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Ada Maskil

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  1. Ada Maskil

    Audio Programming Blog for Beginners

    Thanks for your effort working on this blog, it's very helpful information. I have a bit of background with programming, but nothing too advanced. C++ is definitely an important one to understand in the gaming world. Thankfully, right now I am able to just focus on composing music without the programming side of game development, but in my spare time I am always trying to further knowledge. I'll make some time soon to read through your blog more fully!
  2. Ada Maskil

    21 Days of VGM Challenge - Starting April 1st

    @frozen.dragonfly Hey, there were a few days that I didn't finish the songs, but I had little short melodies left over after. I have since then, gone back and finished most of them up and made full songs.
  3. Ada Maskil


    TwoWolf, Thanks for the post, I really enjoyed listening to your tracks. I think they are really well written. I really like "Town," and "The Trail" on your Soundcloud page as well. I think your use of reverb is great, melodies are very nice to listen to, and everything is overall quite balanced. In what ways are you wanting to be a better composer/producer? Do you want your music to sound more realistic? It seems to me like your music really matches the Retro RPG genre well. Is that what your aim is? If so, I think you are already doing a great job. I also especially liked your changes in rhythm. Something that could help you is to try to push yourself outside your comfort zone. You have a good niche, so I wouldn't ruin that, but trying to compose songs for a larger variety of genres could help you find some other techniques that would help you grow. Another thought I had, is trying to make your melodies a bit more memorable. This is more of a preference of my own rather than something that will make you better or not. Overall I really liked all of your songs, "The Trail" ended up being my favorite. But I tended to like the songs more that stuck in my head longer. Video game music repeats so we don't want it to be too simple, but if you have a beautiful melody, maybe don't deviate too much from it. Or just try simplifying your melody and see how you like it. Definitely, just an idea. It takes skill to compose a melody that moves around as much as yours do. That is a much more classical-style and I really like when composers write that way. Hope that gives you some ideas! Ada Maskil
  4. Ada Maskil

    GameSoundCon Submissions are open

    Awesome! Thank you for the announcement, just a few days left.
  5. Ada Maskil

    21 Days of VGM Challenge - Starting April 1st

    It's been a blast so far. If nothing else, just forcing yourself to write consistently every day. Accomplished composers and Beginners alike can benefit from trying new composing styles. Also, if you struggle to come up with ideas or occasionally get stumped part way through a song.. the 21 day challenge is a good practice for you to build a collection of small melodic ideas.
  6. Ada Maskil

    VGM Academy

    Good Idea! Thanks for the post
  7. Ada Maskil

    mobile game audio rates

    Also, factors to consider: Did they approach you with money to spend on a soundtrack? Will the mobile game be free? Are they planning in game purchases to add on income? If it is a real low-budget release, then they may want to have a contract to wait and share profits with you. But I agree with nsmadsen, if you can quote them a per-minute rate that works for them, that is much easier even for a game composer.
  8. Haha, spot on frozen.dragonfly! In order to become a music composer for video games, you really need to be interested in video games. All of us that love games, it's so easy to show interest in games that are being developed. As a newly emerging composer, just reach out to developers and show genuine interest! That will help if you listen to Alec and nsmadsen: Focus on showing interest in games you love to play, that will need music that you love to compose. Build a relationship, don't just look for immediate work.
  9. Ada Maskil

    Composing for Games

    Thanks Jonny, Sorry I meant to come back to listen through all your songs but got busy for a few hours. I Really like Broken Landscape, really nice build up. At the halfway point when I first heard that flute, I was thinking I wanted to hear more and expected it to just be in the background, but it was a good way to build on the song and bring in more elements. Infiltrate made me think of Xenoblade, or something similar breaking into an enemy base. I'd say my favorite is Distant Land, it is very emotional and has a really nice slow development to it, very much my style of music 👍🏻. When I listened to it though, I think I was waiting for the melody to come back on the plucked strings.. but that's just a personal preference. Or maybe I would bring one more element in at the climax just past halfway. Or maybe I am way off, and you wanted that slow ease off feeling rather than a real climax, depending on the setting in a game, that would be great too. For sure you've got some good stuff here, all the other songs each have a nice element that would fit well in a variety of game genres. I think overall, your mixing is well done, a couple nice melodies that I returned to listen to a few times. Being here is a good start to trying to get your name out. Make friends, future business contacts. Soundcloud is a great place for game developers to hear your music. The only bit of advice I can offer, feel free to ignore it if you disagree.. Marketing yourself with a focus in mind. You want to show how versatile you can be, while still showing that you have a distinct style to your compositions. It's a never-ending cycle, but since your songs are really well polished and you obviously have a lot of musical talent, thought I would give you something to think about. Thanks again, I really enjoyed those songs.
  10. Ada Maskil

