How to Make Music for Video Games?
A composer from Bogotá explains it to us
In an industry of which little is said, some people are dedicated to inventing background music for your favorite video games.
Although almost invisible, video game music is one of the keys to being fully inserted into the entire experience of passing a game from start to finish. From the sounds in 8-bit video game classics like Pac-Man and Contra, to other soundtracks more elaborate as the Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the franchise of Final Fantasy, the music has played a significant role so that they become memorable Who has not heard the music of his favorite video game and what recalled with nostalgia?
Within this small industry, of which little is spoken, some people strive so that the sounds we hear while playing, fit perfectly with the fantastic places where the animated characters are found that we are manipulating with a control, a tablet or on the screen of our cell phone.
One of those musicians is Miguel Benavides, a 24-year-old Bogota man who became interested in the world of video games. He began to compose his own songs for this purpose, and that decision has led him to win several calls from the government to develop video games. Very recently Mad Bricks, his own company dedicated to making cell phone games, began, in which he performs the function of composing the music for all those creations that come from the mind of artists and programmers working there.
We went to the recording studio you have in your apartment in Chapinero to explain to us how the creative process of making music for a video game is and the difference between making music for this medium or composing for an orchestra or a band.
NOISEY: What made you interested in musicalizing audiovisual pieces?
Miguel: I studied commercial composition in Javeriana. It’s a race that lets you have one, an approximation to the audiovisual. There was a specific semester in which you could see music for Audiovisual then from there it started to interest me too much everything that has to do with the understanding of the music in front of the image, how a dramatic visual curve behaves and how it can be reinforced with the audio. It is about understanding the cohesion between melodies and how to use all musical resources in favor of an image.
When did you realize you wanted to get into video game making?
Since I started studying music I wanted to do things for movies, but I wasn’t sure there was a part for video games, and it was a very cool part for developing video games and putting music on them. I came to find that out three years ago. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and what I’ve come to understand is that the composition for a video game is completely alien to what one is taught from a counter-audiovisual composition.
The musical composition for an audiovisual piece is basically a chronological line that starts at a point A and ends at a point B. For example, when you put the 31st minute in a video, you will always see the same image, instead of in the video game, it does not work like that.
And how did you get him to do this kind of music professionally?
My first experience was with a video game they were developing in a company called Effect Studios. It was a platformer, and I screwed up a lot of time for them to let me make the music. I went to work there because I wanted to do composition, but at first, I was the assistant to one of the partners. Going in there was weird because it was a world full of technology, computers and I didn’t understand anything, but I always had in my head the idea of making music. When I convinced the partner that I could make the music for his video game, I was able to do the main theme, and that was the first time I was paid to play a game.