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Nokturniis
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:13 pm
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:29 am 
 

I'm looking to start a dungeon synth project sometime this year hopefully. I have a few questions in hopes to help make my project more successful.

Is there a DAW (digital audio workstation) that is known to be the best for dungeon synth or can you use any? I heard Reaper was good for black metal, so I was considering using that one to start out with. Any particular effects I should definitely use? Reverb?

What do you personally look for in your dungeon synth? Do you like a specific sound? Do you prefer when there's vocals added or no vocals whatsoever? Sound effects or no sound effects (e.g., footsteps, creaking, wind blowing, etc.)?

What kind of cover art do you love to see on dungeon synth releases? A particular art style? A particular artist? Theodor Kittelsen seems to be a popular artist to use for dungeon synth covers.

Any tips or tricks for me from someone who makes dungeon synth music themselves? Anything I should avoid doing?

All help is greatly appreciated!
_________________
My current top 5 favorite bands:

1. Elysian Blaze
2. Nortt
3. Midnight Odyssey
4. The Ruins Of Beverast
5. Urfaust

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DecemberSoul
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 934
Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:42 pm 
 

Man, do you even want this to be your own creation, a personal expression of yourself, designed by your mind and born from your efforts?
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______In Marble Halls Of Falling Snow______

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Nokturniis
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:13 pm
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:53 pm 
 

DecemberSoul wrote:
Man, do you even want this to be your own creation, a personal expression of yourself, designed by your mind and born from your efforts?


I see your point. But, I've never made music professionally before and this would be my first attempt at it. So, I really need all the help I can get.

In the end, I just want to make music that people enjoy and look forward to every new release of mine. That's all that matters. So, I want to make sure I nail everything that people look for in their dungeon synth music.
_________________
My current top 5 favorite bands:

1. Elysian Blaze
2. Nortt
3. Midnight Odyssey
4. The Ruins Of Beverast
5. Urfaust

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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 9042
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:33 am 
 

Your first attempt at making music professionally? As in... you want this to be a profitable venture, right? And you're picking dungeon synth for that? Not that it can't be done, because it clearly can... but if this is your first foray into taking music a bit more seriously than a hobby then you should probably dial back the expectations a bit. I don't mean to damper your enthusiasm but I'm just speaking realistically. Unless you somehow manage to become a breakout hit within the first few months of your release, then you should be thinking about how to build and sustain momentum in increments. This can take years.

Anyway, if it were me in your shoes I wouldn't be too concerned with what you're asking and be very concerned with forging your own artistic identity. Because there is nothing worse than uninspired dungeon synth.

Just listen to the best that the genre has to offer, figure out what they're doing right and take notes. Then, compare this with your own ideas and find ways that you can incorporate their practices into your own. But this is far different from copying wholesale. Building your own "brand" (I know how metalheads hate to hear that word) is a cumulative effort wherein all of the disparate aspects of your project come together to build a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. You won't really achieve that by polling internet randos about what they want from you.

Good dungeon synth utilizes minimalist orchestration, lo-fi but good sounding samples/synths, and a very keen understanding of layered compositions. You're not going to be doing any crazy harmony or rhythm or chord changes for the most part, so you need to practice writing extremely compelling, recursive but short melodies. 4-8 bar riffs, essentially. This is the backbone of nearly all dungeon synth.
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Cosmic Atrophy - extradimensional death metal

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Nokturniis
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:13 pm
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:27 am 
 

rexxz wrote:
Your first attempt at making music professionally? As in... you want this to be a profitable venture, right? And you're picking dungeon synth for that? Not that it can't be done, because it clearly can... but if this is your first foray into taking music a bit more seriously than a hobby then you should probably dial back the expectations a bit. I don't mean to damper your enthusiasm but I'm just speaking realistically. Unless you somehow manage to become a breakout hit within the first few months of your release, then you should be thinking about how to build and sustain momentum in increments. This can take years.

Anyway, if it were me in your shoes I wouldn't be too concerned with what you're asking and be very concerned with forging your own artistic identity. Because there is nothing worse than uninspired dungeon synth.

Just listen to the best that the genre has to offer, figure out what they're doing right and take notes. Then, compare this with your own ideas and find ways that you can incorporate their practices into your own. But this is far different from copying wholesale. Building your own "brand" (I know how metalheads hate to hear that word) is a cumulative effort wherein all of the disparate aspects of your project come together to build a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. You won't really achieve that by polling internet randos about what they want from you.

