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bschmidt1962

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  1. Submission are open for GameSoundCon 2017 We are accepting talk submissions for any of our 4 session tracks: Audio for Virtual Reality: This year, we are having a "Conference within a Conference" with a full 2 days dedicated to audio for Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality Game Audio Professional: These are "GDC-style" talks, aimed at seasoned game composers and sound designers Game Audio Essentials: These talks are targeted at those new to games, or with more limited direct experience in sound and music for games Research Track: This is for high-end research (Academic, Industry or other) in interactive audio systems, synthesis technologies, automated music composition, environmental modelling, or any other "cool audio tech" that might, someday in the future, be applicable to games. Speakers receive a complimentary pass to GameSoundCon! For submission instructions and details, please visit www.GameSoundCon.com/submissions      
  2. I'll definitely be passing around Mona's videos! Such great stuff. Regarding your original question: It is very common for indie games (low-budget) to license the music rather than buy it outright (commission it as a work for hire) in order to keep the price low. That is, if you are going to completely own the work created (Work For Hire), that will cost a lot more than letting the composer retain ownership through either an exclusive or non-exclusive license. Obviously, the more the composer keeps, the lower a fee they will generally be willing to charge. Note that for professionally produced games, almost all work is done as a "Work for Hire." But the composing fees there are commensurately higher (generally starting at $1000/minute of finished music and going up from there). For example, in the Game Audio Industry Survey from 2016, Indy game composers frequently charge $100/minute for music, but are also far more likely to deliver music on a licensed basis. (97% of AAA games are done as Work for Hire, while only 45% of indie game composers reported that they delivered music as Work for Hire (55% licensing instead).
  3. You can set the AudioSource's .pitch value to get randomization.  A value of 1.0 means "default" pitch; a value of 0.5 will lower it by one octave; a value of 2.0 will increase the pitch by 1 octave. So just select a random number for your pitch (setting the low and high range according to how much variation you want) and set the do pitchval = Random.Range(low,high); Audiosource.pitch = pitchval; Also..on a side note, using GetComponent every time you want to access the component's AudioSource is very inefficient. Instead, in the Start() routine, call GetComponent<AudioSource> and save it to a private variable inside your class. Then use that variable to access the AudioSource.
  4.   Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, though have had to deal with this particular issue.   Short answer is No. The law of "soundalike music" does not apply to sound effects. Music has 2 copyrights: the music itself (abstract notes on a page) and the actual recording.  The IP protection for a sound effect is usually limited to the actual recording of the sound. There are a few cases where sounds have also been Trademarked. (one example is Lucas trademarked Vader's breathing sound:    If the sound hasn't been trademarked, then you are free to re-create it from scratch. Note, that if it were fairly iconic, I would make sure that you had a full accounting for the assets and process used to create it, to show that the actual sound recording was not used.    As long as your sound designer truly created the sound from scratch, you should be ok from a copyright perspective. For this sound, I'd mention the concern and ask the sound designer to provide a list of the raw assets used to create the sound in case the issue ever comes up.   (Note that on an aesthetic level, I'd be worried that a sound from your game evokes a memory/emotion from a different game, and would ask for the sound to be redone for that reason, but that's a whole different issue).     Important note: if the sound effect itself can be represented in musical notation (for example, a 5-note fanfare plays when you pick up a gem), then music copyright may come into play, in which case you may NOT re-create the sfx (because it's actually music).
