An interview by G4TV online

A slightly more freeform interview was put online a few days ago, this time it was done by G4TV, and the questions weren’t easy at all. http://bit.ly/91Yyg4

I also think I better do something for those promo pictures. Like burn them.

What really amazes me is the sudden depth of some questions – I started answering them and after two sentences I realized I have to open up quite a few other crates as well, not just the one I’m handling. An easy “synth or orchestra” question really became a struggle and I tried to be as short-mouthed as I could. Which, unfortunately isn’t much.

Alan Wake OST officially out now

Alan Wake OST composed by yours truly is finally, officially out – now. Get it from here:

Amazon (as a CD)
Amazon download
BestBuy
iTunes (link to USA iTunes Store)
and straight from Sumthing Digital.

So there. Unfortunately, for us Europeans, it’s Amazon.co.uk only.

Also, I have to notify that iTunes USA quite falsely advertises flute solo recordings also done by a guy with a same name, although we’re not even related. His recordings are top-notch as well, but be warned that it’s not me. I better charge him some royalties for promotion duties. 😀

Ok. While you’re there, try finding some concert organ stuff by Kalevi Kiviniemi as well, with a hint of Osmo Vänskä & Sinfonia Lahti thrown in for some Scandinavian taste. End of promotion.

It’s official now

Top Dollar PR announces it now officially: Alan Wake OST will be out soon, both as a digital download from iTunes and Sumthing Digital, and a physical CD as well for those who prefer to read the cd sleeve whilst listening to some great tunes.

There are 18 tracks total, some of which were taken from in-game music and meticulously edited into one piece of music – a challenge in itself, by the way – but everything seems to fit in, pretty nicely, I’d say. Some of the track still bring the tears to my eyes – even though I’ve heard them literally hundreds of times, first composing, then arranging, recording, mixing, playing AW… everyone making music knows what I’m talking about. As a composer/produces/engineer one-man-does-it-all combination I face the challenge of arguing with myself on artistic values over technical aspects, the stuff normal people usually do in a group, or with a team. But, I’d like to emphasize there never were any real problems, just some choices to be made.

Check the whole thing on the Top Dollar PR site.

Alan Wake Soundtrack out soon!

According to Amazon.com, my Alan Wake Soundtrack will be finally released 20th July – which is pretty soon. I’ve heard the mastered files a few times on different sound systems and it sounds really damn good. Besides, it seems that the Amazon pricing is quite competitive, at least for a physical CD. Sometimes I feel a bit baffled about all the marketing and promotion stuff, as this link came my way by accident. Literally. I just clicked a wrong link. The usual “what the…” moment.

Also, Sumthing Digital has a link for the soundtrack download already (although the tracks aren’t yet available for download). They have also wisely included a listening station with enough audible clips to close a deal. 😉

Yay!

Square Enix Music reviews AW score

9/10 for the LCE package. Nice!

Read the article here.

Also, I came across an article in which Soundelux Design Music Group finally get their props – usually they were never mentioned in a review of the game. Oscar nominee Alan Rankin and his team did some brilliant work and helped create Alan Wake’s ominous atmosphere. Head to mi2n.com. In the same article, according to Mr. Mark Yeend (of Microsoft Game Studios) “(the game has) one of the best and most memorable I’ve ever heard in a video game.”

Thanks, Mark!

Wow, just… wow

Speechless am I now.

Originalsoundversion.com’s Gideon Dabi has reviewed Alan Wake OST, read the whole article here.

Kind words out of the blue feel really, really good. Thank you.

If some of my comments and “thank yous” seem overwhelming, it is just due to the natural fact that I know I’ve chosen quite a strange way to decorate a psychothriller – a choice I was originally a bit concerned to take. The more I browsed through my soundtrack CDs and mp3s, the more confident I became, and the choice to leave the obvious path lured me even more. I wrote in my SEMO essay “(the composer’s) …always on the edge, leaning towards the wind”, and it sure as hell felt like that. There were just too many things that could have gone wrong, especially when putting some beauty into madness – but after all, that’s life in itself (although not in a usual setting): finding order in chaos, a reason to survive.

