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Freelance Video Games Music Writing: Useful Hints For Beginners


As with any freelance job writing music for video, games comes with its own set of stressors and challenges. There is a few ideas and tricks you should be aware of before beginning on this career path, to help you to get past those difficulties to create a successful and meaningful composition that fits the mood of the video game.

  • Remember it is not about what type of music you enjoy writing
  • You are going to have to write music you don't enjoy or know often. Remember you can not be picky, this is how you have chosen to make a living. You may be stuck writing music for kids math games for long periods of time if that's the type of contract you have won. As with any job, you can not pick and choose your responsibilities. Be prepared to write a full range of music, from classical to dubstep.

  • Your chosen specialization type of music should not be something easy
  • If it is easy to create it, then it's less likely someone will pay for it. They would either do it themselves or ask family and friends to do it for free.

  • Every composer must have an excellent sense of melody
  • Composers need to be able to come up with a melody very quickly. If you have a problem with creating mood evoking melodies you may want to choose a different career. This is a key element to every project.

  • Mood
  • The whole purpose of having a good soundtrack in a game is to help to evoke certain feelings or moods within the game story line. Your melody or composition should reflect the mood the developer is trying to create. For example, if it is a romantic cutscene in an RPG you are composing for you would want to use violins, or piano's, perhaps in a relaxing tone. Not drums and heavy metal "I want to kill someone", type music.

  • Equipment
  • As with any job, you can not be expected to create good quality music without the proper tools and equipment. A few essential items every composer will need are as follows:

    1. Computer- it may seem obvious you will need a computer, but it is an essential item, so it has made it to our list.
    2. Headphones- Good headphones are essential. You NEED to be able to listen to your tracks and hear everything that's going on inside them. If you do not have a lot of money to spend for initial start-up costs, cut back on your spending somewhere other than your headphones.
    3. Microphone- If you plan to produce your tracks using acoustic instruments or by singing lyrics a microphone is essential. As with the headphones, you can not buy your microphone on the cheap.

Music composition is a very creative, and potentially fun way to earn money. It is, however, a very lucrative, and cut throat business to go into. But if you have the will you can make a living on composition by simply remembering the above tips.

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