Avie the Birdbrain Gamer # 3

I’ve been wanting to make videos for Youtube for ages! The computer I have now is fast enough to run No Man’s Sky while ALSO running the screen-capture software. (My previous computer can’t even run No Man’s Sky). The video editing software I’m using is called Movavi. I have been working on these videos for several weeks and I keep learning new things about the software. Yesterday I figured out how to add a “freeze-frame” (stop the film and hold it on one picture) without making a big gap in the background music.

Here is video # 3. (I’m redo-ing videos 1 and 2. ) I still need to fix the soundtrack. The sound effects coming from the game footage are in stereo (comes through both ears of your headphones) but the music I composed is only coming through one ear. I didn’t notice this flaw when I uploaded the video (because it wasn’t as obvious when using speakers). Thanks K for pointing this out!

Mid-February Music Progress

I’ve made some good progress in music lately, though I haven’t posted any new “noodles” for a while. I finally made it through the part of the Lynda.com video that talks about mixers, and I’ve been experimenting with that. The lectures at Coursera have been getting further and further out of my comfort zone (lots of terminology) so I’ve started making notecards! I’ve also been watching FL Studio tutorials by Andrew Aversa (aka Zircon). To me these tutorials are mindbogglingly complex and would be very intimidating, except that I “got to know him” by listening to an interview, and he is just such a nice guy.

Just today one of my new books arrived — it’s called The Guide to MIDI Orchestration. I expected that it would be a very dense book with tiny print, no pictures, and teeny-tiny little snippets of music scores. But I just opened the book at random and…it has pictures! The music score examples are readable! And the material sounds learnable. Ex. if you change around your wind instruments so that the low instruments are playing in their highest register and the highest instruments are playing in their lowest register (ex. bassoons high and flutes low), you get a completely different sound. That makes sense.

This video by Zircon is almost like looking over his shoulder…

This is one of his better-known songs — “Just Hold On”

My favorite interview so far

I’ve been listening to the Top Score podcasts, and this is my favorite one so far. The composer Ben Prunte was self-taught, and worked a lot of other jobs while he learned his craft as a musician. He said it took 10 years before he got good at it!

For Ben, the glamour of scoring video games did not come without effort. While working alternately as a janitor, Google diagnostician, and volunteer coordinator, he dedicated his spare time to honing his craft. After years of improvement, he received a call from the developer of the new game Faster Than Light (FTL). They asked for a score, and Ben’s life changed forever.


The music-writing software he uses is called Cubase, which has been around for a long time.

Here is a playlist of the soundtrack he wrote for the game FTL. I really like it, I think because it reminds me of the electronic music I listened to back in the 70s.

Top Score podcast — interviews with game composers

I just found out about the podcast Top Score, which discusses the music composed for, and used in, computer games. The woman who does the interviews has a classical music background. The following video talks about how the podcast interviews are made. Cute scene at 8:55 where they’re editing out the vocal flubs.

Learn the process behind Top Score, the podcast from Minnesota Public Radio that features interviews with the composers behind the world’s biggest games.