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View Full Version : Questions about Composing video game music..I'd really appreciate some answers.


RayMabry
03-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Hi. My name is Ray i've been here for a little while. I've been composing video game music for a little while (you can check my stuff out if you'd like @ http://www.youtube.com/numberoneblind it's all rough versions though) and I have a few questions and i'd really appreciate it if someone answered them.

1. I'm getting a laptop soon and it's probably gonna be a sony laptop of some sort. What specifications should I look for?

2. ...Also how much memory might I need my laptop to have?

3. Do I really need a soundcard? and if so what kind should I get.

4. I'm looking for new software to make video game music. My current software (sibelius 5) isn't cutting it. I'm thinking of getting FL Studio. Is this the right choice? If not then what should I get?

dannthr
03-04-2010, 03:37 PM
Hi. My name is Ray i've been here for a little while. I've been composing video game music for a little while (you can check my stuff out if you'd like @ http://www.youtube.com/numberoneblind it's all rough versions though) and I have a few questions and i'd really appreciate it if someone answered them.

1. I'm getting a laptop soon and it's probably gonna be a sony laptop of some sort. What specifications should I look for?

2. ...Also how much memory might I need my laptop to have?

3. Do I really need a soundcard? and if so what kind should I get.

4. I'm looking for new software to make video game music. My current software (sibelius 5) isn't cutting it. I'm thinking of getting FL Studio. Is this the right choice? If not then what should I get?

Hey Ray.

Can I just ask you, what are your end goals here? What are you trying to achieve overall?

Do you want to do remixes like most people here? And just rearrange existing game music?

Do you want to write original music for new games?

Just trying to get a feel for what you're building toward.

RayMabry
03-04-2010, 07:11 PM
I'd like to do original music for new games pretty much. I'm not into remixing too much. I guess my end goals would basically to continue to learn how to produce professional sounding video game music and to be able to make a career out of composing songs for video games...

Yoozer
03-04-2010, 09:27 PM
1. I'm getting a laptop soon and it's probably gonna be a sony laptop of some sort. What specifications should I look for?

You know you pay extra for the brand.

Specifications? The most powerful you can afford without a ridiculous graphics card, and without being ridiculously expensive (since any computer is obsolete within 2 years, it pays more to switch then than to hold on to something for 5 years because it cost an arm and a leg).

2. ...Also how much memory might I need my laptop to have?
As much as you can afford.

3. Do I really need a soundcard? and if so what kind should I get.
Yes, you do.

Which one? I don't know.

See, you buy an audio interface (a soundcard geared towards music production) based on the following criteria:

- what's your budget?
- do you want to hook up any real instruments, and if so, how many
- do you want USB or Firewire (for Firewire it's smart to get something with an approved chipset - see the audio interface manufacturer's site)

Without answers to those questions it's going to be hard to pick something.

4. I'm looking for new software to make video game music. My current software (sibelius 5) isn't cutting it. I'm thinking of getting FL Studio. Is this the right choice? If not then what should I get?

Why would you consider it the right choice? Ever worked with it? Tried the demo? Have a friend who knows it inside out who can help you?

Broadly speaking, the choice of software is not the issue anymore. Pretty much all higher-end DAW software supports plugins (VST or AU) and has a bunch of included instruments and effects. What matters is whether you feel that the software is "thinking" in the same direction you are when you want to make a song.

FL Studio is heavily biased towards patterns - dividing your song up in parts that may be repeated and copied. It's not that it's impossible to not use them, it's just that if you don't want to use patterns, FL Studio's forte is not being used by you.

Also, you're going to benefit from:

- a controller keyboard
- a set of good speakers, usually referred to as monitors

I guess my end goals would basically to continue to learn how to produce professional sounding video game music
There's actually no such thing.

Lots of the music you hear in games is simply instrumental music in a certain genre. The fact that there's a video game attached is in a lot of cases completely secondary; it just means the writer wasn't aiming to score some billboard top 10 hit with some chick singing through auto-tune or whatever.

Watch something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGBfgaesP-4

Now imagine that's not for a film but for an intro for a game. Just the same track. Still works, as long as the intended atmosphere is identical. What matters is the style; this is somewhat classical-sounding stuff.

In terms of skills, it requires knowledge of orchestral arrangement and music theory. Without those, you can buy until you're blue in the face and evicted from home because you blew all your cash on gear, but it's not going to work. Building up your skills is the most important part - but the beauty is that once you do so it really doesn't matter what you eventually apply that knowledge to, and any education - if it's going to pay the bills, that is - will most likely give you a wide overview of various styles and has assignments for you to compose something in the vein of (artist x) or (historical era y).

and to be able to make a career out of composing songs for video games...
Yeah, that's going to be really really tough. Ask anyone else here how long it took and how much of a lucky break they had.

You want my depressing advice? Get a decent paying job doing something that can't be outsourced, and keep the music as a hobby on the sideline. Because record sales aren't exactly bringing in the money anymore, lots of artists have moved or are moving towards that domain because it actually means a guaranteed paycheck.

Thoraxes
03-05-2010, 02:42 AM
Yeah, ultimately, I would consider gaining some knowledge of the theory and compositional skills that are required to score for video games. The only way i've been doing it, is because I have buddies in programming school who request me to do music for them.

Most of the time however, I just work on student comissions; it's all about networking.

But if it's just for fun, go all out, as much as you want.

As for what you want to buy, you need to specify genre probably. Like if you wanted to do electronica, I've had a lot of success with Digital Performer 6 (Mac only) in the studio I work out of, though I make musique concrete most of the time while I am in there. I've found that the Macs provide me with more programs to work with in my experience.

prophetik music
03-05-2010, 02:44 AM
is there any reason you want a laptop? the nature of them is that they overheat and break within a few years, as opposed to a desktop (which is also upgradeable and costs less for better performance).

dannthr
03-05-2010, 08:55 AM
There's actually no such thing.


Sorta true, and sorta not true.

Because games are, so long as we can all remember, an interactive art--as such there's more to music and making music for games than simply writing a Top 40 Pop Song.

There's also another key element in the video game arena that film doesn't really deal with and that's platform related.

A buddy of mine scored a whole DS game with Reason and some custom samples. He didn't need a great computer, of course, because he wrote music designed to be played on the NDS.

Additionally, I appreciate the wish/drive/desire/or whatever you want to call it to write specifically for this interactive medium, because I share that drive, there's something exciting about creating interactive music (to me at least) that goes beyond the nostalgia of my youth.

So Yoozer is sorta right and sorta not right.

And if you're impressed by Mike's video, and you want a setup like that, well, he's got a pretty beefy setup going on there and there isn't a laptop in the world right now that can do what he's doing. (I said right now)

That being said, you will get more bang for your buck with a desktop. I'm using two desktops that I built with my own two hands and they've provided me with a lot of bang over the years for some very light buck, so to speak (at least in my opinion).

First step: Become a good composer.

You will never stop becoming a better composer (hopefully) and for all of us it's a journey that is frustrating and satisfying all at once. But there are a LOT of people wanting to work in games, you're not the only one, and so being a good composer is what it takes just to sit down at the table. When I go to GDC, and I go every year, I meet at least a dozen new and good composers all trying to break-in, it can be intimidating, but you just have to see it as playful competition. So the first step is to become good and to never stop becoming better.

