Retne's Open Source Noise Project

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Retne
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Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:07 am UTC

OK. Here's the deal. I've been having a hard time getting myself to work on anything musical that hasn't just been something along the lines of playing my guitar while watching random stuff on the computer. I would like to stop that and actually start producing music. How I plan to do this is to set myself a challenge. The challenge I have set myself is to produce something and post it on here at least once a week. Also so I don't just slap up short loops or piddly stuff I'm going to set up some rules for myself:
1. The posted music must be at least 1 minute long
2. Any mix adjustments that I post will come accompanied with an explanation of what I did and why
3. Everything I post up is free for people to use as they wish. The only thing I ask is that you don't just copy it verbatim and claim it as your own.
4. Everything will be at 140 bpm(this is more for simplicities sake than anything else)
5. Every sample I use will be free or created by me
6. The only soft synths I will use will be Massive, FM8 and Kontakt
7. Any effects VSTs used will be freeware
8. The end of the week will be Monday morning 11am CST(I work overnights)

Now I'm not going to promise to make anything amazing. This is more to get off my lazy bum and keep what little production skills I have and hopefully add onto them. If anyone ever wants the separate audio stems from some song just ask. That also goes for any settings I use in the synths/effects. I'm mostly going to be using FL Studio as that is what I have. If you want my flp files let me know and I'll upload those as well. When it comes to hosting the files the method I use will depend on what the file is. For the music itself I'll just upload it directly to this forum unless it exceeds the forum limits. For almost complete/cohesive songs I will be creating a soundcloud page and I will upload those there. Sadly it looks like anything I upload on these forums will have to be zipped so that is what I will be doing. Anything else will more than likely end up on mediafire. If you have a better idea for what to use for hosting let me know.

Now the only thing I ask of you(yes you!) is to give me your opinion on what I put up on here. Just try to tell me what you actually like/dislike in the song instead of just letting me know that I suck. ;)

Anyways to give you an idea of what you might be hearing on here I've thrown up a little loop I'm planning on expanding upon. This is just to give you a taste and I plan on posting something up for this week even though it is half way through.
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JustATaste.zip
13 sec loop I made
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

syn-gran.mp3
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Resynthesized that for you...

:)
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

Interesting, this will be a thread to watch.

Since it's "open", if other people have loops and other noise they want to share in a similar manner, (It looks like a weaker license than CC - attribution), would this be a good place to put it?

@Dream, I liked your resynthesis, it sounds different than the "Echoes across the astral wastelands" paul stretch stuff.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:59 pm UTC

Feel free to share anything you feel like. Just stipulate if you don't want people using it because otherwise someone like me will probably grab it and do something with it. ;)

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:02 pm UTC

My monitor decided to die this weekend so I'm giving myself an extra 24 hours. *Grumbles about CRTs and how they should last forever*

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:16 am UTC

OK. It's pretty obvious I'm junk at this scheduled update thing. I've spent just about every spare minute I had this past week banging away on my DAW and I have pretty much nothing to show for it. So I'm going to have to come up with a revised version of my self imposed rules. As to what those should be I'm not 100% sure. Perhaps post everything I create on here? That's definitely better than nothing. I will brainstorm a better set of rules so writers block wont make me feel like a tool.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Cryopyre » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:37 am UTC

Are there online guides to introduce you into creating house music? I've been wanting to try my hand at it, but I don't have any musical training at all. Where does one begin if their final goal is to create house music?
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

Retne wrote:As to what those should be I'm not 100% sure. Perhaps post everything I create on here? That's definitely better than nothing. I will brainstorm a better set of rules so writers block wont make me feel like a tool.

If I were in your position I would give Monday of each week solely to editing. No new composition, just cut and paste things you've done earlier in the week into something listenable. During the week, I would regularly bounce out versions of what you're doing at the time, then listen back later, editing them down to whatever is useful. Then on Monday evening, post what you have, without any explanation. Leave people to work it out for themselves. Explain later in the week.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby BurningLed » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Posting something here I made for a roguelike that I'll get around to actually fleshing out... eventually. It's a 30-second-ish ambient loop for dungeon-crawling. Sorry for the huge filesize, but I can't get ModPlug Tracker to export in anything higher than 56kbps, which hurts my ears.

Feel free to do what you want with it, so long as I can steal the result back.

Dambiance.zip
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:52 am UTC

Dream wrote:
Retne wrote:As to what those should be I'm not 100% sure. Perhaps post everything I create on here? That's definitely better than nothing. I will brainstorm a better set of rules so writers block wont make me feel like a tool.

