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Messages - Nikolas

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1
Hi to both,

Thanks for your input. For some reason this title has been tricky to work with, but we've managed in the end with a more generic image of a piano, treated accordingly!

I'm keeping the above cover with better light and texture for any other project it may come soon...

Cheers guys! ^_^

2
Hello!

I need your help and your brainstorming powers! I hope you can help...

I have a big project (as a music publisher) which involves 13 composers, graded (in terms of difficulty) works for solo piano, comes in 5 volumes (each one for a different difficulty level) and is titled "Mosaic".

That said, I'm completely out of ideas for the cover. I had this idea of a poster of the insides of a piano, with creatures working on the strings, and cut into 6 parts to involve the 5 covers, plus some empty space, but none of the composers like it.



The problem with this cover is that it's too descriptive (otherwise it's wonderful). In the volumes we have works about traffic jams, keys, lullabies, etc, none of which involve little humanoid creatures. Plus the older kids (top, left side) might be turned off by the aesthetics.

So, do you have any ideas about the covers? 5 covers in total, to be somehow connected (doesn't have to make up a bigger picture, like a puzzle of sorts, but it was a nice idea) and overall rather abstract, as it's beginning to look that it's the best idea.

Help?

3
General Discussion / Re: Ask something - We can help.
« on: 17 Apr 2017, 23:08 »
Posted on facebook but maybe you guys can help?

When I was growing up (around 25-30 years ago, let's say), I was buying some lego like product (I think it was called TEDDEX (or at least sounded something like this) that were all about robots, that were able to transform into spaceships, or cars and whatnot.

Anyone knows what product(s) I'm talking about? I'd love to find them again...

EDIT:

I found them.

They are called TENTE (Spanish company) and the specific series was called Roblock. Discontinued now, I'm sad... :'(

4
That must've been a great job interview!
"Why do you want this job?"
"My love won't marry me unless I work at Ubisoft".
Makes total sense really! :P

5
General Discussion / help me stay in touch with my kids!
« on: 27 May 2016, 17:51 »
You know... this forum has been my homepage for a decade now... And there are lot of old members, who might remember me as a guy semi-obsessed with his kids, always a parent first, etc...

Well... times change and unfortunately I'm getting a divorce. But if life was that simple, things would be easy! ;D

Problem is that the wife and the two kids (aged 10 and 12) live in Kuwait, while I live in London now! This means something like 3,500 miles distance, a 6 hour, expensive flight, and problems all round. Add to that a rather restrictive divorce and you get the shity situation I'm in.

So, I come here asking for ideas.

Right now they are too young to be browsing the Internet, but they do have Internet access, of course (Even if a little restrictive due to Kuwait itself). I was thinking that perhaps I could organize various online games for them, like searching for clues which will lead them to the next page, etc... Like a sort of real life adventure(s). That I could guide them to learn things and do stuff with me being the "Dungeon Master" sort of... They have been on the nice side of the Internet for a rather long time, and they have heard a numerous times about the dangers of it.

So, do you have any ideas?

Do you think it's safe to start doing that? I could certainly wait a year or two, until they are older, but still...

6
General Discussion / Re: Star wars VII, the force awakens
« on: 01 Feb 2016, 09:43 »
I went to see it with my kids.

It wasn't bad, but because it was following on what the original Star Wars were, it was painfully obviously how much bullshit the whole series is! ;D

I know you guys have grown with this and you love it, and I'm also in love with Star wars, but we need to admit that it's rubbish, generally speaking, despite the hype. And VII was even more hyped than anything else and it's even more rubbish because of that.

The one thing that really bothered me was that the whole movie was geared to the audience cheering for old characters showing up. I mean, I swear, I think Ford waited a little bit, before delivering his first lines, so that the cheering would shut up. If R2-D2 had a human inside, they would do the same. Like the old BS comedies in the US, with canned "live" laughter.

7
When I moved back to London (September) I got a nice offer for a Samsung S6, which I couldn't really refuse. And I seriously love that phone. Fast enough, big enough, with enough hard disk space, etc... awesome overall.

Generally speaking you can't go wrong with a pricey phone, like the flagships of HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony (though I don't particularly like LGs).

8
Nikolas, could you by chance point me to a sample contract for a small game developer and musician?

Also, did you do a revenue split or a one-time-fee type of deal?
Sorry, I just saw this reply...