    Composing for Games

    Your original post updated! You can edit any of your posts, if you want.. I don't really think you need to though. Under your typed comments you'll see an edit button if you want to adjust anything. Glad to be of help. Ada
  11. Ada Maskil

    Electronic VGM Feedback

    Very cool songs! I love all of the arpeggiations. That is an excellent technique to have a good control over. If you listen to newer Deamau5, the Stranger Things soundtrack, and other retro or sci-fi soundtracks.. Arpeggiators are everywhere. As I listened through all of your songs, I completely agreed with jbarrios. Especially when it comes to slightly retro or mobile game soundtracks, you usually listen for a melody that you could whistle. If you had a more predominant melody that would also get stuck in my head (in a good way..) then it would add a lot to each of these songs. On the other hand, if you were aiming for just an atmospheric background song, perfect! Those songs are needed too. Startup is great for a game menu. Village Store reminds me of a Zora location in an old Zelda game. The Cave, In The Name of Science, and Confronting Demons are actually my 3 favorites I think.. I like dark music with a lot of low-end, so it's all up to personal taste. Confronting Demons reminded me a lot of a save station in Resident Evil which is awesome. I agree that maybe The Cave didn't exactly make me think of being in a cave, but it could easily be simplified to sound more slow and bleak, or just change the name to give a different connotation if you want. Overall great job, I really enjoyed listening through. Ada
  12. Ada Maskil

    Composing for Games

    Jonny, I'm looking forward to hearing, but it looks like you posted a playlist without any tracks in it. Check your Soundcloud and see if you uploaded the songs without adding them to the playlist!
  13. Lephina, There is.. and always will be room for improvement for all of us. I really like your musical style! With a few minor adjustments, I'd say these songs could easily help an indie game come to life. Left and right stereo panning was the first thing I thought of as well.. 👌🏻Andi. Maybe thinking of a stage is helpful so that you can place each instrument in the position you would hear it from a seat in the audience. Or you could place you focused instrument in the center and pan most everything else that conflicts with it. But even if you want a very dry sound (less Reverb), it is a best practice to think of your sound space as a box or a room. The center only has so much space, and likewise with every individual frequency up and down the scale. So if you have too many mid-level sounds, you can either switch an instrument to a higher octave or get it more to the side. At first it seems really weird to change instruments to be so subtle and not as distinct, but imagine you're listening to your song for the first time.. it should take several listens through to fully detect each faint part in the background. They come and go and that is sometimes what makes a song magical and intriguing (I think especially important with your dream-like style of writing). Another point that may help you with overall composing and developing your music, imagine that you are actually composing for a game. Not only can it help you with coming up with ideas but it will also give you practice before actually getting work. Either go on youtube and watch a section of gameplay for a fantasy/adventure game that you have never seen or heard before, and just try to compose a theme for that small section. Know that in that type of game, usually only a couple of minutes of music will loop over and over while the player stays in that level or area. So it doesn't always have to be such a long melody, it can be brief and repetitive. Then, as you want to turn it into a song for your portfolio maybe you want to develop it a bit more to appeal to clients. Try listening to your song, (maybe with your eyes closed), and imagine what is happening in the world you're creating with the song. If it was your game, what would happen next. Sometimes I even stop the song right before the transition and imagine where the melody will go next. My last suggestion for you is to push yourself to compose a TON of music. You don't need to share it or put it online, but just compose as much as you can. I think these songs are a great start. The only caution I have for you about getting work composing is that you mentioned about getting agonizingly stuck at spots. If you get into a contract and have trouble coming up with creative ideas.. then it becomes even more of a stressful experience. I'm not saying you aren't ready, but huge amounts of composing will help you get tricks to get around creativity slumps. Study composers you look up to, but don't be afraid to hang on to your "instinct" when it comes to composing. If we all studied the same musical form and stuck to the same proper song construction, then we wouldn't ever hear something that makes us say: "Hmm, I wasn't expecting that. What a unique composition." Keep up the hard work! As composers, we are on a long path of always learning.
  14. Ada Maskil

    Epic Releases Unreal Engine 4.22

    Nice! A lot of stuff I have been wanting. Thanks for the update!
  15. Ada Maskil

    Feedback appreciated!

    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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