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Xetahex

Am I Ready?

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I've been playing piano (and working with synthesizers) for 2 years now, which for piano may not seem like much but I've learned quite a bit. I've been composing for around a year just for my own entertainment, and the stuff I've been making I've been told sounds a lot like game music by the people I showed it to. So I thought that's cool, maybe I should try some game composing. I just...don't know if I'm ready yet. I would like to work on someone's project to make their soundtrack, but I don't want to waste their time or my time if I'm just not good enough. What's a good way to get started in my situation? I have some samples of my music here: http://www.purevolume.com/xetahex I work well with Reason and my hardware synthesizers, though my worry is I just don't have enough musical experience to do what I want. Please give me any advice that you can. Thank you.

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I think you could work in some projects already(I'm still a beginner programmer, so I can´t quite help you yet).

I think that "Drain" should start with a crescendo.

You should also try to focus on different music styles, what about some drum n' bass?(Your musics sure need some bass souds, they are quite high)

Just my opinion(I also play music, but I completly suck at composing).

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Are you ready to write music for video games? Well, I can't say yes or no because I don't know much of your work.

I listened to Drain, and thought some of the ideas were good. Much of your music seems to be pattern or loop based. While this isn't a problem it can create music that is rather repetitive. This style can work well in certain video games, but not very well in others. What I'd tried to do with Drain is look for ways to give the song more variety. You're on the right track, but now you need to go through the sections and see what can be put in, changed or taken out to give the song more depth. This is nitpicking stuff, but it will help give your material a more mature sound and make listening to your works more enjoyable.

I like Sleep quite a bit. Very nice mixture of different patterns and ideas. Again, as with Drain, this piece has one idea and sticks to it. Try and vary things up. Pop in a "B" section that is either:

1) In a different key
2) contrasting style
3) change of rhythm
4) or any mixture of the above

Simple is nice because it has some changes from fast motion to a slower motion, but again it is basically one idea repeated. I'm also noticing much of your music lacks a really definable melody. This can work for some pieces, but you never want your entire catalog to have no "sing-able" melody. I can remember your music, but I'm also a professional musician. The average Joe on the street might have a hard time remembering your theme because it is so active and jumps around quite a bit. The same guy could probably sing or hum the theme to Mario Bros, Sesame Street or the Simpons. Why, because the themes are easily recognizable and easier to understand. To make truly memorable music for any media, it has to be music that is remembered.

I think perhaps the most important characteristic a composer can have (besides talent) is versatility. If you can write in all kinds of musical styles, then you'll be more marketable. You also don't want your music to be predictable all of the time. Some predictability is good; it lets the listener understand the piece. (This is why Serial music never caught on for a long time. People couldn't understand it, so they moved on to something they could.)

I'd vary your style and see what other kinds of music you can create. Also, your sounds are okay but I'd try and upgrade your samples when your budget allows. I recommend East West samples, but they are expensive.

I think you're ready for projects that need this style of music. I think you have plenty of room to grow and learn, but we all do. Music is a life long journey.

I hope that helps!

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Original post by nsmadsen
Are you ready to write music for video games? Well, I can't say yes or no because I don't know much of your work.

I listened to Drain, and thought some of the ideas were good. Much of your music seems to be pattern or loop based. While this isn't a problem it can create music that is rather repetitive. This style can work well in certain video games, but not very well in others. What I'd tried to do with Drain is look for ways to give the song more variety. You're on the right track, but now you need to go through the sections and see what can be put in, changed or taken out to give the song more depth. This is nitpicking stuff, but it will help give your material a more mature sound and make listening to your works more enjoyable.

