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  1. #1
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    First impressions of new music sounds

    Let's start with the negatives and get them out of the way:

    1) There is a truly horrible note in the upper register of the clarinet (tech term alert: a shrill wobbly thing). I haven't been able to isolate the note but if needed I can supply the abc, or play it in game for you. Any abc with that note used will be largely unplayable

    2) Minor niggle - the theorbo is still too quiet and is almost inaudible. We don't want it over powering but a tad louder would be good.

    3) Either the flute is now too quiet or the strings have become too loud. Some more balancing needed.

    The positives:

    4) the Flute is much better at high range and is much smoother

    5) Lute and Harp sound great

    6) Clarinet and Horn have lost that "cough" at the lower register

    7) Even Pibgorn sounds better.

    You are almost there guys and thank you for your efforts. Just sort that clarinet!

    Oh, I can't check if we can now go beyond the usual 3 ranges. Can we? And what would be the key combination that allows keyboard play?
    Jobbing musician that resides in Bree. Frequenter of Taverns and places of ill repute

  2. #2
    EDIT: removed this video now that beta nears its end. Have a look at the video a few posts below, though, for more details on individual instruments and notes.

    A sample file with current instruments on Bullroarer. Played with an ABC created for harp in the Maestro converter, at volume +mf+. The harp file was used for all instruments. Video captured with Fraps, sound sent through my Asus Xonar card.

    You should certainly hear the squeaky clarinet note Keli mentiones (I think it is note A#4) + notice the volume level differences.

    I might do another version tomorrow, including current live sounds. And just a heads-up, this video will likely be deleted once beta testing is over *smiles*
    Last edited by Linawillow; Nov 01 2014 at 02:23 PM.
    Lina Willowwood, biscuit-eating bard on Laurelin
    Hobbit RP? Grand Order of the Lost Mathom
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  3. #3
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    Thanks very much for the video Lina, certainly demonstrates the volume comparisons across the instruments.

    Yes, we isolated that odd clarinet note to be the same, the high B flat/A sharp, so in ABC files it would be _b or ^a.

    I second the congratulations on the work so far, though as pointed out, there's a few things that could do with some further work.
    - yay for the clarinet and horn coughs gone that allow them to play those low C's properly, except the coughs were deliberately used in some songs. Won't be able to play Flaming Red Hair of In The Summertime quite the same (two that come to mind)
    - boo for the wonky/wobbly clarinet note
    - yay for clarinet being turned down, but the flute is also quieter and probably didn't need to be
    - yay for high flute notes that are much nicer, less screechy (as best we could tell with it being so quiet)
    - boo for the lute seeming too loud now. The harp seems improved, but I don't feel the lute needed to be any louder than it already was.
    - yay for the improvements to the pibgorn, though the high notes are still a bit harsh. Without the broken notes it previously had should allow it to be more useful
    - yay for the bagpipes which seem to handle short notes better, not being clipped (though need to test this further)

    We're hoping to test some more songs in the next couple of days, hopefully check the clipped bagpipe and also the drum shakers which are often too loud in comparison to the other drum sounds. I have no problem revising my existing ABC files, but it would be great if we could see some more balancing of the dynamics across the instruments. Most of the work done on tonality is great (barring that clarinet note trying to be a pibgorn )
    ~The wind is full of a thousand voices~

  4. #4
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    Bagpipes - I have made a song with three bagpipes and it sounded just fine in ABC Player but in game it had very chopped off notes in the beginning. Very very chopped off. I can't try the whole song since I'm just one person and it needs several, but I played the bagpipe tracks alone here on Bullroarer and they sound a lot less chopped off now Still can't be sure since I couldn't play them all together, but it still sounds better than it does on Live

    Pibgorn - This is my favourite instrument but many people hate it with a passion so I was very worried it would be changed too much, but it still have it's charm and now the broken notes seems to be fixed? At least what I could tell I played a random Lute track with many notes with the Pibgorn and it sounded just fine! Better than fine, even!

    Harp - The sound is very very nice, but I have a solo song that sounds strange when played on Bullroarer. I'll try to explain. When you strum a harp or anything with strings, the sound continues for a while after you have let go of the strings. Some of the notes in that song sounds quite chopped off. Like when someone plays guitar and suddenly put their hand across the strings to make them go quiet. I tried that song with a Lute too, and it had the same problem. I saw mentioned earlier that we could send in songs that might be troublesome, but maybe it's too late for that now? If not, where do I send it?