Second step: Become a great producer.

No matter how good you are at composing, you can't ante in until you sound like a pro. This becomes a frustrating barrier when starting out because unlike any other game discipline, there is an incredible commitment required from composers and sound designers as far as initial investment. And yeah, that means you'll probably be spending some serious part-time dough on trying to make sure you sound like a pro. So threads like this where you're trying to figure out what gear you need are important. Learn as much as you can, but don't be satisfied by just asking folks on a forum, really search.

Third step: Understand the job/work.

You can sound like a champ, but if you're asked to deliver assets for a game, you gotta understand the technology you're dealing with. With a game in-development, you have to be able to ask the right questions not just of the developers or of the studio but of yourself. If the music is interactive, is there an audio engine being employed? Do you know what FMOD, Wwise, and XACT are? Do you know the best way to get a seemless loop? Do you know how to create one? Can you write parallel stems of the same cue that the audio engine will fade between to indicate when the player is fighting and when the player is eating bananas? No one is going to hire you if you can't do the job.

My opinionated oft reiterated advice (for myself as much as anyone else):

Be a jack of all trades and a master of ONE.

You will need to negotiate a landscape of multiple disciplines and game styles. Be comfortable doing almost anything music related and be comfortable at least discussing almost anything related to game development whether it be programming, art, modeling, design, etc. But, be VERY good at at least one thing, so good, in fact, that peers in game audio will admire your ability (or commend it, at least).

Be known.

When a company wants to hire a composer, only team projects and companies that pay bottom dollar go fishing for composers, everyone else asks themselves "who do we know?"

Your job is to be known.

Not just to be known, but to be known for the better.

Be ready when opportunity knocks.

Knowing when you're ready isn't always obvious. However, you must understand what is involved in creating music for games, for implementing music in games, etc. Ask yourself, in all seriousness, how big a project can you really handle? Continue to ask yourself this question. I think it's good to get experience with non-commercial endeavors to push yourself--to impose demands on yourself that you wouldn't normally, since that is certain to happen in a professional situation. At the same time, spend a lot of time with personal projects to develop and hone skills related to YOUR interests in music for games. When you're good at that one thing, opportunity will be more likely to knock, when you're known for being awesome at that one thing, opportunity will be even more likely to knock.

There is, of course, no formula for opportunity--simply that you must be open to it knocking at any time. It will likely catch you by surprise.

Yoozer
03-05-2010, 07:30 PM
Sorta true, and sorta not true.

Because games are, so long as we can all remember, an interactive art--as such there's more to music and making music for games than simply writing a Top 40 Pop Song.

Yeah, but there's "interactive" (music abruptly stops at end of level, different tune for the next one) and "interactive" (music fluidly segues into slightly different version when situation changes).

Wipeout's just playing electronic music that appeared in the charts on repeat, really. Same thing with various other games.

dannthr
03-05-2010, 11:12 PM
Yeah, but there's "interactive" (music abruptly stops at end of level, different tune for the next one) and "interactive" (music fluidly segues into slightly different version when situation changes).

Wipeout's just playing electronic music that appeared in the charts on repeat, really. Same thing with various other games.

Yeah, and if you're a composer writing music for games, you're not writing music for games that are going to license existing popular music.

So if the goal is to write dance/pop that hits the radio top 40 with the hope of licensing your music for a game, then you don't want to be a composer writing "original music for new games."

If you want to write original dance/pop music for new racing games, then there is still a lot you need to know about music and games before you can become successful at that.

So you can't say that "game music" doesn't exist, and I understand what you're trying to say, so I want to say you're sorta right, but really, you're sorta wrong. There is actually such a thing as game music, not as a separate genre, but as music designed and intended for the specific medium of games.

What kind of music you write for games is completely subjective to your own personal tastes and skills. Though, getting full time work as a composer in any studio, you will want to have some experience with almost any genre or style. The more you can flex, the faster you'll get hired.

RayMabry
03-06-2010, 05:53 PM
Thankyou all so much for your comments. I really appreciate you guys taking your time out to really try to give me some insight into the whole thing. You've definately given me alot to think about so thankyou all very much for your comments.
I pretty much am forced to get a laptop because my desktop (which isn't really mine anyways haha) isn't always accessible and I don't have enough space in my room for a desktop so i'm opting for a laptop (Preferrably Hp or Sony or maybe Toshiba). (and I know what they say about sony's and being overpriced but I love Sony. I've always been able to rely on them for high quality stuff and i've fallen in love with my friends laptop and desktop (both sonys) although hp has been pretty good as well).
My music usually has a few patterns in it and honestly i'd be using sibelius to write my scores and then i'd upload the midi file into FL Studio (which I have used for a short time and it looks like it'll be easy to understand seeing as i've used something similar in the past) so i'm really thinking of getting it.
I was hoping to be able to get a laptop and produce video game music for fun and for pay on the side and I ultimately was wondering if that was possible. To do it all from a laptop. I've got some theory knowledge and some production knowledge but i'm pretty much just working it all out by just writing and letting people hear it. You guys have given me alot to consider though. Again thankyou for your responses I really, really do appreciate it ~Ray~

Yoozer
03-06-2010, 09:13 PM
So you can't say that "game music" doesn't exist

By the time the audio got advanced enough for composers to not bump into the constraints of the sound device or memory one of the major differences between "regular" and "game" music disappeared.

It's not that it doesn't exist - but the vast, vast majority of what you need in terms of skills is not available in some kind of course - and the resulting music follows logically from the constraints.

To do it all from a laptop.
You can do lots of things just with that, provided that you're not going to be ridiculously picky (this mostly entails endless obsessing about anything outboard that's analog - e.g. vintage synthesizers, preamps, mixing desks and whatnot).

prophetik music
03-06-2010, 10:46 PM
it's possible to do what you want from a desktop, but it's honestly a bad idea. you'll pay through the ass for hardware in a laptop only to have endless issues with crappily-written drivers, overheating, and a system that'll slow down to a crawl in a year and a half.

desktops are the way to go, man. there are people who mix on laptops here, but they're few and far between among the upper echelon.

big giant circles
03-06-2010, 11:30 PM
it's possible to do what you want from a desktop, but it's honestly a bad idea. you'll pay through the ass for hardware in a laptop only to have endless issues with crappily-written drivers, overheating, and a system that'll slow down to a crawl in a year and a half.

desktops are the way to go, man. there are people who mix on laptops here, but they're few and far between among the upper echelon.

I assume you meant laptop.

RayMabry
03-07-2010, 12:49 AM
I'm not interested in hardware instruments though. I just kinda wanted to use virtual instruments and sequencers and what not that was kinda my whole thing. I'm kinda disinterested in recording real instruments and going through the whole hassle.

prophetik music
03-07-2010, 02:21 AM
I assume you meant laptop.

i did, good catch =)

Kidd Cabbage
03-07-2010, 02:57 AM
I'm not interested in hardware instruments though. I just kinda wanted to use virtual instruments and sequencers and what not that was kinda my whole thing. I'm kinda disinterested in recording real instruments and going through the whole hassle.


