Monthly Archives: March 2014

“Why is the Princess in a Magic Forest?!” Part 3

(This is part 3. Please read parts 1 and 2 first.)

Between finishing the previous rewrite with the new strings and now, I had purchased brand new woodwind, brass, and orchestral percussion instruments. If you listen to the soundtrack to “Magic Forest”, you’ll notice an obvious heavy emphasis on woodwinds in the score. However, brass and percussion also feature quite prominently. Brass is the most important element in “The Boogeyman” theme. Tonal percussion (especially the glockenspiel and timpani) appear throughout, and non-tonal percussion is everywhere as well. I fought with the idea of doing yet another rewrite using these new, beautiful sounding instruments. In the end, I really couldn’t not do it.

I went back in to each of the tracks one last time, and started swapping out the old woodwind parts for my newly acquired woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

These new instruments are very realistic sounding and have many articulations. It was not as simple “swap A for B and call it a day” type of thing. Not only did I have to choose which articulations worked best for the performance, I also started noticing various parts in the composition itself that didn’t sound very good to me. The realism of these new instruments began to expose parts of my composition that didn’t actually work very well. The old instruments’ low quality must have sort of masked the “mistakes”. I actually ended up rewriting quite a few of the woodwinds’ parts, and am very happy that I did so. These new versions sound so much better.

With new instruments comes a new necessity to remix the whole piece again. So, one last time, I went back into the audio and applied new EQ, compression, etc. etc. I’m really happy with how everything is sounding now, and, looking back at the previous version(s) of these tracks, I can’t believe that I was going to happily release them as they were.

The final step to this process was mastering. In the past, I’ve always taken care of this step myself since the music I’d written wasn’t commercial. I was just writing for fun. However, after the amount of time and effort I spent on this soundtrack, I wanted to make sure that it was properly mastered so that it would work well in both the game and also as a soundtrack release. Luckily, my friend Chris Muggli-Miller recently started a mastering business called High Score Mastering (http://highscoremastering.com/). I had them to the work and I’m very pleased with the results.

All that is left is to wait for Michael to finish the game so that we can finally release this game and music to the world!

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So, that was my experience writing the soundtrack to my first game. If you’re reading this blog before the game and soundtrack have been released, I apologize that I can’t share the actual music with you yet. I’m very excited for you to play the game and I hope you feel like the music compliments the game’s world well.

If you have played the game and heard the soundtrack, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below anything you might have to say about it. Also, if you have any questions for me, please feel free to post them as well. I’ll do my best to answer them.

Thanks for reading.

-Chris-

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