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Moritz P.G. Katz

Member Since 06 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Nov 16 2013 06:38 AM

#5053196 Some Jazz Piano.

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 14 April 2013 - 11:01 AM

Hey,

Hope everyone's doing well?
I'm quite busy at the moment, but when I find the time, I like to play old standards on piano. It's kind of an oddly specific hobby, at least here in Germany - and I never really play live or make use of this style in my productions.
That's probably why I'm not a very good player, but following the chords is good training for both theoretical and hearing skills. Plus, it's fun!

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of it with you.
https://soundcloud.com/mpgk/sets/piano-improvisations

Nothing fancy sound-wise, I just put my Zoom H-2 recorder on top of an old piano.

Any feedback welcome, of course!

Any other jazz fans out there? Nate, I recall you play the sax, do you go to sessions from time to time or something?

Cheers,
Moritz


#5045417 Oliver's Questions

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 21 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

Hey Ollie,

I'm looking for any help regarding how the acoustic behaviors of sound in the real world are emulated in 3D game environments.  How much of an understanding of reverb is required when designing sound for games?  Does a sound designer ever consider the inverse square law when creating attenuation?

As specialized as game audio may seem, I think people still have very varying focuses.
No doubt there are people whose job it is to consider acoustic details, outlining a realistic audio environment, but that's probably more in the hands of audio programmers. Most people doing the creative work are using tools already fit for the job, especially nowadays: from algorithmic and impulse response reverb AUs/VSTs/RTASs over audio middleware like FMOD or Wwise to dedicated audio engines.

And while I've studied that stuff for a few semesters ("systematic musicology" is what they call it over here), rare is the case where I have to pull out the old calculator to make things sound the way I want them to sound, and I'm very very glad about that.
On the other hand, knowing some basic acoustics never hurt either, even if it's just to set up a proper monitoring environment or to get a good starting point when choosing and positioning microphones in the studio.

But I can only speak for myself, really. Hope it helped though?

Cheers,
Moritz


#5045408 First Day of School

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 21 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

Hey Nate,

Nice work, the style you chose really fits the art! smile.png

As a really small point of critique, I think you went just a tiny bit over the top with the music in the rather whimsical/scary/chaotic part starting at about 0:42 and lasting until 01:15 - it feels out of balance with the sound design and altogether a bit "too much" to me. Might just be my personal taste, though!

Good to know it's OK to share non-game music on here by the way, I'm producing music for a similar animated short soon, and I'd love to get some feedback on that as soon as it's ready.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Moritz


#5045402 Hi I'm Doni......................................

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 21 March 2013 - 05:01 PM

Hello Doni,

Sorry for the rough welcome - I have to agree with Nate though, you're not really in a position to argue here.

You had a chance to read up on the forum rules which are stickied at the top for everyone to see, and if you had checked out the rest of the forum like someone willing to contribute would have, you'd have seen a few threads that were locked up for that exact reason, right on the first page.
And just as a side-note, that kind of attention is what I'd be looking for if I were looking for a new team member.

Hope you're not too miffed! I like to think we're a friendly bunch over here, it's just that most forums get really cluttered with all the portfolio posts and other people pay good money to appear in the Classifieds section - so it's only fair to lock threads like yours instantly.

Cheers,
Moritz


#5039147 Jones On Fire OST

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 04 March 2013 - 02:11 PM

Catchipstep!

Had a blast listening to this, thanks for sharing Nate! smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz


#5032070 Tales of Home - A Snippet

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 13 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Hmmm.... well, then I'm clueless to be honest. Because otherwise I *should* be having the same issues and I'm not. Tech support over the web is pretty hard to do. tongue.png Wish I could be there in person to lend a hand and help out.

Same here!

Perhaps I'm on an older version of PLAY that's more stable? Or vice versa? To be honest, I don't update PLAY too often as I don't really trust East West that much and once I find something working I like to leave it alone!

Agreed - never change a running system, they say... I try to only update when it's necessary or when I'm undertaking a major overhaul of my system anyway. Definitely never in the middle of a project!

Best of luck Xiao'an, keep us posted if re-installing engine and iLok driver helped.
Your music's really pleasant to listen to by the way, I like the bright sounds you used. The woodwind solo @ 1.00 is particularly uplifting. smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz


#5032046 Tales of Home - A Snippet

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 13 February 2013 - 04:44 PM

^ That shouldn't be the problem... too-slow HDD streaming should cause drop-outs, but no CPU overload.

