Computer-Music.com contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music. Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com

Computer-Music.com  contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music.
Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com



 

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Occasionally Get A Birdís Eye View

Try looking at the macro view rather than the micro view. The farther you are into a project, the more you may tend to lose sight of the big picture because you are so involved in the small details. Small details are important, but overindulging in detail work can upset scheduling; you may end up spending an inordinate amount of time tweaking a patch or minutely adjusting attack and release times. At times like these, you can easily lose track of your master plan and start off in new directions that take you away from the path you already decided was the best course of action.

It may not be until you are finished with a tune and hear the results of straying from the path that you realize the damage your drifting has caused. You can end up with a tune that starts within the contracted style but finishes far afield. A tune can stand out because it is so different from all the others. A carefully laid-out point and counterpoint can be ruined when you get too involved in the percussion and alter or overpower the rhythmic combination that made those elements so strong. This is why most project teams have periodic meetings. Meetings ensure that nobody strays from the plan, and that all individual efforts by team members will mesh well in the final product.

Unfortunately, sound production for games is often a solo effort, so most likely you will be responsible for keeping yourself on track. Occasionally stepping back from the project is the only way to do this effectively. You may have heard a tuneís individual components so many times that you are in danger of growing to hate it. You may not want to begin a new day listening to everything you have composed so far. Listening with a fresh ear may be the only way you can spot where the elements are starting to drift.

Try listening to other tunes in the project that are long finished. This helps ensure that your more recent work meshes well when tunes are played in a different order in the game than the order in which you composed them. On long projects, you can often detect a gradual change in the overall style of tunes as you play them from first composed to last. While you may have taken months to achieve this effect the listener is likely to be hearing them in random order and one after the other. While I like a lot of variety, most games depend on the music to create a consistent atmosphere to help the player suspend his/her disbelief. In cases like this, a radical change in the musical style can be jarring, reminding the player that the game is all imaginary.

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