Hello Gentlemen

Discuss and share compositions for the game here

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bsbray
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Hello Gentlemen

Postby bsbray » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:30 am

Hello Gentlemen. Unfortunately, all of your base are belong to us. It is true what they say, that you have no time. Make your time, gentlemen.

Seriously though, my buddy J referred me to this project. I can offer musical and basic sound editing services. I can also speak French and help translate into French if needed. A word of warning, though: I am a university student taking classes full time this fall, so I'm trying to balance things.


I know almost nothing about what is going on here so I'll ask a few preliminary questions before I start to familiarize myself with the game:

1) What specifically do you guys still need in terms of music?
2) What do you like and dislike about the music written so far?
3) What else should I know about this game and the music you want for it?
4) Do you communicate outside of this forum, like on any messengers?

Imitating a musical style is relatively easy. Creating a new sound or style is much harder. I could just get my hands on the soundfonts used for the earlier music and continue to compose in the same kind of style and using the same soundfonts. Anything more would require would elaborate discussions.
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Roots
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Roots » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:27 am

Hi, glad to have you here. I'll get right to answering your questions.

1) Most of the music we need for the next release is good to go, but there are a couple pieces that we could use. Refer to our roadmap (search for the music section of the table). That's generally what I think we need. Although for the legend theme I think we have something that fits well (I'll share it with you when I can find it) and also I'm re-using a battle theme for the "under attack" music, and it seems to be working out well.

2) I really like the thematic element that is present in a lot of different tracks. It's cool to see it mixed and matched in different ways and I think it works very well. I also just like the quality in general and have been pretty damn satisfied with what we have. Picking out what I dislike is a lot harder, but if I had to pick something I'd say that perhaps the samples could be a little smoother/higher quality. We're not really going for a "retro" soundtrack here. Also some of the tracks do not loop well.

3) Glad you asked. :) See [this page](http://www.allacrost.org/wiki/index.php ... _Standards) in our wiki for answers on that. Particularly the mission statement section, which was written by our past main composer who pretty much created the theme and style we have. For the game in general, I recommend you read the about page on the website. And reading the prologue narrative(PDF) should also be helpful for you to get a sense of the characters, setting, etc. (our next release is based on this text).

4) The forum is what we use the most. We have an IRC channel that some of us hang out in, but it can be hard to catch people since we all have different schedules and live in different time zones.



A French translation would be great to have. We probably won't have finalized text to translate for a couple of months though, and I don't really want people to translate until we reach that point (otherwise its more work for translators and more likely errors will be made). Sound would be helpful too, even if it's just finding us free sounds to use and editing them as needed. (We only use freely available content here though, so we need to be careful about not borrowing work that we shouldn't be using).

I strongly suggest you read our new contributors page to find out what resources are available to you and what you can expect working here. And no worries about your commitment as a student. This is a hobby project and none of us work on it full-time. There's no deadlines, pressure, etc you should worry about. It should be fun. And if it isn't fun, change something until it is. :)

I still chat with our original composer occasionally, so I can ask if he is able to send you the soundfonts he used. His soundcloud page is here if you want to check it out (he's done music for us as well as some other projects). And of course, I want you to have a listen to all the music we currently have in the game. You can find our music directory online here (you'll need a player that supports .ogg files, we don't use mp3s because of licensing issues).


Let me know if you have more questions. Once you've looked through all the material I've shared and have a general sense for our musical style, we can begin discussing what music you can start composing. :approve:
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby bsbray » Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:49 pm

Roots wrote:1) Most of the music we need for the next release is good to go, but there are a couple pieces that we could use. Refer to our roadmap (search for the music section of the table). That's generally what I think we need. Although for the legend theme I think we have something that fits well (I'll share it with you when I can find it) and also I'm re-using a battle theme for the "under attack" music, and it seems to be working out well.


Thanks. I see there are four pieces listed there and you say you think you have something already for the legend theme. If so that leaves three pieces that need to be done. That's not so bad.

2) I really like the thematic element that is present in a lot of different tracks. It's cool to see it mixed and matched in different ways and I think it works very well. I also just like the quality in general and have been pretty damn satisfied with what we have. Picking out what I dislike is a lot harder, but if I had to pick something I'd say that perhaps the samples could be a little smoother/higher quality. We're not really going for a "retro" soundtrack here. Also some of the tracks do not loop well.


