Spring Tracks XIII post-mortem
BotB Academy Bulletins
Level 21 Mixist
post #191025 :: 2024.06.03 4:28am :: edit 2024.06.03 8:13am
  retrokid104, Viraxor, Connor Baxter, cabbage drop, dobra, nicole, Collidy, agargara and Frag liēkd this
Heya. One thing i noticed is that when a major battle ends it seems
like, unless it's a very well known song like Hopeless Romantic, most of the time the entries end up being kind of forgotten for a long while as not much people talk about them and instead focus on the next thing.

I mean it's really cool that we focus on making our next work of art and all, but i also wanna see for example how people approached their entrymaking on this year's Spring Tracks and all.
For example what went right for each one of us, what we think could've done better in our entries, what were our sources of inspiration, some random trivia about our stuff, etc.

I guess I could start since I'm the one who made this thread:

some jangle (40th/272, bronze Renoise)

This is a song I loved making in general, it's kind of like a mix of jungle and DnB at the same time i feel; i also wanted to experiment with some rhythm and stuff i didn't really do that much before and I'm glad people liked this entry.
One thing I wish i could have done differently in retrospect is add a proper ending in it instead of the song just cutting off during the 3 minute mark, I originally was thinking of making the song loop and fade out but i kind of just forgot x . x.
One random trivia is that I made the pad samples using a mashup of Korg M1 and some Kontakt strings which then were downsampled and made crunchier for a more lo-fi sound.

living dream (60th/272, 5th place s3xmodit)

I'm actually still kinda personally proud of this one even if it didn't do that well ranking wise, it just feels like something i would vibe with on my own terms and I'm glad some people liked it too.
One thing i wish i would have changed in retrospect is for the song to not be that short, like making it a minute or two longer; but at the time i had this idea in my head of a oldskool tracker music song that was also kinda beatmania adjacent so that's why it ended up being short so idk.
Samples were taken from a couple old tracker files and the WAVEWORLD Mod Archive library iirc.

Frequency Modulation Passion (79th/272, 7th place Furnace)

This song was me trying to make something more techno-adjacent and I was also inspired by the likes of A64 and Kot for that kind of sound, in fact the later helped me a bit with the sound design of this song.
In retrospect the melody of the song feels kinda lost like some of my earlier songs, also it feels like it could have been a bit longer too; however i did this one more like as a side-quest while i was making my allgear entries

electric soundwaves (97th/272, 4th place OpenMPT)

SnugglyBun does playstation 1 music moment.
I just wanted to make some DnB as a way to feel a bit better while i was writting a vent song, which happens to be the next entry of this list. People seem impressed that this is somehow OpenMPT and less than 500KB, but i think part of it is the instruments I've used which are well optimized.
If this song were less of a sidequest thing it would be different, like be less "loopy" and be a lot more developed overall.

hole inside my own heart (17th/272, 5th place allgear)

I'm really happy about this one song of mine. It's something really close to how I felt and still feel time to time.... I wanted to write a song about my depressive state that felt genuinely accurate to my emotions and psychological state for a while now, and I feel like I've finally succeded at that.
nu11 helped me when it came to this entry, for example making the guitars shred really well, giving tips when it came to the mixing, etc. I did most of the songwriting and other stuff myself so it's not exactly a proper collab, that's why it's released as a solo entry.
Honestly I wouldn't change a single thing for this song, it feels very special to me and I feel like changing it would misrepresent what it tries to communicate and all.

I did mention that this song was inspired by a song from some old indie game. Here's the song i was refering to
, it comes from the 2008 game Iji that i somehow know of because I originally was listening to the final boss theme of that game then decided to do a deeper dive of that game.
The song i linked, i think, has a similar structure to hole inside my own heart, where it starts very quiet and ambient before a shredding rock piece appears showcasing a lot of turbulence and dread in general; just like the feelings i wanted to portray about my mental state in my song.

lavender beauty with 2fd (75th/272, silver Amiga MOD)

I originally was writting this song dedicated to someone i had a crush on, but then she rejected me :c. so i kinda scrapped that approach
I was gonna go back on this song at some point but i got busy with other stuff, and 2fd approached me telling me he wanted to collab with me and make it longer.
The song went from 1 minutes and 30 seconds or so to almost 4 minutes thanks to his contributions, so i guess a lot of the credit goes to him by now.
I think this entry sounds really cool in the final version, but i had other ideas of how to continue it if it still were to be a solo work. It just happens that people have different ideas over how a song should be and all.

