Have you ever had yourself immortalized in a video game before? How does it feel? That’s what some group of kids from Canarsie said to me at the Playcrafting event at Microsoft a month ago. I told them it was pretty cool but my mom likes it the most. They smiled laughed then asked to play Doors To The City.
KORG Synths, Drum Machine & Sampler
Ever since Ben and I started working on this game, life has somewhat changed for me. It’s now a mission to fulfill tasks set which will define the success of a 3-D character lost in a world of doors leading to endless possibilities. As a game, DTTC is a story based on an album. As an album, Closed Doors is a story based on my life. As a life, mine is one of a journey. A journey to the depths of one’s mind through imagination and creation.
Equalizing Rainfall SFX in Ableton
I never imagined I’d be in a video game but somehow I always knew I would. Like some sort of genetic code leading deep inside my thoughts waiting for me to find it one day. Thankfully Ben is a good coder. When we met it was one of those “Who is the new guy? I don’t know but he’s out there and I like out there.” By out there I was referring to the game Marshall’s Theory. You know the one about Trump trapped in a nightmare with protesters and angry voters on his trail. If not, then you need to wake up. Any who it was that game which brought this long term tag team together. A team that some say can change the definition of a video game and soundtrack.
Prophet 6 & Sub 37 @ Seth Mooney’s Brooklyn Studio
A few months ago, Ben needed some haunting chords for the score in Marshall’s Theory and asked me to help him out. I told him I do it if he made me a video game. Later that day I found myself in Seth Mooney’s studio surrounded by synths, pedals, guitars, drum machines and modular gear. I asked him to engineer the session as I got deep on the Sub 37, Prophet 6, OP-1, TR-8 and ran it through Ableton with no compression just reverb and delay from Moog pedals. After 20 minutes of horsing around we had something. It was, let’s just say out there. I posted something on Twitter, bounced the tracks and sent them to Ben. A-day or 2 later the guy says he liked it. I replied, “Thanks, now about that video game.” Fast forward 2 months and here we are 2 guys and a game.
Editing Field Recordings in Ableton
Throughout those months I had to study sound design techniques, analog and FM synthesis, environmental influence on frequency and harmonics, mixing and mastering (shouts to Phil Moffa) and how to not have pedestrians assume my H6 field recorder is a fire arm. The latter is still being difficult thanks to TSA. Along the way I also had to buy a few pieces of gear to make record a full album. At the time, I only had a microphone and midi controller. I now own a few Korg Volcas, Minilogue, Monologue, AKG condenser microphones, the Zoom H6 I mentioned before, Ableton and Push2, a Subpac & Yamaha mixer. Using Presonus ES5 & 8 monitors paired with a Deviliate a Phantom to monitor playback. So you can start to see how my life has changed a bit yes it’s not just MP3 beats I’m now running the whole show and this project sounds different than anything I’ve ever created. A combination of past, future and freedom in the now.
Yamaha MG12XU In-Studio @ Looking Glass
In between tasks from work at Looking Glass, traveling cross-country, doing shows and staying alive, finding time to focus on finishing the album has been tough but I’ve been banging out tracks along the way. Playing the game as I compose the score makes things a lot easier to get really real and experiment. In my next post, I’ll be provided songs I’ve been working on and some more downloadable jams that may or may not make the album. Also, I’ll be providing sounds I created and captured for the game to listen to and admire the sounds of Doors To The City. I’ve got some ideas for the albums interactivity with the game that hopefully bridges the physical and holographic world. There will be vinyl discount codes, Easter eggs, and download links in the game’s story mode to purchase and listen to the album in the physical world. I hope everyone is excited for the Doors To The City as I am so so happy and really looking forward to everyone listening to the album, playing the game and losing themselves in an unfamiliar world . Thank you