At some point, you will regret not listening. ANY laptop hardware is more expensive. And serious recording requires a LOT of space, ram, and CPU power - much cheaper and better on desktops. If you want to get a laptop AFTER a desktop as a supplement, sure, okay...

But if you don't want to listen to these guys, and end up using a laptop as your main recording computer, trust me when I say that you WILL regret it at some point.

RayMabry
03-07-2010, 06:08 AM
My question is though. What if i'm not recording anything. What if i'm just using virtual instruments and samples to make my songs? No recording at all cause thats kinda what I wanna experiment with for a while. I don't wanna record i'm trying to figure out if a laptop might be powerful enough for that. I'd never record music using just a laptop. It'd be foolish.

Arcana
03-07-2010, 07:24 AM
Your laptop will be powerful enough, though it depends largely on how many instruments you use in your tracks. (Even when people record audio a laptop will be powerful enough).

While IBBIAZ might be correct to some extent (though I think "regret" is too strong a word... more like, "you will eventually covet more power") you will be able to make decent tracks on a beefy laptop. It just depends on how many plugins and effects you intend to use, how many samples you load, and how intense your tracks are in general.

It's really just a value issue. A good laptop will run you $2000+ dollars, and you'll get few ports, no way to upgrade almost anything, and a small screen. The same $2000 will get you a pretty nice desktop that'll do what you need for years to come. But, I understand why you might want a laptop. Some people simply can't afford to be tethered to a desktop - they can't move it, they travel every week, they go home only to sleep. Why get a desktop if you can't be around to use it?

RayMabry
03-07-2010, 07:48 AM
Yeah that's kinda my issue. Like I can't really get a desktop because I barely stay home anymore and even if I did I currently don't have the space for it but I desperately wanna start making higher quality game music. I'll figure it out though. Thanx for all the advice everyone I really appreciate you guys taking the time to advise me. And thankyou Arcana for giving me a clearer list of cons for why I shouldn't get a laptop. I'm probably gonna have no choice but to get one though. But i'm definately gonna make sure I choose a good one.

Arcana
03-07-2010, 07:56 AM
One thing to keep in mind when getting a laptop is to go for high resolution (not necessarily screen size; make sure you understand the difference).

One of the reasons working on a desktop for music is more fun than a laptop is because of the available screen size, it's nice to be able to put your arrange window, your mixer, and some instruments or two on the screen at the same time. So do yourself a favour and get something with a really good resolution (IMO 1440x900 should be the absolute MINIMUM, any smaller and you actually will regret getting a laptop).

Also, get warranty coverage for your laptop. I probably shouldn't have to tell you that but some people are cheap. If you're going to put down a few grand on a computer that you're going to move nine times a day, get at least 3 years coverage on it because it's not an issue of if it breaks, but when. Laptops are fragile, you can get the best consumer-grade laptop around and treat it like fine china. Something's going to break on it.

If you are thinking of getting a USB controller (IMO again, a controller is worth it, they make music more fun), there are some ultra-portable ones out there like the Korg Nano series that are super compact.

And YES do be aware of what sound card is in it. Try to look up the chipset for it and doublecheck that the drivers don't suck. More than likely you'll want to check if there's good ASIO drivers for the chipset.

Meteo Xavier
03-07-2010, 05:45 PM
Yeah that's kinda my issue. Like I can't really get a desktop because I barely stay home anymore and even if I did I currently don't have the space for it but I desperately wanna start making higher quality game music.

White and Black. You need to make time for it if you want it. I can personally attest that a laptop is not going to do you much good for making high quality tracks. Your best bet for high quality game music is a high quality desktop and making time to learn how to use it.

If you intend to make it a long-term concept, you're going to have to go desktop anyway, you might as well start out on it.

Rozovian
03-07-2010, 06:08 PM
a laptop is not going to do you much good for making high quality tracks.

In principle I agree with what Meteo is saying... except this line. What you use is always secondary to how you use it.

That said, a laptop might not be cost-effective as your primary music machine for reasons already stated in this thread. I used a laptop for a few years as my music machine, and it eventually ran out of juice to run my music projects. A laptop is good for writing, recording (few tracks, not a lot of effects while recording...), and some level of mixing, but at some point you'll likely run out of power and memory to keep up with your tracks.

Meteo Xavier
03-07-2010, 06:56 PM
I think you understand my point though. He says High Quality, I'm guessing he means what's being used in mainstream games today. I'd be surprised if even a $5,000 laptop could be capable of that.

Of course what you use is secondary to how to use it, but up to a point. My last computer definitely would not be able to handle the work I've been asked to do here and elsewhere. I've been on that road where power and resources literally makes or breaks a track too many times to not recommend getting a powerful enough machine to start with.

big giant circles
03-07-2010, 10:39 PM
There's nothing wrong with getting a laptop. The guy is just starting out, if he needs portability more than he needs a super computer, let him get a laptop. Besides, if he can't learn to make decent music on a limited rig, then I assure you it's not going to matter if he has access to 12 gigs of RAM and a 4+ core processor or not.

I bought a $500 ASUS laptop last year as a secondary rig for mobile/live music use, and it has about the same specs as the iMac I was using since 2006. It can run FL, Live, Omnisphere, Kontakt, Zebra, NI's synths, and everything else I've bothered to throw on there. It's certainly true that a desktop for the same price would have doubled my HDD space and given me a better video card, and maybe a couple extra gigs of RAM, but it's still able to get the job done.

I'm personally all for a good desktop given the choice, and it's encouraging that you guys are wanting him to get the "best" stuff, but in all fairness, he's saying a laptop is more practical for him, so let him run with a laptop. Plenty of people (yes, even pros) make quality music on laptops. And hey, maybe down the road he'll decide he wants/needs a desktop. It's pretty unlikely that he's going to look back and say "Oh man, I royally screwed up and there's no going back. I should have bought a desktop. Guess I'll never manage now." ;-)

GarretGraves
03-08-2010, 04:49 AM
Something like this takes money, time and above all else, effort. When we say making time, we mean a part of your life if you want to be really good at it.

You can get away with being moderate by making it a hobby. A hobby that could run you about two grand or so and 4 hours a day to accomplish at high quality. Well, I may be exagerating the cost a bit since I myself have spent at least 2300 american dollars this last month alone trying to build up my studio. But that's because I'm buying hardware like amps and a controller and modifying guitars and stuff. Not to mention super expensive software like Symphonic Choirs (which also recommends you to have at least 8 gb of RAM! I wish I read that first!) and Cubase 5 and EWQLSO Gold and the list goes on. (And I'm still shopping for speakers for my Mackie 820i!)

But don't let all that scare you. You can get away with a great deal at a low budget. And as for time you'd be surprised how much time you can fit into a recording session in spite of jobs and family. I know a guy with a wife and 2 kids in elementary school and has a 9 to 5 job and on the weekends all his play money a free time goes into equipment and recording sessions. It's like he literally has two lives! Like Dexter... only he don't kill people. He might make your ears bleed though.

