KatMaestro's News

A small update

2015-04-16 12:11:49 by KatMaestro

Hello NG.

Just a small update. ARMA 3 Resist, the project for Make Arma Not War, has won first place. I'm extremely proud to be part to the team who made this come true. This has shed the light to my depressed and desparate life.

I will upload the remaining soundtrack to NG.

 


Music is part of our life. Music can represent a person's life, his/her personality and characteristic. I think if you want to remember a person, remember his/her music as if he/she was flown inside each melody of a song.

Remember me by my music. I'm probably a very strange person. But my music say it all for my trails of life.


Life is a Mean Friend

2014-11-26 08:01:53 by KatMaestro

I managed to wake up early and spare sometime for this update before work start.

First of all I really sorry for all the unresponded messages you had sent to me. As I am currently stuck between limbo and reality. My music career is being jeopardized, and that's just the tip of the iceberg I am heading to. Life as I knew has left behind.

My father is currently in last stage of cancer. Doc said he only has a month or so to live. We tried everything from chemo to radiation. My family and I have spent so much in effort to save him. Whatever conflict I had with my father is past. I throw all my savings into taking care of him, as now I pay for $2000/month drug that our healthcare system does not cover, and it may help to slow his cancer down.

Before this, I could rent a townhouse without struggling with financial problem. Now I hold up at a $300 room in a freezing basement. I count all my spending through each cent. Every meal I ate. Although I still have my day job, however, the amount of time I spend everyday on taking care of my father cut short my workhour. And therefore I get lesser pays. Less time, less money and less life. And I'm about to lose a family member.

I did not expect the tornado to blow me so far away...


Music composition has always been my main passion and motivation of life. Taking it away is like taking away my soul. As ironic as it gets, it was Life that took away my passion. I had big plans and goals to pursuit my dream. Now it was all shattered. I swore, one day, I shall fulfil this before I leave this world. I just do not know how long I could make it come true.

Fuck you Life, you meanest and cruelest person I ever met. But I attached to you until my last breath. I gotta learn to cope on with Life.


This post is perhaps my lastest and last words, and it will be very long before I have another chance/time to respond.

I will never forget those of you I had crossed paths with on Newgrounds, friends or foes. I had the greatest run in my life and I loved every moment of it.

To those who have good lives - I wish you all Good Luck, and have a great Holiday.



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Ebola has taken away over 2288 lives, with over 4268 cases. However WHO only know %20 of the report, which means the current estimated max infection is 10,000 people. By the end of this month, there will be over 5000 lives taken away from this damned world and 20,000 infection.

Its fatality rate is estimated at %80. By the end of 2014, if we failed to halt the spread, Sierra Leone and Liberia will probably be wiped out by the disease. It might mutate to a more dangerous strain, however most scientists downplay this. Ebola cases will double every month, exponentally. Ebola moving too fast, doctors say.

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Key facts of Ebola by WHO:

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
  • EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
  • Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

Here is a GIF of the spread so far:

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[WARNING: some of the image are quite NSFW but I still post them here because pictures are powerful way to spread the messege.

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You can choose to help... or ignore this news post, curse at it or even laugh. But remember, helping people do not hurt your feeling or your thought. After all, aren't we all humans? What's different if they were different skin colors, beliefs, cultures or perspectives?

People are suffering. Probably, by miracles, Ebola will stop spreading. But what if it spreads to your doorstep in the next few days? Would you still want to help, even for your own's good and people around you?


There are 2 organizations which are most active in the frontline of Ebola fight:

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières)

http://www.msf.org/donate

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You can DONATE through my Relief album Power of the People - featuring Autumn Angel and a new track*. FROM NOW ON, all payment you purchase on my BandCamp page go through Doctors Without Borders' Paypal Email! Here's the proof!

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* You have most rights to use and remix the tracks, even for commercial, in exchange for your generosity! Listen to Autumn Angel, if you doubt my words:

Red Cross

https://www.redcross.org/quickdonate/index.jsp

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Here are extra heartbreaking stories of Ebola.

'His Father Had Lied to Us': German Doctor Shares Harrowing Ebola Encounter

PBS Documentary on the outbreak (REGION RESTRICTED VIEW / US only)

Gates Foundations pledges $50 mln to fight Ebola epidemic

Nurse who survived Ebola returning to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone

Ebola Patient Flees Clinic In Search For Food

CDC: 'Window Is Closing' on Containing Ebola

Grim Ebola Prediction: Outbreak Is Unstoppable for Now, MD Says


This post will stay here for very long time and I have to halt the 'You Link, I Review' thingy for a while. However if you seek for someone to review your works, just PM me straight away and I'll do it ASAP!

