Since the start, we were thinking of synthwave soundtrack. Ten tracks in, after playing a prototype level I have noticed that there will be a problem: The game was too fast and synthwave wasn’t giving that much of a kick and adrenaline to the player.
I was thinking; “I don’t want to make another metal soundtrack. It is the easy way out and it doesn’t reflect the atmosphere of the game at all.”
So I went to explore my possibilities. I did it the fun way: played playlists of music while playing the level.
After a week or two of testing and making music, I have noticed that music from the bands like The Prodigy, Noisia, Pendulum, etc. clicked immediately.
Basic theory in creating a soundtrack
All of the tracks are pretty much above 160 bpm, and they all have a breakbeat variation of drums often used by Pendulum.
When I start to write I usually have a melody or a “riff” and I build everything around it.
The faster the music is, the sooner it starts to be boring, so I have at least, 5 or 6 synths working together on the same pattern.
That way I just push one synth or the other louder every bar so that you always have that feeling of something new happening even it is the same note pattern.
Also, bear in mind, some of the synths that are working together have a lot of filter, octave, and wavefolder sequencing. Usually done in a way that the sequence is in odd time signature.
Tracks were first written in the DAW and then I have sent the MIDI signal into different hardware synths and guitar pedals and then recorded audio.
That way I could ease up on CPU usage, manipulate the sounds manually and excuse myself for spending that much money on equipment.
I have used Korg Monologue, Behringer Neutron, and my eurorack setup with mainly digital oscillators from Noise Engineering and Harvestman (Industrial Music Electronics).
I have a lot of guitar pedals, mostly distortions, and my favourites are Metasonix TM5, WMD Geiger Counter and JPTR FX Apokalypse.
Korg Monologue was especially good in creating sub-bass tracks, Behringer Neutron was going thru distortion pedals and compressed on lead synth tracks.
As well as Noise Engineering Cursus Iteritas and Harvestman Hertz Donut, Noise Engineering Basimilus Iteritas Alter with Malekko Voltage Block was used a lot for hi-hats…
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Also, make sure to check our last dev blog where we talked with our pixel artist Jurica who explained how he creates art for Speed Limit!