"Normandy" and "Dead Don't Shuffle"

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Cool, background info! Looking forward to more of these.

It's funny how you described 'Normandy' as a grower, because it was an instant hit with me - as opposed to the straight-up rocking 'The Dead Don't Shuffle', which took three or four tries for me to really get into it (though I love it now).
I've enjoyed most of your music up to this point, and I'll say it again: As much fun as the conventional pieces are, it's when you break the mould that true gems are created, such as 'Little Sister', 'Redemption Blues' and 'Beauty Bleak'.

I guess this is as good a place as any to ask you a question, so here it goes. You've said in the past that you write songs about games you've invested a lot of time (and emotion) into, and we've already seen that you're quite willing to write more than one song about any particular game. Is it possible we'll see more tracks on the Arkham games in the future? I have to admit, I really didn't like 'Mind of the Bat'; it was still very well-made, but in my opinion the mood didn't fit the game in the slightest (as was probably the intention, much like with 'Necromorph Soup'), and before I listened to it for the first time I imagined it to be a much darker piece.

Anyway, again, I hope for more of the 'atmospheric' variety in the future, as you're insanely good at it. Seeing what you made out of your experiences with Bioshock, I can't help but wonder what we'd get if you devoted some more time to the master of all brown-trouser games; I speak, of course, of Silent Hill 2.

I really love reading about musicians talking about their songs and how they got their sound, maybe it has to deal with my profession, but it gives me an idea on how they get it. It's always really fascinating to me.

It might be because of my engineer's ear, but I totally get what you mean by certain times when you're singing is off (that might be what you said, so I'm just rephrasing, I don't mean to be an ass), so I'm really really REALLY glad you don't use auto tune.

I hope I can read more of these things!

I can't believe i automatically think most things are easy, or, well, not very difficult.
I am so stupid. So it's pretty epic to hear how much you work on your songs.
I don't have an opinion about your lyrics or vocals. I mostly like to just listen how the music sounds, and English isn't my native language, so that's that.
Anyways, good to read a bit about the inside of what you do.

Just wanted to say that so far almost all of your songs I like to at least some degree, any reason I don't like a song or two is because of the genre you picked, not your fault just a "I can't help that" sorta thing. Anyway, if I were to say anything it would be that not to forget about classic games. It seems like you try to focus on the newer and very popular games, which I can understand, you want the most popular songs to get the most listeners, however, if you throw in an old song that old school gamers would really dig it wouldn't hurt, well at least I would love to hear something like Mario/Goldeneye/Star Fox/Old school final fantasy, etc. All in all, good job and please keep em coming, if you keep putting out CD's I'll keep buying them.

I think that was rather unfair underhandedly calling me a douche in this article instead of replying to me about the comment asking for more specifics.

Ubermetalhed:
I think that was rather unfair underhandedly calling me a douche in this article instead of replying to me about the comment asking for more specifics.

I didn't mention any names, it was you who came here and announced yourself to everyone.

I also have no obligation or desire to respond to comments like your original one. Hence why I used it as an example of how NOT to get a response from me.

CGAdam:
I consider your lyrics pretty strong, and my one criticism for your songs would be that they could use a few more. Maybe one more verse in the last minute or so; I'm no songwriter, so I don't know what they best place for it would be. But as long as you keep posting, I'll keep listening.

That's a fair point and one that's been raised a few times. Looking into it!

Akalabeth:

Despite the obvious problem that it presumes a person can put out 10 completely different sounds in a short amount of time, it's also I think a bit inaccurate. Yeah of course your voice sounds the same but I think the songs are pretty varied for the most part.

Honestly I never know how to respond to 'your voice sounds the same'... I only have one set of vocal chords :D

Random berk:
So you actually are Irish? I always assumed you were American with Irish heritage. What county are you from?

Ireland

Modern Myth:
I have to agree and considering when I was listening to this at a mates place, his grandfather walked past and caught the last half then thought it was about the Normandy landings (see World War 2) and started crying....that's the sign that your song found the awesome mark then overshot it my a few thousand miles

Wow, that's pretty amazing, despite being sad. I'm glad your grandfather could relate to the song!

