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Questions about Composing video game music..I'd really appreciate some answers.


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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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