Thank you for your help to humanity!


You Link, I Review! :3

2014-08-30 12:14:39 by KatMaestro
Updated

Borrowing the idea from @Pandasticality (and go check out his music!), I shall help the Audio Portal by doing community service!

No. of review: 6

No. of review I still haven't done: 2


NGADM...

2014-08-08 00:40:00 by KatMaestro
Updated

A new challenge for me. I'm all for it. I really want to see how far can I reach. I'm really sure from the beginning that I'm totally no match for PeterSatera, this dude is a titan... If I and JRob make it, I would totally do a celebration on Skype immediately.

I gotta try very hard then.


Fear. It's scary. I had night terror a few days ago. It came like a storm. I did not know what I did after waking up, but my brother told me that even my neighbor heard my screams. He told me at a point, I stopped breathing. The amount of stress I'm getting is very high. Work, my father's cancer, my sleeping problem and I'm returning to alcoholic stage. Fuck me. I'm dying slowly.

I hate myself. I don't know if I can pass this contest. And my life. We'll see. @PeterSatera... dude you're awesome and I'm rooting for you. (yeah it's suck to root for the opponent... heh)


I think I should stop trolling people on the forums and be myself again. It's sad that I'm trying to cope with my problem by causing someone else some problem. Perhaps I should focus on people's actual problem and help them for once.


Music.

My music career is getting better tho. The ARMA project is very bright, and I was offered to do a 2nd project in near future. My GF works in UofT flim & music faculty and they wanted to hire some experienced composer for some of their projects. So my GF introduced me to them and I got a part time job asap. So they played my music actual on NG and accept my position. Fun time... I'm going to writing music for films with live orchestra and choir bands! Yay.

I guess I finally found myself again. After 15 years... So long. So lost. So lonely.

So... How are you, NG friends?



I don't know whether they dropped by sometime, or left forever because of the badness of this place. However I do know these composers and musicians once part of NG, and this is what make we proud of ourselves.

Chris Haigh (chrishaigh) — Chris is the A level composer in the film & trailer music industry. He's part of the music group Gothic Storm.

Denny Schneidemesser (Danman87) — Nearly 6 years ago when Denny blasted NG with his most epic piece Entering The Stronghold ... he swore that he leaves NG forever because of or incompetent voting system and music theft. I hate the system, too...

Winifred Phillips (winifredphillips) — She is the heavy weight composer in the video game industry. Composer for Assassin's Creed: Liberation, God of War, LittleBigPlanet 2, Spore Hero. :) She drops by NG sometime.

Justin R. Durban (Edgen) — Edgen was once a reg on NG. He's an X-ray Dog composer.

Soulja Boy (SouljaBoy) — Not a fake account, people actually confirmed this! Yep, a famous rapper is/was on NG!

xKore (xKore) — NG musician of the year, a dubstep king and a fun dude.

Space Laces (cornandbeans) — Main contributor to Castle Crasher music and some of the Madness Combat animations.

Symphony of Specters (MaestroRage, NickPerrin, ZStriefel) — The 3 musketeers of NG cinematic composers.


I can't think of any other... if you know some other people, please tell me and I'll add them to this list.


Setting the Dream!

2014-07-13 23:31:56 by KatMaestro

I have decided to slowly transform my current career in to my dream career. That is to become a professional video game & film composer. And I need a little fund to make my dream comes true.

My name is Valtteri Harju, a Finnish-Canadian system admin. My greatest goal in life is to become a film, TV & video game composer. I have yet to complete the goal since my dream at 10 years old. I am working on two projects for ARMA 3 and Red Cross' 'Health Care in Danger'. Until now, I push myself hard to pursuit this goal.

I would like to ask for a little donation to help me half of the budget to build my studio. Here is the breakdown of how I use the money:

  • $1000 goes to hardware - MIDI controller and sampler.
  • $800 goes to software - 8Dio Cage Strings, Hybrid Tools Vol. 3
  • $700 goes to building the studio - audio foams, speakers, monitor & small upgrade on the production PC.

This is the big step for my goal. Thank you for your help and times, strangers!

GoFundMe here! Thank you!


Name Change

2014-06-30 14:58:52 by KatMaestro

Thanks you Wade Fulp for the awesomely quick name change!

