Music Composing Contest

Marathon related contests and tournaments.

Post Feb 26th '09, 22:24

The Pfhorums have had gaming tournaments, mapping contests, art contests, and maybe a few other competitions, but I don't recall there being a music making contest recently, if at all. So I was thinking about starting one. It could just be a general music making contest, or there could be a theme each time. The entries would have to relate to marathon in some way of course. I'm not thinking rock. jazz. or anything like that. I'm thinking more along the lines of the M1A1 music. So what do you guys think?
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The Thug

Post Feb 27th '09, 02:19

The Thug wrote:The Pfhorums have had gaming tournaments, mapping contests, art contests, and maybe a few other competitions, but I don't recall there being a music making contest recently, if at all. So I was thinking about starting one. It could just be a general music making contest, or there could be a theme each time. The entries would have to relate to marathon in some way of course. I'm not thinking rock. jazz. or anything like that. I'm thinking more along the lines of the M1A1 music. So what do you guys think?


I'd try and compose something. The idea of re-making/re-mixing the M1 songs would probably be best, especially since there are MIDI files already available for them. Who would be judging this though, yourself? How this is judged is also fairly important, so I'd suggest the following categories (although I'd like to discuss them further):

Creativity: The song should stand out to some degree; it should be encouraged to go beyond simply changing the synth models of each instrument. That said, you shouldn't have to completely re-write the song to a point where it barely resembles the original - unless you would like to.

Quality: How pleasurable the song is to listen to.

Mixing: How well the piece is mixed. No mixing doesn't give you a 0 in this category, and is better than extremely poor mixing, but for max points the track should be well mixed. This primarily would include stereophonic sound and track volume.

I can't really think of any others at the moment, but I'll let you know if I do.
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$lave

Post Feb 27th '09, 11:45

I think you should add more insight on some programs that are capable of editing and creating music.
MoppyPuppy
Lake Nebagamon, WI

Post Feb 27th '09, 13:43

For a song contest like this i suggest keeping away from putting too many limitations on the artist, but in the same time don't keep it too open. Instead of somehow try to recreate the M1 music (which was actually a mix of blues, rock and various other genres, just in a midi format) I say we should rather keep an eye on the idea of trying to recreate the atmosphere of M1. Or try to recreate an alternative atmosphere perhaps?

Maybe the judge could play through a specific level in M1A1 with said music playing underneath, and a part of the judging process would be to judge how well it fits with the game.

$lave wrote:Quality: How pleasurable the song is to listen to.

This should be changed to how much a said song affects you or how well it manages to recapture/recreate the atmosphere it's trying to create. A song shouldn't always be pleasurable to listen to, just like paintings or games shouldn't always be pleasurable. Some games scare the shit out of you, and the same counts for paintings. The Scream by Munch for example, which is probably one of my favorite painting of the "popular artists" out there. And that painting disturbs me greatly. So instead of measuring the "pleasureableness" of the said piece, rather measure how effective it is in creating atmosphere, emotions, or just somehow affect the avarage listener.
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JohannesG

Post Feb 27th '09, 18:15

Ok, here's this:

http://ukimalefu.googlepages.com/Aliens.mp3

I didn't "compose" anything, I just changed it a bit. I guess you could call it a remix.
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ukimalefu

Post Feb 27th '09, 18:35

Ok, here\'s this:
*andsuch*


I think you may have jumped the gun a little.

Anyhoo...Kurt Cobain playing guitar for The Cure comes to my mind on [post=61157]this[/post].

edit: fixed post link
Last edited by effigy on Feb 27th '09, 18:36, edited 1 time in total.
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effigy

Post Feb 27th '09, 20:34

$lave wrote:I'd try and compose something. The idea of re-making/re-mixing the M1 songs would probably be best, especially since there are MIDI files already available for them. Who would be judging this though, yourself? How this is judged is also fairly important, so I'd suggest the following categories (although I'd like to discuss them further):

Yeah, I was planning on judging the songs along with anyone of you who would rather judge than make a song yourself. The judging is important, as you said, but I'm not 100% sure on how the judging will work yet. The basic categories I'm thinking about right now are creativity, originality, musicality: based on a musical understanding of rhythm, notes, and all that jazz, the length (it shouldn't be as short as 10 seconds or as long as 30 minutes), how it fits with the level (explained later in this post), and sound quality.

MoppyPuppy wrote:I think you should add more insight on some programs that are capable of editing and creating music.

