View Full Version : My first Reaper song. Can you guess the original?

08-21-2010, 08:57 PM
For my first Reaper attempt I decided to cover a song from my childhood. If nobody guesses the original, I'll follow up with the answer. I'll give you a hint: it first appeared in 1986, and the composer re-releases it and changes it slightly every few years.

Here's my take on it so far:

Undefeatable-Mood-Demo-5.mp3 (http://www.phytopep.com/demo/Undefeatable-Mood-Demo-5.mp3)

I have a lot to learn about music, so for my first few exercises I decided to pick apart some songs I like and cover them to find out what makes them tick. Hopefully this will lead me to write something of my own.

Let me know what you think. I would appreciate any feedback at all.


08-22-2010, 08:00 PM
Sorta sounds like some of the stuff Lisa Stansfield did back then...

08-22-2010, 09:27 PM
Interesting guess! But here's the original song composed by Koji Kondo for Super Mario Bros. in 1986:


and a later version in 1995 that I actually used when making the cover:


I decided to make my version using acoustic (sampled) instruments, but I think I should have picked an easier challenge for my first song.

One listener told me the guitar sounded fake, and the piano needed more humanization. A few non-staccato oboe notes sound funny to me now, too, so I'm working on some improvements.

I figured this was a good opportunity to try a demo of MusicLab's RealGuitar. It looks like a great piece of software, and it made my guitar track sound more realistic, but I had to play it with only 2 or 3 strings. When I used more the chords sounded too different from the original song.

So now I'm wondering if I shouldn't use an acoustic guitar for that track at all, since only playing 2-3 of its strings makes it sound pretty thin.

If anyone has any feedback or other thoughts, I'd be most appreciative.

08-23-2010, 12:38 AM
I think the idea to cover computer game music with acoustic instruments is a good idea.

But... the idea in my opinion is only good if actually using real instruments played by humans (hu-men :D).

It might be difficult to get the whole band together, but at least some of them - guitar?
Perhaps try different instruments that you can play?

But overall, sounded nice and mellow.

08-23-2010, 09:30 AM
Hey, but I want a professional result without skill or practice, and I want it cheap! ;)

Playing instruments live at the proper tempo and volume is beyond my abilities right now. I see myself as a writer, not a performer. Also, a marimba wouldn't fit in my room. :)

Actually, I do want to become skilled and practiced... at understanding and arranging music. I know it will take work, and I know there's a lot of theory I still need to learn. I saw dcuny recently link to Garritan Interactive Principles of Orchestration. It's things like that I need to start reading, I think.

So for now I suppose I need to work within my software's abilities. I'll try to stay away from using sampled instruments in a way that calls attention to the fact that they're not real.

Perhaps it's a little like computer animation. If you try to make an ultra-realistic rendered human face, you'll likely end up in the Uncanny Valley. But if you stylize a face like a cartoon, people's "fake" detectors don't go off.

Thanks for the feedback.

Back to tinkering!