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nsmadsen

More Music Mondays

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Awesome work on the three, Nathan! 

 

I just love the flute on the Town Theme, love how we can hear the breathing of the player (things that sometimes you almost forget that exists when dealing a lot with vsts, even if they bring those breath packs within). But the Lost Forest was my favorite. It's really involving, very smooth, beautiful and mysterious. 

 

 

Cheers!

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Thanks - really appreciate the kind feedback!

 


...love how we can hear the breathing of the player (things that sometimes you almost forget that exists when dealing a lot with vsts, even if they bring those breath packs within).

 

So true! I learned a good lesson as that motif goes on for a while and VSTs don't have to breathe like us humans do! I also learned it's best not to provide musical notation (along with chord changes) to a guitar player. Instead, just provide a listening example and the chords. Most guitarists don't read traditional music notation. :P

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I was apprehensive before listening to the Town Theme, because I usually find most generic "town theme" songs to be too similar to each other, usually seeming Zelda OoT inspired, and often have a focus on crowd/animal/bartering noises (which, IMO, should be played in the game engine as part of the ambient soundscape and not in the background music track itself).

 

Listening to this Town Theme track however, I found it really beautiful and soothing. It made me want to explore the town and talk to the people who might live there (whereas normally I mostly ignore town villagers). Really incredible. I don't want to use the cliche of 'energetic', especially not being a musical person, so I'll instead say it was 'invigorating', giving me, the listener, energy and desire to press onward and see what the area has to offer. The section from 1:10 to 1:25 reminded me a little bit of Etrian Odyssey 4's music, having played that several months ago - just a similar style to it for those 15 seconds. Very nice.

 

While not similar to any specific Chrono Cross song that comes to mind, it wouldn't feel out of place to me in that game world, and feels quality enough (which is saying something, as Chrono Cross is one of the high points of videogame music in my non-musical opinion - and I'm not the only person to think that).

 

One thing I really liked about Town Theme is that, while changing as the song goes on, the transitions in the changes are less in-your-face and much more subtle. It seems many composers "on the internet" (so usually hobbyists just starting out) feel the need to unnecessarily bring their tracks to huge crescendos for each transition point in their songs, which, while great for action scenes, is not what I want, as a designer, for ambient background music in game worlds while the player is exploring. The key being the distinction between foreground music and background music (as a non-music person, I don't know what the actual definitions of foreground/background music are). I feel like 'Town theme' does a fantastic job at this, being very much present and distinct, but not stealing (jarring) the player's attention from the world, instead complimenting it.

 

Really, this track has a fantastic balance of being very present, but not stealing attention. It's not hiding in the background (which is fine), and it's not forcing it's way to the foreground. It is very 'alive' and, to re-use the word, present.

 

Also, while the different sections of Town Theme are distinct, they flow very well together. They aren't just separate tracks ducked-taped together and overlayed with some common pattern or instrument to pretend they fit together. They aren't existing in isolation, they are coming out of each other firmly on their own legs but also each section recognizes and supports the sections surrounding them. Really it's an incredible piece. It's not something overly emotion-invoking either (nor should it be, since it's not tied to a specific scene where emotions need to be invoked). Instead, it is energy-refilling to tired players who just reached the town.

 

Also, each section is beautiful and powerful in it's own right - something I could listen to looped on their own. No section exists only to serve as an introduction to the next, but each stands impressively strong even in isolation.

 

I can't really find anything to critique in it, especially not really having an ear for the finer nuances of music (kinda like someone drawing stick-figures trying to critique a watercolor painting - all they can say is whether or not they liked the painting, but they don't know how it could be improved or what might be wrong with it), so I'll just leave you with that bucket of flattery and call it a day. tongue.png

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Wow, Servant, what a response! I really appreciate it, especially how indepth with how and why you liked Town Theme. Thank you!

 

Nate

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Town theme is a great track, what did you use to record that flute? I've only recorded them a handful of times and I never quite get the sound I'm looking for. Also my only critique is there is a sharp audible intake of breath at 13 seconds on the flute track in town theme. Very cool tracks, I really like them!

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Also my only critique is there is a sharp audible intake of breath at 13 seconds on the flute track in town theme.

 

Yeah, I'm aware of the breath. I guess it's a matter of opinion but in an environment where so much of the music we hear is over produced and super clean, I liked having that human element mixed in the song. It's also why I didn't go back and over produce everything else in the tracks. Of course there was some production :P but mainly we were trying to simply enhance the performances already captured.

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Nate

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Hello.
Can you disclose the cost of live musicians?

Depends on who you get and if they're union or not. The usage can also change the price if it's for broadcast. I've paid anywhere from $100 for the whole session to $100/hr. If you're on a budget Music Schools are a great place to find musicians. They'll jump at the chance to practice in a real studio and/or trade them recording their work for doing your session.

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