I'll start with the bottom question: In indie situations I usually go for a combination of both. It's very understandable that indie developers can't pay upfront fees (without the game being released I mean) of several thousand $$$$, but if the game sells well, then a small % of the sale's profits are not a huge deal to the developer (who, after all, is not paying anything further, as games move through digital means by large), but can be a great asset to a musician...

And I'd have to search around for a sample contract, but I probably can help you there as well...

If you want contact me at nikolas@musica-ferrum.com for more info and a private talk! ;D

9
  • Make a contract between the people you work with and yourself.
  • Put a strict timeline and milestones for the development of anything
  • Make sure you have all contact information of the other people

But, generally speaking, people are not out to get you really. I've worked (as a composer), with a number of people from here, in AGS, and never ever had an issue with them. With or without a contract. Of course it helps that I've been a member since 2004 or something, but...

10
morganw: This may very well be the solution I was looking for! EXCELLENT!

I'll keep looking and I'm checking with my web designer to see how difficult it really is, but if you can do it yourself, do PM me and I'll let you know if we could work together, etc...

Awesome!

11
Hiya!

Midi won't work. For sure... It needs to be in much better quality...

So, it seems a bit disheartening in a way I think... :-/ The porting issue is something else alltogether then, unless maybe if there's a total re-write x 4... brrrr...

12
Heh,

I'm not sure on where else to turn to. Of course the gen gen talk is not exactly the place, but I figured I should start here and see how it goes....

So...

I'm looking for a coder, in order, firstly, to discuss a few ideas and possibilities (cause I'm basically clueless) and then to sit down and do business, if things are as I think they should be.

Here's the basic premise of the project I have in mind:

Quote from: MYSELF
I hope to publish next year a collection of works for solo piano + recording accompaniment (orchestral). For example listen here: https://soundcloud.com/editions-musica-ferrum/for-maggie

The idea is that the student will play the solo piano and the recording will be playing the rest of the orchestra.

The composing, recording, publishing, promoting and marketing part is ok. But just handing out the recording as an mp3 is the silliest and most useless way I could think of going ahead with this. Thus I thought that maybe I can create a custom software solution.

The goal of the software would be, ultimately, to be a playback machine with a set playlist (so not playing everything), but with a few added elements. The firstmost importance in this would be to be able and alter the playback speed in real time (through a slider/knob) and also have a second layer, a metronome, which can be turned on and off, by the user.

So the first question is: How difficult is it to build something like this? Reason I'm going for a custom made software is that I find that most public are a little too slow and if a publication is based on something like this, I should hand out as much information in the easiest form possible for them.

The second question is: Assuming it's easy (and cheap) enough to build it for windows, how difficult would it be to port it to iOS, android and iphone based tables and phones?
Quote

Extra note: Obviously using VLC (for example) can pull most of this off (with the exception of the metronome), but asking a paying client to download a new software online, get the right file, then go to the menu and find the right staff to click seems an overload of information which is not the best of ideas. But maybe VLC being open sourced could help in the process?

Thanks! ^_^

13
General Discussion / Re: Parental monitor? Good or bad?
« on: 28 Oct 2015, 16:00 »
I say no unsupervised internet. They can use their devices in the living room when others are around, not in bedrooms or when home alone. We have a son, and kids are curious no matter what. They also go to school and get links to some extremely obscene stuff from their buddies. Yes, kids need to learn how to be socially responsible and have self control by exposure to the real world... but no child should be exposed to some of the stuff that's all over the internet and easily accessible.
Like Darth said... They will need to see boobies and forbidding them to do so, by having all equipment in bare view is not a great idea. I do hope that I've taught my kids, already, some stuff, but more needs to be taught.

14
General Discussion / Parental monitor? Good or bad?
« on: 28 Oct 2015, 10:37 »
I grew up with no Internet and when I found myself on the net, I was on a unix machine in my uni, so there wasn't really any chance to do anything bad. By the time I had my own connection, I was 25 or so, which is when I found AGS (btw) and you guys taught me everything there is to know about the net pretty much.

Fast forward quite a few years: My boys are now 10 and 11 years old and as such they do have their own laptop and their own tablets.

___________________________________
A necessary sidenote: For the past 3 years I was raising my kids alone, since my wife was working abroad. This year, starting in August, the kids moved with their mother in Kuwait (!!) and I moved to London (welcome me back everyone). I should also note that my wife knows VERY little about computers. This means that I had my eye on my kids for the past three years and I'm sure I did an excellent job (!!!) raising them, but now that's done... This also means that my kids NEED the tablets and laptops to keep in touch with me, their friends, etc... So there's no way around that! Plus my older son (almost 12) is on year 7, which means that he's in sort of a 'high school' which requires the use of a laptop.
___________________________________

In any case I do understand their need for certain stuff on the net, including games, porn, etc, but I'd like to keep an eye on what's happening. In fact both their tablets are linked to one of my emails (android) in which case I get to see their searches (they haven't figured that out yet). So that's settled.

