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Profile Information

  • Real Name
    Daniel Swearengin
  • Occupation
    Full time Video Game Composer & Sound Designer


Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status
    2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
  • Composition & Production Skills
    Arrangement & Orchestration
    Drum Programming
    Synthesis & Sound Design
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List)
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (Other)
    Percussion, Mallet Instruments

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ShrackAttack's Achievements


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  1. I also signed up. LET THE DOWNLOADING BEGIN. Here's what I'm going to try out personally: Hollywood everything Stormdrum 3 Ghostwriter Dark Side Solo Violin Gypsy Silk and the other little odds and ends they have
  2. Subscription based-model for all EW products now. 30$ a month for *gold editions* of everything. http://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud
  3. This is basically what I did when I bought a laptop for sound design/smaller music production while traveling. I got y470p (decent bit older than the 500) with i7/8gb ram for 200$ used on Ebay and it's worked fine so far for a year. Like Neblix said, I would try to get an SSD or at least a 7200rpm drive though.
  4. This. Mitsuda is the master of the feels.
  5. 0:25 - the larger guns could use some low end, maybe add some more mechanical layers as well for the movement of the cannnos. Lowpass a cannon shot and place it a few miliseconds after the initial fire. 0:35 - the mini explosion impacts from the cannons hitting Sin also need something else to them. Sounds too much like a straight pull from a library and doesn't quite fit. 0:43 - add some subtle movement to the swimmers 0:45 - add subtle chocobo sounds 01:24 - the lightning could use some more oomph to it. Maybe just add some low end or something. 1:47 - need more of that explosion All in all it sounded pretty consistent though, which is good. Good job!
  6. T-Racks sell: Buy 1, Get 4 Free. http://www.ikmultimedia.com/trgb/
  7. Only problem is, this happens with every other field in games as well, so it is not really a fair point. It's not like everyone who does art has certain qualifications. Anyone can download Maya or 3dsMax and start modelling shit. Anyone at any time can start learning pixel art. Anyone can go spend 100$ for a level design class, make some mods, then finally do a little crappy original game and call themselves a professional. Same with programming, sound design, voice over, etc. If you are good at something then you are good at it. The difference here is just supply/demand. If you're aim is to fill a professional role in the development of a game, you should get a professional rate whether you think you've met the imaginary requirements of becoming a professional or not. The only person who you need to prove that you're a professional to is the employer. If they're willing to pay you 500$/min then that is that. You're worth 500$/minute to someone. Comparing yourself to Virt and what he does or doesn't charge on specific game titles doesn't somehow mean you should never charge 500$/minute for a soundtrack. Just because Virt is a highly talented guy, he isn't you. You make Meteo music and Virt makes Virt music. I make shitty Shrack music. No one else can make shitty Shrack music as shitty and Shrack-y as I can and maybe that's what a specific game dev wants. What people charge will always vary and a majority of composers will change their rates accordingly to get a gig (I agree with you on this ) because working is almost always better than sitting there and doing nothing. I've undercharged before, especially when I was first starting out. There is a real learning curve to it. You have to be flexible with people's budgets if you want to work. However, you don't want to be working for someone where it is detrimental to you. Getting paid 50$/minute for a game with a solid budget just isn't fair to you. Period. Game audio (SFX+Music) budgets generally range from 2% to 10% of a total budget for a game depending on the size of the company. You should always aim for that 10% at least. If a small indie game has 50k to spend for their game, game audio should get 5k.
  8. I wouldn't set a flat rate across the board either. I would have an idea in your mind about how much a specific genre of music would cost to do in hours and go around that. For example, doing a full orchestral song with a 150 track template can take a lot longer than a dance track or whatever. (Just an example ) So maybe where you're at with orchestral music right now, you feel like it takes you 10 hours to write 1 good minute of music. Let's say you want to make 20$ an hour on such and such game before taxes. 20$ x 10 hours = 200$ per minute. Depending on who you're working for, you can also try to gauge how much they are honestly able to pay you. People will try to lowball you since they're trying to hang onto as much of their money as they can (and that is fine), but just make sure you always start at the high end of negotiation first. Prices tend to never really go up when negotiating, so if you start on your low end with no where to go: you're screwed. I agree with Meteo on a lot of that, but also at the same time it becomes really easy to be down on ourselves and overly critical of our writing, production skills, etc. That is natural. However, The general game playing public really doesn't give a shit if your music isn't produced amazingly well or sounding like an AAA game. Most people just want to hear something they can relate to that sounds kind of cool. Catchy melodies, cool progressions, good character, interesting sound design. Also, You may not think your music is worth 500$ or even 100$, but some game developer down the road might really like it and think it sounds great. So don't totally undersell yourself. Even if you feel like you're not where you want to be musically yet, you can still make decent money off of your stuff while you continue learning. Kind of repeating what Meteo said: