Compo Status :: Round 89 Voting :: Ended 2015-01-29 00:00:00 *CST () :: 7 Votes

Background Music for a Splatter Movie by nt

Round 53
Author nt
Title Background Music for a Splatter Movie
MP3 Link
Module Link
Filesize KB
Score 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4Total Points: 30 (7 Votes)
1st Place Vote5 Points2nd Place Vote4 Points3rd Place Vote3 Points4th Place Vote2 Points5th Place Vote1 point

Authors' Notes

Splatter time is Ragtime!

I finished this song today right after Halloween.

In some strange mood of funkyness the initial melody (patterns 0 - 2) came to my mind. Since it sounded exaggerated and strange to me, I'd usually throw it away. But it kept on bugging me, so I felt like making fun of it and said to myself "this could be background music for a splatter movie". Then I thought this would be a funny title for a Ragtime song, so there we have it.
The rest (bridge and ending) just flew in easily and I began to make friends with it. Now I'm really happy to have a Ragtime song, too.

It's easy to notice some influences from Billy Joel's "Root Beer Rag" in it. Maybe there's also some motivation I got from "Pianobar '06" by Stilianos Doussis to compose Rag with a tracker, too.

The Piano instrument is taken from Trustmaster/Loopproject. Eventually I have set each sample's NNA in it to continue and have edited its volume envelope but I don't remember anymore.

So, hope you have some fun and you enjoyed your Halloween.


@'cade/io: I'd be glad if you could add the xrns to the sdc database. For some reason I seem to have had trouble uploading via http.


Comment by organic_io on 2010-11-02 09:49:55

Gilli! This is absolutely crazy! It's like Super Mario Bros mixed with Charlie Chaplin music.... You've got a lot of talent for songwriting. This is really catchy and unique. Wasn't what I was expecting at all from the title :) The sound that comes in around :23 reminds me of bubbles for some reason, but it's a pleasant surprise.

I don't really know what to say, other than I could never have written this :) The octave jump is different, again not what I was expecting. It's definitely one of my favorites this round.

Keep up the good work man!

Ken will have to take care of the xrns, I don't have access to that kind of stuff. But I'll make sure to let him know

Comment by organic_io on 2010-11-02 13:11:46

Ken said the xrns is on the webspace & that it just didn't put the filesize.

Also, I've listened to this song at least 10 or 15 times already!

Comment by Knetter on 2010-11-02 13:32:08

this is just.....great! Great title too!
Very creative and different.
It sounds weird but I'm glad you didn't put a beat under it -- it remains natural and pure this way. :)
As IO, I can't stop listening to this and let others listening it, maybe due to its perfect size. :D/

Comment by chunter on 2010-11-05 15:00:47

Consider your instrument file lifted, I hope you don't mind ;)

I tried to mess with its parameters, because I didn't like the way the F4 cut sounded in pattern 4; however, the only way to make it sound like my ear wants to hear it would be to 8 lines per beat or more and really spell out where the note should fade (not cut) so I think it's better off as it is.

Comment by ambtax1 on 2010-11-05 17:22:49

Brilliant nt! You never fail to impress and surprise.
Unusual style for an electronic compo. Well done.

Comment by Airmann on 2010-11-06 17:53:29

originality 10/10. Piano sound is a bit cheesy. Musicality/Harmonies 10/10 ... recorded via midi ?
Splatter movie ? If so a persiflage, or ?

Refreshing !

Comment by JustinCredible on 2010-11-07 07:06:08

Hello nt,

regretfully i am a bit late so that most things have already been said and i agree with most of it.
Tunes like this are a simple and impressive demonstration of real musical talent.
I am impressed and amazed *takes his virtual hat off to you*


Comment by cralias on 2010-11-07 13:03:36

Technical excellence! I will have to study the use of humanizing delays and panning of the chords. Also, slight, careful adjustments to EQ and to compressors make me stand in awe.

Comment by nt on 2010-11-08 09:56:27

If this isn't flattering, then I don't know.
I still want to say thanks in time.

@io: Hey, thanks for the efforts. 15 times, whoah - Knetter is right, it's really short! :)

@Knetter: Awesome man, it's great to have you around each round! I'm happy I wasn't the only one thinking no more elements would really fit into the arrangement. You and io are right, it's really weird and strange. It really had to get this title :)

@chunter: Yes, the F4 note cuts / bubbles as io mentioned are indeed one of the parts that can be improved. True, though it's harder to keep track of faster patterns, they would have worked better for this case.

