Feeling Experimental with Music

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Art Studio' started by VinsCool, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Hiya!

    So I've been making chiptune music lately, mostly covers of many tunes, but never anything original due to the lack of inspiration.
    However, yesterday night, I had a lightning stroke of ideas, and pushed it further tonight.

    So here I share my current original tunes.

    Published work list

    If you're interested, most of my stuff (original and covers) can be freely downloaded from here:
    :download: [Google Drive]
     
    Last edited by VinsCool, Nov 12, 2018 at 8:13 AM
  2. B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N

    B_E_P_I_S_M_A_N Resident Weirdo

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    I have absolutely no grasp on music theory, so I can't really offer much criticism there. However, I have this image in my head of a boss fight taking place in the middle of a computer, with elements of reality fizzling in and out of existence as you try to deal with this dark, almost shadow-like creature infecting everything in this virtual world. That's the kind of ambience I get from this song. It's cool. I really like it.
     
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  3. SirBeethoven
    This message by SirBeethoven has been removed from public view by BORTZ, Jul 10, 2018, Reason: one word post.
    Jul 10, 2018
  4. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Thanks! I like how you had this in mind.

    I personally built this tune as a "lesser than good" attempt.
    So here's the story from my perspective: It's about trying, and never giving up, building up stronger, to the point where you maintain the momentum, and finally slowly fade out, after you invested all your energy in something you like, satisfied of your work.
    Midway in the tune, the efforts felt stagnant, making the tune to slowly fade out, almost as giving up, but a sudden surge of motivation pushed it even further, leading to the "solo" part, to eventually finish for real.

    Also, I don't even know music theory at all, it's all from what felt "right" there.
     
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  5. SG854

    SG854 Member 옷

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    Music for a long moving train level. Or Something to do with construction.
     
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  6. BORTZ

    BORTZ Tired of being the good guy

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    What is your "instrument" of choice? I really like the sound.
     
  7. Memoir

    Memoir Just a Memory

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    Somewhere, over there!
    Definitely has either a "boss fight" or "quick fire event" tone to it. :x
     
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  8. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    I used Raster Music Tracker to make it, which is using the Atari PoKEY soundchip to make the sound.

    You can compare to stuff made with LSDJ (Gameboy) and Famitracker (NES) in term of similarities and limitations.
     
  9. BORTZ

    BORTZ Tired of being the good guy

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    That's super cool. What is your opinion of using something like an Atari ST for music?
     
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  10. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    It has a great midi interface, and is relatively available, which is great for musicians from that time period.
    Sound capabilities depend on what's inside, because the YM chip inside by itself sounds a bit more limited, even though it never stopped anyone to make some amazing stuff with it.

    This is some of the sick stuff someone can do using an Atari ST
     
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  11. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    So I finished it! Here's the final result.

     
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  12. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    So mini bump of this thread.

    I've been working on this (still unfinished).
    https://instaud.io/2uyh

    The aimed platform for this to play is an actual Atari 2600 :)
     
  13. TotalInsanity4

    TotalInsanity4 GBAtemp Supreme Overlord

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    Ok, so you asked for criticism, which I'm going to take as an opportunity to nitpick a little bit (from one guy who dabbles around with music composition/arrangements to another). Also fair warning, I do most of my stuff from ear as I only have a bit of formal training by the way of music theory (and I've honestly forgotten most everything by now), so none of what I have to say will be very technical

    First of all, I've got to say, the piece overall sounds pretty cool the vast majority of the time, and I'll echo what a few other people have said that it sounds like boss fight music; there's kind of a creeping dread to it, and at times there's dissonance that really builds into that feeling of unease. However, something that you need to understand (and I think you actually started figuring out, because it became less of an issue as the piece went on) is that dissonance nearly always needs to go somewhere, you can't just toss chords that clash into the middle of a measure and "hope for the best," you need to take the time to listen to the chords surrounding it and think to yourself about whether it "works" or not. I felt like the worst offender in this category was whatever you were using as your "reverb" harmony instrument, there were times when that particular track did things that I felt just really didn't match up with what the rhythm and melody tracks were (both of which I honestly thought were brilliant otherwise, if not a touch repetitive).

    A bit of advice in that regard, though; notes don't ALWAYS need to change, don't feel like just because you have a pattern of one track playing 8th notes rhythmically while the rest only change once per measure that you can't switch things up a bit. One of my favorite tactics is to hold a note on one instrument while letting another change around that one - this is where you could add in a bit of dissonance at the end, so that you can change both at the same time to resolve to a "satisfying" chord. As it stands, I feel like you're tempted to try to hit a different note each measure with every instrument, and I suspect that that's you trying to create a faster feeling for the piece, but... there are times that that works, and times it doesn't, and if it's clearly not then consider shifting things around a half step or so and trying again, or even just not changing one instrument from the previous measure (remember that just because you haven't changed THAT instrument, that the chord structure itself hasn't changed)

    Otherwise, though, I do think that it's a very solid first dive into original music composition. And again, that was me being nit-picky, because you specifically asked for criticism and I want to help you work out the kinks so this can be the best version you want to create; and to that end, you're free to take or leave any advice that I offered
     
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  14. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, as you could tell, my lack of experience (and the fact that I don't even know music theory!) is apparent.
    For most of it I did my best to make something that sounded "nice" to me.
    Definitely not perfect, but it surely is functional as an early original composition.
    In fact, I don't exactly understand most of what you've told me, but I agree about the repetitive patterns with "random" notes. Those were indeed randomly hummed then put in, with slight changed until I liked how it sounded in the entire tune.
    This may not be the best method, but it did the job for what I wanted anyway.
    I am not the most creative person too, so I tend to put in spontaneous ideas together rather than carefully organise a project. It's not as much of a problem making covers though, since the music already exists, I only need to translate it to what I use.

    There's now that 2nd tune I just posted (hence the thread bump) which will certainly sound even more off, but that's due to the technical limitations themselves there.
    Once again, I threw in something that kinda sounds nice to me. This one however is far from being finished, and sometime I'll also work on more complete programs to compensate that lack.

    I also plan to learn proper music theory as well, but as it stands, I found it pretty nice to learn while doing it :P That's how we learn how to walk after all, haha.
    Hopefully I could only improve with practice! I never was able to get properly started until very recently.
     
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  15. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Also finished this one!

    Alien Polyphony (Atari TIA, Recorded from Real Hardware)
     
  16. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Last edited by VinsCool, Jul 31, 2018
  17. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    So I've actually found some inspiration today, here's something different:


    [Original] Concealed (Atari PoKEY)


    I think making a lot of covers lately really helped me to be a bit more consistent.
     
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  18. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose The Fallen Angel

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    Excellent work but i have a question.

    Were these made with or without the help of alcohol? Lol
     
    Last edited by AmandaRose, Sep 22, 2018
  19. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    Mostly with, though today tune was entirely sober.
    Inspired with some intrusive thoughts from last night's dream.
     
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  20. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose The Fallen Angel

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    I'm always more creative when alcohol has been consumed lol.

    What was the dream?
     
  21. VinsCool
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    VinsCool Crappy Chiptunist

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    I want to keep that for myself, for now, if you don't mind.

    Maybe I'd PM you sometime.
     
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