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Audio reImagined - Don't Starve (Sampler)


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#1 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:36 PM

Hello, about a week ago (well, three days) I created my first video to a series I am doing on Youtube and my website called 'Audio reImagined'. What I do is grab footage from various games, cut all of the audio from the playback, and just compose something new for that particular game. My overall goal with this is to learn and experiment with a bunch of new styles, and hopefully gain a few bigger projects under my belt in the process. I'm trying to release something weekly.

 

The first game I've done is Don't Starve. I just created a sampler reel since it is my first video (The rest of my videos will be just a full single, downloadable track for a specific scenario such as a town theme, or dungeon theme, etc.), I wanted to really pack it in with content. The scenes I've chosen from Don't Starve are the title, grasslands, and night themes. I really sort of went along with the quirky, Tim Burton-esque vibe of the game in its entirety. I also wanted to create something a bit less, uhh, static if that makes sense; I used a lot of tempo changes and variation here.

 

Anyways, enough rambling.

The link to the video on youtube is here

or you can use my website: danielfalk.net (Just scroll down on the first page).

 

What I'm looking for is mainly advance on the post production of the project and comments on the overall quality; does all of the music & sounds fit, is it mixed/mastered well, does everything feel alive, etc. Anything is greatly appreciated. I want to grow as much as I can, and I've been working extremely hard to save up & acquire all of the sounds & instruments I used for this composition.

 

 

 



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#2 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:04 PM

Just updating, I've released the next track in the series for anybody that is interested in it. The next game I've done is 'Brothers, a Tale of Two Sons', and the theme I've done is a village theme. I really wanted it to be light-hearted with a bit of emotion considering the circumstances of the children's father early on in the game (If you happened to have played it).

 

As before, you can check out the video on Youtube or my website. Thanks again, and as before, any help, comments, criticism, requests, etc. is greatly appreciated!



#3 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

Regarding the Village theme - some really beautiful music! The only drawback is the production/automation/performance of the actual violin and flute was pretty stale to my ears. To solve this I'd either:

- select a different violin patch that didn't always do the same vibrato swell with each new note

- pay more attention to the volume at the start and end of your phrases. They just sit there instead of going somewhere.

- select a more dynamic flute patch and really tweak the volume automation

 

Of course, another option, would be to have someone record these lines for you on actual instruments if you have the space and funds. If you're in school, I'd go talk to some music majors. I bet they'd be willing to do it for a small amount of cash and some pizza. :P

 

But the actual composition was great.


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#4 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:04 PM

Edit - also the flute is a bit too loud and up front in the mix in relation to the violin and the other instruments.


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#5 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:10 PM

Thank you for the kind words, I unfortunately have been trying to solve the issue with the flute (it is a flute from ERA Medieval Legends in case anybody was wondering). I actually had the whole composition finished a couple days back, but I've spent the time since then tweaking everything as much as possible. The violin was performed/ recorded by me (I was using the keyswitch master solo vin from EWQLSO Platinum) on my MIDI keyboard. It's really just been a huge pain haha, I'm sure you understand.

 

I'll tweak everything a bit more when I get the chance and update here as soon as I can because you are exactly right about everything, giving it a new listen. Thanks again for the great feedback :). Regarding actual performance and recording of the violin, I would absolutely love that if I had access to somebody. I'm unfortunately a self-taught musician and composer, so I never went to school or lessons for it; just a whole lot of practice.



#6 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:18 PM


I'm unfortunately a self-taught musician and composer, so I never went to school or lessons for it; just a whole lot of practice.

 

I understand that but surely there's a college or school nearby which has trained musicians who could help you out. Or remotely even. I've provided saxophone recordings (my native instrument) for bands I've never actually met in person thanks to the internet. It would really bring your music more to life. I think it would definitely be worth it.


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#7 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

If anybody is interested in giving me some new feedback, I've just released my next composition for my series, inspired by Tomb Raider. I went with the whole film, theatrical approach here and tried making everything as organic as I could. 

 

As usual, you can check it out/ download the track from my website danielfalk.net or through youtube!

 

 

 

EDIT: Actually, if a mod could change the title of my thread to:

 

'Audio reImagined' - Requesting feedback

 

I would really appreciate it. I think it more appropriately describes the thread. Thanks in advance!


Edited by xCatalyst, 31 January 2014 - 09:20 PM.


