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Music & Sound FX / [Tech] What techniques do you use to give you that sound you want?

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Zotoaster
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Joined: 20th Dec 2004
Location: Scotland
Posted: 25th Oct 2007 18:24
Anyone have any theory to share about how they go about making something sound how they want? My way is just make it as onomatopoeic as I can. If it's for a racing game make it fast and not too much melody, etc.

What about you?

"It's like floating a boat on a liquid that I don't know, but I'm quite happy to drink it if I'm thirsty enough" - Me being a good programmer but sucking at computers
Grandma
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Location: Norway, Guiding the New World Order
Posted: 25th Oct 2007 19:11
Your question confused me abit, do you mean how do we shape the sounds (EQ, effects...), or how to create the right atmosphere in a song for the style of the game it's going to be used in?

To answer the latter one, I usually do what seems obvious. Fast music for fast games like racing and arcade style games, slower music for slow games like RPG's. For FPS games it's more difficult since your situation vary alot. You will have to either find some good balance in pace or make 2 songs for each area, one fast for battles and one slower for exploring. That can also apply to RGP's.

For the sounds themselfes and the layout of the tracks, that is up to each and everyone to decide for themselfes. It's not what you have, but how you use it i say.

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Zotoaster
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Posted: 25th Oct 2007 19:50
Heheh, yeah I ment the second one. But of course, it's not always so easy, I mean, ok, fast games = fast music, but what about music that describes rolling hills or a vibrant city, etc? You see what I'm saying? Effects and stuff come into play too I guess.

"It's like floating a boat on a liquid that I don't know, but I'm quite happy to drink it if I'm thirsty enough" - Me being a good programmer but sucking at computers
Grandma
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Location: Norway, Guiding the New World Order
Posted: 25th Oct 2007 23:58
Quote: "but what about music that describes rolling hills or a vibrant city, etc?"


For me that mainly boils down to using instruments the general people associate with a particular setting. For example if i hear a track with a harp or some type of flute and lots of percussions, i instantly think of forests or some type of "wild" place. If i hear a track with some jazz guitar and a oldschool beat accompanying it, that usually reads "city" in my head. You basically need to find out what instruments people associate with each settings, and use them as much as possible to create a theme in your tracks that suit the setting. There is also the composing part, how you use the different instruments can further enhance the theme if done right, but i'm not gonna go into that because i'm not a good composer and i would hate to send anyone off in the wrong direction.

You can check out Benji's thread Here and ask yourself what makes his "egyptian" track egyptian.

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Junkrock
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Posted: 27th Oct 2007 04:54
Harmonic Minor scale im guessing

Achieving certain moods with music is not only in the notes you play, but how they are played, in what registers they are played and which instruments they are played on....when scoring for 'film' there are some 'hard fast rules.'

If you are looking to study on the subject you will want to look up orchestration and arranging.

Hope this helps a bit.

DaZ

the simulated city
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Location: New York
Posted: 27th Nov 2007 02:10
orchestration and arranging are two of the most important things about composing music. If you do your research and look at good examples of music for games and work out what makes them work then you will learn techniques that regularly come up again and again.

I like to use found sounds to the beats to add a little something to the track

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