BUT,

Should I install some kid monitor software on their laptops and their tablets? I mean porn is totally (1005) prohibited in Kuwait, so unless they go searching on "how to make a bomb" I don't think there's much wrong to be found (then again you never know).

So..

Advice? Links? Thoughts? All are welcome!

15
General Discussion / translation German to English?
« on: 15 Oct 2015, 21:45 »
Hi,

I have this 6 page text in German that I need translated in English. I don't mind the exact English language, as I (And my proof readers) will fix it, but google or babel are doing a VERY poor job, so I have to ask a human to do it! :D

Is anyone up for the job? It's not paid (too strain at the moment and in London), but I can send over the score when printed (in a month or so).

Anyone interested? Please catch me on email at nikolas@musica-ferrum.com

Nikolas

16
General Discussion / Re: My problem with amazon.com
« on: 19 Sep 2015, 06:42 »
There a are a few problems in general with this.

First of all amazon IS fishy if I'm to reduce the price to 0.01$ (tried it and it blocked the scores, as a possible pricing error).
Secondly I cannot buy, myself, the scores, since I'm the seller. I have to put someone else to do it.
And thirdly I'm only looking into getting a few scores, not the whole stock (it's 369 scores in there!)

But I'm on it and should be done today hopefully...

17
General Discussion / Re: My problem with amazon.com
« on: 18 Sep 2015, 18:17 »
That's what I want to do, but I'm not sure I'm allowed (the 0,01$ part).

Does anyone know? Or can ask (without being visible that it's me I'm asking)?

I mean a massive order of 300 scores, all reduced at 0,01$ would look suspiciously like a scam! :(

18
General Discussion / My problem with amazon.com
« on: 18 Sep 2015, 13:07 »
Well...

I feel the need for a few kind ears and a few thoughts... Apparently the bigbluecup forums always have those people willing to help, so...

About a couple of years ago, I was trying really hard to find a way to sell easier in the US, and decided to use amazon.com. FBA (Fullfilled by Amazon) is a brilliant service if you're selling rather well.

Unfortunately for me it doesn't really work, cause the scores I have there don't really sell (anymore). The problems:
  • It takes around $40 each month for warehousing
  • It takes another $100 roughly for old items (all of which are old now)
  • I CANNOT take the scores back (I can only do that if in the UK

I've tried doing a sale before, but it didn't really work, since it's the new music scores people are after.

So, I figured that I could either do a ridiculous sale (like 80% off), or I could lower the prices myself to $1 each score and buy them all off amazon, thus having them returned to me. At least those scores which I'd like to have, cause for the others I'm fine, I have plenty of copies to go around.

Thoughts about this? I doubt it's illegal, but is it allowed? Won't amazon complain? Or any other idea on what to do with the amazon scores stocked there? (it's around 300 in total, so quite a lot, including older versions, now obsolete, etc).

19
General Discussion / Re: Windows 10, yes or no?
« on: 23 Jul 2015, 17:14 »
Problem is that actually newer software (Finale, for example) don't like older windows... So eventually, once the composers update their software, I will also be forced to update! :(

20
General Discussion / Re: What to do about Greece?
« on: 09 Jul 2015, 18:19 »
News in Greece say that there will be a deal, after all...

Obviously I'm not an idiot to enjoy such austerity measures,

BUT

My mother in law spent the last 3 days searching for her (new) cancer medicine, after she had surgery 2 weeks ago!

For that I blame Tsipras and his mother fucking policy of attempting to bully the rest of Europe, ending in an even worst deal, and destroying half (at least) of the economy in Greece (and lest we forget it IS the summer, where Greece generally attempt to rejuvenate).

That, along with the fact that Syriza members have shown some of the worst fascist faces in the recent Greek history (I mean COME ON! Marin Le Pen is supporting Tsipras in the EU parliament?!?!? Get the fuck out of here), is enough for me to want to flee the country.

If the deal comes to pass, I'll just wait a few extra months to prepare my life, kids, scores, business, etc and then... world here I come!

:(

Congratulations Greece. One of your fiercest supporter (I did move out of London in 2008 to come back to Greece, hoping to start a business and bring something back to Greece) is ready to flee! :'(

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