Making of Red Dead Redemption: Game Music Score as Interactive Collage

Sure, it’s a Spaghetti-Western-inspired soundtrack to the hit Rockstar game called jokingly by fans Grand Theft Horse. But to me, a richly-composed musical score for a blockbuster video game sums up a lot of where music production is at these days. Composed by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, Red Dead Redemption gets a score that blends Western authenticity with more experimental ambiances. We get a first glimpse of that process with a behind-the-scenes video released by Rockstar (and reproduced on CDM with permission) this week. Watch past the boilerplate voiceover as they get into the production, and you’ll see some …

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Simple Xmp Modplayer for Android Brings Retro Back; Building an Android Tracker?

Those crazy Amiga artists were ahead of their time. The lightweight real-time music engines and formats they began were uncommonly efficient, and allowed the exchange of elaborate electronic music using a minimum of resources – with some accompanying compositional and sound design ingenuity required, as well. As a result, getting a phone handset to reproduce their work today is a pretty manageable task, and some of the music available is concise and clever. Pop on some headphones, load up some tunes, and you may feel you’re starring in your very own Amiga point and click adventure the next time you …

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Game Music Making: Kongregate Collabs to Connect Music Makers with Indie Games

Speaking of games, you can expect game production to start to attract the attention of musicians and web publishers. Whereas a few short years ago, targeting musicians might mean dangling rock club gigs or album sales, now a lot of those same music makers want to break into gaming, too. Kongregate is a bit like public access, only on steroids and for games. The idea is this: get indie game makers in one place contributing games, then get lots of people playing those games, then support the system with ad revenue shared with the game makers. The model has grown …

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Game Music Inspiration: Amon Tobin and Sony on Infamous

Wired has a great mini-documentary on the score for the videogame Infamous. It’s chock full of sound design ear candy, not only served by the chops of composer Amon Tobin but the team at Sony Music and Sony’s entertainment division, as well. Curiously, Jonathan Mayer, Music Manager at SCEA, says explicitly that he doesn’t want composers writing interactive music. He’d prefer to have them write a conventional score and then adapt it to the interactive engine. Now, of course, around these parts we like the idea of composers finding ways to write genuinely generative and interactive scores. But in this …

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GDC: Boiling Waterphones and Other Sonic Inspirations from Composer Troels Folmann

  Hot-boiled waterphone, coming up. Troels explains: “We boiled it at 4 different temperature levels and its a part of the massively multi-sampled waterphone (it’s over 2.900 samples).” Award-winning composer Troels Folmann has made a name as a video game composer on the likes of the Tomb Raider series, as well as espousing new ideas about adaptive music for games like his “micro-scoring” methodology. But speaking to a roomful of composers and sound designers at the recent Game Developer Conference, he turned to the topic of reinvention. Even having perfected signature sounds that keep him in demand on jobs like …

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Chip on the Go: SID Player for iPod Touch, iPhone Plays C64 Tunes, Says Something

One chip to rule them all: over a quarter century later, the sounds of this chip are reborn in the newest mobile devices. Photo (CC) Dejdżer / Digga. Take a look at the long view of history, and the Commodore 64 fares nicely. It remains the most popular computer of all time. And this newfangled iPhone thing? Well, it now just catches up to the C64, giving people what they really want – a C64-like music player in their pocket. How else to explain my inbox packed with tips about the new SID Player for iPod Touch and iPhone? Who …

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Korg DS-10 in Ensemble Jams

The Nintendo mobile is a solo instrument no more. Lovers of the Korg DS-10 cartridge for the Nintendo DS handheld are making their own ensembles. And one such trio is a selection of who’s who in Japanese game music. The Korg DS Trio performed a celebrity concert after the Tokyo Game Show. GameSetWatch has an extensive interview with the three. Nobuyoshi Sano (composer, Ridge Racer series) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger) are two familiar names, joined by Michio Okamiya of Final Fantasy hard rock cover band The Black Mages. All three had input into the creation of …

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