@ambtax1: Hi and thanks :)

@Airmann: And the Piano sound is yet another part that can be improved. I feel I overcompressed the high band a bit, what makes the piano sound like an old 90's synthesizer with poor wave modeling. I notice turning off the compressor on the "high comp" track improves the sound a lot. I might rework it to use the Piano bank of my CS6x. Then, if what chunter says is true, I'd get two birds with one shot.
I didn't really record much via midi. Some of the chords, yes. Having the synth next to me helped me pressing some keys at once that wouldn't work on the PC-keyboard. I also cared about the hands during the composition, so watching the keys in the Instrument Editor might give the impression that it's been played by hand. I have to find out if one could ever alternate so quickly between bass and chords yet..
Considering that I meant to make fun of my own initial melody, you could say it's a Persiflage. Not more though. No making fun of any of the specific Genres. In fact, Splatter Movies and Ragtime express Satire themselves, so it's more or less natural to bring them both together.

@Justin: No worries, I'm thankful for each comment! Glad you gave it an ear!

@crailas: Thanks a lot! Some parts of the humanizing came just by playing the chords via MIDI. Most effective part of it is the 9xx offset and the velocity-based filter cutoff (also on the chords track). As I noticed later, the high band compressor helps less than it disturbs. But some compression, at least on the master, was needed to make those separated bands (bass, mids/chords, highs/melody) play together in the end.

See you all and thanks once again!

Comment by Chotoro on 2010-11-08 21:32:39

The song is great as is. There's a lot of swing in it, and some good dynamics, though especially in the beginning around patterns 0-2 it feels like the piano player is hurting his fingers bashing down the keys at full force :).

The score is fairly complicated and fast, I'd say it would require 4-hand playing. I do like the idea of sample offsets to simulate a softer playing style.

First, a tip: put a low-pass filter on the whole thing that's automated to match how soft or hard the piano is playing at any given time. Nothing extreme of course, I'd say a Moog LP moving between 9-22khz or so. It's a bit of work though to get to work, might work with a signal follower..

Of course the best way is to use different sample sets for different dynamics.. but argh, the memory use..

The realism of the playing is very good in some places, though in other places it falls off the track..

In particular the note cuts in pattern 4 etc. (the "bubbling") are extreme sore thumbs from a piano perspective. A piano simply don't bend that way :). For me, simply removing all F* commands makes it much better. If the note release is too much then a piano player simply has to work around it by playing the note slightly earlier or softer, or releasing the key faster. Renoise does have a limitation here in that a note-off can't be on the same line as the note-on (there ought to be a command).. but a way around it is to push the quick triplets of notes to the upbeat, i.e. just before the beat, or around the beat rather than starting right on the beat. That gives more leeway in where the note-offs are placed.

Also, the occasional note bends are sort of strange. Always trigger new notes for best realism.

Also, if a string is quickly re-struck after being played once, a slightly different sound will occur. Kind of like overlapping sounds, but sounds like a slight flange. It's pretty difficult to program though (virtual pianos use separate samples for note repeats), but gives a lot of realism. This could be used to great effect in the end of pattern 12.

Nevertheless, me likey!

Comment by nt on 2010-11-09 10:37:20

Yay Chotoro, thanks a lot for coming by.

True, the velocity-automated filtering only considers the highest and last velocity, it affects the whole track, not each note. I had tried the Signal Follower, which attenuates the loudness twice as much by additionally cutting off the frequencies while the volume is low already but indeed it sounded more natural. Doing the filtering by hand like in Making Waves will still affect the whole track but it truly works best for the intended accents, I'll adopt this.

Playing a delayed note one line earlier to have its proper note-off in the following line is a great idea, it just makes sense, thanks.

The phasing on overlapping notes is yet another phenomenon I hadn't thought about although it's just logical. Sure it'd be a good idea simulate this.

Learned some good stuff this round.

Thanks to all once again!

Comment by Knetter on 2010-11-09 13:02:37

Congrats! well deserved.
Isn't it a pity renoise doesn't support per column note/velocity tracking? Per track is soooo 90's!! :)

Comment by Airmann on 2010-11-09 13:03:50

Amazing that this was "programmed". Sounds really very "live-played".

Congrats !

Comment by keith303 on 2010-11-09 14:15:01

definately great effort on the live-feeling, gillz!
i guess technically you can't realize a piano much better in a tracker.
downsides of this tune:
- the piano sounds quite hollow / dull
- qualifies more than a (impressive) showcase than an actual piece of music you wanna enjoy and listen to... (subjectively, at least :>)

Comment by nt on 2010-11-10 16:25:01

Thank you guys!

Comment by Sallecta on 2010-12-19 17:58:13

awesome energy drink

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