My bet with epicness

Some of you may know that I'm a huge fan of the Transformers Score composed by Steve Jablonsky.
It even made it's way to the Song of the Year 2010.

For more then a year now, the Transformers Score(s) didn't vanish from my all time play-list. Never before did a whole soundtrack delight me in such a way. Of course there are other awesome and amazing songs out there in the world, but so many awesome tracks within a single score is quite a rare thing. (I know this may be my completely own personal opinion right now)

Now on the bet with epicness. The Transformers 3 score is near it's release.

If the score is able to embody such epicness for a third time in a row, I will feature an entire Epic Music Mix to Steve Jablonsky 
just to show him my adoration and greatest honor for walking in the nearly unreachable footsteps of Hans Zimmer.

Now a quest for you ^^ Maybe I don't know about all the scores composed by this man so name me your favorite score by Steve Jablonsky if one comes to your mind.

Ghosts of the Past

It's been a long time since my last post here. So let me just remind this blog of all the important things happening in the past few weeks.

The Epic Music Mix XV - Game Music III finally revealed itself to the public and I never experienced such an amazing start for a fresh mix. Right now the mix already got more then 15.000 views together with 500 comments and 99% positive votes. All this in just one month.

So far I haven't decided what the next mix is going to be. Soundtracks II, Immediate Music II, Two Steps From Hell II? or something completely different? I'll get back to this topic later.

The music by Jon Bourne was introduced and got a lot of feedback from all of you, thanks for your support on this new talented composers.

Also Brickwall Audio made another appearance on my channel with Hyperepic.

For those of you who are interested in the making of the music of Brickwall Audio / trailer music in general, stay tuned since I will conduct an interview with Erik Ekholm the man behind Brickwall Audio.

TacticProductionz is the last to show up in this post. He made a fantastic job, editing an epic movie behind the songs by Two Steps From Hell in this short mix of mine. Definitely check out his channel for more intense video-dedication.
The two songs mixed together in this short film are "The Truth Unravels" and "The Truth Unravels II" by Two Steps From Hell. For more information about the scenes used, ask TacticProductionz.

The next thing to come will be a cooperation between Gregory Bakay and DragonstarDT, featuring a mix of atmospheric movie scores, for every mood and situation possible.


The creation of the Epic Music Mix

The creation of the Epic Music Mix - or - why the **** does it take so long?

I calculate a time around 200 hours of work to create a Epic Music Mix. You think that's crazy? Let me tell you about the process:

1. The idea and the songs

The first step can take hours to months of time. It's the most random of all. Usually I get the idea what to mix from just a single song. It's like : "This song is so great, I have to create a mix around it to share it with the world." - Thinking of it, I could name you this one special song for each of the 15 mixes. It's usually the first or second song of the mix.

For example - "Brothers of Blood" (God of War III) for Epic Music Mix XV

The second half to this part is more difficult. Finding songs to fit the overall idea, born from the first song mentioned. I gather around 40-50 songs before starting to mix anything at all.
When choosing the songs, it's only a matter of my own personal taste, I never add a song to a mix because someone told me to. Of course, giving me a hint to a great soundtrack which I start to like for myself is another way ;)

2. The first prototype

Now I start juggling around with the songs, cutting out the climatic parts, finding out which ones fit the best or simply sound better then the others. A very simple mix of nearly all possible songs emerges in this step. It's a really raw thing to hear but around 30minutes long at first. During this, more then half of the songs from step 1 will become deleted from the project. (Good bye Legend of Zelda Theme - you didn't fit once more)

The deleted songs find their way back to my "Epic Music Mix Songs Pool" where some other 100 are waiting for their chance. Since the songs have come to the closer round once, they get their chance to show up in another mix of course.

One song wandering from the closer round back to the pool for years is "One Winged Angel". (Sephiroth! you know the one) A great track, but it's just soooo different from any other song... Maybe I should do a "One Winged Angel - Generations Mix" instead... good idea - what do you think? Comment ;)

So after trying around, deleting songs and cutting parts, one more step towards a fnisihed Epic Music Mix is done. Around 20-25 songs are left by now.

3. The mix is born

By now, I usually have a vague idea of what the tracklist looks like, still that doens't mean there aren't any changes till the last minute. When the order of appearance is complete, it's time for the transitions. And it's really as boring as you can see in the picture. I'm just putting the ending and the beginning of 2 soundfiles on top of each other, and try around until a very sweet transition between the two is done. 

For this I'm zooming in to the smallest amount of seconds showable to me, regulating the songs position in steps of 0,1sec. If needed, I change the cut once again to enlarge or shorten the track. Actually the order of appearance is determined by the pure fact if songs are "transitionable" (Wordcrafting skill increased).
So I got the tracklist and the transitions. That's it, right? Wrong.

4. Stay a while and listen

The mix is nearly done, from now on everything running in my playlist, mp3-player, way to work or anywhere is this newly made Epic Music Mix. While listening I check for very little details in Volume and if there are any cracking sounds because of bad sound quality (I'm using a pair of the cheapest headphones ever to check that, if they can play the mix without problems, everything should do it). 

