Today is the day. I present to you my first album:
It’s an album of what I call “Video Game Christmas Music” – basically it is a cross between traditional carols and classic video game tunes. Some are very obviously specific game tracks, others are merely inspired by the style of a game’s soundtrack.
The 12GB of Christmas is on sale now for PWYW, minimum $7CAD, or you can buy a download code on a fancy card from me in person for $5.
The album features 10 tracks that I’ve put together over the past 2-3 weeks. I know, it’s not much time. The tracks are definitely not as polished as I would like them to be, but I wanted to have something together in time for Bit Bazaar at Bento Miso! So today is the day.
I’ll be selling it exclusively through Bandcamp for a while and if there is much interest I’ll submit it to iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. If it gets really popular I’m totally pressing a vinyl…
Huge thanks go to Henry Faber for helping me stay on schedule, lending me his camera to take pictures of my consoles/tree, and graphically designing the heck out of my album art (even though he runs multiple businesses AND Bit Bazaar)! It’s been a crazy time friend, thanks.
Please please please send me feedback! If you like it, please spread the word. If you don’t like it, tell me – I won’t know unless you do. If there are more songs you’d like to see, let me know (just remember that I need the Christmas tune to be in the public domain for me to legally release it). Either way this has been a ton of fun and I hope you like it.
I recently worked with Secret Location Inc, here in Toronto (that’s all I’m allowed to say about where they are secretly located) on an infinite runner mobile game for iOS called “The Great Martian War.” It accompanies a History Channel special by the same name.
Most of the games I’ve worked on haven’t been shooters or had a war setting, so it was fun to design sounds that were completely different. As much as possible I tried to stay accurate to the sound of weapons and machinery from WWI, while I got to completely create and design the martians’ sounds from scratch. The game is free to play, so go download it! Now!
Fans of Thadeus Maximus’ “Jimmy Jimbo: Big Zoo Fun” be warned… since the update to iOS7, Big Zoo Fun is sadly broken! If you’re running the newest mobile software on your Apple device, please be patient. A fix is on the way.
In other news, I’ve been doing some early planning with Thadeus Maximus for our next project together, so stay tuned! More updates to come.
I picked up the FTL soundtrack in the latest Game Music Bundle, and I was listening to it on my way home yesterday. As I was listening to the track “Milky Way,” I started to sing “Get Lucky” along to it and it was kind of loosely working. I’ve never done a mashup before, so it took me a long time to get the parts together sort of the way I wanted. Unfortunately the vocals-only track I found was really poor quality – overall though, I’m generally happy with how this turned out:
Maybe if the muse strikes me I’ll do it again sometime.
Elegy is finally coming! I first met the creators, Scott and David at Fan Expo last year where I played an Elegy endless battle prototype (and got pretty far up the high score list if I do say so myself). The game has come a long way, and later this month you’ll be able to play it too.
So far, I’m three tracks into the soundtrack of the game and you can hear one of them right now… without any further adieu, here is the reveal trailer:
It’s a third-person twin stick isometric fighter, and you fight using 3 familiars who surround you, each having their own health level and a different range of attacks. It’s a ton of fun and I can’t wait to show you more!
Christine Love is an indie game developer who works out of the same office that I do (Bento Miso in Toronto). She’s known for her visual novel “Analogue: A Hate Story,” available on Steam. The continuation of that game, Hate Plus, is coming August 19th. I edited the trailer for it, so here it is:
The music in this video is “It’s not Ero! (feat Senah Kim)” by Isaac Schankler in LA. The OST will be on Bandcamp, and you can check out the full version of the trailer’s track there!
The track I wrote for Katie’s game is called Mother’s Instinct. It was a nice departure from people looking for the standard ‘Hans Zimmer’ feel, or chiptunes. I love writing in classical/folk/acoustic styles. I wanted to incorporate war drums, bagpipes, harps… it was a lot of fun by the end of it.
The game itself isn’t online yet, but here is the music:
Attract mode came to Toronto during TCAF and held Comics VS Games 2, and held a gallery event at Bento Miso. I was fortunate enough to be a part of it, and after the fact I produced a montage video wrap-up for them. Of course, I wrote a track to go along with it. (The story behind the title is that yesterday I had to buy 4 new tires, break pads and rotors, and the track is in a break style, with pads… break pads). Here it is:
First things first, go HERE and support Spellirium.
Today is a big announcement for Untold Entertainment and for me, too! After five years of development, their new game Spellirium is available for preorder today. If you support for the project, not only do you get a release copy when it’s finished, but you can play the alpha version of the game today (sorry, if you watched the video I guess that was a bit repetitive).
So I’ve partnered with Untold on this – I worked with Ryan to film and edit the video you see above, and I wrote the music you hear when he’s speaking (after the Blackbird Raum song / trailer).
Here is the track I wrote, available on Soundcloud:
The game still needs music, sound effects and voice overs… not to mention some animations and a few other details! So there is a long road ahead, but I’m looking forward to seeing the final product released sometime in the next few months!
A Day in the (Studio) Life
I spent a day at The Vine Studio in Mississauga to record the 5 minute track I linked above. Kyle Reid came along with me to play piano and to engineer for me, and Jordan Cabral came in to track violin parts (or Ryan would call them “fiddle” parts I suppose).
Jordan Cabral tracking violin parts. We’ve worked together on PhoenixPox, Spellirium, and he even played at my wedding!
Ryan gave me a list of youtube videos as reference for what he was looking for (probably 10-12 tracks), and since the video was more or less edited at that point I had a really good guideline to work with. Some composers really like having free rein to be creative, but there’s something to be said about working with restrictions.
When you look at the video, you can break it into 3 parts: introduction (Ryan sitting in front of concept art), exposition (Ryan standing by the red shelf), and call to action (close up of Ryan on the couch). Because of that, I decided to break the music up into 3 parts as well – this was made easy by the vast amount of reference I’d been provided with. The three tracks that I mostly based the parts on were 1) Sad Wind Sighs – Flatt Lonesome 2) Fire on Fire – Heavy D, 3) Yellow Bird – Akeboshi. It’s a bit embarrassing to list them like that because it feels really obvious to me, and I don’t want you to think I flat-out copied them either. Music reference can be a lot like Art reference and I wanted to show a little bit behind the work that went into this.
Kyle Reid… he’s really good. Has his master’s degree in piano or something even.
I set up a scratch track with a click and a rough guitar part to direct the chords and transitions in the studio, which helped quite a bit. Once we got into the studio it was basically just a matter of recording the different instruments one by one.
Here’s a look at the project when I was editing it
Including the voiceover, scratch track and some unused takes, I had around 36 channels to deal with. In terms of instrumentation: I played acoustic guitar(x5), banjo(x2), snare, bass drum, guitarkelele (it’s a real thing I swear), shaker, tambourine and accordion. Kyle played piano, organ and glockenspiel (glock didn’t make the final mix). Jordan played violin, as per usual.
We tracked the whole thing in one day and I spent the next day editing it to be the music you’re hearing today. SO THERE YOU GO! informed.
Stay tuned for more Spellirium updates. I’ll keep you posted.