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Rain 7

Space Shooter music...comments please.

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Hi there! I just started this piece last night and I am looking for some feedback so I can make it a bit "shinier" as it will be appearing in a commercial game. It is a mix between old school, orchestral and drum and bass. http://www.allacrost.org/staff/user/rain/SpaceShooter6.mp3 Thanks a lot Ryan Reilly

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Well, when I read "drum and bass" my face dropped but I actually really like it. To be quite honest I wouldn't say there's much drum'n'bass too it and would compare the sound to something more akin of a Final Fantasy battle tune. It has a nice military theme to it with the drums backing it up. I liked the build up too, raised the pace nicely and seemed suitably stirring for a space shooter. The only real downside was the very sudden ending.

Top stuff.

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Original post by ghosted
Well, when I read "drum and bass" my face dropped but I actually really like it. To be quite honest I wouldn't say there's much drum'n'bass too it and would compare the sound to something more akin of a Final Fantasy battle tune. It has a nice military theme to it with the drums backing it up. I liked the build up too, raised the pace nicely and seemed suitably stirring for a space shooter. The only real downside was the very sudden ending.

Top stuff.


Thanks much for the feedback Ghosted. :) Some of the drum beats and patterning played by the snares accent a particular rhythm used predominately in drum and bass... but you are right, perhaps I shouldn't sell the piece as drum and bass...thing is I really don't know what genre this piece of music falls into. :p

yea...the ending is crap. Still, this is a piece that will loop so it really isn't needed.

Thanks bro!

-Ryan






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DUDE!!! LOUD!!!! Man, I don't know what you're mixing on, headphones or monitors, but GET SOME NEW ONES. It sounds like you put the entire thing through some sort of distortion plugin.. no offense dude, but that's absolutely horrible. You GOTTA fix that. I loaded up the song in Wavelab and it looks like just one big squarewave.

The sounds and arrangement underneath sound OK but I really just can't get past the loudness issue. Please go much, much easier on your volume, tone down EVERYTHING a good 15dB or so, take off any distortion/saturation you have on, and then re-upload.

[Edited by - zircon_st on March 12, 2006 9:13:16 PM]

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Original post by zircon_st
DUDE!!! LOUD!!!! Man, I don't know what you're mixing on, headphones or monitors, but GET SOME NEW ONES. It sounds like you put the entire thing through some sort of distortion plugin.. no offense dude, but that's absolutely horrible. You GOTTA fix that. I loaded up the song in Wavelab and it looks like just one big squarewave.

The sounds and arrangement underneath sound OK but I really just can't get past the loudness issue. Please go much, much easier on your volume, tone down EVERYTHING a good 15dB or so, take off any distortion/saturation you have on, and then re-upload.


DUDE!!! ITS SUPPOSED TO BE LOUD!!!! I am using some AKG studio headphones so the problem definitely doesn't lie there...Its unfortunate that everything has to be pronounced...I wasn't getting good speaker playback at the original level so I did up the ampage. Do you think maybe some compression would benefit the piece rather than some decreases in volume? The piece needs to be pretty crazy and that is kinda what I was going for. The distortion really's not that bad is it?

Thanks a mil for the feedback. I'll keep tinkering with this. :)

Ryan

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It's pretty good... It is mixed quite hot, at 1/4 volume it is maxing out my headphones/ears...

As far as the music goes I like it quite bit, I'm assuming that it'll loop and that last bit where it cuts off won't be there... =)

Its 2:44am, so I'm sorry that I don't give this more attention, but sounding good, even if mixed very hot.

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Original post by H_o_p_s
It is mixed quite hot, at 1/4 volume it is maxing out my headphones/ears...



Holy crap are you serious? Do you think that can be attributed to guitar distortion or just the overall volume of the piece?

Thanks a bunch for listening,

Ryan



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It's definitely too loud. Distortion is good and all, but the whole piece is real hot. What you are doing is making speakers everywhere, big and small wear out just a little bit faster. There's distortion and there's clipping. You're clipping. You're sending square waves at the highest level to analogue speakers who are desperately trying to meet it, but end up distorting the signal.

The piece sounds nice, but I'm not interested in wearing my equipment down any faster than they need be.

BTW, compressing anything in the track is just going to make it more dense, so don't do that yet. Figure out what you want to be upfront and "crazy" and what is supposed to be in the background supporting it. It can sound chaotic and a little overdriven here and there, but to distort the whole thing is kind of like highlighting a whole page instead of just a few key sentences here and there.

I know I've used that analogy here before somewhere...

