Uh, So?? they're just obscure comp entries...
a guest Apr 21st, 2019 42 Never
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- Well. I feel a bit awkward. Based on demo-appropriateness, I didn't *really* feel comfortable awarding ANY fives, except to myself - barely, even, in spite of knowing what I'd be looking for. :| Didn't feel like I did that much technically-interesting sound design. Not entirely comfortable with the final energy distribution toward the end. Wasn't 100% on-the-ball with chain grouping and pattern-to-module color coding, and let some module names escape. (nitpicking there but it still bugs me.) I also wanted to annotate the timeline somehow, but I didn't know what to say... probably could've marked points of interest (mmmaybe the granular synth?), or described a few interactions (like "Main synth volume controls "glitch" saw gen LFO freq, reverb width, volume"). Contact info patterns look like a good idea now, too. If BB is in the top 3, I'll probably want to give it some of that before the next release, assuming permission.
- anyway here's Why I HATED EVERYTHno, BIG SURPRISE, most of my raw impressions were 4s. Pretty much all projects had stuff going for them – *plenty* of great melodies, some pleasing aesthetics, some gimmicks and sound design techniques that made me smile. But for 5s, I was looking for complete box-tickers. I'm kind of conflicted, because it's cool to demonstrate the variety of possible workflows, but some are rather impractical for presentation.
- I like spaced, default-color modules because they make chains consistently readable. I can see what sort of sound is being generated and get a general idea of how it's being shaped at a glance. Note that most of NightRadio's own included projects from the last several years have used default colors and fair spacing. When I look at a block of monochrome, overlapping, and/or particularly scattered modules, I stare in confusion for a moment, and then have to work out what I'm looking at *slowly* - and I'm fairly experienced. Newer users might just see an intimidating wall of black magic. I have to scale everything down and poke at individual modules to get an idea of what they're doing, especially when there are nameless ones mixed in. Throw in everything being the same size, and it's hard to even see where chains begin sometimes.
- I guess I also need to say that the helpfulness of relating pattern names/colors to modules in making your work presentable to others shouldn't be discounted. Gotta be on top of it from the start so you can set things once and copy.
- Niche comfort thing: I like to split things into concurrent patterns after 5-6 tracks, since that's what I can comfortably fit on my phone screen. (Otherwise, since track numbers are the only visual feedback that tells you if you're seeing the leftmost pattern, I tend to screw things up while operating on selections...) Won't be consistent between different users and platforms, but it's probably worth mentioning.
- Sound design…
- I made myself sick with anxiety the first time I tried to write this part. I thought I was coming off as a jerk because going down this path involves taking a jab at chiptune + similarly lo-fi/less textural styles, when they're valid styles, I enjoy them, a sizable chunk of the community produces them well, and showing how they work in SunVox would appeal to new chip+ producers. But frankly, simple sound generation generally doesn't demonstrate SunVox's potential, or a producer's intimacy with the program. A BUNCH of trackers can excel at being a chip+ cauldron. SunVox can do some wilder stuff, and I expected more people to ✨flaunt✨ their findings for a comp.
- This is also a sore spot because I feel like I fell short of my own lofty expectations for everyone. The "oh…" news is most of us did together! :^) but I really hoped I'd see more crazy, convoluted contraptions generating detailed textures. There wasn't a total absence, but it didn't appear as part of a complete, perfect package of a project I'd point program prospecting producers to. Perhaps, partly, people were hesitant to test the limits of file compression?
- To get even more personal and subjective, this is what really started triggering my emotions the first time: texture is THE most important thing in music for me. I'm putting it ahead of melody and rhythm. Detailed, abstracted textures, one-off events, and thoughtfully-shaped dynamics tell my brain to believe in music as more than just some noise that people make. They take me to places I could never reach otherwise. There's always a part of me wishing for more depth along those axes in what I'm listening to. I feel relatively lonely in this regard, but actually, tastes in instruments/sounds/shapes probably color our other musical preferences more than most would expect without a moment to reflect.
- … Also, with certain loop-based projects, I was honestly too impatient to not skim through some large sections where nothing new was being introduced. The textures were established as simple and unchanging, so I just read the timeline…
- yeah I guess I can shut up now. Hopefully, these comps will be more frequent, and we'll all get better at tailoring projects to them.
- TL;DR: It's hard to showcase SunVox at its best while obfuscating what's happening, or being too conservative with its functionality. RATED EVERYTHING 1*
- *of the 5 possible scores, mostly 4
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