Plus, I can confirm streaming the samples from a fast 7200 RPM FW800 HDD like the G-Drive works! (my second HDD is a G-Drive)

Cheers,
Moritz


#5031644 Tales of Home - A Snippet

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 12 February 2013 - 07:02 PM

The problem is, I run my samples off a firewire drive, and I only have one firewire port, so I can't connect the Apogee (i'm using the old firewire version). Do you think it'll make a difference?

It might help, not too sure about that, just wanted to check... I can definitely recommend switching to the Apogee anyway, the D/A conversion will be better, allowing a better monitoring sound.
Not to mention the possibility of doing some nice recordings with the Duet's pre-amps, which sound lovely!

Honestly having one firewire port is just ridiculous. Do you have any solutions for that?

My MBP has no native Firewire ports at all... the Thunderbolt -> FW800 works flawlessly though, even when daisy-chaining. I have it hooked up to a FW800 HDD which in turn is chained to my FW400 audio interface (Focusrite Saffire Pro 40).
On that note, doesn't your G-Drive have a second FireWire port? You should be able to daisy-chain your Apogee interface then!

Cheers,
Moritz


#5030818 Got Soundcloud?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 10 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

Hello,

Always cool to check out other composers' work!

Glad to share my SoundCloud as well, it's http://www.soundcloud.com/mpgk

Cheers,
Moritz


#5021827 Constructive Criticism of Soundtrack in Progress

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 15 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Hey there,

I really like the underlying synth ostinati in both tracks!

About the drums in the first track - I agree with Kristoff, the hi-hats and especially the snare sound very separate from the big kicks / timpani.
It's probably not even the way you processed them, but the choice of sound. I think if you used drum sounds with a deeper timbre, it would really kick the overall drive up a notch and result in less wish-wash. I kinda miss the synth kicks @ 0.56 when the main part begins though, those are nice and direct.
If you're looking for great Sci-Fi electronic drum sounds, I can recommend Soniccouture's Abstrakt Breaks 1 & 2, they're pretty cheap for what they're worth. Also they're loops, but it's pretty much in their nature to be good cut-and-sample material.

The string and horn sounds blend well with the synths, but sometimes they "boom" a bit too much on my studio speakers when they overlap/build up.
Overall, you could be a bit more daring with the stereo panorama to give the first track a wider sound.

In the second track, the percussion has a great drive, but it's a bit too busy and distracting for my taste. Maybe it's because you applied too much panning here, consider choosing one side for both percussion motives or just leaving them at the center. Right now, it's ping-pong for my ears, especially when I listen to the track with headphones.
The harmonic changes are really nice and atmospheric, I love the more quiet parts with the high piano notes!

...As always, these are just my two cents - much of it is a matter of taste and also of how it would fit with the gameplay and overall atmosphere! If you can, please share more about this game and your progress. smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz


#5021384 Demo reel 2012 - Do you think I'm ready for contract work?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 14 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

^ Exactly what I was thinking.

For an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek approach like this to work, you'll need help from designers / video editors in my opinion.
As it stands, it's fairly annoying and just makes me think of cheesy local TV ads, and not really in a good/funny way.

Sorry for the harsh feedback on what must've been quite some work - just my two cents.

Also, I agree with this:
Oh, and if I were you, I wouldn't say I'm cheap. Instead, maybe say, that you offer quality product for a reasonable, negotiable price!
If you sell yourself as cheap, you'll probably end up doing cheap jobs.
Sounds oversimplified, but often-times it's just the way we sell ourselves keeping us from getting financially and creatively satisfying work.

Cheers,
Moritz


#5020695 Any tips on track "Loudness"?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 12 January 2013 - 08:01 AM

Hey Chris,

Multiband compression is one of the standard tools during the last summing phase and the right kind of clipping is highly desirable / unavoidable if you're aiming for a comparably loud track.

