Little Red, a Wolf and a Battleship

That’s a likely combo, right? Sure, why not. In today’s update I’m sharing the main theme for Sciplay’s Battleship Floating Fortress as well as the main theme for Little Red and the Wolf. I’d already share the short promo clip made for Battleship Floating Fortress which featured some of the bonus music, various sound effects and voice overs created for that slot theme. But the main theme is decidedly more story-driven. It’s less action oriented and really tried to pull the emotion of warfare into frame. I also felt this would help make more distinction between the base and bonus sections of the game.

So, without adeiu, here’s the main theme for Battleship Floating Fortress… or as I lovingly called it “BFF.”

War is Hell.

A girl and a wolf in the woods; what could go wrong?

One of my favorite styles of music to compose and produce is creepy, fantasy based orchestral music. And before you even ask, yes, I listened to a BUNCH of Danny Elfman growing up. So when I saw the artwork for Little Red and the Wolf, I knew exactly the style and direction I wanted the music to go in. For this track I tried to emulate a boys choir by recording several takes of my falsetto voice. I’m not a bad singer but it’s not my strongest skillset as a musician. As such, I don’t tend to feature it as much as my piano or saxophone playing. But adding some vocals to this track felt very natural and appropriate for the vibe the slot was heading in. I also wanted this track to have some evolution so you’ll notice a dynamic arrangement with tempo changes as well as ebb and flows in the level of tension. I was very excited to share it in this update and hope you enjoy it!

Follow the breadcrumbs. Wait that’s the wrong fairy tale…

That’s about it for this update. I have several things working in the background along with a Skatebird which has been public for a while. And, of course, still working at SciPlay and loving it. I also had some headshots and studio pics taken recently so once those are ready, I’ll share them with you all! Maybe the photographer photoshopped a full set of hair on my head? Maybe I could even look like Fabio? One can dream.

Until next time, be excellent to each other!

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 14 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SciPlay for 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

In this update I’m going to showcase two different projects I did for SciPlay. The first is some creepy, orchestral hybrid music for a slot called Ouija 2: Board of Fortune. And the second is a promo video for another slot I did called Battleship Floating Fortress. Now you see why I named this update “Fortune Telling and Battleships.” 😛

Ouija 2: Board of Fortune

The artwork and vibe of this slot is one of my favorites. My good friend and co-worker Logynn B Hailey did all of the artwork and I always love it when we get to collaborate on things. You can see a lot of her artwork on her Behance page: https://www.behance.net/logynn-b-hailley.

Totally dig the art style!! Love writing creepy music!

This is the extended version, which allows the main theme to loop for a bit. I hope you enjoy it! If you wanna play the game or see more of what SciPlay is putting out, go here: https://www.facebook.com/GoldFishCasinoSlots/

Battleship Floating Fortress

The second thing I wanted to showcase is a bit unique. It’s a promo video for Battleship Floating Fortress and it was made by one of our in-house video editors that took a bunch of the music tracks and sound effects I’d created for the slot. So while I didn’t have anything to do with the actual audio edit of the promo, it’s using all of my work. I think our video editor did a fantastic job!

This was one of the most complex slots I’d worked on to date!

We even used one of our mathematicians, who served in the Navy, for the voice overs! If you’d like to check out this slot and the other cool slots happening inside Monopoly Slots, then go here: https://apps.facebook.com/monopoly-slots/. I’ll be posting the full, main theme soon.

That’s about it for now. Hope you’re all doing great.

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 14 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SciPlay for nearly 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

How’s that for a title? 🙂 But this update is HUGE. Saxophones… skateboarding birds, fighting quadrupeds, E3 devolving, Careless Whispers… lots to discuss. Let’s dig in!

Devolver E3 Conference

So life has been crazy but very good lately and I’ve got several things to update you all on. First off, I was lucky enough to provide some saxophone recordings to John Robert Matz’s score for this year’s Devolver E3 conference. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can stream the entire video here:

John Robert Matz is an amazing composer and musician that I’ve been friends with since 2015-ish when we first jammed in a hotel conference room at GDC. And then got politely kicked out because it was after hours! 😛 John was kind enough to ask me to record some alto saxophone parts and I had a blast being a part of it! You can hear one of the cues here: https://johnrobertmatz.bandcamp.com/track/linda

SkateBIRD

SkateBird, developed by Glass Bottom Games with music by Nathan Madsen.
This bird’s gotta smooth ride.