  5. Not crazy at all!  Over the past few years,many people have entered games whose previous experience was mainly more 'traditional' music/sound design.   For better or worse, most game audio gigs are through networking or referrals. Residing in South Carolina is going to make that a bit tougher.   There are some in-person events (unfortunately, on the other side of the country) for getting your name/face known. The biggest is coming up next month: "GDC" (Game Developer's Conference-- Feb 27-Mar 3) is the huge (25,000+ attendees) annual conference for game developers held in San Francisco each year. There really is no substitute for getting to know--face to face-- both game developers and other game composers/sound designers.   Locally, you can search for things like "game jams" (smush programmers, artists, game designers and sound designers in a room for a long weekend and at the end of the w-end, they've made a finished game). Local universities are also good places to look-- many times there are student game projects who have no composer/sound designer.     You should definitely make sure you have a good web presence, including demos of your work.  One thing people sometimes do is make a video capture of some gameplay and then rescore and/or re-do the sound design. It sounds like you have a lot of traditional media work-- definitely use your best material from that for your demo.   The more savvy start to become familiar with some of the game audio tools that are out there, including Wwise and FMOD ("Middleware"). And the even more savvy become literate or fluent in basic game audio programming using engines like Unity (C#) or Unreal ("Blueprints"). You can try to learn these all online, but you have to be a pretty motivated self-starter.  Also, the middleware tools themselves are designed to solve fairly unique problems we have in game audio-- if you're unfamiliar with game audio in general, those will probably be pretty confusing.    There are also some organizations you might want to get involved with, both online and in the real world. Facebook groups include Game Audio Denizens, Game Audio Network Guild, "Video game: Composers and sound designers" are good places to learn/ask questions (but don't spam with "listen to my stuff" demos--you'll get kicked out quickly).  follow "@lostchocolatelab" on twitter, as well as GameSound.  Some other resources. There is also a gameAudio slack channel.   Here are some other resources: GameSoundCon (www.GameSoundCon.com) Annual conference in the fall for game composers/sound designers (Generally in LA) Game Developers Conference (www.gdconf.com) Gamasutra (www.gamasutra.com) Most popular web site for game developers. A lot of good info here. Game Audio Network Guild: www.audiogang.org Organization that puts on the Game Music & Sound awards, provides scholarships, promotes and evangalizes game audio Reddit/GameAudio (https://www.reddit.com/r/GameAudio/) Designing Music Now: http://www.designingmusicnow.com/   Here's a video with an overview of game music/sound (how it differs from film/tv, etc.) http://soundworkscollection.com/videos/gamesoundcon You also might find this industry survey interesting: http://www.gamesoundcon.com/single-post/2016/08/17/Game-Audio-Industry-Survey-2016     -Brian Disclaimers: I'm on the board of GDC, am Exec Director of GameSoundCon, am President of the Game Audio Network Guild and that's me in the soundworks collection video.
  6. If you're looking for an 'academic' reference, I presented a paper on creating arcade music (which used the same technology as the Sega Genesis/Megadrive) at the International Computer Music Conference back in 1989..   http://quod.lib.umich.edu/i/icmc/bbp2372.1989.066/1/--designing-sound-tracks-for-coin-op-games-or-computer-music?page=root;size=150;view=image   Game audio researcher Dr. Karen Collins has also published a lot of scholarly articles on a lot of aspects of game music.   I also did some asking around from some fellow 'old school' game composers-non that I talked to used "Trackers" for Genesis/Megadrive music. So although we used systems that were "like trackers" in some ways, we didn't use actual trackers. Hope that all helps!
  7. Adding on Anthony's comment.. a "Tracker" usually refers to software that bundles into a single file waveforms for custom instruments and sequences of note data to be played on those instruments. Those were rarely (ever?) used in old console games, but were used frequently for older computer games.   I used to use a custom-written sound system for Genesis/Megadrive (as well as arcade and SNES) that used text files containing lists of notes. I'd have a separate list for each instrument, and each track woudl look kind of like this   Song1Track1   patch FMBass2   volume 10   loop 8     note E3,30     // play an E 8th note   endloop   note fs3,30   note g3,30   note b3,120   // b half note   ...etc, etc.   I would generally compose using paper and pencil on music paper, and then enter the notelists in.  I probably did around 30-40 console games using this system, and maybe 50 arcade games with it. Other Genesis composers I knew used similar systems.    There were other MIDI-based systems (such as GEMS, which was tool developed by Sega), which some people used as well.   Genesis/Megadrive had enough channels that most games generally didn't have to rely on the "play one line and make it sound like 2" technique. That was a lot more common in NES or GameGear games, which had far fewer channels.  In that case we would sometimes write the melody and bass using the same "track", using short notes (like a Bach violin partita)  
  8.   Ah--got it.  In that case, I would recommend you state explicitly that they should answer in the currency of their home country, etc. For example, I wasn't sure if I should convert my income into Euros, or in USD   I look forward to chatting more and comparing notes!
