I bet you've seen me post about my soon to be sploosh hit music release more than a time or two if you frequent the "QTOID" (that's what us cool guys were calling it in secret before Destructoid decided to debut it officially... or so I assume). I would wager you're a little tired of this chump assaulting your business with his own and that you think I should stop having things go this way before you break somethin' tonight.
Well, put down those torches and suspiciously phallic bludgeoning tools, because I am here to make myself shutup for at least a good while with just one blog you are more than free to ignore, lambaste me about, or look upon with mild interest.
I would hope you are mildly interested... ?
To keep this as short and sweet as possible, I'm basically putting my songwriting prowess up for some serious display for the first time and I'm doing that by way of a fan album dedicated to what is my favorite franchise of video games: Shin Megami Tensei!
For approximately two months, I've had this little passion project ongoing and, at that, fairly smoothly. In fact, I only see myself getting better and better! Better at honing a certain sound I'm after, better at the little touches, better at making a song feel complete, and so on. Me now and me two months ago is like night and day and it's been that source of self-confidence I've so sorely needed for a very long time.
By this point, I am beginning to see the end and I now want to share with you all some choice cuts from behind the scenes *magic fairy dust* and the road map as it currently stands.
Right now, we are looking at what is going to be a double-sided album. As I twirl my stache at how obscenely clever I am, I will say I have dubbed these two sides "Law" and "Chaos". The former being covers and the latter being originals.
In the olden days, I had considered a simple little thing with about 6 covers and 6 originals. But, my obnoxious love for this franchise sort of complicated that vision. Before I knew it, I would have 7 original tracks in progress on top of the finished rough cuts and I was only getting worse with just choosing a few favorites to cover.
I even have money set aside to pay for vocalists! That was well beyond my ambitions a short while ago. Things have just ballooned that quickly.
Below, you will find some tracks with which I have held the standards I wish to keep with the whole album at release. Not everything I have uploaded to my Soundcloud or even shared is something I am behind 100%, but I would like to think the quality found in these is what you'll find throughout the final product.
"Tartarus: Engage" - https://soundcloud.com/justin-stewart-57/tartarus-engage-v1
[The second of the two-part Tartarus epic I'm constructing. I use the term 'epic' very loosely, as it's not quite there yet. I recently decided to extend "Engage" beyond it's end point to around 3-4 minutes long, if not longer.
Together with the first track, "En Route", I hope for it to appropriately paint a picture of the desperate, frantic, and grimy feelings permeating P3's Tartarus.]
"Hardened Glory" - https://soundcloud.com/justin-stewart-57/hardened-glory-v3
[The Dtoid community pulled together for this one's title and I couldn't be prouder of it! Since then and it's (fortunately) positive reception, I have updated it with various smaller touches and reworked bass. Before it's final cut, it will see an added ambient intro and an extended breakdown before the second 'verse'.
That I was able to craft something like this relatively early in my journey to flex my songwriting still surprises me.
... what? I have to pat myself on the back sometimes!
Anyway. This here's intended to sound like a SMTIV boss or general battle theme. Imagining the game's beautifully horrific sprites dancing to what little I originally had definitely helped in creating what's now there. It's probably the track I'll end up being most proud of in the end!]
"MIDNIGHT MIRACLE DUNGEON" - https://soundcloud.com/justin-stewart-57/midnight-miracle-dungeon-v2
[It's been somehow rather challenging to hone that Persona 4 sound and I still don't think I've gotten there yet (my first attempt was possibly even more bubbly than "Shadow World"), but it's about as close as I can get for now.
I always considered Persona 4 the more straightforward of the Persona soundtracks, with Persona 3 being by far the most interesting tonally and most impressive in it's variety. And, yet, I've been finding Persona 3 an easier challenge. Perhaps it speaks to me that much?
"MIDNIGHT MIRACLE DUNGEON" poses the hypothetical scenario of a dungeon surrounding Persona 4: Golden's optional quiz show. Vibrant colors, spotlights, and Shadows in top hats! I would so love for that to be a reality, so I decided to live that through my music!
* also, the ending was meant to completely fade out, but I accidentally ended it too early so ignore the couple final seconds of dead air]
"Saucy Salesman" - https://soundcloud.com/justin-stewart-57/saucy-salesman-v2
[Intended to be a vendor theme for a general SMT title. Likely an older one. Tried to show a bit of the quirkier side of the mainline franchise that stood out so much amidst the grim, rockin', or ambient tracks.]
"Deep Breath Deep Breath" - https://soundcloud.com/justin-stewart-57/deep-breath-deep-breath-v2
[This is the one I'm the most insecure about. Not for it's instrumentation, no. But, because I'm no experienced rapper. Hip-hopper? What do you call those people? Ah, I'm one stroke away from being as white as Rick Astley.
But, I am confident that I at least have the instrumentation down. Nailing the jutting samples and synth effects from the original was very hard with GarageBand, which prompted me to do a rather different take on it. Funny, that this first started as a cover almost purely on heavily-distorted guitar.
I have been approaching all my covers as a '-Reincarnation-' sort of deal where the songs are either simply extended or switched up entirely. I have even considered doing up some original lyrics for the second verse in this one, but... I may have to scrap that for fear of encroaching on Lotus Juice's territory too much.
By the way, I actually sent this to Lotus Juice via email and, last I checked, he hasn't responded. SHAME.]
As far as the pricing goes for the album...
Despite it being double-sided, let's not dilly dally around my lack of brand recognition. So, 10 dollars sounds about right. 25% going to the commissioned artist(s), 25% going to a charity of my choice, with the other 50% going to me AND IF ATLUS HAS ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT THAT I will likely be using the money that I save for myself on your soundtracks and memorabilia anyway so please be nice to me.
... mmmmmaybe 15, if I'm feeling particularly frisky.
*Goldblum* I am, uh... excited to show you all the fruits of my looms! Tell me what you think of it so far? Tell me what I'm doing wrong? Tell me I'm pretty?
Let's close things out with a bum wiggle from best girl.
I mean, I could also tell you the tracklisting for the covers side, but you wouldn't believe the pressure I'm under to even narrow it down to a dozen. All I can confirm for super sure is the aforementioned "Deep Breath Deep Breath", "Reach Out to the Truth", and "Joy".