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Member Since 22 Feb 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 27 2016 08:19 PM

#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.

#5128741 Getting started...

Posted by nsmadsen on 04 February 2014 - 09:16 AM

But If you prefer why not try Reaper?

It really similar to these DAWs and it is free. You will learn how to set up the soundcard, buffers and more stuff that is basic in every DAW.

Also the handling and workspace are similar.


Reaper is NOT free! http://www.reaper.fm/purchase.php But it IS very affordable!


You can find some SNES/NES-like VST instruments that could emulate the sound you're after. This series of instruments/sounds comes to mind: http://tweakbench.com/peach.


I view different DAWs like different brands of cars. Many of them do the same things but the cost, labels and steps to do those things may differ. Take several DAWs out for test drives with their demo/trial periods and watch Youtube tutorials to get a handle on things.


Hope that helps,



#5128325 Mac or PC for Game Audio?

Posted by nsmadsen on 02 February 2014 - 10:21 PM

Hi there, I'm looking at investing in a sort of small (and cheap) home studio. And with that, a desktop computer to replace my fairly cheap Windows laptop.


If you're looking for cheap, then PC or an old(er) Mac is the way to go.




What I'm looking to know is are there any specific benefits to game audio for either Mac or PC? I would assume that PC's might have an advantage due to game developers tending to use PC's as well, but looking at Logic also tempts me towards a Mac.


Mac's OS handles memory, as it relates to audio processing, better than PCs do. PCs can get the job done, for sure, but when I was running two studios, one at home and one at work, I found my PC didn't perform as well as the Mac computers. Both systems were about the same specs and age so it was a somewhat even comparison.


What are your thoughts / experiences with this? (And please say PC so I don't have to pay out for a Mac tongue.png)


I'd get a Mac if you're making home audio a business. If you have a proven track record of getting clients and (most importantly) getting paid. Otherwise if this is just a hobby or the start of a possible business, then I'd work with what you have or what you can more easily afford. When I started my audio business, I went with what I had then slowly added or replace gear over the years. It took a while but now I've gone into zero business debt and have built a pretty respectable studio.

#5128043 Mock ups?

Posted by nsmadsen on 01 February 2014 - 04:57 PM

I would love to hear people's thoughts on audio mock ups. We seen them all of the time, especially at the Demo Derbies and such and the general thought is as long as you clearly notate that it's a mock up and for demonstative purposes only, you're mostly okay. What about some of you more seasoned devs out there?


Have you ever seen someone get a C&D letter related to an audio mock up? During my free time, I love to write mock up stuff but have generally refrained from posting it directly to my website just as a percaution.


Would love to hear your thoughts on this!





#5128041 Audio reImagined - Don't Starve (Sampler)

Posted by nsmadsen on 01 February 2014 - 04:51 PM

I posted my comments to the actual Youtube video first but here they are (for the sake of discussion) here as well:


Hi Daniel, nice stuff. The piano was too dry, in my opinion at the beginning. It's my opinion that really dry instruments work with there's a lot of other textures going on or very active counterpoint. But when it's solo, add some reverb/delay to it so it speaks a bit more. Has more sheen. Then, once you add in more instruments later, you can automate that reverb/delay to be less if you want to keep a really clean mix.

Also the strings at around 1:16 could be bigger. You have good instincts to make the music change at that part! Those string samples leave a bit to be desired but perhaps with a doubling of octaves and a bit of production love - you could thicken up that sound. It's a pretty dangerous part of the trailer (for Laura) and the music isn't reflected that as much as it could. Same with the percussion here. Stop thinking so literally with your instrumentation and incorporate more sound design INTO your music.

Finally, to be quite honest, your music started to lose me around the 2:08 mark. The strings glissando was nice but felt like an after though as it didn't really lead anywhere, to my ears. It sounded like an effect that you had in the library so you stuck it in instead of it being an intentional part of the music and how it would evolve. Then the rest of the video, although some percussion synced to some of the action, didn't really reflect the mood and pacing of the video. It felt, at least to me, disjointed.

The ending could be better prepped to give the listener more of a pay off. Leave them wanting more. In this ending it felt like you just ran out of time/footage to write for. Overall, I felt there could be more low end in your mix and, again, if you're going to write to video then it really has to serve the video 100% of the time. There are points where this trailer did that and other spots where it missed the mark. At least to my ears and eyes. It's a great starting point and I think, with some editing and polishing, could really be something special!

Thanks for sharing!

