Category Archives: Compilation

A look back at 2017 – My Year in Music

A list of all the music stuff I was involved in for 2017:

・I composed 26 tracks for an upcoming RPG called A Story of the End – Revere: Episode Dream, of which I’ve only shared three publicly. I’m really excited about all of this music!

A Story of the End – Revere: Episode Dream

・I arranged and produced my first track for a Materia Collective album, “Tavern” from ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed, working with three amazing musicians who recorded live parts for me (Ian Martyn on whistle, Lori Syngajewski on clarinet, and Sam Bobinski on upright bass).

“Tavern” from ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed

・I also contributed to two tracks on another Materia Collective album, SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X – Besaid Mix: as an English to Japanese translator for song lyrics on Reven’s beautiful track “Welcome to Luca”.

“Welcome to Luca”

And as mix engineer on Connor Boyd’s awesome track, “Stranger Seymour”.

“Stranger Seymour”

・It’s not due out until early 2018, but I arranged and produced another track for an upcoming Materia Collective release; for this one I was fortunate enough to work with nine different musicians who all recorded live parts for me (I’ll tag you all when the album drops, but you know who you are).

・I composed and released my fourth and fifth original game soundtracks (Room 42 and YOMOTSU). YOMOTSU being my first soundtrack that wasn’t self-published, but put out by a label.

Room 42 Original Soundtrack

YOMOTSU Original Game Soundtrack

・Speaking of YOMOTSU: the game won first place in this year’s Indie Game Maker Contest!

IGMC2017 Results

・I had the great honor of composing a demo track for Gothic Instruments (Dronar Live Strings), Sampleso (Floppytron), and three for Impact Soundworks (Ventus Pan Flutes, MOMENTUM, and Ventus Ocarinas).

・I participated in, and successfully completed, Video Game Music Academy’s 21 Days of VGM challenge.

・Despite being super busy with music for actual projects, I arranged two pieces by Yasunori Mitsuda just for fun, “Eternal Soul” from Tsugunai, and “Bonds of Sea and Fire” from Xenogears.

・Outside of soundtracks stuff, I also composed two original works just for fun, “The Commoners Square” and “The Place We Called Home”.

・I surpassed 35,000 plays on my Soundcloud!

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Tribute Album 64 is out!

After months of hyping this album, Tribute Album 64 is finally out! Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 with nearly five hours of video game covers…completely FREE to download! Over 200 musicians from around the world have teamed up to bring you 87 all-new tracks in this massive compilation album.

I arranged Grant Kirkhope’s “Institute Menu” from Perfect Dark. He even gave it some love on Twitter (see image below).

Download this massive album for FREE right here!

grant-kirkhope-tweet

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Tribute Album 64 (9.29.16)

I’m very happy to announce the upcoming release of a new video game music remix album I took part in, Tribute Album 64. The Nintendo 64 was released 20 years ago, so to pay tribute to this classic console, a huge number of people got together and arranged an absolutely massive number of tracks from N64 games. As for my contribution, it’s a track from a certain well-known first-person shooter from Rare…and I’m not talking about Goldeneye! That’s right, Perfect Dark. I arranged the “Institute Menu” theme, and I had a blast doing it.

The album will be released on September 29th and will be absolutely free to download. Like the page linked here to show the project some love and also stay up to date on details as they’re announced.

TA64 2TA64 1

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“Super VG Christmas Party” now available!

Get it here for FREE! The track I arranged is “Village of Snow” from the game Soma Bringer (number 6 on the album). Enjoy!
https://supervgchristmasparty.bandcamp.com/

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“Super VG Christmas Party” Compilation Album! (Release Party on Facebook)

The release of the compilation album that I arranged a track for is almost upon us. Join the “release party” and celebrate this 100% FREE album release on Thursday 😀

‘Tis the season! Super VG Christmas Party’s worldwide online release is THIS THURSDAY (December 11th, 2014)!

Over 100 musicians have teamed up from across the globe to bring you the ultimate holiday video game music compilation! Featuring 42 tracks and more than two hours of music, this collection of all-new winter and yuletide covers is our Christmas gift to you. It’s completely FREE to download!

