Being an indie doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. Sure, it feels like it, and, in many cases, everything that ‘happens’ is a direct result of you, but there are times when you need to ask for help and, importantly, accept help offered.
One of the biggest areas of improvement that came out of the animation for The Bullet was the sound and the music.
I am avoiding using sound effects in this trailer, not because I’m scared of them or anything, but they don’t really apply. So that mitigates that side of things. As for the music, well, I think it’s hard to go wrong with Midi.
In my previous posts I’ve written about using Anvil Studio, getting the tune laid down, adding in bass and beats, then crying as I discovered just how utterly awful the standard Windows Midi Renderer is.
Virtual Midi Synth coupled with downloadable SoundFonts eases the pain: drums sound like drums. The honky-tonk piano sounds like a honky-tonk. But there’s still more that can be done.
What kind of more?
When in doubt, ask a pro
Introducing CRX. What’s CRX? Not what, who.
Who is CRX?
That’s who. He’s a music fiend. He’s a DJ. He’s all about making stuff sound shmick. Go to soundcloud, have a listen. I’ll wait right here.
So here’s me dabbling with a one minute score, like a child stoked that he made a bridge out of Lego, and there’s CRX building monolithic skyscrapers with cranes and pre-fabricated concrete slabs: “Hey, uh… any chance you could take a listen and help a brother out?”
And this is just one of the fantastic things about MIDI – “Hey, I got a band together to record a minute long score and we practiced all week to get this recording… We can re-write, and I’ll get the band back together in a few weeks and we’ll rehearse for another week and then you can listen and we’ll repeat the process. Can you help me out?”
“Here’s the MIDI file, here’s a wav of the current rendering. If you can tweak the notes and give me some pointers, that’d be grand. Can you help me out?”
I know which one I’d prefer.
To give you an idea, I’m going to include the initial tune with Windows General Midi Rendering, then with the Fluid soundfont, then… the score as it has been CRXified (coined that term just then). It’ll have to be a drop box or google drive thing. You know what? Just ask and I’ll post some links in the comments.
Anyway, all thanks to CRX and his amazing skillz at the deck, I’ve now got a score that outclasses any animation that I could dredge up. Kind of like dressing a chimp in a tuxedo.
Guess that means I’m to work harder on the animation.