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Homestuck Vol. 1-4 - Commentary

1.3k words across 2 entries.

Gardener

Steve Everson:

This is part of the Bolin Incident. If you don’t know what happened, up until half-way through Act 4 a guy called Bill Bolin was on the time, one of the original members. He was a great musician, that much can’t be denied; he wrote a lot of tracks that appeared in early act 3; Jade’s bass solo, the remix of it, the last part of the Dave and Bro battle… some others I forget. During that flash with Dave and Rose on Derse the original music was five Bolin tracks, ones he wasn’t all that happy with. He flipped out and did a lot of things that ended up with him dropped from the team, and his music replaced.

I called replacing Jade’s bass solo (I was enthusiastic about getting something of mine into the comic). We figured there’d probably be an existing piece of music used for the remix on Prospit so there were a couple of different versions remixing different tracks until Something Really Excellent was locked in.

We were on a strict timetable at the time, so I didn’t get the chance to find a really good bass voice or find a good rhythm. That was much improved for the actual release in Volumes 1-4.

Doctor (Original Loop)

Buzinkai:

'Doctor' Explained

Partial transcript:
Hello internet, my name is George Buzinkai. I am one of the musicians, well, I was one of the musicians for Ms Paint Adventures. I wrote such songs as Endless Climb, Imp Strife Mix? Strife Imp Mix I think and of course the wildly remixed Doctor, which I have open in the original software I wrote it in.

I'm about to show you a few things you didn't know about the song Doctor, and I'm going to show you a few things people get wrong when remixing it. I don't find a problem with it because half the time I don't even notice it but sometimes there are some things. I think some people have listened to the song by ear and have attempted to write a remix using that and I get requests a lot to post a MIDI of this. Due to the fact I wrote it in PxTone that's really hard to do. There is also another reason, the song was built in such a way that it's really hard to give certain things from the song and I'll explain that as we go.

First things first all of the instruments except for the main three main three notes of the main chords which you know were written with instruments from the original Cave Story. If you listen to the drum track that's the original Cave Story drum soundtracks. All the other instruments are also from Cave Story. When I was originally writing the song I always wrote top down so believe it or not the first thing I wrote was the bassline. Then as I was going I added the drums, and from there I decided I should add an extra bassline. Once I added the extra bassline I decided it would be a good time to write an actual, you know, melody line. I was originally planning on using strings but I accidentally put in square waves and I fell in love with it right after I did it and I'm like "I can't switch this to strings now so I'm just gonna leave it as it is."

Now the rectangle waves [Note: Referring to the main melody of the song.] I'm focusing on right now are written in a really weird way, not one that I would normally use for writing on a piano or something like that. I wrote the top note first and I wrote the other notes just to harmonize with it. From there I wrote the second note. I obviously didn't write the third one yet, I just wanted to make sure it sounded right. From there I wrote the third note which was kind of a crapshoot but you know, why not. Now, the weird part was once I got to the part where it starts the arpeggiation I already had the instruments here but the problem was I had them on different stereo channels. Like this one was on the left speaker this one was on the right speaker and this one's in the center.

However, the problem was once I got to the arpeggiation I really didn't want to have one track doing the arpeggiation and have to switch each note on the pan menu here. I really didn't want to do that so I was lazy and put each note on a different instrument to make the panning effect so if you play just with the top note this is what it sounds like. Believe it or not I didn't write this first and then write the second one and then write the third one under that because that would've been insane and I think that probably would've made me look a lot better than I actually am. So what I did was I wrote the actual whole thing on the one track on the top and then moved each note manually by having the top one highlighted with all the notes and then just moving it and erasing it from the top.

Also, this is the part of the song [Note: Referring to the melody that starts at 0:27,] that is most often screwed up in remixes and I don't have a problem with that, this is really hard. This is not an easy thing. I've tried. I can play the whole beginning of the song on piano. I can't play this part at all. It's insane, and the reason for this is the notes go all over the place. The reason for that is because I would take a regular chord and then I would put the notes maybe down an octave or just find another note that would fit. I wanted to stretch this chord out as far as I could and still make it fit to the key, which is kind of what made it so weird in the beginning and actually if you look about where my mouse is you can see that this was just one line that just went down. So, since we have you here, I can actually slow this down for you so you can hear what it sounds like slowly.

I don't expect anyone to play that at full speed. I've actually seen someone play about the right thing at full speed and that still freaking amazes me. I wouldn't expect that kind of thing. I thought that was unplayable. Also, this may seem lazy now, but it's probably lazy then too, but I copy and pasted this whole section and then added an extra melody line to make it interesting.

Now here's a secret, why this song is called Doctor, and what this song is based on. Believe it or not this song is actually based on Moonsong and Mischievous Robot from Cave Story. I wrote this song right shortly after Super Smash Brothers Brawl came out for the Wii. I know because I was playing that while I wrote it. There is a constant tone much like in Mischievous Robot that plays in the background and it's actually supposed to be a heartbeat monitor. This actually just stays constant the entire time (tone changes) except for when it changes right there (tone changes again) yeah it shows you how much I know about my own music (tone switches to alternating between two different tones.) But I try to keep that a constant side beat in the back there.

We're here to talk about music so if you want to see any more of my music in this fashion, perhaps with a little more in-depth viewer, if you think there's something I missed or something that you're curious about with the music please let me know. I'm actually really open to talking about it, I think it's kind of cool that it went this far. I'm still actually listening to all the freaking remixes of this song that are online right now. You have to understand that I'm completely blown away.

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