A music theme for armagetronAD

Made a pack that makes Armagetron sound like a rock concert? Hook us up!
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qwerty800
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A music theme for armagetronAD

Post by qwerty800 »

Few days ago, (I played to armagetron this day :D) I were thinking to a music. At this very moment, I stopped to do what I were doing (so my lightcycle crashed) and i told to myself: "Hey, what a nice song. I'm sure it can become a good music theme for ArmagetronAd" So, that why I'm posting i this fourm.

Here is the song:

It is not exactly THAT but it give an idea
Feel free to critic this alpha-beta-0.0.1 version and to help me to realize the final.
Attachments
Armagetron AD music project.wav.zip
zipped Wave file of a possible intro of AAD (im bored to type armagetron) song.
(420.07 KiB) Downloaded 356 times
Does anyone know why am I doing here?

HIDDEN: HIGHLIGHT
FOR SURE IM PLAYING ARMAGETRON! :)

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Loor
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Post by Loor »

To retro for me, sorry.

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Fonkay
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Post by Fonkay »

Too short and repetitive.

Unless it's just a snippet.
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qwerty800
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Post by qwerty800 »

Hey, I just started. Be indulgent.
Also, tthat's the first time i use this type of software...
Last edited by qwerty800 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Does anyone know why am I doing here?

HIDDEN: HIGHLIGHT
FOR SURE IM PLAYING ARMAGETRON! :)

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

qwerty800 wrote:Hey, I just started. Be indulgen.
Also, tthat's the first time i use this type of software...
Heh, don't take it personally. Folks are pretty picky when it comes to music. So, rock on, man.

(sorry, I didn't download it because I know what "I just got so all-inspired to make" generally sounds like, and I'll wait until you've got a little more polish on there)
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qwerty800
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Post by qwerty800 »

V alpha-beta-0.0.2, i changed the tone and I ajusted the timing

EDIT:I yet have some problem with nuances.
Does anyone know how to use lmms?
Attachments
Armagetron AD music project.wav.zip
V alpha-beta-0.0.2.wavzip
(320.03 KiB) Downloaded 309 times
Does anyone know why am I doing here?

HIDDEN: HIGHLIGHT
FOR SURE IM PLAYING ARMAGETRON! :)

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Misery
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Post by Misery »

Not to be TOO critical, but I don't think that seven beeps constitutes a "Theme".

I admire your effort, but you need to put a helluvu lot more work into it. If you need more help, I can point you into the right direction. if software is what you lack, there is a wealth of free music making software for the taking out in cyberland. If interested, let me know. I know how it is to be a kid and wish you had a means to put your thoughts and ideas into something you could listen to.
"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."
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Z-Man
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Post by Z-Man »

Misery wrote:Not to be TOO critical, but I don't think that seven beeps constitutes a "Theme".
Correct, if I anything stuck from in my music education, then that would be a "Motive" :)

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sinewav
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Post by sinewav »

qwerty800, don't be too discouraged. Game music is a genre by itself and is difficult to write. A few years ago, I wrote a couple pieces of music to replace the soundtrack in glTron. I've attached an excerpt of one. Here are some things I considered when making the music...

Melody lines can be catchy, but also annoying (ever been rickrolled?). Use with caution. Sometimes taking a chromatic or atonal approach is best. Also, lightcycles engines have a pitch, and this pitch can create unpleasant harmonics when mixed with some music.

Writing with percussive sounds partially solves the melody problem, but introduces another. Some players are more sensitive to rhythm and naturally "sync-up" with it. These players will often move their cycle along with the rhythm, and this can be a bad thing. Sometimes the rhythm or tempo of a piece should be indistinct.

Once you have melody and rhythm, you should be sure the music does not interfere with or overpower the sounds in the game. Imagine if you had a snare sound that sounded too much like a cycle explosion. That might get confusing!

Finally, your music piece needs to loop. This is a difficult challenge. The point in which the music loops should not be obvious or distracting. Plus, the piece should be long enough where it doesn't sound too repetitive. Somewhere in the range of 2-4 minutes is a good start. If you need inspiration, listen critically to the in-game music of your favorite titles. "Mario Brothers" is a good case study too.

