Music proposition: New NE Theme
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
   Forum Index -> NE Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject: Music proposition: New NE Theme

Having enough of the mechanical sound of MIDI-piano theme played in the main menu I decided to produce my personal replacement, which is a mix of TWC theme (transposed two semitones down to match the rest of the piece) and a fragment of Beethoven's Eroica Symphony no. 3 in Eb major, op. 55, first movement. The result is a bit long (2:12) and I'm not much satisfied with it (especially with the transistions), but I decided to upload it here and get some feedback.

So, what do you think?

MediaFire: NE - TWC and Eroica mix, v.1.mp3 download
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject:

Hey Pawelec, I can share your displeasure with the MIDI sound. If anybody could master it with better sounds, I'd appreciate it very much. If you're interested in helping out here, just tell so. Smile

I've listened to your mix and I agree it's too long. Also, the Eroica Symphony doesn't really suit as a theme due to its lengthy atmospheric parts. A game theme needs to be more compressed. I wouldn't say though that the transition (I only found one) is bad though.
_________________
Napoleonic Era Project Leader


** Support me to support NE **

Test your Age of Empires knowledge in my
Grand Age of Empires quiz! King Green!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Silmariel
Conquistador
Conquistador


Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Posts: 356
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:41 pm    Post subject:

Maybe one could take the intro of a military song/march such as la victoire est a nous or something?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:54 pm    Post subject:

I currently don't see a need for a new theme, but a need for better sound of the current theme.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:46 pm    Post subject:

OK, I think I can make the original sound at least convincing and not totally MIDI-like with my GM soundbank. Unfortunately I don't have any nice synth orchestra software which can make a Hollywood piece out of any MIDI crap, but I think no one in the forum has it as it's HELL (and by HELL I mean at least $5,000) expensive...

To do some magic-like stuff to the music I'd need the MIDI file.

The thing is I think the original theme belongs to the Romantic Era, so it's just too innovative for the period. Beethoven (1770 - 1827) is one of the last composers whose music would fit the mod-covered period, but he was a precursor of romantic music, not a Romantic Era composer. Eroica would be nice if I had a recording with strings being louder, as they are expressive all the time, but they get piano in the atmospheric parts to allow woodwinds to be heard. I chose Eroica because Beethoven originally planned to dedicate it to Napoleon, but he got mad and almost burnt the manuscript when Napoleon made himself the Emperor - Beethoven was very keen on republican movements and thought that the coronation showed the hypocrisy of Napoleon, who began as a fighter for democracy and ended as absolute monarch (or at least that's what Beethoven thought).

Sturm und Drang music would be perfect, as it shows some expressiveness without getting far away from the classical guidelines and the time frame is 1766 - 1787. That covers Mozart's Symphonies in g minor (no. 25 and no. 40), and the theme of 1st movement of no. 25 is both short and expressive. So short and expressive that Milos Forman used is as a main theme of the Amadeus movie.

YouTube: Mozart's Symphony no. 25 in g minor, 1st movement

PS I think renaming the mod to Sturm und Drang (or Storm and Stress if you don't like German title... but I guess at least Tilanus would see no problem with it Wink) could be a nice idea - it would remove that misleading feeling of the mod being French-oriented (although French are still OP civ...). But that's just an idea and renaming such a well-known mod in the middle of development wouldn't be very promotion-wise.
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject:

Those symphonies make better in-game tracks than themes. Since NE is a military-themed mod taking place in the timespan from 1555 to 1815 I don't think the musical beauty of Romantic era compositions suit as a theme or general music tone of the mod itself.

Instead, it rather needs something more rhythmic, pompous and rich like Baroque music la Lully or Vivaldi. Once I did analyze the fair proportions for each musical era within the NE timespan and the result was this:



As you can see the setup is kinda split into two symmetrical sections. Each half has a dominant part with a little subservient brother (Baroque > Renaissance, Classical > Romantic). These eras I'd spread on the ages like this:
  • Age I (1550-1600) - Renaissance, (Baroque)
  • Age II (1601-1700) - Baroque
  • Age III (1701-1799) - Baroque, (Classical)
  • Age IV (1800-1806) - Classical
  • Age V (1807-1815) - Classical, Romantic

_________________
Napoleonic Era Project Leader


** Support me to support NE **

Test your Age of Empires knowledge in my
Grand Age of Empires quiz! King Green!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject:

Nice analysis, but I'd look for late classical as the mod's name is Napoleonic Era. But classical is hardly energetic... It's good to admire its beauty, not to get excited or energised.

