The RPG Music Challenge

Well, that was fun, overall. Hope there'll be another one.

Music Challenge - Phase 3 Results

Most of these seem like they're either rhythmically off or melodically off-key, which put me off quite a bit. I also noticed the use of quite a few rock guitars, orchestral instruments, and choirs.

Mega In-depth Reviews (with * to mark favorites):

1. Intro seems a bit odd, quite a bit of off-beatness in it. It's mainly inconsistent, and a bit short. Seems kind of like the person didn't know what to do. It definitely works as a battle theme, but doesn't really have enough depth for it. Also, doesn't loop?

2. Seems to be in an odd time signature, with plenty of random chord changes. It ends up working about 1/8 of the way in, so it's alright. Could use a bit more consistency though (not quite as much as 1, but...). I do like the piano solo in it, btw.

*3. Me gusta. Very, very nice, especially for midi. It sounds very similar to a song I had done before, when I only worked with midi. The bell sounds in the background are nice. Honestly, for midi, VERY nice. Could use a slightly better transition though towards the middle. That and it being midi are pretty much the only things I can see to improve in this one - again, VERY nice.

4. There was an odd glitch at about 25 seconds in where I'd get thrown back to the beginning. Don't know what this is. Overall, for this one, it seems mainly random, with a lot of harmonies that *didn't quite* work. I'm sorry, this just wasn't really that good. :| I'd suggest a study of harmony, rhythm, and basic musical theory.

5. Aw, very sad beginning. A bit of an odd rhythm in the beginning before the violin, and then it keeps happening. It's very sad, until the drums and guitars kick in. After that it seems to be more optimistic. The weird rhythms go in all the way up until the drums and guitars. After that, it's pretty good. Unfortunately, the odd rhythms really, really put me off and the rest of the song wasn't good or deep enough to make up for that. (The water droplet-like sound made it sound a lot deeper, when that came in, so... I'd suggest a bit more reverb and larger/more background pads) Nice tune, btw.

6. I feel like it only needed one intro, not an intro for the intro. The instruments here seem to be lacking. Perhaps a tempo change, as well as some more background would be good. Not really a feeling of a battle, it's not frantic enough. Though not all battles have to be frantic, I suppose...

*7. Again: Me gusta. Not quite as much as 3, but good nonetheless. It doesn't seem quite sad enough at some points, but still really cool. Actually sounds kind of like a KH song. I like the long snare rolls, building up quite a frantic background. The piano hits bring in the sense of urgency as well. 2:09 to 2:22 - Wow. Quite a strong break.

8. Intro reminds me a bit of Pokemon. Sounds really cool, chiptunes generally do. xD Not really something I'd think of in a serious game though, sorry.

9. Really cool intro, the horns seem evil. Not quite fighting against a best friend. The rock part is cool, but a bit out of character. I also definitely don't like the drums. (OMG ALL MY PAGES CLOSED OUT BUT THIS IS STILL HERE WHEN I GET BACK PHEW) They seem pretty bland. The weird band pass or whatever it is towards the middle kills the mood quickly. It does get back into the "epic evil battle" again though. I do like this one overall. Not overly much though.

*10. Intro sounds right out of an actual game. Kudos for that. It goes on a bit long for a battle though - seems more like "You're about to get into the battle." in the beginning, for about 40 seconds. After that, it works really well - sounds actually like the final boss fight for LoZ OoT. More final-boss-ish, as Kentona said. For that, I would definitely vote for it. As it is, honorable mention for being one of the best-sounding tracks here. Just not fitting.

11. HQ sound right from the start, cool. It seems to go on a bit too long initially for me to like it. After that, the synthy horns really put me off, though it regains it quite quickly for sounding magnificent. A bit overly epic and dramatic for being sad though. More like a battle against some kind of evil demon that just killed an army. Really epic-sounding.

12. I once again detect FL Studio. Sounds cool, but jumps in a bit too quickly. Sounds KH-like, if the songs of KH were slightly lower quality sound-wise, were repetitive as heck, and didn't have a real intro. It's alright. I'd rate it as slightly below average.

*13. Ooh, mysterious. Sounds like some kind of apocalypse battle. A lot of timing bumps in the beginning, before the main theme. The drums are a bit intrusive as well, and it seems too much in the low register. The violin is very nice, it's just drowned out a bit too much to be heard by the guitars and drums. I LOVED the intro, and the violin. I think it could be a lot clearer though, so it doesn't get my vote. The transition loop is also fuzzy, btw. Those are pretty hard though.