If you use OS X, there is always GarageBand :)
Currently, I know of no decent music editing/creating programs for Windows. If someone knows of any, please post here.
If you use Linux, I can't help you at all.
For sound editing, not music editing, there is always Audacity, which is available for multiple operating systems.

Johannes Gunnar wrote:Instead of somehow try to recreate the M1 music (which was actually a mix of blues, rock and various other genres, just in a midi format) I say we should rather keep an eye on the idea of trying to recreate the atmosphere of M1. Or try to recreate an alternative atmosphere perhaps?

Maybe the judge could play through a specific level in M1A1 with said music playing underneath, and a part of the judging process would be to judge how well it fits with the game.

This is actually a very good idea. There are already enough songs for M1A1 though. Maybe the focus of these contests should be to recreate the atmosphere of a M2 or Infinity story level. Music for netmaps may also be a possibility. Going along with my criteria of "how it fits the level," each judge would play through the level with the music playing in the background, just as you suggested. This level would of course be announced before hand. If this idea is incorporated, the music would not only sound cool (hopefully), but it would also reflect the participants interpretations and feelings about the selected level.

Johannes Gunnar wrote:For a song contest like this i suggest keeping away from putting too many limitations on the artist, but in the same time don't keep it too open.

I completely agree. I was thinking of giving the level to base the music off of, a flexible song length criteria, and of course a deadline.
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The Thug

Post Feb 27th '09, 23:11

If you use OS X, there is always GarageBand :)
Currently, I know of no decent music editing/creating programs for Windows. If someone knows of any, please post here.
If you use Linux, I can't help you at all.
For sound editing, not music editing, there is always Audacity, which is available for multiple operating systems.


GarageBand is definitely good for Mac, but if you have Cubase or ProTools (both Mac and PC) you definitely want to use that; although I'd expect only musicians or sound engineers to have either of those.
Last edited by Windbreaker on Feb 27th '09, 23:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Windbreaker
South Park, CO

Post Feb 28th '09, 02:02

Windbreaker wrote:GarageBand is definitely good for Mac, but if you have Cubase or ProTools (both Mac and PC) you definitely want to use that; although I'd expect only musicians or sound engineers to have either of those.


here are few program suggestions:
  • Garageband (free)
  • Protools
  • Cubase
  • Reason
  • Logic Pro
  • Logic Express
  • Milky Tracker (free)
  • Ardour (cross-platform, free and open source) http://www.ardour.org/
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JohannesG

Post Feb 28th '09, 02:13

If you're not looking for audio software you're probably not interested in this post.

@The Thug: Please see end of post.

The Thug wrote:Currently, I know of no decent music editing/creating programs for Windows. If someone knows of any, please post here.
If you use Linux, I can't help you at all.

I think SourceForge has a nice liter of this stuff for Linux, and some for Windows.

I've been out of the loop for a couple years (and was nearly really in it), but some I'm aware of:

The Repear / Jesusonic
(MacOS X, Windows) [shareware, older freeware versions are out-and-about]
record, edit, mix / generate

Ardour
(MacOS X, Linux)
record, edit, mix

Hydrogen Advanced Drum Machine (SourceForge)
(Linux, MacOS X & Intel Mac, Windows)
compose, drums, generate godliness
I really liked this program when I was using it (on Windows), but the installer is early Beta stage for Windows, and was very buggy for me. It rocks until it crashes, though. Save often. Looks like developement has picked up recently, so add to your watch list.

FYI, anyone who is familiar with Sony Acid Music Studio should easily adapt to Audacity and The Reaper.

I recommend everyone looking look on SourceForge. Here's some random audio editing/recording stuff I bookmarked a couple years ago and never got back to. Sorry, I don't recall what's special about these, nor do I feel the need to research and describe each. I assume all have a Windows installer, and most a Linux package (again, search SourceForge):

http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/opensebj/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/evolutif/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mixere/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/oms

Software I bookmarked to use as a drum machine:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/ordrumbox
I recall playing with this one a bit. It was pretty stable, but not what I was after (i.e. Hydrogen)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/openbeatbox/

http://galan.sourceforge.net/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fultron/#item3rd-1

http://drumpiler.sourceforge.net/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/bbd/

The Thug wrote:For sound editing, not music editing,..

Would you mind a quick elaboration on the difference?
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effigy

Post Feb 28th '09, 02:18

Johannes Gunnar wrote:here are few program suggestions:

If you are aware of a Windows installer for this I'd be grateful for a link.

