How a song is created!

2016-05-18 04:44:31 by Pankapu

Hello everyone!! Remember Mio? We're going to let Ganaé, our beloved composer, present you his work on that mysterious character, and above all, explain you “How a music’s game is done!!”

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1st step – The order

It’s the first step. Jérôme, our very own artistic director, asks me for a music, for a level, a story event, or a character.

2nd step – The theme writing

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The idea will be to create a melody that’ll match, in this case with the character of [b]Mio[/b].

So I create the theme in the most pure possible way with my keyboard so I can be as neutral as possible.

Recording Mio’s theme

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-theme-piano-solo-1?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

For the required theme, I choose a 3-part melody. The first one oscillates between major harmonies (joy) and minor (sadness) ; the second part is much more focused on comfort and hope, and finally the 3rd part takes again the first theme by slightly changing the harmonies to give a different colors.

3rd step – The arrangement and the orchestration

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We are now entering the most complex phase to me. As a matter of fact, once the melody is obtained, I now need to arrange it and orchestrate it according to the needs of the theme.

Let’s talk in technical terms: I work with Logic Pro, a Mac software, with two MIDI software (a Yamaha CLP, to play and and a Komplete Kontrol for the effects and the potentiometers). The MIDI keyboards are control surfaces; they don’t produce any sound but allow you to send information to my sequencer (Logic Pro). This one transforms the information into sound according to plug-in (samples or not) that I open.

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Let’s get back to business. I own a huge quantity of instruments (about 15 000 sounds… I especially use the Komplete series, Albion from Spitfire, and the orchestral suites from East West), which makes an important amount of available samples. In order to choose, I opt for some sound families or certain software in accordance to demand.

In general, I talk with Jérôme through many emails before arriving to the final idea. Here’s how it happened here:

– WIP n°1

I first of all proposed to him an instrumental atmosphere developed in one of my pieces.

He was okay with it regarding the form, but not in substance, “way too depressing”.

– WIP n°2

I got back to work and I sent him this version of the theme :

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-wip1?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

I then mixed acoustic instruments and pads.

I kept the idea of plenitude with round and plain basses. For the crystalline side I used light electronic bells.

– WIP n°3

Jérôme asks me to pull off the basses because that makes the music depressing. Without bass, I think something is missing, but I still send it back.

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-wip2?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

To Jérôme, the ringings right at the start would need to bring a light note, then, coupled with chorus, the result will be perfect! You would need to put some more lightness in the melody, for it’s globally too bulky.

– WIP n° 4

I modify again and enrich it with light percussion. I opt for children chorus singing “Heaven Is The Light” (How beautiful technology is…). I’m starting to hit the bull’s eye.

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-wip-3?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

You may have noticed a dissonance in the children chorus harmonies. That effect was wanted but I’ve decided to change that, upon Jérôme’s advice. I add a line of kettledrums, of Drum Bass and Easter Island Hit to fill up the low frequencies. I add chimes and voices on some passages to bring some divine elements and here comes the pre-mastering version !!!

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-pre-master?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

4th step – The mastering

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It’s about upgrading the standards of the song but also about polishing it to the standards of the rest of the soundtrack. In order to do this, I don’t use external software, for now I prefer to use Logic and create my mastering by using the same methodology. I then apply different effects to the song (equalization, compressors, expanders, stereo, spreader, limitors). This inflates the sound and balances the levels.

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-mastering?in=pankapu/sets/mio-theme

That’s it, you know everything. I propose as a bonus to listen to the same theme but differently orchestrated. This time is a symphonic version (I’m a huge fan of orchestral versions…).

Orchestrated version

https://soundcloud.com/pankapu/mio-orchestral-mastering

The work is different here for every instrument and every musical phrase are reworked to humanize everything… It’s a lot of time and work… But this is another story…

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We hope you liked this Update, don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it. See you soon in the Land of Dreams!

All the Too Kind Studio Team


Comments

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TroisnyxTroisnyx

2016-05-18 05:19:16

Ganaé, I kinda didn't know what to think of the orchestral version in places. Some parts were light and beautiful. Some parts, I kinda don't know if they fit until I see it in context. Perhaps it will, when the game is assembled together. I look forward to hearing your other tracks.

The standard Mio theme sounds like something I'd hear in Final Fantasy XIII (think Serah's theme, your piece reminds me of it from 2:00 onwards). But there's also that general warm glow that I hear here, that was present in a lot of FFXIII's music.

The piano that I hear creates a sense of longing and wonder, so well done on that. I especially liked the delicate touch on the keys.

Pankapu responds:

Wow, thanks Troisnyx ! That's the kind of comment that will warm the heart of our composer Ganaé! Masashi Hamauzu is one of his inspirations! And you got the feelings we wanted to create in the song quite right! Thanks a lot for your comment!! :)