• ZeGame App and OST release

    A few months ago I expressed my enthusiasm about ZeGame. Especially the virtual reality experience was amazing! The joy of scoring for this game was that indie feeling we had while creating it. Just with the three of us (Jesper, Selle and me) doing Skype sessions, talking hours about glitches and improvements. No major studio sessions, but exploring the limits of the FM8, Massive, Slim Phatty and Korg EX-800). There was no hard deadline so we had all the time to involve both sound design and music in one audible creation. By bouncing our creations towards each other the sound became much more than sound and music separated from each other. A good example is the third world, where you can hear the sounds of the ocean and the sound of the whales being part of the score.

    Last week, the game has finally been released on all major platforms. Tomorrow the score will be released on band camp, and eventually the theme will be released as single on Spotify. Hopefully it will get some extra bonus worlds or an expansion pack. If not, I sincerely hope to be part of this team in the future to work together on a new game.

  • Wall of Sound Lecture-Recital

    Phil Spector (1939) had a enormous influence on pop music in the second half of the twentieth century. While working in the Gold Star studios in the 1960s, he developed a special recording technique called the wall of sound. It was basically a formula that made use of harmony and music technology in a way to mask definition in the whole. By doing so, it became difficult to distinguish instruments from one another as they form a certain density. In Walking in the Rain (1963) and Be my Baby (1964) by The Ronettes one can clearly hear this effect.

    Over the last year and a half, New Hansen tried to reconstruct the wall. What will happen when we look beyond the wall of sound? It will be explained how Spector built his wall, but more interestingly, it will  show how to create a wall of sound yourself. Recording instruments exactly the way Spector did more than fifty years ago, we now have all the bricks to rebuild the wall, and to control each part separately to define the instruments and see it become a whole. With this valuable information, we can answer the question whether it is still possible to recreate Spector’s wall of sound with today’s technology.

    Tuesday March 15 10:30-11:15 in the Blue Note room at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Entrance is free.

  • Microphone placement in Born Healty Commercial

    In this commercial, that has been released this afternoon, we were looking for a fragile sound to express the happiness of the future parents. In an early stage we decided to choose the neutral sound of the piano accompanied by music-box and string-quartet. This version suited the best and to go for the best quality I recorded a grand piano with four microphones.

    Obviously microphone placement is an important aspect of scoring for visual media. In the studio I decided to go for prominent room microphones as I wanted to catch the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ of euphoric young parents that just gave birth to a child. In the mix it appeared that this sound gave a different feel… the close microphone placement that was caught in earlier versions gave a feeling of being present in that babyroom. That was the sound that we wanted. So both tracks had the same music, but had a different feel. In the end we choose for the close miked piano.

  • Virtual reality composer

    Today I was invited by Jesper, creator of ZeGame, to join testing of the game on the HTC Vive. The virtual reality goggle is still in development by HTC/Valve and only a few game developers have gotten themselves a prototype. I was stunned when I first experienced the digital world after putting on the glasses. After you put on the headphones there is no connection with the ‘real’ world anymore. We started with ZeGame that had an excellent control system. I was able to walk around the digital blocks now. The view of the puzzles were so much more clear this way. It’s already clear on the phones and tablets, but it just gave this experience of being there now! Also swiping on the z-axis was able without rotating the camera, but just to ‘touch’ the blocks and swipe them towards yourself. The environments were also stunning, and I frequently stopped playing to enjoy the world above and around me. The excellent sounddesign of Selle really helped me to be in this unreal underwater world full of whales and ZeGame blocks 🙂

    The reason for my visit was to check the finished music I composed for the game, but I ended up playing with the goggles for a very long time. Such a great experience! This video shows me, being totally not in the ‘real world’ enjoying the ZeGame underwater world.