Remuneration for video games music composing

Discussion in 'Computing' started by sam7, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. sam7

    sam7 Guest

    As a composer for a major video games company, i'd like to exchange views and experiences with other musicians who have been exposed to the flat fee system vs royalties/rights system.
    What is your experience, what's the rule, how do you manage that, with which results : is the "no rights with the highest fee" the most common final deal?
    Thanx for sharing your experiences.
  2. I'm sorry I don't have an answer, to your question. But, I was interested to know if you had to know any programming or if you just record the sounds and send it off to the programmers.

    How did you acquire the job in video game composing, and do you just deal with composing or do you do other sounds also?

    thanks for your time
  3. sam7

    sam7 Guest

    My job for video games is like scoring for movies, which i do as well. The only programming i know is synth programming :) I just provide sound files (SD2 files recorded in Digital Performer, with midi tracks recorded in audio + audio tracks from live instruments) of all the "tracks" of the cuts that are later mixed in pro tools by the sound director in a pro studio of their choice. I'm given very accurate descriptions of what the music cuts should sound like, i'm lucky to work with sound designers and producers who are musicians too. when needed they provide.AVI or QT videos sequences that i import and sync in DP. When i'm finished with a cut, i send the sound designer of the project a mp3 mix through the Internet, then they try it in-game to check if it "works". If so, i send them a cd with all the seperate tracks in the SD2 format. To answer the question "how to get in?" sending demos may work. In my case, being in the business for a long time as a musician/arranger people know which type of work i can do well to fit their needs in terms of pro sound, creativity, deadline limits, and that's the way i was hired. In my case it's my versatility (styles and instruments, mix of ethnic "world" low tech with hi tech processing) that is my strong point, but others may be appreciated because they are great for classical orchestra scoring, hardcore techno, trip-hop....It all depends on the type of project, video games now cover a lot of musical styles.
  4. wow thanks for the input, seeing as I'm just starting my career as an engineer I will learn my chops and see where it goes from there, sorry for getting you side tracked
  5. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    maybe, one of you guys can help me here, I am a sound fx freak and have amassed a very large collection of fx's over the years, however, what I need now are not made or sold, to be more precise, I like the fx's that is created when playing Arcade or video "games" and I would like to record those fx's but the "background" music that comes with all of the games is what's causing the problem.
    I have joined many forums and been given different ideas but no answer as of yet, just a note, the fx's that comes in the "folders" of these games is not what I want, what I want is the sound you get when you apply a "combination" of the fx's, like space wars where you would be firing the weapon yourself, it is the sequence and combination of the weapon firing that I am after.
    Can anyone here please tell me of any way that this can be done? Thanks.
  6. Vince Jaeger

    Vince Jaeger Guest

    Not exactly sure what you're asking but maybe these links will help you find the answer you're looking for.

    Sound Effects Design:

    Modern Audio Technologies in Games:

    But if I do understand correctly: If you want to record those sound effects w/o the music interfering and have access to the individual sounds. Take them into a multi track or wav editing program and align them together.

    However if you're planning on using these sounds from commercial games for songs/games/movies or anything that is not for personal use, that is illegal and I would refrain from doing do.
  7. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Hi, appreciate the help and tips. I never thought of the "personal use" thing, I always thought that it was ok to use the fx's as long as it is not for "commercial" use of any kind. I will take a closer look at whichever game I would like to use it's fx's and see if there is a clause regarding personal use, will chekc out those links, thanks again.
  8. Vince Jaeger

    Vince Jaeger Guest

    By personal use I mean stuff that STAYS at home and doesnt leave there via the internet, etc.
    Ie: Dont take other games sounds or whatnot and and put them in game mods or Use them in movies or music that you plan to release to the public and/or sell. Depends on each games end user license agreement honestly. Some abandonware games might be free game though, not exactly sure.

    If you'd like to purchase royalty free sound effects libraries that you can use for your projects check out and

    The libraries cost a pretty penny but they are very good to have when you cant actully afford to go out in the field or whereever and record the material yourself.

    And no problem, check out filmsound mainly its a damn good resource for sound design.
  9. mikehende

    mikehende Active Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Oh, no fret then, I have "tons" of fx's that I have been purchasing since the 70's, I have them on all formats, Lp's, Cd's, Tapes and lately mp3's and wav files but none of them sound like those from the Arcade/video games. I use sound fx's ONLY for my music and layer them on top of my mp3's in my DJ softwares to add spice to the music but I am not a "commercial" DJ anymore so ther is no moneymaking involved here at all but thanks a lot for the explanations Vince, take it easy, Mike.
    ps.s I looked at those links you gave me and loved them, now I know what "3D" sound is and how and why it's produce, also I now know why and what the standard "44.1" and "sample rate" mean/ I also like your idea of "linking" the effects together to get a new fx, I had never thougt of that, thanks.

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