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AaPa

Feedback appreciated!

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Well hello there!

I am a passionate amateur musician with a passion for video games, and have been dabbling with the concept of creating music for said medium for some time now. Granted that I haven't had any actual projects to work on, so my compositions are so far just some random pieces with titles reflecting the scenes I imagine they would fit in, or what has inspired me to make them in the first place.

And with that said I'm posting this to hopefully get some honest feedback regarding both my compositions and production, and whether any of the material provided might possibly have videogame-music potential. I am quite aware that the styles of my pieces do vary somewhat, and my production is most definitely not AAA-quality, but all kinds of advice and comments are very welcome.

 

Cheers!

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Hi AaPa. Welcome to the wonderful world of video-game composing! I enjoyed taking an ear to your tunes and like you said, your variety will serve you well in the long run. It is quite important to be able to create any style of music, because developers will often call on you to do so (and maybe even create your own genre).

The fact that it looks like you record yourself playing is a great technique. Instruments like the strings and piano are most susceptible to sounding fake if you try and diagram them in using a piano roll.

I would be careful when selecting what kind of strings patch you wish to use. On a song like "Suspicious Merchant Theme", the strings don't have enough release to sound realistic. The piano also sounds a bit dry, something that a global reverb could assist in.

The next thing I recommend you should work on is creating more intrigue within the tracks. What I mean by this is to alter the track through filler instruments and automation. By adding filler instruments, it gives the ear a short reprieve from the main instrument you are trying to get the audience's attention by. Through automation, you can make small adjustments to things like volume, filter cutoff, and other effects over time. Adding these two to a song like "Village in the Mist" can really enhance the song.

 

You have a great portfolio here, AaPa! If you need any advice at all, please message me more. Happy to help!

Cheers!

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15 hours ago, AaPa said:
Hi Alec, thank you very much for your input!
 
The song-specific suggestions you gave are very helpful indeed, and maybe reflect on my habit to sort of rush things to just get projects done on a basic level and move on. This has proven to be a bit of a hindrance for my evolution, since I would suspect that it's just that attention for detail that makes things stand out, as you stated for example in the "suspicious merchant theme" the arrangement does sound weirdly static and lifeless now that I actually listen to it after some time has passed.
 
This has already given me some good insight on what I should maybe direct my focus towards in my current and following projects (and maybe do some tweaking on the existing ones). 
 
Thank you once again!
 
 

 

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Hey AaPa, I liked your variety of selections! Nice job. I think you've got some really awesome elements in these songs. "The Sunken Rower Theme" would be perfect for a Noire Mystery genre. The solo guitar song could easily be in the background of a dark emotional game. My personal favorite is "Village In The Mist," that song is actually really close to being complete because it is such an enjoyable melody to listen to.

Definitely some Reverb is missing, that will breathe life into each track if done delicately. Usually learning techniques to add realism to your tracks is a lot easier than developing good melodies and memorable music, so you are just a few steps away from getting your songs ready for in game use. 

My suggestions in addition to Alec's points about automation: First, focus on learning a couple of new techniques well. For example, maybe start with learning how to use reverb better with the use of some tutorials. And then work on getting strings to sound more realistic, which is a huge priority for orchestral soundtracks. Second, find a few songs that you want to measure up to, and compare your songs to them. Maybe even try to imitate the song so you can find out how much reverb there is, or how the instruments come in and out. Lastly, always let your music sit for a bit before you show it off. If you are posting a song just for feedback, that is fine.. however, if you put the song away for even just two days and then return to it, you may hear some irregularities that you can polish up before releasing it.

Great job again, looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.

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Thank you very much Ada, glad to hear you enjoyed some of my work so far!

You also raise some very valid points regarding producing and publishing my music. It is very true that I have a habit to maybe rush things a little, and indeed should take a day or two after I initially think the piece is done and then return to it, instead of making the projects public in unpolished state. Looking up some reverb - tutorials would probably make a difference also, since I do find it a bit challenging to apply in a tasteful way (I used to often overdo it a lot, and I suppose now I compensate that by not using enough so getting there, getting there).

And as for the point about referencing my pieces against professionally produced material, that is a very good one, and since I in fact do that in my other projects, it kind of bewilders me why don't I do that for these pieces as well... so thank you for reminding me of that as well.

Very helpful stuff Ada, thanks a lot!

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