I like Sleep quite a bit. Very nice mixture of different patterns and ideas. Again, as with Drain, this piece has one idea and sticks to it. Try and vary things up. Pop in a "B" section that is either:

1) In a different key
2) contrasting style
3) change of rhythm
4) or any mixture of the above

Simple is nice because it has some changes from fast motion to a slower motion, but again it is basically one idea repeated. I'm also noticing much of your music lacks a really definable melody. This can work for some pieces, but you never want your entire catalog to have no "sing-able" melody. I can remember your music, but I'm also a professional musician. The average Joe on the street might have a hard time remembering your theme because it is so active and jumps around quite a bit. The same guy could probably sing or hum the theme to Mario Bros, Sesame Street or the Simpons. Why, because the themes are easily recognizable and easier to understand. To make truly memorable music for any media, it has to be music that is remembered.

I think perhaps the most important characteristic a composer can have (besides talent) is versatility. If you can write in all kinds of musical styles, then you'll be more marketable. You also don't want your music to be predictable all of the time. Some predictability is good; it lets the listener understand the piece. (This is why Serial music never caught on for a long time. People couldn't understand it, so they moved on to something they could.)

I'd vary your style and see what other kinds of music you can create. Also, your sounds are okay but I'd try and upgrade your samples when your budget allows. I recommend East West samples, but they are expensive.

I think you're ready for projects that need this style of music. I think you have plenty of room to grow and learn, but we all do. Music is a life long journey.

I hope that helps!


Thanks for the advice. I understand what you're saying about my music needing more variation. One of the struggles I've had is in that area. I can make a good say 30 seconds of music, I can add minor changes though whenever I try to transition to something else I don't like the sound of the transition and usually end up abandoning the song. As for the style, I could probably work on some different styles, though for the stuff on my PureVolume page it's all drawing influence from dance music. (Trance, House, Techno, etc) I think I'd be able to handle if a game designer told me specifically what the feel of the song should be and then I could work with that on the style. Again, thanks! I think I'm gonna put a listing on the Help Wanted forum.

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Original post by Xetahex
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Original post by nsmadsen
Are you ready to write music for video games? Well, I can't say yes or no because I don't know much of your work.

I listened to Drain, and thought some of the ideas were good. Much of your music seems to be pattern or loop based. While this isn't a problem it can create music that is rather repetitive. This style can work well in certain video games, but not very well in others. What I'd tried to do with Drain is look for ways to give the song more variety. You're on the right track, but now you need to go through the sections and see what can be put in, changed or taken out to give the song more depth. This is nitpicking stuff, but it will help give your material a more mature sound and make listening to your works more enjoyable.

I like Sleep quite a bit. Very nice mixture of different patterns and ideas. Again, as with Drain, this piece has one idea and sticks to it. Try and vary things up. Pop in a "B" section that is either:

1) In a different key
2) contrasting style
3) change of rhythm
4) or any mixture of the above

Simple is nice because it has some changes from fast motion to a slower motion, but again it is basically one idea repeated. I'm also noticing much of your music lacks a really definable melody. This can work for some pieces, but you never want your entire catalog to have no "sing-able" melody. I can remember your music, but I'm also a professional musician. The average Joe on the street might have a hard time remembering your theme because it is so active and jumps around quite a bit. The same guy could probably sing or hum the theme to Mario Bros, Sesame Street or the Simpons. Why, because the themes are easily recognizable and easier to understand. To make truly memorable music for any media, it has to be music that is remembered.

I think perhaps the most important characteristic a composer can have (besides talent) is versatility. If you can write in all kinds of musical styles, then you'll be more marketable. You also don't want your music to be predictable all of the time. Some predictability is good; it lets the listener understand the piece. (This is why Serial music never caught on for a long time. People couldn't understand it, so they moved on to something they could.)

I'd vary your style and see what other kinds of music you can create. Also, your sounds are okay but I'd try and upgrade your samples when your budget allows. I recommend East West samples, but they are expensive.

I think you're ready for projects that need this style of music. I think you have plenty of room to grow and learn, but we all do. Music is a life long journey.

I hope that helps!


