015 Making My Own Music – Escape!

Making My Own Music

In this episode, I talked about and played a song called “Escape!” that I composed and recorded in September-October 2013. It is the kind of song that could be used in a video game.

I talked about an article I read a few months ago about making money with composing. They suggest video game music is the way to go. Danny Baranowsky has been much more successful composing video game music than he has with film scores. I decided to listen to his and other video game music.

One of my favorite video games songs by Danny Baranowsky is called Dr. Fetus’ Castle from the Super Meat Boy game. I used this song as a reference track and as a guide when composing my song. I did a similar thing last episode with Summer Strut where I used A Very Good Thing by Rick Braun as a guide.

Escape! is 145 beats per minute. The form is intro, A, B, C, D, E intro, A, B, C, D, E, intro (that fades). The repeating loop of music works in video games where the player may be in a section for many minutes. Each of the sections is 8 measures long, except the C section which is 11 measures long.

I got a copy of Reason Essentials from Propellerhead, which is the entry level version of the Reason software that a lot of instrumental dance music is written with. I was able to find decent sounding synthesizer sounds without having to modify them at all, but Reason Essentials and Reason really allows you to customize the sounds.

For this song, I entered notes into the sequencer with my mouse, instead of playing on a MIDI keyboard like I usually do. It went well this way, especially creating 16th note patterns that I would not have been able to play accurately on a keyboard with the latency associated with it. Almost all of the notes ended up 100% quantized (right on the quarter note, eighth note or sixteenth note) without timing variations, and all the notes have the same velocity (or loudness). At this point, I am OK with how it sounds.

I recorded the electric guitar in 6 tracks for the 6 chords (Cm Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb). I used a capo for each chord so I could play the same Em, E, Am or A open chords. As I have done previously, I have 2 recordings for the guitar, one on the left and one on the right which used different distortions.

I then played Escape!

Send me your feedback by emailing tom@makingmyownmusic.com or calling and leaving a voicemail on 631-213-5023.

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