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 Post subject: Mongoose Music
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:55 pm 
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Hi guys. I just found about FreeOrion this morning and am looking forward to contributing. I have for some time now had a pile of my favorite old compositions posted on my web thingie, the url is below. They are all a couple years old and were targetted at a fantasy/medieval theme so most won't be appropriate to this, but I do have some space-theme material I was working on a while back but never recorded; I will jump on that asap and get some new mp3s up. In the meantime please feel free to try the stuff that's already posted, comments would be *very* welcome. Btw I also just listened to the Drektopian mp3s and Robbob's one, very nice stuff. :)

http://homepage.mac.com/klwelch/


Last edited by LithiumMongoose on Sun Oct 12, 2003 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:40 pm 
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Great to have you here, it's always good to get new people in, fresh ideas and more talent.

I'll definately listen to some of these songs, but my download of one has choked right now :(


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:41 pm 
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Okay, finally got around to kicking LlamaWare in the side a few times so it can open files again (sorry, been a little hectic around here)... As promised, one space-themed mp3 is now posted on my web thingie in a new Free Orion folder. That's the only one of this type I actually finished before, so all I had to do was record it; more stuff will have to be written first so it will take a bit more time. Please let me know what you think! :)


Last edited by LithiumMongoose on Sun Oct 12, 2003 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 2:10 pm 
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The Orion track (Sunrise?) sounds nice, very high quality. Reminds me a bit more of classical music than space, but still very close and definately useful.

I hope you can produce more stuff for us :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:40 pm 
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Not that I'm all that great at this music thing, or capable of producing better:

These comments mostly concern second half, after the first period of silence.

Some of the notes in the later half sunrise sound like they start and stop on a dime--you could improve the piece markedly by introducing longer attacks and decays in these instruments. You might also want to slide between certain notes instead of starting and stopping: but a longer enough attack/decay will sound a bit like a slide anyway.

This is personal preference, but I prefer minimalist electronica with drones and sweeps used where counterpoint strings normally would be. (like your low pitched drone in the first half) Electronic instruments based on the same waveform tend to blur together too much for the human ear to distinguish all the different notes. In other words, try taking out a background string and/or some notes re: the second half.

And maybe lower the overall pitch an octave, or at least edit out some of the longer higher pitched notes. Long high pitched notes on electronic instruments are irritating when you listen to them over and over again: as we would be doing with a piece of game music.

Anyway, I'm not trying to discourage you. Just offering my idiotic feedback on how to make the track better.


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 Post subject: new stuff, finally
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 3:41 am 
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Sorry about the delay guys; it took the better part of two weeks to finish getting LW into a state I could use happily. That said, I've been working hard on new stuff lately, to which end you will find two new mp3s posted at the address at the top of this thread. One is for ship design ala MOO2, which used a different upbeat track for its design screen to great effect imo. I'm not completely sure I did it justice, but it's long and finished, and loops pretty well, so we'll see.

The other is an as-yet-still-incomplete space combat track that winds up sounding more epic than the techno-style stuff I haven't tackled yet. As such I named it Story Battle and suggest it be used only for special fights, ie ones with space monsters, Guardians, Orions, that sort of thing. This one I am quite happy with so far; there's a lot more material that will go on the end that I haven't had time to write yet, but I wanted to let you all have a crack at it now since I'm posting the other one.

Re: the Sunrise/Station track: I'm sorry, I should have explained this when I posted it. That one is designed for a cinematic, probably either in the game-launch-introduction, or the victory sequence at the end. It is *not* intended to be looped.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:34 pm 
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Hi yall.

<Hope's he's recognized from way back when when he offered to be helpful>

I'm just going to go through and listen and comment on what I hear as I listen...

Ship Design:

Aside from what seems an absurd length, not much to comment on. The pause around 4:30 is rather... distracting. Otherwise, the only thing I can really see wrong is that you wanted something "upbeat" and the higher pitched melody (The one that sounds like a choir), while I like its long, melodic, flowing form, doesn't seem to deliver that very well. Also, it doesn't loop perfectly - the seem between the end and the intro is a little noticeable. Not too badly - it could work - but you might want to look at that. (Note: I am hearing a pause in there thats an artifact of Media Player's way of doing things that might be exagerating / creating the flaw, which is very minor)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 10:52 pm 
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Story Battle:

Very nice for "special" battles. I could use a little bit of a harder edge to the feel - it has some suspence, but I like my suspence really dramatic. At around 1:30 you have a few chords that cut through; try adding similar things throughout the piece. I like this piece overall.