#8 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:51 PM

I posted my comments to the actual Youtube video first but here they are (for the sake of discussion) here as well:

 

Hi Daniel, nice stuff. The piano was too dry, in my opinion at the beginning. It's my opinion that really dry instruments work with there's a lot of other textures going on or very active counterpoint. But when it's solo, add some reverb/delay to it so it speaks a bit more. Has more sheen. Then, once you add in more instruments later, you can automate that reverb/delay to be less if you want to keep a really clean mix.

Also the strings at around 1:16 could be bigger. You have good instincts to make the music change at that part! Those string samples leave a bit to be desired but perhaps with a doubling of octaves and a bit of production love - you could thicken up that sound. It's a pretty dangerous part of the trailer (for Laura) and the music isn't reflected that as much as it could. Same with the percussion here. Stop thinking so literally with your instrumentation and incorporate more sound design INTO your music.

Finally, to be quite honest, your music started to lose me around the 2:08 mark. The strings glissando was nice but felt like an after though as it didn't really lead anywhere, to my ears. It sounded like an effect that you had in the library so you stuck it in instead of it being an intentional part of the music and how it would evolve. Then the rest of the video, although some percussion synced to some of the action, didn't really reflect the mood and pacing of the video. It felt, at least to me, disjointed.

The ending could be better prepped to give the listener more of a pay off. Leave them wanting more. In this ending it felt like you just ran out of time/footage to write for. Overall, I felt there could be more low end in your mix and, again, if you're going to write to video then it really has to serve the video 100% of the time. There are points where this trailer did that and other spots where it missed the mark. At least to my ears and eyes. It's a great starting point and I think, with some editing and polishing, could really be something special!

Thanks for sharing!


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#9 nsmadsen   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4352

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

I actually haven't played the game yet (really want to!!!) but check out Jason Graves' soundtrack for it:

 

You'll hear quite a bit more sound design and effects/impacts in his music and less of a linear take than what is found in your song. There's also more space, allowing individual sections of the symphony to be featured. Too often we, young(er) composers, tend to throw too much to the listener instead of letting the narrative (both in text and music form) to be told.


Nathan Madsen
Composer-Sound Designer
Madsen Studios

#10 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 05:56 PM

Excellent, now THAT is some feedback that I am looking for:)

 

First off, let me began by reflecting to last week in my Brothers-inspired composition. I've more appropriately panned and reverb-ed (is that even a word? lol) each of my sections in that piece, as well as dynamically mixed the instruments so that the perceived loudness of, for example, the flute isn't quite as varied and ear piercing at times. I've also made better use of the keyswitches in my violin sample which I think feel a TON more natural. I haven't swapped the audio for the new track in the Youtube video, however, I did post it to my Soundcloud, so if you're interested in hearing it, you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/daniel-falk-composer/a-place-for-two . I'll keep working on it, but it's getting there. (I just need to drop that reverb on the vin a touch because it almost feels performed in a different space then the flute, but that's an easy fix). I guess a composition is never REALLY finished, you just more-or-less run out of time on it. I feel like I'm always finding things in my pieces that I should've had to begin with, or maybe a technique that I should've used or never used...

 

Anyways, back to this composition! All your points are great, and I do plan on continuing & refining it more in my free time; it wasn't that I necessarily ran out of footage, I actually really just ran out of time since I do put a deadline on myself for these pieces. 

 

 

 

Stop thinking so literally with your instrumentation and incorporate more sound design INTO your music.

 

I know, I know. It's a really hard habit to break haha, it's really quite astounding just how much of a different approach you have to take to compose for film rather than games, and I definitely felt more like I was composing for a film with this piece. I guess I just can't be afraid to experiment a bit more, I think I'm trying too hard to compose traditionally. And man, Jason Graves always just kills it; he is a fantastic composer. I didn't actually have any idea that he composed for this game, like I said, I try not to listen to the music in the video beforehand as to ensure that what you hear is 100% my own stuff. I need to try and layer a lot more and use more textures. I think I would really benefit from them!


Edited by xCatalyst, 01 February 2014 - 06:06 PM.


#11 xCatalyst   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 11:01 AM

Next track. (Big surprise, I know;D ) I decided to go with the game 'Contrast' because I've always had a good time composing jazzy pieces.

 

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-falk-composer/swingin-streets (Audio only)

(Audio & Video)

 

Thanks as always!






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