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  #1  
Old Jun 20, 2013, 05:01 AM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Default I'm James and I write music! - Critique welcome!

My name is James! I'm from Brisbane and I'm in to composition. I study Music and Sound production at university.
So, I used to use the forum 'SquareSound' but it kind of died a couple years ago so I stopped. I'm not sure if any of you have heard of it.

Anyway, I'm going to use the thread to share my music, and as always critique is more than welcome!

This is a battle theme I wrote today - https://soundcloud.com/james-battams/with-haste

Imagine your party has begun their adventure, and you encounter your first enemy :#333



You can find most of my other tracks on that soundcloud - http://www.soundcloud.com/james-battams

I'm also in an electro-acoustic band called "Ümbra". You can find us here - http://www.soundcloud.com/umbraband


Hope you guys enjoy!
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  #2  
Old Jun 20, 2013, 05:54 AM
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eduhunter eduhunter is offline
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You are a fan of hamauzu right?

With Haste remember me the Hamauzu-style [like Saga Frontier 2, Final Fantasy XIII]. Very cool indeed. Already following you on Soundcloud.
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  #3  
Old Jun 20, 2013, 07:04 AM
Ramza Ramza is online now
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agreed, this is *very* Hamauzu / impressionist. The electronic percussion elements and piano are very good. I feel like the mixing is a little unbalanced, or maybe some of the samples just come out awkwardly against the rest of the soundscape.

But ... keep it up! This music would be great for a variety of game styles/genres.
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  #4  
Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:54 PM
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Jormungand Jormungand is offline
 
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I like it. Good stuff!
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  #5  
Old Jun 20, 2013, 04:44 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
agreed, this is *very* Hamauzu / impressionist. The electronic percussion elements and piano are very good. I feel like the mixing is a little unbalanced, or maybe some of the samples just come out awkwardly against the rest of the soundscape.

But ... keep it up! This music would be great for a variety of game styles/genres.

Can I ask what you mean by 'unbalanced'? Do you mean like..frequency wise, levels, or timbre (maybe all, haha!)?

Thanks again! Glad you guys like it.

Last edited by JamesBattams; Jun 20, 2013 at 10:11 PM.
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  #6  
Old Jun 21, 2013, 06:31 AM
Ramza Ramza is online now
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Unfortunately James, I don't know enough about audio production and mixing to pinpoint it. There are parts that feel a little too flat. I think you'll need someone better than me to help with the mix. I can just say that listening to that, vs listening to (as an example) SaGa Frontier II ... one has a more consistent soundscape than the other.

I wish I could help more!! You're doing great!
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  #7  
Old Jun 23, 2013, 03:52 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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I get the general gist of what you're saying. I still have a couple things to tinker with though! :^)
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  #8  
Old Feb 11, 2014, 02:57 AM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Wow I kind of forgot about this forum!

Here's a battle theme I wrote today!

Challenge Accepted! (early boss battle theme)

https://soundcloud.com/james-battams...s-battle-theme

Last edited by JamesBattams; Feb 11, 2014 at 05:03 PM.
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  #9  
Old Feb 26, 2014, 09:43 AM
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Ghaleon64 Ghaleon64 is offline
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Very pretty. The piano is excellent! I must say though, it's all pretty tame for "Battle" music. :P Seems more suited to a town/field theme to me. When I think of battle music I think something more along these lines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B-Zg...re=c4-overview

I dig your tunes man!
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  #10  
Old Mar 2, 2014, 07:33 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Thanks man! I see where you're coming from but I guess it all just depends on aesthetic or style of game you intend it to be for. Which is why conceptual tracks like this can be hard to get an opinion on sometimes since everyone interprets what the visuals would be differently.
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  #11  
Old Mar 3, 2014, 08:21 AM
Falk Falk is offline
 
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I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the aesthetic you're trying to convey. I can sorta see where you're going with the battle music, but the boss really does feel a little bit too tame.

Battle music is one of the really tricky areas because it's almost always the most heard track(s) in a given video game, so you really, REALLY have to nail it. Being catchy and avoiding cliche that gets old on the hundredth time are often goals that are at odds with each other.

Personally I'd think you could do with a little less piano and a little more of everything else, but then again that might be me again not completely understanding the aesthetic you're going for. I would definitely avoid long breakdowns on anything that's to be a boss track though, unless it has something -extremely- dramatic going on in its harmonic or melodic content, to make a strong point (e.g. Kefka's final boss music)
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  #12  
Old Mar 4, 2014, 01:04 PM
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Rhythmroo Rhythmroo is offline
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First Listening Impression
Are you sure you didn't mean Trailer Music? Because that's the vibe I'm getting...and that isn't a bad thing! I really like this and would like to hear more of your work.

Additional Listening
Are you by chance a fan of Sakimoto's music? I ask because your composition slowly builds up (I'm reminded of Sakimoto's "FFXII Boss Theme's "); however, what you do at 1:28 - 1:52 is incredibly deceptive. Here I was hoping for something bombastic, but instead greeted with this very pretty music. The very soothing music and instrument-drop outs at 1:52 actually remind me somewhat of Sakimoto's Final Fantasy Tactic's mission theme, "Decisive Battle" (@~1:32).

