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zingzingzip

Tunes for a shooter

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Hi folks I'm looking for some feedback on a few tunes I've written for a game I'm working on. Its a tank based space shooter game and I'm the artist and designer for it so I thought why not the music writer too. I've never written music of any type before so my knowledge of music is somewhat limited. I used Reason 3 for these and that was a first for me too. There are the usual suspects of in game music/menu music and title stuff but its all on my page if anyone fancies a listen. All tracks are Mp3's and are about a 2-5 meg and play straight off the page. All the in-game tracks are loop-able but don't loop too smoothly in your standard player. Personally I'm a bigger fan of the in-game tracks and reckon the title track might need redone but I was fairly happy with the end results, if a bit retro-ey sounding. Any comments appreciated whether musical or technical or just pure nonsense. Thanks dudes and dudettes Zingzingzip Home page [Edited by - zingzingzip on January 31, 2008 8:26:51 AM]

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Hi zingzingzip,

First of all indeed a nice start. Catchy tunes and I think it will work nicely with an arcade shooter.

I would have the suggestion to bring a bit more variety in the tempo and the in the use of your scales. It is basicly (with ofcourse minor difference) that all your tracks have more or less the same tempo and same usage of tonality. I would bring a bit more variety in it. Even with changing this a bit you will keep the songs together, but this would make it a bit more interesting for the listener.

I think some of the songs could use a bit more up tempo.

Best regards,

Jaap Visser

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Thanks for the feedback. much appreciated.

I composed these partly by ear and partly by half learned (not quite sunk in) basic theory. Thanks for the encouragement RyanG.

Thanks to Jaap1978 too. I think you are pretty much spot on with those comments. I think 90% of these are in the same scale and tempos are quite similar throughout the tracks.

Partly I could explain the similar tempos from the game developing point of view in that I actually wanted the tunes to be similarly paced for the pace of the game. I do appreciate that it limits their diversity though. The progression of the tunes also kind of suffers from the fact that I need them to be loop-able too. I wanted to avoid the tunes building to a crescendo at the end and dictating the amount of time the levels played out for. I thought that trading off a hugely contrasting progression would help keep them workable in the game context and a track looping when 75% of the way through a level should be still workable and not too jarring.

On the scales front I'll definitely be trying harder on my next ones to be less hitched to just what I've learned from doing these ones. Since it was my first time composing, the first tune (title) took me ages to finish. Being a beginner in terms of knowing scales and being familiar with chord intervals and so on I decided to play it safe and stick to the key and scale I had become familiar with in my first attempt (and def had not mastered yet). It seemed to help me just get moving and start seeing some results but I take that comment on-board completely.

If anyone manages to listen to a few of the tunes before their ears start bleeding I'd be well interested to know what ones you think are strong or weak. If anyone with music experience can give me pointers that'll be great but I'm also up for folk who aren't musicians just telling me that they like this and hate that. All feedback is useful.

Thanks again.











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Thanks zingzingzip for the great compliment :D

Well considering that this is your one of your first times composing I must say that you did a great job. This makes it a bit more logically for me as well why you choosed some paths as indeed more or less the same tempo and scales.

Digging into the music theory can go 2 sides:

I think in your case it can have quite opposite results:

1: you start to learn and you find yourself in the biggest Disneyland you have ever experienced and you learn quick and make big progress.

2: what also could happen and I have seen that with a few students of me is that this enormous area of theory will cause a block. You simply don't know what to choose and what to expect.

I have listened your music again and I think it is good to do some research, but do it bit by bit. I like your freshness and originality in your compositions as a beginner. You have to preserve that and avoid that you will loose that.

I don't know what your intensions are with the music? Do you plan to bring composition to a higher level or is a nice hobby? Do you play any instrument and what is your intension with your music in the way, do you want to compose in this style or maybe expand to more orchestra stuff as well?

Hereby I give you a few links that you can explore to check out some music theory:

http://www.musictheory.net/ - basicly a sort of online course starting from scratch, select a lesson and it's like a powerpoint presentation, just use the previous and next keys in the pages to get all the info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_theory - a nice overview with loads of follow up links

Good luck!

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Top stuff. I'll check those links out.

My intentions with this music have been to equip my game with something personal to me in every department. I'm a 3d artist by experience but am doing a bit of everything on my first indie game. Writing music has always been something I'd like to have tried although before these the most I could say I'd managed was a funky 8 bar beat on some generic Amiga trakker program.

Doing the music for this has been really good fun though. I do get a huge amount out of making something I like musically, probably moreso than in my main line of work.

As for instruments etc, I don't as much play any intruments as just have some. I'd love to say I played guitar quite well and had a good understanding of keyboards and percussion but I'd be fibbing a bit. I do play guitar, but not too great and I have a keyboard to let me input stuff to Reason in some more sensible way than just through mouse clicks. I do play a mean bongo though...

I do intend to work on more music for definite. I'd like to get better at this gig. It's much more fun than pushing polygons around. Using Reason was an eye opener to me of what could be achieved with fairly modest equipment. At the moment its a hobby but who knows what the future might bring!


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I think I noticed the tempo changes more in tracks like Boss, Challenge, level select then in the first 5 game tracks, but in all honesty I cannot exactly duplicate it from the first time, but I notice more variety in the songs after the first 5.
Overall it sounds great going and I think you should not focus too much on changing these songs, but keep the feedback in mind for songs you will make in the future. It is quite hard to change excisting songs and there is a big risk that in the end you will end up with a version that doesn't give you the satisfaction that you were looking for.

I think a tip for the next couple of songs is to make it much more extreme in the tempo. Also within in a song.

For example:

- Start high tempo, loads of percussion etc, suddenly the movement stops, long lying atmospheres where time seems to stand still and up from there you suddenly break in with another beat (heavier or less then the first, but different) and at 2/3 you bring it back to beat of the beginning.

Just to give you an example. It is big big fun to experiment with such things :D

Good good luck!

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Yeah, I appreciate that when you were speaking of tempo you were talking much more of the way tempo progresses in the music rather than general tempo changes. I knew tweaking the general timings wasn't what you were thinking of but I thought a couple needed a jab with a stick a little anyway in that department.

I made a start on getting a look at the link you posted for theory. Cool site. Hopefully it'll help me fill in the gaps in my knowledge on the subject. I'll be definitely making some use of that. thanks again.

Any more comments from other thread viewers would be still be highly appreciated. The threads getting a decent number of views and the sites getting a good amount of hits but so far only two kind gents have laid bare their thoughts on the tunes on it. The more the merrier.

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