New Composer/Orchestrator

Hey there, everyone!

I’m James, the newest (I think) composer joining the music team around these parts, and I just wanted to drop by to say “hi” and give a little bit of context as to what I’ve done prior to joining up here.

You can find some of my work on my SoundCloud here.

I’d love to hear suggestions on what needs to be worked on so I can get started! :smile:

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Hi. Welcome to the team, your soundcloud is great, you’ve got some very nice compositions on there.

Thanks a lot! I’m glad to be here!

Welcome! :smile:

Your work is amazing, and I’m glad you’re willing to help out. If you have any questions or want suggestions on where to start, ask them here or in the Sound category.

Here’s the thread for posting new music for future reference:

Then, per the email exchange we had, I have a few questions before I jump on anything (I actually am working on a contest piece for an A Cappella choir at the moment and likely won’t be free until after Christmas to fully complete the first cues you want me to work on, but it’s good info to have, regardless!):

  • What do you feel I should work on in terms of where it will fall in the game (what era)?
  • What kind of music engine we are using (Wwise or similar?) - This is just for my curiosity, mostly.
  • Whether the cue(s) should be loopable or not?
  • Should these be built for vertical/horizontal re-sequencing?
  • What is needing to be expressed in terms of mood, colors, etc.?
  • If I’m free to orchestrate as I please or if you have specific ideas in mind (I’m happy either way)?

I’m really excited to get started on this, and, hopefully, I’ll get to mock a few cues up prior to year’s end! :smile:

Whatever you want, although if you want specific suggestions, I have a few. Right now we’re lacking some early society stage themes - tribal, antiquity, medieval, etc. These could be right down your street. My personal idea is that music going through stages should start with atmospheric synthesizers and slowly morph into orchestral, with rhythmic and percussive elements added as an organism begins to civilise, then return to synthesizers post-Industrial but with greater emphasis on rhythmic pulse. Of course, this is just a vague idea, and there are lots of variations on these depending on the player’s situation.

OpenAL, I believe. Yeah, maybe not quite as glamorous.

Most likely not. We’ll have a theme or two for each possible scenario in each stage, then move between them randomly depending on how that changes. For example, if a player in the Industrial stage is a Communist civilisation, they’ll hear the Communist peace theme for a few minutes, then once it’s over another one such as the generic Industrial theme will enter. If at any point they declare war, whatever theme is playing fades out and the Communist war or Industrial war theme plays.[quote=“jorchestration, post:5, topic:136”]
Should these be built for vertical/horizontal re-sequencing?

Not sure at the moment. We’ve had discussions about dynamic music before (don’t click any of the hyperlinked words in the posts, they’re advertisements added by the forum supplier, one of the reasons we moved to a new one). If you mean recreating the motif with different instruments and styles for another place, then yeah we’ll probably end up doing that, but it’s not necessary.[quote=“jorchestration, post:5, topic:136”]
What is needing to be expressed in terms of mood, colors, etc.?

We’ll need relaxing, tense, tranquil, victorious and sad theme moods, and probably many more. Generally, if it’s a peace or generic stage theme, it’ll be relaxing and ambient, themes for mysterious environments should be tense and disturbed, and war or predator chase themes should be upbeat and strident.[quote=“jorchestration, post:5, topic:136”]
If I’m free to orchestrate as I please or if you have specific ideas in mind (I’m happy either way)?

I probably answered this in with the first one.

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Welcome @jorchestration! Great to have another composer! I checked out your soundcloud, and your work is incredible. I’m currently in process of creating a new intro for Thrive, and I’ve taken particular interest in your track, "I Feel The Williams! I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a remix or sampled from another track with a copyright, if not, the I’d like your permission to use it in the intro video. Thanks, and welcome to the team!

It’s original - Quickly made and poorly constructed (I was testing some stuff out at the time), but it is my own work. Feel free to use it! I’ll open up the download for it now.

So as to get a little more clarity as I’m a little confused and could see what you said going two ways:

Either one long cue with various points of change within it, or a thematic (motif driven, perhaps) set of cues with a variation for each stage of existence in game -

Stage 1: Synths and amorphous sound
Stage 2: Orchestral/Primal in nature with emphasis on percussion
Stage 3: More refined rhythms and patterns with more focus on percussion
Stage 4: Digital and less organic but still very symbolically rhythmic.

Which would become something like 4 cues derived from a central notion.

I may be overthinking what you are asking for, but I just want to make sure we are on the same page. :smile:

For something you seem so dismissive of it sounds great. If you think you could outdo that track, then I could use one similar. I chose that track because it started tranquil, then transitioned into a more exciting and dangerous sounding sequence, before going back to the relaxing melody. If you can make another track like that, that switches between tranquil and dangerous, say, 2 or 3 times, lasting a total of 90 to 120 seconds, It would be perfect for the intro.

Following along on this thread I decided to take a look at Wwise. It’s very interesting, by which I mean I think we should use it, by which I mean I filled out all the forms for a large non-commercial project and will hopefully hear from them soon. I don’t expect it to be easy to integrate though, w can’t exactly afford a support contract so it’ll just be our time and their documentation.

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That’s a basic overview of the types of music we want for each stage of the game. There’ll be several themes/cues for each of them. It doesn’t have to be the same motifs used throughout, but you could repeat them here and there.

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I don’t know if I’ll have the time to start working on something like this for a month or more, so unless you can wait that long, it may be easiest to stick with what’s there. :confused:

Alright, I’ll finish the intro sequence this month and if the team decides to switch to a different track I’ll simply re render it. That’s the cool thing about doing everything in blender, I can choreograph the video at any point, and extend or shorten the length of each scene, even after they’re completed.

@Nanu no offence to @jorchestration’s work but it’d be better to use something specifically from the Thrive soundtrack for the purposes of an intro video.

We now have a license key for Wwise!

I’m not totally sure what to do next so I invited Oliver to take a look.

I think he is now, actually :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, I just couldn’t find a track short enough or having the right themes to it, I’ll look through the music threads again, maybe i can splice something together using tracks there.

That’s cool to hear! I didn’t intend to somehow change the music engine choice. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, we were looking at Wwise a while ago but nothing came of it, and we currently don’t so much have a sound engine as we do a sound library that we integrate ad-hoc.

Seems to me that switching to Wwise would be better done sooner than later, and would remove a lot of work we’d otherwise have on our plates for the game engine’s sound engine. It might still take us a couple months to get to it though :stuck_out_tongue:

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To make sure I keep you all in the loop - I’m, hopefully, at the tail end of my work for the contests now.

I’ll be taking a look at mocking up three or four cues in the coming weeks should it all go according to schedule.

If they are still needed, I’ll be focusing on these four or five ideas:

  1. Primal/Primitive music and chant
  2. Antiquity and bronze age music
  3. Chamber/Baroque style music
  4. Modern jazz/calculated music
    And possibly 5. Post-modern synths/electronically driven music

Do those fit into the contexts we are aiming for? Should I aim for specific nationalities or traditions in these cues?