Hello to all who read this and thank you if you do.
But if you don't want to read, there is some music at the bottom :)
I suppose I am still fairly new here and not to be so mysterious, I thought I would share a bit.
It has been over 10 years now since I first composed a song using a computer; quite incredibly so using the DOS based program called "Impulse Tracker". Prior to that I used looping software, but "IT" really allowed me to compose something from what seemed like scratch..
It was also ten years ago that I first used Fruity Loops 3 which ultimately gave me the bug!
It took me a couple of years to learn and teach myself all the new things that I wanted learn; starting with simple techno songs; now aiming for something that resembles soundtracks; often inspired by all the video game music made by the many G.A.N.G members here.
I began putting some of these 'songs' I made to use around five years ago or so. That was when my music really began to take shape and a style was formed. By 2006, I made my music public online and even got some stuff into a couple of games.
I worked with a lot of bands in the later part of the last decade recording and such and also began making a couple of video games of my own. I didn't promote much and still have a lot of music that even now has not yet been heard.
This year, I made a challenge for myself. I had to publicize more which ultimately helped me out. Seeing as how I am so soundtrack driven; especially game soundtracks, I knew I had to do something a bit different and learned a lot through adapting what I already knew and combining it with online resources.
I made a realization while playing Mass Effect. I was thinking that the soundtrack was amazing and really liked how it contained both electronic and classical instrumentation - I did a lot of electronic stuff, but wanted to do something orchestral so this union of genres seemed like something I wanted to pursue. This also lead me here to G.A.N.G.
..So this year I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit, bought a Mac, and started using programs that I didn't know but it really didn't take long to learn how to use these programs such as Logic since it shares some similarities with FL Studio.
I made just over 100 mp3s this year to date in my free time. Before going out and buying a bunch of expensive programs and stuff, since many of you know how much one can get into, I put my old stuff to work and gave it one good last run to see what sorts of things I could do.
One of the challenges I made for myself was to give myself a limit whilst attempting to produce some soundtrack-like material. For those who know their computer hardware, the orchestral samples do tend to eat up quite a bit of resource.
Below are some songs that I made this year. The first six were made entirely on a computer running Fruity Loops 3.56, Edirol Orchestral, and only 256 MB of ram on an over ten year old budget Duron chip clocked at 700 Mhz. For the fun of it! That was a challenge of patience ;)
The following six are more electronic on a Celeron computer with FL Studio 6. Both sets of six tracks were made from start to finish in one week per set. I have high standards for myself however these do not showcase anything in terms of high quality and were intended more for demoing purposes. Some of them are a bit shrill sounding.
The last track Overpass was one of my early tracks using the new Mac Mini and Logic Pro Studio 9 with the default instruments.
Feel free to listen to some of these 'sketches' skip through them, download them, whatever you would like. The goal here was to play around with orchestral samples before buying higher quality and more updated stuff as well as combining the genres of orchestral and electronic; inspired by the ambient, spacey, and epic stuff as heard in Mass Effect:
Please enjoy and feel free to drop a comment!
How are you doing folks?
I hope all is well, soon we have the christmas rush upon us. yey! =)
Last week I produced a couple of new themes (as usual), some pitches and I'm also working on the third AZURE album with my friend Robban Kanto.
5 new songs are currently in proces, I've wrecked some of my drum-gear so I have to buy some new stuff this weekend.
Ahh, and I also just got the heads up from CDbaby that the two EMBRACING albums we produced in 1996/1997 will be released on digital distribution in the coming weeks. iTunes, Spotify etc. So check them out when they are available.
Don't forget to check my twitter and webpage www.morningdewmedia.com
for new music themes and mp3 demos.
Have a nice weekend my fellow audio artists!
