Topic: We need ambience tracks!

West on April 28, 2012, 10:32:31 PM

West

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I've been playing the game a lot the latest days after a long hiatus (I think it's been like six months since I did) and I'm really excited to see a lot of development in different areas. One thing that became painfully clear though was that the music is REALLY repetitive and we need to do something about that. I'm going as fast as I can go with the thematic pieces, but after this realization I'm going to focus on creating a number of ambience tracks. I'm hoping someone else will help out as well.  Dratz-_C? CheeseLord? (is he even around anymore?) Telaron?

Creating ambience tracks is not difficult. Start with an ambient sound, like rain, wind or just a drone-type sound, and add some sparse instrumentation to that. A solo instrument that plays a slow, haunting melody. A percussion instrument that pops up and hints at a rhythm. It doesn't have to be much more than that.

Any takers?
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Dratz-_C on May 06, 2012, 08:13:23 PM
Reply #1

Dratz-_C

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West,
I've bought Synful Orchestra. It seems to do a good job of mimicking a varied violin performance: synful.com . If someone needs a realistic solo, I might be able to do it, even though I haven't used it yet.
Cheers
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West on May 07, 2012, 09:53:17 PM
Reply #2

West

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West,
I've bought Synful Orchestra. It seems to do a good job of mimicking a varied violin performance: synful.com . If someone needs a realistic solo, I might be able to do it, even though I haven't used it yet.
Cheers

Nice! I've heard some impressive things done with Synful Orchestra in the past. WIVI, Synful -- you seem to have a thing for physical modelled stuff :)

But you're dodging the question though -- would you or would you not be willing to create an atmosphere track or two? ;)
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Telaron on May 21, 2012, 02:08:32 AM
Reply #3

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...I'm going to focus on creating a number of ambience tracks. I'm hoping someone else will help out as well.  Dratz-_C? CheeseLord? (is he even around anymore?) Telaron?
I'm willing to try anything at least once. *cue groans* However, because I usually only compose symphonic music, I am lacking nature sounds. (i.e. birds chirping, wind, etc.) I was wondering whether there were some sites you would personally recommend that would have the required sounds. I found a few, but am unsure about what the required quality of these sounds would be.

Also are there any particular things you would wish these ambient songs to have? (Incorporated hints of already existing themes, a certain length, etc.)

I cannot set a deadline for any finished product though. I am terrible about composing in a timely manner. If I composed for a living I would be both penniless and extremely behind schedule.

« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 04:34:34 AM by Telaron »
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West on May 22, 2012, 07:54:07 PM
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West

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I'm willing to try anything at least once. *cue groans* However, because I usually only compose symphonic music, I am lacking nature sounds. (i.e. birds chirping, wind, etc.) I was wondering whether there were some sites you would personally recommend that would have the required sounds. I found a few, but am unsure about what the required quality of these sounds would be.

I don't have an abundance of nature sounds either, but freesound.org is a good resource. An ambience track doesn't need to have chirping birds or wind or whatever though. You could also use some sort of synth drone effect.

Also are there any particular things you would wish these ambient songs to have? (Incorporated hints of already existing themes, a certain length, etc.)

Around 2 minutes is preferable. No need for existing themes, in fact instrumentation can be very sparse. Some soft percussion effects maybe, a sustained string note that fades in and out, a slow melody on a solo instrument. Stuff like that.

I cannot set a deadline for any finished product though. I am terrible about composing in a timely manner. If I composed for a living I would be both penniless and extremely behind schedule.

Join the club ;) No problem though, give it a shot and let me know when or if you finish it.
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Telaron on June 30, 2012, 11:35:26 PM
Reply #5

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Right, so I finally sat down and composed a bit. I've got this ambient piece up to about one minute so far. Pretty much my only worry thus far is that I may be using too much instrumentation and not enough ambience. See what you think.

Ambience
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 04:00:38 PM by Telaron »
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West on July 03, 2012, 08:01:12 PM
Reply #6

West

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That's actually really good Telaron! :D

My only remark would be that it's maybe a bit too serene and Soule-ish for an action game, but meh.

And an ambience track doesn't need this much instrumentation, no, but it's not a problem. If you could work a bit more on the final part (maybe it's supposed to be longer?) this is definitely a keeper.

Great work!
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Telaron on July 03, 2012, 08:46:37 PM
Reply #7

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That's actually really good Telaron! :D
Phew! Thanks West.  :) I did not mean this to be the finished piece; I want it to be closer to that two minute marker that you mentioned above. I simply posted what I already had so that I could see hear what you thought of it. I had halted work on this until I heard your thoughts, so now, hopefully I can find some time to work some more on this.

My only remark would be that it's maybe a bit too serene and Soule-ish for an action game, but meh.
Yeah that was another thing I was wondering about. It did not match the mysterious/dangerous thematic style of the already existing music. But if it's not too big of an issue I'll just go ahead and see about completing this.

Thanks. :D
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Telaron on July 07, 2012, 02:58:12 PM
Reply #8

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And I'm pretty much finished with this piece. If there are any adjustments that you want or things you that you think should be changed, feel free to let me know. If not, let me know and I'll upload the (wav?) file to MediaFire.

