Music List Thread (Post New Themes Here)


Holy cow. These are great.

I love how understated they all are. A lot of our composers (me included) tend to get a bit bombastic, which isn’t always the way to go for video game soundtracks.

Excluding a bit of variation to extend it (but not much because its main draw is its simplicity), I think the first track is near perfect. It would work amazingly as an Awakening Stage theme, when your organism starts developing better brain capacity towards eventual tribalism.

One tiny nitpick with the second track is that the main melody feels a little ponderous at times. I’m not sure how you could fix it - perhaps playing with articulation by throwing in a few staccato notes? Other than that, it too is great, and in my opinion it doesn’t need an “action” version.

The third track conjures up images of the Victorian era, so I think it could work as an early Industrial theme. I would like to see a build up of tension in the finished version though - try and make it gradually grander as it approaches the end (brass, orchestral percussion, general increasing dynamics), before going back to that lovely string cadence.

I’m surprised I hadn’t considered anything like the fourth track before for the Industrial Stage, because it gives the feeling of a mid-20th century metropolis. It might not work as well as I’m hoping, but could you try adding some synth elements and a bigger jazz frontline as the texture thickens and volume gets louder? It works great as is, it just doesn’t feel entirely alien enough for an industrialised nation on another planet.


(Wow, those cues are amazing! I’m guilty as charged for bombastic composition, so many kudos for keeping the activity under control in those tracks!)

I wrote this as a theme for chasing prey during the animal stage. I was going to do one for being chased by another predator as well, but right now’s a very slow time for music production on my end and I wanted to get this up now, while it’s done.

I’m willing to recycle the themes into something less electronic if you feel this is a bit far off. My natural style just crept in while I was putting it together.


Sounds great! I think rather than removing the synth elements, it might be better to embrace them and rebrand the theme as something else (maybe for late Industrial Stage combat?). For instance, I’d like to hear what it sounds like with some of the strings replaced with synthesizers and electro percussion.


I’ll take a look at making some edits! Thanks for the notes! :smile:

Edit 1:

To give a bit of context to my thought process for these:

Instinct - Using elementary instruments more closely aligned with protomusical structures (so that’s voice, basic pipe instruments, drums) with an incredibly simple/sparse layout that would work as chant or verse.

Civility - Again, I aimed for instrumentation of an era - namely that of the Romans around 1000 BC - 100 AD - I also went for a very structured, simplistic form that wasn’t super dense as it was the style of the time. (It’s easily my least favorite of the four, so I may take more liberties with this one and expand into some complex strings or something)

Enlightenment - I was aiming for a quasi-string quartet feel (thus the only instruments being two violins, a viola, and a cello), but I could see expanding it to include a more full ensemble (possibly a full orchestra, though I may stick to only strings and woodwinds to fit the feel of it all)

Globalization - This was more of a modern piece, so I used a lot of variations on small ensembles (jazz bands and the like - That’s why I lead with Marimba and Vibes, for instance) and more loosely used jazz scale functions in the structure of it. I could definitely see some scaling up in the latter portion of the cue to incorporate a few more reeds/brass and possibly some synths, so I’ll take a hard look at it and make some edits/additions.

Edit 2:

As for why they aren’t bombastic or “epic” as some would create - I feel that everything has its place, so I can do grandiose, if we need it, but I decided for lighter touches to start with as it better exposes (in my view) my style and thought process, so we can exchange ideas better on what is needed. I’m just trying to help out as best I can! :smiley:


All my ideas were just suggestions of course. We could go with what you’ve got already and it’d work incredibly well, I’m just interested to see what could come of making some adjustments. Don’t feel you have to do any of them if you feel they wouldn’t work.


I’ve been working quite a bit on the updated Main Theme recently:

Since it needs to be the best it can possibly be, I’ve decided to upload a draft version so I can receive feedback before making a final version.

A couple of things I know are already wrong:

  • The dynamic processing is all over the place. At the moment it sounds fine in my DAW, but the exported file has clipping all over the place. Any attempt to fix it results in either a dull or distorted sound. I’ll certainly have to fix this.
  • This is only around half of the finished piece. Several notable sections from previous versions are missing, and I’ll get to adding those alongside ironing out everything already in place.
  • Strings. Gah, strings. No matter what I do to them, they always sound fake and plastic. It’s a slight improvement from v8, which was itself a massive overhaul of v7, but God am I fed up with string micromanagement.

I included some of your snippets, though most are quite heavily edited. I hope you’re ok with that.