(From the January, 2007 issue of Game Developer Magazine)
The music revolution has arrived and in its wake lay the bankrupt husks of once-mighty megaliths like Tower and Sam Goody. While Napster struck the first blow, the undisputed successor to the throne of legal music downloading is Apple’s iTunes Music Store. By offering decent quality downloads at reasonable prices, iTunes is largely driving the changes reshaping media distribution channels in the 21st century.
While seemingly every film gets a soundtrack release these days, game soundtracks are still extreme rarities outside of Japan. This is largely attributed to the limited return game soundtracks bring in when compared to the costs involved in production, distribution, and marketing of the discs themselves. However, an online distribution model changes this dramatically and already music by Chance Thomas, Jack Wall, and Marty O’Donnell sits under the iTunes “Soundtrack” category.
Convincing your publisher that a game soundtrack is a good idea is a topic all its own. This month, though, we’re going to look at what it takes to get your music listed on iTunes. There are essentially two methods: directly through Apple or through a digital distributor.
THE APPLE WAY
iTunes is a great opportunity for independent artists and smaller labels to easily distribute their music world wide. However, finding their online application can be difficult as all of the necessary links are in out of the way places on Apple.com. Start at www.apple.com/itunes and click on the light gray hypertext link at the bottom of the screen that reads “Working With iTunes: Labels & Artists.” On the following “Labels & Artists” page, the application to apply is linked to in the first blue box on the right side of the screen, conveniently labeled “iTunes Music Store Online Application.”
After complying with a brief “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and “you better own the rights to this stuff” warning from Apple, you’re ready to apply. The application comes in two relatively short parts. The first section is all about contact info and where globally you have the rights to distribute the music. The second part of the application is about the content – is it music, how many albums, how many tracks, and any other info you’d like to let Apple know. Pretty simple stuff.
Here’s the snag with the Apple method. As Apple is fond of telling you, real people read and evaluate every application that comes through their site. As such, the word on the street is that Apple can take a very long time to get back to artists, if ever. Since Apple doesn’t approve every artist who applies and you already clicked on the “don’t call us” button, the whole process can feel a bit like throwing a feather down a deep well and waiting to hear some sort of splash.
If you do hear back from Apple, you’ll need to download their free iTunes Producer software to edit track metadata, attach album artwork, and convert tracks into the necessary AAC file format. Monetarily, there is no fee to apply, but Apple will take 35% of all sales. The other 65% goes to the record label, which in this case might be the game’s publisher, the artist, or an actual record label. How much you as the artist will see of that remaining 65% is completely dependent upon the specifics of your individual deal.
You will also need to set up your music with a UPC code for each album and ISRC codes for each track. The UPC barcode is used to track individual albums sold and the ISRC codes function as a digital fingerprint for every song in distribution. To create your own barcodes, you need to become a member of GS1 US and obtain a unique company prefix. This can cost as much as $750. If you’re going through your publisher or an established record label, you may be able to get a UPC code through them. ISRC codes can be obtained for free from the Recording Industry Association of America (www.riaa.com).
THE OTHER WAY
The other option is to contract with a digital distributor. A digital distributor works just like their real-world counterparts. You give them music and they work on getting it distributed to vendors. In this case, that means online music retail services such as iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody, etc. Digital distributors do the legwork for their artists and then take a small percentage of the return from sales as commission. Distributor legwork includes digitizing the music and converting it into all required file formats for the various retail outlets. Turn around times range from about 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on the retailer.
The leading digital distributor right now is CD Baby, though others such as IRIS, indie911 and the IODA also exist. Artists are charged an initial “set-up” fee of $35 and $20 per UPC code. For their part, though, CD Baby then handles all necessary file format conversions, acquisition of ISRC numbers, and then the actual distribution. Payment is then made a week after they receive the money from the retailers.
While primarily established to aid independent and unsigned bands, digital distributors can remove many of the hassles associated with the Apple method. Additionally, your music will find its way to more than just iTunes. The downside however is a smaller monetary return and the insertion of a middle-man between you and your music on iTunes.