Cool. I can show you how to make soundfont banks later, DJ, it's a simple process. The key thing to keep in mind is that it's sample-based, you want to work with .WAV files. You wouldn't really convert a 'VST' to a soundfont, I'm honestly surprised a tool to do that exists, considering how varied most VSTs are.
I'm ok with working sample wise, its the only thing I've been doing all my life but thanks for the offer and there are a few software on the internet for converting vst to sf2 I'm aware of like extreme sample converter (I personally use) and translator 6. Not free of course and not a simple process but they work if done correctly, I'm still learning myself how to properly convert because I have a lot of good vst instruments so far and etherens harp vst is a little different from most vsts since the creators programmed it not play below c1 or anything higher like c7. I'll try to fix it in do time though.
Yeah some nice percussion there. I've added the V2 soundfont with all we got now. I couldn't add the music box. I'll .rar the soundfonts for now on since its getting rather large. I guess we can get started then? I'll add to my draft then upload it and see if you guys want to continue on it.
Already thought up a synth melody to add to your first draft, I'll show you an example later if you want and nice work on the soundfont! And don't worry about the music box, we don't need it and yep we can get started now I believe.
Last Edit: Jun 2, 2015 16:29:02 GMT -5 by dj4uk6cjm
Working on it now, it's very melodic, very melody-driven. Tossing a few different ideas at it, giving things room to breathe, don't want to expose too many of the song's secrets too early on. With a strong melody like this, it'll be that much more worthwhile to present it from a crescendo point onwards, there will be a grander sense of build and release. I like the major-minor changes, those are always great, lots of emotion.
Here's my take on it, just a general idea for the intro, mainly to get a sense of direction going for the song overall. I'm hearing a programmed/acoustic kit combination somewhere along the line, for the rigidity and the looseness each would bring. I think that would benefit the track so far as melody and delivery are concerned, it has a very driven emotional progression, I think that combination of electronic and acoustic would work well in that regard. I'm not quite sure what to use for the main riff, which is the simple three note choir sound carrying on throughout the intro from the beginning (originally a horn in your first version, Punk). I can already tell that sound will be reworked several times before this one is finished. Having a choir do the part is pleasant in a more subtle way, but I'm still hearing something more that can be done with it. I like the progression of it, it's nice, I'd try to make that three note movement a theme throughout the piece, perhaps doubling as a fill, maybe have a percussion bit mimic it, maybe a little hi-hat riff or something. Can do a lot with it.
Subtle tempo changes occur as well, it bounces from 106 to 118 BPM or so, I think it works quite well.
The Rhodes piano riff is a little more subtle here, tried to make it blend in with the movement of the song from intro to verse more for its rhythmic qualities as opposed to driving the song as a lead melody. I'm not sure what to do with the upward arpeggio harp that accompanies it quite yet, I was thinking of reworking it as a melodic double bass part duelling with the two L+R MS_MINI basses. I really like that USEFUL_STR counter melody (one of many counter melodies) from your first draft, Punk. I tried to rework that into the intro-to-verse crescendo in a lead melody context, I think it makes the intro quite memorable.
Percussion-wise, I tried to minimize use of the crashes and big cymbals for now, as their effectiveness would be better suited to later areas, perhaps chorus endings or the outro (a middle eight, perhaps? don't want to go too overboard, might sound a little too Celine Dion-esque, with a middle eight and a key change, all we would need is a self-obsessive diva to sing on it, it'd be the full package). Creative crashes using instruments or ambience should be effective for now.
Here's the MIDI. FL Studio is definitely the prime option for handling MIDI files, but I haven't yet figured out exactly how FL Studio handles MIDI parameters like Chorus and all that, so for now I've simply labeled all the channels by patch number. You would just have to drag and drop the soundfont onto the channel and cycle to the corresponding patch number.
Interesting take on it, nice! I should have said I was using Virtual Midi Synth as my midi host (in FL Studio). It receives the Chorus and Reverb send levels. I noticed that your midi file didn't have any, nor correct patches. I'm not sure how to load more then 16 midi channels with it unfortunately. Sorry, I should have mention this before hand. Would it be troubling to rework this to fit Virtual Midi Synth standards? This is why I didn't rename my channels since they contained patch numbers. It definitely would be easiest if we all used Virtual Midi Synth for this. I understand if you wouldn't want to do this, as it would be a slight waste on your end. In the long run, it would benefit all of use since it would be as simple as sending the midi file back and forth rather then assigning soundfont tracks to each midi. Sorry about this. It's my fault for not telling you guys I used this.
