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AndrewJL

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About AndrewJL

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    Composer
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    Audio

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  1. Hi everyone, I am the music composer for BOC: The Birth of Civilizations and our Kickstarter campaign has just gone live! Please check out our campaign and consider helping us reach our funding goal. I am super excited to be a part of this project and I hope that some of you will share in this excitement too Thanks, Andrew
  2. Awesome, that seems covers all the aspects! Thanks for sharing
  3. AndrewJL

    Critique/Thoughts - Trap in video games

    I think this could be quite effective actually as ambient, environment music in the right context. I like the sample you posted, although it gets pretty repetitive after a while. The idea is pretty cool overall, but might need some work.
  4. AndrewJL

    Caliban boss theme(?)(WIP)

    Haha no worries! Don't let me put too much pressure on you. I think it's still not sounding too scary or "Lovecraftian." I think part of that is the drum beat (which sounds kind of like pop music to my ears) and part is the melody (which sounds carefree and chill). I'm not the best composition teacher lol, but I will second Nathan's advice of studying boss music that has the effect you're trying to create. You might be able to find sheet music for some or try to transcribe it yourself. It's probably the best way of learning to write in any given style. I don't necessarily mean a faster bpm (although that could help). But the rhythm could be faster to give the piece a more frenzied tone. For instance, if your melody is mostly quarter and eighth notes, a rhythm made up of sixteenth or thirty-second notes could do the trick. I'd look at any boss themes that you have found particularly effective. Some of my favourites are the classic final boss theme from Mario 64 which isn't terribly fast but maintains a dark, gothic tension throughout: And really any of the Dark Souls boss themes, but this is one of my favourites, from one of the most iconic moments in the first game:
  5. Thanks for the reply! That's a very neat idea. The score I'm working on is mostly orchestral, so there will be a lot of similarity in instrumentation on that basis. Currently, I'm using ethnic instruments to make some pretty clear distinctions between say the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian civilizations but I'm also experimenting a bit with certain scales and rhythms as well. Hey, no problem! My goal was to get away from the song critiques actually and see if I could start a conversation about the composing process Hey, thanks for the tips! I really like the idea of the event-triggered music more so than the pipelines. I'm working with a basic model of peace and war music for each era and each geographical region, but I'm also planning to throw in some extra stuff like music for when you build or discover something unique and for defeats/victories.
  6. AndrewJL

    Caliban boss theme(?)(WIP)

    Hey, you're welcome! I'm not sure about specific composition rules, but I find using minor and dim7 chords helps to establish a dark, dissonant sound. Ultimately, I'd recommend experimenting on your keyboard until you find something that sounds good, writing it down, and then experimenting again. I don't think you need to remove the upbeat parts, but I would recommend adding more of a building tension. And perhaps a faster rhythm would help as well. It sounds a bit too chill for a boss theme. Hope that helps!
  7. Hello everyone. I'm curious to hear from you all what your process is for establishing distinct musical "worlds" within a single soundtrack while still maintaining a coherent overall sound? I've been thinking about this a lot recently since I'm working on the score to a Civilization inspired strategy game that's going to include a lot of different cultures and span a lot of time periods. One way I'm tackling this is by making certain instruments unique to certain cultural categories but I'm also trying to work certain recurring motifs in that connect all of the cultures across time and geographical space. What are your go-to methods for marking distinct worlds musically? Doesn't have to be strategy related (that's just my experience). I'm curious about other kinds of games too like platformers and RPGs with different level and location music. Anyway, curious to hear your thoughts on this!
  8. AndrewJL

    Caliban boss theme(?)(WIP)

    Hey, this is very cool! I really like the dark, spacey atmosphere. It does seem to lose some steam as it goes on however. Like the menacing tone seems to change to something much more upbeat around 0:32 or so and then especially at 0:55. I think the middle section(s) could use some more direction and building. I do think it sounds quite sci-fi already, but maybe layering in a synthy choir at some point as the piece builds would really help establish that sci-fi/gothic sound. As for samples, I'm not sure what you're using already (though I really like the organ sample) but you can find a lot of good freebies by getting Kontakt Player, the free version of SampleTank, and the Spitfire LABS. There's quite a bit to choose from with those. And I also like a lot of the sounds from DSK especially for synth stuff. For how to finish, I think the recapitulation idea is a good one and pretty classic. You want to make it familiar yet different (and usually I aim for more intense/epic as well at least for boss music). I think playing with the motifs you established at the beginning works very well. Take them in different directions than you did the first time. And the key change could help too though it isn't strictly necessary I wouldn't think. Anyway, those are my thoughts. I think it has a very cool sound so far!
  9. AndrewJL

    Looking for honest feedback on my music

    Hey, thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely cracking down on using more legato in the voices and I'm finally coming to grips with EQ more. I get what you're saying about the dynamics too. That's something I'm really going to try to master with my next pieces. Thanks again!
  10. AndrewJL

    Looking for honest feedback on my music

    Thanks that helps a lot! I'm still wrapping my head around a lot of these concepts so the direction is much appreciated. I've gotten a bit better at using reverb (I used to apply it to the master like you warned against haha) but I haven't made use of EQ much before. I'm going to try to implement your suggestions
  11. AndrewJL

    Looking for honest feedback on my music

    Thank you all for the great responses! This kind of feedback is exactly what I need Thanks for the feedback! The get what you're saying about the voices and the metal clanging sound. I'll work on making it all sound smoother/more realistic. Haha yeah! It's actually a project my brother and some other people have been working on for years. I just joined recently to provide music They've done an impressive amount of work on gameplay mechanics and graphics overhaul. Thanks for the detailed feedback, Nate! You gave me a lot to consider for revisions and future projects. I have played around with the LABS choir and I agree it sounds beautiful. On this track I used Soundiron Elements which I think has the potential to sound good, but I probably am using it like a bit of a noob lol Ok thanks for the pointers. I will look into trying to work these suggestions into future versions. Ok that makes a lot of sense! I think that will really help it sound more realistic Thank you, this is really good feedback! Are there any particular placement strategies you would recommend or does it really differ on the needs of each piece? Thank you very much I really appreciate the kind words
  12. Hi everyone, I've had a few paid projects, but I am still pretty new to composing for games, and I'm hoping to get some honest feedback on some of my work from the more seasoned composers here. I'm looking for feedback on any aspect of my music, specifically the audio engineering side, as I feel that is my weakest area. What does the overall quality sound like? Does it sound "realistic"? Is it properly mixed, mastered, compressed, etc? The two tracks I'm sharing here are from a LoTR mod for AoEII that I recently scored. The first is the theme music that plays when you are on the main menu, and is my biggest attempt so far to use an entire virtual orchestra. And the second is a piece that plays in game in the background for the evil civilizations like Mordor. It's meant to be both ambient and epic/creepy. Any insight is greatly appreciated.
  13. AndrewJL

    Otherworld release (A soundtrack for a hypothetical RPG)

    Fantastic quality on these tracks! Like the others have already commented, I'd like to hear something more distinctive to go along with the excellent ambient music. Like music suitable for intense battle or a boss fight or even wandering/specific locale music that presents a distinctive, memorable theme. I think that would really help you show off your composing chops to game devs and demonstrate greater versatility.
  14. AndrewJL

    Tales of Vastor - Progress #9

    Thank you, @Awoken Glad you enjoyed my piece!
  15. Hi everyone, I'm looking for feedback on an epic, Gothic piece inspired by the soundtracks of high fantasy medieval games like Dark Souls. This is my first attempt at composing for more than solo piano. Let me know what you think!
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