Music Contribution

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sturnclaw
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Music Contribution

Post by sturnclaw »

Meddison wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:39 pm I'm glad you guys like my tracks!
Please check the new demo i made. The link is update with the new one (link in the first post)
I have to mix and master it but the final vibe will be this.
Please let me know.


@sturnclaw no worry for criticism, it's always important hear feedbacks by the people!
Anyway i don't know if could fits the "bar theme". Could sound western but it's a very dark mood track.
Maybe could be used for unxplored places, or pirate's base(?), or something "mysterious".
Maybe you can use it for the menù.. i don't know. I'll finish it and give it to you.
Meddison, I think your new track is very nice! Definitely isn't giving me the same feeling as before, and I really like the section starting at 1:20! Here's some slightly more detailed feedback (with timestamps!):

- At 0:32 the main guitar instrument becomes rather loud, the solution to which I think lies in further mixing. While I do like the slightly-melancholy feel of the track at that point, it comes across as a little repetitive; I think the background electronic instrument sounds a little too much like an alarm and could use a bit of melody itself. I'm not sure if mixing in a bit of a pad in the background could also help, but just something to reinforce the main instrument and make that section of the track sound a little bit more interesting.

- The end section starting at 1:53 doesn't really fit with the rest of the song at all to me. I think it'd be much more effective if it used instruments similar to the introduction section, and sort of "fades out" the end of the song (with a modified melody) instead of playing those descending notes with a new instrument. On that same note, I really like the plucked instrument you used at 0:18 and I'd like to see it a bit more often in the song; I think it could be put to good effect in this last section of the song.

- The instrument you bring in at 1:20 is *really* nice and I want to hear it in a lot more music! It sounds a bit like a processed guitar or some sort of string instrument, but I really have no clue what you used to make it.

Overall I really like it and it feels much more complete than last time, but the end section doesn't quite fit with the rest of the track in instrument choice, and something about the progression of notes is slightly off compared to the tempo of the beginning section.

I definitely agree with you that it's a very moody track - I quite like it now; the slower tempo makes me think it'd be a good track for orbiting a star in unexplored space. The melody has changed enough that I don't think it's fitting for a bar any more, and I'm thinking of something a little more energetic for discovering a new planetary outpost.

Franzo, I'll get to your track next, but my browser is insisting it must restart first before I'm allowed to open any further tabs!
sturnclaw
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Music Contribution

Post by sturnclaw »

Franzo: sorry about the delay, I've had a very busy few days.

I (somewhat) like v3 of the menu track. It's much better without the "tinny" sounding percussion, and while that does leave the track sounding a little unfinished... well, that's what iteration is for!

My biggest feedback so far is that the track sounds very "cool", referring to the divide between warm colors and cool colors in color theory. The instrument choices in the first thirty seconds of the track all sound like they're playing at the back of the soundstage, the synth flanger and rythym is chaotic and unpredictable, and (if I may be unreservedly harsh) nothing in the opening section actually grabs the listener's attention and the overall effect is that the track is playing "inside out" - as if one had stepped through a mirror away from the actual track. Listening to some of the work you've done, this effect seems to be something that you've put to good use (for e.g. Minetest), but it's not the direction I'd like to go with Pioneer. For a deep-space track, the instrument choice is subtly not quite right in a way I can't really express, and for the menu track I'd much prefer something with a "warm" sound.

To illustrate my lack of terminology, this part of the X4 soundtrack (until roughly 8:12) closely illustrates the direction I'd like to go; the instruments all sound "warm", they play at the front of the soundstage, and the percussion is bassy but muted, and very close to the "sweet spot" that defines space/futuristic music to me. The vocal wail in the background is optional (and somewhat discouraged), but it's the closest thing I've found (after about five minutes of searching) that illustrates what typifies "space music" without sounding orchestral.

For posterity's sake, I'll summarize what I've posted on IRC:
I have a set of personal preferences: I don't like snare drums, I don't like it when music sounds "inside out", I really like warm synths, deep percussion that blends well with the more processed elements of the track, and a good rythym or bass drop is something that I look for in "space" music. That's not to say that music contributions to Pioneer should fit those preferences, but these are some things I'm looking for in a track that will be the first thing that Pioneer users hear.

For the "good" feedback, I think the part starting at 0:43 is a good base to work from; the tempo is just about the right range, and while I don't feel very strongly about the melody I also don't think it's particularly bad either, just needs filling out slightly. Without the snares and other percussion, it doesn't have the same foreboding feeling and sounds like it fits Pioneer a bit better than a grand-strategy RTS.

