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!
There have been some great advancements in sample libraries when it comes to brass instruments. As someone who grew up on game soundtracks in the 90’s, I became accustomed to hearing some really terrible MIDI brass in orchestral arrangements in my favorite games. While the other instrument families were by no means brilliant in their attempts at accuracy in those days, I’ve always felt that brass instruments faired the worst in this regard. Over the past few years, with the technology available to produce better and more complex sample collections, it’s become easier and more common to obtain lifelike brass performances for projects without the use of a live ensemble.
One recent addition to the handful of brass instrument collections out there is Impact Soundworks’ latest orchestral sample library Bravura Scoring Brass. The library is focussed on providing lifelike performance for orchestral/classical music composition. Bravura contains collections of ensemble performances, as well as solo performance samples and a selection of aleatoric effects. Today on OSV, I will be taking a look at the full version of Bravura Scoring Brass and giving my overall impression of the software after spending a few weeks using it. (more…)
Those attending PAX Prime this weekend will have another chance to sit in and listen to five video game composers regale them with their experiences and stories. Held at the Sphinx Theatre, Sheraton at 5:30pm, the 60-minute ‘Maestros of Video Games’ panel marks its return in 2015 with Gareth Coker (Ori & the Blind Forest, Ark), Sarah Schachner (Assassin’s Creed series), Jason Graves (Until Dawn, The Order: 1886), Cris Velasco (Bloodborne, God of War) and Grant Kirkhope (Yooka-Laylee, just about every Rare game).
From 7-9pm at the Westin join the composers for a meet & greet and autograph signing session. Don’t forget to bring your transforming cleavers, plush Banjo dolls, commemorative wrist blades, and dying tree spirits. Pens will probably be provided.
If you’re a hobby musician or someone looking to break into music composition, you might want to take a moment to fill out a survey over at Ask.Audio in order to be entered to win a ton of music recording and production gear from some of the biggest brand names in the industry.
To celebrate our new website design, new name, and the Ask.Audio Academy, we’ve partnered with the biggest & most popular music industry companies to give you the chance to win $33,000 of music gear.
All it takes to be signed into the giveaway is sign up for a free account on Ask.Audio, enter your email address and answer a 22-question survey about the types of setups and DAWs you might use, the brand of interface and midi controller you use, and so on. Submit your answers by August 31st in order to be entered to win one of 8 super bundles, such as the “Recording Musician Bundle” or the “DJ & Performer Bundle” that include a ton of music production hardware and software. Seven runner-ups will be given a 1-year subscription to the Ask. Audio Academy. You can gain an extra entry by sharing the contest post to your Facebook also.
So if you’ve got a few minutes to answer some questions (and also being subscribed to macProVideo.com and Ask.Audio newsletters; be sure to read those ToC), then this might be worth your time.
Game Music Connect, the international video game music conference, has announced some new sessions for their third annual gathering to be held in London on September 15th. Chuck Doud, Sony America’s Director of Music, will be the opening keynote speaker for the session “Vision Talk: Emotional Resonance in Video Game Music”.
Having worked on major Sony properties from The Last of Us and Gold of War to Journey, he “brings a unique game music world view [...] as he discusses Sony’s current and future visions for video game scoring and celebrates the vital role music plays in today’s and tomorrow’s interactive entertainment experiences, together with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.” It will, no doubt, be a great session to step back and take a look at where modern game music is at. With so many games coming to so many platforms it’s harder than ever to get that kind of perspective nowadays.
One of those upcoming platforms for new games is virtual reality and Sony expects music to be supremely important and supremely challenging to incorporate with it. Since beginning development of Project Morpheus, the VR headset for PlayStation 4, Sony’s in-house music team created a series of trials to study the “aesthetics and functionality of scores for VR”. Their goal was to create “implementation systems which harness the inherent power of music without disturbing user immersion”. In the session “Virtual Reality & The Meaning of Music” Alastair Lindsay and Joe Thwaites, two music producers from Sony Europe, will demonstrate their findings. There’s sure to be some insightful (and potentially disorienting) revelations about sound and VR in this one.
You can check out much more on Game Music Connect 2015, its panels and presenters, and how to buy tickets to attend at the official homepage.
The classic, simple sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from the era of 8-bit video game music are for many, including myself, very nostalgic and heartwarming. This is where it all began! Video games have come so far from these original beeps and boops; now there are live orchestras performing this music, sometimes in the game itself, and they even tour around the world to perform. Many people love these sounds and music for the memories they hold, but even so, they may not want to listen to them regularly when they’re not playing these games. And if you play an original NES tune for anyone who doesn’t have similar cherished memories of sitting around playing video games while their mothers begged them to go outside, they’ll probably cringe at the cacophony of fake, electronic noise that you’re subjecting them to. Chances are they will be bewildered that anyone would enjoy such a thing or find value in it, even if they’re too polite to say so.
I am one of the folks who believes that there is a lot to be admired about the music from the 8-bit era of video games, and I believe that there is a lot that contemporary composers can learn from this body of work. If you listen closely, you can hear how composers writing for the NES learned to treat these sounds as instruments, not just sounds, and how they managed to create music, instead of just noise.
Software company Impact Soundworks has launched a weeklong sale on their sample libraries, with products on sale for as much as 40% off. This includes the guitar pack Shreddage, world instrument packs like Sitar Nation, and scoring tools Celestia and Vocalisa. There’s also special 15% sales on software bundles. These include a full Shreddage: Rock Band Bundle, a Complete World Bundle, and an Everything Bundle.
We’ve reviewed a few of these sample libraries in the past. In particular we’ve taken a look at Celestia: Heavenly Sound Design, Rhapsody: Orchestral Percussion, and Pearl: Concert Grand. The sale ends on August 3rd, so be sure to check out the offers before they end. I know I’ll be grabbing some of the music tools that have been on my wishlist. You can check out the full list of products for the Summer Sale on the Impact Soundworks website.