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Orchestral music for Xonotic

#1
This is a continuation of a discussion from another thread.

(06-17-2015, 03:56 AM)Halogene Wrote: Thank you for the compliment! I'd sure love to contribute with piano recordings. However, I have currently packaged and stored away my stage piano (hence there are no new recordings on my soundcloud). I still play the (real) piano though - actually even more than before - just can't do any recordings easily at the moment. But I will probably find a way to do that. How would you go on about getting my recording to blend in with the orchestra? Would I play to recordings of the orchestra or vice versa? Personally, I think it would be better if the orchestra part was already done so I could orientate myself on the flow of the orchestra, as I myself don't have a very steady rhythm. What kind of piano part would that be? Who is writing the music? Would I be free to improvise a bit? Might be hard for me to restrain myself not to do so ;o)


@Halogene, thanks for offering to help out. If this contest draws enough momentum, I'll work to allocate the necessary resources. This thing is very costly and I'll be trying to squeeze this project into a slightly tight schedule, so nothing is guaranteed yet.

Another uncertainty is that so far all the Xonotic music is electronic and that may have defined the artistic style of the game, so the orchestral approach is a bold experiment that may fail.

With that said, here I answer your questions:

Since I've worked with this orchestra (and will do so for this project), it'll be the most cost-effective for me to write the music (to minimize rehearsal time). I can consider leaving some space for you to improvise, but I do need to figure out a way to fit your playing with the feel we are pursuing here. For example, my initial idea is to feature the percussive attacks of the piano to go with the orchestra for a fast-paced action movie feel. I haven't started writing so it's not set in stone yet. However, since this is background music, not a concerto, the piano will be treated as one orchestral instrument. That means it won't be as exposed as your solo performance (we can feature you here and there though). That also means I need a dry recording for easier mixing later on. Therefore, don't worry about digging out your acoustic piano (unless you have great mics and a great recording environment). MIDI works better here.

You'll be given something we call a click track to play along with. It's basically a metronome track with some tempo variation (e.g. rubato or other changes). Since I need to sync your playing to the acoustic recording, MIDI wins again here.

I'll try to record the orchestra first for you to play along with, but depending on the scheduling, things may or may not work as expected.

We can talk more about it when this whole thing solidifies.

Actually, perhaps we can have a real Xonotic Orchestra and ask the community the join this project by playing various parts, so we have collaboration rather than competition. It's a ton of coordination work to do though.

Thoughts?
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#2
Woohow, this sounds like a phantastic idea - and I'd love to contribute to this kind of project even if it doesn't fit to Xonotic's music style after all. I perfectly understand that in such an arranged piece of music the piano has to blend in as part of the instruments instead of presenting itself as a solo instrument. The piano can add greatly to the sound fundament an atmosphere is built upon. Even if featured in certain passages, it will have to be played differently than if I'd play solo - if you care, check out the first arranged piece I ever made at 3:55. But please excuse the poor quality of the track in general that is already a bit embarrassing for me, it simply is my first attempt to make such a thing and I just didn't have any good samples at all.

My stage piano of course has midi recording capabilities, with key velocity and stuff (the built-in samples are quite ok, but if you use professional sound engineering software, you'll probably get better ones).

Obviously it's not the first time you make music - do you have any finished works that you care to share so that I can get a glance of what style I can expect? I'm starting to get very excited already.


(06-18-2015, 12:34 AM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: Therefore, don't worry about digging out your acoustic piano
Hehe, actually I have packaged and stored away the stage piano, not the acoustic one. Packaging the acoustic one would be a very hard thing to do :o) But I'll be able to dig the stage piano out for doing some midi recordings (also I don't have any microphones or clues how to record the acoustic piano at good quality).
[Image: 249.png] Latest track on soundcloud: Farewell - to a better Place (piano improvisation)
New to Xonotic? Check out my Newbie Corner!
<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#3
What is a stage piano then?

Anyway, it feels like a descent idea, I might try join if you need electric guitar or bass.
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]
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#4
(06-18-2015, 02:17 AM)Halogene Wrote: Woohow, this sounds like a phantastic idea

Do you mean the Xonotic Community Orchestra idea? I also think this would be a great thing, but for that to happen, we would need a serious workforce to coordinate everyone (as opposed to just me and you). Unless we have enough reliable volunteers for this, I suggest we focus on this contest first, and use it as an experiment to see whether orchestral music works in Xonotic, and if it does, we can then consider making a community version for the title track or something.

Thoughts on this?

(06-18-2015, 02:17 AM)Halogene Wrote: - and I'd love to contribute to this kind of project even if it doesn't fit to Xonotic's music style after all.

Right now I'm focusing on music for Xonotic first. If things work well, we can consider doing more.

(06-18-2015, 02:17 AM)Halogene Wrote: check out the first arranged piece I ever made at 3:55

Your track sounds good! It's got great story-telling, lyrical quality. I can see it potentially working well for a campaign intro. You are also talented in arranging. It's got very nice textural varieties (which is the most common professional advice I give). You should actually consider submitting some pieces yourself! (This is a music contest, not a people contest, so everyone can submit multiple works.)

Remember that this particular contest is to produce music that goes along with the map. Some of your music styles may well fit one of the maps!