I'll take a hear of the Bach's Mass in b minor, it has some nice, short and pompous moments, but I'm afraid there may be a choir singing sacral text lol

OH MY... I've just got an idea which is mad...
Once I had a piece of software which was able to compose surprisingly good fugues in Bach's style. Imagine an expressive fugue on Age of Empires III theme, I could add some more orchestration to it, so it would be played by woodwinds/brass with harpsichord basso continuo and string ensemble...
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SAOL
Emperor
Emperor


Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 23251
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:13 pm    Post subject:

Pawalec wrote:
Nice analysis, but I'd look for late classical as the mod's name is Napoleonic Era.
While that's of course true, most of the timeline isn't part of the Napoleonic era. I think it's sensible that the music should reflect that. Changing the name would be madness on more than one level.

I mean, a surprisingly large portion of the demography probably couldn't date the different music periods with terrific accuracy anyway. "It's like, old".

For that same reason I think it is more important to focus on the mood and expression of the music than finding archetypical examples of everything. At least in my mind, not all music is good background music. That may actually be especially true for a lot of music from this period, written to be the 'main attraction'.

For instance I think Mozart's 25th has too much oomph in it to suit anything but quite action filled moments. For the management phase of the game - which is substantial - I'd prefer something slower and calmer. If we're to stick to Mozart and the film Amadeus I'd pick the serenade for winds.

Also, 'original' AoE III had that bit of exploration mystique in it's music, at least I feel that must've been the intention. With NE's focus on the already explored part of the world - the old world - that seems somewhat less sensible as a primary emotion.

So, for the main menu title and theme I agree that you'd want something more... militant Razz With the main theme woven in, of course. But then... there's that question of "picking favourites" slash nationalism. I don't care to be honest, but a lot of people potentially do.
_________________
Join
WWLLUASCLWPJ
We Who Loathe Long or Unnecessary Abbreviations and Similar Clusters of Letters Without Proper Justification

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Skype Name
sennacherib
Austrian Line Infantry
Austrian Line Infantry


Joined: 03 Nov 2010
Posts: 88
Location: Brittany

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
While that's of course true, most of the timeline isn't part of the Napoleonic era.


maybe the name of the mod should be changed "European struggles" or "Europe at war". Razz

btw, i agree with Tilanus, the sound is not very appropriate for a game. A military march song could be interesting

Beethoven: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMaY_uUhXH0

Schubert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf1zSz4QN6A

mix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyORZEZ7f9o (the first one is good)

mix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFlcZ15FFIk
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:11 am    Post subject:

OK, so two things:
1. Bad news: fugue with basso continuo and string ensemble is impossible for me to record (that would be too many tracks), so I won't even make attempts to write such piece.
2. Good news: I found the fugue-composing software on my external HDD and I'll play with it a bit tomorrow.

And I need the MIDI file of the original theme to record it with my keyboard.
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:20 am    Post subject:

http://ne.elpea.net/downloads/NE2_theme.mid
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:00 pm    Post subject:

OK guys, here's what my keyboard was able to do. The files are .wav, uncompressed and without any equalisation, just what my keyboard played. Frankly speaking I hoped they would sound better.

For the first time I tried with Concert Grand Piano, but it sounded quite blurry, and other piano samples were rather too sharp or sounded like clicking:

MediaFire: Napoleonic Era 2 theme - piano version

Then I recorded another version with brilliant harpsichord sounds (my keyboard is stunning when it comes to harpsichords, I have 4 kinds of them and all of them are absolutely marvellous, much better than piano samples), in my opinion this one sounds better:

MediaFire: Napoleonic Era 2 theme - harpsichord version

Besides, my fugue software did quite a nice job. As 4-voice fugues sounded rather clumsy and heavy I went for a 3-voice one and that's the result:

MediaFire: Fugue no. 1 in d minor on Age of Empires III theme
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject:

Hey there, I've listened to all of them. I noticed at both versions "clicks". I imagine in the piano version these are the palm-muted string notes, that seem not to be played with a string synth.

