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Hey everybody, I recently finished a piece that I've been working on for some time. It's probably the most ambitious video game piece I've ever written, as my music is usually reflects a Japanese-style video game music influence, whereas this piece reflects a more "American" video game music influence, I guess? Basically more cinematic and less structured:P Anyway, I imagine this piece would accompany a cinematic sequence of some kind within the video game, probably an opening sequence. I struggled at multiple times in writing it, but I'm pretty happy with the result. So, I leave it for your critiques, let me know what you think!

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DavidQuaas said:
Great Tune, John! I really like the way you are orchestrating your music! You know how to write music for full orchestra! Did you study a lot of contemporary video game composers? Well, one thing I thought listening to your score is, that some clearer changes in time and metre would give your score more life, perhaps? You could also leave some longer areas of space, since it's designed to be in-game background music.
Let me know, how do you get this wide sound? Especially by using pan and reverbs? And if yes, in which way do you use them?
David.

Hi David, thanks a lot! Perhaps I could leave more space, I'm actually working on that with the piece I'm writing now. However, this piece is designed more to go along with a cutscene or something, as opposed to background music:P

I do have a TON of modern video game music on my ipod, and I'm always on the lookout for more! I've been listening to this stuff for a few years now, plus I listen to film scores as well. I began with Zelda, and the music of the Zelda series remains my favorite and will always have that special place:) Also, I have the whole Soul Calibur IV soundtrack, and most of Soul Calibur II, Everything worth listening to from Super Smash Bros Brawl (that is a great resource of good game music from alot of different composers and genres), some stuff from Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Lord of the Rings Online, Fable, Fire Emblem, Starcraft I, the main menu theme from Starcraft II...maybe more as well, I forget. I also have some good film scores of similar genres that I listen to and study.

As far as the wide sound, I use both panning and reverb. If you understand the basic setup of an orchestra, the panning isn't too difficult. I use Logic Studio, and the farthest I pan anything is generally + or - 30. For instance the 1st violins I pan 30 to the left and the double basses I pan 30 to the right. You can just use your judgement of where the other instruments are normally setup to fill everything in between that! As far as reverb, sometimes I put a master reverb on the Output L R, and sometimes I create an aux reverb channel to send only certain instruments to. It depends on how "deep" I want the piece to sound, or how much control I want over the reverb on each instrument. If I want a lot of control and not necessarily the wettest sound, I'll just create the aux and send a few instruments like woodwinds and such to that reverb.

Hope this information helps, let me know if you have any more questions!

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