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About Dannthr

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  1. Always fix what they tell you to fix--this is an iterative industry.  It's also super important that you make it clear that it is a sound replacement demonstration--because misrepresenting yourself, even by accident, could seriously jeopardize opportunities.
  2. No guarantees on sound quality.   It seems there's a company called DSK that has free versions of its entire lineup:   http://www.dskmusic.com/category/vsti-all/   Good luck.
  3. Dannthr

    Feedback on my Halo 3 ODST trailer

    Sure thing!  Common Hollywood three act structure is really important to understand when doing music to picture.  Check out Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet (BS2) for a break-down of the common block-buster story arc.   It has been adhered to quite strictly (for better or worse) for the last 10 years or so in almost any major Hollywood picture and this includes trailers.
  4. Dannthr

    How Do I Become A Video Game Composer?

    Re: Commercial Appeal   Many games are business endeavors, when someone spends 2-4 years of their life developing a piece of artwork they often times want commercial success to be a part of that Return on Investment--the larger picture is that video games is an industry, a commercial industry.  If you want to engage that industry, you need to reconcile your feelings about commercial appeal.   Understanding how your audience will receive and perceive your work is absolutely vital when working in a collaboration.  When you're writing music to accompany another artistic medium (visual, interactive, etc.), you need to have full appreciation for how your work will SERVE the end goals of the total project and the experience the user is meant to have when playing the game.   This requires artistic empathy.   Commercial appeal is built upon this foundation because it inherently cares whether or not the audience will be entertained by the work.   ============== Re: Understanding what MIDI is   MIDI is not a sound, it is not an aesthetic, it is not a style or genre, it is a communications protocol designed to communicate real-time (or stored) musical performance data to electronic devices and software.   It is instrument instructions.   I often find myself programming virtual instruments with the intention of relaying an acoustic or natural performance through MIDI.  Other times, I will use MIDI to control synthetic sounding instruments.  MIDI is just a means to control instrument performance.   When you say MIDI composition, I suspect that you are saying that you have written music that is specifically meant to sound 20 years old, as if a MIDI file was played back on a mid-to-late 90s computer sound card, a Super Nintendo, or a Sony PlayStation (1).  This expression is often employed by non-musicians because they have a limited association with MIDI relating to downloading, sharing, and playing small music files in the 90's, dial-up version of the Internet. That's why I asked, I didn't know how you meant it.   To the modern music producer, MIDI is just a means to further enhance the music production process, a tool that empowers music makers to control incredible software synthesizers and virtual acoustic instruments or even to modulate effects for recorded and streaming audio.   With regards to music production, there are several paths you can embark on to improve your music production skills.  But that isn't 100% meaningful when working on games because what if some game designer out there likes your work as it is? I can't say that there isn't, so that's not even what it's about.   That segways to part 3: ================================ Re: Networking   There are probably a lot of websites out there who can help you network with game makers in your area--the first one you should look at is meetup.com.  You can also look at the International Game Developers Association to see if there is a local chapter in your area.  You can also go to events like GDC, PAX, and just about any place you THINK game makers would go.  With that said, if you live in some remote location where there are few to none game developers, you're going to have to travel.   Be yourself, be honest, and understand that if you don't like the kind of music people want, then you'll probably be happier just making your music and that's okay.  Don't treat games like it's a placement option because you feel like your music is "game-like."  There's no such thing as "game-like" because games can have any kind of music they want.   Check out the following fantastic game soundtracks:   Bastion OST: Guilty Gear Xrd OST: Ori and the Blind Forest OST: Journey OST:   There's no bar or standard of production or musical skill or even commercial appeal--it's a big-huge messy world out there and there's an artistic niche for every niche artist.  There isn't a career for everyone, there isn't necessarily a job or paying gig for everyone, but there's room for everyone.
  5. Dannthr

    How Do I Become A Video Game Composer?