@Oliveriver if you need some help with any of the main theme (string arrangement/sample management/etc.), just let me know and shoot me what midi you have for the instruments in question to bounce you a WAV or whatever works for you. Your synth work and piano are spot on, and I like the general flow of it all, by the way! :smile:

As for my last four cues:

Here are some updated versions of them. Thoughts?


Thanks! I’ll send you a basic MIDI of the main melody in the chorus, as that’s been causing the most hassle. For reference, the strings need to be loud and powerful but at the same time realistic.

I don’t really have much more to add about the cues, they’re all still awesome. Perhaps make a few of them a bit longer? You don’t have to, they’re fine as they are. They could probably be called finished if you’re happy with them, unless you want to address some of the points I suggested before.


I know I used to be a graphics member here ages ago, but now music has kind of become the biggest thing in my life, so I think the best way for me to contribute here is to do some music. May I ask what are the programs you guys generally use to compose your music? I like to compose marches and big band pieces generally, but I usually use musescore-- definitely not the right sound quality needed for a game soundtrack.

Hope to help out here!

EDIT: I should note that I may be able to get some pieces played by the local High School Band or Orchestra. They are really very good, so that would definitely work for this kind of a project. Also might be able to get a brass band from around here, although that’s more of a long shot-- without paying, at least.


I don’t know about anyone else, but I use Cubase and occasionally Audacity. I think Musescore is awesome, but it’s purely useful for scoring and absolutely useless for production. What has worked in the past is collaboration, with one person composing using sheet music, then the other taking the score, entering the notes into a DAW and polishing the production.

I’m intrigued by the prospect of having a proper orchestra for recording. Truth be told I always hoped that would be a possibility. There are two issues though: the quality of recording and the ability of the composer to properly convey what they want in the score.


Alright then-- I’ll write something up and send it over to see what you (or someone else) can do with it.


Well, I don’t think this is quit a finished product really-- it is only about a minute long, but I thought it would be good to get some feedback. The ending is a bit uncharacteristic of the rest of the piece, but it was difficult to find something fitting. I have a feeling the whole thing is too erratic, possibly needing more of a “break” between phrases? Just wanted review from someone who is probably a more experienced musician than me.

It’s uploaded as a musescore file just because I don’t think it’s really quite finished and I assume you do have musescore.

I wanted to keep so I just used a few brass and marimba-- though as a trumpet player myself, I had to have three trumpet parts of course.


Okay guys, in about an hour or so I will be well into making another piece of music, and I wanted to know whether anything like the microbe editor theme 5 was needed, as it sounded a lot like the stuff I make only better and I thought that I could give this another shot.

I am aware that it most likely did not in fact sound anything like mine, but I am not thinking all that straight right now (migraine medication is a wonderful thing) and this is all being made on the spot.

I’m sorry if none of this makes sense. Just know I’m pre-warning you about the quality of my upcoming piece.



Sorry I’ve taken a while to get back to you with the MIDI. I’ve been thinking about it and it might be useful to do the same for a lot of the strings, but either way I’ll need to spend some time noting what articulation it should have.


Interesting. It’s really quite difficult for me to know how good it is or how well it would work due to it just being sheet music I’m afraid. I could try producing your composition if you want, but it won’t be done for some time as I’m in the middle of a few others at the moment.


There isn’t anything like that we need per se, but you’re welcome to make one.


No need for you to produce it-- I’m unhappy with certain things in that piece so I plan to either significantly change it or just start over. For convenience, I’ll upload it as a sound file next time.


This time I’ve uploaded it to musescore so that you can view it without downloading it or musescore:

This one is still fairly short, under two minutes, but if you have the time I’d like to hear it produced. I tried harder this time to create a piece with more continuity-- probably more conducive to a game soundtrack.

If I had to say, I think this would work well with the society stage, maybe an editor of some kind, or more likely just a general “city theme”.


whew! Sorry i missed so much!

I’ve tried to edit my last track but it just got worse and worse so i think it might best to shelf that one for a while.

Also, Oliver, I’d also be willing to take a stab at the strings if you still have the .midi. Notion has served me well for orchestral tracks when I treat it nicely.


It might take some time to prepare the MIDI (I’m a little busy right now and I’ll need to make sure I include all the articulation), but sure, that’d be great. I’ll send one to @jorchestration as well so I have multiple options.

And of course, either of you could still compose your own segments of music for me to add if you want.



It’s been awhile, since I have been quite busy and distracted, but I had an idea for a theme. Keep in mind that this is just a demo/sketch of something, and I’m not exactly sure what it would be used for.

Here’s the link:



Nice work! Very atmospheric, and I especially like the wind instrument. It does feel quite unfinished though, most notably in the percussion. Keep working on it if you want, I’d love to see where it can go.