How to make a good Pursuit theme?

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UltrawaveStudios
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How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by UltrawaveStudios »

I have no idea where to write this topic, so I'm doing it here.
I'm making a Pursuit theme for my fangame which I'm somehow still doing.
Here's what I have: https://soundcloud.com/ultrawave-studio ... -potential
There are some problems with it. One of the most obvious being that there are parts which sound more like an Announce the Truth theme than a Pursuit theme, which is definitely something I don't want.

Could I get some tips on this? Thanks.

JUNE 30: https://soundcloud.com/ultrawave-studio ... suit-theme
BETTER: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1Ac_ ... kFERi0tOWs
Last edited by UltrawaveStudios on Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by DeeYo »

The tempo's too low. The chord progression doesn't feel triumphant at all, usually achieved by putting a lot of major chords inside an otherwise minor song. The introduction has no bass and no chord, only that steampunk, unfitting instrument and drums (are you sure the instrument playing the melody there isn't normally a bass instrument?). The square lead from 0:05 seems to play in a wholly different key. The violin feels obviously fake and doesn't fit the rest of the GBA-era instruments. Crashes too close to each other are bad practice. The violin at 0:52 plays the note one semitone lower than the main note - very dissonant. The drums shouldn't stop at 1:04 - in a pursuit theme, the player should, at all times, feel pumped. It's somewhat hard to hear where measures begin - try marking the 1sh and 3nd beat of every measure with a kick. The key change at 1:14 is strange. The bells at 1:25 are very dissonant.

Try listening to a lot of Pursuit themes and remake the track from scratch - I don't believe this can be salvaged.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by UltrawaveStudios »

Alright then. Thanks a bunch!

By the way, for that song, the tempo is set to 180 bpm. However, with other Pursuit themes, I'm finding them within the 120-170 bpm range, unless I'm counting things wrong.
Last edited by Enthalpy on Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Please do not double post.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by DeeYo »

UltrawaveStudios wrote:By the way, for that song, the tempo is set to 180 bpm. However, with other Pursuit themes, I'm finding them within the 120-170 bpm range, unless I'm counting things wrong.
The problem with setting songs to 180 BPM and then only putting snare drums on the 3rd bar of every measure instead of the 2nd and 4th is that it will sound as if it was in half-time, at around 90 BPM.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by 123fendas »

On an unrelated note, the Pursuit theme you've made is REALLY good! Image

(Yes, that's a failed a-ok emoji I made.)
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by UltrawaveStudios »

I'm back, and I still need help >~<
https://soundcloud.com/ultrawave-studio ... suit-theme

And a maybe-maybe not better version as of 7:23 PM EST
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1Ac_ ... kFERi0tOWs
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by DeeYo »

Much better.

Still, the chord progression for the most part is Am-G-F#dim-G. F#dim is a pretty bad choice as it's a diminished chord, which is completely against the fact that Pursuit themes are supposed to make you feel confident. It's also a bad choice because you don't seem to know about diatonic scales and keep throwing in random notes, and the notes F and G both conflict with the F#dim chord.

You're also lacking a strong, memorable melody (I'm sure you didn't plan your melody from 0:32 onward), to the point where the whole song from there feels like a solo.

My advice is to study diatonic scales. Don't just use whatever notes you like - know what tonic, subdominant and dominant is, how they lead into each other, what chords they correspond to in which keys. (Case in point: the first note in your melody at 0:07 is a B. The Am chord is composed of an A, a C and an E. It's usually worthwhile to select one of these three notes, especially when the note is long.)
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by UltrawaveStudios »

Do you happen to have FL Studio and would like to help me out with this? I can send you the midi and the soundfonts I used.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by DeeYo »

I'm afraid I can't help you - the old adage "too many cooks spoil the broth" is valid for composing as well. As the track is flawed from the get-go (see my comments about the F#dim chord in the last post), I can't really fix it with minor adjustments, and if I rewrote it completely, that'd be my track, not yours.

I suggest you study diatonic scales and don't really use other notes until you're sure of what you're doing. For example, only use the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, G and G# if you're composing in A minor. Of course, you aren't *bound* to these notes, but using too many other notes lead to your melodies becoming hard to memorize and/or dissonant.

You should also study Pursuit themes and examine how they're built up.
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Re: How to make a good Pursuit theme?

Post by da_racer64 »

I wouldn't mind helping. I'm making a fangame myself. Maybe we could help each other out. :)
Sorry, Must Dash.
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