    Is there a effective site online where i can pitch my work?    The short answer is no.  Just about everywhere you can "pitch" your wares is already saturated with hundreds of other noise-makers.  With that said, there are plenty of places where you can present yourself and many, many, many others do.     Is there a network one can join for free?    Plenty, in fact GameDev.net is one of them.  There's unfortunately a slew of composers and sound designers who completely misunderstand the concept of networking.  Networking is not about showing your business card and distributing your reel, networking is about connecting to other human beings.  You want to get in with a company?  Remember what a company means, it's a group of people.  Connect with game makers and find people who appreciate your work--no one will offer you a gig until they appreciate what you do and are 100% confident in your ability to deliver.       What are the exact or general requirements for joining said organizations?    The best ones are the ones where you meet people in person.  But they are everywhere and the requirements are never exact.       How can I get the attention of an underground/independent game studio for an entry level position to work my way up?    There are no positions at underground/independent game studios.  There are only opportunities for collaboration with occasional pay or back-end promises.  You break into games by working on games, you work on games by connecting to people who need you to work on their game.       other questions:   What are the qualifications for a voice actor?   Maintaining a purely appealing vocal characteristic while portraying a character, mood, or persona through voice alone.       if you're interested in what type of music I write, here is one of my best midi compositions:   What makes this your "best midi" composition?  Why do you distinguish MIDI and non MIDI compositions?   You need to get your head out of school a bit, listen to some popular music, write a catchy melody.  You want to write music for an industry?  Understand commercial appeal. 
  6. First of all, I would assert that there is no such thing as a "videogame music style" and I think that you're relying on repetition for a lot of your thematic development because it's the simplest method of progressing.  My suggestion is to let go of what you think a "videogame music style" is supposed to be like and try metabolizing something a bit more linear.  As they say, you are what you eat, so start eating something new--listen to different kinds of music and try to write in different composer's styles.   Don't be afraid to edit the tempo track--not everything has to be at the same tempo.  Try writing full orchestral gestures.  You could think of this as stingers, but something that has shifting moods.  Try writing a piece that starts out sad but turns happy and does not loop.   Check out the following piece by master composer (and living person with most Oscars), Alan Menken for the underscore to Beauty and the Beast:   Count how many thematic and emotional shifts there are, how does he move between them?   Notice how the orchestra will move between acting as a single instrument and a more homophonic lead and accompaniment style.   How many different textures does he move through?   Get your head out of JRPGs for a while and soak up a new vegetable.  You're stuck in a rut because you listen to the same stuff over and over again.   Good luck and feel free to contact me if you want an exercise or an assignment.
  7. I think there's some good work in here--it has a nice quirky mood that is very playful.  I think it might be interesting if you play a little bit more with IMPLYING the main rhythmic pulse of the music--it's very heavy handed right now.  The title suggests you were going for a mechanical feel and that plays into the high repetition, but there are ways to play with that and use it more subtly to keep it there without banging us over the head with it.  The piece gets most effective in the climactic part where it sounds like you were going for length over ideas (in your description you suggest that the piece is "long enough" to work as a trailer piece but it sounds like it's too long or lacking in serious development at the end), afterall some of your phrases are repeated 4 times at the end--whew, that's quite tiring on the listener.   My suggestion is to immerse yourself in a listening experience, listen to the recently passed James Horner's soundtrack to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids--listen to the whole soundtrack, immerse yourself in its feel, pay close attention to its thematic development, it's mood shifts, its play with rhythm--how it balances mechanical and jazzy--and once you've drowned yourself in that fantastic soundtrack, listen again to your own track.  You'll hear all the spots that work and the places where you could really enhance stuff.  Don't be afraid to steal ideas (just make sure your music is original).   Good luck.
  8. Dannthr

    Feedback on my Halo 3 ODST trailer

    There are three acts in this trailer (and in almost all trailers since the late 90s). Act I is the funeral scene, Act II starts at around 46 seconds when the boy becomes a recruit.  Act II is rising action, this persists as the boy goes through bootcamp and into battle and the stakes grow higher and higher.  The transition into battle is called the MidPoint.  The Midpoint is the part of the story (and the part of Act II) where S*** just got real.  The climax for this act and the transition into act three actually begins at around 1:43ish, where there's a massive tonal shift in the story and we think this could be the end for the main character.  The climax lasts about 10 seconds or so when the bad guy is killed (unfortunately randomly, which is just terrible story telling) and we get our final, mirroring image of the main character as a much older man overseeing a funeral on the field of battle.  This is Act III.  Each act should have a serious mood shift--it could even feel like new pieces of music--and in real trailer work, it often is a new piece of music.    Your current piece struggles to support these shifts, especially in the beginning when you begin action drumming at the funeral and the mood on screen and the mood in the music are at complete odds with eachother.   Act III you go for a new solemn sound, which is fine, but it doesn't take advantage of the mirrored imagery and the opportunity for you to say something about that character's growth during the story.  What does the funeral mean to him now that he's older and scarred from the war--a far cry from his original, innocent looking origins--what does it mean for him when he looks over to the much younger subordinate who looks a lot like he did when he was at that first funeral?   Say this with music.
  9. Dannthr

    So what do you guys think is holding me back?