That theme sounds like what is called a germ motif. I can keep that going. I'll listen through the music you linked to and I should be able to pick out the motifs, and I can just put them all side by side and see what varies and what remains the same and get the feel for it in that way.

The "retro" sound presents a difficulty. This is the general nature of midi orchestras, that they sound like 80's synthesizers or worse. It's possible to find high-quality soundfonts, though not always for free, but if we have music using two different sets of midi soundfonts then the contrast might be jarring between the two. The simplest and easiest thing there is just to continue using the same soundfont that was used previously. So yes, if you can find out what soundfont that was, I can make use of it. OGG is also not a problem, I work with them a lot because they're lossless and small files.

3) Glad you asked. :) See [this page](http://www.allacrost.org/wiki/index.php ... _Standards) in our wiki for answers on that. Particularly the mission statement section, which was written by our past main composer who pretty much created the theme and style we have. For the game in general, I recommend you read the about page on the website. And reading the prologue narrative(PDF) should also be helpful for you to get a sense of the characters, setting, etc. (our next release is based on this text).


Thanks, I'll read through this and the other information you've linked me and report back later.
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Roots » Sun Sep 04, 2016 6:06 pm

Sounds great. I contacted the original composer about the sound fonts and will let you know what he says. And yes, I realize that high-quality fonts are not usually free. I don't expect you or anyone else to pay out of your own pocket to complete work on this project, so don't worry about it. I can also appreciate having consistency in the soundtrack. I was merely grasping at straws when you asked what I don't like about the music, and realize it is unlikely that we're going to be able to "upgrade" everything to higher samples.
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Roots » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:16 pm

I dug up some old music today and found that we already have suitable pieces for two of the four items on the roadmap, which I now marked as completed. Just FYI. The "under attack" piece is still the highest priority.
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Rain » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:43 am

Hi. Holy crap it's been a while. Bsbray, I would very much welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to offer in the form of a sample or example that highlights what you can bring to the project. Without some kind of sample for us to look at, it will be difficult for us to tell if your work will actually fit. I've been pretty busy with other stuff and have put Allacrost on the back burner for a while but I intend to try to maintain more of a presence here in the forums.

The difficult part of the soundtrack is that at one point we were going for something a bit more retro / ff6 esque and in that way of thinking some of the sound fonts were typically of lower fidelity in keeping the tradition of classic rpgs that we grew up playing. The means for making these soundfonts has completely disappeared but this isn't the worst thing as better means have made themselves available. I think the soundtrack will benefit from higher samples in future song construction. Right now I use soundfonts from a number of sources, logic 9, easwest orchestra, sam horn and strings samples, etc etc. Honestly, I would advise working with orchestral samples b/c it's easier to make something that blends into the game and orchestral can always be a tasteful addition in terms of what it brings to the music palette.

I am not sure how familiar you are with the work that's already been done with the soundtrack but if you want some samples I would be happy to share what I've done so far. Maybe we can put our heads together and talk a bit if you would like and see what's what. Thank you for showing your interest in the project and I wish you the best!
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby bsbray » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:31 am

Rain wrote:Hi. Holy crap it's been a while. Bsbray, I would very much welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to offer in the form of a sample or example that highlights what you can bring to the project. Without some kind of sample for us to look at, it will be difficult for us to tell if your work will actually fit. I've been pretty busy with other stuff and have put Allacrost on the back burner for a while but I intend to try to maintain more of a presence here in the forums.


I haven't been working much on musical stuff lately either but I did get together some files and PM them to Roots in a zip file. It's here: http://www.filedropper.com/music_4

I did the MIDI renders without bothering to find any better soundfonts, but obviously for a final product for the game I would do some digging to find what fits or else use whatever you can send.

I can write in a variety styles, because I can deconstruct a piece, listen for where it's getting a distinctive sound from and then use that back again in my own way. I used to deconstruct Zelda game music as a hobby to see what kind of scales and harmonies they were using to create a certain atmosphere and all that. I was going to do the same with what you've wrote to just continue in the style you're using, as closely as possible, ie similar instrumentation, harmonies, motifs, etc. If you have actual sheet music or something that would make things easier but if not that's okay. I never played much Final Fantasy though.

