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Moritz P.G. Katz

Member Since 06 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 14 2015 04:29 AM

#4908681 Listen to your song with a fresh perspective?

Posted by on 02 February 2012 - 05:28 AM


Good question.

There's lots of things you can do!
  • Like Jonny suggested, listen to it in different environments and at different daytimes. This includes listening to your song really loud and really quiet. A general rule of thumb is that you should be able to spot every element in your mix even at the lowest audible volume.
  • Especially with media music: have your music running to different images. You'll discover new things about your track and get fresh ideas that way.
  • Reduce your track. The most common mistake when starting out with music production is doing too much. E.g. just have the percussion tracks running. Do they leave enough place for the rest of the music or is it already too much?
  • Listen to your track in Mono! Not just because of compatibility, but also to factor out panorama from the complex hearing experience. A good track will sound good in Mono, too.
  • Make notes on paper while listening to your track. Not in Word or Notepad, but with a real pen on real paper. This might sound a bit silly, but putting your goals with this track down like this will make you want to achieve them.
  • This isn't really a trick, but don't forget to give your ears a rest. I like to leave my computer for at least once every two hours, maybe go downstairs, take a stroll around the block. No computer screen, no cat videos on YouTube, no other music, just fresh air and imagining how you'd like to continue with the track.


#4908337 F, G, A flat, B, E - help :)

Posted by on 01 February 2012 - 05:31 AM


Scales are always a matter of context.

If you have any score or (even better) sound examples of the piece you're working on, it'd be easier to help out - and a lot more informative than a software arbitrarily spitting out a heap of scales.

At a first glance, this looks like a melody over a dominant chord - it might be more comprehensible if you look at the notes as tensions in that case.


G7(b9/13) - quite the usual chord in Jazz!

F: minor seventh (7)
G: root note (1)
Ab: flat ninth (b9)
B: major third (3)
E: major thirteenth (13)

A scale often used with this chord is Half-Tone-Whole-Tone (HTWT), which incidentally shows up on the scale finder, though with the wrong root note.

G - Ab - Bb - B - C# - D - E - F

which is

1 - b9 - #9 - 3 - #11 - 5 - 13 - 7

Good thing about this scale is that there is no avoid note!

Just a wild guess though! You'll have to look where these notes lead next (in this case probably a C major chord) - hence context!


#4907988 Decisions - DAW/Controller

Posted by on 31 January 2012 - 08:10 AM


I have hit a snag - basically i have chosen FL Studios as my DAW of choice as i have tried a few (not all, just the ones in my budget Posted Image) and feel the most comfortable in that DAW. My first question is that - am i making a mistake by choosing FL Studios for game composing? (Havnt purchased yet) - because i have looked through various job sites for companies etc and they all state Pro Tools, Logic etc etc. Is FL Studios still a DAW for game composing or best if i move away now and use another one? Reason why i like FL Studios is all the plugins it has, alot of different things you can play around with - what other DAW would be the closest in terms of i guess "third" party plugins and amount of addons you can play around with?

This seems to come up a lot.
You're talking about jobs, what are your ambitions? Most teams aren't concerned with what tools you use. Major well-funded companies might be if you're working in a big audio team, but that shouldn't be your concern if you're just starting out.

I have chosen a few different midi controllers and wanted to look at the MPK49 - but its not fully compatible with FL Studios (due to the presets it dosnt have) and you have to link alot of the effects and other things to it - is there another keyboard that others recommend? How is the QX49, or even the Oxygen 49? Are they compatible with most (especially FL Studios)?

I've never really used FL Studio, but every MIDI controller sends the same data, so they're all compatible with any DAW once you've set them up the way you want them to work. Some have extra features like Novation's Automap, but basically any controller that feels okay will do.
I use an old E-MU Xboard 49 mostly, plus an AKAI APC40 for controlling my DAW (Ableton Live) - if my Xboard broke, I'd probably take a look at the AKAI products for a keyboard too. They're pretty sturdy for the price and I guess the pads are a nice addition.


#4906887 What software and hardware should I get on a tight budget?

