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Ambient Music


DeargDoom
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Hi guys, long time thief fan. So as we all know one of the great things about theif was the sound, the ambient music always in the background. Gave the game its dark atmosphere. I play guitar, I'm pretty good at it and I was wondering if you guys would be in need of anything from the ambient, slow, spooky stuff to the full blown distorted rock riffs for the mod?

~Dearg

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  • 2 months later...

No use creating a new thread...

I would happily help the project with ambient and cutscene music.

 

Of course, I am a sucker for Thief and have got a feeling for the vibes in these games.

 

I am well experienced with the electric guitar and I know what is to know when it comes to producing in Cubase (although I don't have an education, just a long time of trial-and-error).

 

I don't have any Thiefy sample, if there is need for another in the sound team tell me and I will make a sample for you to decide upon.

Edited by kshatriya
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Rather strange that nobody (including myself) saw this thread before...hmm.

 

In any case, if you want to get a sample for what others have contributed to TDM musically, have a listen to the Dark Mod OST release (about 26 megs). If you feel you can produce something in the nature of any of the OST tracks, or in fact anything radically different but still fitting (if that makes any sense), have a stab at it. There's no particular need for you to rush through it, as it's ideal that TDM have an ever-growing library of good ambient tracks available for mission authors, so take your time.

 

The format for TDM ambients is 16-bit/44.1kHz stereo, so make sure your sample conforms to at least these requirements. If you have the capacity to do a 5.1 mix, for instance, have at it.

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Thanks for your reply, will check those tracks out.

 

5.1 mixing I have no experience of, but I will look into that.

 

EDIT: I checked out the tracks. I should be able to make tracks similar to these, even though my experience mostly has focused on regular rock/pop.

My first impression was that some of the ambient music had more presence, as in you'd probably notice it more, and was more intricate than in the Thief games, while still retaining a Thief mood. I think that's a good improvement.

Edited by kshatriya
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am i the only one who would like to hear more "classical-esque"/orchestral ambient music in TDM? it seems like most people are doing more electronic/rock sounding music, which is fine, i just find orchestral music to be much more evocative, and better for creating subtle tension (think about most movie music) is there anyone else interested in more orchestral sounding music? if not, i can always just do my own, i suppose.

Milestones approaching:

Recital: 3-24-12

ToughMudder: 4-15-12

Release first FM: ?-?-20??

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A number of the ambients have orchestral elements, and the only 'rock' has been done for promotional purposes.

 

There's really very little room to use evocative cues given the constraints of the sound engine and how sound events can be triggered (not even considering synchronization with other elements), so the most you can hope for is to create a little backing, looping ambience.

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how long of a segment can be looped? several minutes? or only a matter of seconds?

Milestones approaching:

Recital: 3-24-12

ToughMudder: 4-15-12

Release first FM: ?-?-20??

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I've made a sample, which didn't take too long.

I've never used Reason before, but I thought it was a good idea to learn since it has some nice midi capabilities.

 

Therefore, the sample is far from perfect, I mainly wanted to capture the important aspects of it, namely low-key ambience, some atmospheric effects related to the setting and a little moody "melody".

Of course, it would be fun to experiment with alternate music styles that fits into a fantasy/steampunk universe.

 

I post this sample so that you can decide if I can join the sound team. After that, it will be easier coordinating (I guess you want tracks for some specific environments).

 

Link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OPQHKSCK

Edited by kshatriya
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I might add that the purpose of the first sounds is to sound like wind chimes, and someone bumping into them. Apparently I failed. :-(

 

Maybe I should mention the issues I myself am aware of:

1. Moaning sounds are a bit too frequent in usage.

2. Mastering is not very good, which you can hear if you raise the volume to 100% in the media player, because then you get a slight distortion.

3. Track stops short.

4. I forgot to remove the last two minutes or so of silence before uploading. Mainly because I had an alternate rock track which I had cut, and I mixed them up.

5. Low-key ambient bass oscillates a bit too much.

 

If you want, I can see to these things and upload another sample, this one was mainly meant as a rough idea of how it should sound.

Or, if I join the sound team now, I will of course only make future tracks that don't have that kind of flaws.

Edited by kshatriya
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Phide, your opinion?

Overall, I liked it. The mood is definitely right. A couple notes:

  • Abrupt and clipped intro and outro. Easily fixed, naturally.
  • The bass bed is a little overwhelming as mixed but it'd be easily looped, which is a definite plus. A bit of tweaking resolves the "overwhelmingness" of it, but it really saturates the buss as it is which means dither would be increased during mastering once levels are brought back up to snuff. Applying a high pass filter before bouncing would do the trick.
  • The synth elements don't feel appropriate and might be best replaced by some filtered and stretched orchestral samples (Reason likely comes with a few) -- it felt a bit Blade Runner-ish during those passages. You might also try tweaking out the synth with a square wave or sawtooth LF oscillator, which is something Brosius did a good deal of in The Dark Project (see Bafford's Manor, a favorite of mine).
  • The filtered bell/chime sounds work great, I thought. A little discordance goes a long way to making the player uncomfortable (which is a good thing). Bells are handy that way.
  • Levels are good. 3 to 4 dB of headroom for me to play with is certainly adequate.

I'm not entirely clear about the policy regarding music guys and what kind of status they're granted once they submit a sample, so I don't know whether contributor/team member status would be "in order" or not. I think contributor status is probably appropriate, but the opinions of other team members would probably be valuable before any decision is made (and as for who makes that decision I don't know).