RayMabry
03-09-2010, 12:49 PM
LMAO. It's not that I don't have time i'm just never home. I always end up just kinda being with my friends and I could easily work on my music there cause were all pretty laid back and typically we don't do anything. I was thinking about starting off with a laptop that has about 8 gigs of RAM 2. (something) Processor speed and then I was gonna upgrade my sibelius (for notation purposes) and start by making songs through FL Studio for a while. If I needed to get a desktop in the future then it wouldn't really be a big issue cause i'm good at saving and don't really have alot of obligations yet. I'm probably gonna spend like 2500 for everything (i've kinda given myself extra room just in case I need extra for something so it won't be exact) and I probably won't be recording real instruments anytime soon. I just really wanna do work using a DAW and virtual instruments or samples or something for a while til I become used to everything and then work my way up to recording actual instruments. I thought that was a fairly good plan but maybe not?

Arcana
03-09-2010, 05:10 PM
I think the plan's fine. For $2000 you'll be able to get a good computer and $500 will get you started on some software and maybe some plugins and peripherals.

Before you splurge though I'd recommend getting the demos for various products and trying them out just to be sure. You can download demos for pretty much every major program nowadays.

DigitalDevilDrums
03-10-2010, 07:12 PM
Third step: Understand the job/work.

You can sound like a champ, but if you're asked to deliver assets for a game, you gotta understand the technology you're dealing with. With a game in-development, you have to be able to ask the right questions not just of the developers or of the studio but of yourself. If the music is interactive, is there an audio engine being employed? Do you know what FMOD, Wwise, and XACT are? Do you know the best way to get a seemless loop? Do you know how to create one? Can you write parallel stems of the same cue that the audio engine will fade between to indicate when the player is fighting and when the player is eating bananas? No one is going to hire you if you can't do the job.


Where would one go (besides google) to research and learn about these things?

RayMabry
03-10-2010, 11:06 PM
Where would one go (besides google) to research and learn about these things?

That's a very good question cause it's not like there are too many places for learning it. I believe there are video game music books on amazon but they all look old. So to those more experienced...where do you learn how to make video game music. All the techniques and stuff aside from just composing.

Meteo Xavier
03-11-2010, 01:46 AM
Well, school is the most immediate thing that comes to mind. Commercial Audio Production or something like that.

If that's not an option, another suggestion, which is far from perfect mind you, is to find an experienced audio engineer in your vicinity and see about working out some sort of internship/apprenticeship thing where you trade helping them out or working for them in exchange for knowledge and studio experience. This is not a perfect suggestion for innumerate reasons, but I'm aware of at least several people this has worked out for.

Nase
03-11-2010, 02:48 AM
Listening to your youtube uploads, I thought i'd add that even a <$500 laptop with FL and a last gen all around rompler like Sampletank can offer sound quality lightyears beyond what you're currently using.
On a sidenote, ST is what Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana) has been using for the last couple years. Evidently, not all game music requires incredibly realistic fake orchestras.

If you're really sure you want meticulously sampled instruments aiming to capture every nuance of the original (and sometimes consisting of gigabytes of samples PER instrument), then sure, get NI Kontakt +3rd party libraries or the EastWest stuff, plus a high end laptop that can manage the software.
Be aware though that using these libraries can be a science in itself. all the articulations, keyswitches and whatever can become overwhelming.

Judging from what you've been working with so far, i think you should be careful not to go overboard with buying software that, while being excellent, might just steer you away from making music for a good while.

That said, Kontakt + a decent amount of RAM would still be an excellent choice. Kontakt has a pretty comprehensive stock library which, while not mindboggingly complex, should be fun to explore for a music software noob.
Beyond that, there's a huge amount of 3rd party content if the stock stuff doesn't cut it anymore at some point.

If you want to use synths, freeware is your friend for starters. You can get commercial ones later on if you become dissatisfied with the free stuff.

any quadcore and 4+gbRAM would be plenty for that setup. I'd rather direct a good portion of your budget towards decent speakers and possibly an audio interface.

Meteo Xavier
03-11-2010, 04:05 AM
Really? I've been wondering what that bastard Kikuta's been using, but last few years... what, the hentai games or what do you mean?

I want to know what Motoi Sakuraba's been using for his stuff. I want my hands on his setup sooooooooo badly.

Arcana
03-11-2010, 05:24 AM
I recall reading in an interview that he uses Pro Tools... or was that Iwadare?... let me see if I can dig it up.

Rozovian
03-11-2010, 01:07 PM
In any case, don't rush things. Get your DAW and learn it. Get a sample library virtual instrument whatever, learn it. Get something else, learn it.

Also, look for package deals when you buy stuff. For example, Komplete costs 500, the included products (like Kontakt) costs three times as much if bought separately.

Also, I second learning free synths before buying big pro ones (or at least before learning the pro ones). The principles are the same, and you'll learn faster starting with something like FreeAlpha than by jumping headfirst into Zebra.

Nase
03-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Really? I've been wondering what that bastard Kikuta's been using, but last few years... what, the hentai games or what do you mean?
When listening to his album 'Alphabet Planet', i recognised like half of the patches, and later i found an interview with pics where he had sampletank open on what looked like an oldish PC (tube monitor).
I can imagine he used Sampletank for the hentai stuff as well. those slightly cheesy workstation sounds probably are a perfect match with the genre ;)

The thing is, of course: it's still Kikuta, no matter what he uses. If you're an able composer/tinkerer, you'll be able to coerce your plugin into sounding good, whatever it is.

RayMabry
03-11-2010, 02:23 PM
Yeah my current instruments blow. I have sibelius 5 and they use Kontakt player the instruments that come with it are crap. Everyone thinks I use midi at times...ugh. The plus side is that I can replace them with other vst instruments but i'll still need something better. But i'm planning on getting FL Studio and then upgrading sibelius cause I can still use that to write my songs in. I'd rather just write them using standard notation because then i'll have them in notation form and I can just export it as midi, upload it to FL and then do all the production and tweaking there.

I dunno too many audio engineers though. Damn...i'll try to find someone around that knows alot about that sort of stuff. I wish I could go to school for it or that my school at least had that type of stuff. Hopefully I can find someone. Thanx for the advice though guys!

Meteo Xavier
03-11-2010, 03:43 PM
When listening to his album 'Alphabet Planet', i recognised like half of the patches, and later i found an interview with pics where he had sampletank open on what looked like an oldish PC (tube monitor).
I can imagine he used Sampletank for the hentai stuff as well. those slightly cheesy workstation sounds probably are a perfect match with the genre ;)

The thing is, of course: it's still Kikuta, no matter what he uses. If you're an able composer/tinkerer, you'll be able to coerce your plugin into sounding good, whatever it is.

I get that. Some of his latter stuff doesn't sound as great compared to Soukaigi or even Koudelka. I was going to say, if he got Soukaigi to sound that awesome with SampleTank, I'll get the credit card out now.

One of these days I'll have to ask him what he used for Soukaigi. I've talked with him a couple times now.

DigitalDevilDrums
03-11-2010, 08:40 PM
Listening to your youtube uploads, I thought i'd add that even a <$500 laptop with FL and a last gen all around rompler like Sampletank can offer sound quality lightyears beyond what you're currently using..


