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m4uesviecr

Taking One For The Team

10 posts in this topic

So I am working on a project, and as of recently, another composer was recruited. Long story short, the guy is making music of much higher quality than me. (When I say higher quality, I mean the samples and instruments sound better).

I knew before long that a problem would surface because of this, and before long, it did. I was asked, (albeit nicely), to make a different set of sounds for the game because they "required less-quality instruments". So, to avoid being all but debunked of my composer position, I agreed to use the program that the other composer was using.

The problem is... it is Magix Music Maker. It is a loop generator. And as far as I am concerned, unless I am using the loops (which I REFUSE to use), our quality isn't that far a part.

I am currently on a job that, because of the gaming system being used, I have had to use a different program to compose with. Like using Famitracker. But having to ... acquire (for lack of a better word), a different program because of conflicts between composers (and they would kindly turn down the idea of having the idea reveresed, since his music sounds much better), feels like a stab in the gut.
It is nothing against someone composing better than me. I would love to work with someone whose compositional prowess is on a higher level. It's the fact that, because of quality, I have to abandon my way of composing. To be honest, I don't think Magix is worth investing in. But if this project takes of, money WILL be invested in it.

Not to mention that the composer was able to make 10 songs in 2 days! That leaves me to believe that he is using loops. I'm not sure how any other composers feel, but I see using pre-made loops and composing music as... well... cheating. At least when it is going into a game that people plan on selling!

So, is it just me? Should I suck it up and take one for the team?

Has anyone else been in this predicament? Edited by M4uesviecr
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Food for thought: unless it's audibly obvious in the final tracks, the people playing the game won't care if the music is made from loops, recorded by a skilled musician, or painstakingly clicked into your software note-by-note - they only care that the music sounds good, is not overly distracting, and does not become annoyingly repetitive.
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[quote name='M4uesviecr' timestamp='1345048949' post='4969870']
I'm not sure how any other composers feel, but I see using pre-made loops and composing music as... well... cheating. At least when it is going into a game that people plan on selling!
[/quote]

Which begs the question of do you program all your sounds from scratch too? Does everything you do start from a blank VST and programmed up? Or do you use samples and preset sounds in your software? At what point do you draw the line between 'tool' and 'cheating'?

Putting together loops isn't that easy either; while I'm somewhat an amature I've got a fair few loops around the place and getting them to sit nicely together in a track is proven very hard for me.

Finally, as a listener who likes a wide form of music I couldn't care how it was made, as long as it sounds good. Be it a group knocking out some metal or an EBM or Aggrotech group throwing some samples and loops together.(In fact I often find the latter sonically more intresting but that's a side point).

The end result is what matters.
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I'll agree with the idea both of the other posters have had. Ultimately (especially if this is about a project that will have money made and money invested in it), it's about what the end consumer hears. The source of that material is pretty irrelevant. Waxing poetic about the core values and source material is fine for talking among other composers. But when it comes to getting enjoyable material into the ears of your consumers, the end result is what matters.

Programming has a similar "disconnect." The ideals that are taught in a classroom are rarely what is produced out in the real world because the real world is less concerned with a "perfect structure" and more concerned the end result.
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1345074240' post='4969995']
Which begs the question of do you program all your sounds from scratch too? Does everything you do start from a blank VST and programmed up? Or do you use samples and preset sounds in your software? At what point do you draw the line between 'tool' and 'cheating'?
[/quote]

I understand what you mean, but I feel as if there is a difference between someone coming up with a melody in their head and putting it on paper, in a program, etc., and someone using various parts of pre-arranged melodies, and making music. I used to do that all the time when I was a kid. I guess I was stuck in a stigma where it wasn't truly composed unless it was "made-from-scratch". Now, I understand that phrase, in itself, is subjective.

Needless to say, I want to thank you guys for your feedback and input. I can actually start focusing on what matters with a clear conscious. Edited by M4uesviecr
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[quote name='nsmadsen' timestamp='1345205474' post='4970516']
2) Make purchases when it suits YOU and your studio, not when it suits just the developer.

I'm assuming you have a contract but you've mentioned there's a chance (perhaps only a slight one) this project will not make money. It sounds like there's some risk involved with this production and that's okay. How would you feel if you purchase Magix, finish you work on this project only to find you earn nothing? Would you feel good about that purchase? Would Magix Music Maker remain a tool you reach for in the future on other products? Or would it just sit on your shelf, unused?
[/quote]

No, with a capital N-O. If I were going to have them go out of their way to buy tools for us as composers, then I would point them in an entirely new direction.

Also, I agree whole-heartedly when it comes to working with different DAWS. I would love to try Reason, Logic, Reaper... It is this program, in particular, that I have no desire to work with, whatsoever.

Thank you Brian, for all of that indepth feedback on the clauses and rules of using the loops found in Magix. That really brings to light a completely new dilemma that the team will face if they continue on in the direction that they are moving towards (which may include profit).

I will talk to them, but it is getting to the point that I may, a strong may, drop this project.

I have a very hard time just dropping something, but I feel miserable, and practically useless, and I want to be on a project were I feel as if I am an asset to the team. And I feel valued on every other project except this one.

I thank you all for your feedback! And I truly do hope that this thread will help any others who are dealing with a similar situation. Edited by M4uesviecr
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Hello,

Magix Music Maker... phew.
Not saying you won't ever be able to make good music with that tool, but really... well, everything has been said about that matter: I strongly agree with Nate's argument and Brian's concerns.

That said, Magix does have a pro line of DAWs called [url="http://www.magix.com/us/samplitude-producer/"]Samplitude[/url] - while I've never used it myself, I've met a few producers who use it as their main sequencer and are very happy with it. Maybe you could suggest using that program instead?
I mean, if they insist you use that program, countering with "Sure - but let's not toy around and actually use the company's professional software solution" seems to make sense.

Cheers,
Moritz
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