A lot of the samples from this song were obviously stolen from s3xmodits, particularly this one .xm song I found on The Mod Archive the other day (Coretex - Home (1998
), which is where some of the pads and breakbeats came from.

Self-Persistence with nu11 (21th/272, 6th place allgear)

After nu11 helped me a lot with hole inside my own heart, we eventually did a more direct collaboration effort in form of this very song. It's the first part I've wrote a prog rock and metal piece, so I did struggle at many things and I'm thankful that he was there to give me a hand in these matters.

I think this song also doesn't need any particular changes, at least how i think about it rn. I just hope i eventually can learn how to write on this kind of genre on my own some day, because it's a honestly really cool one.
There are many genres, not just Rock and Metal, that I wanna learn to write and compose; but I still fear that it will sound bad on the first try and all. However i know that I have to try them at first before the subsequent attempts do better so idk; also I have a few older attempts at this song's genre I haven't released because they aren't that good.
It goes to say that you need to practice on things if you want to master them, although that is a cliche saying at this point :p

BTW this song shares similar instrumentation with hole inside my own heart: Surge XT, ezDrummer 3, Ample Metal Hellraiser, etc. We did use a different electric bass plugin for this one though, hole inside my own heart uses MODO BASS 2 while this one used Ample Bass P.

romance under the blooming spring (submitted under my alt account nyaaaaaaa, 5th/272, silver allgear)

That feel when your alt does better than your main account.
Otherwise I'm really happy about this entry, It's something I wrote for someone i was having romantic feelings with and all and I also wanted to write something inspired by early 2000s visual novel music like for example AIR and Clannad.

I wanted to write something that had a very consistent melody, where parts of the song would callback to previous ones; so it would be a more catchy and more memorable piece overall. And it seems like that really worked on this song's favor.
One thing I used to struggle and still kinda struggle sometimes is writting catchy and coherent melodies, a lot of my older songs feel lost because the melodies are just kinda there instead of actually contributing to the song overall.

I used lots of Korg Triton and Roland XV-5080 sounds for this one, which are era apropiate and were used a lot in the games industry during that time, and i think i really nailed the feel and vibe i was inspired with really well :3

meow (submited under my alt account
nyaaaaaaa, 126th/272, 7th place Renoise)

This is a song from early 2023 I had in my computer that it just was unreleased for a long time and I didn't knew what to do with it. I decided to release it under my alt as a bonus thing, while the Romance song was still being made and all.
It's nothing special tbh, and I wish I had done stuff with it to make it have more of a spark in retrospect before submitting it.

e with mirageofher (263th/272, 17th place vocal)

This is in fact an entry.
Literally made this shitpost with them because I was desperate that the formats I actually wanted weren't getting unlocked as no one was submitting a second vocal entry which was needed for that. So we kinda did this shitpost for that to happen.
Then suddenly everyone made vocal entries anyway so this one kinda exists.
Level 31 Chipist
post #191031 :: 2024.06.03 6:48am :: edit 2024.06.03 6:50am
  Viraxor, agargara, cabbage drop, mirageofher, Jangler, SnugglyBun and Collidy liēkd this
personally, i usually have my entries on listening rotation up until results time and then i basically stop listening to them and forget about them myself! it's the same as when i release an album really. it's under heavy listening and scrutiny right up until release and then after the release i never listen to it again. it's not deliberate, but that's how it's been

the only entry of mine that was premeditated at all this time was my vocal one, which was an idea that's been kicking around in my head since october of last year or so that finally saw the light of day. it was challenging and different to write! for everything else, my process was simply "i want to do something for this format and the deadline is in a week", a bit of sketching and/or contemplation of what to sample to get started, and then a day or two of execution. i'm quite happy with what i made this time, but compared to usual, the percentage of premeditated ideas was really low

for mptm/s3xmodit, i was thinking about ilkae and how his samples are always so colorful, like there's so frequently some extra bits of sound or interesting layers, so i wanted to record some of my own samples abiding by that principle

