Saturday, January 28, 2023

How To Make Game Music

How Did You Originally Get The Job

How to Make a Video Game Soundtrack (from scratch) | Art of Game Design #2 | OST/VGM

At my job interview, I was asked if I wanted to play an unreleased game . Since Id loved playing pinball my whole life, I jumped at the chance. I later found out that the fact I was a really good player was part of the reason I got the job.

People who make games want to work with people who love games. I love games, I love music, I love music technology. Its pretty simple.

Listen To Your Favorite Video Game Music For Inspiration

One of the best ways to improve the overall quality of your own video game music is to listen to music that other people have made.

If youre attempting to create music in a particular style, find other music that mirrors what youre going for.

Here are a few tips for gleaning as much as you can from the music that you listen to:

Adding A Melody To Your Song

Tap Back to return the Mixer view and tap the + button to add a third Gadget. Choose the Wolfburg Gadget and tap the gadget to switch to Edit view.

Select the 020 Syn. Trumpet instrument using the arrow keys at the top of the console. Youll create a pattern with this synthesizer much in the same way you created a pattern with the London synthesizer.

Replicate the pattern you see in the image below:

Each row in your grid now represents a different note, whereas with the London synthesizer each row represented a different instrument voice.

The A#3 note is played on the beat like the bass drum. I threw in a few C4 and D4 notes, some on the beat and some off the beat. On the fourth beat I add a little flare by playing F4, A#3 and G3 at the same time.

Heres what I have so far:

Your song is quickly taking shape, but it still needs another element to pull everything together. To do this, youll add another low frequency drone to help fill in the bottom end.

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Changing The Bar Count Of A Scene

Each instrument in a Scene can be any number of bars long. Currently, each track in your song is only one bar in length by adding more bars you can stretch out each scene and make the song build more slowly.

Tap Track 4 of Scene 1 to enter the track editor. The current length of the Scene is displayed at the top of the screen 1 bar.

Tap the Function button and select 4 in the Bars segmented control to change the track length to four bars, like so:

Tap Function to exit.

Tap Back to return to the Mixer View youll see that Track 4 is now divided into 16 sections. Tap the loop button then tap Play to hear the changes.

Repeat the steps above to make each Scene four bars.

When you return to the Mixer view youll notice that the drone is only a quarter of the length of the bar as shown below:

You want the drone to play over all four bars you can use the Copy functionality to fix that.

Tap Track 4 in Scene 3 it opens to Bar 1 by default. Tap along the top of the bars to view the contents of Bars 2, 3 and 4. Press Function then press the grey Copy button on the overlay. Press 1 Bar to copy the notes from the first bar and the display will change to Select Destination as shown below:

Tap 2 Bar to copy the contents of Bar 1 into Bar 2. Repeat the above steps to copy the contents of Bar 1 into Bars 3 and 4.

Tap Back to return to the Mixer view, hit Play and youll hear the drone play through all four bars, like so:

Heres my version of the song up to this point:

How To Play Free Game Music In Felgo

MAGIX Music Maker 2016

Now that youve found all these amazing free game music for your new game, you may be wondering how to use them. With Felgo, you can add game music or sound effects to your game in seconds.

For background music that will always play during your game, you can use our BackgroundMusic element. It supports ogg and mp3 format and it streams the music to the game, saving on resources. On top of that, the music will pause if you ever get a phone call or some other game interruption.

For shorter sounds such as sound effects or UI sounds you can use the SoundEffectVPlay element. This element works best with low latency sounds and sounds that need to begin immediately after their play function has been called.

Here is a quick example of how both of these sound elements can be used:

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Exporting To An Audio File

To export your song to file, press the Document icon and tap Export. You can export your song to GadgetCloud which is hosted on SoundCloud. Alternately, you can export your song as an Audio File using iTunes export, DropBox or AudioCopy, which lets you paste your composition into a compatible app.

Export the file to the destination of your choice. Now that you have a physical file you can work with, you can clean it up a little before using it in your game.

Video Game Music Education

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Video game music has become part of the curriculum at the degree, undergraduate, and graduate levels in many traditional colleges and universities. According to the Entertainment Software Association, there are over 400 schools offering courses and degrees in video game design in the United States, many of which include sound and music design.Berklee College of Music, Yale University, New York University, and the New England Conservatory have all introduced game music into their music programs. These programs offer immersive education in music composition, orchestration, editing and production. Other post-secondary schools have more games-focused programs, such as DigiPen Institute of Technology, Columbia College Chicago, and Academy of Art University, who all offer programs in Music and Sound Design. These programs include courses in sound effect creation, interactive sound design, and scripting music.