The file I've attached* is part of a longer piece, but you can use it to see how I approached "Tron" music. I wanted to capture the atmospheric, electronic feeling in the movie. Plus, I wanted the music to sit mostly in the background. It sounds strange and experimental by itself, but works well in the context of the game (something else to consider, Tron was strange and experimental).

I wrote it using Reason 1.0, but you can use anything that makes noise to create game music. It's much easier today than it was years ago with trackers. If you want some great free music software, look for a developer named Bram Bos (brambos.com). I've been a fan of his stuff for years.

Good luck. I'll be listening!

*If the file won't open, you can get it here:
http://fileshare.brianhilmers.com/Grid% ... cerpt).mp3
Attachments
Grid Bugs (excerpt).mp3.zip
A sample of Tron-like music for games.
(776.72 KiB) Downloaded 267 times

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Jonathan
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Post by Jonathan »

Electric Turtle wrote:Writing with percussive sounds partially solves the melody problem, but introduces another. Some players are more sensitive to rhythm and naturally "sync-up" with it. These players will often move their cycle along with the rhythm, and this can be a bad thing. Sometimes the rhythm or tempo of a piece should be indistinct.
How would those players respond to polyrhythm and polymeter? :)

I'm not really a fan of "electronic garbage" BTW. It only exists because technology couldn't do better at some point, and I associate it with ancient hardware. It's not that great either.
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Post by sinewav »

Jonathan wrote:How would those players respond to polyrhythm and polymeter? :)
Haha! Good one. They would surely chose the rhythm of their liking. I'm a big fan of playing 3/4 over 4/4.
Jonathan wrote:I'm not really a fan of "electronic garbage"...It's not that great either.
I find this statement to be strangely ironic. As you know, newer is not always better - just different. The look of Armagetron is largely based on a design from 25 years ago. Aesthetically, it is nothing like its contemporaries (Halo, WOW). Why play a game that is a essentially a throwback? This same principal can be applied to music. You say a thing is "ancient", others might call it "vintage".

There is an amazing classical composer named Johann Johannsson who wrote a piece called "IBM 1401, A Users Manual". It was inspired by a recording of sounds created by one of the first commercial computers made. It's definitely worth a listen. Here is a link to his essay on the piece: http://www.ausersmanual.com/data/

Outside of the irony of your statement, I do agree with it somewhat. There is a lot of throwback music that drives me up the wall. It really is garbage. But to me, electronic music and synthesizers are just part of the picture. I actually spend most of my time playing "real" instruments and doing stereo field recording.

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

Z-Man wrote:
Misery wrote:Not to be TOO critical, but I don't think that seven beeps constitutes a "Theme".
Correct, if I anything stuck from in my music education, then that would be a "Motive" :)
Er, if "motif" is the word you're looking for, that's not it either. A motif is where you have a passage of music that you build on over time, layering on more instruments and so forth. Go back to Orion, or Call of Ktulu, if you're in a Metallica mood. The instrumental on ...And Justice for All also has a motif in there somewhere.

Oh yeah, my song for Crimson Fields is a motif. And grrrr, I don't happen to have a link to it. There's a motif in the middle of the 1812 Overture, too. I think it's the big long passage right before it starts building to the cannon shots.

Anyway, this isn't even really enough to call it a phrase. And if it were me, that particular keyboard sound would never be a lead singer, it would always and only (if used) be for texturing. That's just my preferences, though, I like guitars and I'm not ashamed of that. This little section of music is more like a riff, and I can see several variations it can take, have them all strung together, and you get a passage. You still need a melody or a theme to put over it, of course.

Oh yeah, the little theme that starts off the game in the trunk is a small motif, but I've actually got that lead passage expanded into a theme in my head, just haven't had much time to play guitar lately. Also, the music provided by Raoul Duke that plays while you're in the UI is a motif, iirc. Most of his music is motif stuff. I suspect that has more to do with experience. Even in the classical composers, earlier works tended to use a lot of motifs because they're easy, and it can be really hard to break free from them. Same reason you see a lot of modern bands, when they do instrumentals, they wind up with motifs. Once you break out of the verse/chorus pattern used in most popular music, you get into an area that's pretty difficult to work in when you're used to the verse/chorus pattern. AFAIK, the only Iron Maiden instrumental ever was supposed to have lyrics, they just couldn't think of any, so it's an instrumental that goes in the verse/chorus pattern. They don't tend to have problems breaking that pattern, though, so they're not a very good example.