After looking up Sampletank, my question is, why would you need FL and ST? It looks like ST has most/all of the functions you would need to do what Ray is asking. Well, actually, I'm looking at ST2. Maybe they upgraded its capabilities?

Meteo Xavier
03-11-2010, 09:28 PM
SampleTank is just instruments. FL is the sequencer. Fruity Loops is a music making gun and SampleTank is ammo. :P

DigitalDevilDrums
03-11-2010, 09:32 PM
Haha, nice analogy. That's kinda what I gathered from Nase's post, but on visiting the ST website I couldn't really tell. Might check that out then. If it's good enough for Kikuta...

RayMabry
03-12-2010, 05:54 PM
I definately have to check sampletank out because if FL Studio 9 comes with JUST the samples that are in the demo i'm definately gonna need more asap. I like to experiment alot.

Nase
03-12-2010, 06:29 PM
i got ST2 XL through a group buy for ~$100. that was definitely worth it.
at full price, not so sure. Kontakt would give you more value for the money imo.
I really only mentioned Sampletank because it'll run on pretty much any PC. it's still useful and has some character of its own, but has been surpassed by other software.

RayMabry
03-12-2010, 06:37 PM
Sibelius uses the Kontakt player and I think some virtual instruments from Kontakt and I hate it so far. Are there any demos for the Kontakt samples so I can get an idea of what they sound like?

Nase
03-12-2010, 08:00 PM
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/kontakt-4/?content=936

should go without saying that you can't expect to have it sound that way without knowing the library well and careful sequencing. still, trust me, it's decent content. not everything in there is awesome, but that's pretty much never the case with all rounder packages.

GarretGraves
03-13-2010, 02:14 AM
Well, school is the most immediate thing that comes to mind. Commercial Audio Production or something like that.

If that's not an option, another suggestion, which is far from perfect mind you, is to find an experienced audio engineer in your vicinity and see about working out some sort of internship/apprenticeship thing where you trade helping them out or working for them in exchange for knowledge and studio experience. This is not a perfect suggestion for innumerate reasons, but I'm aware of at least several people this has worked out for.

I thought you needed some kind of certificate for an internship.

RayMabry
03-13-2010, 02:57 AM
http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/producer/kontakt-4/?content=936

should go without saying that you can't expect to have it sound that way without knowing the library well and careful sequencing. still, trust me, it's decent content. not everything in there is awesome, but that's pretty much never the case with all rounder packages.

That actually sounds pretty solid.I really wasn't aware that most libraries had bad instruments. :( Oh well. Thanx though. You've changed my mind as far as Kontakt goes. I'm definately gonna put that on my list of stuff to get.

Meteo Xavier
03-13-2010, 03:57 AM
That actually sounds pretty solid.I really wasn't aware that most libraries had bad instruments.

That's really not the right mindset. More accurately, you would say some instruments take more effort to work with than others.

prophetik music
03-13-2010, 04:44 AM
no, some libraries have terrible instruments, because they wanted to say 'over nine thousand instruments included!' without putting in the effort. happens all the time. look at reason's orkester refill bank - there's some horrid sample jobs in there, but reason advertises as having a fully realized orchestra refill included. go figure.

Dj Mokram
03-13-2010, 06:36 AM
look at reason's orkester refill bank - there's some horrid sample jobs in there, but reason advertises as having a fully realized orchestra refill included. go figure.

True. However, that didn't stop Hamauzu from scoring games with it either. ;)
But, yeah, even some big name libraries have some rather cheap sounding instruments that anyone would be pissed off having paid one thousand quid for.

jabond23
03-13-2010, 05:37 PM
True. However, that didn't stop Hamauzu from scoring games with it either. ;)
But, yeah, even some big name libraries have some rather cheap sounding instruments that anyone would be pissed off having paid one thousand quid for.

True dat. I know i would. I'm still kinda looking around for good orchestra/choir samples and vst's....one day. :D

Meteo Xavier
03-13-2010, 11:17 PM
True dat. I know i would. I'm still kinda looking around for good orchestra/choir samples and vst's....one day. :D

EastWest keeps sending me emails about sales they are having for 2 or more VSTs, even after I told them not to. Maybe you should check the EastWest stuff on soundsonline.com (They make EWQLSO and Symphonic Choir)

RayMabry
03-14-2010, 04:02 AM
I need a library with pretty much all your standard instruments but i'd also like a library full of really amazing softsynth and hardsynth sounds. Does anyone know of any like that?

GarretGraves
03-14-2010, 04:42 AM
I need a library with pretty much all your standard instruments but i'd also like a library full of really amazing softsynth and hardsynth sounds. Does anyone know of any like that?

I posted asking a similar question not too long ago.

Zircon referred me to Synth1. Google it.

Here's the thing. If you want to really play with synths, you should play with oscillators and learn that way. It might seem tedious at first but you'd be surprised how many cool sounds you can pull out with just this free one. I've been playing with it for the last week and a half or so and I'm loving it. Synth1 should be easy to find on Google.

After you get the idea of how they work you can go shopping for ones requiring purchase. I'm looking at FM8 as my next one, personally. (But I'm holding off until I actually feel limited by Synth1).

Meteo Xavier
03-14-2010, 05:24 AM
I need a library with pretty much all your standard instruments but i'd also like a library full of really amazing softsynth and hardsynth sounds. Does anyone know of any like that?

Does it have to be one library? Why wouldn't you get several VSTs?

Rozovian
03-14-2010, 06:02 AM
When it comes to synths, get FreeAlpha. It's free, multiplatform, has a neat user interface, and a nice smooth sound through its built-in chorus effect. One lfo, two envelopes, and an easy-to-learn mod matrix. Comes with some cool presets too.

The thing is, with synths you can make your own sounds. Samples take up memory, processing power, space, time to download/install, while synths just take up processing power (how much depends on the synth). You don't have to load up tons of samples into memory or stream from disc all the time, and you can customize anything you want with the sound.

lol, "hardsynth"? Softsynth means software synth, it's got nothing to do with the sound. :P (eg, I've been playing with FreeAlpha for a few days now, made a few cool sounds mostly as synth patch making practice. Organ, gliding lead, reso bass, comping saw, warm pad, synth brass... All of which you could do as well.

I suggest you just learn to use free synths. Getting a well rounded package with decent sampled instruments and sounds isn't a bad thing, but you need to learn to work those controls to get the right sound out of them... and sometimes you just need your very own synth sound.

Meteo Xavier
03-14-2010, 06:43 AM
lol, "hardsynth"? Softsynth means software synth, it's got nothing to do with the sound. :P (eg, I've been playing with FreeAlpha for a few days now, made a few cool sounds mostly as synth patch making practice. Organ, gliding lead, reso bass, comping saw, warm pad, synth brass... All of which you could do as well.

I'm glad you said it. It was going to sound rude coming from me.