If I were in your position I would give Monday of each week solely to editing. No new composition, just cut and paste things you've done earlier in the week into something listenable. During the week, I would regularly bounce out versions of what you're doing at the time, then listen back later, editing them down to whatever is useful. Then on Monday evening, post what you have, without any explanation. Leave people to work it out for themselves. Explain later in the week.

Hmmmm. Okay I think I can try that. Basically remove any of the time restrictions to what I post and to just post what I have. I guess that's the best I can do. I was just hoping to drive myself to do more. Oh well, gotta learn to crawl etc.

I do have one question for you though: Do you know a program that resembles Sony Vegas before it got turned into a video editor? That's what I originally learned on and it has colored my preferences accordingly. The closest thing I've seen come close to it is audacity. In fact that's probably what I will end up using to cut stuff up and mix together unless you know of a better program.

Cryopyre wrote:Are there online guides to introduce you into creating house music? I've been wanting to try my hand at it, but I don't have any musical training at all. Where does one begin if their final goal is to create house music?

The best way to start producing for a specific genre is pretty simple. First figure out what defines the genre you wish to write for. In this case you want to write house music. Now I'm not exactly a fan of house so I'm going to have to ask wikipedia for the answer: "House music is based on four-by-four dance structure, popularised by disco, frequent use of a prominent bass drum on every beat, and may feature a prominent synthesizer bassline, electronic drums, electronic effects, funk and pop samples, often with reverb- or delay-enhanced vocals."

From this I can gather the first thing you will do is grab an 808 or 909 kick and throw it on each beat. It's 4/4 just like almost all music out there so you don't have to worry about unintuitive timings if you are new to music. The next part is to get yourself a decent bass going and then lay a lead over it. Sound selection shouldn't be too hard for you if you use something like Nexus for your sounds as then you wont have to create anything from scratch.

As for what software to use that is entirely up to what works best for you. I recommend giving the big names a try(Ableton, Reason, FL Studio, and Cubase). You wont know what works best for you until you give it the good old college try.

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:14 am UTC

Retne wrote:Do you know a program that resembles Sony Vegas before it got turned into a video editor? That's what I originally learned on and it has colored my preferences accordingly. The closest thing I've seen come close to it is audacity. In fact that's probably what I will end up using to cut stuff up and mix together unless you know of a better program.

I'm afraid I don't know Vegas, but I can probably recommend something if you tell me what it is you miss about it.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:15 am UTC

It seems lady inspiration came over to my place and kicked me in the junk. This is the result. You can kind of tell I lost the groove of it towards the end and I'm gonna have to come back to it after giving my ears a little break.

I'll revisit this once I'm at work tonight and I'll outline what I feel the good and bad parts are. As always if anyone wants stems or presets let me know and I will upload them for you. I may be messing around with that little ambient thing you posted up later too. :D

@Dream: The things I liked most about vegas was the multi-track all rendered audio feel. It's kind of hard to describe but it's similar to Acid except a lot more robust and geared towards studio tracking. I'd be willing to bet pro tools is a lot like it but I don't know because I have yet to give PT a spin.
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BRAWR
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:42 pm UTC

What is the workflow for creating stuff like this? I've been wondering how one goes about it. Do you just manually splice and position stuff until you get cool phrases, then work with various copies of the phrases?

As far as what DAW to use, I couldn't suggest one for you, but Reaper has a free, fully functional trial. They just ask you nicely to pay for it if you're going to actually use it. So if you feel like spend time dorking around with software, you could give it a whirl.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

Here's what my workflow looks like. That is quite literally the track I just posted. The little gray blocks in the playlist are separate patterns already created. You can route everything through the mixer just like if I had a mixer and patch bay.

What me and dream were talking about is a piece of software I would be using for mixdowns after I've already created a bunch of stuff and bounced it out of the DAW. I've thought of switching out of FL but I feel like I already know how to get what I want out of FL and until I reach a point where I can't do what I want to between FL and Audacity I'll stick to them. I am looking to replace Audacity with something a little more familiar and with more capability though. It just seems a little limited and causes me to bounce stuff back out after I've sliced what needed slicing if I want to add something to a certain part of the track. I also just realized part of why I really liked Vegas: You could use VSTs on the different tracks so if I wanted to add more verb to a separate set of slices I didn't have to bounce it back out to the DAW to use a fancy verb/bitcrusher/whatever.

