New Theme WIP


New WIP of this theme. It contains quite a lot of new music and should also sound much better than the version from last year (it’s two and a half times as long!). Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you’re wondering who the heck Esperanza is, she’s the main impact character in the game, an enemy who befriends Scout and turns into an ally. A strong but tragic character with a lot of moral greyness to her.

I’ve been adding snippets to the themes and intend to use those on their own wherever appropriate to underscore moments in the game. That’s why there are lots of different feelings collected under the roof of one theme.  They’re a little like a library.


Edit: There is a high quality Ogg Vorbis version of this music available here. In case anyone doesn’t want to stop short of the full sonic goodness. Youtube isn’t too kind to the quality of uploaded music. By the way, this is classical music, which means it doesn’t conform to the standards of the “loudness war”, which translates to: turn it up some.

Edit 2: An alternative Ogg Vorbis version using convolution reverb (based on characteristics of real-world concert rooms) instead of algorithmic (“digital”) reverb can be found here.

The sound is different because the virtual orchestra is playing in a “real” space. I’m impressed by convolution reverb – it sounds “richer” where algorithmic sounds “cleaner”. Not sure which way I prefer yet. (The convolution reverb plugin used was Liquid Sonics Reverberate LE. The algo reverb plugin was Variety of Sound Epic Verb).


4 responses to “New Theme WIP

  • toneddu2000

    Enchanting. Really touching. And the name really describes the music. As far as I know, Esperanza in spanish means hope, and that’s the feeling that this music passes, probably it explains the personal feelings of this character…majestic. Really really great work!
    Can I ask you what software did you use?

    • kneedeepinthedoomed

      I’m glad you like it. I like it myself, too 🙂 Quite happy with it.

      Yes, Esperanza means hope, she is someone who takes care of others, but is also disillusioned and ends up on a very dark path. When she meets Scout, they begin to develop a deep friendship. All the names have meanings in SJ.

      I used Reaper (under Linux/wine), Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra (although there probably are better free orchestras now) and a range of freebie VST plugins from TDR, VladG and Variety of Sound. Some EQs, some compressors (Thrillseeker LA on the master bus), and VladG’s Limiter6 (last thing on the master bus). The EQs were used in the channel strips to add some sparkle. And I think I use TDR Kotelnikov to add punch to drums. The reverb is VoS EpicVerb with the Scoring Stage preset (four sends, front/center/mid/far with progressively more reverb added). Nothing extreme.

      It’s mostly arranging, ie splitting chords between different instruments, spreading it out to let the whole orchestra work, and things like adding a second voice to the violins in places, sharing work between the entire string section, and doubling certain instruments to make them sound fatter or richer in overtones. I doubled trumpet with oboe and clarinets, which might be hard to hear, and I used violas to beef up the brass fanfare. I double the bass with cellos and (contra)bassoon a lot as well.

      All traditional techniques of composing for an orchestra. No rocket science, just quite a bit of practice and listening to Howard Shore and Beethoven.

      The hardest thing isn’t inputting the notes, it’s making it sound less artificial. I use variations in MIDI velocity to simulate swells, up-and downbows on the string, I use humanize and move the notes around without grid snap on, I put staccato notes slightly behind the beat (I guess the players are lazy). Most of it isn’t quantized and a lot of notes are actually quite off to make it sound more realistic.

      For example the bass staccato part in the end uses some bowed notes instead of staccato samples when it gets really fast, because I thought about it and I don’t think an upright bass could or would play staccato that fast. Things like that hopefully make it sound more like a real orchestra…

  • Jack

    Very impressive,I thought it was an actual performance.

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