Here’s a track from a video game soundtrack I’ve been working on the last couple of months. This one is a heavy track with a slow, black first part and a fast-paced prog second part with a touch of 8-bit.
Tools include: Omnisphere, Guitar Rig 5, Battery 4, Plogue Chipsounds, my crappy guitar and electric bass. Mastering plugins are FabFilter’s Pro series and Saturn. Recorded, mixed and mastered in Cubase 7 including many of the built-it plugs (bit-crusher ftw!).
interesting production, not exactly music that one would sit down and listen but then you do say it’s for a video game for which i’m sure it’s perfect, you certainly know what your doing !!..regarding the title, if your asking us to ignore the vulgarity of the title why put it there, if that’s your title then no problem…you got your reasons…Kevin
Just for the record, I didn’t ask to ignore it, just to excuse it. I’m not apologetic of the title, it’s there for a reason indeed—I’m just being polite, maybe some people don’t care for vulgarity. The game is called “Risk of Rain” and all track titles revolve around rain as a weather phenomenon. This one’s a comment on the “cuteness” we associate rainbows with, juxtaposed with the “harshness” of the track.
@Wes The sub-bass is from Omnisphere and the synth is from Plogue Chipsounds (great tool for anyone who needs original chiptune sounds with the convenience of a multi-track vst).
Thank you! I don’t mind your question at all—I wish I could say there’s a method to getting into game composing but as far as I know it’s a mix of persistence, luck and lots of rejection Also, as far as I know I’m not really “into it”, just now starting to get gigs and trying to stick my shoe in the door
First step is to make a few portfolio-tracks. If you wait for people to “discover” you it will never happen. You need to have stuff on standby so you can pitch yourself for a gig. Actually, I never stop writing portfolio tracks, if I’m not writing for a project I’m either updating my templates, writing demo tracks, or both. I cannot stretch how helpful this has proved! I have many times written demos specifically for games before contacting the developer. It’s good to show you’re willing to go the extra mile.
Then, I searched online A LOT! Twitter is probably the best resource. Follow some developers and try to engage them in a smart way without being too pushy.
Include links to your portfolio on your profile info. Make it easy for people to listen to your stuff with one click. Don’t upload the demo you recorded on your tape recorder 5 years ago on SoundCloud even if it’s your masterpiece composition-wise, keep it clean with only the well-polished stuff. People don’t skip to the next track, they just close the tab altogether.
Game devs are creatures of the internet, they are constantly online. Besides twitter, there are forums about indie games where devs present ideas or early builds of their games and sometimes go looking for composers. Find projects that are just starting and e-mail some demos and thoughts about their game. Finding a dev’s e-mail is pretty easy, their sites usually have a “contact” section or you can contact them on twitter or reach them through their kickstarter/indiegogo campaigns. (KS and IGG is also good to get an idea of a project’s budget so you can ask for an appropriate fee).
Do your research! If there’s a demo of the game, play it, otherwise just do some reading on it. It helps if you’re a gamer yourself and understand basing gaming lingo—for example, you can tell the difference between an RTS and an adventure game and understand the musical needs of each genre. Be smart about the demos you send out. If a game obviously needs chiptunes (i.e. an old school platform) and you send a slow ambient atmosphere track don’t expect an answer. (Also, check if they already have a composer on the team.) If you e-mail someone and have no idea about their project don’t expect an answer.
Actually, don’t expect an answer in general… Unfortunately, out of the 10 e-mail I send, 8 remain unanswered and the 2 others get a reply in the lines of “we’ll keep you in mind”. Be prepared for that and just send out more e-mails
Getting the first gig is the hardest, after that you have something to show beyond a stand-alone demo track. So if you get that one gig, make sure you do your best on it despite the game’s quality and budget!
Finally, be good, hard working and true to your deadlines. Indie gaming community is extra helpful to nice guys. This might sound condescending but I’ve experienced it first hand many times. Kindness is contagious!
I realise it sounds a bit pedantic but that’s how I did it and it’s the only way I know so… Hope this helps,
Thanks for the thorough answer man, very nice of you! These are all really helpful tips that I will definitely keep in mind. It’s almost ironic how most of the time it comes down to just reaching out to other people (ofcourse after you have put in your time). Hopefully I can start doing some stuff in the video game or video areas soon!
Thank you! I’m not sure if there’s a direct influence (other than the obvious chiptune elements of course) but I grew up playing games on an old PC, a Game Boy and lots of coin-ops and that is definitely reflected/referenced throughout the entire OST. Old-school chiptunes is something I love not only for nostalgic reasons but as a genre in itself. If you take the time to see how these composers worked (i.e. tracker/RAM limitation), it’s really amazing how much they took advantage/abused the tools at hand and what beautiful music they produced!
Beyond that, the particular track is heavily influenced by my deep love of progressive and black metal. \m/