Ambience Final Mix
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KroArtem on July 08, 2012, 09:08:27 PM
Reply #9

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That sounds awesome! This track doesn't disturb or distract you from playing (at least from reading/serfing the web ;))
It'd be cool to listen to it in the game ASAP. Hope kalimgard is still somewhere here and he can add this wonderful track.
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fusion44 on July 08, 2012, 09:21:39 PM
Reply #10

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I agree with KroArtem, very nice track!
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Dratz-_C on August 18, 2012, 11:41:56 PM
Reply #11

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Hi West,

I modified the post to include versions AA02 and AA01. I installed Sonar so I didn't have to bother with SynthFont. Don't worry, I've had Sonar since 2005. That required my buying an external DVD drive. Much as I like SynthFont, it was slowing me down. I bought a stereo studio condenser microphone. (I don't have the money to buy a good powered usb hub to feed my musical keyboard and protect my computer from overvoltage and power noise.) My sole instrument is acoustic guitar, thus I recorded a theme on it which I was tinkering around with for the purpose of Summoning Wars. Normally I play it 50% faster but, not being an accomplished guitarist, I had to slow it down for it to easily stick. After 30 minutes of testing to get the microphone to work with my audio hardware and software, it took about ten takes for me to get it right. Professionals play till they can't get it wrong. I am not one of them. I call it discord.

Version AA00 is 48 seconds, loopable and at 100bpm. Could this one turn into something useful? Now version AA01 is available. It is 4 minutes and again loopable and at 100bpm. I added cicada ambience  (from http://www.freesound.org/people/sbordage/sounds/126744/ and thanks to sbordage who asks via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ to be credited). I EQed a set of fade in and out repetitions around the unmodified middle theme. I have added wind for AA02 which is otherwise the same as AA01. I haven't yet decided if this change gives the piece focus or just limits its use. (Credit for the wind sound from http://www.freesound.org/people/strangely_gnarled/sounds/105362/ goes to strangely_gnarled under the same license as the above cicada sound. Unless I get more ideas or help from here, AA03 may have to wait for the powered usb hub to put my virtual instrument libraries at my finger tips. I estimate this occurring 3 months from now.)

I envision this work to be effective in populated dungeons, caves and nature.

AA00 Preview: https://www.box.com/s/88f4cc4b4a2a1a53d5dc
AA00 flac: https://www.box.com/s/9431962ba3a0d34212f4

AA01 Preview: https://www.box.com/s/6ea3aaea7ae97a92d94b
AA01 flac: https://www.box.com/s/a9283a714f37e2851fb7

AA02 Preview: https://www.box.com/s/5a65a36a7fa2f891d31b
AA02 flac: https://www.box.com/s/c51f7e5061762d43803a

AA03 Preview: https://www.box.com/s/79a5ac4b7e647c7dfc65
AA03 flac: https://www.box.com/s/a1bb7483956be214e7b9

AA04 Preview: https://www.box.com/s/tc00f9h73nc7k719fvqh
AA04 flac: https://www.box.com/s/t37le7rkpi0c6bz4kwj0

I place all versions of this song, Discord, under the Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0).

I went to the Summoning Wars IRC channel and q66 and I think that the ambient sound effects layer should be deliberately chosen by the map authors, seperate from the music, so that the music tracks go over the top of the sound effects and are usable in more situations. This could include a parent ambience layer made of an array of 1 or more sounds that play everywhere; and a child layer that plays ambient sound effects placed at specific locations, gains and minimum and maximum radii. This model would also allow folks to regulate in the sound options the volume of the ambient sound effects independently of the music and combat sound effects volumes. Should I post a new thread about this idea? He also suggested that, if I keep the ambient sound effects in the song, I reduce the gain on the Guitar to make it more subtle.

Cheers
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 12:27:36 AM by Dratz-_C »
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West on August 25, 2012, 08:39:35 PM
Reply #12

West

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Dratz-_C: I'm really not sure what to think about the guitar thing. One one hand, I think it's hopelessly unfitting for a (so far) fully orchestral soundtrack. On the other hand, I *have* been working on some safe area music featuring guitars (albeit sampled ones). And it might also serve as a tip of the hat to Diablo, which had a lot of acoustic stuff similar to yours IIRC.

The guitar could use some processing though. A compressor to even out the dynamics a bit. A splash of reverb maybe.
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Dratz-_C on August 26, 2012, 06:25:53 AM
Reply #13

Dratz-_C

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West,
I remembered the guitar from Diablo I and II which is why I thought it could work. I'll experiment with compression and reverberation when I have time. Thanks for suggesting them. Edit: I've updated the above post with AA03 per your suggestions.
Cheers
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 07:18:18 PM by Dratz-_C »
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Dratz-_C on September 10, 2012, 01:38:08 AM
Reply #14

Dratz-_C

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Hi West and other folks,
I am about to leave tomorrow on a one-week tour of Washington, the District of Columbia or my nation's capital. I am also in a college course at this time. My hands will be occupied in the near future. Do you have any thoughts on version AA03 with the reverberation, compression and flanging effects I added? I tried to make it sound near to the mark of the Diablo-style guitar.  AA03 preview: https://www.box.com/s/79a5ac4b7e647c7dfc65 ;  AA03 flac: https://www.box.com/s/a1bb7483956be214e7b9 .  I'll see you in a week!
Cheers
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