Nase
03-14-2010, 07:11 PM
an easy-to-learn mod matrix.

however easy you think it's to learn, a matrix looks very daunting to most noobs.
imo, give em a synth with a firmly predefined structure to learn the basics.
when i was a noob, i enjoyed just randomly tweaking knobs and seeing what happened. just doing that was enough to make me understand the bare basics of synthesis, and i didn't even notice at the time.
that definitely doesn't work as well with a mod matrix, so i'd leave it to intermediate synthesists.

some people have the attention span and determination to delve into more complex stuff right away, but on average a playful approach works best imo.

/Synth1 +1 :)
or WaspXT, or TAL-Elek7ro, or MinimogueVA or whichever of the 257 good sounding, simple, free synths floats your boat.

dannthr
03-15-2010, 03:46 PM
Where would one go (besides google) to research and learn about these things?

GREAT QUESTION!

Unfortunately, the tech is as such that any really good book is probably going to be outdated pretty darn quick.

Best thing for the moment is to actually google these technologies, to go to the websites for them, and actually download the program (most are free for academic use) and read their tutorials and documentation.

If there is a school teaching FMOD and Wwise, great, if there is a school teaching UDK, great! Go, if you can, but if you can't, you have to take it upon yourself to go to the next step--and honestly, game companies KNOW this.

They know how hard it is to get into this cutting-edge technology and they respect people who can sit there and teach themselves something without anyone else making themselves.

It means it's going to be easier to train you on existing engines or even on proprietary engines. It means that you are intelligent, a self-starter, a fast-learner, etc, etc, etc. All the things you want to put on your resume when you're going for a job, learning this stuff SHOWS you mean it.

Rozovian
03-15-2010, 04:08 PM
however easy you think it's to learn, a matrix looks very daunting to most noobs.
imo, give em a synth with a firmly predefined structure to learn the basics.
when i was a noob, i enjoyed just randomly tweaking knobs and seeing what happened. just doing that was enough to make me understand the bare basics of synthesis, and i didn't even notice at the time.
that definitely doesn't work as well with a mod matrix, so i'd leave it to intermediate synthesists.

Nah, the mod matrix will just sit there until you do something with it. I ignored the ES2 mod matrix, but once I initialized the synth (set all parameters to 0 or off or sine or whatever) and tried it once, I realized how easy it actually was to control the sound with it. Same with FreeAlpha, it looked intimidating even after I learned the ES2's twice as complicated system, but once it's blank and you can add one thing at a time, you realize how easy it is to use. That's what I said before, easy-to-use.

I've never used Synth1, but screenshots reveal the interface is ugly and cluttered. I still say FreeAlpha is among the best synths for a newb, mainly because of its clean interface, and despite the mod matrix. :P

RayMabry
03-15-2010, 04:16 PM
lol, "hardsynth"? Softsynth means software synth, it's got nothing to do with the sound. :P (eg, I've been playing with FreeAlpha for a few days now, made a few cool sounds mostly as synth patch making practice. Organ, gliding lead, reso bass, comping saw, warm pad, synth brass... All of which you could do as well.

MTV music generator 2 catagorizes them that way. Hardsynth has synthesizer sounds that that have a harder sort of grinding quality to the sound of each sample. Softsynth sounds have a softer tone such as string synths and bells stuff like that. I suppose outside of that it means something different but thats how I always understood it.

RayMabry
03-15-2010, 04:32 PM
GREAT QUESTION!

Unfortunately, the tech is as such that any really good book is probably going to be outdated pretty darn quick.

Best thing for the moment is to actually google these technologies, to go to the websites for them, and actually download the program (most are free for academic use) and read their tutorials and documentation.

If there is a school teaching FMOD and Wwise, great, if there is a school teaching UDK, great! Go, if you can, but if you can't, you have to take it upon yourself to go to the next step--and honestly, game companies KNOW this.

They know how hard it is to get into this cutting-edge technology and they respect people who can sit there and teach themselves something without anyone else making themselves.

It means it's going to be easier to train you on existing engines or even on proprietary engines. It means that you are intelligent, a self-starter, a fast-learner, etc, etc, etc. All the things you want to put on your resume when you're going for a job, learning this stuff SHOWS you mean it.

So is it fair to say that not only do you have to learn how to make music for games but you have to learn programming to some extent too?

dannthr
03-15-2010, 05:31 PM
So is it fair to say that not only do you have to learn how to make music for games but you have to learn programming to some extent too?

No, these engines are not just for programmers, to be more accurate, you have to understand audio implementation and engine design.

FMOD and Wwise, for example, both have designer oriented tools--like one half is design oriented and one half is the programming API.

Knowing the designer side will take you pretty far.

Yoozer
03-15-2010, 07:42 PM
But just like your sketching and anatomy knowledge will land you a job as 3d modeling artist faster, knowledge of composing and orchestration will weigh heavier than knowing whatever software or hardware.

Meteo Xavier
03-15-2010, 07:48 PM
But just like your sketching and anatomy knowledge will land you a job as 3d modeling artist faster, knowledge of composing and orchestration will weigh heavier than knowing whatever software or hardware.

Yeah, I always thought programming tracks to fade in and out and strike up different cues and all that was the audio programmer/syncer's job, not necessarily the job of the composer.

dannthr
03-15-2010, 08:13 PM
Yeah, I always thought programming tracks to fade in and out and strike up different cues and all that was the audio programmer/syncer's job, not necessarily the job of the composer.

The tools I'm describing are not designed for programmers as there is no actual coding involved, these tools are designed for composers, sound designers, and audio implementers.

Sometimes that's you, sometimes it's not.

RayMabry
03-15-2010, 11:36 PM
So i'm still a bit confused. I mean now i'm intrigued and i'll probably look into the other stuff as well. But do I NEED to learn it? Is not just enough to compose the songs they ask of you?

Meteo Xavier
03-16-2010, 12:23 AM
You'd be shocked to learn some of the things you're expected to do on even the smallest music job.

I still am.

RayMabry
03-16-2010, 12:34 AM
You'd be shocked to learn some of the things you're expected to do on even the smallest music job.

I still am.

Really?...geez...well i'm somewhat okay with my composing I just need to learn how to mix and produce songs better and I guess now I have to learn all this other stuff. I always thought that the programmers or sound people would just tell you how they wanted your songs and then when you finished the song they'd do the rest. I'm glad though that I found out now. I'm glad everyone here is so knowledgeable and helpful.

dannthr
03-16-2010, 01:53 AM
Really?...geez...well i'm somewhat okay with my composing I just need to learn how to mix and produce songs better and I guess now I have to learn all this other stuff. I always thought that the programmers or sound people would just tell you how they wanted your songs and then when you finished the song they'd do the rest. I'm glad though that I found out now. I'm glad everyone here is so knowledgeable and helpful.

