CCC Audio Dev Log, 10-5-22
Don't get used to multiple posts in one week! I'm just in the zone!
Today I released a YouTube video for "Cal's Costume Conundrum", made for the Dev Talk "Spooktober Visual Novel Jam". You can hear the main theme here:
And you can play (and maybe rate??? Please?) the game here:
A few things I learned doing this!
Loops will need to be longer. A lot of tracks work well in the 2-4 minute range, for various reasons: you might change tracks frequently, the gameplay is active enough that you're not as fixated on the music, etc. For a visual novel (first time scoring one of those for me, very different from my film work), if you decide to have one main track underneath the main gameplay, it takes a lot more time than you might expect. Thinking about how long it may take someone to read through a dialogue selection, something around 6-8 minutes might ultimately have been better.
Volume will also be different. This one I figured out pretty quickly, but it's super important to remember: you're competing with dialogue. Not just any dialogue, but serious, story-driven dialogue - that's the main feature of the game! So, it's got to be able to settle without competing. I chose a melodic line that's more exploratory than driving, and set a chill vibe with a bossa nova-inspired percussion bed, which also helped with the playful character.
Recording quality has waaaaay more leeway than I had previously thought. So, as an audio enthusiast (NOT a snob, NOT a purist, just...I like high quality audio) I have been adamant about recording only when I can get a quality recording environment. However, on this track I really backed off on that - I had three awesome musicians record with totally different equipment in totally different untreated spaces and it blended just fine. Clarinet in particular is a tricky one since you really want more of the "far away" sound rather than "up close" and you'll inevitably get more room tone. Part of it is having awesome players (Lisa Kachouee, clarinet; David Giaco, trombone; and Aaron Michael, violin - he also directed and edited all of the vocal recording sessions!) and part of it is just fitting things in the mix.
The next visual novel game I score I'll definitely keep these things in mind!
Here is Mario, being how he is, and then being how he is when he wants treats.
Director & Writer: Amara Taylor Writer: TheChosenGiraffe Programmer: Gemmy System Sprite Artist: Kaibo Background Artist: EriksBlue UI Artist: Natjieo Asset Artist: usarin Logo Artist: Toast Voice Acting Director & Voice Audio Engineer: Aaron Michael Composer & Sound Designer: Jamie Wind Whitmarsh Clarinet: Lisa Kachouee Trombone: David Giaco Violin: Aaron Michael
Voice Actors (in order of appearance):
Callisto "Cal" Montgomery - Manda Apony-Moriarty Alexander Montgomery - Matt Bianchi Jeffrey Williams - Matthew Cristante Maggie Chabra - Cynth Selena "Lena" Montgomery - Emeline O'Hara Rain Wilde - DeigenVG Olive Montgomery - Rachel Schumacher Dorothea Darling - Miuna Mae Sabrina Johnson - Maya Ann Henry "Hank" Lim - Jerron Bacat