Virtual instrument company Heavyocity is having a Thanksgiving sale on its products starting now until December 6th. The collections and individual instrument packs are available for up to 50% off. These include Gravity, Aeon Collection, Ensemble Metals Collection, Evolve, and many more.
All of the instrument libraries run on Kontakt 5 and require at least the Kontakt 5 Player to be used. If you’re a composer or sound designer who’s been eyeing any of Heavyocity’s virtual instruments, now may be the time to grab them. You can check out more of the Heavocity Thanksgiving sale on their main website.
Two of the orchestral sample libraries from Impact Soundworks are on sale this week to help kick off Black Friday deals on music software. The first of these is the Bravura: Scoring Brass Complete library for $249 and the second is Rhapsody: Orchestral Percussion for $99.
If you already own any individual instruments or lighter versions of either library you can contact Impact Soundworks to get a special discount on the upgrades to the full versions as well. The Essentials version of the Rhapsody library is also available for $49.
Both the Bravura: Scoring Brass and the Rhapsody: Orchestral Percussion libraries have been reviewed here on OSV. The sale runs until November 30th (Cyber Monday). So if either of these libraries are on your wishlist, be sure to grab them at a discount while you can on the Impact Soundworks website.
BT’s Electronic Opus was released digitally to all Kickstarter backers on October 9, 2015 and released digitally worldwide three days later. Since it’s release I have been following fan’s of BT’s reception of the album which has been enthusiastic and full of praise. Feel free to take a look back at OSV’s earlier coverage of the album regarding its release and first preview.
I have spent a considerable amount of time listening to the album since it was released digitally, and now have a copy of the physical CD. I hope you’re take some time to read my thoughts on why Electronic Opus is worth your precious listening time.
The music software company Impact Soundworks has launched a second volume of their Acoustic Revolutions series titled Acoustic Revolutions 2. The library features loops of an acoustic Taylor guitar and are designed to be useful for a variety of styles and genres. The loops, which are organized by tempo, time signature, and key, do not require a sampler to be played and the WAV files can be dropped and placed into any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).
Acoustic Revolutions 2 is available on Impact Soundworks for $49 and you can buy Acoustic Revolutions 1 + 2 as a bundle for $65. You can head over to the Impact Soundworks website for more details.
Passionate as we may be about video game music, it’s easy to gloss over how much work it takes to make computers sing songs, especially in the old days. I’m definitely guilty of that so I always appreciate when someone takes the time to break things down and explain to a simpleton like me.
Our own Sebastian Urrea has done a fabulous job combining history, hardware and composition and similar to his post, NES Sounds as Instruments, is this informative video from The 8-Bit Guy, How Oldschool Sound/Music worked. In less than 10 minutes the video covers the evolution from simplistic beeper speakers, through FM synthesis and finally the PCM sampling of later PCs like the Amiga. There’s great visual examples, simple explanations of what’s going on and some great music to be heard. Thanks go to Engadget for originally posting about The 8-Bit Guy’s video.
The sound engineers over at Rattly and Raw have just released a drum kit sample library for Kontakt 5 titled Martin France Drums. The collection includes a wide range of recordings of vintage and modern drums. The library contains over 32,000 samples to cover the recording of 36 different drum kit pieces. The demo video below shows off just some of the library’s capabilities and features.
The Martin France Drums library is available at the Rattly and Raw site for £99, or about $150 USD. The software is also compatible with the free Kontakt 5 Player, so you won’t need to shell out extra money for Kontakt 5 to use this collection. You can find out more information about Martin France Drums at the Rattly and Raw website.
You can now listen to the first sample of the track “Dreaming” from the upcoming BT album Electronic Opus. The album features the award winning, world renowned City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at Smecky Studios with musicians hand picked by Tadlow Music, conducted by Eimear Noone and produced by Tommy Tallarico.
The album drops on October 12, 2015 and will be available for purchase digitally October 12, 2015. If like me you were hoping for a physical release of the album, BT just reported on kickstarter’s page that the physical release will only be available to kickstarter backers. A future physical release may be possible but at this time is not planned, and it is a beautiful physical release which you can see here in a 3d rendering of the album on CDBaby.
The album can also be pre-ordered digitally through kickstarter if you want immediate delivery on release day. I think the added orchestra sounds incredible, what do you think? Will you be picking up this album?
There’s a lot of hope and expectation piled on top of the long-demanded sequel to DICE’s 2008 cult favorite, Mirror’s Edge. We still don’t know a lot about Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and the origin story of female protagonist, Faith, but with today’s news it seems the music won’t be anything for fans to worry about.
DICE has confirmed that Swedish composer, Magnus Birgersson (also known as Solar Fields) will be returning to expand the fan-favorite soundtrack he created for the original game. Along with the announcement comes a sample of the soundtrack and a short interview with Birgersson over at the game’s UK website. Along with expressing his gratitude over the reception of the original game’s soundtrack he reveals a few tidbits on what to expect from Catalyst.
“I think there’s 70GB in my Mirror’s Edge Catalyst folder now,” Birgersson mentions in regard to the scope of the new soundtrack. “In the first game we had one stereo channel, but this time we’re able to real time mix four different stereo channels based on what’s going on in the game, allowing us to create an even deeper and more dynamic musical experience than we hoped for.”
On how he creates the dystopian soundscapes of the game’s City of Glass he adds, “I combine old, analogue technology with modern synthesizers and equipment. Modular systems, lo-fi synthesizers, VHS tape recorders and so on – it’s a mixture of many things.”
Check out the full interview on the official site or reacquaint yourself with Birgersson with our 2012 interview. And if you can’t quite remember what was so great about the original Mirror’s Edge soundtrack you can always refer to our review.
