Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cleaned the formatting of this page a little.  The cute little Kirby animation on the bottom-right is gone (sorry!), as are the banners on top linking to my old website.  I was considering putting my new banner up and linking to my new website, but it somehow seems like not that consequential of a place to put it for some reason.  I also removed all my “groups” and changed my website link on the left over there to point to my new site.

Disney

Watching these Disney movies and such is always interesting because you can begin to see all of the flaws in the “good” characters that might probably prevent them from being well-adapted (or, at least, personally admired) members of society.  What you used to see as “aww, what an unfortunate misunderstanding”, turns into “bad communication”.  Playful youngster repressed by strict elders turns into whiny and rebellious brat.  Brave and fantastical plans turn into impractical solutions.

I’m not that up on my Disney stuff but I wonder if there even is any character I could really respect.

Ah…well, probably not, considering how I respect those dandere/kuudere types like Yuki–and how many of -those- do you see in Disney cartoons anyways?

OHC170

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC170

The wind against your face. Are you running to or running from? Doesn’t matter, either way you are pumped and ready to go. Tonight’s theme is “Hit the ground running.”

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_ZZRVFTMZZ(OHC170).mp3

My Bandcamp Demo Reel: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirbyISQ_-_Bandcamp_Demo_Reel(OHC170).mp3

When compo opened, the theme description was actually:

Tonight’s theme is fzfzfz

so a lot of us just went with that, myself included.  A few minutes later starla was like “o shit” and changed it to “Hit the ground running” but by then it was too late for a bunch of us who had already started going with our ideas.

So, this week I wanted to just use a bunch of random VSTs, so a lot of the sounds you hear in the beginning of my song is just me loading up a random chiptune VST and using one of the first few presets.  At 0:48 I add in a chiptune drum loop too.  Everything is pretty dry here–no delay or reverb–until at 1:05 when the tb_peach lead comes in.

At 1:36 we get our classic reverbed-pluck sound, and then there’s this nice arp that’s actually in 5th, that was inspired by the Hiro theme of the Gem Attack OST.  After that we get our main chorus which is actually a little bit more thin than I would like somehow, but still okay with nice sidechaining, and mega man drums from tb_toad as a nice touch.

We bitcrush into the next section at 2:57, which actually stays bitcrushed for a while–something I usually don’t do.  So this section here has a pretty unique sound as a result.  The pad arpeggio at 3:28 is sine waves with vibrato, and is reminiscent of…something.  Star Hill from Super Mario RPG, maybe?  I couldn’t quite figure it out myself actually.  This whole section, by the way, was totally appreciated by sci, haha (knew it).

After “unbitcrushing”, we go back into the chorus another time, and then at 4:49 we start layering in things until 5:30 when we go into a very mega man style sound, with triangle wave bass, samplereduced drums, and some nice chiptune leads.  I was aiming for a style very similar to the end of Sonic Transcendence, a song I did a while back, and ended up coming pretty close!

All in all, not an “epically awesome” song, but one that I was fairly happy with overall.

I also took the opportunity this week to do some more promotion of my bandcamp, since people are finally back in town, so that’s what the bandcamp demo reel is for.

Prices

The low cost of music and games nowadays is kind of frightening to me when I think about it.  I mean, even if you don’t consider the fact that tons of music out there is either free or can be “acquired” for free, you can get songs for what, like $1?  And tons of mobile games and whatever are $1, $2 as well (not to mention half of those are free to play too).

$1…do you understand what that is?  Like, isn’t that like the price of a piece of candy nowadays?  Or like a pen or something?  An eraser? (not even a Sanrio eraser)  How can a song that was composed, produced, and mastered to squeeze every last drop of artistic expression into it be comparable in worth to a piece of candy?  How can a video game, with art, music, sound, menus, multiple levels, be comparable to a bunch of staples?  It’s crazy, and ridiculous, and yet we’re already used to it–when we see that game for $5 we go “ehh…maybe I’ll wait until it goes on sale”.  When we see that $1 minimum album with recommended price $5, we pay…$1.

Then again, even back when things were relatively sane and video games cost $20, $40, or whatever, it’s =still= kind of scary to think about.  An SNES game is comparable to…20 pieces of candy?  What the heck?  When you take some of the games that I’ve played, they’re treasured holy relics–things that grew up with you, things that taught you life lessons, stories that engrossed you, made you fear, made you cry out in both sorrow and joy.  And I could really trade that for 20 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

It’s mind-boggling.