 
No, a multiband compressor is not a "standard" tool. The only "standard" there is in mastering is EQ, a Limiter, and maybe a normal compressor. But don't take my word on it, have a look at what some professional mastering engineers are saying on the topic of multiband compression:
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/666266-multi-band-compressors.html
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/688521-eq-vs-multiband-compression.html
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/76421-multiband-compression-voodoo.html
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/4647-using-multiband-compression.html
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/24980-multiband-compressor.html
 
 
 


Well, those threads display a lot of different opinions... I think multi-band compression can be very useful, provided you know how to use it. I know plenty of mastering people who don't shy away from it. Mastering is all about moderate use, of course - on the master bus, a single dB give or take can have a serious impact!
 
As for "comparably loud", how loud is comparable? And comparable to what?
Comparable to other loud music. As in, when you play it after a loud song, you don't have to crank up the volume to make it sound equally loud.
When you're clipping the limiter, you're creating distortion, diminishing the quality of your music.
I don't want to start a "loudness war" discussion here - but it's a fact that loud & clipping music has become a sound aesthetic on its own, at least in electronic/rock/popular music in general.
When you present your material you would want it to be at the best quality, so squashing your mix to get some imaginary "loudness" (it's not) seems counter intuitive to me.
Sure, that's always the problem: will people turn up their volume knobs or dismiss your track as sounding weak because the track they played back previously is a lot "hotter"?
Also, there are a couple more factors determining the perceived loudness of a track than just pure volume. That's why it really depends - obviously, in recorded orchestral music you'll want to avoid any clipping, but in a slamming modern hip-hop track you'll probably want to drive and clip the transients of the beat.

In games, you can pretty much define the headroom yourself - which is why you don't need to compete with Katy Perry & Co. loudness-wise. Which should be all-the-more reason to concentrate our efforts on the mix instead.
Mastering still has its place, though, especially when it comes to preparing the tracks for different platforms - if it's an iOS game, chances are high many people will hear your music through tiny iPad speakers. You'll want the music to be prepared for this, i.e. check if it still sounds good and maybe even produce a slightly different mix/master for the desktop version.

Cheers,
Moritz


#5020286 Any tips on track "Loudness"?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 11 January 2013 - 07:06 AM

Hello there,

Try to master your audio...in simple way
use multiband compressor for 4 bands (it will make more headroom for maximizing and will make frequencies of audio near perfect for standard)
use final limiter (will maximize your audio to max level)

Uh.. no, sorry, but this is bad advice. A multiband compressor is a very powerful tool for very specific tasks. When you have access to the mix you should never even want to use a multiband compressor. Why squash and distort the mix you have so carefully created? As for a limiter, you use one to limit peaks and prevent clipping, not to "maximize your audio."


???

Multiband compression is one of the standard tools during the last summing phase and the right kind of clipping is highly desirable / unavoidable if you're aiming for a comparably loud track.

The real magic's not in the master though, like many here have pointed out.
I like to think in this chain:

Arrangement -> Sound Choices / Recording -> Mixing -> Master

If your EQs look like roller coaster rides, you're either doing too much or you've already started with the wrong sounds or even something in your arrangement won't work.
E.g. If you have a track with many instruments bubbling in the lower frequency spectrum without much dynamics, you'll have a hard time getting everything loud and clear.

Cheers,
Moritz


#5019007 How do I Replace Game Sounds?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 08 January 2013 - 06:31 AM

Hello,

Hope you're feeling better, Brian!

I don't have much to add, I'd just like to give another +1 to experimenting with the audio programming side of things.
Even if your next job doesn't use the same exact tools, you'll already be acquainted with most general concepts. I constantly learn along the way while doing jobs, but it's cool to be prepared or to be able to say to potential clients, "I haven't used that middleware before, but I've tinkered with this one and that one and I'm sure I can pick it up very fast."

Great thread indeed, keep us posted. smile.png

Cheers,
Moritz


#5019005 Good sound recorder? Anyone have a Zoom H1?

Posted by Moritz P.G. Katz on 08 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

One more thing regarding accessories:

The question which windscreen you use is mostly an aesthetic one in this case. Whatever you slip over the microphone(s) will muffle the sound somehow - I've even used one of my thick socks when I was out recording and forgot my windscreen - worked out just as well. Just had one foot considerably colder than the other one. ;)

Stands and holders can be very useful, the H2 has quite a bit of handling noise due to the plastic casing, but it came with a cheapo tripod and a holder that you can put in a microphone stand - they both do their jobs.

Note that the H2n ships with neither windscreen nor stands or holders. Again, don't know about the H1. Might be worth looking into!

Edit: Stupid editor, putting HTML code everywhere...




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