Music Style Thread

I have no idea where we will take this yet, but we will need it eventually! Background music, lasers, engines, you name it.

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Music Style Thread

Postby TerryLikeman » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:09 pm

Ok, everyone, this is a while coming, but it's finally time to buckle down and decide on a unified style for the music.

This morning, I got a PM from Shane suggesting we get together a set of short (about 45 second) samples of everyone's work and put it to a community vote. I'll set an initial submission period of about 4 days, ending at 0700UTC/GMT (or midnight PST). So, your instructions are as follows:

Write a 45 second sample of your IDEAL music style for this project. Due to the limited number of expected entries, I will allow two submissions of different styles from each person, which means two separate compositions, not just two samples that sound like they could come from the same song. You can post links or Soundcould embeds in your replies, and after the submission period has ended, I'll put together the list of submissions and put it to a vote, probably in the Discussion thread, so as to get broader community input. I would prefer new compositions for this, designed specifically to convey your exact vision of the music for this project, but if one of your previous works fits this bill, well, I'm not going to stop you.

So, have at it, and good luck to all of you.

In light of concerns from others, I'm changing the length of the sample piece to something between 45 seconds and 1:30.

(admin: Previous admin comment redacted.)
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Re: Music Style Vote Thread

Postby Andrew » Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:18 am

In all honesty the community is just gonna choose the best arranged composition, followed by personal taste; not the style they think will suit the game the best.
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Re: Music Style Vote Thread

Postby DarkSpartan » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:12 pm

Now, let's get it together, folks. No spitting, no biting.

The Project Lead has requested public input, and the Sound Lead and I agree.

Now back to the original content, as advertised.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby Andrew » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:54 pm

What are the music pieces that the chosen music style will apply to? I think there should be multiple music styles, depending on the situation.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby CaptainStarPaw » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:24 pm

Bringing this over from my ongoing compositions thread, here are the submissions I am most happy with.

My initial approach to Trillek's score is to derive influences from the Mass Effect series, Starbound and Fez (Contemporary, Electronic, Orchestral and Chiptune). I believe these three games conjure the right kind of memorable melodies and textures for a game of this scope. Clint Mansell's work for the film Moon (2009), and John Murphy's/Underworld work for Sunshine (2007) are also strong influences. The music needs a multi-layered approach, so there is always something different to appreciate after multiple listens.

First Submission). Trillek Intro / Theme

A structured and upbeat approach with an electronic and orchestral theme.

Second Submission). Trillek Ambient / Space Exploration

Lots of resonating synth pads, something to listen to whilst staring at the stars.

Thanks for listening!
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby lekro » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:17 pm

I think we should go with an electronic/orchestral approach and concur with Andrew in that we should differ the music styles depending on the situation in-game.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby Aculem » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:37 pm

Just a thought but it might be worth considering a dynamic soundtrack. Borrowing a design element from a project I was working on awhile ago, we had an idea of having a hidden 'stress' level associated with the character which would translate here pretty well. The idea is that the game considers your situation (e.g. your health, oxygen levels, damage to hull, nearby systems becoming unstabilized, etc) and this in turn affects things like your character's adrenaline level and sense of urgency. These can be less intrusive elements as well, like music for example, which could have multiple layers that are more 'stressed' than the base layer, which could start out as a pretty calming orchestral melody and then you get gradually heavier layers of thumping electronic accompaniments over it.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby mrout » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:18 am

I don't think we should have background music.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby Airon » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:36 pm

CaptainStarPaw wrote:Bringing this over from my ongoing compositions thread, here are the submissions I am most happy with.

My initial approach to Trillek's score is to derive influences from the Mass Effect series, Starbound and Fez (Contemporary, Electronic, Orchestral and Chiptune). I believe these three games conjure the right kind of memorable melodies and textures for a game of this scope. Clint Mansell's work for the film Moon (2009), and John Murphy's/Underworld work for Sunshine (2007) are also strong influences. The music needs a multi-layered approach, so there is always something different to appreciate after multiple listens.

First Submission). Trillek Intro / Theme
A structured and upbeat approach with an electronic and orchestral theme.


Good theme, maybe a good title theme for the game.


Second Submission). Trillek Ambient / Space Exploration

Lots of resonating synth pads, something to listen to whilst staring at the stars.


Plays nicely on low volumes. Mix has some icky reverb ringing in the first part, where the level of reverb appears to be too strong. Easy to fix.

The game design will likely dictate what is appropriate. Natural instruments certainly worked well in Bastion.
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Re: Music Style Thread

Postby CaptainStarPaw » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:45 pm

Glad you liked it! and thanks for the comments.

RE: Ambient piece: Reverb is meant to give an immediate impression of vastness, but it can be toned down a little bit so the sound doesn't "grow" quite as much. Personally, I think that part of it is fine. The track volume is a tad bit high, but I mastered it to match the title theme. In-game usage would definitely need to be quieter.

Game design will give a better impression for what is needed, but space music for a space game should sound like.. you're in space. It's a really "done" style, with plenty of great examples in film and game. It can be done with just an orchestra, which equally conveys the feeling of vastness and mystery when compared to evolving, resonating, warm and bright synth pads. It could even be done with just a piano, in a style similar to Philip Glass.

It's hard to tell right this minute what the game will need, but I felt that it was safe to assume: similar to Notch's game, and has a retro vibe which is great because the chiptune/electronic/orchestral approach really works for these kind of games. It needs a title and space exploration track for sure. Music doesn't necessarily need to be playing throughout; the pieces could be mood-setting themes that play for only 2 minutes or so, then they transition into environmental sound design. They could unobtrusively fade in and out like how music is implemented in Minecraft. The music could also have a stronger focus, like a constantly evolving soundtrack that changes based on where you are and what you're doing, making it every bit as important as sound effects. The latter might be overdoing it, but then I'm sure there might be people who would really enjoy it.
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