Critical Listening
After an hour of listening, I'm starting to hear less of what you call a boss theme and hearing more of a dynamic stage/battle track in a forest/jungle area. I'll do my best to describe what I envision when listening to this track; however, I must dissect this track and rearrange it (in Audacity)to better suit the following narrative, so here's the track literally re-arranged so you may follow along to what I hear and see: jb_cb_ca!bbt_01
  1. 00:00 - 00:43 As you enter the forest, you are greeted with vivid shades of greens, both tranquil and exotic. From the distance, there wanders the wild life and possible enemies.
  2. 00:43 - 1:06 Of course, with that in mind, this place is both beautiful and dangerous.
  3. 01:09 - 02:18 Loop of prior musical ideas.
  4. 02:18 - 02:43 An enemy approaches.
  5. 02:46 - 03:25 Fight ensues.
  6. 03:25 - 04:37 Music intensifies and fluctuates
  7. 04:37 - 0E:ND The battle ends and the journey through the forest/jungle continues.

What I'm reminded of is the Forest Dungeon Theme from the .hack// game series, "dgn03 Common Forest Field ~ Battle".
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  #13  
Old Mar 20, 2014, 03:46 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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I get what you're all saying about how it's not really intense or epic enough to be a boss battle theme.

I guess I was aiming more along the lines of a first boss battle. Something at the start of your adventure that isn't too crazy and is slightly playful.

I just left it as "Boss Battle Theme" because that's what the project file had been called since I started it haha!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmroo View Post
[B][COLOR="Lime"]
  1. 00:00 - 00:43 As you enter the forest, you are greeted with vivid shades of greens, both tranquil and exotic. From the distance, there wanders the wild life and possible enemies.
  2. 00:43 - 1:06 Of course, with that in mind, this place is both beautiful and dangerous.
  3. 01:09 - 02:18 Loop of prior musical ideas.
  4. 02:18 - 02:43 An enemy approaches.
  5. 02:46 - 03:25 Fight ensues.
  6. 03:25 - 04:37 Music intensifies and fluctuates
  7. 04:37 - 0E:ND The battle ends and the journey through the forest/jungle continues.
This is a really cool interpretation man! The way you described it reminds me of how the sound and music works and transitions in FFXII, although that was between different pieces and not sections.


Cheers for the feedback everyone!

Last edited by JamesBattams; Mar 20, 2014 at 03:49 PM.
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  #14  
Old Oct 27, 2014, 04:12 AM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Here's something I wrote the other day - https://soundcloud.com/james-battams...lit-everglades

Imagine the party has to make their way through the expansive moonlit wetlands
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  #15  
Old Oct 29, 2014, 06:21 PM
Shadow of Light Shadow of Light is offline
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Hi James,

I listened to the track in your first post. There's definitely some originality to it, and I liked the theme. Good job.

However I can give you some tips on the mixing process. But first I need to know whether you're mixing on Monitors or Headphones?

I've also posted a similar topic in this forum about a track which I composed for a Lord of the Rings video game. Everyone here is welcome to check it out and leave a comment/feedback: http://vgmdb.net/forums/showthread.php?t=14327

Thanks!
~ Shadow of Light
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  #16  
Old Oct 29, 2014, 09:05 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow of Light View Post
Hi James,

I listened to the track in your first post. There's definitely some originality to it, and I liked the theme. Good job.

However I can give you some tips on the mixing process. But first I need to know whether you're mixing on Monitors or Headphones?

Thanks!
~ Shadow of Light
Hi, Shadow of Light, thanks for the reply and your comments.

To answer your question - I'm mixing on headphones. I wrote the piece I posted in the OP about a year ago and don't have the project file currently, but I'd still be interested in any comments/critiques you have.

What did you think of the piece from my most recent post?


The piece you linked for the LOTR game was really cool. I'd be interested to see how it worked in context with the game.

Cheers,
James
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  #17  
Old Feb 9, 2015, 06:05 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Here is some more music:

...The party come across an ancient ruined city or looks out across a magnificent valley...

https://soundcloud.com/james-battams/the-clearing


...The party ventures deep into the forest, where light only just peers through the canopy...

https://soundcloud.com/james-battams/elsewhere
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  #18  
Old Feb 9, 2015, 08:24 PM
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Jazz Paladin Jazz Paladin is offline
 
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Mixing on headphones exclusively is very challenging. Stereo imaging and balances can be much harder to detect on headphones, which may account for what has been observed so far. But headphones are great for other things.

This might not seem intuitive, but if you make sure to check the mix in MONO from time to time, balancing issues will be easier to detect on headphones. For example, if you hit the MONO button on your project, and an instrument drops way down, you know you may have a balance or phase issue.
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  #19  
Old Mar 24, 2015, 04:31 PM
JamesBattams JamesBattams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazz Paladin View Post
This might not seem intuitive, but if you make sure to check the mix in MONO from time to time, balancing issues will be easier to detect on headphones. For example, if you hit the MONO button on your project, and an instrument drops way down, you know you may have a balance or phase issue.
Thanks for the tip!

Here's something new:

https://soundcloud.com/james-battams/solemn-travels


...the lone traveler makes his way across the lush highlands...
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