You may have already seen the reveal of Cartoon Network and Turbo Button’s VR action game, Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games, but did you hear it? Like a good VR camera system that doesn’t nauseate everyone who sees it, music is one of those under-appreciated elements of game design. For Magic Man’s Head Games award-winning composer, Erik Desiderio (SMS Racing, This Means War!), was given free reign to take the franchise in new directions. That’s resulted in a quirky and organic theme song with players on banjo, horns, fretless electric bass, harmonica, accordion, and more. Oh, and there’s lots of whistling.
“I was a huge fan of the show before being contacted about this project,” notes composer Erik Desiderio. “I especially enjoyed the first episode with Magic Man, who acts as the primary antagonist for this game. The playful nature of the Adventure Time universe afforded me the opportunity to work with some of my frequent collaborators and incorporate lots of fun instruments. Somehow, though, despite their various talents, everyone insisted that they be able to whistle on the soundtrack. I had no choice but to comply and join in myself!”
The results can be seen and heard above in a new music video featuring the theme song to the game. The video is a live action mosaic of the performers alongside footage from the game which is available for free on the Samsung Gear VR store. The game itself takes inspiration from classic 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie with Jake even riding in Finn’s backpack. The player observes the action through the VR headset from a third-person perspective where Jake’s stretchy limbs help ease some of the jerky, nauseating camera movements that VR users frequently run into.
Check it out!
After a lengthy legal fight, a court-appointed arbitrator has ruled in favor of ex-Bungie composer Martin O’Donnell. As a result, Bungie must restore O’Donnell’s stock holdings, the value which remains unknown since Bungie isn’t a publicly traded company, and continue to pay what’s owed to the composer as part of the company’s profit-sharing plan.
This is actually separate from an earlier case between O’Donnell and Bungie chief executive Harold Ryan, which we reported on last year. In that suit O’Donnell won his right to unpaid overtime and other benefits, amounting to around $95,000, that Bungie still owed him after they fired him.
Back in April of 2014, Matin O’Donnell was abruptly removed from his position at Bungie as audio director. Not only was O’Donnell responsible for writing music for the Bungie’s new Destiny game, including music planned for the expansions, he also worked with the audio team on sound effects and voice overs.
The court documents reveal what led to tensions between O’Donnell and Bungie before he was fired. Primarily, the disagreements started over the composer’s creative freedoms, particularly the use of the eight movement suite “Music of the Spheres” that he worked on with Paul McCartney. When Activision replaced the suite with its own in-house music for the Destiny trailer, O’Donnell began pushing back and made attempts to prevent that version of the trailer from being used. You can read more about the complex internal disputes that led to the incident in greater detail on Venturebeat.
While it’s not entirely clear how much money O’Donnell will be earning off of the profit sharing rights in the future, he has been awarded $142,500 as his profit-share from last year alone. According to the final ruling, O’Donnell has a number of choices in what form he can recover his stock, including 192,187.5 shares of Bungie common stock or cash equivalences of the stock based off of percentages of previous stock values.
While O’Donnell has won a great victory against his former employer, he sadly won’t be able to release the “Music of the Spheres” suite on his own without permission of the current copyright holders, who are unlikely to be giving it if this latest suit is any indication. In the meantime, O’Donnell has gone on to start a game company of his own called Highwire Games.
BT (Brian Transeau) is a leading Electronic Dance Music (EDM) composer, film and video game composer, and technologist. He along with some help from Video Games Live creator Tommy Tallarico successfully kickstarted an album and concert of his music recreated with a live symphony orchestra. The orchestra segments for the album were recorded in the Czech Republic by the world renowned the award winning City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the exceptionally talented Eimear Noone. I was not fortunate enough to attend the concert held in Miami on March 29, 2015 but have watched this trailer created by TANZ GROUP at least a dozen times which is just a taste of the experience.
BT just announced the official release date of the album, October 12, 2015 and you can watch the announcement video on Kickstarter. In the video BT hints that further news will be announced on the same date, and my prediction is a world tour. Did you attend the Miami concert or back this Kickstarter? Let us know!
If you’re not familiar with Kevin Manthei, you have probably heard his music at some point in a video game, television series, or movie trailer.
I recently revisited some Kevin Manthei’s music, specifically the soundtrack he composed for the animated series Invader Zim. This was not a coincidence, Invader Zim has recently returned in comic book form and with it all my great memories of the show and its excellent music. Kevin Manthei has also worked on DC animated features Batman Gotham Knight, Justice League: New Frontier and has written the music for the highly entertaining Ultimate Spiderman TV series. But he actually began his composing career in the gaming industry composing the music for titles including Panzer General II, Vampire: The Masquerade, Twisted Metal Black, Starcraft: Ghost and Star Trek Online.
In the process of looking back at Invader Zim‘s music I discovered that Kevin Manthei also recently founded a music library company called Barn Fire Music. The company is described as a boutique production music library providing music in any style to film and television production companies, television networks, game developers and anybody else who needs it.
The music Library itself is huge, boasting over 1900 tracks spread across just over 200 unique albums. Kevin Manthei has contributed over 800 tracks himself, but has collected music from various composers to build the library’s content, which you can sample above. What I appreciated was that the library even had an album titled “8-Bit Adventures,” offering 11 tracks of chip tune goodness. I am still exploring a lot of the albums in the library and so far really enjoy “Apocalyptic Trailers vol.2“, “Heroic Legends” and “Galactic Adventures Vol.1“.
They are always on the lookout for talented composers as well, so if you’re looking to have your music heard check them out. And, if you’re looking for music for your next project, you might find what you need in Barn Fire Music’s Library. Take some time to explore and let me know what you think!