...I realize these are precious little compliments and deviate from the "two good things for every bad thing" rule of thumb, so I hope I'm not discouraging you. If I'm being more picky than I was on Meddison's track, asking you to go way outside your musical comfort zone and do lots more work, I'm sorry! My only defense is the menu track is one of the more important tracks in the game to me, is pretty much Pioneer's "theme", and I have a (limited) vision of what I'd prefer it to sound like, although the specifics are up to you for interpretation!
franzo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by franzo »

sturnclaw wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:06 am Franzo: sorry about the delay, I've had a very busy few days.

I (somewhat) like v3 of the menu track. It's much better without the "tinny" sounding percussion, and while that does leave the track sounding a little unfinished... well, that's what iteration is for!

My biggest feedback so far is that the track sounds very "cool", referring to the divide between warm colors and cool colors in color theory. The instrument choices in the first thirty seconds of the track all sound like they're playing at the back of the soundstage, the synth flanger and rythym is chaotic and unpredictable, and (if I may be unreservedly harsh) nothing in the opening section actually grabs the listener's attention and the overall effect is that the track is playing "inside out" - as if one had stepped through a mirror away from the actual track. Listening to some of the work you've done, this effect seems to be something that you've put to good use (for e.g. Minetest), but it's not the direction I'd like to go with Pioneer. For a deep-space track, the instrument choice is subtly not quite right in a way I can't really express, and for the menu track I'd much prefer something with a "warm" sound.

To illustrate my lack of terminology, this part of the X4 soundtrack (until roughly 8:12) closely illustrates the direction I'd like to go; the instruments all sound "warm", they play at the front of the soundstage, and the percussion is bassy but muted, and very close to the "sweet spot" that defines space/futuristic music to me. The vocal wail in the background is optional (and somewhat discouraged), but it's the closest thing I've found (after about five minutes of searching) that illustrates what typifies "space music" without sounding orchestral.

For posterity's sake, I'll summarize what I've posted on IRC:
I have a set of personal preferences: I don't like snare drums, I don't like it when music sounds "inside out", I really like warm synths, deep percussion that blends well with the more processed elements of the track, and a good rythym or bass drop is something that I look for in "space" music. That's not to say that music contributions to Pioneer should fit those preferences, but these are some things I'm looking for in a track that will be the first thing that Pioneer users hear.

For the "good" feedback, I think the part starting at 0:43 is a good base to work from; the tempo is just about the right range, and while I don't feel very strongly about the melody I also don't think it's particularly bad either, just needs filling out slightly. Without the snares and other percussion, it doesn't have the same foreboding feeling and sounds like it fits Pioneer a bit better than a grand-strategy RTS.

...I realize these are precious little compliments and deviate from the "two good things for every bad thing" rule of thumb, so I hope I'm not discouraging you. If I'm being more picky than I was on Meddison's track, asking you to go way outside your musical comfort zone and do lots more work, I'm sorry! My only defense is the menu track is one of the more important tracks in the game to me, is pretty much Pioneer's "theme", and I have a (limited) vision of what I'd prefer it to sound like, although the specifics are up to you for interpretation!
Sorry for the delay, I was also very busy!
Thank you for the feedback. I really like the idea of going out my comfort zone.
Right now I have to complete some works but I will go back on the Pioneer track menu ASAP.

I don't understand one thing: what do you mean by warm?

I've listened to the track you've sent but it is actually sounding "cold" for me. I feel deep space like a Cold big place.. Maybe this is just my vision and my music is coming out accordingly. However I think I understand what do you mean by the "somebody stepping out from the actual track". I think you are talking about the fact that the track is not actually starting directly but is "slowly rising up".

I will try to make the song start directly from 0.43. That looks like a good starting point
sturnclaw
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Music Contribution

Post by sturnclaw »

franzo wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:58 am Sorry for the delay, I was also very busy!
Thank you for the feedback. I really like the idea of going out my comfort zone.
Right now I have to complete some works but I will go back on the Pioneer track menu ASAP.

I don't understand one thing: what do you mean by warm?

I've listened to the track you've sent but it is actually sounding "cold" for me. I feel deep space like a Cold big place.. Maybe this is just my vision and my music is coming out accordingly. However I think I understand what do you mean by the "somebody stepping out from the actual track". I think you are talking about the fact that the track is not actually starting directly but is "slowly rising up".

