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How to Make Video Game Music

So, you want to make your own video game music? That's great, because you can get EXACTLY the kind of moods, genres, sound effects, and voice overs you need. But how does one make music for video games? Well, with determination, the tools of the trade and a good ear, this article will hopefully provide a great bit of reference.

NOTE: I cant tell you how to play every single instrument, or how to write everything. I can only lay down the basics of game music recording.


  1. 1

    Decide what kind of music you'd like your game to feature. Do you want hardcore metal? Or do you want something a little more soft and classical? You could even use both, if you want! There are absolutely no bounds to creativity.


  2. Learn how to read and write music. You can do this with either tabs or a music range. Start with a range, since it is the classic way to compose music. Learn all the notes and symbols, and although this may be a long task, it's really worth it.

  3. 3

    Get the necessary tools If you need any specific instruments or tools, go get them. Look in the Things You'll Need section for sound programs and software.

  4. 4

    Compose! If you need lyrics, write them with a certain rhythm in the syllables. Go see a How to Write a Haiku or Alexandrian Poem entry for help with this. Composing music requires quite the musical ear, you can't just put any notes together. Remember the mood and atmosphere you want to create.

  5. 5

    Record/Create. This will take a lot of tries, but it's normal. Depending on what kind of tools you are using, this could mean a makeshift recording studio or just a computer. Of course, if you are using real instruments, you will need to record it, but some music software lets you create music as well as edit it. Choose the one that's right for you.

  6. 6

    Create Sound effects. It will take tons of work, but this step is worth it. This is a really fun part in making the music, because it is so different from the rest of the recording. If you want realistic sound effects, there's no other way around it: you'll have to get out and do exactly what you are creating the sound effect for. Clang utensils or pots for a sword clash, throw heavy rocks down a rocky hill for a destructive sound. There are also sites where you can download sound effects, which are quite useful if you can't get the exact kind of sound you want.

  7. 7

    Do Voice overs. Again, this will require a lot of starting over and redoing. This part is quite simple, all you need is recording software, a good microphone and a filter (to eliminate spitting sounds and some interference) and a group of people that will bring your characters to life. This part can or cannot be essential, but I think it will be pretty useful. First and foremost, write your script. I suggest you look for a How to Write Theatre Scripts for this one. The voice actors usually have their scripts right in front of them, so don't worry on remembering it right (although you certainly will after all the tries). Do not forget to project the cut scene so that the actors can match the lip flap, if necessary. I suggest you record as a group instead of each voice individually. It makes the exchange of words more natural. Only thing is, the other actors have to keep quiet when one is speaking.

  8. 8

    Edit, compile it, and add it to the game! You can do this using the recording software. Make sure you're really familiar with your software, read the Readme or watch a How-to video. And now, you're all done and ready to test your game!


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