Space Station w/ Sunrise Intro:

I like the intro's feel. But, depending on what the cinematic is meant to be, this song may / may not be good. As an end credit piece it would probably work... otherwise...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:25 pm 
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Okay, first of all... Deputy Newbie Greeter and FF1 Black Mage in the thread!!! It's a pleasure to see you here Ron, I was quite fond of your posts during my year or so of lurking in the MOO3 forums. :)

Now then, as always your collective patience is about to be rewarded... I have posted more new stuff. :p Here's a rundown:

Ship Design -- It's not that I don't like this one... but it's not *really* what I had in mind, at least in its current form, so I've taken it down for now. As soon as I figure out how I want to overhaul this I intend to do so; in the meantime I'm pondering options.

Story Battle -- Updated version. Improved the harp accent chords in the first section and its repeat, changed the transition sequence at the end, and added a new section after that. I may still expand on the material in the new section later, but for now it's pretty solid.

War Mood -- Have had this one around for as long as Story Battle (it has almost the same orchestration), but made some improvements recently and felt it was ready to post. Multiple potential uses here; I was originally thinking "battle preparations," ie the music for any sort of MOO3-style combat scheduler and/or initial fleet placement in the combat screen. However, I have since come to think it would be better suited to a galaxy map main race theme, something belligerent and inherently hostile ala MOO3 harvesters. Obviously not finished yet in any case.

There Can Be Only One -- Ron, I will be very curious to see if this is more like the "harder edge" you were looking for. :p Found this rummaging around through my most recent archives from a year or two ago that I hadn't converted to LlamaWare format yet, and unlike most of the rest of my old stuff it fits beautifully. It's possible some people will think this track is a little *too* heavy, but I personally love it. :) Intended use is for normal combat, massive battles only. I will have another normal combat track forthcoming shortly; this one here should only be used when there are, say, 100 or more ships on both sides (maybe scale that number up or down depending on the current game's galaxy size). It does end way too abruptly, I know... I will add a final section later when I get around to it.

That's it for now. Lots more on the way, stay tuned.


Last edited by LithiumMongoose on Sun Oct 12, 2003 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:18 am 
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Hm... without listening yet, one problem: "There can be only one" is, IIRC, a copywrited title.

Now... D/Ling to listen.

There Can Be Only One:

Opening: The intro 7 seconds or so is good, but the tones that pick up afterword sound a little... blah. Musicly its good; it just sounds like a midi file or something. I definatly like this piece however.

The Bass line around 1:10 is nice. Very dramatic feel, and I can feel it deepening to a climatic something. 1:35 to top lines are nice, too. Like the way you shifted. And the lower lines at 1:43 ish are nice. This piece is going somewhere! This definatly belongs as either combat or "high combat" (e. g. orion, monsters, etc). 2:30 (middle of) the cord sequences are nice. I like how it tapers down without losing suspence. This is very good music. I'm tapping my fingers to it, in spite of myself!

Man, it just ended! :cry:

War Mood:

Not good for schedular (SP) screen or pre-combat, but as a theme music to some hostile race... nice.

Eh... starts losing that feel around 0:40... Feels sadder, more haunting. Main flaw seems to be its a little to monophonic. Very little harmony until later in makes it feel a little bland. Since it'd be playing reguraly it might be good however. Especially if you have to listen to it for "hours on end" ;). Try and lower the overall tone - the high pitch of the piece may just be my machine (its known to have interesting and unusual problems) but it'd be annoying in the long run. If you could, just try lowering the pitches about half and octave.

3:00 big shift! Loses at 3:10... but the new feel is also good. 3:20 Ooops, spoke to soon about loosing feel. Maybe cut the stuff between 0:40 and 3:00 and place a new intro? (NOTE: All times are approximate) Other than that, seems OK.

Story battle V2:

Ooooooooh! Nice. The drum pieces in the background hit the spot... I can't really finger any other changes that those harp chords and it, but they make it very nice. (Remember: A small change can have a huge effect - and I often confuse "huge effect" with "huge change" when asking for something, often because I'm not certain which is needed).

This could definatly be regular combat music, and use "only one" for special battles. 1:50 I noticed a driving drum beat - nice. Very nice. The drum beat is new, I think, and definatly helps keep the piece moving.

2:50 I like the moving line. Does ruin the "mood" though. While its a nice segment, its too "slow" for battle. Its too calm. Its too... sad. Try increasing the speed through that section (maybe half again to twice the speed of the moving line). 3:50 it starts to pick up speed - don't increase that section as much. 4:10's slow down would also need to be picked up. New intro into 4:20 could make or break that part. Depending on how you enter it, could be good / bad for battle. End is... OK.


DISCLAIMER: These are written as I listen to the music, so times are only approximate (assume 1-2 seconds delay in switching to check the time, and maybe 1-2 seconds added by the program because it tries to add time around the edges for some reason).