Keep your day job if you have one, especially for the first couple of years. Make sure you are stable. This shit is super, super fickle. I made the mistake of quitting my day job 1-2 years too early and it was really, really tough and a lot of not having any money in my bank account . As you progress through the years (and hopefully advance musically) make sure you are ramping up your pay grade if you are trying to do this as a legit job. Even if you are really good it can be terribly difficult to get any sort of music gig unless you know people as well, so spend a couple years meeting people. People like to work with people they know and trust. This is probably a bit too personal, but I don't really care. This was my own personal music/game audio/whatever job progression not counting any sort of royalty gigs as royalty jobs tend to go on forever until they release (unless you're lucky early on ): 2010: Started writing music for the first time ever 2011: Graduated college 2012: 5,000$ from game audio (still had my day job though so the 5k was extra cash) 2013: 8,000$ from game audio (quit my day job, bad move, luckily I had roommates and a supportive family and got through it ) 2014: 22,000$-30,000$ (game audio only...still roommates) As you know, 20-30k isn't that much money and I just got back to the salary I was making with a day job that was much, much easier and way less stressful. In my case, I didn't even know what a DAW was until I was 21. Luckily for you, you're young and have extra time to flesh out your skills. My income could easily slip in 2015 if I am not working my ass off to get better, get better jobs, and keep finding cool stuff to work on. It is a scary as hell thought and certainly stresses me out at times. I also work a lot of overtime that goes unpaid. TLDR version: Figure out what you want to make per hour and generally how long things take you to do. Learn how to negotiate and do business if you want to make money. Keep your day job if you have one until you know for certain you are good enough to make money. And sorry for getting off topic of the flat rate question, but I felt like it all applied.
  9. I do video game audio freelancing primarily to make money so I'll speak on that, as I don't know that much about licensing music for TV, etc. Usually this involves either me applying to a game I think is cool, or the indie company/game company asks me to work for them through word of mouth. I'll do sound design, music, audio implementation, handle voice acting, or a combination of all four. Especially on smaller games, the developer will likely want you to handle all aspects of audio. Personally I end up doing about 40% Music / 50% Sound Design / 10% Handling VA and editing. Exclusive rights to the developer: Lower end indie/small company games are usually around 200-800$ per minute of completed music. AAA game rates are usually 1-2k$ per minute. Sound design is generally done around 40-75$ for smaller titles per professional SFX depending on the company, a lump sum basis, or hourly rate of whatever people want to charge. If the game company has no money, you should aim for a royalty share of at least 5-10% depending on the amount of work you do. If you are more well known you can possibly ask for more. Other contract stipulations you can include are: How many iterations of something you are allowed to do (you don't want people changing what they want from the music constantly as that just wastes your work time), soundtrack sales/rights, etc. 1.) Always have a contract. 2.) Always finish on time. 3.) Don't allow yourself to be trampled on. Your life and time are just as important as anyone elses. 4.) Try to maintain ownership of the music on smaller game titles if it is possible, though this can be really difficult to negotiate. 5.) If you're working with just a small group of people with no money, you can also exchange your music for one of their skills (website building, portfolio art, cool animated videos you can use for a demo reel, etc) There are a ton of other things you can include in a contract to help yourself as well. edit: If you want to get into game audio I would advise on learning FMOD and Wwise then looking into the many commonly used game engines such as: UDK, Unity, CryEngine, etc.
  10. Yeah, I'm not sure I would suggest Audition for making music. From what I have heard, it is great for sound design to video/sound design. But I would definitely stick with Reaper for music.
  11. You might want to try layering more as well. Use multiple cello patches to make the sound fuller and adjust volume accordingly. Maybe have a Cello Marcato patch hit on certain parts to give emphasis, etc.
  12. 50% off lexicon PCM Native Reverb Plugin Bundle on jrrshop.com. It's 300$ (600$ normally). Izotope RX 3 is also having a sale if you buy it now you geta free update to RX 4. You can also buy that on jrrshop and get it cheaper than I've seen anywhere yet (around 211$). Pretty much a standard for cleaning up audio.
  13. So I bought Plogue Chipsounds a while back to use for a game and am about to start digging into it. Are there any good chiptunes/chipsounds tutorials out there? I want to use it mostly as supplemental stuff with hybrid orchestra/electronic music. I've been trying to figure out all the different tricks to get different sounds with it. And I'm certainly not looking to mimic "real" chiptunes. I just want it to sound cool and get some different effects with it . The main libraries I'm using for this game are EWQL Gold + Omnisphere + Chipsounds. I also have Komplete which I use sometimes. Thanks!
  14. Ahh yeah, I forgot about OrangeTree. Thanks.
  15. So lately I've been looking for some new bass patches as I mainly tend to use the basic stuff that comes with the Kontakt factory library. So what are your favorite bass patches with the most character? Mainly looking for some new fretless bass and upright bass patches, but I'd be glad to hear anything. One of these days I'll just buy a real bass. Also looking for a nice acosutic guitar patch with character. It doesn't have to sound 'real'. I just want it to have some style to it .
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