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AudioUnity

music composition details

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Hi All, Great forum, lots of info. I am am in the process of setting up a video game music offering. I have a few very basic questions: 1. What audio format do gamers expect to use with their games (mp3, wav etc)? 2. Are there any guidelines for general composition or loop time lengths (1 minute??)? 3. What kind of money can and should you charge (general versus custom pieces)? 4. Is it realistic to make money in this area? I am a competent musician and feel my music is pretty good (always room for improvement). 5. What do successful folks use for hosting and download capabilities? I know lots of basic questions. Any information is really appreciated. Thanks, Rick

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Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
Hi All,

Great forum, lots of info. I am am in the process of setting up a video game music offering.


Cool! Welcome. Hopefully we can all help out.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
1. What audio format do gamers expect to use with their games (mp3, wav etc)?


Depends on the tech they're using. Many of the middle ware audio engines will support a wide variety of formats. Another consideration: how much storage will you have? Games on mobile phones or the Nintendo DS use a tiny amount of space. Certain audio formats (or even banking systems) might be a requirement.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
2. Are there any guidelines for general composition or loop time lengths (1 minute??)?


Generally it depends on the client and the budget. I try to make my loops longer than 1 minute because it can get so repetitive. Also consider what area or function your music will be used for. The music for a menu screen can typically be shorter than a full level.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
3. What kind of money can and should you charge (general versus custom pieces)?


Your rates depend on your credentials, types of clients you can snag and the type of work you can produce. Professional rates are floating around $1250 per minute of audio. However, most folks starting out will not be able to charge this at all. When I started out I was doing full sound tracks for $150. Cheap. I know. :) But I was a school teacher and this was just a side thing. My rates are much higher now. Also remember the rates difference between non-exclusive and exclusive rights.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
4. Is it realistic to make money in this area? I am a competent musician and feel my music is pretty good (always room for improvement).


Sure, I make my sole living from doing this kinda thing and know many others that do the same. It may take a great deal of work, some time and a bit of luck. It is possible, but it might be easiest to have a full time job and do this on the side while starting up.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
5. What do successful folks use for hosting and download capabilities?


I send my assets various ways, sometimes just by email. It really depends on what the client requests. Some clients use FTP sites for their company while others are more relaxed. Just depends. I feel having a variety of delivery methods works better (especially as a freelancer) than having just one (or even two) methods.

Quote:
Original post by AudioUnity
I know lots of basic questions. Any information is really appreciated.

Thanks,
Rick


Sure thing.

Nate

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Thanks Nathan, excellent input.

I am venturing into video game music composing on the side. I am actually a full time software geek by profession. Music has always been a passion, but finding video game music as an avenue is new territory to me. I am quite excited about the possibilities, realizing there is much work involved.

I appreciate the comments and I'm sure I'll have more questions.

Thanks,
Rick

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