for ntrq, i tried making something melodic that focused mostly on leaps instead of stepwise motion, so the focus is on the directionality of the leaping and the relative positions of where they land, while still having a clear and catchy identity. a big focus on melodic contour, and the inbetween notes sort of serve an arp-like function of outlining bigger harmonies in limited channel space
Level 23 Chipist
post #191034 :: 2024.06.03 7:18am :: edit 2024.06.03 7:12pm
  agargara, cabbage drop and mirageofher liēkd this
Most of my entries were rushed at some point, so I'm sorry about that. All my audio submissions were un-badgered, but meh, whatever.

Torrid Paradise - allgear
I found an "Audio Track" sample, and I wanted to make some beachy music. But it turns out to be kind of weird for some people. All I want to say is that I'm very sorry for the weird track.

Incongruous Entertain - Amiga MOD (SWING)
Simplicity is at its best. It was meant to be less than 30 seconds, but that's illegal.

Interference baby-k (SWING) (Silver)
Neutral for this format, but it turned out well to try. The top 3 were awarded for sure, as only 3 entries were submitted (including mine, ofc).

Biologically Accurate - Draw
If I'm going to be honest, I ain't much of a biology lover. I just did this because it's my anti-mainstream idea. While some people draw a mandatory flower-girl in this Grafxicists format, I decided to draw a flower morphology and butterfly metamorphosis. Not bad for being in the middle rank. (the stem isn't too accurate, wth???)

Leisure Study - Famitracker (SWING)
It seems that this is the rarest time Collidy making calm music in Chipstyle. (If you love music like this, I recommend "Frienemies", "Hold You Now", and "Transcendental.")

More Than A Million - furnace
As someone who is an s3xmodit person, I am still stuck with sampled percussions.

May April March? - klystrack
I had the idea of doing a march not just because of the month but also because of the Military March major. This is the third time I have used XM import in this format. So all of my Klys entries were xm-import.
I like how this format has potential. The last time I entered, there were only 3 Botbr submitted in the last spring tracks. There were cabbage drop, me, and Nitro. I got silver. Similar to pandatracker, but there were Viravax instead. (not in this major)

Holy Unconvincing, Batman! - LittleGPTracker (Silver)
Proud to have a silver LGPT format. Maybe the "amiga lead" isn't really necessary. Green Day's "Basket Case" XM cover and Nirvana's "Smells Like..." S3M cover inspire me to make this. Finally, I can sleep well after using the guitar sample.

FRNDS_13.MID - MSGS MIDI (SWING; doesn't feel like it, but it is)
Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\CLIPART\PUB60COR, in case still confused.

Cherry Blossom Season - mix battle art (Bronze)
I thought nobody loved this when only Prestune and Dami liked it. But it turns out that it becomes bronze in mix battle art. Thanks a lot, BOTB. <3<3<3<3

Skipping Around - OpenMPT (SWING)
I used separators at the beginning and end of the pattern, which means MPT won't play the song. Thanks to Kilo for the render replacement. (VERY SORRY FOR WRITING XVIII INSTEAD OF XIII)

Tulips in Holland - Roland MT-32 (SWING)
Of course, composing MT-32 isn't fun in MPT, because of the sound delays. I got the title from an English test not too long ago. Badgering MT-32 is hard lmfao.

Shriner - musescore
I had an idea of doing Touhou music because it would be lit.
I also thought Musescore couldn't import MIDI files until I looked at Nitro's entry.

Good Morning - Photograph
I captured a flower in my backyard. Captured with my phone. (Wow, in top 10, fair enough.)

Last Min - PxTone
The only entry that got penalty. I found another gamelan sample and created gamelan music, as said in my comment. I made the midi, then imported it to "midi2ptcop". The rest is history. (This is gamelan, not Halloween, bruh.)

Glamorous - Renoise
Out of idea. Instead of doing trance or cutesy music, I just did some wintry-like. Maybe the middle part isn't too amusing?

Contradictory Fun - classic DOS module (SWING)
I had fun doing this, but for the first melody, I was struggling at that time.

In Contrast - snibbetracker (SWING(?))
I had fun for like 2 hours making it and didn't know it turned out to be "Pandavovacore" until the voting period. One of the rarest tags given.

