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Palas

Opinions on music solicited

Opinions required on this song

 

So, there may or may not be a VN project I'm working on for 2017 and the chosen music direction is a bit different from what I'm used to making. As a style exercise, I tried remaking a somewhat old piece of mine into the new required style, but I'm not really confident about the results - let alone the overall, technical quality of the piece. So I need your opinions! I'd like you to hear it and tell me

 

a) if it's pleasant to listen to

b) if it'd be pleasant to listen to even on repeat since it's for a VN

c) what kind of vibes you think it gives off

d) how it compares to the original

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a) It is pleasant enough as a background music

b) It would, because it's not the kind that gets annoying if played more than once,

c) It feels kinda mysterious and futuristic

d) Fairly different from the piano version, i like both, but i think the new one is better

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Both versions are actually very good. I recommend using both because they convey different feelings. The new 2017 one sounds futuristic and can be used in scenarios that express the overall setting, while the old one sounds melancholic and sad, which would fit best if said setting went through some turmoil and the characters are emotionally wrecked.

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A) Yes

B) Yes, if used more or less sparingly

C) Slightly mysterious, futuristic vibe. May be used when protagonist of a sci-fi VN is walking through the city at night while trying to figure out some kind of riddle, for example.

D) I like the original more, but that might just be due to bias. It sounds a bit more melancholic and seems like it would fit in a modern day or historic setting. May be used when protagonist is reminiscing on something.

But I also agree with UnlimitedMoeWorks, both tracks are good and could even be used in the same VN during different scenes.

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Posted (edited)

There's some crackling here and there and it's a bit heavy on the bass. The original are free from both and personally I prefer that one but both are nice. Not sure about the vibe, perhaps a bit like you've had a bit too much whisky and then someone told you they are here from the Andromeda galaxy to pick you up because the survival of the universe is dependent on you.

Edited by atorq
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I really don't know anything about music, so I'll just give some random thoughts and hope they'll help you in some way. Don't take them too literally.

Both sound pretty good on their own, the new one kinda reminds me of FTL, and I think it's got a pretty good selection of effects/instruments. 

However, I think both tracks (esp. the old one, the new one only a little bit) kinda sound like their composition is going nowhere, like someone is playing chords at random, which might be a problem, depending on your stylistic intention

Lately though, I've started to think of and judge a soundtrack not as something that should necessarily sound good on it's own, or something to just 'fit the tone', but as something that should add new sensations and ideas that aren't expressed in the writing and visuals at all.

I like to take Berserk (1997) as an example, as the manga is a (somewhat) straightforward dark fantasy, but the soundtrack is almost entirely electronic, and it gives the show a very unique and memorable vibe. Just a general thought, I hope I didn't make this confusing or overcomplicating for you.

TL;DR sounds pretty decent, especially the second one, but I'd need some context to really tell you whether or not I like either.

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First I want to say that both versions sound amazing and the technical quality and skill is superb. I think you should be plenty confident of what you compose!

A) I would say so.

B) It's a pretty mellow song so I don't think that there should be major issues with repeating it over and over. If you really wanted to play it over and over maybe the ending and beginning could be more continuous and flow into each other, but it's fine as is right now in my opinion. With a almost constant bass tone throughout the piece is easy to keep listening to. It never feels like I'm brought out of the music or abruptly shaken by anything if that makes sense.

The one thing that is kind of weird for me is, as atorq mentioned, the crackling that occasionally happens in what seems like the center of the soundstage, but far away.

C) The first thing I thought of when I listened to this was that it felt like some sort of epilogue music. Like that kind of music that comes up when people are explaining what just happened earlier. The music that comes on after stuff just happened. 

Conversely I also feel like the piece also gives off a vibe of preparation. The piece also gives me a feeling of anticipation as if something is about to happen. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this doesn't really feel like action music but rather like music that would come directly before or after something really big happened. The piece feels kind of distant and far away.

D) The two pieces are pretty different in how they made me feel whenever I listened to them. The original is a lot more direct and dramatic. The piece feels a lot closer and hot-blooded than the 2017 (happy new years) remix. The original again doesn't quite feel like action music but it's much closer than the remix. Whereas the remix feels like I'm standing far away watching something happening or getting ready to happen, the original sounds like I'm standing where stuff is about to happen. 

Good luck with whatever you may (or may not) be doing and happy composing!

 

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I would like to comment, but for whatever reason SoundCloud won't play the music even after I click play. It just enters into infinite buffering but never starts the song. So, I couldn't listen to the music. But I totally support your endeavors with this project! Good luck with it! :D

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@Zidan209 @solidbatman @UnlimitedMoeWorks @Barktooth Thanks! Fortunately, a futuristic vibe and a night theme were exactly what I was going after - though we're not talking about a sci-fi setting. So I'm very happy I got more or less what I was aiming for. But for that very reason I'm not sure we'll be able to use such different styles :Ç maybe a bonus song for the OST ◔

@atorq @Polycentric Thank you! I noticed the crackling, but I have no idea how to do away with it :< I also completely forgot to try, though. I'll go easier on the bass too - I used my own earphones as a standard device and bass sounds just so good on them. It's one of those in-ear phones, you know? On any other kind of device it must sound far less nice though (or maybe it just sounds the same and it's just not that good to listen to), no matter the quality of the phones.