Thanks for the advice. I understand what you're saying about my music needing more variation. One of the struggles I've had is in that area. I can make a good say 30 seconds of music, I can add minor changes though whenever I try to transition to something else I don't like the sound of the transition and usually end up abandoning the song. As for the style, I could probably work on some different styles, though for the stuff on my PureVolume page it's all drawing influence from dance music. (Trance, House, Techno, etc) I think I'd be able to handle if a game designer told me specifically what the feel of the song should be and then I could work with that on the style. Again, thanks! I think I'm gonna put a listing on the Help Wanted forum.


I had much the same problem when I began writing music. Just don't stress out about it too much, and just do your thing. Keep writing and discover new ways to dress that 30 second piece, over and over and over. It will help you develop your chops in one way.

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Xetahex, I listened to "Drain" and while I have to agree that it was somewhat repetitive, I didn't find that to be a negative point. The riff you used is one of those types that the listener can easily become used to and not feel annoyed by its repetition. Also, there were contrasting sections which ranged from loud and soft, which definitely helped. My first impression was of a modern chiptune, in part due to the pleasant-sounding synths and the monophonic riff. As always, Nathan offers excellent advice. Since I'm not an electronic musician myself and thus can't accurately criticize the piece, it sounds fine to me.

"Sleep" was frankly awesome. It would fit into a video game perfectly and again had that "modern chiptune" feel. Overall, I'd say you're more than ready. However, the real question is whether you'll be able to fit a suitable project. Remember that everyone has different tastes in music, so if you don't manage to secure a spot in a team, it's not necessarily because you suck (and I mean that as a general word of warning, not specifically directed at you, Xetahex). People will decide whether to recruit you upon hearing your work, anyway, so don't worry. It's not as though teams randomly select composers without weighing up their potential first.

Go for it, Xetahex!

(...Oh, and "Simple" makes for great listening also.)

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Original post by Sean R Beeson
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Original post by Xetahex
Quote:
Original post by nsmadsen
Are you ready to write music for video games? Well, I can't say yes or no because I don't know much of your work.

I listened to Drain, and thought some of the ideas were good. Much of your music seems to be pattern or loop based. While this isn't a problem it can create music that is rather repetitive. This style can work well in certain video games, but not very well in others. What I'd tried to do with Drain is look for ways to give the song more variety. You're on the right track, but now you need to go through the sections and see what can be put in, changed or taken out to give the song more depth. This is nitpicking stuff, but it will help give your material a more mature sound and make listening to your works more enjoyable.

I like Sleep quite a bit. Very nice mixture of different patterns and ideas. Again, as with Drain, this piece has one idea and sticks to it. Try and vary things up. Pop in a "B" section that is either:

1) In a different key
2) contrasting style
3) change of rhythm
4) or any mixture of the above

Simple is nice because it has some changes from fast motion to a slower motion, but again it is basically one idea repeated. I'm also noticing much of your music lacks a really definable melody. This can work for some pieces, but you never want your entire catalog to have no "sing-able" melody. I can remember your music, but I'm also a professional musician. The average Joe on the street might have a hard time remembering your theme because it is so active and jumps around quite a bit. The same guy could probably sing or hum the theme to Mario Bros, Sesame Street or the Simpons. Why, because the themes are easily recognizable and easier to understand. To make truly memorable music for any media, it has to be music that is remembered.

I think perhaps the most important characteristic a composer can have (besides talent) is versatility. If you can write in all kinds of musical styles, then you'll be more marketable. You also don't want your music to be predictable all of the time. Some predictability is good; it lets the listener understand the piece. (This is why Serial music never caught on for a long time. People couldn't understand it, so they moved on to something they could.)

I'd vary your style and see what other kinds of music you can create. Also, your sounds are okay but I'd try and upgrade your samples when your budget allows. I recommend East West samples, but they are expensive.

I think you're ready for projects that need this style of music. I think you have plenty of room to grow and learn, but we all do. Music is a life long journey.

I hope that helps!