Who's been criticizing your lyrics? I'll invite them over to my shack full of rabid, hungry bears my house so that we can discuss them face to face.

Nice to see you having a place to address these comments now Gavin :D

Well if you are talking song requests, how about Singularity? It's fun, gets you thinking, and while not the most original, it does fit nicely on a player's comfort level. Other than when it tries to pound you in the face.

The only complaint I have, was the bald man touching tali (that's a crime against all quarians *sob*) in your Normandy video, other than that, YOU ROCK!

MiracleOfSound:
It isn't loading....why isn't it LOADING???

I get this every single week. My vids come out the same day as Zero Punctuation. Come back in a while and the high traffic will have died down.

This isn't just you. There seems to be a bit of a delay between when the SD version of a video is posted, and the HD counterpart is posted. It seems to be happening more frequently as of late, with a longer delay, and that worries me a bit.

Other than that little note, I'm going to say keep up the good work.

Great article!
I'd really like to hear about Redemption Blues and Mind of the Bat, they're my favourites. :)

Lovely to hear more frome you, and ignore the moaners, I bet they couldn't produce songs as catchy, beautiful, moving etc if they had a year to come up with them!

You are one of a select few artists to have more than one song on my MP3 player.

MiracleOfSound:

Random berk:
So you actually are Irish? I always assumed you were American with Irish heritage. What county are you from?

Ireland

No, I said county, not country. As in Cork, Dublin, Kerry?

MiracleOfSound:

Ubermetalhed:
I think that was rather unfair underhandedly calling me a douche in this article instead of replying to me about the comment asking for more specifics.

I didn't mention any names, it was you who came here and announced yourself to everyone.

I also have no obligation or desire to respond to comments like your original one. Hence why I used it as an example of how NOT to get a response from me.

No there is not any obligation to reply to my original comment but it seems rather sad for you (as an Escapist contributor) to have seen the original comment and instead of addressing it there and then deciding to save it for a most likely paid article on the Escapist.

Furthermore it makes it hard to believe you can handle any criticism. Especially as I gave you your due for your musicianship. But if you only want to hear positives so be it.

Ubermetalhed:

No there is not any obligation to reply to my original comment but it seems rather sad for you (as an Escapist contributor) to have seen the original comment and instead of addressing it there and then deciding to save it for a most likely paid article on the Escapist.

Furthermore it makes it hard to believe you can handle any criticism. Especially as I gave you your due for your musicianship. But if you only want to hear positives so be it.

Nah, it's just that your comment was not something I even considered 'criticism'. You just said the lyrics were awful and the singing was boring - the kind of comment that just makes me think 'whatever'.

Why would anyone respond to that? You did not back it up with any kind of logical reasons, elaboration or examples, and you still haven't. You're just bitching at me for calling you out on it and using strawman arguments (i.e. 'You can't take criticism') to back that up.

If you think I can't handle criticism or only hear positives, you obviously didn't read the article properly. If you would like to (finally) offer some valid and constructive criticism on the lyrics and singing, then I'm all ears. :)

cainx10a:
The only complaint I have, was the bald man touching tali (that's a crime against all quarians *sob*) in your Normandy video, other than that, YOU ROCK!

haha, you can blame Russ for that, it was his Shepard :D

Redlin5:
Who's been criticizing your lyrics? I'll invite them over to my shack full of rabid, hungry bears my house so that we can discuss them face to face.

Lol. It's not THAT frequent but it happens.

Sonicron:

I've enjoyed most of your music up to this point, and I'll say it again: As much fun as the conventional pieces are, it's when you break the mould that true gems are created, such as 'Little Sister', 'Redemption Blues' and 'Beauty Bleak'.

I keep hearing that, and it makes me really happy because they're my favourite ones to make!

Sonicron:

Is it possible we'll see more tracks on the Arkham games in the future? I have to admit, I really didn't like 'Mind of the Bat'; it was still very well-made, but in my opinion the mood didn't fit the game in the slightest (as was probably the intention, much like with 'Necromorph Soup'), and before I listened to it for the first time I imagined it to be a much darker piece.

Yes, for sure. And the next Batman song will indeed be much darker sounding.