Even though the piano timbre is clearly a bit better now than the MIDI sound, I don't hear a significant difference between them though. Since you expressed something similar, I think you know what I mean. Mr. Green

The harpsichord version - while having a good general sound - sadly sounds very robotic at 00:11. You may change instrumentation for just this specific part to see if you can get a better sound of it. While I personally love harpsichord, I chose piano in the end because the instrument itself is also historically closer to the Napoleonic Era while the harpsichord has a long history starting somewhere in the medieval times. Someone with standard knowledge of European culture will know that.
As for the strings, that are clearly audible in this version, they share the same issue as the piano timbre, even not "as bad".

Where exactly do you get these sounds from? From your keyboard?

The fugue is surely funny, but I guess it'd brainfuck most people who are not that much into that type of music. Mr. Green
_________________
Napoleonic Era Project Leader


** Support me to support NE **

Test your Age of Empires knowledge in my
Grand Age of Empires quiz! King Green!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
SAOL
Emperor
Emperor


Joined: 14 Sep 2008
Posts: 23251
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:47 pm    Post subject:

Tilanus wrote:
The fugue is surely funny, but I guess it'd brainfuck most people who are not that much into that type of music.
Never say never. It's a bit reminiscent of Game Boy music, which worked for Nintendo. Mr. Green
_________________
Join
WWLLUASCLWPJ
We Who Loathe Long or Unnecessary Abbreviations and Similar Clusters of Letters Without Proper Justification

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Skype Name
Pawelec_POLAND
Continental Marine
Continental Marine


Joined: 11 Feb 2015
Posts: 149
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:32 am    Post subject:

I figured out the clicking thing is about pizzicato samples, not the piano nor harpsichord. The sounds are played by my keyboard which sad cannot have new samples imported, so I'll need to record pizzicato separately. The whole piece would sound amazing if synth orchestra was used, but those are unrealistic dreams...

The issue of 0:11 part is because of the piece itself I'm afraid, the beginning sounds not very well regardless of the instrument chosen. And I don't think harpsichord would be very improper, Mozart used both piano and harpsichord, although he thought of a piano as of solo instrument, while harpsichord was the accompaniment one. During the life of Beethoven the common preference started to move towards the piano side, leaving harpsichord to classical composers and going with piano, not the harpsichord, through the Romantic Era.

As I'm away for the weekend I'll get down to the thing when I get back home.
_________________
"Let us return to the past; it will be progress."
by Giuseppe Verdi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tilanus Commodor
NE Commander
NE Commander


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 5065
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:18 am    Post subject:

SAOL wrote:
Never say never. It's a bit reminiscent of Game Boy music, which worked for Nintendo. Mr. Green

You'll probably not be surprised then when I say that this 8-bit music - especially from evergreens such as Tetris - shaped - next to my general piano playing - my great interest and celebration of Baroque harpsichord music. Wink

@Pawelec:
I'm wondering how you let your keyboard (is it a keyboard or an electric piano?) play a MIDI file? I never really managed to do that with my own. Does it take some additional equipment for that?

As for the part at 0:11 I'd say the notes make a harpsichord generally sound like that. However, the lack of dynamics within the otherwise lovely harpsichord sound of yours make it sound like what it actually is - an artificial sound. Mr. Green I'm aware of the instrument history of both harpsichord and piano. This also explains why I chose the main melody to be played by a solo piano as opposed to an accompanying harpsichord. If you have any ideas though on how to change the instrumentation in order to pull out only the most pleasing sounds from our limited means, I'm all ears. Wink
_________________
Napoleonic Era Project Leader


** Support me to support NE **

Test your Age of Empires knowledge in my
Grand Age of Empires quiz! King Green!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> NE Forum All times are GMT
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group | Page design by Tilanus Commodor & michfrm.