Here's a night track concept. Atmospheric, kind of muted. Mainly choirs and strings, some woodwinds, harps and harpsichord flourishes : https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4ap4udw122il9v/High Rock Ambient night prototype.mp3?dl=0
Well.. I forgot I even posted that. Sorry for the late response guys !
I think that prototype was far enough from GoT. I just had the idea to use the cello as a main instrument rather than a full string section because of the show, but was not actually trying to replicate Throne's musical style. I think the ethnic influences also put the High Rock music apart from the show.
The cello is an instrument I rather like, so I tend to write more with it but that is present in pretty much all of my orchestral tracks. That being said, the High Rock score is also focused quite a bit on ethnic instruments ( whistles, bagpipes, ect... ).
I'm not good with the CK so I might be wrong, but from what I know, combat tracks have a finale that is played when combat ends ( which is why the track kind of fades out at the end ). In the F4 CK ( I don't know about Skyrim ), combat tracks have "cue points" but due to the lack of documentation, I don't really know how these are used ( and the music added via the F4 CK doesn't seem to even work ). I'll leave that one to people that know more than me. And yes, the CK has "music types" which are playlists for different contexts.
Noted. I have intentions to revisit this track later to make an actual combat track rather than a prototype.
I have made a short combat music prototype. Compared to my older tracks, it's less dry, a bit more ambient ( similar to the original combat tracks ). I have also included a section where the energy dies out for the finale, one more time similar to the original tracks.
The prototype is very "cello centric" ( I'm watching too much Game of Thrones ), but I think it fits High Rock. It's also very short, and I plan for the actual tracks to be much longer.
Anyway, I found a few hours to take another crack at the main theme. It's now longer, including a section with the full on Nerevar Rising theme ( although with some modifications ), I added bells ( it's subtle, but there ), changed the mix around ( rooms mics everywhere I could add them, overall slightly more reverb, different EQ, and slightly louder ). Tweaked the timing of the lines. Still not perfect, starting to wonder if it's not just the legato scripts lagging because of the CPU overload ( my machine is between 80 and 100% CPU usage on the whole track ). https://soundcloud.com/creepyskyrim/beyond-skyrim-iliac-bay-highrock-main-theme-prototypev4
Well the big thing today is Game of Thrones ( the show started the year Skyrim was released ). So if you want to go down that route, I think Hammerfell or High Rock could do. Plenty of politics, wars and drama there.
I've done a fair bit of work around the main theme ( an additional 6-7 hours over the week ). It's not ready yet, but it's kinda close. I'm still not satisfied with the drums, the dhol just doesn't seem deep enough, even with the added sub, maybe I'll try that Stormdrum patch. I also need to identify the culprit in the timing problem ( definitely not my playing, I tripled check that everything was quantized properly, my best best guess is on the legato scripts lagging behind, which may be a real pain in the behind ).
The bells might be a good idea, I haven't tried yet. I 'm not too keen on replacing the cymbals, but maybe doubling them will work.
Thing is, brass tends to take a lot of space, especially with that kind of playing. If I were to add them in the current version, the brass would just eat up the rest, circling us back to the starting point. About the woodwinds : is the problem fixed on the third version ? If not, tell me when they are too loud, I'll try to fix them.
EDIT : Forgot to mention, I'm also working on some more exploration music. Also, I'd like to get started on combat music.
Yeah, I'm having trouble finding the right instruments for that iconic ES intro. Currently, it's a bass tom with timpani and a sub drum added. The timpani is soft, because if I raise its volume, the tuned sound doesn't really fit, so the attack is indeed buried by the other drums. Might need to rethink the EQ on it, or change them all together.
I've tried to vary the attack on each line on the melody ( instead of 8th notes, it sometimes is 16th, or even 32th in one instance ). Or maybe it's the legato script on the instruments having some trouble. I did not catch it, I'll have an ear out for them in the next revision.
Cymbals were added last, probably a bit too hastily and still need some tweaking indeed.
I'm using a reverb on the master track. Aren't close mics supposed to be used in that instance ? Besides, I'm using a lot of different libraries, recorded in different places, won't the different room reverb clash ? However, I agree that room mics might give the piece some much needed air.
Like really full on ? I've tried to avoid using the B section of that theme, using only the melody lines found in Morrowinds, Oblivions and Skyrims main themes, and instead fill the end of the melody with a bridge to another section. I mean, I'm sure the whole theme would work, but wouldn't it be too reminiscent of Morrowind ? I think the piece is already a bit closer to Nerevar Rising than I'd like it to be. Anyway, I'm glad you stopped by
Ok, this version is less of a prototype, and closer to a "final" version. It's extended and I added some more elements in the track. I'll take a break from working on the main theme ( which shouldn't need much anyway ) and try to work on something else.
New version ! Will need to be extended and remixed, but the idea is there. Different structure, instrumentation ( hello flutes harp and whistles ), overall different feel :
High Rock doesn't really have a theme per say ( the way Skyrim has its own theme distinct from the Elder Scrolls general theme ), but I can, and probably will incorporate the ES theme into a boss track.
EDIT : I noticed there was a few export bugs in the track ( some whistle and bagpipe sounds stopping abruptly ). Pay no mind to those, my DAW sometimes tends to do that, it'll be easily fixed for the next version.
Yeah I was afraid this might be a problem. Haven't worked on fantasy music for a while, I'm a bit rusted ( too much Fallout 4 music i guess ). Too much brass I think, I'll have to rethink that. Perhaps overhauling the structure as well. I still want to keep some intensity, keep some "adventure" feel. We'll see.
Yeah I think I need to find some balance between the intensity of this version and the lighter instruments appropriate to High Rock.
Anyway, now that I've more time on my hands, I thought I'd write some more music. I haven't written Elder Scrolls music for some time now, so to get my feet wet again, I wrote a little main theme prototype. Obliviously still WiP, but I do like the overall sound and feel.