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Composing and middleware
Old 15th May 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Composing and middleware

Hi guys,

so I've come across game composing jobs a fair few times now as I'd like to have a go at it. I've done some film score stuff and lots of video promo stuff so it just seems like something I could have a go at.

However, every job iicome across I need to have experience with middleware such as FMOD?

Do I need to learn the software if I'm to ever do any game composing?
Old 15th May 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

I think of it more that you need to understand basic workflows(i.e. like if your doing film if do you not know about omf or spotting it puts into question if your going to be a resource drain - but "spotting" in games is often event based since things don't have to be linear). Also when they say "composer", a lot of times for indie they mean music editor/mixer/composer. For indie the "edit" is in triggered loops, it's not like you deliver stems to an "editor" like in film, so your expected to test the edit triggers yourself in gameplay. For bigger shops I sometimes think people will use phrases like that to just check if your techie clueless, even if you wouldn't mess with it much.
Old 15th May 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

So if I was to get 'experience' with middleware. Shall I just get some software and start using it? If so, what's the industry standard? I see 2 pop up a lot, FMOD and wwise.
Old 15th May 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoswho? View Post
So if I was to get 'experience' with middleware. Shall I just get some software and start using it? If so, what's the industry standard? I see 2 pop up a lot, FMOD and wwise.
Well I'd read through a couple of the recent books, Winifred Phillips is the main one but there are also two others. I would only learn on the free for indie ones, like fmod is free for indie first year also wwise. Spending a week on both to just be familiar is nice, just to work through the tutorials which btw are very good - then you will have the basic lingo down when talking to people. Then I'd connect with some indie developers to learn. there a lot of indie developers that don't have a business model so need royalty free music, it's much better supporting them while learning because they have all the hooks ready for the music - plus gives you insight to the community. Don't stress with these learning projects, some people get fanatical on projects that are hopeless financially and can become a time sync. Depending on your city there are also meet ups and stuff, I think just talking with people that are making money mixed with the majority which do it more as a lifestyle , is very important. For variuos reasons that entire click doesn't hang out much on gearslutz, I am one of the older guys that did the music for interactive networked art installations, so have kept up with it and am only interested in the vr side which has been a long ride.
Old 15th May 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFaith View Post
Well I'd read through a couple of the recent books, Winifred Phillips is the main one but there are also two others. I would only learn on the free for indie ones, like fmod is free for indie first year also wwise. Spending a week on both to just be familiar is nice, just to work through the tutorials which btw are very good - then you will have the basic lingo down when talking to people. Then I'd connect with some indie developers to learn. there a lot of indie developers that don't have a business model so need royalty free music, it's much better supporting them while learning because they have all the hooks ready for the music - plus gives you insight to the community. Don't stress with these learning projects, some people get fanatical on projects that are hopeless financially and can become a time sync. Depending on your city there are also meet ups and stuff, I think just talking with people that are making money mixed with the majority which do it more as a lifestyle , is very important. For variuos reasons that entire click doesn't hang out much on gearslutz, I am one of the older guys that did the music for interactive networked art installations, so have kept up with it and am only interested in the vr side which has been a long ride.
Could I have asked for a better answer. Seriously man, thanks so much. I don't mind doing some free projects for my portfolio so I'm happy to do that as a side to my current work. Is there a starting point regarding the community? Any website I come across seems to be bombarded with people with shed loads of experience willing to work for free so it's really difficult to get a look in even at the indie level. Any more advice would be great, thanks.
Old 15th May 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 
PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoswho? View Post
Could I have asked for a better answer. Seriously man, thanks so much. I don't mind doing some free projects for my portfolio so I'm happy to do that as a side to my current work. Is there a starting point regarding the community? Any website I come across seems to be bombarded with people with shed loads of experience willing to work for free so it's really difficult to get a look in even at the indie level. Any more advice would be great, thanks.
If your in the San Francisco Bay Area there is a huge scene there, there's also scenes in various other contries, so first thing is to understand the physical locations of what is happening and see if that is close to you. For example the twitch convention is comming to san diego, these type of guys are the big movers (i.e. twitch bought by amazon, amazon also just did a huge roll out on lumberyard that included game sound and music).

Another thing is understanding the genre's, if your doing film then you know how to spot for music, but spotting for a game is a different animal and is different per genre just like film. For example some games have lead in music, then basically monster screams till lead out/epic music. Other games have micro jingles everytime you pick something up or kill a mob, or get hit. If someone has no idea what the game genre's are they haven't even thought through the process of spotting the music.

On the "free" music thing, I have a somewhat negative view on this, but there are a lot of people that are in the gamer lifestyle/scene that do things that don't make financial sense. A large percentage of these people I can totally understand thier viewpoint, and I agree with it somewhat. For someone that wants a career in this area though, you can't be casually commited to the scene but have to learn everything about it and be able to produce at huge volume with high quality. Another thing is even for a simple game, each jingle could be a totally different music style, so the ability to write and understand different musical styles is very important (i.e. know the difference and be able to quickly write a cha-cha music event and then next hour a "rap" event).

Time management on dealing with time sink people is the key here, and it's not obvious what is going to be a time sink and what will take off (i just lost about $2k on this recently).
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