NP: LEAF XCEED Music Division – Website Releases
How I miss these days. It wasn’t too long ago, around two or three years ago, when I officially started giving my all as LEAF XCEED Music Division. I’ve gotten considerably far with this solo project of mine, an attempt to express myself musically as a composer, remixer and arranger without the need to have the physical requirements and know-how on handling the instruments I simulate, sample and synthesize.
I surely still remember the first time I hit a gold mine of opportunity when Robert Stjärnström, vocalist of my all-time favorite band Machinae Supremacy, commented on my MIDI arrangement and recommended that I start going beyond my LEAF Music Division state as a MIDI composer and…exceed MIDI (pun intended) by trying out the world of VST. You could say that’s where it all started, where I discovered my most reliable and trustworthy DAW I wouldn’t replace anytime soon called FL Studio, and the world of possibilities that VSTs gave me.
Let’s talk about FL Studio a bit first. The average DAW user would use FL Studio for genres like techno and all its many subgenres and variations. In fact, the DAW itself is made to be insanely user-friendly in terms of GUI and functions tailored towards easy techno creation. It already comes with useful and great-sounding synths, in addition to the many basic tools of any DAW and many nice features like drum and instrument samplers. Create any techno beat within a snap.
At least, that’s what it’s mostly used for, to my knowledge. But if you’re here reading my blog post not as a friend I know in real life, then you must know that I more often than not use it for something close to the complete opposite of what it’s tailored for. Metal. Not just any metal, but my personal blend of video game music and power metal. Thus my self-labeling of the genre “video game power metal”. All I needed was the right platform, the right tools and the right time. The moment I found the mixture of instruments I needed for Unbroken Dream, I knew right then and there that there were only good things to come. It’s amusing to see what I went through to make that song, seeing this screenshot:
Amusing how? Because Maybe this screenshot will show you why:
Click the image for a full-size view. AGAIN! 😀
I chose to present those two screenshots to present a sort of comparison. The first screenshot is my first attempt ever at doing what I do now with such ease, because after I got a foundation of sorts all I had to do was apply it, and thus so many songs were born. This went on until the present day, where I’ve gotten so used to making metal compositions that my most complicated and possibly best remix to date, The Eclipse Of Time has me with significantly less “betas”, even after going through those five whole days where I was busy as hell just working on it.
Oh wow. 500+ word count. I’ll end my trademark long-winded introduction before finally getting to the topic at hand. See, I’ve been wondering a lot about what to do next. Truth be told, I do have things on my plate, like the remix soundtrack I’m planning as well as that battle theme I never have gotten around to finishing for a free indie RPG. My priority right now seems to be to finish Website Releases II, since it’s 7 minutes to being worth an hour, and adding maybe around 15 minutes would make it as lengthy as the original Website Releases. Now I really want to wrap up Website Releases II…there’s no other feeling like being fully satisfied with something you’ve been working on for a very long time. But I worry about this direction that I’m taking.
At this point in time, I got a feeling of deja vu. Majority of my most recent and actual blog posts (yes, I checked a couple of posts back) are about me pondering multiple aspects of the future, whether it be about LEAF XCEED Music Division, music and being a musician in general or otherwise. Guess I do that very often, and I’m prone to writing about it in blog posts, huh? 😄 Anyhow, I feel that change is definitely happening. After all, I’d say that my music has matured over these two to three years, along with myself as a person and a musician. In the first Website Releases, all I really wanted to do was remix video game music and ended up filling the album with them compared to the occasional original. But in Website Releases II at the time of writing, there are more originals than there are remixes, and they handle a seemingly opposite genre compared to that which I supposedly am very fond of composing in.
So I thought I was done wondering about the direction of LEAF XCEED Music Division and the steps to take. There really are though, thanks to my current tasks at hand. However, I am obviously wrong, since that post I made called What The Future Will Bring never took into account…my own evolution. I’m beginning to remix video game tracks less since while there’ll never be a point in time when there won’t be any new track that’ll need the LEAF XCEED Music Division treatment, I’m finding it much less frequent than before, which is probably a sign for me to change the way I do things. Video game soundtracks are endless, but there is a chance that people can get bored of doing the same thing over and over, no matter how polished it could possibly be. I started this post out mentioning how I miss the days where songs and remixes were so simple, but over time I discovered how to make them even better even if it takes ridiculous amounts of work. In a way, even though it’s still my style, it is in fact changing.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’ll never drop my trademark remixing style, but I’m gonna be more open to change for the better. When Sonata Arctica, my second favorite band stopped being full-on power metal, I still learned to love them and their new directions. They now have a sound that’s reminiscent of the past, but with a whole new twist that makes them absolutely unique, even though to me they already were.
I’m sure that in time, I’ll be able to do the same.