Thursday, 26 April 2012

Final Major Project: Composing Gutsy's Soundtrack (Part 2)

For the music my choice of software is Ableton Live as I'm most familiar with it's interface and the tools inside it.

Much like designing a character the process for making music is like sketching and seeing what works. For Gutsy's Quest I only knew the rough sounds I was looking to create so the best thing was to find various instruments that I felt would work and started creating various little melodies using a limited range of instruments and all in the same "composition" to kind of keep the a theme in the music, I ended up with a more tracks than I anticipated but I feel that I can probably put them to good use some where down the line. Most of the tracks are composed of mostly string instruments including a native Chinese instrument called a Plucked Zheng that really makes things pop but some of the track have unique instruments to their own pieces. Below are the results of the first "sketches".

Track 1: Adventuring is Fun. This was the first track I created, I was aiming the try get a heroic sound to be used as the background music on the level but after completing it I felt that it was a bit too cheery for the grave yard level we had created and needed some thing a bit different. I still feel this has great potential as BG music in a level just not this one. This track got it's name for the sake of the light hearted feel to it.

Track 2: The Skeleton March. This track was created as a response to the lack of "gloom" in Adventuring is Fun and it really works when listening to this I can imagine hordes of skeletons marching towards the player (thus the name). I feel this one would be usable for the level we've built with some adjustment as it sounds like there's a key change halfway through possible due to another instrument. The muted guitar really makes it sound like it takes place in a wood/forest as well adding to the creepiness.

Track 3: Game Over. The third track to be created again was an attempt to make level music but after completion I felt it works perfectly for music for the Game Over screen. Whilst not being really "down" the track has a sombre feel that I think suits the imagery of the game over screen (basically the feeling of disappointment). A key part of this track is the Plucked Zheng, which does re-enforces that "sad" feeling. With this track down that's one song in the bank for sure!

Track 4: Sunset Beach. This track is a return to try making a heroic leitmotif to be Gutsy's theme. Incorporating a similar tempo and composition form as the Game Over track. The track opening sections of the track didn't quite sound heroic so I thought by adding in the synthed guitar parts it would add something the result was a piece that I would expect to hear whilst playing a beach themed level (hence the name), it's cheery and with the inclusion of an acoustic piano track really makes it seem positive. Along with the first track Adventuring is Fun, Sunset Beach is giving me loads of ideas for new levels and expanding Gutsy's Quest.

Track 5: Gravestone Valley. This track introduced the use of an organ to really try get a spooky feel. I also made use of minor chords (something of a new experience for me) to drive home the creep factor, the bass also adds this I think with it's ascending and declining notes. The drums kick in half way through and help give the track "that game feel" and really gives it power. I think if I took the guitar part out this would make an acceptable choice for the start menu considering it's nature or the whole composition as a possible score for the background music.

With these few sketches layed out it's back to the music room to work on them some more, so far I feel that the music I'm creating whilst isn't hitting the exact mark for the start menu and the BG music it does feel like Gutsy's Music and I think some of these tracks can be used else where. I'll also be working on the sound effects next trying to get the right blend of the right sound and cartoony effect.

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