Thanks for the advice. I understand what you're saying about my music needing more variation. One of the struggles I've had is in that area. I can make a good say 30 seconds of music, I can add minor changes though whenever I try to transition to something else I don't like the sound of the transition and usually end up abandoning the song. As for the style, I could probably work on some different styles, though for the stuff on my PureVolume page it's all drawing influence from dance music. (Trance, House, Techno, etc) I think I'd be able to handle if a game designer told me specifically what the feel of the song should be and then I could work with that on the style. Again, thanks! I think I'm gonna put a listing on the Help Wanted forum.


I had much the same problem when I began writing music. Just don't stress out about it too much, and just do your thing. Keep writing and discover new ways to dress that 30 second piece, over and over and over. It will help you develop your chops in one way.


I've been practicing an insane amount lately. I've got two weeks of spring break here and I've been pretty much playing non-stop everyday. Though it's always either I can get past the loop and advance it about 10% of the time or I abandon it. It's a system that's kinda worked though I just wish I had a higher success rate than that.

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Original post by Lily
Xetahex, I listened to "Drain" and while I have to agree that it was somewhat repetitive, I didn't find that to be a negative point. The riff you used is one of those types that the listener can easily become used to and not feel annoyed by its repetition. Also, there were contrasting sections which ranged from loud and soft, which definitely helped. My first impression was of a modern chiptune, in part due to the pleasant-sounding synths and the monophonic riff. As always, Nathan offers excellent advice. Since I'm not an electronic musician myself and thus can't accurately criticize the piece, it sounds fine to me.

"Sleep" was frankly awesome. It would fit into a video game perfectly and again had that "modern chiptune" feel. Overall, I'd say you're more than ready. However, the real question is whether you'll be able to fit a suitable project. Remember that everyone has different tastes in music, so if you don't manage to secure a spot in a team, it's not necessarily because you suck (and I mean that as a general word of warning, not specifically directed at you, Xetahex). People will decide whether to recruit you upon hearing your work, anyway, so don't worry. It's not as though teams randomly select composers without weighing up their potential first.

Go for it, Xetahex!

(...Oh, and "Simple" makes for great listening also.)


Wow....thanks. :) I do try my best to make my loops last just the right amount of time. Because I have to listen to the thing hundreds of times as I'm composing it, so I'd know when it's too much before anyone else. I take songs like Daft Punk's "Around the World" as an example. Then again, Daft Punk is one of the reasons I wanted to become a musician.

I'm getting a couple opportunities to look at positions right now and I hope I get one. :) Thanks again for all the nice advice.

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I agree with what the others have said. I'm not a professional piano player, but have played for 7-8 years. Some things I recommend:

Drain: pretty repetive. It has a nice motif, but I would recommend some variation in the basic melody (it likes to stay around two tunes a lot). Since this is for a game, it is pretty good. Something based on this with some theme & variation would work quite well.

Sleep: Perfect! I could definitely see this in a game. This would work well (especially the first third) in a cave or dungeon setting (I wouldn't mind listening to it in an RTS either). It definitely has a hint of mystery. My friend over here agrees also. This would also be a good base for future works.

Simple: I don't have much to say. There are some melodies in the middle to end that just end without some sort of, well, ending. There are some melodies in here that could work well as a base for other things good to come.

Oblivion (incomplete): You have something going here. As with all things in progress, it will need work, so some suggestions:

In the beginning, where you have repeated notes on one tune, and then another, you should have another sound/instrument playing a note to hold it together.

You do have a couple of good melodies here (in Oblivion). It should definitly find its place.

Some general suggestions: As with all things, composing takes practice. It might not seem so for some people, but that's cause they've played an instrument for quite a while (improvising is definetely a form of composition). It would also be a good idea to be open to different forms of music, from jazz, to blues, rock, and even Classical and Eastern melodies. They will all find their place.

You have been playing piano for 2 years. This is definetely a good instrument to work with. I too have a synthesizer (in fact it's in the keyboard), though you might have been working with computer synthesizer (I have not; I really should).

And as you have probably been doing, play around with different sounds and instruments. Try different combinations. See what's good for marching, mysteries, and the like.