 

Quick closing question: what's the highest bit depth and sample rate you can work at and deliver?

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Glad to hear you liked it overall.

 

I agree with your remarks, and there certainly is room for improvement, which is kind of self-evident since it's just a rough output.

Also, your advices are appreciated, I am quite new with Reason and not very acquainted with all it's functions.

 

Contributor/team member doesn't matter to me, but I hope there is some interaction between contributors and team members? As in the team members decide, but the contributors can make suggestions?

 

Ohh, and the final question:

I mainly have experience from 24-bit and 44100. Reason is capable of 192 000, but I don't see why such a sample rate would be necessary?

 

I might add that the Cubase remark in my first post was not correctly formulated.

What I meant with "I know what there is to know" was more like "I know what there is to know when it comes to making a track that sounds good to a layman's ear."

I realized it might sound like I'm a music production expert, which I'm not. :-P

Thought I should add that, when you decide if I can contribute or not.

Edited by kshatriya
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Contributor/team member doesn't matter to me, but I hope there is some interaction between contributors and team members? As in the team members decide, but the contributors can make suggestions?

Yes, there's definitely interaction. Contributors are allowed to air their opinion just like everybody else on the team, so Contributors are definitely not second-class team members or production slaves. It basically reflects how much you want/plan to be involved in the project. Team Members are the full-time employees, and Contributors are the freelancers, so to say.

 

Team members are expected to show somewhat more dedication, time-wise. They are expected to stick around, and pull on the same string as the other team members to get the mod done. Sometimes this includes doing stuff which is not that much fun.

 

Contributors can choose to work on whatever they wish. They may also take requests from Team Members to work on something specific. They are more loosely bound - as the name states, they contribute assets (textures, models, sounds) like freelancers and everything they share with the team is appreciated (this applies to Team Members too, of course). Everyone is happy when Contributors are sticking around nonetheless, that's for sure - but people are less surprised if Contributors are disappearing after a short amount of time.

 

There are certain forums, which are only visible to team members, but these generally don't matter to Contributors. Valuable Contributors who stick around are eventually becoming Team Members anyway, the status is not set in stone at all.

 

So it boils down how much motivation and dedication you're willing to offer - we surely need your help, but the decision is yours. :)

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I mainly have experience from 24-bit and 44100. Reason is capable of 192 000, but I don't see why such a sample rate would be necessary?

It isn't specifically, though I prefer to master with a 24-bit/88.2 kHz source file when possible if you'd wish for me to master your contributions. If you can do that, great! If not, no big thing.

 

I realized it might sound like I'm a music production expert, which I'm not. :-P

Very few could claim to be experts in music production (though some producers I've met have a tendency to be arrogant, so I may well be wrong). An apparent "high production value", while always nice, is not more important than the actual content. If it helps to establish the mood, it's a successful ambient track.

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It isn't specifically, though I prefer to master with a 24-bit/88.2 kHz source file when possible if you'd wish for me to master your contributions. If you can do that, great! If not, no big thing.

 

Of course, it is good if an actual team member, one who seems to be more experienced with production, can make final touches. Alas, my current sound card does not support that sample rate, but I am getting an external Tascam US-22L USB 2.0 which will handle that.

 

Very few could claim to be experts in music production (though some producers I've met have a tendency to be arrogant, so I may well be wrong). An apparent "high production value", while always nice, is not more important than the actual content. If it helps to establish the mood, it's a successful ambient track.

 

I agree, a well produced track with bad content is worse than the other way around for example.

 

@New Horizon: Can you set kshatriya up as Contributor and give him (am I right assuming you're male?) access to the sound forums?

 

Yup, male. Sorry to disappoint you. :-P

 

 

I sent a PM to New_Horizons, in case he wouldn't check this thread. Haven't got a reply, according to the FAQ he gives a reply when he's decided so I'll just wait. But, if more samples are wanted before deciding, please tell me and I will see to that.

Edited by kshatriya
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Hi,

So I'm sorry I haven't been around since I first started this topic but no one had replied within a month so I kinda gave up. I'm in the process of downloading the downloadables on this page to get a feel for whats going on. Being Monday I have a whole week of shity studying in front of me, but by Friday night I should get a chance to record a quirky acoustic guitar demo and hopefully an electric ambient thing before the weekend is out.

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So I'm sorry I haven't been around since I first started this topic but no one had replied within a month so I kinda gave up. I'm in the process of downloading the downloadables on this page to get a feel for whats going on. Being Monday I have a whole week of shity studying in front of me, but by Friday night I should get a chance to record a quirky acoustic guitar demo and hopefully an electric ambient thing before the weekend is out.

Sorry again that our reply did take so long - I'm looking forward to hearing your samples. :)

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Sorry again that our reply did take so long - I'm looking forward to hearing your samples. :)

 

 

Sure it's no worry, I realise that your time is better spent on the project that being a forum slave. Liked the OST. So, I am quite surprised that people have still not explored the traditional celtic music. Fits so well with the atmosphere and time period. Maybe I am the one missing this but has this been considered?

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I don't think it fits in actually. I myself don't view the Thief universe as particularly celtic.

Nevertheless, celtic folk is catchy, so it could work. For instance, in or outside a tavern.

 

EDIT: I might add that I'm not the one to tell you what to do. Just wanted to express my view on celtic music in Thief generally.

 

A deviation from canon is not bad actually, unwillingness to try new things leads to stagnation.

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