Posted by on 27 January 2012 - 05:35 PM

I'm not a pro and only doing music stuff for fun. But I would advise against monitor speakers if the OP doesn't have a proper mixing room. IMO the money would be better spent on a pair of good studio headphones in that case.

Good that you mention that - and setting up some basic acoustic acoustic treatment is neither costly nor time-consuming.
I bought some basotect scraps on eBay, some plywood panels and cheap cloth and made two pairs of DIY absorbers that do a pretty good job - the whole thing cost about 50 bucks and an afternoon including fetching the material.

#4906880 What software and hardware should I get on a tight budget?

Posted by on 27 January 2012 - 04:55 PM

2) Monitors - I'm personally not 100% convinced that you need to go overboard on these. I use fairly cheap Edirol MA-7As, and my stuff seems to sound OK!

Have you ever mixed on really good speakers? You'll be surprised at the difference.
To be frank, I honestly don't know how you can work with the Edirols effectively, must be a lot of guesswork under 150 Hz. I am absolutely conviced that it's impossible to mix any real "oomph" and depth so it still sounds like "oomph" on the player's sound system without a proper monitoring situation. No offense!

I would say, on a tight budget, start with the most basic versions of the four things above. As you save up, sell them off and buy bigger shinier ones.

I'll have to disagree with this too. You'll end up spending a lot more money that way. Better take your time to save up and then purchase something you won't have to sell at a loss and which will really push your producing environment to a new level, like Nathan suggested.

#4906831 What software and hardware should I get on a tight budget?

Posted by on 27 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

One other note: In my own experience I've had to buy things over a long period of time. There's nothing wrong with that approach - few of us have thousands of dollars to spend on only studio stuff. I realize you're on a tight budget so it might be best to focus on what your next piece of gear or software could really take your studio to the next level. Save up then purchase that piece. Do more work - save more cash then get the next item.


Best investment are some good monitor speakers, in my opinion. It's super important you hear the music you create properly.

#4903841 Starting your career as a composer-sound designer (FAQ and answers)

Posted by on 17 January 2012 - 06:13 PM

Feeling like digging up graves, Nate? ;)

I'm sure metosummoner7 isn't the only one asking himself this, though, so it's vaild to answer that question. I'm using SoundCloud too, you can organize your tracks in sets and you get a good feedback on how many people have listened to your music, plus they can leave comments and share the music easily.


#4902361 java bpm detect code for android

Posted by on 13 January 2012 - 09:08 AM

Calculate the accurate wave audio file BPM detect. Write calculation into code.

Really though, do you really expect an answer to this? Was that even a question? If yes, I have no clue what you were asking for.

#4900138 Studio Recorded - But Not Studio Sounded

Posted by on 05 January 2012 - 04:23 PM


First and foremost you'll have to work on your singing technique. I would recommend taking some singing lessons, preferably with a teacher who's a native English speaker if this is your language of choice. You will not be able to make a bad recording sound brilliant just by mixing.

Sorry to sound harsh, but I fear not even Autotune will help make your recording sound good because your timing/phrasing is off.

Singing into a microphone takes a lot of practice, so can you record your vocals yourself?
Mic's and interfaces with pre-amps are pretty cheap nowadays, with as little as 200-300 bucks you could have your own little vocal studio if you own a computer. This money will pay off quickly as you will gain more experience and won't have to pay studio owners to record your vocals. (which can be pretty pricey)
Also, you should at least buy a decent pair of closed headphones, mixing well on little multimedia or - god forbid - laptop speakers is nearly impossible.

As for mixing vocals, read up on using compressors and EQ and try to fit the vocals into the instrumental mix - later you can add a touch of reverb as well.
This topic is huge, though - if you have any specific questions or encounter problems, ask away.


#4892505 Software synth?

Posted by on 10 December 2011 - 07:26 AM


Geddy Lee, Rush's keyboard guy is known for using an Oberheim OB-X during the 80's, starting with their Album 'Signals'.