If I joined bespoke, vcv, and ntrq, I would've been a completionist.

Conclusion: It seems my tracks aren't "springy" enough for this major?? Spring tracks are more like swing tracks, ahah.
Level 28 Chipist
post #191036 :: 2024.06.03 8:33am
  agargara, cabbage drop, kleeder, Jangler and SnugglyBun liēkd this
lets just say ill still enjoy my spring tracks in the months and years to come regardless
Level 22 Mixist
post #191039 :: 2024.06.03 8:45am
  agargara, cabbage drop, mirageofher, SnugglyBun, kleeder, Jangler, damifortune and DefenseMechanism liēkd this
ive gotten 4th in spring tracks renoise 3 times now. im so pissed
Level 28 Chipist
post #191043 :: 2024.06.03 9:16am
  lasersphaser, agargara, cabbage drop, mirageofher, SnugglyBun, damifortune and kilowatt64 liēkd this
i was happy with my vocal entry, but the MT-32 and MSGS ones didn't 100% come together for me. it is kind of funny that vocal was the one that landed bc it was such a dark horse compared to the more familiar midi territory, especially since i'm not a very strong vocalist. but it does make sense because 1) the midi tracks were way more technical and difficult to execute and 2) that's just how art works sometimes

my experience is pretty different from dami's though, in that being able to listen to my music in the future is probably the main motivator for me making it in the first place. i don't think i would put in the effort otherwise haha
Level 8 Chipist
post #191049 :: 2024.06.03 10:19am
  agargara, cabbage drop and mirageofher liēkd this
I feel like some of my song could have had more time put into them, but oh well!

I found it funny that 3 or my song where back to back to back, and the fact the the one i dislike was my highest placed song and the song i liked was the lowest place :P

My amiga mod entry was really rushed, personally don't like it.
My s3xmodit entry was good, I listened to it alot.
My Furnace entry was pretty good, still listen to it.
My Famitracker entry was really, really rushed, alot of mistakes...
And my OpenMPT entry was my favourite :)
Level 28 Mixist
post #191058 :: 2024.06.03 12:06pm
  agargara, cabbage drop and SnugglyBun liēkd this
ayo collidy, tf u mean by "mirageofher did touhou music" lmao... catch me next year and ill show u what real ZUN pastiche is
Level 28 Chipist
post #191070 :: 2024.06.03 2:38pm :: edit 2024.06.03 2:39pm
  Viraxor, cabbage drop, SnugglyBun, agargara and damifortune liēkd this
the key to making your major battle entries last is to make them into an album

I post this to be silly but it's a valid path. I think most of us put as much compositional work into major entry as they would something intended to be on a CD/etc. Share with teh non-botb world
Level 23 Mixist
post #191075 :: 2024.06.03 3:36pm
  Viraxor, agargara, cabbage drop, SnugglyBun and damifortune liēkd this
i made the chip battle art with my wife on a piece of paper on the kitchen table over many hours . all the oil pastel stuff that looks janky and odd is me and all of the stuff that looks drawn by someone who knows how to draw is him. but it was my idea to make the XIII a butterfly a mushroom a tree and a flower (though his insistence on doing the whole title himself was probably a good call lol)

my vocalisms was the entry i worked the hardest on it took me like all day. i wanted that arrangement to be the sickest arrangement ever. i was basically trying to bite Perfume as hard as i could.

my photo entry was taken on a post-rain walk where my buddy kept picking up snails off the sidewalk to prevent them from getting crushed. i snapped the pic before he whipped them into a field

my allgear was (im sure apparently) pretty off the cuff. i just wanted to record some guitar and the rest happened pretty quick. tried to write it springy but it ultimately was much less springy than my vocalisms imo…

i made my draw submission while my wife was catching up on the mix battle art (i made a lot of my contributions to it extremely quickly lol) and he helped me with the background after

and then i made my midi extremely fast late at night right before battol closed due to my emotions. which im glad i did bc now i have midi badge. yay
Level 23 Chipist
post #191087 :: 2024.06.03 7:16pm :: edit 2024.06.03 9:26pm
  mirageofher liēkd this
Level 26 Chipist
post #191113 :: 2024.06.03 10:48pm
  lasersphaser, mirageofher, blower5, SnugglyBun, SRB2er and cabbage drop liēkd this
I like this thread idea, thanks for making it! It has been cool reading y'alls thoughts about your tracks.