Anyway, I'll definitely relisten after another pass!

Tony

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Quote:
The piece needs to be pretty crazy and that is kinda what I was going for. The distortion really's not that bad is it?


Yes, it really is absolutely terrible. A friend of mine (Will Roget, a fellow composer who also frequents these forums) was equally shocked and appalled. Even heavy metal and power metal is not mixed this hot. Trust me, TONE IT DOWN.

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Original post by zircon_st
Quote:
The piece needs to be pretty crazy and that is kinda what I was going for. The distortion really's not that bad is it?


Yes, it really is absolutely terrible. A friend of mine (Will Roget, a fellow composer who also frequents these forums) was equally shocked and appalled. Even heavy metal and power metal is not mixed this hot. Trust me, TONE IT DOWN.


Shocked and appalled? Seriously...Sorry to disrupt the sensitive sensibilities of everyone's ears. :p In the future I'll try to save some ears and equipment by not sucking at mixing.

Ryan Reilly

edit: btw, your music is damn good.

[Edited by - Rain 7 on March 13, 2006 4:32:21 PM]

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Thanks.

Just to be absolutely clear, my comments only apply to the production values here. Not the composition, instrumentation, arrangement etc. Luckily it's really easy to fix, unlike problems in those other areas. Sorry if I seemed a little blunt!

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Original post by zircon_st
Thanks.

Just to be absolutely clear, my comments only apply to the production values here. Not the composition, instrumentation, arrangement etc. Luckily it's really easy to fix, unlike problems in those other areas. Sorry if I seemed a little blunt!


I like bluntness...bruises are much easier to treat than gashes. ;) Anyways, no need to apologize, I really needed some feedback and I got it...I am extremely fortunate to have received such good advice before I submitted the piece as a final draft.

I will have a few other pieces up for another project I am working on that is also due in a few days. I would greatly value your feedback on those pieces as well.

Thanks much Zircon.

Ryan



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The clipping made my ears melt. Holy hell you need to bring the volume down.

This thing has a very militaristic vibe. IMO sounds more like battle music for an RPG than space shooter music. Maybe. I guess I can see it being used in a shooter.

It sounds cool... just bring the goddamn volume down and you'll be set.

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Just for fun, heres a a few piecs I wrote a few nights ago that were written with the shooter in mind.

This is going to be a stage theme.

Tha Old School Sky Battle


and one that won't be making it into the shooter. :( (A little too old school...I didn't see the point in finishing it for now.)


Old School Space Shooter

Thanks to all who have contributed comments, I really appreciate it.

Ryan

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Quote:
Original post by Rain 7
In the future I'll try to save some ears and equipment...


One tip for mixing...

Use a reference recording to compare your mix. Find a commercial recording in the same style that you are working in. Run it through the the same workstation, board, and speakers that you are using. That way you can do an A/B comparison between your work and a professional track while you are mixing. This will give you clues as to where an appropriate peak and average level should be. NOTE: Don't touch the master fader when comparing tracks. Reference both tracks at the same volume.

The key here is to use a recording that is similar to what you want to achieve. Different styles of music often have differing level practices. Try listening to a classical symphony recording and a current radio pop hit back-to-back and you'll see what I mean.

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Quote:
Original post by Muzo72
One tip for mixing...

Use a reference recording to compare your mix.


Thanks but this is basically my usual principle for putting my mixes together. I am just inexperienced with using compression is all. Once I jump that hurdle the rest should be pretty easy.

Thanks though. :)

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Quote:
Original post by Rain 7
I am just inexperienced with using compression is all.


Ah, the ever-dangerous compressors and limiters! If you're using a compressor on your full mix just to increase loudness, be very careful. If you have to compress a lot at that stage, it's often advisable to go back and look at other elements of your mix.

Also, don't get too caught up in the "louder is better" mentality. Squashing things too much can kill the life of a track. Dynamics are interesting to the ear.

Hope this helps.

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Yea! I totally agree that loudness for its own sake is pure crap. Its becoming quite a problem with amateur music these days and its establishing a pretty crappy standard for music listeners to become accustomed to with the music. I really just lack the experience to properly and effectively utilize dynamics in engineering, but I will get better with it. Some of my orchestral stuff utilizes dynamics a bit better.

hehe, I just started using compressors and limiters and to be perfectly honest, I have had no trouble with them yet. I don't know how to use it effectively yet however.

When I think about it...I suck!

lol but I digress.



Quote:
Original post by Muzo72
Quote:
Original post by Rain 7
I am just inexperienced with using compression is all.


