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xiaoan

Li Xiao'an - Online Portfolio

10 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, I am a composer of music, both sequenced and played live, in a wide range of styles and group sizes.

I have recently turned my attention to the possibility of writing music for video games, and have prepared a small online portfolio.

[url="http://soundcloud.com/lixiaoan/sets/video-game-music-1/"]http://soundcloud.co...o-game-music-1/[/url]

I would appreciate your feedback and criticism greatly; and if my music is of interest to you and you think we may possibly collaborate in the future, please don't hesitate to send me a message. In any event, I hope you enjoy listening to it!

(More than 50% of the tracks are suitable for looping)

Xiao'an Edited by xiaoan
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Your Boss Battle cue reminded me of many of the Final Fantasy cues - well done! I felt the choir was a bit oddly placed in the mix but the rest of the arrangement was pretty good. The low end could be brought up some but the musical aspects of the piece were solid. I enjoyed listening to it... made me want to kill a big, bad guy! What were you using for the choir?

Exploring the Plains was also nice - reminded me of Chrono Cross. I do feel like you could experiment more with the note velocities in the harp as well as play around with tempos and note placement so it's not so.... perfect all of the time. Humans don't play that perfectly so when writing with acoustic instrumentations I strive to make it as organic as possible. The term I usually use is humanistic.

Thanks for sharing!

Nate
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Thanks for the feedback! Yeah I actually had the harp notes played in manually but I had to hard quantize it as the timing was terrible, haha! Regarding the velocities, I was trying but it seems that cineharp in its upper registers gets pretty harsh. Do you have any tips for that?

The choir was VOXOS - it's my first time putting a choir in a spotlight position so i'm not sure quite how to mix it realistically. I gave them loads of early hall reflections and a unified tail for everyone. Any tips on how I could have sat it in the mix better?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd2g_686-JI
Finished version of boss theme

Also, the final fantasy observation is an astute one because the temp track that was given was from final fantasy, haha! Here's a video with the final version of the music. I left out quite a bit of rhythmic activity that I might have originally written for percussion and other instruments to make way for this awesome electronic work by my friend Falk, who's narrating the video. Edited by xiaoan
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Incredible Choir. If you had not mentioned Voxos, I would have thought it was a recording.

Do you mind sharing the names of the other libraries you are using?
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Sure thing! The libraries I used are:

Strings - LASS 2.0 Full Divisis
Brass - Cinebrass Core/Pro
Cineharp
EW Symphonic Orchestra Platinum (Piano, Chimes, Percussion)
Voxos

I hope I didn't leave anything out, haha.

Bricasti M7 impulses for early reflections and tail reverb from www.samplicity.com
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Thank you!

I'm actually surprised you get that string sound with lass.
I always thought they sounded different, since It is regarded with a relatively harsh sound in some other topics.
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[quote]
The choir was VOXOS - it's my first time putting a choir in a spotlight position so i'm not sure quite how to mix it realistically. I gave them loads of early hall reflections and a unified tail for everyone. Any tips on how I could have sat it in the mix better?
[/quote]

These are just my observations so please take them with a grain of salt but I felt that the choir ensemble could be a bit softer in the mix. I'd keep the soloist parts where they are since they're featured. The other element that is striking my ears oddly is how the orchestra is heard as a unified ensemble, overall, but the choir's individual sections are very distinct. So it sounds almost like the choir is miked very close and the orchestra is miked via the hall. Does that make sense? I haven't used Voxos so I don't know much about it's set up but all of the choir programs I use have various microphone settings. This could be something to tweak, I'm not suggesting huge changes but minor tweaks.

[quote]Regarding the velocities, I was trying but it seems that cineharp in its upper registers gets pretty harsh. Do you have any tips for that?[/quote]

Were you applying any kind of EQ to those higher freqs? Are you saying that the lower notes were not speaking out clearly enough but the higher notes were piercing through too much? Edited by nsmadsen
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Hi Nate, sorry for the late reply. I was in Germany for a film and video game music conference and for some reason I could not log on while I was there. It might have had to do with the wireless service in my hostel.

Listening again, I agree that the choir comes in kind of strong in the beginning 8 bars, but I think it's more or less alright by me when they come in again later.

I tried using the close-mic version of those patches, but something sounds odd about it. As far as unifying the ensemble, they all have different levels of early reflections in the same space, but a unified tail reverb. The whole spatial issue is quite new to me, this in my opinion is my first mix where there's some level of realism in that but I have a really long way to go, haha.

I applied a 6db low pass filter at around 15-16 kHz on the harp and also lowered the highs in the the library's own provided EQ.

I got feedback from a few people that the harp doesn't sound sweet enough, but to my knowledge, harp isn't THAT mellow in the upper registers since the string length is so short, so i'm wondering if I should leave it as it is, or just put a wide cut of 2-3 db around 2-4 kHz to minimize the finger sound. After listening to it, did you have any thoughts about what you would have done instead?
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[quote name='MA-Simon' timestamp='1352729134' post='5000235']
Thank you!

I'm actually surprised you get that string sound with lass.
I always thought they sounded different, since It is regarded with a relatively harsh sound in some other topics.
[/quote]

@Simon - Violin 1 patches do sound quite rough in LASS 1.0 and to a lesser extent in 2.0, which is what i'm using. I find that a little EQ and using full divisi gives it a little more sophistication. Also, the placement of the section that I have now places the first chair nearer to the back of the ensemble. It's a little strange but I think it works somehow. Also that spiccato line that you probably noticed is mellower than you might expect is violins 1, 2 and violas ALL playing in unison with full divisi.
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