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Member Since 22 Feb 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2016 09:41 PM

#5149940 Creating music and sound-effects for Cavian

Posted by nsmadsen on 27 April 2014 - 03:10 PM



I liked your music track - it was nice! Some of the SFX around it were distracting because they were lower in quality. The water drops sound needs more of a tail on the reverb. A cave has more echo and depth than what I'm hearing.


Our game is about a bird born in a cave, so creating realistic sounds of a bird walking, flying and landing has been the most challenging thing for me. If you have any tips at all, I'd love to hear them.


Depending on your budget and your intentions, an a la carte website might really help you find some of those hard-to-record sounds. Something like Sound Dogs or Sound Rangers or even Pond 5 could work well. If you're wanting to create everything yourself and not use any 3rd party materials, then this thread has some good info which can get you started: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/523411-creating-sfx/





#5146573 Critique My Track

Posted by nsmadsen on 12 April 2014 - 02:38 PM

And lasers ARE cool.

#5146259 using best tools

Posted by nsmadsen on 11 April 2014 - 08:02 AM

If you want to be able to send your music in to another studio and have them edit your work, go with Pro Tools.

Any professional studio will be able to directly work with that.


Well, honestly, I know more and more pro level studios who are using other DAWs as well these days. So that may not be as much of a factor. Plus exporting stems and MIDI is really easy to do so sharing music from one DAW to another DAW really isn't much of an issue.

#5146118 using best tools

Posted by nsmadsen on 10 April 2014 - 05:45 PM

There is no program out there that's "the best." There are, instead, a whole bunch of options which might fit your needs and workflow better.


Look up: (and this is just a short list)


Pro Tools


Logic Pro


Sound Forge




FL Studio

Studio One


(You already listed the bottom two)


My suggestion would be to try a demo of each program and see what you like best. See what type(s) of music you want to write. What is your budget you want to spend? What kind of features are you wanting out of the DAW? Do you want bundled FX and instruments or 3rd party? Once you found the one that works for you, buy it and learn every thing about it you can. It's hard to predict which programs are going to have a long future and which ones will not. For example, I still use Peak Pro and, overall, enjoy it but the company closed down. It was around for a good while before that and had a good number of users.




#5144554 Looping a sound with reverb causes a "pop" at loop

Posted by nsmadsen on 05 April 2014 - 07:48 AM

Another thing to consider are loop editors where you can "tune" the waveform at the looping points. If one point is on the X axis and one is way above or below, you're gonna have a click or pop as well. If the waveform shape is smooth and connected, you'll have less of a chance of pops or clicks. In some DAWs you can set it up to allow you to select only zero crossings to help out with this issue.



#5142012 Feedback on my music

Posted by nsmadsen on 25 March 2014 - 09:53 AM

Hey there Dustin!


Welcome to the forums - glad to have you here. Since the Classified sections is the only spot where you can actively look for jobs or hobbyist projects, I've edited your post to better align with the Music and Sound forum's guidelines. We're all about discussion, sharing and feedback here.





#5141220 Dragons and Titans trailer

Posted by nsmadsen on 22 March 2014 - 08:42 AM

Thanks! For the drums, it's nothing new, sadly. (Mainly because I desperately need to upgrade my computer's HDD to accomdate more libraries.) tongue.png So for the drums I used a combination of East West's Storm Drum 1 and 2, along with several 8Dio drum patches included Epic Toms as well as some stuff from NI's Komplete 9. Then EQed and added reverb to taste.


Thanks for the listen!



#5141159 Movie Studio Set Theme

Posted by nsmadsen on 21 March 2014 - 09:46 PM

Howdy one and all,


This track was written for Disney’s Threads of Mystery, a social, hidden object game on Facebook. Later, I hired the amazing John Rodd to mix it. Sadly, the game's no longer live but I'm glad I was able to write many cues for it. The track’s aim was to convey the magic, excitement and mystery of a movie set. I hope you enjoy it!




Please feel free to share any thoughts or feedback on it.

