Hobbyist composer



RMN Music Pack 2

I only have one track in the works for now, a forest exploration/town theme with melancholic/fantasy vibes to it. The composition is nearly done, but I still have to work a bit on the orchestration before starting the mixing process.

Summoner of Sounds

Sounds like a good option, instead of a RMN Music Pack 2 (unless someone has the time to manage such an event, but it doesn't look like it'll be happening anytime soon). The CC licence should let us do that, but it might be a good idea to ask the various contributors, just in case.

Summoner of Sounds

Thanks for helping, NeverSilent ! I hope Happy is alright though, it's strange that he suddenly disappeared. I also noticed his Soundcloud was now empty, his tracks that were featured on his website aren't available anymore - but I don't know for now long it's been that way, maybe it's not new. Did anyone tried to contact him directly ? Maybe he's just (really) busy.

I'm also curious about the RMN Music Pack. Since Happy was - from what I understood - the one who was organizing it, is it still planned ?

Summoner of Sounds

It looks like I'm not the only one checking from time to time :p

Out of curiosity, I checked, and it looks like Happy hasn't been active on RMN for three months (no recent posts)...

Summoner of Sounds

*checks everyday for an announcement about RMN Music Pack 2*


And sorry for not contributing to the last challenge, I just couldn't make music at this time of the year, because of my exams.

Summoner of Sounds

You could try different types of software. You have the trackers, like Famitracker, but you'll be limited most of the time to retro/chiptune tracks with this kind of software. You also have digital audio workstations, like LMMS, which are far more complex, but let you do much more.

If you decide to try using LMMS, you could also need better sounds - if you want to use free stuff only, I recommend you to look for soundfonts. Soundfonts are basically libraries of sounds and instruments, ready to use into compatible software. This is an old format which has its limitations and which isn't standard anymore (I don't even know it it's been a standard someday), but this is still the most common format for free stuff.

And some extra stuff from someone at OCRemix : http://soundfonts.darkesword.com/

You could also be interested into the Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, but I don't remember in which format it is originally.

Another thing worth looking into, when you'll be a bit more comfortable with your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) could be the use of VSTs. This is a standard of plugins that should be compatible with any decent DAW, and you can find some good free stuff as well in this format.

Summoner of Sounds

Here is my submission for the current challenge. Actually, it's unfinished, but this is all I can do for now. I've been too busy lately do to anything, and I actually began working on it last night. I tried to get it to loop properly and it's more or less mixed, but you'll probably be able to tell where I had to cut unfinished parts.

By the way, yes, it's heavily inspired by the Elder Scrolls soundtracks - I even thought at some point that the first chords were actually something from Skyrim's soundtrack, and I listened to more than 2/3 of it just to check if I wasn't inadvertently copying. It looks like I wasn't.

Anyway, enjoy ! :)

Summoner of Sounds

Summoner of Sounds Opening Symphony

The first thing I noticed was the violins/viola section panned at 100% on the left, and the cellos that sound too centered because of that. You should keep the violins/violas a bit more centered : Hearing an orchestral section with only one ear is unrealistic.

Summoner of Sounds

If you want some general advice about mixing, it is usually recommended to listen to your track on as many different devices as you can, and to adjust you mixing accordingly : Depending on the device you'll be using, the same track can sound drastically different, and even between different pairs of headphones.
Another good thing to do is trying to learn the strengths and weaknesses of whatever you usually use to mix, may it be a pair of headphones, speakers, or something else.
Just to give you a small example of how important it can be, some weeks ago I worked on some sound effects for a game we were working on for a local gamejam, and on my headphones, one sound effect sounded particularly bassy - it was intended, so I thought it was ok. And then, I heard the same sound effect on my friend's gaming headphones. These ones were so bassy I felt like I was hearing a down-pitched toilet flush sound.

By the way, your track is really cool ! I won't give my opinion on the mixing for now, even if I feel it could be improved a bit : I'd prefer to give it later, when I'll be less exhausted. ^^

Summoner of Sounds

I think the reason why there isn't a lot of entries for this one is because the word "Symphonic" might be a bit intimidating. To "symphonic", one can easily associate the idea of "good sound quality" and specific styles or structures, and this can detract of what we're trying to achieve : Expressing emotions, moods, stuff.

Maybe we should talk a bit about what we're looking for with this challenge, and maybe even with the Summoner Of Sounds in general. Do we want something that really respects all the codes of classical symphonic music with a top-notch sound, or a more liberal approach of the theme where people tried their best to make the sounds they have shine and to express themselves ? :p
Actually, "orchestral" music (since it's what exactly is written into the guidelines) can also be much broader than classical music. Here are some examples, just in case this can help some people to get started.

This one (from Steins;Gate Symphonic Reunion) already covers a lot of different possible directions, since it's a medley, so maybe it'll give you some ideas to start with.

And if I'm including a link to this version of the Dragon Quest soundtrack, it's just to remind you that you shouldn't be afraid of the theme just because your sounds aren't perfectly realistic. ;)

Here's another one from Final Fantasy. To me, it could clearly be played by a symphonic orchestra without a lot of changes to the track itself. There's probably better examples, since I'm not sure this one still works for the challenge (I'm thinking about the bass sound, for example), but that's the only thing I could think about this evening.

I also found myself staring at a white screen for the whole day, some days ago, when I was saying to myself "Okay, so now, write something that sounds symphonic". And that's perfectly normal, since it doesn't give you any direction to begin with. This also means you have an almost complete creative freedom : You don't have to "find" something, you just have to choose something. It can be anything : A given mood you'd like to share, a scene you have in mind involving, let's say, the death of the hero's girlfriend, or a cat, or something inbetween. You could go for a victory fanfare, for an adventurous track when our 10-year-old hero leaves his pathetic village to explore the vast world and eradicate anything evil, maybe something for when he, in turn, becomes evil because he discovered someone stole his candies while he was away mercilessly killing random stuff. It can be anything, really. ...well, almost.
If you really have no idea, just play a random game, and say, at some point "Ok, I want to try working on a track for the next thing I see on the screen". Might be hard if you happen to choose Tetris though, I wouldn't want to be asked to compose a theme for a square made of four blocks. No, this is NOT an idea for a challenge.

Anyway, I hope my crappy scenarios gave you some ideas, and I hope it'll motivate people to send something, especially with this extended deadline :p

PS : Now that my motivational speech is over, I have only one last thing to say : JUST DO IT.
...sorry, I had to.
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