@john 'mr. customer' smith Thanks~ I avoided giving any context so as not to give the impressions any kind of direction or bias, but I totally see your point. I also see where you're coming from about the composition. I tend not to structure them the way I'd like to so they always become... well, like that. Something I definitely have to work on. I can assure you, though, that the intent is to add new sensations to a given context. Or, to be specific, to give off a feeling that the game is set in somewhere really nice in spite of everything.

@Zalor You can always use the Soundcoud Downloader! Thanks, though~ actually, long time no see. Glad to see you around again.

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Thanks for informing me about Soundcloud Downloader! I have now listened to both pieces and here are my comments.

a) They are both pleasant to listen to. They both are successful at being background music, but the difference in style does create a bit of a difference in mood. 

b) Yes, it would work very well on repeat. Both songs seem perfect for VN use.

c) This question is a harder to answer, but let me put my thoughts together. I think somebody above said that the revamped version gave a futuristic vibe, and I totally agree. The first thing that came to mind when listening to it was Cave Story. It has a lonely vibe to it, while also feeling futuristic in a way. So I picture it would be good to use for when the main character is contemplative and lonely. In fact, the piece also felt like a piece that could have been used in the Dysfunctional Systems ep.1 VN. 

d) The original maintains the same vibe of loneliness and contemplation. And while I could picture the original being a piece used in a futuristic/sci-fi setting, to me it also feels like it could be suited for a present-day setting. 

 

P.S. Haha, I've always been a pretty spontaneous presence on this forum. I'll be pretty active for months at a time, and then basically hibernate for months, and then that cycle continues. A lot of it depends on how busy I am irl. But I don't picture myself ever permanently leaving this site anytime soon. Good to see you again after such a while too!  

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a) It is pretty nice to listen to

b) Yeah I don't think it would grow old or annoying with several times of it being heard

c) Bit of mystery and futuristic while still maintaining a soothing vibe 

d) They're pretty different so like someone else suggested above you could use them both for different moments or purposes. (I like the new one a bit more than the original one)

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"Masquerade." A party full of mystery, masks, and ambiance. What happens at the party stays at the party.

As I was listening to the original version, I closed my eyes and pictured myself walking fashionably late to such a party. It wasn't one meant for dancing, more along the lines of intrigue, and the build-up actually caused me to feel like a murder has transpired. You have this build-up, and the intrigue simply continues, even after the apparent climax of the piece at around the 1:21 mark. The murder happens, we have this tight arpeggio: the job is finished.

Also, 1:34, what's that somewhat dissonant chord going down?

 

"Masquerade (2017)." Mystery, masks, and ambiance, but who did the killing? They say whatever happens at the party stays at the party, but it's up to our investigation to determine what actually went down.

It's pretty crazy what a change of instruments can do to a piece. The tone this piece takes definitely feels like the quiet, somewhat eerie aftermath of a killing. The only people still in the room are the deceased and the ones investigating what happened. It does have a futuristic vibe, yes, but I don't feel it's as strong as they're making it out to be. Could it be one of the songs on the VA-11 Hall-A soundtrack? Most definitely, but I wonder if that was the original intent. There are a few awkward bumps that atorq mentions, but they are difficult to pick out.

 

Whatever the actual intent/inspiration of both pieces was, there is a major difference between the two pieces stylistically. They are both wonderful pieces with the same melody line, and would definitely have a place in a VN.

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a) it is, but it doesnt offer much in terms of hook or creative stuff sound design wise

b) to be honest, it would be really dull after the first couple of times tbh, but i cant really say if it would fit the vn so good that it would work

c) relaxing and really non intruding at all

d) okay, I need to admit that the original is much better and works better in terms of catchyness, the tracks main strength is the composition and tbh it never needed a redo with electronic music aesthetics, in my opinion it actually weakens what the work is trying to convey, at least thats the impression i get

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@Zalor @DarkZedge Nice~ I don't know about using both versions, but we'll see. Also Dysfunctional Systems, you say? Interesting, I never paid much attention to that soundtrack (I was too busy paying attention to their great overall sound design), but I have the OST on me, so I'll give it a careful listen :> 

@Ryechu Now that's some inspired interpretation! I appreciate it immensely. Interestingly, you're the first person who ever associated the song with the name. What not only you did, however, was to associate it with anticipation or an aftermath. I like that impression, honestly, it wasn't something I was specifically going after in neither piece but it's nice.

Also, funny that you should mention VA-11 HALL-A. I'll come back with actual details later this month maybe, but what we're working with is, you could say, a perfect antithesis to VA-11 HALL-A. Not that we don't like it, of course - I love it a lot, it was my VN of the 2016. But having the style we're working on compared to it is both ironic and fitting.

@Kawasumi I see, so it lacks catchiness. Well that's a bummer - I love catchy background music I grew up with Sonic, after all. It's true I can work with "normal" instruments better when it comes to variations of intensity and hooks, so that's something I should be working on - the electronic style is a must though :Ç well, not that I specifically made this song for the upcoming game. It's more of an exercise. So it's good you told me this now, thanks~

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15 minutes ago, Palas said:

 

@Kawasumi I see, so it lacks catchiness. Well that's a bummer - I love catchy background music I grew up with Sonic, after all. It's true I can work with "normal" instruments better when it comes to variations of intensity and hooks, so that's something I should be working on - the electronic style is a must though :Ç well, not that I specifically made this song for the upcoming game. It's more of an exercise. So it's good you told me this now, thanks~

no problem as someone that studies electronic music full time I would be glad to help, if you want any tips  just shoot me a pm

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