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About nsmadsen

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    Moderator - Music and Sound

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  1. There are lots of things you can do! 1) Score to footage of video games. 2) Create music tiers that will be toggled based on game play. 3 Create music that can change to different sections based on game play. 4) Practice creating music that can loop effectively while remaining entertaining. 5) Put your music into a middleware like FMOD or WWise and learn how to use that audio to make interactive music.
  2. Does this sound too... generic?

    Whenever you have a slow piece that evolves over time, your arrangement can make or break the listener's experience. You have a lot of long notes so why not fill in some of the harmonic/rhythmic gaps with 8th notes that add more motion and interest. Also your final build up to the solo piano is screaming for some percussion. Cymbal swell with a timpani roll into the downbeat. Your piece would also benefit from more automation and production attention and it lacks low end in the mix. This makes the piece top heavy and makes the overall impression of the piece sound less powerful than it could be. Thanks for sharing - I hope that helps!
  3. Flappy Box (alpha)

    I would do the following: - play games in a similar genre or direction as your game and see what music they have - see which ones work for you and which ones don't - experiment with unusual pairings by playing your game while having music play in the background. This can be from your own personal iTunes library, YouTube, where ever. Even better - play the game for a bit (or even while you're designing the game) and put something on shuffle. You may be surprised what could fit! Something like a Flappy Bird clone is screams chip tune/retro. But you don't always have to be that on the nose with something. Also instead of including a downloadable exe.... which people may be hesitant or unable to install on their computer (I'm on a Mac for example) just export out a short video of the game running. That should be plenty to give people an idea of the look and feel of your game. You'll get more responses that way.
  4. First thing - your composition is really nice! I enjoyed it! Now to what you talked about: the performance is a bit too perfect. I would go through and add some some slight variances in pitch as well as timing. Even pros don't play perfectly in tune or in time all of the time. I would look through for ways that the entire ensemble can become more humanistic in their performance. Perhaps they speed up slightly as they crescendo up to a climatic point? Perhaps a few notes are slightly out of tune? Perhaps the higher range notes are a bit more brash. All of these things are realities of even professional players. For example, the harp/string/winds ostinatos are played very evenly and this makes it feel way too polished for real players.
  5. Feedback wanted on string piece

    The strings could be better, yes. I think part of the issue is the same string attack, sustain and vibrato/expression across much of the piece. So the strings just sorta sit there and I think that's partly why you feel like they're not working as well. I would try and automate volume and if the samples have any round robin or expression/modulation changes built it - work with those as well. The other thing is you could try and embrace the more static writing in the strings by doubling with some nice, mellow synth pads. Or you could also try and change some of the string writing itself. I could see some nice string arpeggios working nicely and giving a section of the piece more development. Or perhaps some kind of ostinato/rhythmic figure. Or at 1:09 the strings could change to tremelo with some swells built into the chord changes. Edit: One more suggestion: You could double the strings with some mellow french horns to give the sound more warmth. If I were you, I'd only do this at certain moments because, like I said before, if the arrangement is too static then the effect is lost. Finally, a word of encouragement: game music doesn't have to sound real. It just has to make a connection with the player and the game! Overall, however, I love the piece! Nicely done!!
  6. New Neoclassical Piece

    Very enjoyable!!
  7. Getting into the industry - seeking advice

    There's some nice variety in the music demo but what remains to be seen is how well you can work with interactive media. Writing music for games is quite different than other, more linear, forms of media. Also, you mention sound design but have zero examples of your sound design in the reel. I'd update your reel with examples or leave sound design off the list. Best of luck!
  8. I've gone and made this.

    Not to be harsh to the OP or anything... but when I listen to Frank Zappa I hear interesting and in some cases strange music that is still really well produced and clear. When I listen to the OP's music, it's the actual production that is making me lose track and get distracted. Another similar group (that does really different, virtuosic rock) is Mr. Bungle (which I love) and I think the OP's music has a lot of technical issues, aside from creative aspects, that are causing this piece to have many issues.
  9. Looking for UI Sound Design Feedback

    Some nice stuff here! I would be curious if you blended some of the synth sounds with other real world foley so you had some organic layers in there as well. Ben Burtt always says that's how you can make something believable. Having only synth layers can make it sound too fake.
  10. What Software do you use?

    At home: Logic Pro X, Reason 10 and sometimes Pro Tools (mainly for dialog editing), Amadeus editor, Unity 5 At work: Cubase Pro 9, Audition editor, Unity 5
  11. I've gone and made this.

    It's really hard for me to get what you're trying to say here. The brain and ear need some sort of structure otherwise it gets dismissed as noise and focuses on other things. That's what's happening here with your piece. Too chaotic, too much panning and dissonance to make a clear idea of the main theme.
  12. How does one communicates his needs to a composer?

    Yup, reference tracks. And talk to me more about what you want the player to be feeling. Show me as many pictures and videos of the game and world you're creating. Tell me your story then I'll translate that into music and audio!
  13. Dragon of the North (Epic Orchestral)

    Thanks - yes, those are pics from the actual slot theme. Thanks! Interesting note. This is using my work set up which is mostly East West Hollywood Orchestra and some Komplete 11 Ultimate. EW's Hollywood Orchestra is not my preferred orchestral sample library but you work with what you can when on an office rig. Maybe I overdid it on that accented note you referenced. Would rather go big and risk an over exaggeration than leave it way too small. Glad you liked it!
  14. Sound effects for game.

    Sure thing! Best of luck on the game!
  15. Sound effects for game.

    A few thoughts come to mind: The first link is 1,000 SFX for 22 pounds (basically $30 USD). That's really cheap when you think about the number of sound effect files. Of course, not all of the sounds included will apply or fit your game. The second link has 155 SFX for $20. That's a bit more cost per sound effect file but still QUITE affordable. If you cannot afford to pay $20-30 for your game... then you need to re-evaluate some things in your budget and your goals. What kind of sound effects do you need exactly? There are some sounds that do an a la carte method and I've used some of those for source sounds myself: www.soundrangers.com www.sounddogs.com Give those a shot. The other thing is you'll get the best results by hiring a sound design or an audio professional that can go through and make all of the sounds have the same balance and feel. This is especially true since you'll be grabbing source files from all over the place. Odds are your final sound mix will be all over the place and not feel cohesive because of this - so a sound professional can really help in this case. If you truly cannot afford to spend any cash for such work, consider making an exchange of services. You'll code their website for their audio work. You'll create their new logo and banner graphics for their audio work. Etc. Is your game finished? The other thing you could consider doing is working with really cheap, potentially lower quality audio work for now if your game is still in development. Get everything else done and then see if you can get an audio pro to replace the audio work for you once the rest of the game is locked in place. But if your game is still really rough... then maybe make due with what you can get. Best of luck!