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xiaoan

Music from a game I'm working on - Ravenmark: Mercenaries

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that's really nice.   The snare drum and the metal bar strikes stand out.  I like the volume swells and brass in the first.  Kindof cool in the later part how it transitions and the high flute part comes in.  Thought it sounded very good.

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I like the structure, especially the big crescendo at the beginning. It really adds dramatic flair, and *immediately* caught my attention. About the only critique I have is that, although your melodies are really great and catchy, they seem to wander a bit as a full structure. It would be nice to hear more of what you'd call the "main" theme, just to solidify the piece as a whole. 

 

That's a really minor critique, however, and overall I love the piece.

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Hey Curtis! Perhaps it might be the constant change in instrumentation, but the melodies are repeated more or less exactly twice in an "A (intro/interlude),B,C" form. Maybe if I just repeated it again it might help. Thanks!

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Hi! Fantastic music, you really hit the adventure gamer in me. Can I ask which DAW set up you have? I am currently set with SonarX1 Producer and a couple of guitars, but I'm thinking of maybe purchasing a Reaper license. 

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I'm using logic currently but thinking of switching to cubase since the lack of updates makes me nervous.

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If you're in to writing long melodies, study Chopin, he had an incredible way of writing melodies that were long yet never seemed waffly.

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@JackMusic - Personally i'm a big fan of Mozart and Ravel. I'm not a HUGE fan of piano composition but I certainly recognize Chopin's genius.

 

The problem I have with excessively long melodies (which I actually write by default) is that they can end up sounding like "songs" and sound best in short forms (which I also write by default). Tchaikovsky was actually good at making those sound good but they ended up sounding like simple ditties compared to the works of Brahms and others who were able to compartmentalize the melodies for further development.

 

But the thing with writing on demand is that sometimes my client's tastes do not necessarily intersect with my own. This was the 6th revision in what was a pretty long and painful process, and the budget is what you might expect of a new startup studio without grants or other funding, so at one point I decided to just cut my losses and give them what they wanted. I might be having a bit of work in July where I can actually flex my mind a little more.

 

--------

 

https://soundcloud.com/lixiaoan/tales-of-home-snippet

 

https://soundcloud.com/lixiaoan/a-hidden-world-1

 

These are probably closer to my personal style. (I actually really really dislike writing melodies that are essentially a bunch of whole notes lumped together)

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Nice compositions. I detect a certain Britishness about 'A Hidden World'. Do you listen to the likes of Finzi, Britten, etc? If not it could be worth you checking out some 20th century British classical music, for the melodic inflections in particular.

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Britten was certainly a master. I haven't heard any of Finzi though.

 

I'm also quite a fan of Elgar's string writing. To me, his writing is consummately British (from what I know of the British anyway). Deliberate, elegant. As far as British influences go I suppose you might say that my treatment of dissonance within the string section has a little of him in it.

 

--

 

Though my writing doesn't quite reflect it yet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYinRNy3llA is one of my favourites.

 

It's increasingly difficult to find clients who are truly interested in stuff like this though, since 60-80% of my jobs so far have had the words "Hans Zimmer" in the brief. HAHA.

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It's funny that you mentioned Hans Zimmer in your previous post because that is exactly what I thought of when I heard the opening of the main theme! Definitely loved the deep growling in the low brass throughout the piece, and I second Fartheststar when I say that the volume swells really do it wonders. The dynamics (and the timbrel shifts like at 1:18) give the piece a nice body. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Seeing as how I'm not one of those types to just give criticism simply because, I don't necessarily have any advice that I feel needs to be given.

 

I checked out some of your battle themes as well! I liked the dissonant and sporadic interludes scattered throughout battle theme 1 (it felt as if you let a little bit more of the composer in you out). All of your battle themes contain a driving force and tenacity that I would expect out of a good battle theme. Battle 2 really impressed me, though I absolutely loved the time signature change in Battle Theme 1. 

 

I understand what you mean about finding clients wanting something less pounding, and more intricate. A friend of mine recommended me what ended up a semi-okay anime with a breath-taking soundtrack! I don't know many developers (definitely not the ones I'm working with) that would be open-minded enough to garnish (or more importantly, have a project that would require)  a game soundtrack of similar comparison.

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx_G30kBYGk&list=PLB36831CF03B2D80E

 

Taku Iwasaki reassured me that not everyone in media development (despite the media type) wants the same ol', same ol'.

 

I will say that, despite the arduous road you seem to be taking to create music that suits your client's needs, you are doing a superb job!

Edited by M4uesviecr

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Thanks M4uesviecr. I wouldn't call it an arduous road, I think it's something that all musicians and freelancing creative types just have to get used to. In any case, it's still early days for me, and I look forward to the challenges.

 

"Battle Themes" are kind of a misnomer since none of those tracks really seem to have a "theme" per se. I was kind of exploring a more random style of composition that has lots of activity but doesn't draw your attention too much. I tried to avoid the "song" approach.

 

I'd love to hear some of your work, if I could.

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