sand.  The production on this awesome, especially how the drums build up to the 0:46 mark.  Once the chorus comes in, though, Iím not too fond of the snare sound.  Its probably just personal preference, but I feel like it distracts from all of the other wonderful layers and colors you have going on. 
I hope I donít come off too harsh, this really is a superb track!

Yeah, the vocals were going to tie the whole thing together but I simply ran out of time.  Also I kept on coming back to that snare when I was mixing and mastering, every time I sat down to it I was either turning it down because it was harsh or turning it back up again because it lost oomph >_<  Thanks for the feedback!

Congrats CasePortman, elizabitcrusher & eernstrom!

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elizabitcrusher
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« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2013, 07:16:23 PM »

THE NEW CHALLENGE (XXIV) IS UP!!!!
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Muuurgh
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« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2013, 01:43:49 PM »

Muuurgh - A Binding Harmony
I would LOVE to hear this performed by a live ensemble.  Compositionally its very interesting and beautiful, but the midi orchestration keeps it from working well as a finished track.  In order to get realistic orchestral tracks using sample libraries, you have to know the quirks and characteristics of your sample libraries and compose FOR them.  Often times, what sounds good on paper, and probably sounds good with real players, doesnít translate well to sample libraries, and I feel like that may be the problem with this track.  But as I mentioned above, its a very cool piece with some very wonderful things going on, such as the walk up the bassoon does right around 2:00 leading into its melody.  I DO wish the little piano thing that started out the piece came back at some point, and I am a bit confused by the ending.  Is it meant as a looping point?

Thanks very much for the kind words and the critique (and sorry for the late reply!). I feel what you're saying about the sample library, and though I do run into [what I perceive to be] limitations with my library, I can't help but feel that it's more me needing to be more familiar with more of the good characteristics of it. The fade out is indeed meant to be a looping point, though I think I'm going to revisit this tune in the future to make it more complete, especially after getting some other comments about it. Maybe then I'll revisit the piano intro--I do want to expand it some more, either at the beginning, later on, or both. Thanks again!
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