    I just listened to your Startropics track, and what's holding you back is both money and yourself.  Yeah, like other people said, you could do with higher quality samples, but like... this Startropics track is kind of a disaster because you held yourself back.  You have what sounds like live guitar (or a sampled guitar performance), and then you use this really crap shaker sample and crap bongo sample when those would probably be like the cheapest instruments in the world to record yourself.  The flute performance you could probably hire some student to play from a nearby school or music program.   You tend to rely on the original instrument production to mix for you, leaving you a bit in the dark as to what to do when you record your own instruments--that's where Nathan's recommendation for A/Bing is helpful.  Use a reference track--say to yourself, it has to sound like THIS, then work hard to make it happen.
  10. Dannthr

    Looking for feedback? I know I am

    All your music cues are written like progressive dance music, Michaels Cane is probably the first one that doesn't feel too repetitive.  You have appealing ideas from time to time, but the repetition is working against you.   If you're really stuck on the idea of repeating yourself, take a listen to the minimalist masters, listen to how they use accent modulation or shift the perceived beats when they add elements.  For example, take a listen to Philip Glass's Morning Passages from The Hours--repetitive but shifting/modulating tonally and rhythmically.  Check out Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians for true, ever evolving repetition.   The other thing I noticed was the lack of modulation or movement in most of your synth sounds--aside from a filter applied to a drum groove in one track, this leaves most of your synth work kind of flat.   Generally, your electronic sounds are treated like samples, they all seem to have varying and disparate audio qualities--none of them quite fit in together--and minimal effort seems to have gone into mixing them.  If you're really adamant in utilizing that kind of sound, check out early Amon Tobin (maybe not too early, like Out From Out Where) and if you want to start getting serious about learning how to actually use a synth, then you'll want to start learning synthesis properly--then you can check out later Amon Tobin, like Isam or just about anything from Dave Tipper (I think Dave Tipper is far more appealing than Isam, but there's some really cool sound design in Isam).   Good luck.
  11. Dannthr

    Is my music good enough? Feedback?

    Hi Hena,   Regarding if your music is commercially viable: it is only commercially viable when it makes money.  When you feel confident enough to begin engaging in business for your music, then go for it, do so with commitment and seriousness, but understand that not every commercial music cue is appealing to all--that's the nature of art.  There may be someone out there that wants to pay for your music, you will only find them when you start selling.   Regarding your next step in artistic development: If you were my student the first thing I would suggest is your biggest crutch is that you are entirely too dependent upon copy and paste.  You write music in a way that only makes sense in the computer realm.  It is, after all, a lot easier to develop a music cue by copying and pasting the same 8 bars over and over again and then just adding or subtracting elements.   This makes your music highly predictable--maybe overly predictable.  Drama is not predictable, drama is sometimes surprising, music can have gestures.  Imagine if your music was a dancer.  Your dancer would do the same movements for 8 bars and then do something new for 8 bars and so on and so forth.  After a while, this dancer, even if their moves were pretty cool at first, would get boring.   Your crutch is repetition.   If you were my student, I would assign you a project wherein you had to write a music cue that had musical gesture.  I would probably give you a film moment to score, something with changing action and changing pace.  Something that would require you to write through with almost no large scale copying and pasting, something that would require you to actually open up the tempo track and edit it.   Good luck.
  12. Dannthr

    State of the industry

    Sort of, I can program a game, but I'm not very good, so that could result in the game not working OR it could just be inefficient, leaving the game feeling sluggish.
  13. Dannthr

    State of the industry

    Nathan, I'm your bud, and I know you're trying to add context to some fairly brusque comments from Matt. But I can't hold what someone said 7 years ago against them because I don't want the same treatment. And I would hope none of you would do that to me either. I started out young and brash and I'm glad that I've been able to learn from a decade of experience and a mostly supportive community. Here is my cocky post: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/331490-attempting-the-near-impossible-mrpg/ For the record, it was, in fact, impossible. Mostly because we were just some college kids in a metaphorical basement.
  14. Dannthr

    State of the industry

    Then it sounds like the state of the industry is ripe for you, the majority of gigs available are looking for someone just like you.
  15. Dannthr

    State of the industry

    5 grads in a basement?  I don't know what you think the game industry was like in 2004, but maybe your memory is skewed because you were only just turning 18 then, but you have some pretty major game releases and not just a few--a lot of major game releases--that most definitely required studio sizes on the order of dozens to the hundreds depending.   Notable game releases in 2004? Final Fantasy XI, EverQuest II, Halo 2, World of Warcraft, Half-Life 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, Far Cry, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Doom 3, and dozens of more medium studio games as well.   This saturation that you're complaining about is one in which you have benefited.  About that same time, East West was developing and releasing their East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra sample libraries--and it wasn't cheap!  Back then, Platinum was going for like three grand!   I mean now, as a student, you can buy EWQLSOPPXP for like $500--$250 if you just go for the Gold edition.   There's your drive to the bottom, man!   The reason that so many people are getting involved is because it's attractive and more and more people are able to do it.  I'm glad that you're proud of writing 2 hours of music in 6 days for free, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm glad you got some kind of recognition or acknowledgement for it.  But you were empowered by the same factors that empower every (as you call them) "hapless wannabe" that is doing the same thing: writing a whole bunch of music, with almost no time, for "next to nothing."   Hold that Editors Choice Award close because when I listen to your music, all I can think of is "I wonder what he would've sounded like if he had spent 6 days on only 2 minutes of music instead of 2 hours."
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