Tyler C. Hendrix wrote:Ah. You don't know how REFRESHING it is to hear good critique. I've been bombed with either "it sucks BLAM!" without any advice or "lol I love it" and not tell me how it could've been better. You've given me the drive to keep going, and now I think I'm gonna wait at least another month or so, and come up with better everything, hopefully.
Also, do you think you could point me in the direction of music composition tutorials and/or voice acting tutorials?
"it sucks, blam" is typical of newgrounds, I do not, and would never take anything outside the bell curve as gospel from there. (The people who give you 3-7 average are more likely to have watched it, where as the people who give 1-3 probably didn't watch it in it's entirety, and the people who 8-10 everything also probably didn't watch it entirely. Given take your average, people who do a lot of good stuff probably wind up with the bell curve closer to the 8-9 than 3-4.) All you have to do to confirm how useless the voting system is in newgrounds is look at how much crap get's spammed onto making it onto the daily lists. There are dedicated spam groups that post nothing but "BLARAGG" flash or ones that are nothing but microsoft sam reading off something for minutes. That's not a cartoon, that's spam.
Anyway all I can really recommend for music composition is that if you don't have a MIDI keyboard of some sort and aren't musicly inclined to just have someone else do it, or borrow public domain/free music. Sites like modarchive.com have a lot of stuff that I can gaurantee less than a hundred people have heard. The only trouble is in navigating the site, it sucks. I downloaded 3GB worth of it and listened to ALL of it and picked out about an hours worth of stuff I think I could use, and checked any copyright notices in them to see if they were in turn ripped/based on some other song. I believe Newgrounds also has a free music system, but the trouble with that is that a lot of people just remix existing stuff, which makes it not free to use. If it was based on mario, sonic, zelda or megaman, I'd skip it.
As for Voice acting, it's really just about talent, some people improve with experience, and some people are really tone deaf and don't realize they are painful to listen to for long periods of time. I guess an example would be to compare the "village idiot" of a social group to a "(something) geek" of the group, the village idiot, everyone will listen to and laugh at, because they don't sound dead serious. However the geek tends to sound too passionate about a topic and is outright boring to listen to ramble. Pick people for roles based on what they sound like. I had people on the CG forums do some "voice samples" a few people could do a large variety of voices, and some had different interpretations of the same character. Outlandish british sounding voice versus Nasal Russian accent voice.
That, and better microphones can mean the difference between being painful to listen to and pleasent. A unidirectional microphone with a wind screen works better than an omni directional microphone in the same room with the computer. The omni will pick up the computers noise.
Also, not recommending using any "noise removal" filters. Record in as high quality as the sound hardware supports (will most likely be 44100hz 16 bit, some 5.1 sound cards support 96000hz 24bit), mix everything outside of flash, and then downgrade the quality to the target rate for flash. Something that people don't pay attention to is with sound, it is literately garbage-in, garbage-out. If you record at low quality and mix at low quality you are going to get low quality. If you record at low quality and mix at high quality, you are still going to get low quality. You can however record at high quality and output to progressively lower quality till it's the right compromise of size and quality for the lenght of the flash.
It IS overkill to release onto the internet a version of the finished flash movie with the high quality audio track. The high quality track might be 6MB/minute where as a low quality track might be 0.5MB/minute. Audio winds up being the largest chunk of the data in a flash project for the most part, and it really ticks me off when people don't edit their audio files to fit the lenght of their project. Some people haven't caught onto the fact that 5 3 minute songs equals 15 minutes of audio going into the flash, even if they only use 10 seconds of each. Hence why I keep telling people to do all the audio mixing outside of flash and import only one final audio track. You can let flash compress it or you can pre-compress it yourself, but the bottom line is that the audio is only as good as the poorest voice.