Ludum Dare 23 – Nanofault Music

I participated this weekend in creating Nanofault.  This was my first LD (actually, I think a first for the whole team).  I was responsible for:  Music, SFX (thanks SFXr!) and some very rudimentary coding (Unity3d noobie).  If you want to read about my personal “development postmortem” you can check it out on my development blog.  It’s not currently posted, but I’ll be doing it within the next couple of days.  On to the music.

For this project, we targeted “three different enemy types”.  These would correspond to element or damage types, and corresponding colors.  Red -> Flame / Explosive Weapons,  Blue -> Electricty / Tech Weapons, Green -> Acid / Unconventional Weapons.

At first we’d planned on having the music be sort of rooted in “Dubstep” since there are obvious aggressive sounds and chiptune sounds mixed in that genre, which conveyed the type of theme we were really trying to push (unfiltered ultimate robot destruction, on a tiny scale).  In the end we decided instead to go for more of a themed level + music design that would play a specific song for each of the room types, and only rotate through the playlist if you spent too much time in one room (to reduce redundancy).

I think this idea was brilliant, as it also would force me to execute some diversity in my compositions while still requiring me to try to keep the style consistent.  I feel like I executed well on that, and am pretty proud of the of the final results (especially considering I only dedicated roughly 1 day of the Jam to music and sound effects).

 

Red Music (“Metal-Step”)

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Blue Music (“Electronic”)

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Green Music (“Smooth Rock/Funk”)

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I think the best song here was the Red music.  It lined up the most with my natural tendency towards metal (both in guitar and drumming).  The “dubstep” sound was incredibly hard for me, and eventually I settled on the “wow” bass you hear in this song.  It was mostly programmed in Native Instruments – Razor, and then rendered down to a sound file and manipulated with some effects and feedback.  I liked the sound but it was definitely not as prominent as it would have to be for a full dubstep song.  The intro was nice and cheesy and provided a nice contrast to the power from the rest of the song.  I then rounded off the “finale” with some Symphobia strings, which I’m really starting to warm up to now that I’m EQing them properly.

The Blue music is both I think the worst and best for the project itself.  I have been historically terrible at electronic music (and synth programming) almost always reverting to doubling with an electric guitar to bring tracks to life.  In this song I was able to avoid the guitar completely and only leaned (again) on Symphobia during the end to bring out the character a little more.  I think compositionally this is still the weakest track in the game, but thematically it would have fit the Blue level perfectly.

The Green music was, okay.  I think the song is decent, the sound effects I used to try to make it sound “unconventional” aren’t really selling the sound.  I used a lot of Razor again on this, as well as some FM8.  The bass guitar is from OrangeTreeSamples, and is highly recommended.  I used a tiny bit of slap mixed with the finger picked bass, and loved the sound of that.  Of course, I also leaned a tiny bit on Symphobia again at the end because everyone likes strings.

All the guitars were done through Guitar Rig 4 and I’ve recently replaced my M-Audio Fast Track Pro with a Native Instruments Audio Komplete 6.  What a difference it makes when working with simulated amps.  The clearity is through the roof when compared to my older stuff.  Highly recommend this audio interface if you’re looking for a decently priced desktop interface.

As always, let me know what you think about this music, where you think I could improve, or just words of praise.  If you’d like to use some of my music in a game you’re making or want to consult me on custom music, feel free to use the contact page!


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