GYPSY FIDDLE

The great folks over at Red Room Audio were kind enough to invite me to test out their new sample library: Gypsy Fiddle. This library is FANTASTIC! I’ve been thankful to be able to play-test and write demos for several of their other products as well include Saga – Acoustic Trailer Percussion, their Celtic Fiddle and their flagship orchestral sample library called Palette. As a user of many sample libraries, it’s always a special treat to get to take an active part in the design and development of a virtual instrument. Without such great tools, like these, I simply couldn’t do my job. Capturing all of the nuances and emotion of gypsy styled violin is a HUGE challenge! Red Room Audio pulled it off flawlessly! Check out my demo below for their Traveler Series Gypsy Fiddle:

PLAYBOY MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

On the SciPlay side of things, two slots are now live and out in the wild. The first is a Playboy themed slot that is set in a magical forest: Playboy Midsummer Night’s Dream. So often fantasy theme slots get paired with light, mysterious orchestral music and while that certainly works… I felt this theme could use more edge. So I opted to create something that fused elements of pop, gothic/Baroque styled harpsichord, a bit of EDM flavor along with pads, distorted guitars and driving drums. Playboy Midsummer Night’s Dream is the featured jackpot slot currently (at the time of writing) on Jackpot Party Casino! I’m very happy with the results and hope you like it as well!

MIXING MOJO

I’m a sucker for all things magical and fantasy. You could say I love a certain wizard with a peculiar scar on his forehead, so when I saw the artwork for Mixing Mojo I knew I was in for a treat! Here’s the bonus track I did for this slot theme. I wanted it to be something that had energy while combining hints of mystery and magic. You’ll find this slot in the Ancient Egypt (world 6) realm on the game. To play Monopoly Casino Slots, and I highly recommend you do, go check out this page: https://apps.facebook.com/monopoly-sl…

Monopoly Slots is just one of several in the line up at SciPlay and you can learn more about who we are and what we do here: https://www.sciplay.com/

SAX CAMP… VIRTUALLY

Like so many things impacted by Covid-19, the Inside:Outside Saxophone Retreat had to be cancelled this year. Lots of people were SUPER bummed and we missed the creativity, community and magical spark we get from being around and learning from each other. So the awesome leaders behind the camp threw together an amazing virtual hang out with some MAJOR players in the musical realm. The list included Chris Potter, Kirk Whalum, Joshua Redman, Victor Wooten, Bob Reynolds, Bob Franceschini, Bob Hemenger, Chris Cheek, Jeff Coffin and many more. Plus tons of students that hail from literally all over the world. What an event! Here are some pics from the event.

What an amazing and giving community we have in the Inside:Outside Saxophone Retreat world. Click this link: Victor Wooten Center for Music and Nature to learn more about the various camps and programs happening year around! You better believe I have plans to attend more as time and money (and pandemics) allow!! Please check them out!

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 15 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. Some of his freelance projects include SkateBird as well as providing sound design, mixing and mastering audio FUNimation anime trailers. 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. There’s also the chocolate addiction and the Dad jokes collection. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. He’s also trying to increase the number of push ups he can do at one time. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

DUAL SCREENS PODCAST

The good folks at Dual Screens Podcast, Andreas Asimakis and Stephen Fontana, asked me to join them for their next episode of Dual Screens Podcast. It was an absolute blast! The interview talked about my start in game audio, working on Skatebird and what it’s like to be an audio professional as well as pineapple on pizza. You know, the hard stuff! You can check out the podcast here: https://ndspodcast.podbean.com/e/nate-madsen-composer-skatebird-the-duel-screens-podcast-31/

OTHER INTERVIEWS

I can’t talk too much about it right now but I was also able to take part in a film documentary about my work in game audio. The film is still in the works and isn’t announced or out yet so details are scarce. More on that soon! There’s also another interview that I have on the books that will be happening later this month. More on that once the interview is done and made public. Side note: interviews are definitely a new thing for me and I’m trying to get more comfortable doing them – but it’s definitely exciting and fun!

GOLDFISH TIKI ISLAND’S HOP

One of the new mini-games that is featured in SciPlay’s Goldfish is Tiki’s Island Hop! I was very pleased to do the music as well as sound design for this feature and am super pumped to see it go live! For the music we needed Polynesian themed tracks so I played in a bunch of percussion, mallets then recorded live ukulele (of which I’m only passible as a player)! Then I added some vocal stacks of me during the break. The music and artwork changes as you get deeper into the mini-game and progress to other islands. There are four different tiers of music altogether and this demo just highlights the base tier. Go give it a spin! Get the game here: https://www.sciplay.com/games/gold-fish/ or play it online at: https://apps.facebook.com/goldfishcasinoslots.

