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Hi Folks,

A question for the interactive music gurus out there. I’m sure that what i’m trying to do must be relatively simple, but can’t for the life of me find a way to achieve it.
OK, here’s the scenario…

I’ve set up a simple project for combat music. I have 3 themes, each containing 1 segment. The themes represent low, medium, and high intensity respectively. When using default transitions to go between the themes everything works beautifully. The quantisation settings of the themes are set to «On Bar», so the transitions are seamless. So far so good.

However, I want to trigger a «Swell» of some kind to play over the transitions (cymbal roll, timpani roll etc). I want to set it up so that the programmer only needs to trigger one cue when specifying music intensity (low, medium etc), and the swell plays concurently over the transition. This should happen automatically, rather than the programmer having to trigger a Swell cue as well. The swell would obviously need to play concurrently with the theme that is already playing, as well as continuing to play over the new theme, until the swell has expired (that sounds medical!).
To complicate matters more, if possible I would want the swell to reach it’s peak at the first beat of the next bar (i.e. when the new theme starts). Musically, I’m thinking the best way to achieve this would be to create swell files 6 beats long, with the peak of the swell occurring on the 3rd beat of the file. The first 2 beats of the file being the build up of the swell, and the last 4 beats being the decay. I’d then need to somehow ensure that the swell theme triggers 2 beats before the main themes transist from one to another.

I’d also want to ensure that the swells wouldn’t play at all if no other themes were playing at the time. They should only be used to cover the transitions.

Anybody have any ideas how I can achieve this?

It could well be that i’m way off track thinking the swells would need to be in there own theme. I’m just thinking that the concurrent themes and shared timelines features could be involved here.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

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Just a few thoughts/questions:

  • if you use a concurrent theme for the swell you are going to need another cue.
  • perhaps rendering the swell into the base theme would work better. You could create some extra segments that are sequenced into the transition using segment links.
  • how are you transitioning between intensities? via parameter or cue?
  • what responsiveness do you require? How fast can the combat intensity change in game?

cheers,
Templar

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[quote:35ykovtx]- if you use a concurrent theme for the swell you are going to need another cue.[/quote:35ykovtx]
Ok, so i could trigger a seperate cue i guess for the swells. But if i do this, is there a way to ensure that the peak of the swell hits at the exact moment that the transition occurs between the base themes?

Essentially what i’m rying to achieve is this: [url:35ykovtx]http://gallery.me.com/slipperhero#100010/Swell_overlay&bgcolor=black[/url:35ykovtx]
As you can see from the image, the peak of the swell occurs exaxtly at the same time as the transition point between the 2 base layers.

[quote:35ykovtx]- perhaps rendering the swell into the base theme would work better. You could create some extra segments that are sequenced into the transition using segment links. [/quote:35ykovtx]
I would rather not have to do this, as that would limit flexibility and create a lot more editing work, plus making for a much larger footprint on the disk due to all of the extra files required.
The way we are going about composing the combat music for this game is to make multiple combat music "sets". Each set is basically derived from one linear piece of music, about 6 mins long. This piece would consist of 2 mins of Low intensity, 2 mins of Medium intensity, and 2 mins of High intensity. Each intensity section contains four 16 bar phrases (loops), which after editing will be added to a segment playlist and played back using the "random without repeat" method. See image: [url:35ykovtx]http://gallery.me.com/slipperhero#100010/Edited_combat_music_set[/url:35ykovtx].
Each intensity has it’s own theme, associated with a cue. See image: [url:35ykovtx]http://gallery.me.com/slipperhero#100010/combat_music_default_transitions[/url:35ykovtx]

[quote:35ykovtx]- how are you transitioning between intensities? via parameter or cue? [/quote:35ykovtx]
Curently using a cue for each intensity. None of this has been implemented in our game yet, so if you think using a parameter is a better option we can do that instead!

[quote:35ykovtx]- what responsiveness do you require? How fast can the combat intensity change in game?[/quote:35ykovtx]

Quite responsive. Currently i’m using default transitions, with quantisation set to "On Bar". The music is around 135bpm, so that seems responsive enough.

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Hi,

Give this a try:

It uses 1 theme, and couple of cues and a parameter.

Start the music system using the combat cue.

To trigger a transition, set the parameter to the desired intensity (>5 for high) and press the swell button. This causes the combat theme to work through a number of sequenced links (like a pre-roll) as the swell plays. You’ll notice I’ve got 2 swells of differing length…so I’ve set the ‘lead in’ sequences accordingly.

So you use the ‘swell-long’ cue to go from low to high, and ‘swell-short’ to go from high to low. You could use the same swell cue, I just tried to add some interest.

The only small issue is when to turn off the ‘swell’ cue. You can’t use a prompt, because it ends too fast for the link to pick it up. Once the playback reaches the lead in sequence, you can end the swell cue safely.

I think this demo meets most of your goals – though the lead sequences are a little cumbersome. This demo has:

  • supports multiple intensities (simply add more to the logic segment!)
  • layers audio, rather than rendering variation
  • has swells that are sync’d to transitions

Let me know how it turns out.

cheers,
Templar

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Thanks a lot for the time and effort you’re putting into this Templar. I’d say this is extremely close to what I’m trying to achieve. There is still one small thing though, the project you made still doesn’t allow for the decay portion of the swell to carry over the transition. In your project the swell builds up and ends exactly on the transition. Is there a way to have the swell start where it currently does, but allow it to continue over the transition, until it decays naturally? (See this image again: [url:1j6n3p6g]http://gallery.me.com/slipperhero#100010/Swell_overlay&bgcolor=black[/url:1j6n3p6g]
I’ve included a swell audio file similar to the ones i’ll be using here, so you can experiment if you have time: [url:1j6n3p6g]http://files.me.com/slipperhero/r6lefj.wav[/url:1j6n3p6g]

Once we’ve overcome this hurdle we’re there, and i’ll be forever in your debt! 😀

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[quote="slipperhero":2vl80nhj]Thanks a lot for the time and effort you’re putting into this Templar. I’d say this is extremely close to what I’m trying to achieve. There is still one small thing though, the project you made still doesn’t allow for the decay portion of the swell to carry over the transition. In your project the swell builds up and ends exactly on the transition. Is there a way to have the swell start where it currently does, but allow it to continue over the transition, until it decays naturally? (See this image again: [url:2vl80nhj]http://gallery.me.com/slipperhero#100010/Swell_overlay&bgcolor=black[/url:2vl80nhj]
I’ve included a swell audio file similar to the ones i’ll be using here, so you can experiment if you have time: [url:2vl80nhj]http://files.me.com/slipperhero/r6lefj.wav[/url:2vl80nhj]

Once we’ve overcome this hurdle we’re there, and i’ll be forever in your debt! :D[/quote:2vl80nhj]

Actually that part is quite easy. The project works by forcing the underlying theme to move through a set of segments that offset against the swell file. So the get a decay, you can either:

  • add the decay to the swell file. This wont affect the pre-roll length at all, so the swell will still peak at the transition point, then the decay will be heard.

or

  • you could add another segment in the swell theme that contains a decay. Simply link from the existing swell segment to the ‘decay’ segment and it is done! This would be cool if you want to randomize either the swell or decay bits separately.

I’ve created a new file to demonstrate both decay methods. In the long swell I’ve simply appended a decay. The short swell uses a linked segment.

Download:

cheers,
Templar

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