On the other hand, if you meant "movement", this just isn't long enough to be called a movement. A movement is a complete section, like a match in arma. It has a beginning, moves continuously through the middle and arrives at the end, and may have one or more themes expressed in it, although it usually only has one theme. The imperial march is a movement, but movie music gets hard to classify into such terminology because it has to segue into other sections pretty quickly to match the action in the movie. ;)

Anyway, enough blabbering. querty, I'm sorry, I don't really enjoy the electronica stuff either. As a lead instrument, that particular kind of keyboard noise gives me a headache. Of course, my own favorite lead noise gives other people headaches, so I'm not trying to make a personal judgement. I'd be interested in seeing how you work it into a theme.
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Post by Lucifer »

Hey, electric turtle, if you stripped all the weird percussion noises out, what would you have left? What is that sound? I loved it! Was it sampled from the movie?

I actually figured out the theme played in the movie while they're riding on the sail ship thing, figured out on my guitar with fingertaps. I don't have it down note for note anymore, it's been a long time, but that's what the noise you have going there reminds me of.

I'm starting to think that if we're ever going to get music, we're going to have to get a few of us to bang our heads together and just freaking do it. You guys want to learn a bit about bazaar, and then I'll throw together a bzr repository? I can compose metal/rock drum lines, and I can throw on bass or guitar solos, and sections of rhythm guitars. I don't have a whole lot of time for it, but if you guys are so good at taking samples and building music out of it, I can give you lots of guitar and bass samples.

Just try to keep the electronica stuff down to a tolerable level for the many of us here that don't like it, and we'll expect you to do the same with the rock/metal stuff for the many of us here that don't like that either. :) (I'm not in the group that doesn't like rock/metal)
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Post by sinewav »

Lucifer wrote:...What is that sound? I loved it! Was it sampled from the movie?
Haha, thanks. It's not from the movie. It's from a software synth in Reason. If you have Reason, I can send you the file.
Lucifer wrote:...if we're ever going to get music, we're going to have to get a few of us to bang our heads together and just freaking do it.
This is very interesting to me. Who else do you have in mind? We should discuss successful/unsuccessful game music and see if we can come up with a "sound" for Arma (or at least a direction towards a temporary one). I'll download Bazzar later tonight and get familiar with it.

BTW, I'm at the expert level when it comes to digital editing. My taste in music is vast, to say the least. To illustrate, when I come home from practicing with my psychedelic doom-metal band, I might unwind by cranking out a dj mix of house and techno records. I've been known to be a bi-polar genre mixing fool at times.

If you want to hear samples of my work, the Internet is full of my music and I can provide links upon request.

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Post by Lucifer »

I'm pretty much after the Iron Maiden sounds from Powerslave and Somewhere in Time. :)

Well, failing that, or at least trying to be more original, I'm after three kinds of music: Simple mood music that sets up the area (it has to vary by area somewhat, so fortress music might vary by what position you're playing), anthem-like music for when you're diving in and kicking ass, and then wild guitar stuff like you'd expect to hear on the radio when you're just driving around. I don't want there to always be a melody, sometimes you just want to hear jamming speed metal, for example. But I don't want there to never be melody or theme, because that gets boring to me.

How the game's going to figure out that you're indeed diving in and kicking ass is a problem to solve for another day. ;)

So, yeah, basic metal arrangement with two guitars, bass, and drums. I'm willing and happy to do 1 guitar and have what would normally be the other guitar replaced by some other instrument or sets of instruments. I'd like some symphonic stuff every now and then, like when Metallica played with the orchestra, but we wouldn't suck like they did.

So when I say "rock", I'm mostly talking about some modernized form of Styx from the Grand Illusion days, with a touch of Mr. Roboto (domo domo). And when I say "speed metal", it's Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, and no others. ;)

If you've got 0.3.0 installed, dig around the music directory and play the tracks there. One of them's Raoul Duke's track, the rest are mine. You should be able to easily tell the difference. When you get bazaar working to pull the trunk down for you, listen to the new opening theme. That's the theme I want to work from, if at all possible.
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