Anyways if ya have any more in depth questions feel free to ask.
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Workflow.jpg

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

Retne wrote:What me and dream were talking about is a piece of software I would be using for mixdowns after I've already created a bunch of stuff and bounced it out of the DAW.

Why don't you use your DAW for mixdowns?
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:00 am UTC

Роберт wrote:
Retne wrote:What me and dream were talking about is a piece of software I would be using for mixdowns after I've already created a bunch of stuff and bounced it out of the DAW.

Why don't you use your DAW for mixdowns?

Many digital music people use different tools for different jobs, the classic old example being people who used the TDM hardware of Pro Tools with Logic Pro for composition, then switched into Pro Tools itself for tracking live instruments and editing. In this case, Retne seems to be referring to his compositional environment as the DAW, and (probably because it's not good for editing) wants to edit and mix in the same (other) application, minimising workflow headaches and learning curves.

Retne, could you find an old copy of PT LE second hand? They're a bit rubbish for MIDI and composition, but are fantastic for cutting. I've still got 7.4 and a first-gen M-Box somewhere, and they make a more powerful editing and mixing platform than most current options. Anything 6.x or after will likely be perfect for what you're doing. The editing tools are peerless this side of a ruinously expensive dedicated edit platform, and as longs as you're just doing editing and basic mixing, sound quality is equal for all programs.

About your last upload: I have comments, but really I'd prefer just to say that you seem to have clear ideas and be meeting with some success. You don't need to change what you're doing yet, it's bearing fruit. You'll benefit from a dedicated mixing platform, because some of the mixing didn't do the sounds justice.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:25 am UTC

I'll take a look around for a old copy of PT but my problem is I don't have a PT compatible interface. Hell I'm just starting up my hardware collection. At the moment I only have a E-MU 0404(picked it up pretty cheap and got it mostly because I heard the mic pre-amps weren't too shabby).

As to why I don't want to mix and cut in FL, the reason is pretty simple. FL is OK at getting a very rough mix going but absolutely garbage at cutting audio. I'm sure my in FL mixes will get better once my monitors finally arrive but even after they get here FL's mixing capabilities are rough at best. The only way there would be any hope of getting FL's levels to be any good would require me to send each audio signal through 3 or 4 busses before I send it out.

Alrighty it's time for me to give my opinion on what I've loaded up here so far. I do agree with you Dream, the current mix is atrocious. The synths are sitting way too prominent in the mix and it drowns out the percussion. I also think the lead repeats itself 1 too many times before I start stuttering it. I also either need to find a longer crash to reverse or time stretch the one I have in there. The riser synth also seems to be missing something to me. Maybe it needs a different filter?
But it isn't all frowns, I do like the composition so far. I think the bass lines work well and the lead line flows well with it. I also quite like the way I have the percussion swinging. I think the added snare/clap layers after the drop probably need a little compression to make them snap and maybe throw a light reverb on it but that will have to wait until I get the mix sitting a little better and I can decide if it really needs it. So in short:
Pros

+ Percussion
+ Sound Selection
+ Composition
Cons
- The Mix!
- Lead Repetition
- Reverse Crash Length
- Riser Sounds Flat

Ideas
I want to type out my random ideas just so I don't lose any of them. So stream of consciousness here we go.
To keep the track from stagnating I think I'm going to have the lead stutter into a drop. Maybe bring the vocal back and let it loop once and then slam back with a new bass line and lead with some stabs over the top. Definitely going to be introducing some new bass/lead synths. Will probably crossfade them in 16-24 bars after the drop.

OK that's all I got. Brain drained. Time to go listen to something random and veg out a little.

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:48 pm UTC

Retne wrote:As to why I don't want to mix and cut in FL, the reason is pretty simple. FL is OK at getting a very rough mix going but absolutely garbage at cutting audio.

Oh, what you and Dream said make perfect sense, then. I didn't think of cutting/editing as part of "mixdown", and I also think of PT as a DAW, so I was really confused. Sometimes my vocabulary has definitions that aren't quite the same as the person I'm talking with, and I remember miscommunication in the past because I didn't realize what people meant by "production".

Is it a good idea to agonize over the mix before your done with production? This is not a rhetorical question, I'm curious. I had assumed that it's better to get the song done before mixing, just doing basic compression, levels, and reverb on the way.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:I also think of PT as a DAW

In many ways, PT is responsible for the term DAW, in that when other applications were software-only and handicapped by 1980's processors, Digi was selling integrated hard/soft systems that the "workstation" tag fitted well. I've always thought "sequencer" is a better term for the Cubases and Logics of the world. But DAW is the lingo now, and sometimes it leads to confusion.