And the best experience of all: making someone's soundtrack. I say you should definetely go ahead. I haven't (I'm actually more of a programmer; I too have some good tunes in my head) yet entered into any projects. Mabye I'll join a summer freeware project, but I'm a little busy right now. Out of all the ones I listened to, I would say that Sleep was the best.

Well, I have to sign off by now, and my advice may be a little late but: go for it!

Also: have you used any chords? And some good reading would be (if you haven't already) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition. I have read these myself, and I consider them both quite good.

Like I said, I have to go now! Bye!

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Original post by Republicanist
I agree with what the others have said. I'm not a professional piano player, but have played for 7-8 years. Some things I recommend:

Drain: pretty repetive. It has a nice motif, but I would recommend some variation in the basic melody (it likes to stay around two tunes a lot). Since this is for a game, it is pretty good. Something based on this with some theme & variation would work quite well.

Sleep: Perfect! I could definitely see this in a game. This would work well (especially the first third) in a cave or dungeon setting (I wouldn't mind listening to it in an RTS either). It definitely has a hint of mystery. My friend over here agrees also. This would also be a good base for future works.

Simple: I don't have much to say. There are some melodies in the middle to end that just end without some sort of, well, ending. There are some melodies in here that could work well as a base for other things good to come.

Oblivion (incomplete): You have something going here. As with all things in progress, it will need work, so some suggestions:

In the beginning, where you have repeated notes on one tune, and then another, you should have another sound/instrument playing a note to hold it together.

You do have a couple of good melodies here (in Oblivion). It should definitly find its place.

Some general suggestions: As with all things, composing takes practice. It might not seem so for some people, but that's cause they've played an instrument for quite a while (improvising is definetely a form of composition). It would also be a good idea to be open to different forms of music, from jazz, to blues, rock, and even Classical and Eastern melodies. They will all find their place.

You have been playing piano for 2 years. This is definetely a good instrument to work with. I too have a synthesizer (in fact it's in the keyboard), though you might have been working with computer synthesizer (I have not; I really should).

And as you have probably been doing, play around with different sounds and instruments. Try different combinations. See what's good for marching, mysteries, and the like.

And the best experience of all: making someone's soundtrack. I say you should definetely go ahead. I haven't (I'm actually more of a programmer; I too have some good tunes in my head) yet entered into any projects. Mabye I'll join a summer freeware project, but I'm a little busy right now. Out of all the ones I listened to, I would say that Sleep was the best.

Well, I have to sign off by now, and my advice may be a little late but: go for it!

Also: have you used any chords? And some good reading would be (if you haven't already) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition. I have read these myself, and I consider them both quite good.

Like I said, I have to go now! Bye!


Thanks for more great advice!

I guess Sleep must be a pretty good track because everyone I've shown it to seems to like it. I guess I'll have to try repeating the method I used to create that one: pre-planning what I was doing. (For every other track I just "let it happen")

I also know Simple isn't my greatest track, but it was the first one I ever composed in like June of last year. The bass track in there in the chorus part is just plain awful in my opinion, and I've been planning on fixing the track since I know how to work the sequencer on that particular synth a bit better.

For Oblivion I already have it finished, and while I like your advice, a lot of it doesn't apply for the style of music I wanted it to be (a sort of Trance/Ambient mix). Thanks for it though. I'm probably going to be changing some things in the track. Likely adding in a synth pad and a subbass.

BTW my equipment: Propellerhead Reason 3.0, Yamaha MO8 Workstation, KORG MicroKORG Synthesizer/Vocoder and a KORG D1200 MKII Recording Studio.

Drain and Oblivion were made in Reason, Sleep and Simple were made using MO8 sounds.

As for your suggestions on those books. I have the Music Composition book and I don't really find it helpful simply because it's written in a way that I guess I just can't process and actually use the information, because whenever I try to read it I just get frustrated with it. It is a nice book though.

Anyway though, thanks for all the advice.

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