Another (slightly better) option is to use Kode54's BASSMIDI (same as Virtual Midi Synth but slightly better). I don't use this because it hangs on any app that has it open upon closing. It's better because you can have a total of 32 midi channels (one set of 16 on each port). Max being 2 ports. If you use it and need help on either one, let me know.
Last Edit: Jun 3, 2015 14:05:45 GMT -5 by punk7890™
Do we all have FL Studio? If so, we might have a better chance at sharing the .flp project files. I generally wanted us to be limited to the soundfont and standard midi effects like reverb and chorus but this is also another option. If we do this we'd be limited to FL Studio (bundled with) effects which opens stuff up for us also.
I was gonna say, that might be the best option, sharing the project files. It would probably save channel replacement time as well. The MIDI contains at least 50 separate channels with about 15 channels acting as delays as it is at the moment, you'd really be stripping it down to its short and curlies with 16/32 channels.
We can still limit the track to soundfont and MIDI control, effects aren't too necessary (and preferably) don't have to be used, especially if we do decide to mix and master the track when completed, which is where effects would come in. It's generally a good rule of thumb to minimize use of effects during production unless they are really vital to the sound design or arrangement, as they often tend to make things unnecessarily unpleasant during mixing and mastering. That, and it's just easier to make adjustments during mixing when you have the benefit of working solely on balancing the track and creating cohesion (and summarily, FL Studio's bundled effects are really kind of poor, to be frank. You don't want to use those if you can avoid it...)
A good story of mine about effects use during production involves a snare, I was just wrapping up production on this one song with lots of atmosphere, so I felt that keeping the snare too dry made it sound a little flat and lifeless in the mix, so I doubled it and ran subtle delay and a little reverb over the clone, think it was Princeton Digital SP2016 reverb, which is always a great room environment-context reverb. So the snare is processed and wet, I drop the gain a bit to get it to blend in with the mix, which is always the goal, reverb and delays are nice when you don't notice their presence too much. I get it sounding nice, mix everything just so, then on comes the mastering. I hear the snare after some necessary compression is added, and yikes, everything about it is off. The compression brings out the pleasant and necessary qualities of the snare, but all this weird stuff comes with it, it suddenly sounds too wide in the mix, the pre-delay is suddenly too noticeable, suddenly there's too much low end (a common issue with using effects in this regard is that the sound is mixed to sound pleasant at a certain dB level; by using necessary compression/limiting, some aspects of that sound are played at a higher or lower level in dB, which makes the sound seem unfocused - this is why basic steps like getting the gain right where you like it and eq'ing the sound are preferably done first before adding further effects like reverb and such, as this prevents the unpleasant qualities of the audio from carrying over from step one to step 10 and so on in the effects chain). For reasons like these, it's best to keep things dry wherever possible during production.
Yeah, I can relate to the effects stuff. When it comes to soundfonts though, I generally use Virtual Midi Synth just for a more retro feel. Sort of a bias I have I guess. I would adore something just like this but with more reverb send options like the N64 has. I really love Rare's reverb. I just learned that the reverb on the N64 had about 6 different effects.
Can you place your GK Collab soundfont into C:/sf2 ? It says it cant locate it and I'm not sure how to mass locate a missing .dll/sounfonts. Hopefully DJ also has FL Studio.
Last Edit: Jun 4, 2015 18:48:46 GMT -5 by punk7890™
No problem, might have a quick workaround. Head to the following: C:\Program Files (x86)\Image-Line\FL Studio 11\Data\Patches\Soundfonts Rename the 'Soundfonts' folder 'Soundbanks', drop the SF2 in there, reload the project file, and presto.
Let me know if that doesn't work, I can change the SF2 location really quick if need be.
DJ's up next. I'm guessing the goal should be at this point to extend upon your mix now by 24 bars for each person? I generally thought the goal would be to pass around 24 bars of each of our own extension to the original mix. This also works as I like your take on it. I'm not very clever when it comes to percussion tracks, so we'll see how my other 24 bars fair out after DJ's done his.
Last Edit: Jun 4, 2015 19:19:51 GMT -5 by punk7890™
Sure, that sounds good. I recommend keeping 24 bars in mind as a rule of thumb to reference, but of course, feel free to do a little less or more if you have a good idea you want to put down. No need to limit ourselves, full creativity is always a good thing.