Alan Wake article published

I wrote a lengthy post-mortem article for Square Enix Music Online, which is now online. It’s principally written about the scoring itself, with a slightly different point of view, I’d say.

One should think that as my box of mental tools, wide open. Also included is a healthy dose of criticism towards the catalogue music and its careless usage, but most of the time I happened to stay on the right tracks, it seems. After reading the article myself, I feel it reflects pretty well the train of thought and the amount of effort put into what I think I do best.

Read the whole article here.

Note: In the article, orchestrator David Christiansen is mentioned, but his name is erroneously spelled as Christensen. My bad, sorry David!

Yamaha D-85 add-ons

Before I’ve looped all the necessary Custom Voices and Special Presets, I thought it would be wise to deliver another coffee breakers: D-85 Arpeggiator and Bass Pedal.

If you’re too curious to find out what the D-85 does with its arpeggio engine, just click the lower left picture, scanned from the nicely written, child friendly D-85 manual. I’m still unable to get over the fact they really used hand drawn illustrations back in the 1980. In electronic device manuals. Unbelievable.

The Arpeggiator is just the sampled output of my D-85’s three arpeggio instruments (that is, without the arpeggiator engine, as one can add it later on with Kontakt 4’s scripts) with modulation wheel controlling decay time of the samples, whereas Bass Pedal is probably the most descriptive title ever: just that, one octave’s worth of everything D-85’s bass department could ever produce, which, to be honest, is really not that much. Also, the Tuba and Bass 8′ sounds are missing from the package, for a reason: coffee break was over before I was finished. 😀

The samples, being such simple sounds by their origin, are quite happily transposed much more than one could ever guess. Also, owning a license of Melodyne will prove being quite helpful as well.

The Solo Synth section of D-85 is couplable to pedals as well, but I didn’t have enough time to start recording that right now, as it needs to be done properly due to its filter system. I’ll do it, though – some day, using Kontakt 4’s AET.

Download: Arpeggiator and Bass Pedal. Note: Arpeggiator needs Kontakt 4, Bass Pedal works on Kontakt 3. Consider these as raw material, not finished products. Feel free to explore and if you’ll ever come up with anything cool using this stuff, drop me a line or two.

Next: BBQ outside, it’s sunshine and summertime.

Yamaha D-85 drum machine

Even though my trusty old Yamaha Electone D-85 electronic organ is one damn noisy bastard, I decided to create a few Kontakt3/4 sample sets, containing all samples and basic rhythms of its built-in drum machine. I didn’t raise my finger to remove the hiss from the samples, instead I just let them be as is. I did, however, include a fade-out for 50 ms into every sample.

As the D-85 has a balance fader between the percussion and cymbal channels, I sampled both separately – didn’t want to mess with Kontakt’s scripting engine, I decided to let the end user dive into that hell.

Also included are all the basic midi files, created from these preset rhythm patterns. Again, I didn’t want to sample the variations 1-3 and the fill-ins 1-6, but in case someone needs, I’ve got a service manual for that thing, in which they also included all the rhythm patterns, printed in Roland Style – dots in a matrix. For those willing to explore, I also included an “everything” sample set, containing all possible sounds D-85’s rhythm machine could ever produce.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to notice D-85 had such a marvelous accuracy, and the timing of the rhythm section was very coherent, especially after I had let it warm long enough. Next: Custom Voices and Special Presets. Looping takes ages, especially if Symphonic Ensemble or Celeste are used. But, eventually I’ll put them here.

All rhythm sample sets are free, no copyright whatsoever.

Download: midi files, rhythm sets, and the single shots. Native Instruments Kontakt 3 or 4 needed.