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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rainbow Update: More Music

I am pleased to report that the iOS version of Rainbow is proceeding well. In fact, a 1.0 version has already been accepted for app store sale (though -- owning to some gameplay changes -- I will probably not release it).

So, what have I been working on? Well, other than finding a real job, tweaking and adjusting Rainbow to be an even better game. Part of that is doing things like adding incidental music to cutscenes -- and that's what this post is about.

The Music

The most recent two tracks I added to Rainbow were an opening and closing theme for the villain (and player's persona), who I will simply call "D.D." herein.

The opening theme is meant to be sinister but energetic, as befits a villain whose goal is to bring color and happiness into the lives of a drab people:

The closing theme is meant to be similar to the opening theme but more mellow, because D.D. is now tired from the effort of playing through the game:

One of the things that I think works really well in both of these tracks is the drums. The main drums are from Reason's factory sound library, but are bit-crushed via a Scream4's "digital" method:

I also automate the 'Rate' parameter of the Scream4 in one of the tracks to get some interesting variation into the drums. It's certainly a rough sound, but it's one that I quite enjoyed using in an earlier track.

The parallel channel through the reverb and compressor is generally mixed very low, but it does provide some interesting texture. (The LFO is being used to sweep the resolution on the Scream4 in this channel, which adds more rhythm to the texture.)

In addition to the main drums, I use a lone synth kick, without any fancy effects, in parts of the track. This kick is used as an sidechain input on the lower pad, in order to make the pad duck the kick (and thus make the kick seem to hit harder):

I doubt Rainbow will be winning any awards for cutscene music design, but these snippets certainly seem better than letting the menu theme continue to play.

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