    Flute - Very beautiful but a bit too quiet.

    Clarinet - Sounds much better! Except for the wonky note


    What about the ranges? Can we make ABC's with notes in higher and lower ranges now? It would make it a lot easier to make ABC's! =)
    I would love to have larger volume ranges too, so we could make the tracks both louder and quieter than we can now, and without doubling instruments, but maybe that's not possible?
    ;) “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” ~ Hindu Proverb

  5. #5
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    Have you guys /bugged the really bad note sounds? If not, I highly recommend you do so. I am simply not a talented enough musician to know how to describe which notes go to which sounds.

    RIP ELENDILMIR • Jingle Jangle
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  6. #6
    Here is a list of issues that I have found during my own testing. I see that a few of these issues have been addressed in this thread, but hopefully this might add a little clarification. I divided the issues up in to three categories: Sustain, which refers to the length of the sound (so no sustain means that note sounds clipped,) volume, which essentially is a comparison of the volume of each note to its neighbors, and each instrument to the others, and other issues, which primarily regards the tone quality. Note that the Theorbo has been largely excluded, as I found it too soft to perform much in the way of meaningful testing on it:

    Sustain:
    Lute: B4 No Sustain

    Harp: G3, A4, A#4 No Sustain


    Volume:
    Lute D2#, G2-C4 quiet; Overall too loud

    Theorbo: G#3 - C4 inaudible; All notes extremely quiet

    Harp: A#2 - C3 Inaudible; C#3, D3; A#3, B3, A4 Quiet

    Bagpipe: D3, D#3, F3-G3, D4-G4, A#4 Quiet

    Horn: F3-A3 Quiet

    Flute: D#2-F#2, A#2-C#3, E3, C4, D#4 Quiet

    Clarinet: slightly quiet between C4-F#4


    Other:
    Lute: F4 Harsh

    Harp: G#3 C4 D4(loud) A#4 Harsh

    Bagpipe: G4, C5 Harsh; Notes have a noticable "jump" as the sound sample is recycled on sustained notes

    Flute: A4 Harsh

    Clarinet: F2 Harsh, A#4 Squeals

  7. #7


    Note-by-note playthrough of individual instruments, should you have 25 minutes to spare... At least, it could help identify which problematic notes to bug.

    Quick summary, based on my non-sound-engineer understanding:
    • Generally inconsistent volume balancing for same instrument/different notes, lots of volume jumps
    • Volume differences across instruments: Strings (lute in particular) are very loud compared to winds (flute in particular)
    • Generally inconsistent sustains for string instruments
    • Pigborn: Problematic at high notes (wavy distortion/noise, at least through my sound card), some notes with squeaks/dips
    • Bagpipe: Generally OK
    • Clarinet: Generally OK, except one squeaky note. Too soft compared to strings
    • Flute: Some distortions, one cutoff note. Else not bad, but too soft.
    • Horn: One cutoff note, else OK.
    • Lute: Very loud compared to winds, has a fair share of sustain issues, not least a lot of cutoff notes ending with clicks. Also one dud note (very short).
    • Harp: Same as lute, lots of sustain/cutoff/dud note issues (probably more than I marked in the video)
    • Theorbo: Has some very soft notes, especially in the middle rang and the high notes (low notes are rather loud). Also has sustain/cutoff/dud note issues.


    So based on this, wind instruments seem to be in an OK spot, minus that squeaky clarinet note, a few cutoffs (although I haven't checked if the notes are in tune) and some volume differences. Strings have a fair share of issues, though.

    See also Bruzo's threads on string issues and wind/brass issues
    Last edited by Linawillow; Oct 13 2014 at 09:52 AM.
    Lina Willowwood, biscuit-eating bard on Laurelin
    Hobbit RP? Grand Order of the Lost Mathom
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  8. #8
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    Side Note: The fact that there is an active community of people this devoted to using a music system is one of the things about this game I love most.


    Even my Signature is trolling!

  9. #9
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    Glad people are digging deeper into the individual notes. For me, my main issue is that I would like to see all the instruments as loud (on balance) as the lute. There are a few that are really too quiet, as is well illustrated in the first video Linawillow posted. Also, the theorbo sounds pretty muddy to me overall. I would love a nice clear clean bass sound within the system, and the theorbo isn't quite there.

