Another great news guys! ShooterTutorial will have soundtrack created by Karol Kosacki! Karol is experienced programmer… doing… yes – music!
While listening you can check interview which I did with Karol, asking him about tutorials, how to create music for indie games and other stuff.
Could you introduce yourself? Where do you come from and what games have you worked on? From what I know you are also programmer?
Hi! My name is Karol Kosacki. I currently live in the capital of Poland, Warsaw. I work full time as an AI programmer in Flying Wild Hog, where I’m a part of the Shadow Warrior 2 team and in the past I worked on a number of titles in Techland Warsaw, including Dead Island, Dead Island: Riptide and Dying Light.
So, as a programmer, why did you start creating music for video games?
Well, there are two art forms that have permeated my life for as long as I remember: video games and music. I’ve always wanted to create games, so when I started studying Computer Science I knew I want to end up in the video game industry. But at the same time, I’ve composed music in one form or another since the year 2000, and creating songs simply brings me enormous joy. Composing for video games allows me to combine these two passions in a unique way. 🙂
What motivates you to create music for ShooterTutorial for free?
When I’ve heard that Andrzej needed a couple of tracks inspired by Quake 2 OST, I thought “Hell, I can do that!”. I’ve sent him a sample of my work and he liked it – that gave me a huge morale boost and got me working hard on the music. At the time, most of my recent songs were used in my own, small Android games, so my priority was to prove to myself and to others that I am capable of creating something that fits ShooterTutorial and that I can do that efficiently. I wanted Andrzej to feel happy with the music so that when he or anyone else he knows needs music in the future, he knows who to recommend 😉
Do you have any tips for other indie developers looking for music artist for their games? How should they search for music artists?
First of all, be clear and, obviously, honest about what you expect and what you can offer. Whether you’re on a zero-budget or you have some money to pay for your music, be straightforward about it and I’m sure you will find a composer that will create some cool stuff for you. You can also consider checking out stock music markets (Unreal/Unity markets, and also more general ones – Pond5, AudioMicro, AudioJungle), they might have something that fits your needs.
I think it certainly helps to have a clear vision of what you want your music to sound like and, based on that, look for an artist that fits your needs. At the same time, I’d say give that artist a lot of freedom! That’s how it was with me and Andrzej and I’m really happy how that cooperation turned out.
Which tools are you using in your daily job and which can you recommend to other game music artists?
First of all, when it comes to DAW (Digital audio workstation, an application which you use to compose, mix and master your music), I’d say: use what you have and what you know! One can argue that every app has its pros and cons, but if you own Fruity Loops and are used to it – use Fruity Loops! If you own and know your way around Pro Tools – use Pro Tools! You can achieve similar effects in every DAW. I personally use Reaper – simply because it’s relatively cheap, I own it already and it feels good to use it.
When it comes to sound libraries, it fully depends on the type of music you want to create and how you want to create it. Orchestra, drums, synths… there are literally hundreds of libraries that you can use to compose music digitally. There are, of course, gold standards among music composers, e.g. EWQL for the orcherstra. However, I won’t say pick this or that, for a number of reasons. First of all, I’m not familiar with a lot of them, so I won’t pretend to be the Alpha and Omega. Secondly, when you’re and indie artist creating music for indie games, you are probably really limited in your budget, and most of the best libraries are, well, expensive as hell. I can tell you I’m happy with Steven Slate’s drums, guitar libraries from Impact Soundworks – got them with a discount and they’re honestly worth the price, in my opinion. I also use Garritan’s Personal Orcherstra 4 – the price was nice and it gives you a lot of potential. Also, there’s Synth1 by Ichiro Toda – a free VST synth for which you can find thousands of awesome presets. Other that that, there’s a lot of cool, free stuff on the net, it all depends what you need.
Are there any sites/tutorials that you are reading and can recommend for musicans?
I’ll mention three:
Graham has a lot of informative videos on YouTube, I’d especially recommend his “5 minutes to a better mix” series. Awesome stuff. Learned a lot of my mixing craft from him.
The Pro Audio Files
How are you getting inspiration when creating music for games?
There’s no magic recipe other than: listen to a lot of music, every genre. There’s no better source of inspiration – all those songs you absorb are gonna swirl around your head, make your mind explore new horizons and basically energize your creative side.
How should the process of creating music for video games look like, especially in indie development?
I’ll say it again, I’m no Alpha and Omega, I can just tell you what I feel and think based on my limited experience.
First of all, make sure the game creator and the composer are on the same page when it comes to how the music should sound like. Music is obviously an art form and as such, you will probably divert slightly from the initial direction at times, but be confident that you understand what your client expects. It will spare you a lot of time and frustration later. Communicate clearly.
Secondly, get feedback early! Don’t send your client an unfinished riff or half of an intro, but once you get your basic composing done, make sure that your song sits well in the game. Don’t mix and master everything and then send a finished song, cause you might end up having to rewrite half of it later, when it turns out it’s not what the client expected. Don’t be surprised when it happens, also. Never expect only positive feedback.
Develop a way of overcoming inspiration blocks that works for you. For me, when I get stuck on a certain part and I’m not sure how to continue, I stop and do something else entirely. The song will play in your head and the solution might come in the most unexpected moment.
After I finish my work for the day, I usually render the current version as and mp3, put it on my phone and the next day, on my way to work, I listen to it, make mental (or digital) notes of what I need to fix and what to tweak. Also, it’s a good way to get your subconsious mind working on the next part of the song :).
But most importantly have fun creating!! That’s what it’s about – it’s why I compose and what drives me forward. Don’t be afraid to try new things, explore and evolve constantly. You ALWAYS have a lot to learn (I know I do!).
Again many thanks dude!
One tip for you guys – there is a lot of talented and creative people out there if you have a game that need music try to connect directly with musicians as I did.