14. Pretty cool. The guitar seems a bit too electronic and "zappy" for my taste. It's very mechanical. Nice reverbs and sounds, I really like them. Seems a bit random in some parts though, so I don't quite like it enough.

*15. Very nice intro. I liked the background electric guitar. When it gets into the song though, the timing seems off a little bit, and it doesn't seem to fit the theme overly well. The sounds overall are really cool though, and I can hear it's well-done. Some odd transitions in there.

*16. I like the beginning. The background synth sounds very cool, though it comes in a bit too strong. This is actually one of my favorites overall, though it doesn't fit the theme. My only qualm with it is that it's a bit too repetitive.

17. Really march-like. Not fitting too much in the theme, and a bit low-quality. Too slow for a battle as well. More like leading up to the final battle.

18. Quickly into the fray, huh? I like it in the beginning, but it also seems pretty low-quality. Could use some more instruments. Doesn't seem to loop very well either.

19. No comment. And no more time to write on this.

My vote, in the end, goes to NUMBER 3.

Grats, man (or woman)!

The RPG Music Challenge

Whelp, I have nothing for this phase. I got sidetracked into making a song that's completely original and unrelated to the phase in any conceivable way. Maybe I'll post what I have of it so far just for giggles.

Judging from the previous phases, I am not sure if anyone would notice if your song is completely unrelated to the theme. We've had a few that seemed really off the mark, imho.

Very true. I won't post what I have of the song I've been working on, 'cause that's less than a minute long (though amazing). I think instead I'll post a song somewhat similar to the theme that's cool - I just made it about half a year ago.

The RPG Music Challenge

Whelp, I have nothing for this phase. I got sidetracked into making a song that's completely original and unrelated to the phase in any conceivable way. Maybe I'll post what I have of it so far just for giggles.

The RPG Music Challenge

Quick question. Am I allowed to like... retroactively decide that my Nostalgic Flashback song was the theme between the main character and former friend and then use some melodic material from my last entry in this one (think more like a mini battle-themed reprise than a remix). I'm not trying to be lazy, I just think thematically that would be a strong move and fills out the imaginary RPG I'm writing this music for. I'm aware it could ruin all anonimity, so I thought I'd ask before starting it.

I think it would be fine to do that - you could probably take most of the actual melodies from the other theme, only faster and more "battle"-like, as both of these are kind of 'sad' themes. The only difference is that one is a battle, and the other isn't.

The RPG Music Challenge

I'm hoping I get one vote. I don't care at all if I win, it'd just be nice to get one vote.

Agreed. I think I got about 4 second-place 'votes', but not one actual vote. Oy.


How did you guys create mp3 files? All I can do is creating midi files..

I think many people use DAWs - you might want to try checking different export options on what you use to make music. If it only exports to midi, you can either download a free audio converter or use a site like mediaconverter.org or zamzar.com. Hope that helps! :)

The RPG Music Challenge - Phase 2 results

Ah, well, I may as well write a review of all of them. I cast my vote already, but I'll review them anyway, since I have more time now. xD

1. This sounds kind of like a theme I'd find in a shop or town of a more retro-style game (probably 'cause it's midi). Seems kind of like some music I've heard in Lufia II or Secret of Mana. Not quite the theme though.

2. Again like a town theme, though this would be more of a port town. Either that or the title screen. Still retro-sounding, though I suppose that's the midi again.

3. Sounds most like Runescape music... :P I do notice that it seems pretty off-key in a lot of places. Doesn't seem to fit the 'nostalgic flashback' theme.

4. Liking the pulsing strings. It seems pretty disconnected, though it does kind of fit the theme. Still does sound like a town and Runescape, I don't know why.
*5. Now this fits a lot more. I very much like this, even with the midi sound. Grats to whoever made this with midi, that's no small feat. Unfortunately though, since it's midi and not converted to even decent instruments, I couldn't have given it my vote. I notice a bit of off-key-ness in a few places.

6. Amazing intro. Probably the best out of all those I heard. I like how there's the echo in it. Unfortunately, it kind of runs out of steam and is essentially the same thing until about 1:15 or so in, where it changes for about two repetitions. I think that a lot more could have been done with the melodies in this, it started out so well. As it is, it's kind of... dull.

7. Pretty nice. I feel more like it's a ravaged town. Bit too dramatic for my taste though.

8. Very sweet and sad. Brings tears to my eyes. I think this does fit the theme quite well. Very town-like in some parts, still...