They can. The realm of responsibilities for a sound person in games is pretty broad and varied and may or may not include the following:
* Provide Sound or Music Concept or Prototype Work
* Compose Music
* Sequence Existing Music
* Edit Existing Music
* Mix/Master Existing Music
* Orchestrate or Arrange Existing Music
* Provide Copywork or Clerical Prep for Recording Sessions
* Provide Sound Design (including Foley, Synthesis, and Field Recording)
* Design an Audio Engine
* Provide Instrumental Performance
* Arrange Contracts for Outsourced Services and Cast External Talent
* Direct Instrumental/Voice Recording Sessions
* Provide Voice Acting
* Make Purchasing Decisions
* Manage a Team
* Coordinate Inter-Departmental Communications
* Coordinate External-Departmental Communications
* Prepare Presentations
* Author the Audio Design Document
* Maintain Departmental Sound and Music Library

When I was Audio Lead with WAISoft, my responsibilities were more like this:
* Provide Sound or Music Concept or Prototype Work
* Compose Music
* Provide Sound Design (including Foley, Synthesis, and Field Recording)
* Design an Audio Engine (in concert with Audio Programmer)
* Provide Instrumental Performance
* Make Purchasing Recommendations
* Coordinate Inter-Departmental Communications
* Coordinate External-Departmental Communications
* Prepare Presentations
* Author the Audio Design Document
* Maintain Departmental Sound and Music Library

When I was Contract Composer with WAISoft, my responsibilities were more like this:
* Provide Sound or Music Concept or Prototype Work
* Compose Music
* Orchestrate or Arrange Existing Music
* Provide Copywork or Clerical Prep for Recording Sessions
* Arrange Contracts for Outsourced Services and Cast External Talent
* Direct Instrumental/Voice Recording Sessions

As Arranger/Producer under contract with LucasArts, my responsibilities are more like this:
* Sequence Existing Music
* Edit Existing Music
* Mix/Master Existing Music
* Orchestrate or Arrange Existing Music
* Provide Copywork or Clerical Prep for Recording Sessions

I've definitely had indie gigs where my responsibilities were limited to one or two of those list items.

How remote you are or how high-up you are on the development chain usually dictates your level of interaction with the producers, the programmers, the designers, and other members of the audio team. It also usually dictates how involved you are in the design and implementation of the audio engine.

But my previous digressing post, "Understand the Job," was meant to encourage you to understand audio design and implementation, even if you can't do it yourself, for the purpose of making yourself desirable to a potential client or employer.

RayMabry
03-16-2010, 02:33 AM
Well thankyou very much Dan. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out. I'm definitely going to try to learn as much as I can. I hope to someday be one of the best so i'll learn all that I have to learn and more. You seem to have alto of experience have you worked on any notable games?

Meteo Xavier
03-16-2010, 02:39 AM
That list makes me want to quit.

prophetik music
03-16-2010, 04:52 AM
That list makes me want to quit.

whereas they make me glad i'm 40k in debt. college didn't cover all of that, but what it didn't cover i've picked up.

RayMabry
03-16-2010, 01:38 PM
That list makes me want to quit.

It doesn't seem too bad to me. Some of the tasks seem closely related and if your a composer you need to know some anyways. A few seem like they require grasping new technology which seems to always be a constant when your working with video game music. The only ones that seem difficult are the management ones although I'm going to college for management thank goodness.

Meteo Xavier
03-16-2010, 02:38 PM
It doesn't seem too bad to me. Some of the tasks seem closely related and if your a composer you need to know some anyways. A few seem like they require grasping new technology which seems to always be a constant when your working with video game music. The only ones that seem difficult are the management ones although I'm going to college for management thank goodness.

I mostly wonder about the workload. Just doing the music alone is a full-time, 30-40 hour a week job, what does the rest of that add on to it?

RayMabry
03-16-2010, 04:03 PM
I mostly wonder about the workload. Just doing the music alone is a full-time, 30-40 hour a week job, what does the rest of that add on to it?

I don't think he meant all at once though. If your sequencing existing music or arranging existing music then i'm sure that means you'll be writing less songs for whatever project your on at the time (hopefully). But you are right it is alot. Just writing the song (before you mix it and add effects or whatever else) is a tough enough job. But i'd imagine that all of that took place over the course of time. I wouldn't mind it as long as the money is right and I learn how to do those things properly.

prophetik music
03-16-2010, 04:52 PM
I mostly wonder about the workload. Just doing the music alone is a full-time, 30-40 hour a week job, what does the rest of that add on to it?

an audio engineer friend who was recently involved in a AAA-level game out in WA said that he worked about 65-70 hours a week for eight months for the project he was on. he was brought in mid-stream, and only worked in the sound studio.

that's the industry, man.

zircon
03-16-2010, 05:06 PM
Depending on your exact job, you might not be writing music for 30-40 hours a week. I remember a survey on VI Control (a pro composer forum) which basically concluded that many pros are only WRITING about 20 hours a week. The rest of the time is spent doing everything else. There's also the issue of crunch time; you might be working relatively few hours on a given project until close to the deadline, when you immediately ramp up to 60 hours a week, but only for a short time.

Prophet's example is exaggerated; I don't think those hours are at all commonplace, and it really depends on the company, their competence and their staff. Video game companies that have hours like that force their employees out or end up closing entirely. Crunch time is a reality (I was up until 2am working with Bustatunez on MI2 a few weeks ago) but it's not common for that level of intense work to span across months at a time.

prophetik music
03-16-2010, 05:13 PM
Prophet's example is exaggerated; I don't think those hours are at all commonplace, and it really depends on the company, their competence and their staff.

he was brought in when it was apparent that their team wasn't operating at 100%, so he was supposed to cover the slack. they lost someone mid-project, which was where the rest of the hours came from.

when the game comes out, i'll tell you which it was and you can decide if it was worth it or not. he didn't think so :<

Arcana
03-16-2010, 05:21 PM
I mostly wonder about the workload. Just doing the music alone is a full-time, 30-40 hour a week job, what does the rest of that add on to it?

A lot of that stuff looks clerical, like doing paperwork and making purchasing decisions or setting up appointments with voice actors. Obviously those are things that happen once or twice in a project but need to be done at some point by someone.

dannthr
03-16-2010, 05:23 PM
he was brought in when it was apparent that their team wasn't operating at 100%, so he was supposed to cover the slack. they lost someone mid-project, which was where the rest of the hours came from.

when the game comes out, i'll tell you which it was and you can decide if it was worth it or not. he didn't think so :<

It's all subjective with each job--going into the job you can't necessarily know what you'll be responsible for (you might have an idea though), so like exercise or eating your veggies, look into everything.

It only makes getting a job EASIER, which I think everyone can appreciate in this highly competitive industry.

If you go back to my post I say something like "Be a jack of all trades and a master of ONE." Learn as much as you can, but be good at that one thing that will get you noticed.

Meteo Xavier
03-16-2010, 09:28 PM
Video game companies that have hours like that force their employees out or end up closing entirely.

Could you go into further detail here? I've had some pretty rotten experiences in what few jobs I could get doing music where I felt like the guy I was working for was forcing me out or had unreasonable expectations out of me, and I'd like to be able to tell the difference.

zircon
03-16-2010, 11:08 PM
Check out this article:

http://www.sirlin.net/blog/2010/3/13/gdc-2010-day-3.html

The whole thing is good, but specifically read the part about "Fired and Fired-Up: Jobless Developer's Rant."

Arcana
03-16-2010, 11:38 PM
As someone who studies software engineering, I would like to point out that in the dot com craze of the late 1990s, it was commonplace and expected for you to work far over 8 hours a day in the office. To make it more tolerable, you got perks like a weight room, in-house (free) catered food, free coffee and tea, regular snacks, and game rooms.

