HOW'S THAT PRONOUNCED? It's pronounced 'nau' as in 'nautical', and the 'x' quite closely resembles the Spanish 'j'. It's like an English 'h'- an expulsion of air- except with a bit of a guttural sound.
NAME: Taren Nauxen
ARTIST NAMES: dj NAUX, SE312, Beta, X240, X286, X, ITATOKU, M.
LOCATION: Rockford, IL, USA.
TIME PLAYING DDR: Almost a year.
FIRST DWI PROJECT: Decisive Battle, for DDREI Tournamix 2.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH DWI? One day last summer, I created a DDR simulator using VP (Visual Pinball), a program normally used to design pinball tables. The program played through Dynamite Rave Trick once. The idea was to help me memorize the steps (I thought it would have been cool back then) without having to go over to my PS and Konamix. I was planning to make more songs for that, but someone mentioned that a simulator already existed- DWI.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH DDR? In February of that same year (2002) I went down to St. Louis on a large trip, consisting of scores of students from the local area. At an arcade (Cyberstation in St. Clair Square), one of the chaperones offered a credit to anyone that wanted to play, and I was the only one willing to play. From then on I was addicted, and three months later got Konamix and a soft pad.
FAVORITE DWI YOU HAVE MADE: Sakura. I made it because I knew it would be coming out in DDR Extreme, and it would be an instant favorite. I expected to get a few more hits to my site from people looking for the DWI, but someone thought it was the official step, and sparked a lot of controversy. That was fun, except for a few kinks in the step pattern- but they made it challenging. (It took me forever to AA it!)
FAVORITE INSTRUMENT: I don't use one. I do have a keyboard that I hardly ever use. I lack the talent to compose and the equipment to transfer songs from it to my computer, so I do mostly remixes with the computer alone.
FAVORITE MUSIC STYLE: Ambient and Piano. Something that you could fall asleep to. Piano, because that's the best music for me to listen to while working on something.
FAVORITE PRODUCER/ARTIST: Steve Roach and Brian Eno. Their work is amazing. They're two quintessential arists in the Ambient/New Age music genre. As for Piano genre, Ryuichi Sakamoto is an outstanding pianist.
FAVORITE BEMANI ARTIST: Probably dj TAKA. He has shown incredible talent with the piano. Blueberry Stream, Abyss, and .59 come to mind when I think of dj TAKA. I like his style so much I took his name-style (capitalization, etc.).
DO YOU FEEL LIMITED AS AN ARTIST BECAUSE OF GAME DESIGN? A bit, yes. Although song length is not as restricted in DWI as it is in DDR, there still exists a genre restriction. It would be nice to be able to play longer, more Ambient tracks, but they would be repetitive and uninteresting. Also, it seems like a good DWI song must be synthesized. A 'live' song will have many very minute tempo changes in it, and will eventually throw off synchronization.
WHAT MIXING/MISC. SOFTWARE DO YOU USE? For all my remixes, I use Acid 2.0. I also use RazorLame and MP3 Compressor to convert files to and from MP3 and WAV format. The decoding and encoding software is great, but I have some issues with Acid 2.0- only when it comes to multiple tempo changes, though.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FOR STEP PATTERNS? I listen to the music a few times. Around the second or third time, I start to decide on the steps timings. One thing I make sure to avoid when making DDR-style steps is Beatmania steps, where you basically play the melody of the song- every note, no more, no less- with your feet. The lack of creative steps hurts the DWI all around. Then I load up XStep and start compiling them. For patterns, I think back to my vast experience playing DDR. What patterns do I want here? What patterns do I want to avoid? I make sure (except for 'The Castle') that the movements required are logical and not extraordinarily difficult. For example, I am very liberal with pivots (Exotic Ethnic, Boom Boom Dollar KOG G3, Silent Hill, Rhythm & Police KOG G3), but I will rarely ever use patterns that require full spins (Paranoia 180, Butterfly, Trip Machine). One shortcoming of my steps is that I don't use many series of jumps (Waka Laka, WWWBlonde Girl, Witch Doctor, Matsuri Japan Remix) or series of the same arrow repeatedly (CSFIL Speed, Abyss).
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW DWI ARTISTS? My best advice is- get out and play DDR more. It help you understand good (and bad) step patterns and foot-ratings better, as well as what good music choices are. Not to mention it's also good exercise, and you can make quite a few friends that also play.