I've been liking that Normandy song a bit more in the last few days. I think your slow songs are your strongest in general, those being Normandy, Santiago's Lament and my favourite of the bunch Little Sister. Redemption Blues is pretty good too especially the bit about no more cowboys only men with violent hearts.

That being said, I'm not a fan of the chorus in Normandy, or, the pip section, whatever it is. The "we gave our lives to normandy"x10. I sorta understand why it's in there but I think it's the weakest part of the song, probably because I feel it lacks substance like the rest of it.

That was cool. You make good music, dude, and I'm definitely buying your CD. I like how you're acknowledging criticisms and FAQs all at once. It's quite unusual, actually. A lot of web personalities don't really acknowledge their critics, especially with the bluntness you use. No beating around the bush, and that's respectable.

Looking forward to the next column.

EDIT: Question--Is Miracle of Sound one person, or an entire band?

Nickompoop:

EDIT: Question--Is Miracle of Sound one person, or an entire band?

It's a one-man band %) No, seriously - here's your jaw.

MiracleOfSound:
It was only after my friend Gabe (no, not Newell) pointed out that it sounded very like a certain Foo Fighters song that I realized I would have to change it.

Right. You're not fooling anyone Mr. MoS. When you meet him again, tell that lazy bum to start working on Episode 3 already =)

All jokes aside, that was an interesting read, and I'll be looking forward to more. I would especially like to hear you talk about Redemption Blues, Commander Shepard, Little Sister and Sweet LA. It would also be interesting to hear how you got into all this game-music writing in the first place.

And don't worry about those who think that your voice sounds the same in all of your songs. They are just talking out of their asses.

purifico:

Nickompoop:

EDIT: Question--Is Miracle of Sound one person, or an entire band?

It's a one-man band %) No, seriously - here's your jaw.

Thanks for handing me my jaw. It fell too far and too fast for me to catch.

So you're Irish?
No wonder you're awesome.

I have no producer ear, nor do I claim to know my bit of music / lyrics / tunes / notes / tabs etc. But why the bashfull comments on the music? I loved The Age of the Dragon, I still listen to it regularly as a matter of fact, and generally I like the more heavy variant of your music. I do not hear the flaws (as you label them) since well.. I have no 'producer ear' and the autotune (if it is as evil as you say it is) ... To be frank, I probably could not hear the difference unless someone points it out to me.

Other then that, keep making music :)

Nickompoop:

purifico:

Nickompoop:

EDIT: Question--Is Miracle of Sound one person, or an entire band?

It's a one-man band %) No, seriously - here's your jaw.

Thanks for handing me my jaw. It fell too far and too fast for me to catch.

Hahah, these are my favourite 3 comments on the thread :D

Ruwrak:
So you're Irish?
No wonder you're awesome.

I have no producer ear, nor do I claim to know my bit of music / lyrics / tunes / notes / tabs etc. But why the bashfull comments on the music? I loved The Age of the Dragon, I still listen to it regularly as a matter of fact, and generally I like the more heavy variant of your music. I do not hear the flaws (as you label them) since well.. I have no 'producer ear' and the autotune (if it is as evil as you say it is) ... To be frank, I probably could not hear the difference unless someone points it out to me.

Here is an example of autotune being used subtly and in a sneaky way

Listen at 0.17 when she sings 'which road to go down' - hear the word 'go' sounding all wobbly and digital? That's the autotune kicking in

Here's a much more obvious example of it being abused:

At 1.05, the lyric 'you're a hater' - hear how it wobbles all over the place? That's the autotune struggling to make sense of her natural vibrato. You can also hear it when she repeats 'get your game on', especially on the word 'on'

Funny thing is, Cher Loyd is a really good singer, they don't need to autotune her. Then again, Aretha Franklin could sing Swagger Jagger and it would still be awful...

MiracleOfSound:

At 1.05, the lyric 'you're a hater' - hear how it wobbles all over the place? That's the autotune struggling to make sense of her natural vibrato. You can also hear it when she repeats 'get your game on', especially on the word 'on'

Funny thing is, Cher Loyd is a really good singer, they don't need to autotune her. Then again, Aretha Franklin could sing Swagger Jagger and it would still be awful...

allright, 2 things.