9. Intro reminds me of another song I heard in an indie game called Verge. Unfortunately, it also seems to have a slightly undeveloped tune initially, which put me off quite a bit at first. It's pretty good, but really needed a better hook.

10. Ice temple theme was my first thought. Then it switches to something completely different. Nice orchestration though. I think it's a tad misleading initially though, that's why I wouldn't vote for it. It also goes back into that part again. It actually would entirely work for an ice temple theme or some snowy area.

11. My Fruity Studio sense is tingling. I think this could use some better instruments. It sounds nice overall, but a bit too dramatic and repetitive. Ah, the curses of working with loops.

12. Um. Not a nostalgic theme at all. What Kentona said really is true. It is reminiscent of elephants. Not the point though, sorry.

*13. Throwback to #6. Fairly good. I like the orchestration, it's pretty darn good. I
once again think it fits a town a LOT better than a nostalgic flashback scene.

14. I think you're a bit late to the party. The Lava Temple themes were for round 1, not 2. It's pretty good though.

*15. I had voted for this one, mainly because it has some VERY nice piano. The strings and tubular bells in the background are really good. I mainly like this song because it's so subtle. Plus, the guitar is a very nice touch, was that recorded live? When it gets more upbeat, it's still pretty quiet, but oh well. The single thing I don't like about this as much is that the loop is pretty much only the second half of this, the intro goes on quite long and I would have loved if that could be looped back to.

16. Another town theme! Again, more of a seaside one. Very nice, but not quite "nostalgic flashback". Also. Loop, good sir (or madam)? I did this in my first phase entry.

17. Sounds very midi-ish, and a tad random. Not that refined, unfortunately. :| Could definitely use a lot more work.

*18. I personally think the mixing on this is pretty darn good. It builds quickly, not much of a tune initially. The guitar-ish sound is pretty nice. It seems more desolate, but there's definitely a note of happiness in there.

*19. Nice beginning. I noticed it right off. I very much like the shifting of the strings in the beginning, gives it a nice morphing feeling. There's some awkward pauses in it though, seems some of the strings have a long attack. I think this is pretty much a string ensemble with a few other instruments mixed in rather than a full orchestra, but whatever. I'm fairly sure the requirement is more "orchestral instruments, but you can add some other ones". Unfortunately, with all the morphing, the loop is kind of lost to me...

20. Sorry, your techno loops are not nostalgic, and barely orchestral. Please, please, please stick with the theme, rather than going off into other genres, phases, and iPhone apps.

21. Pretty nice, pretty nice... Bit long for a loop, but that's fine. It doesn't seem that nostalgic though, more town-like, like so many others. I think I recognize those strings. Not sure though. In any case, this is very nice, but I don't think it fits the theme properly.

22. Welcome to the arena! I don't think this fits the nostalgia theme, but it sounds pretty darn cool.

*23. Ambiance FTW. Seems a bit off-key in some parts, but sounds very cool. Not quite nostalgic, but more like a peaceful crystal cave. I think it's definitely more movie-like than video-gamey. Perhaps if it didn't change feelings so much... As it is, I'm not sure it would fit anywhere perfectly. As I had said though, crystal cave would be a pretty nice place to put it. Doesn't quite loop properly...

24. Recordings! Oh boy. Could use some more quality on the recordings, I hear odd sounds in the background, and distortion. You may want to EQ them a bit next time. I don't think this is really orchestral at all... But for live playing, it's fairly good. Seems very improv-ey. May want to order it a bit more. Not very nostalgic either, and doesn't loop.

And there's my reviews. To the authors, hope it's helpful.

Like Kentona did, I put asterisks next to my favorites.

Luck to you all!

The RPG Music Challenge - Phase 2 results

After a bit of thought, I'd have to say... Entry 15.

The RPG Music Challenge

Hookay, submitted my entry. Here's hoping.

The RPG Music Challenge

Yeah I use EWQL, years ago I used HALion String Edition(1) but that turned out to be a huge waste of money as I was never happy with the realism of the instruments, and that was pretty beefy too. Unfortunately my MoBo can only handle 2GB RAM otherwise I would just upgrade - maybe it's time to bite the bullet, but maybe I'll give Garritan a go in the mean time! Cheers

I used Edirol. While I'm not like "omgamazingqualitylol", it does the job without being obnoxious, and the sound quality is at the very least decent.
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