Video game stems structure with fader in/out technique? ASAP

Hello all,

I’m doing this game project, but for the first time I’ll be working by creating stems, rather than full audio. I.e. low, medium, and high intensities.

These stems will be 1-2 minute loops, and the Devs wan’t them to be seamless, and constant. I’m not 100% on how to go about this. Should these loops be completely constant and steady, and not evolve at all

For example - a pad or bass arp for the full 1-2min with no gaps would be steady. Or quarter note staccatos for the full 2 minutes, and not switching to 8th notes in say bar 4 or 8. Should I just repeat 8 bars throughout the whole loop? How do you even make a Pad seamlessly repeat without fading a wav file a few milliseconds at the end?

I could imagine running into serious issues if one loop at 45sec one loop begins to switch keys, notes, while another is not doing the exact same. However, if everything is stagnant, it seems like the music can end up being a bit monotonous. But then again, fading in another elements could spruce things up. There’s also a concern about losing that natural Decay or Release of a sample, opposed to just lowering the volume when fading out.

Let me know your thoughts, any examples would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Sounds to me like you just need to create some fitting sounds and then use crossfades to have them go on as long as necessary. I’d talk to the game music people on the Nuendo forums.

Can’t get a response from any experienced game composers. I have the cross fading down, I’m lost on structure.

I’ve watched this:

Forward to 19:00, I have this part down, but I’m still lost on on Intro’s, tags, transitions. If you forward to around 25:00 is when I start getting lost.

I begin this week, and I may have to pass this opportunity up if I don’t learn asap. I’m using Cubase 8, and hoping someone can share knowledge and templates over skype, discord, etc.

Will compensate, please send an inbox.


I haven’t done any of that…


i have played my share of video games in the past…

I think what they mean is to have a seamless loop, so that the sound can be played for as long as they need it to without a specific “start” or “end” of the music.

Keep it interesting and do not try to build up from start to finish in some kind of crescendo. instead, make something that you can loop for hours and still like…

make some " suspense", “light hearted”, “eerie”, “action packed”, “slow”, “fast”, “dreamy” etc. sequences…

thats what i imagine after reading your first post…

good luck and have fun=)

edit: oh , whoops, seems someone bumped this old post… lol ah well… hope it worked out:P

Hey guys,

I have the seamless part down, it’s the transitions I’m having issues with now, into a boss battle, or death, etc, etc. Also apparently I have to leave decays on the intros, outros, or transitions so it sound normal when they implement it. Wish someone could walk me through over skype or discord, as Im on a tight deadline

I think all you need is to a fade in for each segment, similar to film where background music begins after a scene has started. it’s just a guess, but a fade in of some number of frames should work. I’m not a games music person and don’t know what kind of time handles games need when they are being put together. If your stems are more or less seamless backgrounds, they should be able to fade in and out as necessary for the transitions. I don’t think this part is “your department” so to speak. You delivered the tracks, someone has to assemble all the game’s elements and render it out for distribution? Good luck. I hope it works out.

I"ve been doing everything you mentioned, but still transitions into certain areas is difficult. For example when an enemy approaches, vertical stacking (fading the med over the low intensity) doesnt always work. Now I’m thinking of doing interchangable adaptive submixes, but I’m pretty lost in terms of setting up things in Cubase.

Pretty crazy how there’s zero tutorials or videos online. This is the best I could find

I’ll have to see the video later, but what are “interchangable adaptive submixes?”

Can you introduce new sounds after the “scene” has started? Even a knife-in fade up of a few frames (10 or so) might make the transitions work better. I don’t know if you work in “frames” in games, but you understand what I mean I’m sure.

It sounds like you’re doing fine.

Whatever you do, don’t work in frames :wink:
Frame time is not constant so you should definitely work with real time.