It’s also been a while since I’ve done an update on SkateBIRD! There’s plenty I’m not allowed to discuss yet but what I can share with you is that we funded our Kickstarter and then some! Our initial goal was $20k, which would be enough to allow us to make the base game but thanks to an amazing community and tons of really positive press, we reached $67,200!! This allows for several cool stretch goals to be added to the game including:

Breadslices of Life – unlock side stories exploring the rise of birb skating
Skate Heaven – bonus level
Super Create-A-Birb – deeper level of customizing your birb
Pet-A-Birb – you can now pet your birb in-game
Outdoor Skate Park – another bonus level… that’s OUTSIDE!
Birb in Many Shapes – allows for more unique shapes of birb models which increase the amount of birb species we can have in-game
Photo Mode – makes the in-game screen shot mode much more in-depth

You can hear some of the OST I’m working on here:

The Heron eats many fish.

Them’s Fighting Herds

Cue the insanity…

Back in 2016 I started working with an indie developer, Mane6, on a neat fighting game called Them’s Fighting Herds. I was in charge of doing the sound design for all of the creatures, special abilities and spells. It was a really fun project. Fast forward to SkateBIRD (mentioned above) and I discovered that Glass Bottom Games and Mane6 have partnered up! Mane6 is creating artwork from the characters in Them’s Fighting Herd for use on in-game skateboards. What a crazy twist and talk about a small world! Here’s one of them that I absolutely LOVE:

If I could skateboard in real life, I’d TOTALLY have one of these…

You can see and hear some of Them’s Fighting Herds and my sound design here:

Inside:Outside Saxophone Retreat

Plenty of late nights running jazz standards, improvising or working on technique. And Careless Whispers…

This is how my studio looks most days and nights. Outside of game audio, I’m still woodshedding my saxophone quite a bit in prep of this year’s Inside:Outside Retreat. This year’s feature guest lecturer is Jeff Coffin, who’s played with Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and many others. And Bob freakin’ Reynolds will be there too (guy’s a KILLER player) among several other amazing musicians. I’m both super excited and terrified. Should be a great week of learning and growing! And yes… I use my piano as a desk/work bench. DON’T JUDGE ME!

That’s about it (for now)…

That’s about it for this update. There are a few other things I’m taking part in that I cannot talk too much about right now. I’m working on some sound design for a VST. Still working at SciPlay and loving it. As more things get made public, I’ll be sure to update y’all. On the personal side, we’ve got some family vacation planned soon (cannot wait) and I’m trying to get back into the routine of working out and eating better. (Curse you chocolate!)

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 14 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SciPlay for nearly 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

Exile is Live!

Towards the end of 2018, I joined up with Materia Collective again to take part with a cover album paying tribute to Supergiant Games. The album, Exile: A Tribute to Supergiant Games, was released today. My idea was to take The Mancer’s Dilemma and rework it into a big band swing chart – renamed “The Mancer’s Swing.” If you’ve not played Bastion, Transistor or Pyre, you’re truly missing out! Bastion was a personal favorite of mine so I was really excited to see how I could twist and turn some of it’s themes into something new. I wanted to challenge myself and see how I could take The Mancer’s Dilemma and change it into this new setting. It wasn’t an easy task!

This was really a learning experience for me! While I’ve produced big band-ish tracks using virtual instruments, I’ve never coordinated so many live musicians and took on a project of this size and scope! Some of my approaches worked well and some of them provided great lessons for me to learn!

Huge props goes out to each of the musicians that helped bring this arrangement to life. I couldn’t have done it without their help (and wonderful patience with me):
Daniel Romberger: Trombone
Jeremy McCormick: Drums
John Robert Matz: Trumpet
John Stacy: Trumpet
Ken Crouch Crouch: Trumpet
Peter Jones: Trumpet
Sam Bobinski: Upright Bass
Sean Schafianskiski: Alto Saxophone
Trey Hodge: Guitar
Xale: Baritone Saxophone
And I did the Piano and Tenor Saxophone parts as well as the arrangement, production and mix of the track.

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 13 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SGI for nearly 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

It’s been too long since I’ve done an update! So here goes!

Glass Bottom Games’ newest project, SkateBird, got a nice write up in Wireframe, Issue 11. The author was kind enough to include a little blurb about the music!

Wireframe's write up about SkateBird - a new game being developed by Glass Bottom Games with music by composer/sound designer, Nathan Madsen.

SkateBird has been a very unique project for me – taking me into places I’ve not been as an artist yet. I’m using methods new(er) to me and the reaction to the music has been very, very positive! I’m thrilled by this and it’s pushing me forward to keep trying new stuff and seeing what else is possible with SkateBird and it’s soundscape.

If you want to hear the title track, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4jbxWUXvek

There’s been more music added to the OST but it’s not released yet so hang tight. Once more stuff is made public, I’ll be sure to update you all.

What else is happening?

In other news, the move into our new house is basically complete… minus a box here or there. 😛 Today I’m hoping to put up the new acoustic panels for my studio and then I’ll share some pics soon-ish. One thing at a time!