=====

The good news is, like 99% of my music is free, so go nuts. ;P

They say that you are your own harshest critic.

That may be true, but for better or for worse, I’m also my own biggest fan.  I don’t know if you people even comprehend what it feels like for me to listen to this stuff.  It’s amazing.  I…yeah.  I don’t even know how to express it.  Like I’m throwing my arms in the air and speechless because I can’t find a way to make you understand.  It’s not just “hell yeah! m/”, although that is part of it.  But this kind of stuff also touches something deep within me.  And if you’re just nodding your head at “unts unts unts” then I can’t even…I…yeah.

OHC169

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC169

A chance to start fresh. Can you leave it all behind? If you had the opportunity to start over, would you take it? Tonight’s theme is “New Beginning.”

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_Pixel_by_Pixel(OHC169).mp3

Again a rather quiet OHC because a lot of people were busy over at MAGfest.  Unlike last time, though, I was really feeling the flow this week, and came out with an entry that I felt really good about.

I felt like doing something really chippy so I went with that.  My take on the theme was to start with really simple chip elements, very dry without much reverb or delay and then slowly build up.  So first we just have one little blippy instrument with an arp in the background, and then later we get pads, a bass, some drums, and then after a brief lull, we crash into the chorus!

And the chorus is pretty nice stuff!  Very much my style, with the offbeat triangle bass and the sidechained 12.5% pulse pads.  And then we go into…yes, this is definitely becoming a trademark of my style–an epic melody, backed with pulse pads and that low bass.  As the melody line fades another one comes in, which I thought was pretty neat.  I should note that the first lead is actually just the square osc of the 3xOsc.  I had initially considered using my 25% pulse sample but then tried this one out and found that it cut through with a better lead sound.

Our next transition takes out everything except the arp and goes into some very calm triangle blips–heavy on reverb, of course.  Again, another trademark sound of mine, and then a triangle whistle comes in for a very calm yet very beautiful melody.

We build up in the new chord progression, this time adding in a nice sidechained 25% pulse bass, and after a lowpass filter effect, I reiterate the triangle whistle melody, only this time with the big square lead.  This time around I also add a 12.5% pulse countermelody.  Notice the vibrato here!  Then it’s just a standard outro from there.

I love OHC.  I really, really love OHC.  It’s just simply exhilarating to put down music so quickly like this, nonstop for one hour.  You get into this mode where everything just streams and there’s almost no barrier between envisioning and producing.  “House music drum loop”, I think, and 15 seconds later I’ve dragged one from a particular folder into Slicex and it’s in the beat.  “Epic soaring lead”, I think, and I slap down my 25% pulse preset, assign it to an FX channel, slap on an EQ and delay, tweaked almost without thinking, throw in some vibrato, and then start plopping down the melody.  “Arp”, I think, and I copy the chords from the pads, set up the arp for 2 octaves up/down, take some of the middle notes up, add delay and reverb, and it’s there.

You get real, real good at this kind of thing after practicing for years.

OHC168

http://compo.thasauce.net/rounds/view/OHC168

Tonight’s theme is… THE BIG FINALE!

My entry: http://compo.thasauce.net/files/DDRKirby_ISQ__-_Destination_TBD(OHC168).mp3

This was a rather quiet OHC, since a lot of people were out for the holidays.  The theme came up as “TBD” so I started going with that, only to notice a bit later that fusion2004 had changed it to “the big finale”, so I kind of mixed in both of those.

My track didn’t really have too much direction but feels sort of inspired by this track.  We start off really spookily before going into some UNTS with sidechaining.  The section at around 3:00 is becoming a pretty classic trademark of my style–triangle bass down low, some pulse wave pads, and a lead soaring up high.

The real kicker this time was what I decided to do for the ending.  I go back to the main “groove” section, only this time I start layering more and more on top of it.  Then I accelerate the tempo…and bring the pitch up…and after a final glitch we get a massive explosion xD  So there, that was my “big finale”!

Yeah, overall I didn’t really feel too inspired on this one.  It’s funny–sometimes I pump out a track and I say “wow, this is so totally my style” because it has all of my trademark elements–the funk groove section, the transition into a 4-on-the-floor beat, the breakdown with epic soaring melody, the sidechaining, even the instruments.  But then there are times when I’m not really feeling it and I go to those trademark elements almost as a sort of fallback, and in those cases it doesn’t really work out nearly as well.