  9. Hi, I presume you have seen the similar study : http://www.gamesoundcon.com/single-post/2016/08/17/Game-Audio-Industry-Survey-2016 One suggestion: you might want to specify the currency for your question on income. (Euro, USD, etc.)   Look forward to seeing your results! Good luck with the survey. I would also be happy to discuss/compare results (I run the GameSoundCon survey referenced above-- we collect a lot of the same data). Best Brian
  10. Exchange can mean cash, or other things of value. For example, if the developer is strapped for funds, but you need a new logo for your web site, you could negotiate a trade--music in exchange for a new company logo, album cover, etc.
  11.   I realize that good samples can be pricey.  Unfortunately, you are competing with composers who have spent thousands on their rigs: Computers, $2-4k worth of sample libraries, breath controllers, etc.  Or even composers who, for their demo reels, paid the $ to hire an orchestra or have some live instruments to play on their demos.   You are correct in that your compositions are good. But many (most?) game developers won't hear past the mediocre production values due to your sample libraries. That may not be 'right' but that's pretty much the way it is. So you may lose out to a 'worse' composer, but who has better production (samples).   One thing you might want to look at that's relatively inexpensive is to try out "Composer's Cloud" by east west. You can pay by the month, and there is a 30 day free trial. http://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud   Get a couple pieces in really good shape with your existing samples, and then signup for the trial version. Youll have to spend some time learning the library (learning how to use a sample library can be like learning an instrument--it takes some practice to make it sound good). At the end of the 30 days, you'll have a couple of really good demos. And you know that when you get a gig, you can always pay $30 ($15 if you're a student) and have all those sounds again for only as long as you need them.   (Note: I am not affiliated with East West in any way)   Good luck!  I challenge you to re-post the music you posted above, but re-recorded with EW composer cloud samples! Brian
  12. There is a published survey of what game composers (From indie to AAA) charge as freelancers and are paid if they work 'in house' thats probably a good starting point.   http://www.gamesoundcon.com/#!survey/c1hp9
  13. Start by reading the "Starting your career as a composer-sound designer (FAQ and answers)" entry that Nathan has pinned to the top of the group... Give that a good read, then come on back with specific questions.   "how should I start my video game music endeavors" is a REALLY broad question :)..     
  14. The annual Game Audio Industry Survey is video game music and video game sound design's most comprehensive survey of compensation, contract terms, production, Education and other issues.   The report focuses on: 1/ Compensation 2/ Work and Environment/Getting Gigs 3/ Use of Live Musicians & Middleware 4/ Contract Terms, Bonuses, Royalties & PROs 5/ Education   Among the findings: Women game composers and sound designers are up to 10.4% of the industry Up from 7% in 2015 and 3.5% in 20 Average Salary (employee): $71,838 1 in 4 salaried employees also earn freelance income on the side Average 'side' income: $9,430? 72% of game composers also deliver SFX Freelancers have lower average incomes, but also have the highest incomes The most common "per minute" rates for composition: $100/minute $1,000/minute  72% of game audio professionals have a Bachelor's degree or higher   You can view the complete report here  
  15. GameSoundCon has released their annual Game Audio Industry Survey.   The survey covers: Salary & Compensation' Freelance rates Contract terms for game contracts Production issues, budgets Education   You can view the full report here: http://www.gamesoundcon.com/#!blog/ce9c   It's also the final 2 weeks for Earlybird Registration for GameSoundCon (Sept 27-28 in Los Angeles, CA). Register by August 31   Also.. GameDev readers can get an additional 10% off by using code, GAMEDEV100 on the registration web site   Here's a snippet from it, showing the range of salaries for game audio employees of game companies