1) HOLYCRAPHEACTUALLYREPLIEDTOME o.o
Kudo's for feedback and keeping an eye on your things, it's really appreciated.
2) Now that you mention it... Yes. And this is probably one of those things that will now never let go of my hearing. If you point it out, it's very clear and yes it does hurt my ears to listen to it. Bu for the untrained ear it sounds 'normal' I suppose.

Then again, no art without it's minor flaws right? Gives more character to a piece if you ask me. The same would be if you had a chair from the factory or a handmade one. The latter has some form of character in it, if you know what I mean. And I think you do actually?

Ruwrak:

1) HOLYCRAPHEACTUALLYREPLIEDTOME o.o
Kudo's for feedback and keeping an eye on your things, it's really appreciated.

Best part of the job!

Ruwrak:

2) Now that you mention it... Yes. And this is probably one of those things that will now never let go of my hearing. If you point it out, it's very clear and yes it does hurt my ears to listen to it. Bu for the untrained ear it sounds 'normal' I suppose.

Then again, no art without it's minor flaws right? Gives more character to a piece if you ask me. The same would be if you had a chair from the factory or a handmade one. The latter has some form of character in it, if you know what I mean. And I think you do actually?

Exactly. I like hearing human voices, not robot voices. There is more emotion in a voice when it is not perfect!

MiracleOfSound:

Best part of the job!

Perfection is imperfect eh?
Well I enjoy your music and listen to it in regular basis, actually had to giggle at the Duke Nukem one. Not claiming to be a critic (like 90% of the internet seems to excist of..), but it does quite hit the nail on the head.

So, what type of music do you personally enjoy the most? I mean, as an artist I can imagine you don't listen to much to other artists so you won't get your style influenced (or so, other people who make music claim that.. Dunno about you really.), but do you have any preferences?

I'm more of a gear-head than anything else when it comes to music. I don't much care about production value as much as equipment. Care to shed any light on what gear you're using? Any specifics would be phenomenal...

I love that you've gotten a column, I love reading about making music, and I'm quite fond of you as well, Gavin. Keep it up! And do add some more technical jargon, it's good to keep it in moderation but maybe just a paragraph for us aspiring artists?

I really enjoy some of your songs,and I find some of your songs to be bland/boring.

I know that doesn't sound like a compliment, but honestly good songs matter. These are songs that I will have with me for the rest of my life. A bad song fades away in a few minutes and costs the listener nothing. A good song is eternal.

godofallu:
I really enjoy some of your songs,and I find some of your songs to be bland/boring.

I know that doesn't sound like a compliment, but honestly good songs matter. These are songs that I will have with me for the rest of my life. A bad song fades away in a few minutes and costs the listener nothing. A good song is eternal.

Considering he makes one almost every week. I'm surprised that we hear so many great songs.

I can understand why some american singers sound like they come from the isles and I can understand why some of the singers who come from the isles sound american. But why the hell does Sting sound hispanic when he sings? That has always confused me.

One question my wife has been asking: Will we ever be able to get "I Suck at Call of Duty" for RockBand? We suck at rockband and CoD and we think something like that would be real meta.

GonzoGamer:
ny great songs.

I can understand why some american singers sound like they come from the isles and I can understand why some of the singers who come from the isles sound american. But why the hell does Sting sound hispanic when he sings? That has always confused me.

Because Sting started off playing Reggae influenced music - that's him trying to do a Jamaican accent.

And yeah, it'll prob go to rock band at some point :)

MiracleOfSound:

GonzoGamer:
ny great songs.

I can understand why some american singers sound like they come from the isles and I can understand why some of the singers who come from the isles sound american. But why the hell does Sting sound hispanic when he sings? That has always confused me.

Because Sting started off playing Reggae influenced music - that's him trying to do a Jamaican accent.

And yeah, it'll prob go to rock band at some point :)

Oh. in that case I imagine if he had actually been trained by a Brazilian instead, he would probably sound Chinese.

GonzoGamer:

Oh. in that case I imagine if he had actually been trained by a Brazilian instead, he would probably sound Chinese.

That made me chuckle out loud :D

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