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Shower Waltz

Discussion in 'Critique & Feedback' started by Mark Wayne, Sep 14, 2020 at 12:19 AM.

  1. Hey everyone,

    During one of my recent showers I had a waltz-like melody stuck in my head. I've been trying to work it into a piece with a more or less complete idea. I generally like how it sounds, but I'm sure there are places that it could be improved (particularly in the mix).

    I'm mostly concerned with the melodies, harmonies, and chord progressions, though. Do they seem logical/easy to follow?

    All thoughts/feedback are appreciated!

  2. Easy to follow over here.
  3. @Doug Gibson - That's good to know!

    I've been re-watching Mike's Unleashed videos (and plan to submit a piece in December if there will be another Unleashed) and mainly want to make sure that there aren't any big issues with my choices of chords/harmonies (and rhythm).
    I feel that I may need to adjust the instrumentation though - it feels like things get a bit "busy" toward the end when the main melodic phrase is re-stated.
  4. Um....... you know that is not the biggest issue with the instrumentation ......right?

    In a way, it might work out perfectly. Sort of a hipster- low fi thing I suppose. I think you actually like this ...what is it....2 bit, or 4 bit sound.

    Quirky is a good thing with music. I have said here before the most common reason I have seen peoples music get rejected when it sounds really good is "We have that already".So you may be onto a niche.

    Since you mentioned being in a shower, I felt like I was in the shower playing an old Atari game, may have spotted an STD, and my eyes went back and forth from playing the game to worrying about those spots down there.
  5. #5 Mark Wayne, Sep 15, 2020 at 9:12 PM
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020 at 9:21 PM
    @Doug Gibson

    It's interesting that you mention games, because video game music is a big part of what inspires me to create music. It's not so much the early 8-bit/Atari/Pac-Man/chiptune sound that inspires me, but the 16-bit/SNES/N64 era which came a bit later. I enjoy the works of Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, Dave Wise, Hiroki Kikuta, among others. I also listen to music that doesn't specifically belong to that era, but reminds me of it: Wendy Carlos, Philip Glass, Kate Bush, The Residents, and Frank Zappa's Synclavier works.

    The 16-bit era allowed for a greater variety of textures than the early 8-bit music, but it still maintains a mechanical/artificial component due to the hardware being more limited compared to what we have available today for games. In today's world, newly-released games don't have those types of limitations, and any type of sound can be queued up as music in a game, whether it be a fully-orchestrated score or a pop song. That means that there isn't a need to create music using those 16-bit textures like there used to be, unless the goal of the developer/composer is to evoke the same feelings that people felt when they played those original 16-bit games in the 1990s.

    I feel like there is a niche for the type of music I'm making, though it's difficult to identify precisely. Quirky is definitely what I'm aiming for. The challenge I'm facing is keeping my idiosyncratic, quirky sound but leaving enough familiarity in terms of chords, harmonies, and melodies so that the listener can follow along and maybe even tap their foot/nod their head. My goal in posting here (and reading about composition on my own/watching Mike's content) is to work on the things that are actual errors in composition and ultimately have more control over what my output sounds like. I want to express my weirdness, but I don't want it to be jarring or unlistenable in a way that I didn't intend.

    All in all, I'd really like the pieces I write to be usable for games, though I feel there's still a lot more for me to learn/understand before I'm there. And it also is fine with me if it doesn't work out, since ultimately I'm doing all this for personal satisfaction. Whatever happens, I'll always still be making music and trying to learn.

    Now, back to the piece itself:

    Instrumentation-wise I actually don't know what the biggest issue is. I'm going to take a stab at it and say that the drums are the biggest issue, just like the last piece I posted here. Listening to the piece again, there is a lilting, lofty quality to it that could be better accentuated by deeper drums, like timpani. Something with force. Am I close?

    The imagery of playing an Atari game in the shower is fantastic. I've seen showers that have music built-in, maybe a built-in Atari console can be a thing if it isn't already.
  6. I think you really need some kind of video/image for these types of pieces. They were all originally meant to be connected with a game or video. Listening to this kind of piece without a video is losing over 50% of their meaning IMO.

    If you can, I would try and work on creating a video for these types of songs.
  7. I don't disagree that a video, if well-executed, could make the experience of this piece more rich. It also would be a great way to market my pieces, since music videos are still a popular form of consuming music.

    But since I have little-to-no expertise in video production/directing/animation (even less than making music), creating a video for this piece (or others) could be a daunting task. That's something that I could be down for eventually, but right now I'd rather work on creating better-composed pieces with tighter arrangements. Ideally, my pieces should be listenable and enjoyable on their own, and a video would only be icing on the cake.

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