This week we are focusing on music! We reached out over social media and here are some of the questions we got for our audio powerhouse, Taylor!
Taylor has worked on sound design for games for over 5 years. In his spare time he creates delightful diddies and has made several albums such as Super Jump!
Q: What is the main feel/tone of the music?
A: Charming, ear-wormy, quirky, chill, a touch rustic and a bit throw-backy with the synth use without going full chiptune.
Q: Was there any music/sound that inspired the audio for Gallus? Or was it more like he knew right away what he wanted to create?
A: I had a rough idea of what I wanted from the get-go, a bit of trial and error in there to work out the kinks of what I wanted, but that’s fairly normal when I approach a project. I feel like a lot of the influence is more subconscious than purposeful but, given I grew up with mostly Nintendo for a good portion of my childhood, a lot of influence comes from the SNES era of games but approaching it with the fact I have access to more modern tools and less limitations than the sound of that system had. So fairly early on I wanted to have the zoomed-out pixel style of most of the game to have synth-based SFX, which feels appropriate and throw-backy, but when the view zooms in and the art style has the more digital painted look, such as the character portraits or the opening cut scene for example, I do all realistic recorded (with microphones) SFX and voice clips. I feel like this blends well with the music style as well and it blends between rustic/orchestral instruments and synth-based instruments reminiscent of chiptune music.
Q: What are some underused instruments in game music? Will Gallus utilize unique instruments?
A: Uuuummmmm, I feel like more “ethnic” or traditional/old instruments from various areas are fairly underused in different genres OTHER THAN what they would be traditionally used for. Also, in the realm of virtual instruments, playing any instrument way out of it’s realistic range of notes, or dramatically altering traditional instruments with various effects to make something “new”. Also, granted I know some composers do this and I think it’s rad, making an instrument from scratch, like physically building something to play. There will be some odd-ball instruments and sounds/textures going on in Gallus musics here and there, won’t specifically say what but you’ll hear them in time, and I’m happy to go over them at that point 😉
Q: What is it like to be a sound designer for games?
A: Really fulfilling, lots of fun, while also being really challenging which I find really appealing. Different types of games have different approaches to sound design, whether you are aiming to replicate real-world sounds or getting creative making up something new or ‘implied’ (if that makes sense) if you are dealing with something cartoon-ish or fantasy/sci-fi. I’ve been doing sound design/music the freelance way and in doing so you open up to different genres of games, so you aren’t always doing the exact same thing, each project is different and has different sound needs and I find that exciting and creatively rejuvenating coming off of on project into another and keeps me rolling.
Q: What programs do you use to create music?
A: For Gallus I am currently doing everything within Pro Tools and using instrument libraries via Native Instruments’ Kontakt 5 (virtual instrument plugin) and IK Multimedia’s Miroslav Philharmonik for all of the more traditional Instruments and I’m using Native Instruments’ Massive for all of my synth sounds (also used for the sound design, as well). I also will dip into Propellerhead’s Reason and Apple’s Logic Pro for certain things, but primarily in Pro Tools because I know it best (learned up on it via school) and I’m quicker with the editing tools in it which is important for me : ). (But real talk, going to be digging into Propellerhead’s Reason 10 a lot more, got a lot of cool stuff