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stenny

Practice - Please Comment! [NOMAED SUN INTRO REVAMPED]

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Hello there! I yesterday got to the conclusion I need to practice if I really want to become a professional composer (and as you will hear in a moment I have still a long way to go). So that's why I started composing yesterday again. Still, I'm going to need everyone here to please comment on my music, so I can become better. So, here is my first song composed in a month or two, I hope you like it. Crisis Unfolded There wasn't a real idea behind this piece. I just started composing and saw what the outcome was... Yes, I know. It's a Midi. Unfortunately I don't know how to use samples or whatsoever. I don't even have a professional sequencer. If someone would want to help me out choosing one, please do! -Stenny [Edited by - stenny on March 22, 2007 11:18:40 AM]

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This sounds like something from Final Fantasy VIII! Pretty fun and very energetic. There are definitely some good ideas in here though. Although it is likely you already know this...ya need some good sounds, mehn! Midi is very difficult to listen to for extended periods of time. There are many sequencers out there, the question is what are you looking for it to do?

Pretty fun track!

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Well yes, as I'm a huge fan of Nobuo Uematsu's you could've guessed my music's influenced by it [smile]. Any comments no how to improve composing-wise?

As for the sequencer: I haven't got a clue on what I need for kind of sequencer. More precise, I haven't got a clue on how songs proffesionaly are build, and what functions my sequencer needs. I'll contact you with a P.M. to elaborate further. After all, this topic is for 'Crisis Unfolded'.

-Stenny

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Nice work, stenny! The piece began with a definite video game music feel, but escalated into the dissonance of modern art music, which was quite refreshing.

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Good news stenny- modern sequencers use midi as the default language to trigger sounds in the form of wavs / synthesizers of your own choosing. You already have some foundation to work off of. Sequencers use whats called traditionally a matrix editor to map out midi much like you probably did in your piece. My advice to you, to start off would be to read some online cubase sx 3 tutorials and see what you are getting yourself into. If you are a pc user (which im assuming you are) and you want to move towards sequencing, I would recommend you check out cubase. It is pricey, but lets say you can probably locate a copy for learning purposes. I haven't used cubase SX 3 but it is very much the same ballpark as logic (what im using on mac).

Learning a sequencer can be a long and difficult process, especially if you have no prior experience, but don't worry, there are plenty of online resources for commercial sequencers. Enough to learn from square one. I must say that if you really want to produce music, this is probably the best step.

The truth is though, to produce good music you will need a lot more than just a sequencer. Cubase alone wont provide you with the sounds you need to write your music, it will just provide you with the means to write it. You will need to relentlessly hunt for samples that relate to the type of music you are looking to produce, it is a process that never ends for some of us. I must say also you really need to consider that good studio monitor speakers are a 100% necessity to produce music. Not at first, by any means, but in order to engineer your music properly, you MUST have them. People will disagree with me here, but i swear you will never be able to produce anything that sounds very good without proper studio speakers (and im not talking about sounds good music wise, i mean sounds good in terms of production). It really is a huge investment of time and money, but it is truely worth it if that is what you enjoy doing. Anyway, i'm rambling to some extent so i'll leave you to entertain these ideas.

-good luck

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Quote:
Nice work, stenny! The piece began with a definite video game music feel, but escalated into the dissonance of modern art music, which was quite refreshing.

Thanks, Lily! Are there any critics? It can't possibly be that good :P.

Quote:
Anyway, i'm rambling to some extent so i'll leave you to entertain these ideas.

Rambling? No. This is the best advice I've had in months. So you say getting an actual sequencer'd be the first right step? I guess I'd do that then :)

-Stenny

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Quote:
Original post by Rain 7
ya need some good sounds, mehn! Midi is very difficult to listen to for extended periods of time.


Hi Stenny,

I'm going to differ with the above comment a little bit. I've heard some General MIDI files that have blown my socks off. Granted, the sounds don't sound like real instruments, but the programming can sometimes create some pretty amazing experiences.

Aside from polishing your writing by listening to music and studying scores, there are some areas in MIDI that you can start exploring since you already have the ability to create MIDI files. Start looking into using pitch bend and CC messages. Most basic sequencers and MIDI sound sets today will allow you to control at the very least Channel Volume (cc#7) , Pan (cc#10), and Modulation (cc#1). These will allow you shape your sounds, and control their placement.

If you are interested in more control, consider using Expression (cc#10) (a secondary volume control) and even finding out how you can control Reverb (cc#91 on many sound sets). If you want to get really fancy, start looking into how to control the pitch bend range or even detune certain patches.

Granted the quality of the sounds will not be on par with professional samples, but you will learn a huge amount by trying to get "under the hood" of even the most basic sounds and draw life and color out of them. You can start to learn this by downloading General MIDI files you like and looking at how they are programmed. There aren't any secrets there. It's all in the MIDI file.

Also look into how you can layer sounds together at different volumes to create new sounds. I once emulated a particular distorted guitar effect by carefully layering GM guitar, pan pipes, and something else (can't remember what) with some creative use of CC settings. See how far you can push the sounds you have!

Above all, listen to good music. That means listen to music beyond just games for inspiration and education. The best education you will get is from studying masters of composition in many genres.

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Thank you for the tips and comments Muzo72[smile].

I am indeed learning on how to use the panning, dynamics and volume control more. I never did that (in the past), and my latest pieces have. You can hear the improvement.
And off course, I still listen to a lot of different musicstyles :)

-Stenny

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A new piece! This time it's spanish guitar music, sort of flamenco-ish. The intentention wasn't really to create a Gamesoundtrack, more of good music to listen to in your free time. I hope you like it, and, of cource, please leave comments!

Nomad Sun

Oh, and this time it's not pure Midi. I've used a feature from Guitar Pro (only available for guitar, bass and drums); a sort of samples. I hope the sound has quite improved.
I'm putting money aside for Cubase btw :)

-Stenny

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I'll attempt to provide constructive criticism for your benefit, guitar being an instrument I'm slightly familiar with. I'm listening to your music as I type, so this may or may not sound structured.

- Try to loosen up the rhythms, as the intro sounds far too straight.

- The piece takes a little long to reach the point, and the sudden chords that enter form a refreshing break, although a sudden and unexpected one.

- The inclusion of a melody at approximately 1:20 is a welcome addition.

- Good work with the catchy main chords.

- There's plenty of contrast in the piece, which is a definite bonus. However, it's also slightly repetitive at times. It would be useful if you were to add another melody or motif to differentiate the restatements, or else cut down on them.

- I despise the Guitar Pro RSE, but that's not your fault.

Rewinding back to the first point, "soulful" fingerstyle guitar is rarely repeated with identical notes. The introduction sounds much too straight and calculated to befit flamenco music. Try to experiment with note values other than crotchets and quavers, or else involve them in such a way that syncopation occurs.

With that out of the way, I have to admit that I'm not exactly a spectacular composer, so feel free to ignore any of this advice if it doesn't actually apply to you. The above represents my interpretation only, so take no offence.

I've attached a short chord progression thrown together based on yours. As much as I dislike the RSE, that was used to render the sounds. Although the riff sucks, it's designed to demonstrate the relative effectiveness of syncopation and varied rhythms over linear note values. Spanish-sounding music also involves the use of both single notes, harmonies and chords. Your piece resembles Nobuo Uematsu's Vamo'alla Flamenco a little, so you might want to listen to that.

Bm A G

Aah, how extraordinarily verbose I am today. Good work - keep it up!

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