#5125971 Audio reImagined - Don't Starve (Sampler)

Posted by nsmadsen on 23 January 2014 - 03:18 PM

I'm unfortunately a self-taught musician and composer, so I never went to school or lessons for it; just a whole lot of practice.


I understand that but surely there's a college or school nearby which has trained musicians who could help you out. Or remotely even. I've provided saxophone recordings (my native instrument) for bands I've never actually met in person thanks to the internet. It would really bring your music more to life. I think it would definitely be worth it.

#5125948 Audio reImagined - Don't Starve (Sampler)

Posted by nsmadsen on 23 January 2014 - 02:04 PM

Edit - also the flute is a bit too loud and up front in the mix in relation to the violin and the other instruments.

#5125945 Audio reImagined - Don't Starve (Sampler)

Posted by nsmadsen on 23 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

Regarding the Village theme - some really beautiful music! The only drawback is the production/automation/performance of the actual violin and flute was pretty stale to my ears. To solve this I'd either:

- select a different violin patch that didn't always do the same vibrato swell with each new note

- pay more attention to the volume at the start and end of your phrases. They just sit there instead of going somewhere.

- select a more dynamic flute patch and really tweak the volume automation


Of course, another option, would be to have someone record these lines for you on actual instruments if you have the space and funds. If you're in school, I'd go talk to some music majors. I bet they'd be willing to do it for a small amount of cash and some pizza. :P


But the actual composition was great.

#5125494 Film & video game music composer

Posted by nsmadsen on 21 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

Please use the Classifieds section when looking for work.





#5124949 Electronic Rock Boss

Posted by nsmadsen on 19 January 2014 - 08:22 PM

(Disclaimer: I'm listening on a laptop right now so take that into consideration)


I liked the energy and drive of the track. Works for a boss fight. To my ears, on this set up, I felt there could be a bit more bass (both in frequencies and in bass guitar itself) in the mix. It lacked depth on the lower end. But that might be these laptop speakers as well. :) Assuming this is for a video game, does it loop well? I did think you could have come up with another section for a bit more diversity but perhaps the client only had budget (or bandwidth) for a certain amount of music.


Thanks for sharing.



#5122622 Introduction

Posted by nsmadsen on 10 January 2014 - 10:21 AM

Hey Keith, 


Welcome! Nice to have you here. The Music and Sound forum is mainly for discussion and sharing one's work for feedback and constructive criticism. Looking for work (either paid or hobbyist) is restricted to the Classifieds section. You'll probably get more bites there but please feel free to post more here when discussing or sharing your work!





#5121551 New blog entry about listening as a composer.

Posted by nsmadsen on 05 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

Excellent point! I should have touched on this actually because it's very valid. I've run across composers who were excellent in the film/stage realm but had zero understanding of the technical/interactive aspect when it comes to games.




Will it interfere with the gameplay and irritate people?


Of course some of this is out of our controls as composers. I've had clients that literally had 15 seconds worth of streamable music as their audio data budget. It doesn't matter how great 15 seconds of music is... after a while it's gonna get irritating! So in these situations I try to advocate most instance based music cues instead of streaming/looping music that's ever present.


Implementation is such a huge part of game audio... much more critical than the content in many ways. What I'm getting at is a decent track implemented well can do fine for and support the gaming experience. A great track implemented poorly can easily get in the way.

#5121052 New blog entry about listening as a composer.

Posted by nsmadsen on 03 January 2014 - 08:28 PM

Hey guys,


I've published a new article about the importance of really listening (like a new, first time listener would) when composing a piece of music. I hope you enjoy it and welcome any feedback/discussion.







#5120823 Any sound effects/music generators?

Posted by nsmadsen on 02 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

The main problem with music generators is that after a short while it all starts to sound exactly the same because it's so generic. There was a guy posting here, a good while back, who was creating his own music generator.

#5117627 I want something like X

Posted by nsmadsen on 17 December 2013 - 12:40 PM

It's really encouraging to have a developer asking the audio community how to better communicate with us! You ask a very good question. For me here's what seems to work best:


- A list of 3-5 adjectives of what you want the player to feel while playing the game and hearing my music.


- A list of 3-5 references that you feel would match the game's needs.


This way I have a broader spectrum of what you're after instead of just one piece and that can help avoid the "it must sound like X" problem you mention.


Edit: It's never offensive to me to hear "I love composer X and want the music to be like that." as long as my client understands I'm not that composer and will bring some of my own indentity to the music while aiming to hit the goal(s) as closely as possible.


Great question!