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Here are some tracks I threw together for use in the popular online game FFXI (Trademark Square-Enix, of course Copyrighted and all that). The 'stock' music is okay, however once you've played any game as long as I have played FFXI, it begins to wear on you. I suppose the style is something of a mish/mash, as the idea was to produce something that was both good as semi-standalone music and as background music. http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Kingdom.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Grassland.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Ocean Travel.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Seaport1.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Seaport2.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Battle1.mp3 http://martin.newdepartures.org/gametrax/Battle2.mp3

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Okay, now I'm getting paranoid... No one has responded at all to my demos. Either they are so horrible as to not merit comment, or perhaps not everyone has broadband in which case the files are too large to download.

Well!

I have added m3u shortcuts to allow for play-while-download playing. I hope this will help.


http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Seaport1.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Seaport2.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Kingdom.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Ocean Travel.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Grassland.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Battle1.m3u



http://www.newdepartures.org/martin/gametrax/Battle2.m3u



... And if they really are that bad, you can say so. I can take it! :)

s

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Don't despair, your work is very nice. If anything, it's that these forums aren't too busy.

Anyway, I think this stuff sounds great. I played FFXI for a good long time, and can easily picture the various environments when hearing your pieces. Very nice.

I'm curious to hear about what you used for hardware/software, if you don't mind my asking. Thanks, and again, very nice work.

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Thanks for the comments!

IMHO the battle tracks are a bit weak, but I actually was trying to write something a little more "understated" than the typical battle theme because it plays sooo often that it gets to be overpowering and annoying. If I were writing a battle theme for a different game I might have shot for a little more gusto.

The process I use is fairly straightforward. I own a PC with 1 gig of RAM, and an Audigy 2 ZS, and the music notation program "Noteworthy Composer". I use a freely available soundfont called Magic SF 2, which can be downloaded from http://www.personalcopy.com.

Basically, I load in the soundfont (weighs in at around 74 meg so that's why having a lot of RAM is a bonus for anyone into this sort of thing), enter in each piece note by note using Noteworthy, and render a .wav recording of the resulting MIDI file. I use the "Concert Hall" reverb effect by EAX which comes standard on most Creative Labs sound cards. It's cheap, easy, and effective. There are better sounding packages out there, i.e. the Garritan Personal Orchestra library, but you have to be willing to pony up $249 for that alone, plus own an AMD 64 3200+ or Intel P4 or greater with at least 1 gig of ram. I have all that stuff but I can't bring myself to spend hundreds on a sound library when I can get fairly comparable results for next to nothing.

I remind myself of the fact that one of the reasons Bach and Beethoven wrote such great music is because they had such horrible instruments to work with at the time. I tend to sniff in disdain when I listen to tracks produced with thousands of dollars worth of software and equipment that sound good but lack any creativity or thought whatsoever. If there is one person in the computer game music world that I admire it is Uematsu, because he wrote great tracks for the FF series using crappy ol' general midi. The other guys (I'm suspicious of Blizzard Entertainment...) write music that pales in thoughtfulness or complexity but have such an enormous budget to work with it sounds good anyway. I guess I'm old fashioned. I like to hear real music when I play games, not something that was produced out of a can. :)

Best,
Steve

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