The decision which led me to decide that I should change the name, was caused by a small meet last Friday. So I was walking down the street to look for a lunch place after the Pride parade. Because I bought a cheap headsets from dollar store, therefore people could hear anything I play when close by. And there I was, playing a remastered version of Beyond Machine loudly because it was noisy on the street. A teenager who approached me and asked if I knew the composer... I was like an idiot, first I stood there with questions... then I blushed. So he told me that 'the composer' had a long name which he was trying to pronounce it! I was shamefully standing there and finally I told him 'the composer'... the jerk who put that long name was right in front of his face. We had some conversation and so on.

It was very awkward and I really need to change the name to something more familiar.

'Maestro Cat' is too common. So I changed it to Kat Maestro, a rare name which also very familiar to people. Everyone loves cat, right? :3



Someone PMed me to ask that how I made the percussion mix of Wild Hunt. I think it's the best to make somewhat a tutorial for this.


Inspirations

At first I didn't have any idea of how to create the beats. So I looked up some of the old epic trailer music for references. This piece, a trailer track for the first Narnia film, Here Comes the King by X-ray Dog (Probably it was Edgen who made this [ya we have a X-ray Dog member on NG!]). The taiko rhythms were inspired by Hans Zimmer's taiko arrangement in The Last Samurai. And Two Steps From Hell's album All Drums Go To Hell. Additional piece was It's Our Fight from Transformers 3 by Steve Jablonsky.

Instruments

I was looking for the right sounds. I suddenly became very picky in this project. There were a few libraries I used most often:

  • 8Dio Epic Taiko Ensemble
  • 8Dio Epic Dhol Ensemble
  • 8Dio Epic Frame Drum Ensemble
  • 8Dio Epic Toms Ensemble
  • Heavyocity Damage
  • Stormdrum 2

I'm a huge fan to 'gigantic-sounding' percussions. Especially taikos & toms, they're the main force of Wild Hunt's epic battery.

Taiko and tom are for mid-level. Dhol and Frame Drum are for low-level. There are some organic drums in Damage which allowed me to tweak it for high-level. Earthquake Ensemble in Stormdrum 2 used for backup hits, which was EQed to sound darker, and Orchestral Marching Kit (also in SD2) for the riser.

EQ and FX were completely done with FL Studio. Additional reverb... to be honest it was made with simple Fruity Reveerb 2. :3 Guess it did the job.

Percussion Phrases

I figured out my laptop couldn't handle all these 'epicness' after I suffered 2 crashes. So I followed the simpler way, to create separated drum phrases, rendered to WAV and place them in place later on. Creating each perc phrase separately allows me to control the quality of the piece very close to real life arrangements.

However, mixing *all* of them was also very painstaking. Damn, there were totally 18 layers, each had nearly 20 phrases. A total of 1.4 GB of WAV files. I looked back and keep telling myself that *holyshit I made it!*. And the piece is only last 2 minutes. Was I insane? Definitely.

It only took half an hour to write the orchestra. The percussion took over 2 hours to accomplish this level of insane.

Humanize Them!

I really want it sounds like something that James Newton Howard arranged for the Disney's Tarzan soundtrack. Something epic and sound real! My vision was like 'yay' and my skill was screaming 'nay'...

For humanizing things, first I randomized the velocity then fix the dynamic by using multi layers of automation. There were phaser and flanger used to create the 'rush' feel of fast pace beats. The main key of a successful perc piece is the beats should be unpredictable.

Finalizing It All

There was the sense of fear that people might hate what you created. And the sense of joy that you finally created something fine. Making sure things sound good at the end always the most stressful thing to do ever. I rendered 5 different versions just because I couldn't feel satisfied with the result. Volumes, reverbs and EQ. I gotta make sure everything is near perfect.


What Should I Have Done

As Samulis said, more timpani/cymbal and less taiko. There were transitions but very simple. And a good coda is almost absent.

Please leave a comment or review about this project. They're very helpful for my future projects! Thanks!



That's my favorite movie quote from Over the Hedge. A month ago when Bspendlove told everyone on Audio forum that Project Bravo is released, I was kept telling myself not to get it. Now I'm gonna get it for ARMA 3: RESIST. And fuck me I was tight on money too. I sold some hardware just to get these libraries.

List of stuff I'm getting within next 5 months.

  • HybridTwo - Project Bravo
  • Sample Logic - Havoc
  • Spitfire Audio - Solo Strings
  • 8Dio - CAGE Strings

Side note: Here is the game playthrough with my music in it.