Since every song has another source or soundtrack, it's normal that the volume is very different. I'm using Steinbergs "WaveLab" together with the "LoudnessMaximizer" tool in order to increase the volume of the quieter songs, always keeping in mind not to boost the loudness to much, because it can ruin the sound quality very fast. 

After this workover, I'm listening to it again and again. Repeating the process so many times until there are no more things to be taken care of and the mix is finished!
(I'm not talking about the "Intro" to each mix, since it actually hasn't anything to do with the musical part - still it takes another huge amount of time)

By the time a Epic Music Mix is released, I heard it more then 100 times.
But it's all about the quality ;) And I'm always giving everything to provide the best of it =)

Hope you enjoyed this blog about the creation of an epic music mix.


Game Music Mix III - The Eternal Battle

Let me tell you about my epic struggle with "Game Music III"

To tell you the truth, Epic Music Mix XI was supposed to be Game Music III, but the first prototype of it became a huge disaster. I cancelled the whole project and started with Trailer Music III which turned out to be ways better.

The cooperation with Brickwall Audio made the decision for Epic Music Mix XII easy. Don't forget to check it out if you haven't heard the music of Brickwall Audio

Now I've been up for a rematch with Game Music III - this time with nearly complete other songs then before. Once again, I wasn't satisfied with the outcome of this project and the real "Epic Music Mix XIII - Game Music III" has never been released to the public. I also deleted it by now (simply hate to keep unfinished stuff around).
It's simply very easy to screw up with game music. First, all the soundtracks have a very own and different style to themselves, which makes them a lot more harder to mix then Trailer Music (which is all epic anyway).
But it's more to a Game Music Mix then that. It's crucial to understand the emotions and memories of the players bound to the songs of the soundtracks - that's the part where to fail the most. It's like an epic journey through the memories of long fought battles and survived adventures. And sadly but true, I can't play all these great games at all, so at most points, I have to trust my feeling for the right choice.

"Kingslayer" was the result after the heroic victory against Arthas The Lich King and the intro is the best part of it XD The story behind Glory is also huge... nothing for this blog-entry to tell. Just to let you know, the very first prototype of Epic Music Mix XIV had a length of 32 Minutes O.o (it's normal for my first prototypes to be a lot longer then the final product but this was madness)

By the way, I know a lot of people might hate me from this moment on BUT : I'm no follower of Nintendo, I've gone through Playstation 1-3 and don't think that the music of Super Mario is "epic" - like I said before, the emotional connection to me behind it is simply missing, since I never played the newer Mario Titles.

Back to the topic, this time the battle will be brought to it's end. Game Music III, my eternal enemy for 5 Mixes will be finally released and I'm quite satisfied with the outcome.
Last thing to screw up now : the intro XD


How everything started - Part I

Why did I create the epic music mix at all? If you ever asked yourself this question - read on!

 It was near the end of 2008 and I was enjoying the soundtracks of Dungeon Siege, Final Fantasy X and Advent Rising for quite a while during that time. All of these soundtracks have one thing in common, they have great main themes, hidden inside very long tracks.

I was getting sick of always jumping to the main theme of a song.
(Best example Dungeon Siege - the song is around 3 minutes long with nothing awesome to hear besides the main theme with a length of 40 seconds...)
The idea was born : "hey I could just cut out all the climatic parts of all songs, line them up after another and listen to them without any interruption" - the first mix, containing music of game soundtracks only, was born. I called it "Game Music Mix" and was quite satisfied with it. A few days later the second mix was created, only using music of film-scores this time. (Movie soundtracks tend to have even longer tracks with great themes hidden within - it was obvious this mix had to be made)

Now I had a "Game Music Mix" and a "Soundtracks Mix" roaming around my PC... horrible naming - I added "Epic Music Mix" to both of them to have them grouped in a way.

(original) Epic Music Mix I - Game Music
The actual movies I uploaded where created much later. I just thought : someone might enjoy the mixes I created too. Trying costs nothing so the very first Epic Music Mixes had been uploaded, in 480p since Youtube didn't support HD movies yet. The first two mixes have been reuploaded a few months later in HD quality, together with other background-images behind them. The fans of the first hour may remember the actual wallpapers of Epic Music Mix I and II.

(original) Epic Music Mix II - Soundtracks

 The first mixes had been seen around 1.500 times before the reupload. A huge amount for my very unknown little youtube channel within 5-6 weeks...

and the very first fans started asking for more.....

The Beginning

Hello my dear fans of epic music.
I welcome you to my Blog. 

I never thought this would happen when I uploaded my first mix like 2 years ago.

Thanks to all of you, we made it possible to spread the great taste of epic music to more then 7.000.000 viewers around the globe. I admire your loyalty and won't disappoint your expectations.

I want to use this blog to tell you the histories behind the Epic Music Mixes, there process of emergence, the decisions that are made, about the "other" versions of music mixes that are never released and maybe the one or the other thing that comes to my mind. Trust me, I got some heroic stories to tell XD

Please enjoy the upcoming blog-posts by DragonstarDT