Oh, and what are you using to do these on? Any chance I could get some copies for free? (I. E. are they freeware or something similar).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:41 am 
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About "There Can Be Only One" being a copyrighted title... oh blarg. I'm sure you are correct that it's copyrighted as a catchphrase for the Highlander show and movies, but if I remember correctly copyrights are usually understood to only apply within their general area. Music is usually seperate from movies/tv, and corporate stuff from both of those. Still, I agree I might be treading on thin ice with that name. I do think it is a very appropriate name though, so if anyone else wants to weigh in on this feel free. In the meantime I'll try to think of something I like as much.

Glad you liked it though, I kinda thought you might. :p When I dug it out of my old pile of files and first listened to it I was like, holy shit, I completely forgot I had this thing... Anyway, I may fool around with its intro a little, the simple reverse-cymbal thing is appropriately grating/metallic but there's room for a little expansion there. And yeah, I TOLD you it ends abruptly hehe. I will definitely add more but that's not my top priority atm.

On War Mood... aww, I thought it did work kinda well as a scheduler/pre-combat thing, was intended to give a "calm before the storm" feel in the pre-3:00 section. Still, I basically agree with you about too monophonic, I will definitely work on that. The high pitch is intentional though, it's supposed to be haunting... but I'll try varying that as well, just for the hell of it. If it winds up as a hostile race theme though it will *definitely* get longer, don't worry... the user spends by far the most time on the galaxy map or looking at systems and planets, so the stuff that plays there needs to be the longest to keep it from getting boring and repetitive. (I would cite Starcraft Terran music as the ultimate example of perfection in this respect, but that's just me. :)

On Story Battle v2... you probably won't believe me, but if you still have the old version (which I've already thrown away, sorry), go back and listen to it. Absolutely nothing changed before 2:35, except the improved harp chords (at 0:28-0:40 and 1:25-1:37). The drum stuff you mentioned was there all along, I swear. :) Moving on, I will grant you that pretty much everything after 2:35 (the new stuff) is not very typical combat music. What I was aiming for with this piece, was a "normal" first section, then a strongly emotional segment almost like a slow-motion feel of ships blowing up (this starts at 1:38), then something sad for the rest, like a break in the fighting while the fleet assesses its losses. Unfortunately it came out a little bit too "calm" on top of being sad, that I agree with you on. The final section (starts 4:15) is basically a clever trick I use sometimes, where both the theme from the first two minutes and the other theme from the sad/calm part play at the same time in different parts (one strings one brass in this case). If you listen carefully you'll also notice the background really slow synthy strings are playing exactly the same thing they do at the very very beginning. :) Anyway, that final section I probably consider more solid, and won't alter it, especially since it loops back into the beginning of the piece well, from a musical standpoint. But the 2:45-4:01 chunk could definitely stand some revision.

I will admit, I am sorta warming up to your idea of making Only One the special battle track and use Story Battle for normal combat. The former definitely provides a big intensity boost. However, I also think "massive" normal battles are arguably more important overall to the player's success in the game. Anyway, as mentioned there is a dedicated normal combat track I'm working on atm, so I'll withhold judgement on this issue for a bit.

A few minor spelling things... definatly->definitely, climatic->climactic (climatic means weather-related :), cord->chord, suspence->suspense, schedular->scheduler. Sorry, couldn't help it. :)

Any chance you could get some copies for free, lol... Afraid not. It's dedicated external synthesizer hardware (fairly expensive stuff I might add), not softsynths. When you visit my web page, go into the "Pictures -- Other" folder if you want to see some photos of my rack, which also includes a 10-channel stereo mixer and 8x8 USB/MIDI interface. (90% of the instruments I've used so far are from the Alesis QSR module though, which is much older than the rest of the setup and thus I know it a lot better.)

Oh yeah, and I trust I'm doing alright so far... not that topping MOO3's music would be very difficult (sigh), but the MOO series means a lot to me and I really want to do it justice here. (Besides which, this is the first time I've ever worked on an actual product, so it's critical to my self-confidence. :p) Anyway, more coming as soon as it's ready.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:26 pm 
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<Shrugs>

I must'a been in a different mood. Different day, different feelings, differnt effect. Plus my dad fiddled with some of my setting the other day - may have helped to accentuate the drums a little.

edit:

And the added chords may have helped make the drum beat more effective...

(Oh, and go ahead and nitpick my grammar / spelling. Several of those things where typos, however. I know chord is spelled with an H for example).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 11:03 pm 
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Hey Ron,

Not sure if you were around during the moo3 Delphi boards but i was there. I got banned though for bitching about IFPs too much 8) Anyway i became a lurker and loved the various comments you made throughout the development of Moo3 -- Everything FO won't be. Anyway welcome.

Oh and I owuldn't worry too much about "there can be only one" As it doesn't sound like the Highlander series etc. music isn't copyrighted only performances of it is, and we are a non-profit dev team from various countries all over the world, I'd hardly see a conflict of interest or IP laws arising.

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