@Retne, have you considered rewiring FL into a DAW for mixing? It can seem complicated, but it's actually quite easily done. I used to do it with PT and Reason back when Reason's sequencer was pants.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:04 pm UTC

I've considered it but I don't even really know what DAW I would rewire FL into. Also I much prefer working with rendered audio tracks. What I would really like to use is Logic but I can't stand OSX. I've tried dual booting before and I always just boot into windows. Although now that I think about it, that might actually do wonders for my productivity. :mrgreen:

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Dream » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

Well, the idea would be that the Rewire host would be purely a summing mixer while you're composing in FL, then when you're happy with the composition, you track all of the FL instruments to actual audio in the host, close down FL, and get editing.

And yeah, run the system that runs the software you want to use, not vice-versa. Though I use Logic on a daily basis, and I really don't like it's editing capabilities. But that's just me. If it works for you, it works full stop.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:47 am UTC

Alrighty I found what program I'm gonna mix in: Cool Edit Pro. I managed to get a copy on the cheap and it's fairly reminiscent of the way Vegas was set up. Not to mention I use the single track version a lot at work so there isn't much of a learning curve at all. Also got my speakers and will get my mics soon. Now I just need to wait for the damn stores to open so I can buy myself 2 decent TRS cables and I will be rocking and rolling... or I guess in this case I will be thumping and bumping....meh that doesn't sound any better...oh well...

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

That's what Adobe Audition used be called, right?
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:24 am UTC

Yep it's essentially an old version of adobe audition.

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

Weren't we supposed to get some more noise yesterday? Do you have anything for us, Retne?
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:12 am UTC

I've been kinda swamped lately. Barely been home long enough to get anything done on it and when I have worked on it it all sounded junk to me. I'll try making some headway tonight though. I do have a couple ideas for something different too so hopefully I'll get something up here.

I haven't forgotten I'm just junk at schedules.

EDIT: Actually if I can't come up with anything tonight I'll upload 1 of my old tracks. This will act more as an incentive for me than anything as my old stuff sucks.

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

OK. I adjusted a couple things and added a build-up. Problem is I'm not sure if I like the synth I bring in for the build. So let me know what you think. I'm timid about doing the drop due to the precariousness of the build synth. Even after listening to it a bunch I can't decide if it sounds like I'm about to switch it up and bring the noise or if it sounds like the DJ decided the first track wasn't flowing with the floor and started fading in a new track.

:/ Hopefully I can come up with something better this week cuz I'm not satisfied with this.
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3-30.mp3
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:05 pm UTC

:cough cough:
:looks at watch:
:P
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:13 am UTC

Gah! I could have sworn I'd already posted an update.

Anyways, I'm not gonna post up what I have just yet because I don't want to give away what comes after the drop just yet. It isn't completely mapped out yet and I wont post anything that rough up here. I will hopefully get it all situated this weekend. Hopefully people like what comes after the drop. :mrgreen:

So in place of a work in progress you get one of my old craptastic tracks. Have a listen and let me know what you think as I feed off of people's opinions(no I don't sparkle in the sunlight and I wont stalk you).
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03 - Into the Dirt.mp3
Give a listen and leave your opinion
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

Retne wrote:So in place of a work in progress you get one of my old craptastic tracks. Have a listen and let me know what you think.

Honest: slow, cliché start-off. (I have no problem with sidechaining the kick into a synth-track to get that pumping sound, but full on like that at the beginning is cheesy.) I would have hoped for a different start, and a faster build to what is now at 1:30. Maybe keep it to a minue? I like how it drops back a little after that, and the part at 1:50 where it transitions into a dirtier bit is very nice. The all the stuff after that part is pretty solid, except your low dirty synth all but covers up the kick. Ending is abrupt and not very effective.

Obviously, art is art, and people's opinions will vary wildly, but that is my impression.
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Retne » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:10 am UTC

I would say that's a fair assessment. Probably the only thing I would add is that the mixing needs work too. I honestly wanted the wobble bass situated more prominently in the mix but did a bad job of it. Funny thing is I wrote that track in about an hour just tacking on whatever I felt like and as the number in the title suggests that is my 3rd attempt at EDM(that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :D).

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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

Should we perhaps move the "end of the week" to Tuesday? And edit the initial post to reflect the change?
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Re: Retne's Open Source Noise Project

Postby Роберт » Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

Take a week off?
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