Ah, the ever-dangerous compressors and limiters! If you're using a compressor on your full mix just to increase loudness, be very careful. If you have to compress a lot at that stage, it's often advisable to go back and look at other elements of your mix.

Also, don't get too caught up in the "louder is better" mentality. Squashing things too much can kill the life of a track. Dynamics are interesting to the ear.

Hope this helps.

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I like the music but that distortion drives me nuts. I don't mind the volume one bit... But it sounds like my speakers are on the fritz.

I'm not bashing your work... I just think it could have been mixed better. :-)

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Original post by Manip
I like the music but that distortion drives me nuts. I don't mind the volume one bit... But it sounds like my speakers are on the fritz.

I'm not bashing your work... I just think it could have been mixed better. :-)


Thanks Manip. Yea, I know the mixing sucks. I did the best I could though! I wish I had had some more time to get a better overall mix better but as it stands I don't think it will really interfere with gameplay all that much. I think I need to start studying a bit on mastering. All the volumes were different for every one of the songs which makes programming sound effects for each individual stage THAT much harder! I learned a lot from this experience and plan on getting better.

Thanks much for the comments. :)

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I think the mixing's fine. You don't suck at all; you just need to do some editing so the distortion of the guitar synths isn't in the way. (It covers up a lot of the really good supporting instruments)

Try EQing/Filtering out the nasty ultra-high distortion on the guitars. Or may be even going back and changing settings on the distortion would be better.

Quote:
Arglebargle
This thing has a very militaristic vibe. IMO sounds more like battle music for an RPG than space shooter music. Maybe. I guess I can see it being used in a shooter.
Have you never played StarFox? ^_^

Edit: Oh yeah, and about the actual music, the chording is pretty awesome at certain parts. Like 0:26 to 0:39 - that's some great ideas there; sounds like old school video game music (back when interesting but unorthodox stuff was encouraged :P ). The overall feel totally works. How old are you/how long have you been into composition?

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Original post by Antisheep
I think the mixing's fine. You don't suck at all; you just need to do some editing so the distortion of the guitar synths isn't in the way. (It covers up a lot of the really good supporting instruments)

Try EQing/Filtering out the nasty ultra-high distortion on the guitars. Or may be even going back and changing settings on the distortion would be better.

Quote:
Arglebargle
This thing has a very militaristic vibe. IMO sounds more like battle music for an RPG than space shooter music. Maybe. I guess I can see it being used in a shooter.
Have you never played StarFox? ^_^

Edit: Oh yeah, and about the actual music, the chording is pretty awesome at certain parts. Like 0:26 to 0:39 - that's some great ideas there; sounds like old school video game music (back when interesting but unorthodox stuff was encouraged :P ). The overall feel totally works. How old are you/how long have you been into composition?


Thanks. :)

Thanks for letting me know that everything sounds okay. I think the guitars are really screwing everything up, but the more I work with them, the better I get with getting a clearer mix. During the action going on ingame, the distortion might actually provide an element of tension though from a musical standpoint perhaps it doesn't work quite so well.

Yea...I'll try to get rid of some of the hi's through the equalizer. Thanks much for the input.

Ryan

Edit: I am an old school kinda guy. :) I like big fat interesting chords highlighted by subtle melodies. Some of the older scores for video games were really quite ingenious and its a shame to consider that same style of composition isn't being favored anymore... I really enjoy attempting to re-create some of those old school vibes into many of my compositions. Anyways, I think it will really work for the space shooter! At least I hope so. I'll have no way of knowing until I actually see how the music syncs up with whats happening onscreen. I am 23 and have been composing for approximately 2 years. I do pretty much everything by ear. I haven't YET had the patience for formal training. Do you write music as well?

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Well, I do some writing, but life's been really busy for this past year (Senior year in high school) and I haven't done much at all. =P

I have about 6 self-taught years with guitar and bass guitar, and (not as well) drums and piano as well. (I play more by ear than by music for each of those; I unfortunately suck at reading music quickly)
Quote:
I really enjoy trying to re-create some of those old school vibes into many of my compositions.

Well...you succeed. ^_^ I'm jealous. You never said what instrumental experience you had. Do you have any?

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yea...high school doesn't leave a lot of time for hobbies...college is a bit more flexible! :)

I have about 3 years on the piano although I admit I do a bit too much dicking around when I should be practicing. Its just that when I sit down, I would rather write music than read music...I think thats my biggest problem at the moment.

If you ever happen to get any music written be sure to let me know. I'd like to check it out. :)

Ryan


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