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Getting/Making Game Music that Fits - Comparative Music Series

Tips for new audio designers composing video game music out of their comfort zone. Useful for producers as well, looking to put together design directions for their audio designers.

Harry Mack

January 29, 2015

2 Min Read

Hi. I’m a game audio designer. I got into the business over a decade ago, full of my own preconceptions of what my experiences as audio designer in the game industry would be. I assumed I could pick and choose the games I’d work for, that a focus in my “favourite” style of music was enough. Very early on, I realized if I was to make it in this career, I would need to adapt and survive. Growing from composing in about one style to just about any took a lot of will and a lot of work. It certainly wasn’t easy, but it’s been an eye-opener breaking out of my niche, finding out that I have the skill to learn how to, and effectively compose anything thrown at me. The best part is, I love it. That’s the part that’s surprised me the most!

So far, I’ve written for two years about how I got started composing various styles and genres. It’s been a composers 101 of sorts, describing the process of breaking down the specifics of instrument choices, tempos, and musicality in the vast sea of compositional choices. This year I’d like to mix it up a bit and describe some of the challenges I’ve come across in trying to choose between multiple paths forward in the same genre. Say you’ve been assigned to create music for a sci-fi game. Well, sci-fi comes in all shapes and sizes. How you choose to move forward is important for your entire game design. Goofy, cartoony, serious, high-fi, retro, there’s a lot of choices here! In the end that’s a discussion best had with the lead designers, but as a game composer it’s important to know how to move forward with any decision. See you soon!

 

Harry Mack is an audio designer with more than 10 years industry experience, composing video game music and sound effects for over thirty titles. Examples of his latest work and samples are available at www.harrymack.com.

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