Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Music Game Jam 2017

I joined a game jam team working on a game for Music Game Jam 2017.

Rules of the jam were to make something music themed over 72 hours. Our goal was a rhythm based game where you move to the beat of the music. 

 I wrote 5 different short pieces of loopable music for 5 different levels.

 I tried to make the beats recognisable and not too up-tempo. No polyrhythmic, complex time signatures here...! Although that would have been cool.

The only bit of art I was given was the idea of the main playable character: a cute but deadly bear with a sword.

I took some inspiration from Donkey Kong Country (the use of hand-drums and "human" instruments). I imagined the music to be somewhat SNESish but with nods to the NES also with synth melodies using NES style wave-shapes. As a side note I do quite like the work of David Wise!

Unfortunately a working game did not come to fruition. Oh well!

Check 'em out:

This one I intended for either the title screen music or level one: https://soundcloud.com/user-156024053/game-jam-1-tune-4

And the other 4:

https://soundcloud.com/user-156024053/game-jam-1-tune-1
https://soundcloud.com/user-156024053/game-jam-1-tune-2
https://soundcloud.com/user-156024053/game-jam-1-tune-3
https://soundcloud.com/user-156024053/game-jam-1-tune-5

Thursday, September 21, 2017

DIY Mic Blimp




I build this DIY microphone blimp for field recording.

Materials used:
 - wire mesh
 - wire
 - elastic from ebay
 - Rode deadcat
 - pine for the handle

The pine handle was shaped with a saw and rasp mainly. It has a small coat of shellac.




It works pretty good but its a bit rattly when I jiggle it around. Some glue or similar on the wires on the handle could help.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Synth Sound Design

This is an exercise doing abstract sound design to video.

Scope it here.

I used my trusty Roland Alpha Juno 2 for the sound source.

Batman Portfolio Piece

I put together this as a portfolio piece. I've stripped the sound out of the trailer for Batman: Arkham Origins and done sound-design to demonstrate some of my skills.

Check it out here.

 - Wim

Weekly Sound Design Challenge FB group



I setup a Facebook group for people to share small sound-design projects to learn from one another. I'm thinking at the moment the format will be a weekly challenge in the form of sentence. The first is "The sound of electric birds in an impossible space" which was a suggestion from someone on another FB group.

A number of people have posted their version of the bird swarm so far. I find it interesting to read about the process others have used.

Should be interesting going forward. = )

 - Wim

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sound-Design Challenge #1




Someone over on the Psy Producers Forum Facebook page suggested a regular sound-design challenge as an exercise.

The description was the sound of a swarm of electric birds in an impossible space. Check out my attempt here!

I started by recording multiple layers of my Roland Alpha Juno keyboard into the computer. The patch uses the filter going into self resonance with a high-speed LFO adjusting the cut-off frequency of the filter to get a moving squeaky sound. A bit bird like!

I played the notes in by hand un-quantised to get a bird like timing.

The rest of the sound-design is layers of effects in REAPER. There is a delay to fake the number of "birds" (eg. get more layers). Chorus to imitate more birds, and also to give it a classic sci-fi feeling (adding to the "impossible space"). Stuttery / glitch plugin is in the chain to give a robotic feeling. I imagine robot birds glitch and stutter. The final few effects are a few convolution reverbs, one using the impulse of a spring reverb: something a bit other worldly / not a realistic / not in the real world reverb for the "impossible space" part of the challenge.

Here it is over at my SoundCloud.

 - Wim

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Goa-Trance Tunes and Workflow



I have been writing GoaTrance lately. I have found having a rather strict workflow has helped me to complete songs. Working with hardware can force one to work in a more regimented way. My rough workflow is something like this:

 - Sketch MIDI arrangement using placeholder VST synth sounds. Also work on percussion. Export layers of percussion as audio.

 - Send MIDI to hardware synths and record into the computer.

- Do a few more passes of synths for effects, risers etc.

 - Final mix-down.

There are a few advantages of working this way. The workflow is helpful for me as I mentioned. Not relying on writing with the synths in real time means its somewhat easy to multitrack a monosynth. Both for multitimbrality, but also for polyphony.

Dealing with jittery MIDI is thing... Hopefully not too distracting or noticeable but worth looking into some tighter timing solutions...

I mix in the computer using REAPER. It's practical. Lots of nice sounding effects is nice too. For the most part I only use the stock plugins.

Check 'em out:

https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/battle-incense-demo
https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/gong
https://soundcloud.com/astral-brain-tentacles/biochemical-images-demo