Eventually, the bubble burst and the first things to go were all of these free extras like gourmet coffee and tea (they replaced it with ordinary coffee and orange pekoe), free lunches, and the personal trainers. Next to go were people's jobs.

For a while longer there continued to be a culture of "who can stay the latest" due to fear of layoffs.

Now the industry (outside of gaming, to many extents) has righted itself especially as the workforce is getting older and as the experienced, valuable employees get families. However, one big difference between gaming and other software industries is that other software tends to need to do things like maintain large codebases, support customers, and maintain legacy code. In gaming, that doesn't happen quite so often - you often have a lot of creative staff and much of the work is spent on that side of things (art, design, music, etc).

The reality is though that 60-hour work weeks is starting to become the "bad thing" and if you're an employee who expects 60+ hours a week from your employees when it's not critical (ex: the week before your project goes gold) then you're going to be finding new employees.

Meteo Xavier
03-16-2010, 11:49 PM
That article was incredible. Had to wonder how much of that would ever apply to me since I can't get started in any way, but yeah, I love that kind of indepth stuff.

Is there more like that at GDC?

zircon
03-17-2010, 01:28 AM
Sirlin has a pretty good writeup of all the game design and psychology-related things he attended at GDC; I can't speak to it myself since I only attended audio events (you need a more expensive pass to get into everything.)

prophetik music
03-17-2010, 03:17 AM
reeeeally looking forward to going to that next year. there was some great stuff in that article.

Arcana
03-17-2010, 03:27 AM
I need some connections so I can start doing games-related software engineering research.

RayMabry
03-17-2010, 07:45 PM
One question that I should have asked a while ago was how did everyone get their first composing job in the industry? I was wondering because eventually once I perfect my skills (and probably move cause I doubt I'll find a company in Delaware to compose for) I pretty much need to know where to turn and i've heard different things. Some people have said that you get hired by music production companies and then get sent out but others do indie stuff, which I'd probably have to start out doing so how do you go about getting into the business?

dannthr
03-17-2010, 09:22 PM
One question that I should have asked a while ago was how did everyone get their first composing job in the industry? I was wondering because eventually once I perfect my skills (and probably move cause I doubt I'll find a company in Delaware to compose for) I pretty much need to know where to turn and i've heard different things. Some people have said that you get hired by music production companies and then get sent out but others do indie stuff, which I'd probably have to start out doing so how do you go about getting into the business?

gamedev.net
indiegamer.com

zircon
03-18-2010, 02:33 AM
Also.. a few issues with that statement. First of all, there is no reason at all for actually moving unless you are looking to work INHOUSE somewhere. There are almost no inhouse video game audio positions, and you tend to need a lot of experience (ie. shipped titles) to even bother, not to mention they get a million applications for each. So, the other option is a freelance contractor, in which case you could work from anywhere - don't feel like you have to move just to be in "the industry". Dan is in Boulder, I'm in Philly, Sean Beeson is in Ohio, Jeff Ball is in the middle of nowhere, etc. You get the idea :)

Another thing is that you shouldn't be thinking in terms of "perfecting your skills", THEN looking for work. Your skills will never be perfect, and even if YOU think they are, I can guarantee they won't be at the level of the big gun VGM composers out there. I'm not saying don't keep striving to improve - not at all, in fact you should be working tirelessly to improve your skills. However, you need as much actual experience as possible, which means working on real projects, even if they're just indie gigs. You can't compose and produce in a vacuum (I've tried), and you need to get credits somehow, no matter how small they are.

Meteo Xavier
03-18-2010, 03:37 AM
Another thing is that you shouldn't be thinking in terms of "perfecting your skills", THEN looking for work. Your skills will never be perfect, and even if YOU think they are, I can guarantee they won't be at the level of the big gun VGM composers out there. I'm not saying don't keep striving to improve - not at all, in fact you should be working tirelessly to improve your skills. However, you need as much actual experience as possible, which means working on real projects, even if they're just indie gigs. You can't compose and produce in a vacuum (I've tried), and you need to get credits somehow, no matter how small they are.

I want to add a couple comments in here.

Although you shouldn't compose in a vacuum, it would be awesome if you created and "perfected" (in quotations for a reason) something that you could really show off. Zircon helped me finish something last month that I'm going to post on Ocremix here soon, and I've been in talks to two project leaders this week alone about doing some game work again after using it as a reference point. I don't know if I can speak for all trudgling composers, but just getting in talks with people can be an accomplishment in and of itself.

I'll also add that even though you can't expect perfection out of yourself, the people you work for might. Even the most rank amateur looking for music work might expect things out of you that are simply unreasonable, or beyond your grasp.

If that happens, do what you can and call it good. Don't do like I did and take it way too personally and use that burn out to torch every damn bridge like a crazy man. That will set a dangerous precedent where you got developers laughing at you and possibly telling other people about it too.

A bad reputation will circumcise your dreams before you ever got to see how big they could get.

RayMabry
03-18-2010, 01:11 PM
Also.. a few issues with that statement. First of all, there is no reason at all for actually moving unless you are looking to work INHOUSE somewhere. There are almost no inhouse video game audio positions, and you tend to need a lot of experience (ie. shipped titles) to even bother, not to mention they get a million applications for each. So, the other option is a freelance contractor, in which case you could work from anywhere - don't feel like you have to move just to be in "the industry". Dan is in Boulder, I'm in Philly, Sean Beeson is in Ohio, Jeff Ball is in the middle of nowhere, etc. You get the idea :)

Another thing is that you shouldn't be thinking in terms of "perfecting your skills", THEN looking for work. Your skills will never be perfect, and even if YOU think they are, I can guarantee they won't be at the level of the big gun VGM composers out there. I'm not saying don't keep striving to improve - not at all, in fact you should be working tirelessly to improve your skills. However, you need as much actual experience as possible, which means working on real projects, even if they're just indie gigs. You can't compose and produce in a vacuum (I've tried), and you need to get credits somehow, no matter how small they are.

I had an assumption based on absolutely nothing that perhaps I could do stuff from home but I wasn't quite sure so that's good to know. I probably will end up moving regardless anyways cause I just need to be in REAL a city again.I know there aren't any in house positions. Kinda like with Disney and it's artists but I had heard that some people get hired by production studios that send out artists so I figured eventually I'd wanna do that.

As far as perfecting my skills I know I'll never get them to be "perfect". I was more speaking of Perfecting them on a personal level. Learning how to mix, Learning how to use a few DAW's and having a clearer understanding of composing music for other genres of video games aside from Fighting Games, and learning other things that might be expected of me are what I meant by "Perfecting my skills". I understand as a composer you'll never be "perfect" It's too music is always changing and it's far too subjective. I just have an idea of where I wanna be before I start trying to get jobs. I can't roll just be like "Hey I know how to compose on Sibelius, and I've mostly only done Fighting Game Music. Hire me!"

RayMabry
03-18-2010, 01:18 PM
gamedev.net
indiegamer.com

Thankyou :) I've been looking ofr more sites like this.