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Game Music Composition: Make Music For Games From Scratch

Learn to compose music for any and every type of video game, from complete beginner to competent game music composer
Karleen Heong
14,006 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated] More
Compose high quality, original video game music for any type of game and genre, for your own game or for someone else's game.
Start or further your career as a game music composer.
Understand some music theory, music composition, music production and general game music knowledge.

The world’s first comprehensive online course on Video Game Music Composing that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. Be one of the first to study the complex and often forgotten art of game music composition. This is the course I wish I had when I started out, and currently, there is still no complete course in game composing for this price. This course is the first and aims to be the absolute BEST.

Immerse yourself in the world of game music composing. Emerge a competent video game composer and be confident in your ability to make music for any and every type of game. 

Every Game Type: Role-playing game battle themes, boss battle themes, casual mobile/smartphone game music, 8-bit chiptunes, indie and triple A adaptive and dynamic music, game character themes – this course covers it all. All with no prior music knowledge required.

Learn all the skills you need to successfully and confidently compose and produce music for any game. From music theory, composition techniques, digital audio workstation software, music production and even audio middleware for game engines, you will gather the entire skillset necessary to produce high quality video game music for any game project.

In this project-based course, you will learn interactively by following the instructor or going on your own to create any game music piece you desire. Almost every lecture has a challenge task, designed to test your abilities and hammer home those techniques you just learned.

Start simple. You won’t be overwhelmed. Musical concepts and theory and production are gradually introduced to ensure you build confidence in your music-making abilities. 

Go in depth, learn the tricks of the trade. This is not just an introductory course, but delves deep into advanced topics only professional game composers know. Audio channels, computer chips and more, explore the technical aspects of game music.

It’s not just a composing course, it’s an entire music production course. Learn the entire pipeline of music production, from idea development and composing, to mixing and mastering. 

We will use and cover many types of software:

FL Studio: Complete beginners will learn how to use one of the most popular digital audio workstation programs. Advanced students can use their preferred DAWs.

FMOD: Learn to use this audio middleware effectively with game engines, and learn the two must-know FMOD techniques.

Unity 5: Learn to use the Unity Game Engine with audio middleware and set up a fully-functional game scene, complete with adaptive/dynamic music, made from scratch.

Audacity: Learn how to use this free, open-source audio editor to add additional polish to your music.

So let’s dive right in, you will be surprised at how quick it is become a competent game music composer.

Introduction to the Course

Promo Video

Course promo video.

Course Overview

A quick gloss over the entire course and what you will learn in each section.

What You Need For This Course

Learn what you need for this course, or rather what you don't need.

How to Get Help For This Course

How to get help if you have questions or are stuck while taking this course.

How to Share Your Original Game Music

Learn the simplest way of sharing your original game music and why you should do so.

Video Game Music and Composing Basics

Section 2 Introduction

An introduction to section 2.

Video Game Music Basics

Learn what makes video game music different from any other type of music.

The Composer's Thought Process

What does a composer think about before even touching their computer?

Easy Composing Methods

Learn some simple but effective ways of putting a game music track together

Section 2 Quiz

Revise what you have learned about video game music, composer thought preparation processes and methods of composing.

Section 2 Review Material

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Introduction to FL Studio

Section 3 Introduction

An introduction to section 3.

Installing FL Studio for Windows

Windows users will install FL Studio in this lecture.

Installing FL Studio for Mac

Mac users will install FL Studio in this lecture.

Alternatives to FL Studio

Some alternative DAWs to consider if you don't want to use FL Studio.

Quick Tour of FL Studio Interface

Learn the basics of getting around FL Studio

Differences between FL Studio 12 and 20

Just a quick note regarding FL 12 and 20.

How to Input Notes Using Only Your Computer

Learn how to input notes with just your computer keyboard or mouse.

How to Input Notes Using a MIDI Keyboard (Optional)

Students with a MIDI keyboard will learn how to connect it to FL Studio and use it.