#5137436 looking for feedback on some dark, intimate, electronic music

Posted by nsmadsen on 08 March 2014 - 04:49 PM

We noticed that a lot of the music that is presented on the forums goes for the orchestral and epic approach to soundtrack and gaming music (and there are some quite impressive pieces among them). Our style is more electronically driven and a little darker most of the time.


Don't worry about that. Find your own voice and what works for you first.


The music is good! Presents a mood and vibe for sure. Some of it struck me more than others but, hey, that's personal taste in music. You guys are good at creating a style so the important thing to understand from here is how to implement your music in a game. Should it be looping? Instance based? Interactive tiers/layers that change upon gameplay?


Several of your tracks could definitely work in the right type(s) of games.

#5135969 My soundtracks

Posted by nsmadsen on 02 March 2014 - 08:43 PM

Overall, very nice stuff. Good harmonic language and changes. Nicely mixed as well. At first I was thrown off a bit because it wasn't huge and epic from the start but then it really grew on me. I do think there could be a slightly larger layer which isn't heard in your music just yet. But it was effective and interesting. You've definitely got talent! Keep it up! 


Edit: One other critique is that you change textures/themes often. That's not a bad thing by itself but doing it too often can create a piece without identity. Epic Music #2 did a better job of keeping within a basic arena while the first track was more... scattered, in my opinion. Something to be wary of but overall, I really enjoyed both of your tracks.





#5134624 Mac or PC for Game Audio?

Posted by nsmadsen on 25 February 2014 - 08:31 PM

Do you care about the way things look, and does that mean you love the idea of having Apple hardware in your studio? If so, go Mac. If not, go PC. They are more affordable, more customisable, and the only advantage Mac has is Logic, which is great, but then so are Cubase and Reaper, both of which are cross-platform.


Well.... I think the differences between Windows and Mac go much deeper than just the looks of the computers. As noted above, I worked on both types of set ups for years when I had a day job in a studio using Macs on top of moonlighting out of my own studio which had a PC. Both machines were fairly equal in stats but the Macs blew away the PCs I had.


Some people sneer at those that like the good looks of Apple hardware but I think the appearance of your equipment can make a massive difference to your frame of mind. My setup looks remarkably easy to tinker around with, and guess what, I spend hours of my life tinkering and customising and it doesn't help my music making in the least. But I'm a geek and I enjoy it.


Your work space is, indeed, very influencial in how you work. I'd say it's less about which type of computer you have and more about how you set up your studio and space. Some people flourish in dark or messy spaces while others shine in light(er) or clean studios. To each their own!

#5131741 Small puzzle game: Do I even have to bother with music?

Posted by nsmadsen on 16 February 2014 - 10:54 AM

Well don't get me wrong I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I do think that what I said is true.


I mean it would deserve it's own thread and I don't want to use this one to talk a lot about this, but considering the amount of competition there is for audio even for the shittiest mod ever you could find, when you're a student you already have to be crazy good to ask for money else that's just like killing your career in the egg.

No one will ever take you because they can take people for free, and no company will ever hire you because you don't have anything to show. That's just the death loop. So most people including me do it for free. And I can't even complain because I feel I'm a little bit lucky since I do have some people coming to me for sounds instead of only me trying to get a project.


I mean, hell, even some pros who already work try to get projects and they do it for free too. I actually had one who worked with me in one of my project who failed. So you're a student, you just want to make a little game for experience and you have pros trying to take the same jobs for free "because it's my passion and it's fun". True story, the guy worked on AAA titles. At the end of the day it was nice I learned stuff but it's still a little bit annoying in my opinion.


Ask yourself why? How did we get here in the first place? The entertainment industry is the ONLY industry I know of that offers so many unpaid internships. My wife's industry pays their interns more than I've made at salaried jobs.


If audio folks don't make your craft worth something - then it's always going to be like this. You cannot make a living off of exposure. Not really. There has to be some sort of sustainable business model behind that exposure. Billy Corgin makes this point in this video interview (some rough language but hey... it's Billy Corgin): http://blip.tv/revolution/billy-corgan-why-musicians-need-more-than-viral-videos-to-succeed-6257082 And frankly, very few projects reach the level of exposure where an audio guy could do something with it. 