    Aside from that, the improvements are quite stellar. I tested a lot of songs instrument by instrument, side by side, by multi-boxing a live character and one on the test server, and the improvements are noticeable. The notes are much clearer and cleaner, and things just play a lot more smoothly. I really appreciate the work going into improving the system, and I'm especially glad the coughing is gone!

  10. #10
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    Just from listening to the videos posted I can tell there are still issues with this new system and the lack of any dev comments has me wondering if this is just getting buried by the other stuff (read: Beornings aka the Care Bear clans). I'm hoping this isn't being released as is with a note saying we'll fix the sour notes and volumes later.
    Tessariel Aerlinn of Landroval
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  11. #11
    Produktion Malphunktion is offline Producer
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    Read and passed on.
    thanks for the notes!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck View Post
    Glad people are digging deeper into the individual notes. For me, my main issue is that I would like to see all the instruments as loud (on balance) as the lute. There are a few that are really too quiet, as is well illustrated in the first video Linawillow posted.
    Agree with this 100%. It is rather annoying that I have to triple the volume of my laptop sound to hear the harp from where the volume is on a lute. This would be a most welcome change.

    RIP ELENDILMIR • Jingle Jangle
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  13. #13
    I see they haven't fixed any of the bad notes in this newest beta.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlor View Post
    I see they haven't fixed any of the bad notes in this newest beta.
    For what it's worth, in my experience of testing over the years, unless it's a game-breaking bug, it will take a couple of builds to get bugs through their internal servers, then pushed onto BR. I would not start to worry until build 4... that is when you /bug this like mad.

    RIP ELENDILMIR • Jingle Jangle
    Landroval
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orlor View Post
    I see they haven't fixed any of the bad notes in this newest beta.
    Word for the wise. Moving from Build 1 to Build 2 does not mean bugs found in Build 1 will be fixed. Typically it Builds 3 and on that start fixing Build 1 issues. The only exception is if its something they Turbine already knew about or if its something MAJOR that they can fix in the time they have before the build is finalized. Typically Turbine already has the next build 'finalized' before they even take the current build down. That is they know what changes are going to be ready in time.

  16. #16
    Let's hope for that next build then, before as far as I can tell, we still have the same problems in Beta 3. At least I found the squeaky clarinet note and the rather variable sustains on the lute during the short time I was logged on earlier today.

    *prepares to bug things this weekend*
    Lina Willowwood, biscuit-eating bard on Laurelin
    Hobbit RP? Grand Order of the Lost Mathom
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  17. #17
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    Well, Beta 4 is here (the final one I guess) and still no fix.

    No one is listening
    Jobbing musician that resides in Bree. Frequenter of Taverns and places of ill repute

  18. #18
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    I'm pretty disappointed so far. Though I'm tickled with some of the improvements, I really did want to test more than just the first beta. Why did I even bother to download the Bullroarer client? Without the chance to tests and post our thoughts, how are we ever going to get what we want with the music system. If things are being fixed then great, but let us at least test them being we are the ones that use them on a daily or near daily basis. My fear now is that this will be pushed through as is. The last time the music got broken, our server suffered greatly. Many of the role players and musicians quit logging in as this really is the centerpiece of the game for so many of us.
    I really hope the note issues and volumes are either fixed or left out of the update as I worry that I will not see many of my friends until the next update and who knows when that will be.
    *crosses fingers and hopes for the best*
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emere View Post
    I'm pretty disappointed so far. Though I'm tickled with some of the improvements, I really did want to test more than just the first beta. Why did I even bother to download the Bullroarer client? Without the chance to tests and post our thoughts, how are we ever going to get what we want with the music system. If things are being fixed then great, but let us at least test them being we are the ones that use them on a daily or near daily basis. My fear now is that this will be pushed through as is. The last time the music got broken, our server suffered greatly. Many of the role players and musicians quit logging in as this really is the centerpiece of the game for so many of us.
    I really hope the note issues and volumes are either fixed or left out of the update as I worry that I will not see many of my friends until the next update and who knows when that will be.
    *crosses fingers and hopes for the best*
    I'm worried about this as well.

