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Topic: Questions

  1. #1


    Hey i have a few questions about orchestrating software.

    -Say im using East West Symphonic Orchestra and controlling it via midi signals. Should i have the volume output in EWSO for all the instruments at the same high level and then use midi volume to adjust the volume in the piece or should I do it the other way? have all the midi at the same volume level and then adjust volume in EWSO?

    -If a game is in pre poduction but the Team still wants to hear some music before any videos or anything are made. About how long should each music peace be?

    -If a game or game mod doesnt seem to be doing very well and looks like they might not pull through or are not serious and not getting things done is it best to just leave and put your music somewhere else?

  2. #2

    Re: Questions

    a) Personally i have all the channel volums set to 100 and i control the volume of each instrument with CC#11 (Controller) which is like a second volume. The channel volumes are set to 100 just in case you need to turn something higher later. More flexibility that way.
    Theo Krueger - Composer


    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  3. #3

    Re: Questions

    For mixing, I usually set the levels of each instrument to 100% and then mix using my DAW (Logic).

    But - before you get too much further into game audio, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go directly to "Beginners Guide To Game Audio" by Aaron Marks. Read it. Excellent resource and absolutely invaluable for newcomers.

    Best of luck!

  4. #4

    Re: Questions

    That Book is already on my christmas list

    But umm. In EWSO having the Instruments at 100% will result them Cliping and making nasty static. so i dont know how to put them at 100% without them clipping (using Cubase SX 3)

  5. #5

    Re: Questions

    Two things about EWQL. In my opinion it's really worth going through the whole lib, patch by patch, and tweaking each instrument to your liking; if one of them seems to have too much / not enough gain, you can change that and then save the patch. I think I remember giving more low/mid to the harp, more boom to the trombones, and turning the choirs either way up or way down (can't remember, heh). After that, I'd just leave the gains alone and never fool around with CC #7 unless for some very special reason you have to.

    Secondly though, I'm really not sure why (seems like a major goof to me), but for some reason or another the choirs won't respond to CC #11 at all. You'll just have to use CC #7 to fade them around, being careful not to go nuts with it since it'll be a lot more sensitive than CC #11 fades.

    (also, if you're using EWQL-silver and you like natural reverb, you can adjust the sustain on staccato patches from -inf to something more acceptible. I feel like they intentionally turned it way down so that the silver users wouldn't think they got natural reverb trails, but didn't bother to give new samples )
    Wilbert Roget, II

  6. #6

    Re: Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfraser
    But umm. In EWSO having the Instruments at 100% will result them Cliping and making nasty static. so i dont know how to put them at 100% without them clipping (using Cubase SX 3)
    Hi, like Theo said, you can set them to 100 (instead of 127 max volume).

    You can start by loading some of the loudest patches like timp hits and trumpet or bone staccs. Set them to 100 and everything else should be fine.
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  7. #7

    Re: Questions

    Oh ok. I was talking about the EWSO channel its self. you can adjust the volume of each instrument in EWSO itself and i was wondering if i should have individual instruments as high as they can go?

  8. #8

    Re: Questions

    I feel like you can just leave the gain levels alone, in that case; it was meant as an out-of-the-box library (why do I feel like this concept is like the mythical Bigfoot? ), so you shouldn't have to do much gain control to individual instruments just to get started. If you want you can write some music without touching gain control, then compare your loudness with other folks' writing in the same style/genre and adjust to match.

    I don't really recommend setting anything to absolute full volume, and in fact I'd also hesitate before moving anything above 0.0dB unless you have a specific reason to do so. I'm sure Cubase has some kind of meter to tell you when you're clipping, so I'd keep an eye on that and just generally try to get the most bang for your buck, volume-wise.

    I didn't notice your other questions before, so here's my opinion on them. For the preproduction one, I'd give them 20-30 second samples without too much of the supermeticulous detail work that composers tend to put into, well, everything . Style, trial&error, and speed are the most important factors, and so if you focus too much on making it just sound good, you might run the risk of trapping them in a style that might not be the best way to go. Of course, they might reject your song just arbitrarily on the basis of sound quality, so it's sorta a tough balance to strike.

    About the game mod thing, that can be a pretty tough decision. On the one hand, you obviously want to write good music and be a part of a successful creative collaboration. However, 99% of indy game development projects never even get finished, and those that do have a disheartening rate of popular/commercial success as well. So chances are, if things look like they're going bad, they probably are (in fact with those odds, even if they look like they're going well, they're probably going bad!).

    In your case it might be best to just think about what can you gain from being in this project. Sadly I found myself in your situation an embarassing number of times, fruitlessly writing music for over a dozen game failures. You kinda get bossed around a lot, don't have very high "rank" on the gamedev team, and your work often gets kind of disregarded as "just write the damn music already". Plus, you're not getting paid a dime and probably never will. You might not even be getting a good experience in how to put a game together (since these teams often don't know how to do it themselves), so really what it comes down to is whether or not you can use the stuff you create for a portfolio later on. Something done for an actual project will probably have more personality than a generic demo written just to be a generic demo, so that can be the saving grace of writing for these projects.

    Just don't feel bad if you feel like you've had enough of them and want to quit. After my experiences, I feel like these kinds of projects are the worst places for composers - indy devvers are starved for art/programming content, and often music is the only thing they can get with any certainty (b/c of the many thousands of amateur composers willing to work for free and put up with them). Indy devs therefore think of composers as being a dime a dozen, and our product as being nonessential filagree... add that to the fact that you're not getting paid and the game will probably not get anywhere anyways, and you start to see why this post has turned into a lengthy rant.

    Oh well, best of luck to you regardless. Just my two cents worth, eh?
    Wilbert Roget, II

  9. #9

    Re: Questions

    Nice reply

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