Video Game Music (For your Game)
So you have a wonderful idea for a video game and your going the independent
route. Maybe you have you just written the next equivalent to "Final Fantasy"
or "Chrono Trigger" Soon your going to be one famous and filthy rich
guy! Well maybe not but you never know do you?
Now you need some Music right? Well sure, and you have to have original music.
After all, your just a game designer and you don't know anything about writing
great music. Hey relax! I am going to take to let you in one of the best kept
secrets on the net. www.Mixposure.com.
Where the atmosphere is friendly and there are artist there are willing to work
with Video Game designers just like yourself.
Most video gamers are very familiar with the great Uematsu whose works for Final
Fantasy Series has helped launched him to world wide acclaim. Well, you can't
afford him, sorry. His video game music has made him a very wealthy man. His
works have been performed live in Carnegie Hall and in Japan he has attained
Rock Star Status. Trust me he won't return you calls. Next best thing? Find
your own undiscovered Uematsu. Good reference link on the great Nobuo Uematsu
If You Can't Afford the Best.
Unlike most Indie video game designers on a budget, Mr. Uematsu is called before
the game at the very first and is informed of the plot and what is going on
in the game before it is put together . The music is written first before the
game is ever designed. This is a nice way to do it if you can afford it. Fortunately
for us poorer guys there is another way .
Loops will work if you use the right artist. Yes, you will have to make a few
compromises but you won't have to pay zillions of dollars for commission work
and still have to pay royalties. That is what we are going to talk about here.
How to get quality music reasonably
A Wealth of Talent.
I have found a unique pool of talented song writers that do not primarily write
for Video Games but their music lends itself to game design very well. Lets
look at a one of them
Now if that's not a great name to have attached to your video game there isn't
one. "Music written by Kaos Axiom " pretty awesome huh? His name is
a reflection of his work. Hard edged with controlled madness. The interesting
thing about Kaos' work is that he writes many movements and changes within his
piece and they are easy to loop to your action sequences. Take a listen to 5kphobia
there is enough action in there for 3 different wars at one time. Heavy metal
with synth drums and wild and crazy its just well, Kaos!
On Mixposure.com there are reviews and you can use them to judge the work of
the artist. It even comes with a rating system. Here are just two sample reviews
of Kaos' Work. "Electro
Death" by other song composers.
"What I mean, of course, is that there are parts of this that come across
as sounding right for a video game track. You may be offended by that, I suppose,
but since these games are what th' kiddies (all th' way from 8 to 48) eat, sleep
& breathe - you may want to consider it. It's got great full-body, not just
energy alone... gets a RECOMMENDED from these ol' ears!"
"VIDEO GAME!!! This would be great video game music. Some GREAT Synth work
going on in here. Lots of energy. Nice pads happening in the background. (You
might want to bring them up a bit) But, good programming going on here in this."
This is just one sample, when you listen to his music he will have about 20
original compositions of electronic music. You need to listen to them all. Some
of them like "Electro Death" are broken into many movements and tempo
changes. For action and interlude sections lots of heavy synth and high energy
drums metallic sounds and clicks all effects that lend themselves to the game
Want to get it custom?
If you want a piece composed I am sure your could approach Many of these composers
with some cash money and they will be glad to talk to you. If you want to use
the music as is and loop you must realize that the work is copy written and
can not be used for commercial profit or any kind of distribution without the
authors written consent. They will work with you. They want the music played.
You would be free to use the music to develop your game but you would have to
make other arrangements if you decide to make money off of it as I will repeat
later their name must ALWAY be displayed with the work.
I have written two game pieces one I did for 3000.00 and one for 89.00 What
was the difference? The one for 89.00 I held publishers rights and gave limited
use, the 3000.00 one I sold outright. What is the difference? With the limited
rights It is still a custom piece designed for the author and I can attach a
royalty fee. With the exclusive piece the customer owns it out right.
Both can be used as the game author sees fit. With the limited rights song
I can sell it again to whoever I want so conceivably two indie games could have
the same music. This is very rare but it could happen. The other option is that
if someone wanted to buy the exclusive rights the first 89.00 customer would
be given first option on the music if you did not want it you would have to
give it up. So that is how it goes for custom work.
On both works my name is required to be displayed on the piece as the writer.
Now, after saying all of that, every artist is different. So just ask them.
Custom work requires a Score The easiest way is a chart sheet and block of
the sequences if it is a role playing game. Such as walking, hunting, hiding
,fighting, shooting, heavy action, (you get the idea). Try to give the running
time of the events. There will be another article on this coming. It is just
a script for the composer to follow.
The Common Way.
The most practical way is to select the time sequences that work and loop them.
That is the nice thing about having one piece all written by the same artist.
Same key and same instruments levels and mix. Production quality is the same
throughout. You will have a little more work to do but it is cheaper this way.
The other nice thing about this is that once the piece is finished you can go
back to good old Kaos or whoever you use to smooth is all out. He has the master
tracks after all. Again, Kaos' work is excellent for loops.
So Check it Out
There are More good artist on that site just click on Mixposure and see for
yourself you will save yourself a lot of headaches take it from me. In case
you are an artist and are just checking out this article. You can upload your
songs there also. It is a great place to find out exactly what kind of music
you are producing. It is the nicest collection of helpful people, I have ever
run across. Really! Good Luck Gaming! (more next article)