(06-18-2015, 02:17 AM)Halogene Wrote: Obviously it's not the first time you make music - do you have any finished works that you care to share so that I can get a glance of what style I can expect? I'm starting to get very excited already.

Please PM me your email address.

Please bear in mind that this is just an experiment for Xonotic. Besides, there are many moving pieces here, and I'm betting on some professional favors (again, orchestral projects are expensive), so let's hope for the best, but be ready for anything.

(06-18-2015, 02:17 AM)Halogene Wrote: (also I don't have any microphones or clues how to record the acoustic piano at good quality).

Some of my pianist friends use these mikes for classical solo piano works. However, I mostly just use a MIDI piano if I need a clean and dry recording, or reserve a recital hall if I want something live. Recording isn't my main gig so I don't invest much there.

(06-18-2015, 05:55 PM)aa Wrote: What is a stage piano then?

Anyway, it feels like a descent idea, I might try join if you need electric guitar or bass.

@aa, I believe he meant a digital keyboard that has good samples, thus suitable for performance on stage.

Thank you so much for the offer. For now, I am thinking traditional orchestral instruments, as a style experiment for Xonotic, but I may change my idea once I see the maps and start writing. (Could you PM me some links to your sample styles for my inspiration?)

On the other hand, my top goal is for the community to have many pieces submitted, and to have a lot of conversations over Xonotic, so I encourage you to submit your tracks (as you promised in your other post, hehe Smile ), and/or work with other folks to submit more.
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#5
(06-18-2015, 11:34 PM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: Do you mean the Xonotic Community Orchestra idea?
Actually I was referring to your approach to make music together.

(06-18-2015, 11:34 PM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote: Your track sounds good!
No it doesn't. It's got a very annoying electric guitar sample that hurts my ears and also the percussion is bland, boring and generic (because I suck at rhythm). It might have turned out decent if I had a capable guitarist and someone with a feel for rhythm helping me out with it... The different textures though were intentional, I don't much like pieces that offer litte to no variation. Also I was curious what sorts of stuff I could do with the initial theme. Thank you for giving it a listen though!

(06-18-2015, 11:34 PM)BuddyFriendGuy Wrote:
(06-18-2015, 05:55 PM)aa Wrote: What is a stage piano then?
@aa, I believe he meant a digital keyboard that has good samples, thus suitable for performance on stage.
Indeed, it's like a digital keyboard that features both mobility (no corpus, only the keyboard plus electronics) and piano technique (fully weighted keys with piano mechanics). This is what I record with:
[Image: mp8-sideview.jpg]

I would sure love to start making some arranged stuff again, but unfortunately I am really lacking the time currently. I have very ambitious plans for this year and hope that I will have spare time to spare again by somewhen next year. I will be able to squeeze in practicing time and recording for you, though, I must be able.
[Image: 249.png] Latest track on soundcloud: Farewell - to a better Place (piano improvisation)
New to Xonotic? Check out my Newbie Corner!
<ZeRoQL> i think i got 1 proper quad and that cunt halogen fuck me over with a laser
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#6
A style similar to what is heard in the PS2 Ratchet And Clank games would work very well in Xonotic.
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#7
(07-20-2015, 11:55 AM)Orbiter Sunblast Wrote: A style similar to what is heard in the PS2 Ratchet And Clank games would work very well in Xonotic.

Thanks for the reference. That's a good start for us.

I didn't know that game, but I looked at this video:




and it has many a few different genres such as musical, traditional orchestral, and modern scoring (use of electronic instruments). I like the subtle part beginning around 27:17 (of course the feel for Xonotic needs to be different). Beginning 31:49 has a nice action feel.

It's important to know though, that scoring for adventure games where there's a strong story-telling feel is very different from scoring for multi-player FPS games, which calls for a more generic approach because of the unpredictability of tension timing.

Do you have an FPS score that you like?
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#8
Red Eclipse has some pretty good music in it.
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#9
I honestly don't see orchestra work with Xonotic, sorry. Maybe when mixed heavily with some electronic sounds or guitars, but certainly not on its own.

Xonotic is all about fast paced neon flashy goodness, electronic styles and tron-like music are approaches that are going to work best. In fact, I think most tracks that are in the game atm are a great pointer of how Xonotic's music should sound: A bit edgy and futuristic.

The best way to implement orchestra into Xonotic is doing it in a similar vain as that track that plays on Stormkeep (stairs.ogg).


Aside from my opinion, I'd like to provide a nice resource link for composing orchestra, a public domain library (so no licensing issues) of recorded samples sorted into instruments via the .sfz format: http://sso.mattiaswestlund.net/

You can use this with any .sfz player VST, but the best (free) one imo is this: http://www.plogue.com/products/sforzando/

This is how the library sounds in terms of sound quality (some of my own pieces):
- https://soundcloud.com/deshaadman/orches...rovisation
- https://soundcloud.com/deshaadman/random-victory-theme
[Image: 4766.png]
[My personal website: AquaNova ] - <> - [Ingame: <PsyX> :::: <-Archer-< :::: ]
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#10
Thanks for the input and the pointers to valuable resources, Archer.

About the license, I believe commercial samples are OK to use as long as they are not released in the sample forms. No?
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