Outside of freelancing, I’m still working at SGI and loving it! They’re treating me very well and I love what I do and who I get to work with! I’m also confirmed for the Inside:Outside Saxophone retreat later this summer and very excited about that! I’ve been spending a lot more time on my horns in preparation for that event. Should be a great opportunity to grow and learn some more about the saxophone and music in general. My vlogs have slowed down with the house move and some travel for work but I’ve got some plans and will be returning to that soon.

If you need custom audio for your film or game or if you want to talk about music production and composition over craft beer… or if you like basketball as much as I do – let’s chat! And next time I’ll not wait so long to update! Promises.

Who am I?

Nate Madsen is a 13 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SGI for 2.5 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

As some of you know, I’ve been working with Glass Bottom Games now since 2010. We’ve been off making odd, quirky and fun games which has been slowly growing a following. Our latest project, SkateBird is now featured on the front page of Gamasutra!

Totally blown away by this! You can read the article here.

Megan Fox, the founder of Glass Bottom Games has a real knack for finding highly unique, different and creative niches for our games to live. Working with her has been a complete blast. I’m very excited by the reception of Skatebird so far and am eager to get the game out to the public once it’s ready.

Go check out the announcement trailer for the game below and stay tuned for more updates!

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 13 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SGI for over two years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. And he’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

A bird… riding a skate board?

When Megan Fox of Glass Bottom Games approached me with her next game idea of a bird riding a skateboard, I was more than intrigued. It’s called Skatebird. Once I saw some of the gameplay and how cute the bird was skating around, doing grinds, a frontside or an ollie I knew this was something special. This is also the first time that Megan and I have stepped away from the chiptune fusion idea and, instead, are focused on low-fi hiphop meets jazz meets birdcalls. This was Megan’s idea and I think it’s brilliant! Combine voice over samples that give facts about birds mixed in with some bird calls on top of the music.

While still early in the process, this soundtrack is proving to be one of the most unique ventures I’ve taken so far in my career. Skatebird feels funny, cute, quirky and very interesting as well! The response so far has been very positive and I’m really excited to see how Skatebird turn out! So check out the full version of the track used in the teaser trailer – I hope you enjoy it!

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 13 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SGI for over two years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. And he’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with me here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

Here’s the next episode of Madsen’s Musings which talks about a negotiation technique I recently used that worked out quite nicely. In this situation, I was able to get a client to increase their price point significantly by describing how I can add in more solutions and options and save them time and effort. Check out the video and hit me up with any questions or ideas you may have. Also please consider liking, subscribing and commenting on my vlogs. I hope you enjoy the episode:

WANNA GET IN TOUCH?

I’m always looking for more freelance work outside of my SGI stuff. If you think I may be a fit for your next project, let’s chat! I can do all kinds of things: music composition and production, recording remotely (saxophone and piano), mixing and mastering, implementation and testing as well as pre and post production work. I hope you enjoy this theme from Neptune’s Dynasty and please get in touch using the link above.

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 13 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SGI for over two years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. And he’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s also never met BBQ that he didn’t consider a close friend. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green.

This is the bonus track for Monopoly Community Chest and it was especially fun for me! I love mixing styles and genres together and this track blends elements of jazz, electronica, rock and even some 60’s organs. Everything was composed by me, I played all of the parts in with virtual instruments, and I played the live saxophones parts as well. I think it turned out great and hope you enjoy it!

You can go play Monopoly Community Chest and many other slot games at the Monopoly Slots page and app! Go check it out here – https://www.facebook.com/monopolyslots/

Do you need audio for your next project? Hit me up! 

It’s been a crazy week and I’d hoped to update the website about five days ago with some news. Such is life. I was extremely honored to be interviewed by Create Loud, a podcast by Rachel Robison and Cody Crabb. We discussed the value of mentoring – for both the mentee and the mentor! We also discussed various aspects of the game and film audio industries as well as how to best collaborate with clients.

Also my own vlog, Madsen’s Musings now has seven episodes out! Episode eight has been filmed and just needs to be edited. I’ve really enjoyed putting this vlog together and I hope others have enjoyed it as well.

Finally, I’m just about finished up with doing sound design for a top-down 8-bit retro shooter project (more news coming soon on that front) and will be starting music for another puzzle video game in about a week. All while working full time at SGI and still freelancing for various saxophone gigs. Crazy times – but I love it. I still have some space should anyone need music or sound for their next project. So get in touch if you do!

Bio:
Nate is an established composer/sound designer, based in Austin, TX. Aside from making various kinds of noises and music, he also teaches private lessons (saxophone and piano) and performs with live bands. On the weekends he likes to sit and watch the grass grow. He’s also quite fond of fancy beers.