How to Install VST Plugins on Windows

Learn how to get external sounds/instruments and plug it into FL Studio on Windows.

How to Install VST Plugins on Mac

Learn how to get external sounds/instruments and plug it into FL Studio on Mac.

Section 3 Quiz

How much do you remember from this section?

Project 1: Town Theme

Section 4 Introduction

An introduction to section 4.

Plan Our Town Theme

Learn the process of planning a game music piece.

Music Theory 1: Notes, Chords and Scales

Learn the core basics of music theory.

Write Our Harp Part

Learn how to write music for the first instrument with chords.

Write our Flute Part

Learn how to write a nice melody to complement the harp part.

Mix and Export

Learn how to mix and export your town music theme - learn about panning and stereo field.

Share Our Town Music

Sharing our original town theme to get feedback.

Section 4 Quiz

Put your knowledge to the test in this end of section quiz!

Section 4 Review Material

Download the PDF slides and FL source project for this section.

Project 2: Game Character Music

Section 5 Introduction

An introduction to section 5.

Plan Our Game Character Theme

Learn the way to plan a game track based on a game character.

How to Get Unstuck When You're Stuck for Ideas

Learn some great inspirational hacks to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Choose Instruments that Sound Good Together

Learn how to select instruments that sound good together in your composition.

Music Theory 2: Keys, Major and Minor

Learn how to use any musical key you want and enhance your composing abilities tenfold.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 1

Finalise plugins for our project and decide which instrument to play the melody and which plays the bassline or chords.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 2

Learn how to write a good melody using melody shaping and more techniques.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 3

Learn my improvisation process to come up with a melody that sounds nice and then record it.

Editing Our Melody For Timing: Quantizing, Snapping, Beats, Bars and Steps

Learn how to edit your melody so it’s completely in time. Learn how to quantize using snapping. Learn what beats, bars and steps are.

Editing Our Melody For Feeling: Note Velocity

Learn how to make your melody sound natural as if played by a human rather than dull and mechanical as a computer plays it.

Section 5 Mid Section Quiz

Test your knowledge of this section so far.

How to Add Bassline and Chords to a Melody

Learn the steps to add an intriguing bassline and/or chords to your existing melody.

Simple Trick in FL Studio to Help You

Learn a neat, simple hack in FL Studio if you have trouble remembering what notes are in the scale you’re using!

How to Write a Good Bassline for Your Melody

Watch my entire improvisation and composition process for composing a good sounding bassline to the melody we created earlier.

How to Build Chords from Our New Bassline

Learn exactly how to use your existing bassline to create a chords part from that. Learn about strummed chords and broken chords.

Finish the Composition and Add Drums

Finish the last layers of our Character Theme and learn how to add drums and percussion.

Mixing 1: Duplicating Tracks Technique

Learn how to duplicate your tracks with this new mixing technique.

Mixing 2: How to Tweak Plugin Parameters

Learn how to adjust the knobs in all your plugin instruments to get the sound you desire. Learn about dynamic effects and the use of Reverb, Chorus and Delay.

Mixing 3: How to use Equalisation to EQ your instruments

Learn how to Equalise your instruments and how to make your composition gel together into a nice mix.

Mastering Basics: Learn the final phase of Music Production

Introduce yourself to mastering using EQ, compression and limiting. Learn the process of making a track ready to release to the public.

Best Audio File Formats for Game Engines and Game Soundtracks

Learn which audio file formats are the most suitable for Game Engines and which are best for Video Game Original Soundtracks. Export your game music track for all these purposes.

Section 5 End of Section Quiz

Put your knowledge to the test in this end of section quiz.

Section 5 Review Material

Download the PDF slides and FL source project for this section.

Project 3: 8-Bit Chiptune Music

Section 6 Introduction

An introduction to section 6.

Introduction to 8-Bit Music

Learn exactly what 8-bit music is, how 8-bit music came about and which of your favourite consoles are 8-Bit.

What 8-Bit Sound Do You Want?

