Sunday, June 18, 14:40 - 17:00. Let's try to create more video game boss music in 16-bit style.
Okay, this was less 16-bit and more EDM… but I guess it has some fakebit chip elements. I didn't really concentrate too much on production outside of mixing and some light effects.
I guess it works? I was initially going to find some 16-bit like sampled guitar, but since I actually know how to play guitar, I cheated and just played real guitar instead. (Besides, I need an excuse to play the guitar, I haven't played in months). It's kind of messy at the end... maybe less is more?
Total time: 2h 20m
Sunday, June 11, 15:30 - 17:50.
I think I'm going to end up lazying out of this one, but I do have a bit of an objective, and that's to study a bit of the style of 16-bit JRPG boss music and work toward that style. Most of it is progressive rock with rock-style drum beats, choir pads, and synth rock or brass leads. Very fast tempos. I don't think I'll get that far this week (especially not in the hour or two I typically use for WeeklyMusic) but it's giving something for me to study toward.
Total time: 2h 20m
Liner notes: I kind of stopped this in an incomplete state. I didn't pay a lot of attention to production and much of the sound design and composition is off. Here are some observations:
* The break isn't quite what I wanted it to be, it's a bit too bouncy but needs more tension.
* The bass isn't quite the sound I want it to be, a bit too much release in it maybe.
* Some of the creepy sounds are cool but not really used enough.
* The leads are a little off still. The first pulse lead (it's the Nord Lead sound) is all right, but the second one is a little thin (Phenol). They're layered with effects but the timbres aren't quite right.
I guess it has semblances of boss music (Secret of Mana especially) but needs some work still.
In the open world, there's gold at the end of the rainbow.
Track notes: I kind of didn't try hard enough. I ran a bunch of errands earlier in the day and kind of came home late-ish. I did aim for two things in this track:
1. A new key. Arpeggios. Stuff like that. The composition isn't anything amazing but new keys take a bit to learn.
2. Compose more chiptune and make sure that it sounds like passable pleasant chiptune music that doesn't have anything fundamentally wrong with the timbre.
A few habits I'm picking up: Changing drum timbres. Thanks onezero!
Things I didn't spend a lot of time on: Mixing. I think it's reasonably balanced but I applied very little EQ and compression.
Also, as cool as analog synths are, they fall out of tune and rar I keep on having to fix things. Maybe that's not a bad thing because my ear's starting to get trained finally.
Hope I achieved those goals and that you enjoy this!
Sun, March 19. 11:30 - 11:50. I'd like to work on making arpeggios and other backing elements, chiptune style this week.
I also plan to work on the key of F major/D minor to get more used to different keys. I currently do a lot of C, G, and E and adding another key will help diversify my sound.
It also reminds me that I should work on playing scales as a regular exercise.
13:00 - 13:20.
16:25 - 17:45. Not really my best work - I kind of half-assed the mixing. It was fun though.
Total time: 2h
Dive your ship into space and escape the light.
It's occurred to me that it would be nice to have a coach or to get someone to review my tracks on a regular basis to get more targetted feedback, especially in the area of sound design and sound timbres. Anyone interested in helping out a struggling musician?
Sun, Feb 26, 10:15 - 12:45.
A E C G
i V II vii
i III vii VI VI III iv V
// III iv vii I III VI V I
A C Dm Em G F E G
I'm struggling on what this song "is". Maybe like a spacefaring song, but I'm not sure what the next progression should be after the verse and where the modulation should go. I had a moment of wanting to give up but I pushed through it to lay out another set of chords. (I think it would be easier if I planned this out in advance.)
16:30 - 18:25. Finish the composition and try to tie it together. Needs more production practice (especially if I had time to audition it on other speakers and headphones). I think the levels are off - I really mixed it with low levels and as a result I don't think I used all of my dynamic range.
Total time: 5h 25m
== Objectives ==
Over the past month or two I've reviewed:
* Varying bass notes in a chord progression
* Using suspended chords
* Using seventh chords
* Using dominant secondary chords
* (Ongoing) Learning voice leading/counterpoint
A few other points that have been suggested by listeners (thanks!) include:
* Using more pads to fill out a song
* Improving transitions
* More "driving" bassline
Since last week I didn't end up creating a song I might concentrate on doing that first instead of doing more counterpoint and voice leading.
One thing I should also consider overall is better timbre and sound design for my music.
In Open Fields
"I'd like to create something with a moderate amount of forward energy. A side-scrolling platform game or similar that encourages tension until the end, with a relaxing reprive in the middle. Typical video game cheese would be great."
Note: unlike many of my other submissions, this song is not a live song, I recorded it with MIDI and audio in a DAW.
Sun, Jan 15, 13:30-15:35: A few notes. First, trying to debug my MIDI setup. Since I got a Carbon sequencer and my TR-8, I changed my MIDI setup to be good for live audio recording but in the process did not ensure that it integrated the computer for MIDI recording.
I've kind of fixed it at this time but it's temporary and it doesn't involve the TR-8, because I think the TR-8 does some kind of weird echoing across MIDI and it messes stuff up.
Today, I'm going to go back to basics a bit more and continue with varying the bass notes and to add a bit more bass interest in the song. I also want to continue using suspended chords. Basically - this is a repeat of last week's exercise, but in MIDI (rather than live) so I can really look at the song in progress.
I'd like to create something with a moderate amount of forward energy. A side-scrolling platform game or similar that encourages tension until the end, with a relaxing reprive in the middle. Typical video game cheese would be great.
The 8-bar verse chord progression is:
G D C some chord that I don't really know, with a raised C, I think it's a G with some variation, like a
G D->D7 C csus
See, theory is hard if you don't know what stuff is.
You can hear the changes though. Hmm.
Okay, in the end, this song was pretty pop-style cheese structure as well, but accomplished a:
- G major to D major modulation
- Some variation in bass notes that aren't the root note of the chord
- A bunch of suspended chords
- Some randomness in inversions and stuff that I don't know what the formal name of is, but sounded fine
15:35-15:50 for extra mixing and leveling work on the wave file.
Total time: 2h 20m