    It's wonderful that we're getting a music update, more than wonderful even, but if it gets rolled out with the problems we have seen on Build 1, the music community might fade :/
    Many bands play regularly every week and if they can't play in a long while, those who play LOTRO mostly for the music and the relaxed light RP that often surrounds it might leave, and I'm not so sure that all of them will find their way back when it gets fixed since they might have found new "homes" in other places online

    Could we perhaps get some info about what's going on? Have the problems been fixed? Are you working on it now? Are you hoping to let us test things live for a short while and then fix things after getting more feedback?

    I don't mind redoing all my many ABC's to work better with the new sounds because it's going to sound sooo much better and I've been hoping for an update to the music system for so long, but I don't have the energy to redo them twice in a row and I'm sure those with thousands of ABC's will feel the same.


    Also: Thanks a million for working on the music system! It's very much appreciated! <3
    ;) “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” ~ Hindu Proverb

  20. #20
    I totally understand that in MMOs, things are always a work in progress. I also totally understand that things are rarely released in a polished state, because usually it is better to have something than nothing at all.

    But if there is ever a time to do something 100% or not at all... it is LOTRO's music system.

    I was initially ecstatic to hear that we were getting an upgrade. The idea is very exciting! But with the lack-of-progress on Bullroarer, I'm now terrified that the new music system will be half-baked, requiring many months of piecemeal updates to get it where it needs to be. This would be disastrous.
    Chief of the all-hobbits Landroval kinship, [url=http://concerninghobbits.shivtr.com/forum_threads/1477267] Concerning Hobbits.[/url]
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  21. #21
    Rowan's Avatar
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    We're not ignoring this folks. Our current plan is to resolve a particularly bad clarinet note shortly after launch, then resolve out other notes considered broken or with poor sustain for the first major patch. We take the music system very seriously, as you do.
    Executive Producer
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    We're not ignoring this folks. Our current plan is to resolve a particularly bad clarinet note shortly after launch, then resolve out other notes considered broken or with poor sustain for the first major patch. We take the music system very seriously, as you do.
    Thank you for your hard work. We appreciate it, we really do.

    Keep in mind that with your described plan, the new music system won't really be "ready" until the first major patch anyway, whether you release what you have now and fix the rest later OR save all of it for release in the first major patch. We'd be just as happy (if not happier) if you waited until the first major patch when it's all finished. That might save you all a little bit of extra sleep and energy too.
    Last edited by Rozalinde; Nov 03 2014 at 06:22 PM.
    Chief of the all-hobbits Landroval kinship, [url=http://concerninghobbits.shivtr.com/forum_threads/1477267] Concerning Hobbits.[/url]
    Level 100 Minstrel--Rozalinde
    [url=http://tweaklotro.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/mother-hens-chicken-guide/]Mother Hen[/url] and [url=https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?548289-A-Chicken-s-Adventures-EAST-of-the-Misties]Aficionado of Chicken Adventures[/url]

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    We're not ignoring this folks. Our current plan is to resolve a particularly bad clarinet note shortly after launch, then resolve out other notes considered broken or with poor sustain for the first major patch. We take the music system very seriously, as you do.
    Thank you so much for replying, Rowan! I feel a lot less worried now!
    ;) “There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong.” ~ Hindu Proverb

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    We're not ignoring this folks. Our current plan is to resolve a particularly bad clarinet note shortly after launch, then resolve out other notes considered broken or with poor sustain for the first major patch. We take the music system very seriously, as you do.
    Thanks for the update. But honestly it would be better to hold off on the entire music update until all the notes are fixed. This is because we are going into a heavy concert period of the year 'Yule' and if these are in place during them it could cause the pieces being played to sound rather bad instead of the currently decent sound we have on the LIVE builds.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Rozalinde View Post
    Thank you for your hard work. We appreciate it, we really do.

    Keep in mind that with your described plan, the new music system won't really be "ready" until the first major patch anyway, whether you release what you have now and fix the rest later OR save all of it for release in the first major patch. We'd be just as happy (if not happier) if you waited until the first major patch when it's all finished. That might save you all a little bit of extra sleep and energy too.
    I think the problem is that the new system has replaced the old one in their builds, and it's not easy to specifically roll this system back without possibly affecting something else (like beorning sounds). Would you like if the music system is rolled back last-minute and that screwing up half of the beorning sounds?
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