Similar programs have gained popularity in Europe. The Utrecht School of the Arts has offered a Game Sound and Music Design program since 2003. The University of Hertfordshire has a program in Music Composition and Technology for Film and Games, Leeds Beckett University offers Sound and Music for Interactive Games, and dBs Music Bristol teaches Sound for Games and Apps.

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What This Guide Is:

This guide will direct you on where to start with video game music composition. This first part will deal with the guide and make a few suggestions on how to get started, the second part will deal with what programs to use, the third part will deal with chiptunes, and the fourth part will deal with inspiration for composition. An additional page may be written to talk about thematic elements of composition pieces and/or to give additional tips, but that information may be incorporated into the other pages.

Remember The Nintendo Entertainment System

How To Make Indie Game Music (Using Free Plugins Only)

Today, you will get 5 simple steps to create your own classical 8-bit Nintendo theme song. If you dont know the Nintendo Entertainment System, or any of the legendary games, like Super Mario, Zelda or Tetris, this video is not for you. But if you are familiar with it, you will absolutely love this one.

So, take a seat and also make sure to watch the video to the end, as I will show you a neat gameplay compilation with an incredible self-created Nintendo theme song. So, please, dont miss it.

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Best Daws For Video Game Music

Our absolute favorite DAW for video game music is Ableton Live.

We love Ableton for its powerful electronic music making tools and its all around versatility.

Specifically, Abletons automation features allow you to craft expressive tracks that are perfect for video game scores.

Ableton features a solid amount of built in instruments and effects.

Plus, there are tons of free samples you can download on their website.

Ableton Live is a DAW you wont outgrow anytime soon. Producers around the world choose it as both their electronic and audio workstation.

Take a look at FL Studio if you plan on doubling down on electronic styled music.

Otherwise known as Fruity Loops Fl Studio is a good choice for electronic music producers.

Fruity Loops has tons of virtual instruments and an intuitive UI.

FL Studio is not as robust as the full version of Ableton however, both have entry level versions that can be used to test the waters before you commit to the full thing.

The Novation Launchkey Mini actually comes with an included free download of Ableton Lite.

Learn How To Create Moods Using Music For Your Video Game

The music for a video game should match and enhance the dynamics of what is happening in the game.

Therefore, as youre making music for games, you should have an idea of what part of the game youre writing a song for. A boss battle will require a completely different track than the background music needed during causal dialogue.

Here are a few tips for creating different moods in video game music.

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Stripping Down Your Song

When creating a song, I usually put together scenes that have a basic beat. I build the scene up as it progresses, then simplify it towards the end. Since I know the song will loop when I add it to my app, Ill make the loop sound as smooth as possible by ending the track using the same beat with which I started.

So far, you have a single scene in your song. To flesh out your song and make it a little longer, youll duplicate the track youve already built, build the song up in the middle and then break it down towards the end. To accomplish this, youll use the Function button to copy, duplicate and delete the various elements of your song.

Have you been saving your work as you go along? If not, go back to the Mixer view, tap the document item and select Save to save your work in progress.

Ensure youre in the Mixer view and tap the Function button in the lower left corner of the app. This overlays several commands on your screen. If the overlay looks different than the screenshot above, you may still be in the tracks Edit View.

In the top bar, tap Duplicate twice to create two copies of your scene as shown below:

Tap Function to exit this function.

You should now see three identical scenes labelled 1, 2 and 3 as shown below:

First, disable looping by tapping on the green loop icon in the bottom bar so that it turns gray. Then tap the play icon to play the song.

Tap Sure to confirm your action. Clear the drone from Scene 2 in the same way.

Create A Catchy Melody

Magix Music Maker: Premium Edition Review

Most of the iconic video game music we have came from the 80s when they could only use a limited number of instruments in their songs. So what did they do? They focused on creating really strong melodies.

A strong, hummable melody is what makes a song memorable. The work of composer, John Williams, is a great testament to this. Go and listen to the main themes from Harry Potter, Jurrasic Park, and Star Wars. Each of these songs has a very strong central melody that is reinforced by the rest of the arrangement.

When creating video game music, I recommend starting with your central melody so that it can serve as a framework for the rest of the song.

