[Music]How do you select your music?

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[Music]How do you select your music?

Postby HelpMe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:43 am

Hello to all, I have been lurking for quite a while now and just managed to join this pie-hungry community. I've noticed that some of the SC1 campaigns featured on this site make use of custom music. While I feel it throws some much needed twist in things, I am still unsure as how to do it myself -- specifically, what criteria should I follow to select the tracks?

What I mean is when considering an individual piece what kind of questions pop in your head? Do you try to select music that is as little known as possible, for a more original feel? Do you think that some genres are incompatible with the SC universe? Just what kind of music do you mostly use, or would use if you were assembling a custom soundtrack for your campaign?

Additionally, I've read a few topics regarding this subject, and I understand that some campaigners here generally prefer royalty-free music, to avoid a possible - however unlikely - litigation. OTOH, some believe that "no one really gives a ****" so it's a not a problem. Personally I see myself in the latter category, because it allows for a wider spectrum of choices. To be honest, if I found the "perfect" track I wouldn't refrain from using it just for the sake of prudence.

But I digress; what I want to know is how you guys go about selecting your precious music pieces. Any input is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:14 am

My selection of music is brought down into a religion. I spend weeks picking the right music for the right situation.

I have no qualms about using copyrighted music. It's not like anyone can stop me. What keeps me from using certain tracks is if I find they are too overused or not.

If you've read any of the mp3 of the week topics or not that gives a very little bit of insight into the thoughts behind some pieces. My method of deciding is long and convoluted, but if you wanted to simplify and mechanically digest it, it would come down to weighting basically.

First, there is the World Theme. For Throne of Armageddon, this is Bulgarian Folk, Japanese, and Gothic. This overarching theme defines the general genre of the majority of important pieces and most tracks should follow and sound like they can relate to these elements.

Then there is the Event Theme, which defines the emotion. The World Theme determines the nature of what I look for, the Event Theme defines the tempo. Is it an action piece, an emotional piece, an ambient piece?

Then there is the Character Theme, which defines what the sound should sound like. This will force me into looking long and hard for something that fits perfectly with what I'm after, and I'll settle for nothing less.

The goal of music is to apply emotional impact and immersion. It is more important than gameplay in that respect. All sound is extremely important. Therefore it must be powerful, it must be consistent, and it should be something you are sure the player has not heard before and thus cannot relate to anything else with. Thus, I constantly search for obscure and rare stuff.

Because I speak to myself in sound and music it is easy for me to say to myself, "I know what I want this to sound like." But finding something that sounds like what I want it to sound like is where all of my time goes into. Everything has a sound to it. Every word, every event, every character and piece of technology. Every sound has emotion tied to it. And this emotion defines the flow of motion and, thus, the sound it should have when presented. This sound changes depending on how it is presented.

A really general and primitive way of describing it.
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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby HelpMe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:10 am

Whoa -- I'm still digesting the stuff you posted, but I have a few questions already.

First, there is the World Theme. For Throne of Armageddon, this is Bulgarian Folk, Japanese, and Gothic. This overarching theme defines the general genre of the majority of important pieces and most tracks should follow and sound like they can relate to these elements.


So in your view the tracks should come together in a cohesive whole - following a general theme or sharing common elements - and not sound like they're all over the place, is that right? I hadn't thought of that, but I suppose it makes the selection even more difficult, because not only it has to fit a particular scene but also make sense with the rest of the music. Oh boy. Should be a fun process though.

The concept of Event music seems simple enough, no problems there. Should be intuitive I think.

Then there is the Character Theme, which defines what the sound should sound like. This will force me into looking long and hard for something that fits perfectly with what I'm after, and I'll settle for nothing less.


I'm a bit confused about this one. I thought a character theme was used when introducing said character or whenever he/she takes the spotlight, stuff like that. But I think you mean something different...

The goal of music is to apply emotional impact and immersion. It is more important than gameplay in that respect. All sound is extremely important. Therefore it must be powerful, it must be consistent, and it should be something you are sure the player has not heard before and thus cannot relate to anything else with. Thus, I constantly search for obscure and rare stuff.


Nice. I'll have to keep this in mind when deciding what to use. I'll check the relevant threads you mentioned, see some stuff. Thanks for the thorough response.

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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby IskatuMesk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:25 pm

By character theme I mean that is an element used in choosing. So for a single music track, I consider those three elements. The character theme is basically another way of saying, "This specific event should sound like this".

/e

Another way of saying it is like this.

- For the theme of Throne of Armageddon's overarching emotion I consider three elements. The first element is that which this theme will establish as a heart. So, like the trunk of a tree, all other pieces of music in the project's soundtrack will splinter from this, even if it's indirectly. All influences should be interconnected, even if piece D ends up being very different from piece A. Piece D should resemble C, which then resembles B, which is then derived from A.

Throne of Armageddon carries a dark overtone and an ageless undertone, guised in the form of deep, emotional tracks that comprise its core themes.

Yet the Event element is weighted by what this particular theme will be played for. In the Fury UST, the theme is basically protrayed as a backdrop for no particular event. Yet, for something like when the Alzerians engage the Undead, the track used will be very different than the general Undead theme. It will have more energy because it is used as a backdrop to action.

The character theme is determined by the nature of the backdrop. Using the above example, what is happening? Are the Undead winning or losing? This weights upon the theme's character. As an element, it isn't to say this is choosing a character's theme, it's choosing a theme's character.

Overtone ("World") (Deep, emotional, powerful)
|
Event (Action, ambient, theme...)
|
Character (Empowering, depressing, moving, positive, negative, silence, mood...)
|
*Sound piece*
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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby HelpMe » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:28 pm

Ah, I get it now. That makes the "character" part the hardest one to get just right. Sometimes I find a track that is really good and suitable, but feels slightly off somehow. And to find another one even remotely similar is a pain. But I'll get there eventually, I know it.


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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby Zebediah » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:19 am

I want to grab like a bunch of songs out of my Music category of my Ipod and drag them over into a playlist. Clicking and dragging to select them doesn't work. How do I select a bunch and like pick them up to move?

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Re: [Music]How do you select your music?

Postby IskatuMesk » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:37 am

Zebediah > Think you've got the wrong topic bro.
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