Decide on a computer chip or console or game to emulate for your original 8-bit game composition.

Analyse Your 8-Bit Game Track

Pick your favourite 8-Bit game music track and study how it’s put together.

Quickly Plan Your Original 8-Bit Tune

Use what you learned in your analysis and plan your 8-bit theme’s structure, instrumentation and most importantly, which instruments fit on which audio channels for your chosen 8-Bit chip or game console.

Set up FL Project for 8-Bit Composing

Learn how to set up FL Studio’s Channel Rack to emulate the exact audio channels as those on your chosen 8-bit computer chip.

Build the Intro

Build the first section of your 8-bit song. Reinforce your composing skills, knowledge of keys and learn the layering technique by structure.

Build the Main Section

Build the main section of your song – the “memorable” part. Learn the method of composing bass and melody simultaneously, and watch the instructor’s exact composition process of putting a song together piece by piece, layer by layer in a repeated cycle of improvise, practice, record and edit.

DPCM Samples in VST Plugins

Learn how to use DPCM samples in your VST plugin if available. Learn how to use Noise Channels and white noise SFX in 8-Bit composition.

Build the Cooldown

Learn how to build a good transition section between the end of the previous section to loop back into the start of the song and make your song truly seamless.

Making a True 8-Bit Sound

Learn how to dehumanise your song and make it sound completely computer-made as if made by the 8-Bit chip itself.

Pure 8-Bit Authenticity: Mixing to Mono

Learn how to mix your stereo track down to mono with Audacity for the true 8-Bit sound. Learn how to emulate the splitting of 8-Bit chip’s audio channels into stereo via hard panning.

Section 6 Quiz

Test your knowledge on 8 bit chiptune music

Section 6 Review Material

Download the PDF slides and FL project source file for this section.

Project 4: Adaptive Music with FMOD and Unity (Indie & AAA Games)

Section 7 Introduction

An introduction to section 7.

Adaptive Music and Non-Linearity

Learn what 'adaptive', 'interactive' and 'dynamic' music mean, what ‘linear music’ and 'non-linear music’ is and be introduced to the techniques of non-linear music.

How to Make Adaptive and Non-Linear Music

Be introduced to the techniques of horizontal re-sequencing and vertical orchestration and see both in action.

Setup FMOD and Unity

Set up the two programs we will need to make non-linear music.

Introduction to Vertical Orchestration Project

An intro to the first FMOD technique we will cover.

Music Theory 3: Tonal and Atonal Music

Learn two important music terms and how to use them.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 1: Peace

Write our first VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 2: Restricted Area

Write our second VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 3: Detected By Enemy

Write our third VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 4: Conflict with Enemy

Write our fourth VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Reverb, Mix and Export

Learn what reverb is then mix and export our entire VO music piece.

Introduction to FMOD Interface

Get introduced to FMOD, an audio middleware used with game engines.

Use FMOD to make our track Non-Linear

Use FMOD to put your VO tracks together and finish with a non-linear music piece.

Create our Unity Scene

Use the Unity game engine to create a game scene from scratch, in preparation for our game music.

Integrate FMOD music into our Unity scene

Complete our game scene with our FMOD non-linear music.

Section 7 Mid Section Quiz

Challenge your knowledge so far in this section!

Introduction to Horizontal Re-Sequencing Project

An introduction to the second half of this section and FMOD technique number 2.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 1: Exploring the Field

Write the first track of our HRS project.

Intro to Chaos Region and FL Studio Markers

Learn how to use FL Studio's markers and be prepared for track 2 of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 2: Chaos Region

Write the second track of our HRS project.

How to Compose Transition Bars

Learn a very important concept in composing non-linear music.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 3: Battle Scene

Write the third track of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 4: Invincible State

Write the fourth track of our HRS project.

Move our Horizontal Adaptive Music to FMOD

Convert our HRS project to non-linear music in FMOD.

How to Make Perfect Transitions Between our Tracks

Learn how to make your sequences smooth.

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