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Create A Persuasive Pitch

This ties in to an earlier point. If youre genuinely passionate about the project, this is going to shine through in your pitch. Whats unique about you as a composer? What do you believe you can bring to the table that sets you apart from other interested applicants?

It might be tempting to batch-send proposals to companies and developers to save time. While it certainly might save you some time in the short term, in the long run, it will slow you down and you will get a much lower response rate.

Youll probably find that creating a template works best. Outline a description of yourself, talk about what got you interested in game soundtracks, discuss your portfolio and relevant experience. But leave some space throughout the proposal to create something personalized something that the recipient will know was custom created for them. They will appreciate it, and it will definitely grab their attention!

There are many more things you can do to propel yourself further as a composer in the game industry, but for a beginner looking to tap into it for the first time, these are some of the essentials. The main takeaway is to simply immerse yourself in the world of gaming and game music. If you do this, you will be well on your way to landing yourself more gigs and becoming the next big soundtrack composer!

Soundflys host of PRODUCE courses can help!

Project #: Compose A Super Mario

Early video game music was generated by computer chip and sounded very synthesised. Think Super Mario Bros. There are even a number of composers who use the sampled sounds of computers to create original music a style known as Chiptune music. A few weeks ago I stumbled on the free online tool Beepbox which is the perfect resource for students to use to create their own Super Mario-style theme.

Here are a few suggested parameters for the composition:

  • Create a 4-bar loop
  • Include an A and a B section
  • Use at least 3 layers, one of which must be a drum pattern
  • You can also limit the notes of the Beepbox grid to a specific scale

Beepbox allows you to do this simply and easily and the result is a super-cool very retro sounding game theme!

Recommended Reading: How To Transfer Apple Music Playlist To Spotify

The Game Audio Tutorial: A Practical Guide To Sound And Music For Interactive Games/

Design and implement video game sound from beginning to end with this hands-on course in game audio. Music and sound effects speak to players on a deep level, and this book will show you how to design and implement powerful, interactive sound that measurably improves gameplay. If you are a sound designer or composer and want to do more than just create audio elements and hand them over to someone else for insertion into the game, this book is for you.

Youll understand the game development process and implement vital audio experiences-not just create music loops or one-off sound effects.

Mastering Original Video Game Music: Celeste Ost By Lena Raine

How To Make Game Music

One of 2018s most highly acclaimed indie games, Celeste is not only known for its unique and challenging gameplay, creative storyline, and character developmentmany of the awards it has reaped since its inception were thanks to the music written by composer Lena Raine. Lena is most notably known for winning the 2019 ASCAP Video Game Score of the Year for her work on Celeste. And since then, the Celeste soundtrack has gone on to be released in other forms, including a piano collection and licensed, jazz-themed lullabies.

Lets dive into how Lena Raine produced the Celeste soundtrackfrom writing and recording to mixing and mastering the music all on her own.

In a nutshell, how do you approach writing music for video games? Do you approach it differently than writing other types of music?

Lena Raine: I think the primary difference for me in writing something for a gameversus writing for anything elseis that for games, it really does depend on what the possibilities are for the audience: the person playing. Scoring a game requires you to provide the necessary materials for the player to get the impression that their actions are what is being scored, that their participation is meaningful in some way to how the score plays out. All the same building blocks of composition are there: good melodic writing, strong chord progressions, fun rhythms…but the actual structure and purpose of the writing ultimately comes down to scoring the experience.

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Putting Together A Piece

Rome wasnt built in a day, nor was Mozarts Fifth Symphony composed in an hour. Much like everything else, composing music takes time and effort. But its worth it in the end. When putting together a piece of music, you might approach it like you would an essay.

Map out the introduction, the middle section and the ending. Will there be a climax where all instruments reach a crescendo? If so, will it be featured in the middle or at the end? How dramatic should the intro be?

This all depends on the scene you are composing music for, or the character you are trying to represent. The idea is to describe parts of the game through melody alone. You wont have words at your disposal, but youll have the language of sound.

If you work in segments, slowly but surely a piece will form.

Enjoy Your Own Retro Game Song

Then, its time for the most amusing part: showing off your theme song to your friends or add it underneath your favorite retro game. So, when we do all that, you can listen to the final result of an epic retro game music clip near the end of the video.

So, there you have it. In 5 simple steps, you have yourself an incredible retro theme song.

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