Follow the link at the bottom of this post and “join” the party and download the album the minute it’s released!

Ailsean and Nikolai • The Amazing BrandO • Arc Impulse • Armcannon • CHM • Chris Porter • Codename Trigger Thumb • CoLD SToRAGE • DemonStray (Cory Harbak) • Dr. Manhattan (Hugo Silva) • Ian Luckey • Jameson Sutton • Jayson Napolitano • Jeff Ball • The Koopas • Lotus SM (Arthur Braga and Alexandre Lucena) • (M+) (Micho Plasma), Lauren the Flute, and PokéMatt (Matt Baros) • Malcos • Matheus Manente • Mega Beardo • MegaDriver (Official) • Michael Zucker • Mutherpluckin’ B (Henrik Lidbjörk) • Nestunes • On Being Human • The OneUps • ThePlasmas • Playing with Power • Pokérus VGMusic • Psycho Crusher • Random Encounter • The Returners – VGM • ROCKtendo (Bill Rahko) • The Second Story • Super Caucasian Bros. • Super Guitar Bros • Tanuki Suit Riot • Triforce Quartet • The World is Square • Yes Mayhem

https://www.facebook.com/events/570451453054390/?ref=22

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“Super VG Christmas Party” compilation album!

BIG NEWS!!! I’m happy to finally announce that I will have a track featured in an upcoming compilation album called “Super VG Christmas Party”.

From the official page:
“A collection of all-new winter and yuletide video game covers. Coming December 2014!”

I want the track I chose to arrange to be a surprise for when the album comes out, but I’ll let you know it’s from an RPG composed by Yasunori Mitsuda.

So, everyone, please “like” the official Facebook page for the album (link below) and keep a look out for the release in December!

https://www.facebook.com/supervgchristmasparty

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Upcoming Compilation Album

I was recently invited to participate in an upcoming compilation album of video game music covers/remixes. Since the project is in the works, I’m not at liberty to discuss the details yet, but there are a lot of awesome artists contributing tracks to the album. I won’t say which one right now, but I’ll be doing my own version of a Yasunori Mitsuda town theme. I’m currently attempting to do a 1:1 copy of the track by very carefully listening and meticulously figuring out every single note for every instrument by ear. I started by loading the original audio track into my DAW, cutting off the few milliseconds in the beginning so that first beat of the song starts immediately. Then I set the tempo to that of the song (through trial-and-error). This is the first time I’ve ever attempted to do a remix in this way. I’ve realized two things from going through this process so far:

1. Yasunori Mitsuda’s music is far more complex and brilliant than I thought (and I already regarded him as my favorite composer). There are subtleties in the composition that I never noticed before: anything from composition techniques that are amazingly well executed, or even entire instrument parts that I never noticed were there before.

2. I really need to improve my listening skills!

I’m quite good at figuring out melodies and parts that have longer, sustained notes. I’m having quite a difficult time with shorter note phrases, particularly pizzicato strings (and especially when there are two or more pizzicato notes being played at once). Isolated, I can figure out what’s being played quite quickly, but when the pizzicato is mixed in with a dozen other instruments, it’s hard for me to hear it clearly and pick the correct note. One trick that is helping me is using my DAW’s EQ on the original track, to try to enhance the instrument I’m trying to listen to by bringing its frequencies up and lowering the surrounding frequencies. It’s not perfect since many instruments share the same range, but it’s been working pretty well.

I’m discovering that composing and figuring a song out by ear are two very different things. When I’m composing, I’m the one making all the decisions. Nothing has been written, so I build as I go, making decisions based on what I hear in my head, or making discoveries as I improvise, etc. When trying to figure out another person’s composition by ear, you have to use your ears in a very different way. You really have to tune in, and be aware of the tiniest of details. It’s very challenging, but very rewarding when you start to hear your work sound more and more like the original.

In the end, the 1:1 copy will only be used as a reference for me to do my own original arrangement of the piece in my own style (and one that will fit the theme of this compilation). By figuring out all the individual parts of the original first, I will be able to more easily incorporate them, and modify them, in my version.

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