Can't think of any free softsynths that emulate this particular instrument, but there are a lot of free VSTis for Windows that emulate the same synthesizing principle (Polyphonic Analog Subtractive).

To list the ones I've tested (I switched to Mac a few years ago, so I don't know that many):

TAL-Noisemaker: Solid workhorse, clean interface, does just what it's supposed to do.

Superwave P8: Some more waveform options, good for detuned leads.

Oatmeal: My brother programmed this one a while back (no joke): it hasn't got the cleanest GUI, although that can be quickly fixed by downloading a different skin. Apart from that, this machine is great, it has a built-in arpeggiator, great filters, nice chorus algorithms and a randomize settings button that also gives patches random names like "Amazing Mechagod", "Dismembered by the Fly" or "Buddha vs. Murdertree". Do check this one out.


#4891268 licensed vs original music

Posted by on 06 December 2011 - 05:49 PM

The previous game I made, I paid a composer $70 to make the soundtrack (7-9 songs, iirc). I got a really good deal because he was offering his services cheap and he was surprisingly good. Really good. I ended up paying him more than he asked, ending up giving him about $120 or $150. But, I wouldn't pay more than $15-20 for anything 3 1/2 minutes or less.

While it's nice of you to pay more and it may be true that you can make a lucky catch finding someone building his/her portfolio who's willing to work for cheap - I don't need a calculator to know that no one who's actually trying to make a living producing music will work for that price. It takes some hours to make a track (how many, depends on a few factors including genre and if instruments need to be recorded), and hardware/software/studio rooms aren't free either. You might take that into consideration when you're thinking of a fair rate for a professional composer.
Of course, there's nothing wrong working with hobbyist musicians and paying them only a small fee.

Another thing is, if you work with a composer and have gotten good results, establish a relationship with that composer by continuing to go to him first when you need something. It'll benefit him and benefit you, as he'll work harder to please you, and you'll give him more business by offering him the option of first refusal, plus, as you build up a relationship, you're more likely to recommend the composer to others as well, giving free advertising by word-of-mouth.

This is a good point - and a good reason to chose someone who's going to stick with doing music full-time, if you have the budget.

#4891245 licensed vs original music

Posted by on 06 December 2011 - 04:51 PM

Hey there,
Looks like a neat game you're working on!

I agree with DarklyDreaming, go for original music.
Depending on what you need, a few hundred pounds could be enough to get you some nice professional custom tunes.


(Psssst... I offer discounts to start-ups. Check out the reel on my website and shoot me a mail or PM if you're interested.)

#4886659 Looking for beginner-level criticism

Posted by on 22 November 2011 - 02:28 PM

The easiest way to start IMO is to start only with "white" notes. Then when you have more feeling you should use also black one.
And you should start with another genre than orchestral music, which is really hard to begin with. Try something more electronical.
And the main thing is to keep trying and learning. Just everytime you end your track think about what you have learned today.

I agree - although it's even easier to start with only black notes! (pentatonics)
Irving Berlin and Stevie Wonder would agree.

Your loop sounds pretty chaotic. You've got a good grip of rhythm, but everything else sounds rather random.
Keep it simple at first, you can move on to the complicated stuff later.

Let me also add that producing Electronic tracks could be simpler to create for another reason: it's much easier to get good sounding results as good orchestral samples are quite expensive and RAM hungry.

If you really want to start with orchestral music, I suggest taking some piano lessons with a good teacher who can tell you a thing or two about music theory too.


#4865858 Attacking Sound?

Posted by on 25 September 2011 - 03:12 PM


Seriously though, could you please be more specific? Was that even a question?

#4854835 Sound help please

Posted by on 28 August 2011 - 03:53 PM


Sorry I couldn't help you then!

Really a shame Plogue hasn't included the YM2612 in their chipsounds VST yet. May still be worth a look if you don't know it yet, they've got a trial version: http://www.plogue.com
I tested it a few weeks ago and was amazed by the sounds it offers, the only reason I didn't immediately buy was that it would distract me from my current scoring work - sooner or later I'll have to give in to the retro goodness, though.