So one thing I really liked is that I used the sample pack from Frequency Punch 6 to make the following three entries:
* pork chops (lgpt)
* piston alley (pxtone)
* dark times (renoise)
With a few additional samples in each. In particular I used "break-dark-times.wav" as the main drum beat in all of them, but in very different ways. I liked that using the same sample sources made them into kind of a weird trilogy, connected in a loose way. I might try this idea again (use the same sample pack for multiple tracks across different formats)

I greatly enjoyed my s3xmodit collab with blower5 (wax), it was both fun and fruitful!! Blower5 is super talented so I felt pretty fortunate to work together. It was also super cool because when I got stuck I could just throw the module back, and it would come back with a lot more ideas to explore.

Klystal Klear (Klystrack) is actually my least favorite of my entries, despite ranking the highest. Not that I dislike it, I just don't think it's quite as interesting or emotionally raw as my other entries. That said I did put a lot of work into it, so I'm glad people liked it!

One thing still nags at me -- the vocals in "dark times" were sampled from AI generated audio, and I really wish I had explained this in the entry description. There are two reasons I didn't: first, I know there is a lot of hate online towards AI-gen stuff, and I was scared of bringing that kind of hate on myself. Second, I didn't want it to be the focus of the track, I just wanted people to hear the music as is and draw their own conclusions. However, in hindsight I wish I had just given full disclosure from the start.

I have said this before, but I have mixed feelings about AIgen audio. On the one hand, AI gen models are not ethically trained, are profiting off people's work without any compensation, and are leading us down a dark path where creative work is devalued even more than it is already. On the other hand, I've loved sampling for a long time, and in many ways it feels very similar to that. I approached it the same way I would if I were crate-digging for samples: I used Sonauto
to generate a bunch of different acapellas with my lyrics, sampled a few of my favorite snippets, then used pitch manipulation and fx in Renoise to change the melodies and harmonize. The track itself, with its lyrics ("the false voice") and the sudden switch from smooth jam to harsh distortion, is basically an expression of all these mixed feelings about AIgen.

All that said, I think in the future I do want to stick to using real human voices. Perhaps through collabs or commissions. Support humans!
Level 28 Chipist
cabbage drop
post #191119 :: 2024.06.04 2:22am
  nicole, SnugglyBun and agargara liēkd this
exit the gates of hell
nailed my goal! checked out nu11's modules; learned what I could, used what worked for me. from here on out I got the volume of my .nsfs higher. I now do my triangle kicks at "41 36 33 31"; used to do "36 33 31". the kicks punch thru! snares at "51 46 43 41" now. I used to do "48 41". the new style feels kinda stadium rock for me but the snares punch thru! tried to voice the noise channel for big open hi hats and cymbals but it just didn't fit for me so I kept the hats and the snares short and crispy. the low octave vrc6 sawtooth gave a lot of power. really was tempting to reach for the vrc7 and do fm bass; original famitracker says choose one expansion chip only afaik, so vrc6 this time. vrc6 has room for huge duty cycle sweeps on the leads!

I didn't get any edm/techno style build ups into the track. maybe later? kinda ran outta juice. transposed and reharmonized for an energy boost a few times and got out before repeating too much. felt like anything further would call for an overhaul of my style and that'll have to wait. cleared the two minute mark with dignity, made some heavy metal with old school chips, did smth cool in the chorus, got the badge, and even picked up a tincan! I'll take it

cat paws tracker claws
hell yeah sylveon! klystrack rules. unbelievably powerful 2op fm. adlib's fm is unreal; klystrack's something else. really just getting warmed up here. still getting comfy with the setup. the grit I can get from running a sampled sine thru itself in klystrack is unachievable thru anything else I've tried so far. the hi pass feature's so good to have. just being able to bust thru the mud to let the bass breathe. I know there's more to klystrack than what I did here but I wouldn't have this track any other way. the entry's under 20kb!

