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Mechlab Theme

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Here's a track called Mechlab that I wrote for MechWarrior: Tactical Command which is now out on the app store:

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ8xVHwnq_w&feature=share&list=UU-xZPB2ouTU0cH-M9ehakjA[/media]

Hope you guys enjoy it.

Thanks,

Nate

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I love how many sounds/instruments you use and how you used them, it makes it sound very polished.
I was wondering would you be able to give a short break down on how you made a piece such as this?
[quote name='Moritz P.G. Katz' timestamp='1349125472' post='4985869']
You're one resourceful guy, Nate. Your musical diversity is awesome.
[/quote]
I also completely agree to the above statement.

Thanks,
Caleb Faith

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This is an awesome piece! Listening to it, I smack myself that I'm not able to come up with such simple yet efficient melodies and background parts... the soft synth in the background is awesome and the drum rhythm (as well as many other parts that didn't stick out to me as much) completed the piece. There is a reason I trust you so much to guide me the right way! :)

I would also like to request a short breakdown of how you go about writing a piece like this (one instrument at a time? Chord progression? rhythm section?) and producing it.

Also, I would be interested to know what real instruments you used vs. virtual. The bass sounds like a very nicely produced (albeit compressed) real instrument, perhaps a Fender or Ernie Ball?

Anything you can give us is awesome.

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[quote name='nsmadsen' timestamp='1349368762' post='4986806']
perhaps I could pull something together if there was enough interest.
[/quote]
I'm only a hobbyist composer with no intentions of going beyond that, but I'd be [i]very[/i] interested in reading a walk-through of your process with a particular piece if you're willing and able to share.

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Well it's settled then! I'll create a step by step video of how I put this song together as soon as I fix a problem I'm having with one of the virtual instrument plug-ins since updating my OS. It might be a week or so hopefully depending on how fast tech support gets back to me.

Thanks for all of the interest and support guys!

Nate

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Slight update: the company that develops and distributes that one virtual instrument plug-in said that they're not supporting OSX 10.7.4 and have no plans to do so in the future. So I can still the video break down but there might be a few blank tracks since I didn't print stems for this particular track.

I'll go through and see what I can do.

Thanks!

Nate

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Hey guys,

Took me a bit to get this done but here's the Youtube video:

[media]http://youtu.be/fK_EfoqYYpw[/media]

Since this track was written a while back (1.5 years ago) and only recently has been made public, I cannot remember exactly how I started composing it. I want to say I started with a percussion bed and then moved up to harmony and melody but quite a bit has happened since then!

Bakuda - it's the Cakewalk Dimension plugin which no longer works with OSX 10.7 and higher. Apple apparently removed an API library which crippled Dimension and Cakewalk states it has no plans to update/fix it. Major bummer.

I tried to show as much of the track as I could while keeping the video somewhat short. Even so, it's 15 mintues long! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]

Edit: At 8:55 I used the term "phase" but actually it's more of a flange-like effect. As with most commentaries, this was done pretty raw so please excuse any "typos" in my narration!

Thanks,

Nate Edited by nsmadsen

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Just wanted to post here that I appreciate seeing this. I left a post on YouTube too, but I really appreciate the parts you put in about using some pretty extreme EQ to create space and about sound continuity from track to track. For somebody like me who learns 100X faster by seeing this is great. Thank you.

edit: is about 1:30 a pretty common length you shoot for or did it just turn out that way? Any comments on lengths of loops? Edited by fartheststar

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So, how do you go about composing and getting the parts into the editor? I've realized I don't have the keyboard skills to use a MIDI controller on some of the parts I write, so I score out the MIDI in a separate program (Guitar Pro) and then export it into Reason. Do you play your parts, or is there a way to edit them in the programs that you use?

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Hey guys! Thanks for such positive feedback!

[quote name='fartheststar']
edit: is about 1:30 a pretty common length you shoot for or did it just turn out that way? Any comments on lengths of loops?
[/quote]

In my experience two things most often impact song length: tech limitations and budget constraints. A third factor can be context. In the case of the Mechlab Theme, I think all three played a part. Most of the time clients want to save the big, more complex cues for more meaningful parts of the game. The menu screens are often viewed as lower priority or filler. Many clients want something to fill that space, fit that mood/visual but don't want to give heavy budget and tech resources to that part of the game. They'll save that for pivotal points in the game or climatic endings/etc.

Of course it's a case by case scenario, but for mobile games often 60-90 second loops work best. Some games may have a longer cue if that was the only music for the entire game. One of the first things I discuss with clients is the overall arch of the game and how they want to spread out the music cues.

[quote name='dakota.potts' timestamp='1350435449' post='4990957']
So, how do you go about composing and getting the parts into the editor? I've realized I don't have the keyboard skills to use a MIDI controller on some of the parts I write, so I score out the MIDI in a separate program (Guitar Pro) and then export it into Reason. Do you play your parts, or is there a way to edit them in the programs that you use?
[/quote]

I play them all in because that method feels the most organic and effective to me. Being a pianist, it's easier for me to simply play the ideas directly into the session instead of using the ol' mouse point-n-click method. If needed, I'll open up the notation or piano roll view to see what I've played while creating new layers but most of the time I just rely on my ears. Then if any editing is needed, mainly related to velocity and modulation settings, I'll do that in the piano roll view.

Thanks!

Nate Edited by nsmadsen

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A bit late watching this but I've had a bit of a busy week. Thanks so much for taking the time to create this video. I gained a lot of insight by watching how this piece evolved. Great job!

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