I will try to make the song start directly from 0.43. That looks like a good starting point
No problem, we're very relaxed about contribution here!

You're very right that the linked track as a whole does sound a bit empty and cold like space, but in the specific comparison between it and your demo track, here's what I mean by "warm": if you listen to the linked music and break it down by instrument, you have:
- A droning vocal-ish wail in the background. I'm ignoring this one as it doesn't really fit Pioneer's theme.
- A rhythmic synth/percussion instrument playing in the low bass clef. This is the main source of the "warm" feeling, it's got a nice but not overpowering rhythm, is playing at the front of the soundstage, and is of a suitably low octave to sound "warm" rather than cold.
- A droning pad playing in the background, at a slightly higher octave than the percussion element. It's still in the bass clef, and when added to the percussion emphasizes the bassline of the track and contributes to the warmth.
- A very muted piano-like synth still hovering around the low end of the treble clef or the high end of the bass clef accompanying the percussion at times, providing a good counterpoint to the low-octave "main" part of the track.

Whereas your demo track is played almost exclusively with rather high-octave instruments with a quiet and very slowly-evolving pad providing a bit of a presence in the lower octaves, leading to what I consider to be a "cold" feeling to the instruments themselves. The flanger / pitch shift on the main instrument during the lead-in phase also contributes to this; it makes the instrument sound very "muddy" and indistinct, which in addition to the track's emphasis on the higher octaves makes it overall sound much "colder" than the track I linked... to my ears at least.
However I think I understand what do you mean by the "somebody stepping out from the actual track".
I actually was talking about the distortion applied to the instruments, especially on the lead-in; it makes them sound muddy or indistinct, as if you were listening to them from underwater or through a filter. It's very hard to express, but it has a certain distinct sound that to me I can only express as "inside-out".
I do like the idea to cut the long lead-in though and I'm looking forward to the next demo!
franzo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by franzo »

Hello! I've finally worked to a new menu track version. I think that is different from the starting point we had :P but it's better than the first one..more menu(ish).

Link attached to the first post of this thread and here too:

EDIT: this is still a demo and a work in progress! But I think it is a good starting point

EDIT2: I uploaded a new version of the song here. I think that it will loop at the end when the song stops abruptly.

https://shared02.opsone-cloud.ch/index. ... mBFoKj8T3z
franzo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by franzo »

Hi! It's been a while and I think that last feedback I received about the menu track was about the track being too ominous and it should not be panned (Forgive me Sturnclaw if I incorrectly reported what you said but I can't find your message on IRC anymore).

If somebody can give me some more detailed feedback I can start to work on it again and trying to improve it!
impaktor
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Location: Tellus
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Re: Music Contribution

Post by impaktor »

Too ominous? I don't mind that.

Listening to it now, personally, I react at how analogue the opening cymbals are, for a electronic / synth track. I really see a drummer in my minds eye, as they sound like real cymbals, rather than electronic samples. I have not idea if changinge them would be an improvement or not.
franzo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by franzo »

impaktor wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:01 pm Too ominous? I don't mind that.

Listening to it now, personally, I react at how analogue the opening cymbals are, for a electronic / synth track. I really see a drummer in my minds eye, as they sound like real cymbals, rather than electronic samples. I have not idea if changinge them would be an improvement or not.

Well that's true. Those are true Cymbal samples. I can change those there's no problem... maybe that's a good idea.
Regarding panning, sturnclaw has a good point telling that. Panning creates confusion in a menu track. I am going to change the synth to make it centered.

Well the only doubt at this point is about the track itself.. I think it's pretty cool like it is rn doing those changes.. but I hope to receive more feedback about it!

Also.. now that I listen to it carefully.. maybe the arpeggiator is too loud.. I need to lower down its volume and increase the volume of the other synths
franzo
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:06 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by franzo »

Hello! Mastered version of the menu track here:

https://shared02.opsone-cloud.ch/index. ... F5e4sMsqiX

And the final Lost space explorer version with the changes requested by Sturnclaw (Piano quieter, reducing the sound of the keys pressed):

https://shared02.opsone-cloud.ch/index. ... gp5RinoPDA
clausimu
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:31 pm

Re: Music Contribution

Post by clausimu »

Very late to the party - but I wanted to say that the new (at least new to me) menu music is fantastic. @franzo - I wish you would create more pieces like this to add to Pioneer!
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