Quick Tip: How To Make Additive Music For Games
Christian shares with us how he constructs additive music for computer games.
Percussion: Albion ONE –
Piano: Albion ONE –
Pulsing Drone: Albion Tundra –
Strings – Chamber Strings & Hans Zimmer Strings –
I work with modular synth and can always get the main loop but have trouble know how to break it up for performance while adding variation. I also always have trouble deciding how many voices to use and never feel like I have enough.
This is a wonderful tip! Any chances you will do an Alien Isolation analysis?
Good stuff, Christian!
One thing that's slightly confusing is that I suspect a lot of people will assume that your next step was to bounce out the loop(s) you created and tested in your DAW. The problem with this is that the perfect loop you heard in your DAW isn’t representative of what would be bounced because the tails of the last few notes (i.e. the natural decay in the samples, but also any temporal FX such as reverb and delay) wont be present at the beginning of the loop. That will probably sound a bit odd, but the worst case scenario is a nasty click, particularly if there’s any significant bass at the loop point.
The way this kind of plain vanilla vertical/additive interactivity would be implemented in the game is as an ‘intro and loop’ – you’ve got an intro there, but you didn’t play it, so that aspect might have gone over some folks heads. The thing that’s missing though is that you, or the sound team you deliver to, need to create that seamless loop. Solving this might have been what you were referring to when you mentioned providing a much longer version, but I thought I'd just chime in with how to make that process easier (and make editorial love you rather than hate you)…
The lowest hanging fruit method is for the composer to copy and paste the beginning of the loop on to the end of itself so that a loop point can be found at some point past the length of the tail. It’s true that round robin samples can make finding a perfect loop a little bit trickier, but freezing the tracks does nothing to address this if you’ve copied and pasted.
You can also deliver the tail (by deleting the material after the loop point and bouncing out the decay in its entirety), but this isn’t super useful in this particular scenario because, if you think about it, the intended beginning of the loop will be ‘polluted’ by the tail of the intro. So, then you get in to the slightly more tedious scenario of having to deliver the intro+tail separately from the loop+tail. This is technically cleaner, but it’s more faff and, personally, I’d rather just find and test a loop manually in a wave editor (greatly assisted by knowing the BPM, possibly with a dodgy crossfade) and then pass that on to the team safe in the knowledge that if I've set up the loop myself I know it’s going to sound good.
I loved this video! Mindblowing with the easter eggs! 😀
This is great!
So useful, congratulations Christian
I wish you a nice Pentecost
best regards Frank
Oh, game composition tips! Lovely! I hope you'll do more of that!
I love these quick tips. Christian is well-spoken as usual. Please do more of this subject!
This is gold! Thank you Christian! I really plan to compose for games one day, and I really love Alien: Isolation! Glad I'm subscribed! I would be really happy if you would make some more game-related videos!
Amazing tutorial. The easter egg moments is absolutely genius. Bravo!
Very insightful, as ever. Please do more of this, as it is relevant to my own passion. Thank you
This is excellent Cristian — keep them coming!
A treat as always Christian, what Spitfire libraries were you using this time? Thanks. Dave:)
Hello Christian, Could you please share the details of the stand that your macbook pro is resting on? Thank you.
If possible I would love to more videos on making dynamic and adaptive music for video game!
The undulating kind of approach definitely works for games – even adaptive implementation can’t underscore everything so having extra peaks and troughs is a great idea!
Christian great composition in this example! Thanks for sharing how/why you use Logic track freeze !
Ah this is fab, sparks all sorts of ideas for my theatre writing – underscore needs to be dynamic, but you can't necessarily hit cues like in film. My only criticism – that piano scrape sound is really iconic to the Dishonored series (it's the "You've been spotted" noise) – so maybe use with care!
when you realize its 4k
I think it is great that you engage your customer.
I read ADDICTIVE
That was so helpful. Thanks for these tips!
Awesome tips, Id love some more videos on music for video games this was informative!
Wait, you worked on Alien Isolation and Inside Number 9!? I had no idea you were involved in the soundtracks for some of my favourite media in recent years. Thanks so much for your excellent videos as well.
How is the shifting drone at 3:24 achieved? Sound design or a patch?. Sounds fantastic!
Anyone looking for someone to compose their game soundtrack? Willing to collaborate for free as a fun side project 🙂
What software is this?
where i can get music for comercial use ? some orchestra sites are gigving their sample and selling whole list of tracks but these are not so intuitive waiting for response taking ages if i can take these and use in game or its just for personal use….
Brilliant explanation 👏
Thank you for this!
Could I ask you a question? If you have an audible tail at the start of your functioning loop, do the game devs fix this (perhaps a fade for the first time round) or should the composer fix this prior to the loop being 'finished'? Thanks again, great content.