Plus when there's a tangible exhance of goods/services it keeps the relationship professional. I cannot tell you how many times I've lost out on a gig because the client wanted to get the "free guy" only to have that same client come back 4 months later and beg me to work on his project for a fee. Why? Because so often free work is unreliable. Folks vanish. They refuse to do revisions. Etc. I've seen it time and time again.


This is why I try to mentor young(er) audio folks to always charge something for their work. Even a tiny amount keeps that transaction professional. You want to make a business out of game audio? You want to be considered a professional? Then you should act like one. smile.png If you don't want a career in game audio, then it's really up to you. But understand that what you do and how you do it DOES impact other audio guys. Guys (and gals!) who may be seeking a career/living in game audio.


And I'd like to point out this specific statement: No one will ever take you because they can take people for free, and no company will ever hire you because you don't have anything to show. That's just the death loop.


Then how did anyone, anywhere, ever get to the point of charging for work? Let alone some really established people who, eventually, could charge thousands of dollars for their work? If they had taken the approach you're talking about... then the answer is they probably wouldn't have ever made it to that point. The very first project I landed, I charged for my services. Sure, I've worked for free on a few projects for example one was a hobby project and another one was an activist project against overfishing where nobody was getting paid. I've also helped out a few friends here and there but that's because they were friends. Trust me - I've seen some devs go from free guy to free guy. Almost always they talk about "I'll pay you the next time!" or "the exposure will be huge!" I fell for this a few times early on but then I discovered that once I put a fee to my work, even a very tiny one, they dropped me so fast and went to the next free guy.




I mean, hell, even some pros who already work try to get projects and they do it for free too.


Who are these pros? Because every single one I know charges for most of the projects they take on. Same with me. They may do some free ones - like the types I listed above (friends, hobbyist, activist, etc). You cannot make a living working for free. Period.


So... tying this back into the OP's topic: you can find audio work from all kinds of places! Some expensive and some cheap. Some of it is great and some isn't so great. I'd consider hiring a young(er) audio guy that's willing to work for something you can afford. Or if that's not possible, go with a library track which you can license - often for very cheap.

#5131606 Small puzzle game: Do I even have to bother with music?

Posted by nsmadsen on 15 February 2014 - 02:11 PM

So, puzzle game developers out there. Is background music really something you have to do? Does it actually add to the fun


Good audio can make any expeirence more immersive. You might not need looping, ever-present background music. Perhaps short(er) musical cues that play depending on game events would be better? That or just sound effects?


The best way to find out is to do some testing - why not do a private build with and without music. Test it over many people and see how the scores rank. It could be especially effective if you don't tell them what you're testing after - just see if the fun factor or desire to keep playing the game is higher with the music build. And like others have mentioned, the right music can make all of the difference.


Composers (especially) and sound designers are probably the easiest people to find for free when you make a game. I'm not saying they will be great (they might be tho) but a lot of students are trying to get experience and hoping to get int the game industry this way.


Really wish this wasn't the case. Too often audio folks get devalued for their craft, talents and time. I do my best to promote the idea that even first time audio student should make their work have tangible value: be it a trade of services, some pizza, a few bucks. Working for free is rarely a good thing, in my experience.


You could also license a sample library(or get a free one) and use that to "record" some classical compositions that are in the public domain.


Not a bad idea just make sure that whatever recording is being....recorded again is ALSO public domain. While it's true that classical pieces, like Beethoven's 5th Symphony is public domain, a recording of the New York Philharmonic performing that symphony may NOT be.

#5129835 Getting started...

Posted by nsmadsen on 08 February 2014 - 08:45 AM

This page might really be helpful: http://www.williamkage.com/snes_soundfonts

#5129071 Mac or PC for Game Audio?

Posted by nsmadsen on 05 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

Sounds more like an issue with your system specs and less with Logic. Even with Logic 9, I could create full, highly complex arrangements. What I hated about Logic 9, more than anything else, was having a 32-bit and 64-bit version with different feature sets. Thankfully, Logic Pro X fixes that.