If you are looking to put your creative skills to good use, you should consider a career as a video game music composer. Check out this introductory guide.
Do you dream of putting your musical talent to good use? Have you ever considered becoming a video game music composer?
Videos games are not only for kids. They’re great for adults too and now we have games as deep as The Last of Us or as creative as Minecraft. A big part of the experience is the music.
Don’t panic if you don’t know how to make video game music. We’re here to help so check out these five steps to begin your new musical career:
1. Pick Your Digital Workspace
Making music for video games is vastly different compared to composing traditional songs. You’ll need a digital audio workspace aka DAW to make and mix your music. Some of the best ones out there include FL Studio, Logic Pro X, and Cubase.
Get used to working with your DAW, whether you’ll record real instruments, use samples, or other methods.
2. Melody Reigns Supreme
Go back to iconic video game songs. Think of the World 1-1 song from Super Mario Bros. or the Hyrule Field theme from The Legend of Zelda. Those songs stood the test of time and still feature in newer games because of their memorable melodies.
Yes, orchestral tracks that build ambiance and set the mood are epic video game music but if you want people to keep humming, focus on tracks that build on one strong tune.
Remember that your songs will play for a long period and there’s no guarantee when the player might trigger something in the game that requires a shift in tone. This is why video game composers split their songs into different sections with their DAW.
You’ll need an intro, something that people can identify the moment they hear it. You’ll then need to build the looping center of the track. This is the part you can keep replaying for hours.
Of course, the song still has to end or segue into a different track. This is where the transition portion and conclusion come into play.
4. Step Back and Listen to Other Genres
Remember that you’re not making music for a radio pop artist. Yes, it would be nice if all the songs in the game follow a certain style or theme but make sure to instill variety. You don’t want combat music sounding too similar to the tavern background songs, after all.
Step back and listen to other genres. Perhaps you can introduce Mediterranean elements into the combat music or grunge metal with the song for a certain cutscene.
5. Get Online and Build a Career
Don’t forget to share your original music! Build a portfolio and let people listen to what you can do.
If you want to start a career and earn money, you should create an account on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. Get people to notice your work and start hiring you for their video game projects.
Become a Video Game Music Composer
Launching a career as a video game music composer might not seem easy but wit these tips you’ll be on the right track. Get comfortable with your tools, learn the trade, and showcase your work to pick up gigs and work on video games.
Of course, this isn’t the only musical career out there. If you want more career advice or if you want general entertainment tips and tricks, don’t hesitate to check out more of our guides!