Ascent (VRC6)

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Strate
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:28 pm

Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Strate » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:13 pm

I've been making a whole bunch of songs lately. This one actually sounds passable, so I decided to post it. I'm considering using it on the first area of a game that I'm planning on making. I called it Ascent because the game consists of you making your way up a long tower, moving through floors, in a similar way to Bubble Bobble or Snow Bros.

I didn't use Triangle or DPCM because I can't for the life of me use them efficiently. Perhaps one day...

Oh yeah. I used beta 0.5.
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Ascent.ftm
Made with beta 0.5
(5.2 KiB) Downloaded 81 times

Livoh773
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Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Livoh773 » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:45 pm

My opinion: It does not quite progresses, but is well done. Maybe using the triangle channel for some bass lines would make this more "full" it really feels something is missing.

Dont know how to put this, but sometimes, due to whats going on, the bass line cant move that much, so it just mimick other things, this case, the chords but you can make tiny things to making it more interesting. Triangle channel is used a lot for the base, and I see you kind of do a bass on the first channel at frame 03, why do just use the triangle all the way? Hope that somehow helps!
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Ascent.ftm
(5.45 KiB) Downloaded 37 times

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Potentialing
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Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Potentialing » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:54 pm

EDIT: Ninja'd! I love the lead in your edit, Livoh773!

I think one of the secrets to using DPCM/Triangle is realizing that you can't change volume on them. If you lower the volume on everything else dramatically, you can level out everything. Considering this song uses the VRC6 expansion, consider volume outputs around 4-6. Note that I am referring to the green blocks just below the channel names, which is the instrument and song volume combined!

I love the overall rhythm you have going on, although I wonder if you could try adding another rhythmic element to the song which would compliment the rhythm and ultimately make it sound more interesting?

I'm also hoping you can try some variations on all the channels after the song plays a while: the song repeats the same pattern multiple times without much change/variety besides layering more parts to the rhythm! Although there's nothing wrong with doing that, I personally feel it gets tiring after the first few patterns, and it's definitely something I recommend you consider revising!

I've attached an edit where I lowered the overall volume of the song, then added a bassline with a complimentary rhythm while also outlining some chords. I hope this helps!
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Ascent_edit.ftm
(9.33 KiB) Downloaded 34 times

Strate
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:28 pm

Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Strate » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:27 am

Thanks for your feedback. I went ahead and tried to add something a little more simple than what you showed me to start off, because I don't think I'd be able to follow up on the examples you showed me just yet. I think it fits pretty well overall.

I also added some new parts following Potentialing's suggestion, to try to change the rythm a little right around the middle of the song, as well as some minor changes all around.
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Ascent2.ftm
(8.49 KiB) Downloaded 30 times

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Potentialing
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Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Potentialing » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:33 am

I'm hearing a lot of improvement here already! I love the new additions you've made to the song, and it's definitely sounding a lot more interesting now.

I'm not sure how well I conveyed my message about the rhythm, though. I'm saying that the song has a "one, two, three (hold)" rhythm going throughout all of the channels. While you have a lot here layering with each other, there isn't much of a complimenting rhythm. You could try putting a kick/snare pattern on the Noise drums, but if not, you could try something like what I did in my edit, using a melodic channel to emphasize some of the "offbeat" rhythms.

I've also included a little demo which should hopefully better explain what I mean.
Attachments
ascent_offbeat.ftm
(6.95 KiB) Downloaded 30 times
Ascent2_edit.ftm
(25.28 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

Strate
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:28 pm

Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Strate » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:20 am

I understand now. I misinterpreted what you said, but I'm glad I did because I think the song benefits from those extra parts I added as a result.

Now, after listening to your examples, I tried to make a complementary rhythm for certain parts.

I think I may have gone a bit overboard. I'm not sure.
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Ascent3.ftm
Too much?
(11.78 KiB) Downloaded 31 times

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Potentialing
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Re: Ascent (VRC6)

Postby Potentialing » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:32 pm

The rhythm in this edit is definitely more interesting, although I'm starting to think one of the bigger problems is that the Noise channel's percussion rhythm feels a bit chaotic. The rhythm for most of the channels playing are already playing on the off-beats, and I think what you need is a rhythm that helps define the actual downbeats.

I don't mean to discredit you, but while there's nothing wrong with trying a chaotic rhythmic style, I personally don't think it's the best style to start out learning rhythms. Perhaps you could try a simple "boots and cats and" rhythm, demonstrated in ascent_offbeat.ftm.

Notice that the kicks ("boot") are playing on a low frequency, snares ("cat") are playing around a middle frequency, and hi-hats ("tss and") are playing near a high frequency. Also notice that every 1st and 3rd beat plays a kick, while the 2nd and 4th beats play snares. After that, adding hi-hats (both closed and open) or extra kicks can make the beat sound more interesting. Generally, you'll want the kicks/snares to stick out in volume more (louder) than the hi-hats.

Once you can get a better feel for "accented" and "unaccented" beats (perhaps try relating it to poetry?), you can start bending the rules to create more interesting beats like the one in Ascent.

I've attached another demonstration. I hope it helps!

EDIT: Actually, I forgot to mention the most important thing about the rhythm: Try to pay attention to the rhythm of all of the channels as a whole played together, and not individually.
Attachments
Ascent3_edit.ftm
(28.42 KiB) Downloaded 33 times
percussion_example.ftm
(2.6 KiB) Downloaded 25 times