I just went hunting for it, and in turn found Traverso DAW which runs on Linux, MacOS and Windows.

edit: traverso daw
Last edited by effigy on Feb 28th '09, 02:55, edited 1 time in total.
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effigy

Post Feb 28th '09, 15:27

effigy wrote:Would you mind a quick elaboration on the difference?

Yes. Generally music editing programs allow the user to add/create/delete different musical instruments and tweak their properties, whereas sound editing programs are more for changing the actual sound quality of a track, such as editing the pitch, tempo, or adding sound effects. I don't think you could create a high quality song in just a sound editing program, like Audacity, but you could certainly incorporate both types of programs to make a high quality, enjoyable song.

Going back to the actual contest, do you guys think this is a decent idea? I would like to create another topic for the first contest as soon as possible. Another thought I had was to combine all of the entered songs into a song track and then release it. But that is just a thought.
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The Thug

Post Feb 28th '09, 15:59

So the contest hasn't even started and I already made a second tune.

I imagine this for the start of a game, or chapter, in a space station, or a very BIG ship.

http://ukimalefu.googlepages.com/rEverseiNertia.mp3

It's all GarageBand loops.
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ukimalefu

Post Feb 28th '09, 16:50

The Thug wrote:Going back to the actual contest, do you guys think this is a decent idea? I would like to create another topic for the first contest as soon as possible. Another thought I had was to combine all of the entered songs into a song track and then release it. But that is just a thought.


Yes, I think it's a great idea. I also think all the entered songs should be compiled and released together in some form, whatever form that may be.
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$lave

Post Feb 28th '09, 17:05

The Thug wrote:...music editing programs...

So, so a synthesizer? I suspect most if not all of the links I posted are sound editors.

The Thug wrote:Going back to the actual contest, do you guys think this is a decent idea? ...

I'm excited.

The Thug wrote:Another thought I had was to combine all of the entered songs into a song track and then release it. But that is just a thought.

That would make a nice archive of the event. Could you make it a multi-track file? Also, I think that could open possibilities such as making the first track the winner, etc., or information about the event in the metadata.
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effigy

Post Feb 28th '09, 17:37

$lave wrote:Yes, I think it's a great idea. I also think all the entered songs should be compiled and released together in some form, whatever form that may be.

effigy wrote:That would make a nice archive of the event. Could you make it a multi-track file? Also, I think that could open possibilities such as making the first track the winner, etc., or information about the event in the metadata.

Yeah, I was thinking of putting of all the songs into an album, with the first track being the winner, second track 2nd place, etc. Another idea would be to go through the M2/Infinity levels one-by-one and hold a music contest for each one. The 1st place song for each level could then be combined into a M2/Infinity soundtrack.

effigy wrote:So, so a synthesizer? I suspect most if not all of the links I posted are sound editors.

I would consider a music editing program one where you can actually create/modify the instruments and put them together, changing the rhythm, tempo, etc. GarageBand is a perfect example. I have little or no knowledge of most the the programs you posted, so I can't really judge them to be one or the other without downloading them myself.

The last issue I want to address before kicking the first contest into gear is the time limit/deadline. How long do you guys think it takes to make a single, good quality song? I was thinking 2-3 weeks.
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The Thug

Post Mar 2nd '09, 01:10

I'm not entirely happy with this one but here it is anyway:

http://ukimalefu.googlepages.com/chomber.mp3
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ukimalefu

Post Mar 2nd '09, 02:11

Haha, nice songs so far ukimalefu! You might want to enter a few into these music contests.

I plan on creating the topic for the 1st Music Composing Contest sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned!
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The Thug

Post Mar 2nd '09, 11:56

An idea. Ask project developers if they need music for their projects, and set a theme according to their wishes to each contest.
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goran

Post Mar 2nd '09, 13:37

That's a great idea! For the first few contests, I'm going to stick with basing the music off of coop/netmap levels, but in future I will definitely ask project developers if they need music.
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The Thug

Post Mar 2nd '09, 13:51

The Thug wrote:Haha, nice songs so far ukimalefu! You might want to enter a few into these music contests.


I will. [MGrin]

goran wrote:An idea. Ask project developers if they need music for their projects, and set a theme according to their wishes to each contest.


I'd love it if they used anything I've posted here.
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ukimalefu

Post Apr 3rd '09, 23:03

I'd be down with the contest.
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