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Post feature RSS Composition Series- #10 Music Update

Our latest entry in the music composition series is an update on the progress of the Lord of Rigel soundtrack.

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This week on the Lord of Rigel soundtrack I will be finalizing the ground combat tracks and making a start on doing final mixes of completed music. I am very close to the end of writing now, with only 5 more of the smaller event loops left to create. So I’m hoping to have everything done and dusted in a month or so, depending on how troublesome the mixing is.

The ground combat tracks consist of three outcomes – good, bad and neutral. They are all based around a military snare part that runs throughout and are quite short (around 30 seconds each) to match with the animated scene in game. Structurally they are reasonably basic, made up of a simple chord progression using sounds that already appear throughout the game. Namely choir and pads. The inspiration for these, funnily enough, came from watching Team America! Which seems ludicrous but that film is chock full of great musical ideas. It was quite fortunate I watched it really because I almost used the music from Police Academy.

There has been some discussion within the team recently about attempting a new main menu theme and that is something I have been playing with in between working on the other tracks. The track being used currently was written at the beginning, and since that time the sound has evolved somewhat so I want something that sits with it all better. The main menu is probably the most important piece of music in the game, so I need to come up with something memorable but not overpowering. Easier said than done of course but I’ll be listening to a lot of music for some inspiration in the meantime.

Finally, the mixing. It is quite a big task in all honesty, there will be 60 separate mixes which I will be undertaking over the next month. The challenge is in keeping a consistent sound across all areas of the game. With there being a large palette of sounds this may take some time to get right. So my plan is to break the mix down into groups of similar tracks, get each group sounding together and then move onto the next one. That way I can use the previous group as reference and hopefully end up with a consistently balanced soundtrack.

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