The means for making these soundfonts has completely disappeared but this isn't the worst thing as better means have made themselves available. I think the soundtrack will benefit from higher samples in future song construction. Right now I use soundfonts from a number of sources, logic 9, easwest orchestra, sam horn and strings samples, etc etc. Honestly, I would advise working with orchestral samples b/c it's easier to make something that blends into the game and orchestral can always be a tasteful addition in terms of what it brings to the music palette.


Using orchestral samples isn't a problem in itself, I just want to make sure that the samples you're using are identical or as close as possible to whatever I'd use.

I am not sure how familiar you are with the work that's already been done with the soundtrack but if you want some samples I would be happy to share what I've done so far. Maybe we can put our heads together and talk a bit if you would like and see what's what. Thank you for showing your interest in the project and I wish you the best!


I have listened some but not as much as I'd like yet. I have the game itself installed now so I have the music folder there with the .ogg files.

I have a lot of reading to do this weekend, into next week, really for the next 6 weeks or so to be honest. But in that time I'm sure I'll have down time now and then to play around with something.

Also I mostly use Skype but if you guys are on IRC or whatever I can pop on there too from time to time.
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Rain » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:54 am

Thanks for sending those. There is some real promise there, imo. I don't know if it will fit the soundtrack but that depends on how we consolidate our resources for future use.

If you are actually interested in contributing to the soundtrack, it might prove helpful to give you some examples of the different themes and moods that are currently on the soundtrack. I think listening to these might help you get some ideas that may go some way in figuring out your soundfont set.

Here are some samples. This is supposed to be the overworld map theme Made with Garritan Personal Orchestra

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/seekingnewworlds

Forest theme GPO and EastWest Platinum

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/longsadnight1

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/forestflute

Claudius theme invention 3 East West platinum, reason 9 soundfonts

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/claud ... line-final

Orchestral theme SAM samples and eastwest platinum

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/orchestraltheme

Fanfare Garritan Personal Orchestra (GPO)

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/rpgfanfare

Boss Battle

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/bossbattle25

Betrayal Battle East west, Reason 3.0, Logic 9

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/betrayalbattle

Theme of betrayal EastWest platinum

https://soundcloud.com/ryanreilly/betrayal
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby bsbray » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:11 am

Thanks, Rain. I'm absorbing what you linked me. There is a lot of variety there, so trying to pick it apart and analyze it to imitate the style would probably not be a very efficient approach. I'm going to have to get all wu-wei and try to feel my way into fitting in with the general sense of things. I especially like the forest themes. That's the kind of music where if I was playing the game I would just wander around just to listen to it.

I'll start looking for these soundfonts and downloading them too, when I'm back on my laptop, if they're still online.

Are there any recurring melodies or harmony progressions you're using that I might want to know about?
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Rain » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:56 pm

bsbray wrote:Thanks, Rain. I'm absorbing what you linked me. There is a lot of variety there, so trying to pick it apart and analyze it to imitate the style would probably not be a very efficient approach.


Then I would recommended picking a piece that you like and trying to mimic the style of the piece. That'd be a good place to start, I think. You don't have to do everything at once. That'd lead to this :bang:

bsbray wrote:I especially like the forest themes. That's the kind of music where if I was playing the game I would just wander around just to listen to it.


I am happy to hear it! :)


bsbray wrote:Are there any recurring melodies or harmony progressions you're using that I might want to know about?


Right now, don't worry about that. We aren't as hard up on themes as we could be that it'd be nice actually to have music which doesn't include the motif. So don't worry about trying to fill in these holes.
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby bsbray » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:36 am

I just got a really good interface setup so that I can write everything out in usual musical notation and have it played back by any soundfont I choose to load, so I'll be downloading soundfonts and installing them, and will have a lot more control over how they come out sounding than the way I was doing it before. I'm just dropping by to throw that out there. Other than that I'm at a pretty busy part of the semester and will have to drop by with music later.

Which interface do you use?
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Re: Hello Gentlemen

Postby Rain » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:47 am

Hey there/ Been a while!

Usually for interface or sequencing, I use Logic 9 but it's been a real bastard to deal with in terms of stability since upgrading my mac os to Yosemite. Not sure if I am going to stick with logic 9 or move to Reaper, which is the industry standard these days.
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