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Topic: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

  1. #1

    "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    Hey everyone,

    A couple of weeks ago my sister asked me to write a theme song for her podcast. She has a website where she reviews video games. Their mascot is a unicorn and so they wanted me to write something cute and adventurous. Her co-host suggested that I make it an 8-bit arrangement. Because of it's simplicity I was able to turn it around in just a few hours but I wanted to fully orchestrate it just for fun. This past week I was able to do just that and here's the final product.


    Orchestra samples - Garritan Personal Orchestra 4
    Drums samples - Toontrack Ezdrummer
    Electric Guitar - Myself playing my Les Paul through Simulanalog JCM900 amp simulator

    The 8-bit version can be found at the beginning of her podcasts at www.notfncute.com

    -Dane Grant

  2. #2

    Re: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    What a fun project, Dane. Thanks for the background info on how you wrote this for your sister's podcast. And the artist in you just Had to flesh it with full orchestration, I think that's great.

    Several posts recently have been at You Tube, and I'm suffering some mysterious problem - You Tube is the only place on the internet I'm aware of where the sound won't play for me on my brand new super computer. Sound starts, then bursts into the loudest static I've ever heard. - BUT, I finally realized that if I really want to hear/see something, I can download it for watching later, and that works fine - Not as convenient though, of course. If you have any clues what the problem could be, I'd love to hear.

    So I downloaded yours, converting it to a Windows Media vid, and it sounded fine.

    Nice stuff in this - You used GPO, is that notated?-- You do have the "machine gun effect" on the percussion and the brass on repeated notes. That's surmountable in a recording program like Sonar or Cubase, but more difficult to conquer in notation where everything is quantized. I'm sure you know the parts I'm talking about, the unnatural sounding quick notes that are triggering the same sample over and over.

    But regardless of that, I enjoyed this. Thanks for the fun little ride on that Unicorn.


  3. #3

    Re: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    Thanks for listening! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I use the staff view in Sonar for notation. Typically I go into the piano roll view and vary the velocities as well as add dynamics via the CC1 controller on all of the instruments. I did it for the strings and flutes at the beginning but I was too lazy to do it throughout the entire piece. Ezdrummer has a cool little feature called the "humanizer" that automatically varies the samples but I find I'm still better off changing the velocities one by one if I really want to go for realism. I definitely should've varied the velocites on the timpani as well as the brass but it was just one of those things where I figured I already spent enough time on it. Plus, I think the only people that notice that kind of thing are music geeks like us The guitar should've sounded real though since that was the only instrument I actually played.

    Yeah, I have no idea why youtube is doing a number on your computer. The only thing I can suggest is updating your flash player. In the future I'll upload put additional links.

    Thanks again for listening!

    -Dane Grant

  4. #4

    Re: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music

  5. #5

    Re: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    It very well could be the mix. It sounded fine on my computer but that's also why it's good to have someone else mix your music. I think it has more to do with Windows Movie Maker though. That's what I use to create videos and it drastically diminishes the quality and muds up the recording. Then when I upload it to youtube I end up losing a little more quality. In the future I'll just upload it via the upload link. To give you an idea of how bad windows movie maker ruins the audio quality the file size of the video was actually smaller than the mp3 itself and that was on it's highest quality setting.

    But I can't lie either. I get super lazy towards the end of projects and blow off a lot of important things. The only thing I really equalized was my Les Paul.

  6. #6

    Re: "A Unicorn Saves the Day"

    Hi Dane, great little project. I find too when composing in some kind of capactity, like you doing this for your sister, its a great focus and way to explore ideas. Hence my Hobbit soundtrack project.

    As Randy mentioned, I can hear the machine gun effect. If you're using the Aria player it should be an easy matter to bunk the 'Variation' knob up to about 15% (maybe a little less - experiment) to remove that repeated sample effect.

    Great job, hope your sis appreciated it
    YouTube Music:
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