Good dungeon synth utilizes minimalist orchestration, lo-fi but good sounding samples/synths, and a very keen understanding of layered compositions. You're not going to be doing any crazy harmony or rhythm or chord changes for the most part, so you need to practice writing extremely compelling, recursive but short melodies. 4-8 bar riffs, essentially. This is the backbone of nearly all dungeon synth.


I appreciate the response!

To explain myself a little more, I've known for a while now that I want to have my own musical project and I know I want it to be a solo act. But, I've never attempted to make music professionally or even as an amateur before. This will be my first attempt, hence why all the questions I asked. I'm simply a novice when it comes to this stuff. I chose dungeon synth simply because it's a genre of music that I'm really enjoying right now and I figured it would be a lot simpler to make than atmospheric black metal or black funeral doom metal (which those are two genres I would love to be able to make one day). I would start off with dungeon synth and then as the years go by and my knowledge of music increases, I would hopefully then transition into one of those two aforementioned genres.

I'm fully aware that if I ever do start releasing music, there's a very high chance that no one will ever buy it from my Bandcamp page (I already have my Bandcamp page set up and ready to go!) and I will most likely make very little money. But, that's OK. I'm not going into this expecting to become the next big thing in dungeon synth (obviously, that'd be great if it did happen though). Like I said in my previous post, the whole goal of this is to make music that I am honestly proud of, to make music that other people enjoy, and to leave a lasting legacy of myself with this music so there's always a little piece of me in this world when I'm gone.

I have a keyboard at my house, but that's it for instruments/equipment. Everything else will have to come from a DAW, as I'm not exactly loaded with cash right now. Like I said earlier, I heard Reaper was good for black metal music, so I thought I'd start off with that program and it's fairly cheap as well. I just have to learn how to use it... But, if you know of any better DAW's, feel free to let me know!
_________________
My current top 5 favorite bands:

1. Elysian Blaze
2. Nortt
3. Midnight Odyssey
4. The Ruins Of Beverast
5. Urfaust

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Gunslinger21
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:11 am
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:33 am 
 

Hey when you start releasing tracks let me know dude, I'd love to have a listen to what you do.

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Nokturniis
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:13 pm
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:45 pm 
 

Gunslinger21 wrote:
Hey when you start releasing tracks let me know dude, I'd love to have a listen to what you do.


Thank you so much! I definitely will. I would appreciate any constructive criticism as well.
_________________
My current top 5 favorite bands:

1. Elysian Blaze
2. Nortt
3. Midnight Odyssey
4. The Ruins Of Beverast
5. Urfaust

Top
 Profile  
c210344
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:06 am
Posts: 22
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 7:51 am 
 

Hello, I hope I can help you with some of the practical aspects of this...
I started making dungeon synth about a year ago and would encourage anyone who has an interest to try it - maybe it will work out, maybe it won't.

To address your points:

1. DAW - it really does not matter - for our purposes it's pretty much a multitrack recorder, right? Any DAW will let you add effects like reverb and automation as you need it. Go with Reaper as it is effectively free.

2. Personally I prefer the cleaner sounding VST stuff to the raw, noisey analogue stuff - artists like Sidereal Fortress, Torchlight, Ornatorpet, SFX can be fun but not if overused, vocals - nah. But all that's just my opinion!

3. Cover art - I like (and try to use) stuff that stands out - don't be another Kittelsen abuser. Old paintings can be cool but try to find something that no one else has used or zoom in on a specific detail in the background (renaissance paintings often have castles/ruins behind the figures)

4. Tips and tricks - I think what Rexxz said is very good advice! In terms of VSTs, try https://www.dskmusic.com/ - they have different instruments for horns, strings etc. Sonatina is good for orchestral percussion: http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?pl ... on&id=2330 If you want to spend a little money, the Korg M1 VST is fantastic, it is $50, often on sale for $25.

You can find my stuff here: https://bavingr.bandcamp.com/

Nokturniis wrote:
I'm looking to start a dungeon synth project sometime this year hopefully. I have a few questions in hopes to help make my project more successful.

Is there a DAW (digital audio workstation) that is known to be the best for dungeon synth or can you use any? I heard Reaper was good for black metal, so I was considering using that one to start out with. Any particular effects I should definitely use? Reverb?

What do you personally look for in your dungeon synth? Do you like a specific sound? Do you prefer when there's vocals added or no vocals whatsoever? Sound effects or no sound effects (e.g., footsteps, creaking, wind blowing, etc.)?

What kind of cover art do you love to see on dungeon synth releases? A particular art style? A particular artist? Theodor Kittelsen seems to be a popular artist to use for dungeon synth covers.

Any tips or tricks for me from someone who makes dungeon synth music themselves? Anything I should avoid doing?

All help is greatly appreciated!
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