klystrack has an in-house reverb feature? still haven't tried the reverb. running in-house pulses and sampled sines thru each other is also doable, just wouldn't fit here. and yeah, mb next time I'll do up an fm soft saw in furnace, loop in openmpt, and use in klystrack for more fm. or nudge the pitch of the samples this and that way for more depth. still I like this one dry. my cleanest klystrack. feels like I reached some sort of starting line
Level 13 Chipist
post #191122 :: 2024.06.04 5:37am
  SnugglyBun and agargara liēkd this
Spring Tracks was a very interesting, but stressful experience for me. I'm incredibly apathetic and spring is my least favourite season, so I was not really thrilled to join. Seeing all the different entries of various skill and feelings made me reconsider.

yearning for summer:

This one is probably my least favourite entry of my catalogue. Making it was very different for me, because I normally don't put emotions or feels into a my music and just try to "wow" the listener with sound design.
I was incredibly close to ditching this track entirely, because while I felt like I was lying to myself and not representing how I actually am.
That mental dissonance was the driving force behind the music in the end, explaining the "yearning".
This would all be a nice little story about the song, if it weren't for the fact the bigger motive for the track actually was "I wanna do Summer Chip instead".

evening stroll:

This was frustrating. Really frustrating. I already said it once, I'll say it again: never ever am I using FamiTraker again, I'm also not gonna enter that format in the Grand Prix (unless I find a collab partner to split up the work with, but even then I'm not sure). I struggled with just about everything I could, mixing, inputting notes, figuring out the correct effects and figuring out how the parameters work.
All of those problems ended up with a much more simple track in comparison, with way less scope than what I'm comfortable with. Ironically that probably helped the music feel a lot more "spring-y" I believe, making it feel more like a calm counterpart to the noisy yearning of the other track.

PinkBit Mountain:

Literally have nothing to say about this, this took me 2 hours to make and I just looked at images of Mt. Fuji and tried to mimic that with pink colors. (fun fact I guess: more than half of the time was spent redrawing the format icons from scratch)

Blooming Boulevard:

I took a trip to Lake Constance near the end of Spring Tracks, and I didn't think about entering in the photography format until I got to Mainau, the Island where I took the photo. It just looked incredibly Vibrant with all the flowers and the deep blue sky, so I took the time to search for a good enough spot and took a photo. I wasn't sure if I'd be home before the entry period ended, but I managed to make it.

In retrospect, Spring Tracks really wasn't my thing, and I'm very likely not gonna join next time, Chip Majors are more suited for someone like me.
Level 28 Mixist
post #191130 :: 2024.06.04 9:43am
  agargara and cabbage drop liēkd this
  kleeder hæitd this
spring date: i looked at my partner way too close and my eyes got lazy and looked thru her. this is the result. i added the nose perspective, the background, and the colour palette afterhand.

tracks: took direct inspiration from kids furniture and a DDBY piano album. thought it fit nicely!

spagubis anubis: collab with gojigoji, where he first provided some chords, which i then used in the backing track. i wanted to try making something with persona vibes but kinda went off on my own groove oops. props to goji for the lyrics, that shit is wild and fun af man

bench: bench

vs prima vera: went crazy, went stupid. it just flowed out of my brain, like drool from a big floofy doge. during the songmaking process, i had the goal to make a sequel to vs spring goddess. was genuinely unimpressed when it got tagged touhou but at this point i know i cant escape my musical roots smh
Level 26 Chipist
Yung Gotenks
post #191154 :: 2024.06.04 1:04pm
  Viraxor, agargara, SnugglyBun and cabbage drop liēkd this
Slow Groove

...okay fine those are my entries BUT, I am legitemately super proud of them and feel like they're two of my best compositions yet.
Level 28 Chipist
post #191157 :: 2024.06.04 1:35pm
  Connor Baxter, mirageofher, agargara, SnugglyBun, damifortune and cabbage drop liēkd this
this thread inspired me to listen to my favs playlist and reencounter a bunch of wonderful entries i had forgotten about
Level 25 Chipist
post #191177 :: 2024.06.04 8:01pm :: edit 2024.06.04 8:03pm
  mirageofher liēkd this
For example what went right for each one of us, what we think could've done better in our entries, what were our sources of inspiration, some random trivia about our stuff, etc.

Why isn't this already being built into our descriptions?

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