I’m quite proud of how it turned out and wanted to share. Hope you enjoy it!

ANOTHER VLOG – COMPRESSION BASICS

I also deviated from my normal vlog approach and did an overview on compression and showed a few ways to understand the various controls of compressor as well as how to look at the waveforms to deduce what the compressor is doing to the signal. I hope it’s helpful! Check it out below:

OTHER HAPPENINGS

I’m in the final stretch on a huge side project that I’ve been working on for the past few months. Lots of evenings and weekends spent working on this and I’m so eager to see how the public responds to it. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel… and I don’t think it’s a train. Here’s hoping! More on this project and my involvement in it once things are made public!

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. Some of his freelance projects include SkateBird as well as providing sound design, mixing and mastering audio FUNimation anime trailers. 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. There’s also the chocolate addiction. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. He’s also trying to increase the number of push ups he can do at one time. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

HEY, REMEMBER ME?

So I know I updated this blog just a few days ago but those two short films I worked on have now launched. Peter Sapira reached out to me after having a mutual contact (from 2014!) referred me to him. He needed some audio clean-up, leveling out, mixing and mastering. The two short films he sent me were immediately engaging, entertaining and funny! Working with him was a pure blast and I’m very happy with how they turned out! Take them out for a quick spin (they’re really short) – and please note – a little bit of rough language if you have young-uns around – but nothing horrible! PG-13 or so. 😛 Enjoy!

Man, does this hit home for anyone else, or is it just me? I cannot tell you how many times, during a “conversation” with Sarah where my tiny voice says “don’t say that, don’t!” and then my dumb self says “and one more thing…” It NEVER ends well. 😛 Relationships are hilarious sometimes, right?!

We’ve all worked with someone like this. Maybe I AM someone like this. Surely not, though, right? Right? I mean, I don’t ever go on and on and on about something without an ending in sight. I mean, sure I elaborate sometimes but that’s only because I…. (voice just gets softer and softer during fade out)

Man I LOVE working in film and hope to do more of it in the future! Do you have a film that needs some music? Or sound design? Or perhaps a mix? I’m here and ready to take part! Hit me up.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Another Anime trailer I did with FUNimation has launched – Black Clover: Season Two, Part Two Trailer. To be completely honest, all I know about this show is what I saw in this one trailer. So I don’t know a ton about it but it certainly looks interesting and I’ve heard it has quite the following! I’m always excited to get to work with FUNimation on another trailer as it always teaches me how to solve various audio issues when doing sound design or mixing and mastering. I hope you enjoy it!

THAT’S ABOUT ALL FOR NOW

It’s always fun to share film work as I don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like. Plus, I have several more things in the works that should be made public soon-ish. Also I have a few more vlogs I’m planning on shooting and airing once I can get some time to breathe. In the mean time it’s just work-work-work, wrestle with the kids, eat queso and dream about making some more BBQ. ( I recently ordered an offset smoker and I cannot wait for it to arrive.) In between all of that, my wife are slowly catching up on Parks and Recreation. What are you doing to stay busy and entertained during this strange time? I hope you’re all doing well, staying safe and getting the most you can during quarantine.

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. Some of his freelance projects include SkateBird as well as providing sound design, mixing and mastering audio FUNimation anime trailers. 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. There’s also the chocolate addiction. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. He’s also trying to increase the number of push ups he can do at one time. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

ANYONE GETTING CABIN FEVER YET?

Hey one and all! Time for your May update. I hope that quarantine life isn’t driving you too crazy just yet. Personally, it’s been a mixed bag of realities. I love being home more often, getting to see my kiddos during the workday and saving money on gas as well as tolls. But I also REALLY miss restaurants, going to see movies and seeing my friends. There’s definitely some cabin fever happening. But enough about Covid-19 and all of that mess. Here’s what I’ve been up to since my last update:

BUNGO STRAY DOGS: DEAD APPLE

FUNimation released another one of the trailers I worked on and I’m pretty happy with it. For this trailer I did quite a bit of sound design as well as dialog editing then mixed and mastered all of the audio you hear in the video. It was a ton of fun! You can check out the trailer here:

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to update ya’ll more as additional trailers get posted online! Working in Anime presents an opportunity to train as well as flex different audio “muscles” as I create the sound design as well as mix and master the audio for these trailers. It’s a really fun puzzle to work through and I’m so thankful for the opportunity! Stay tuned!

TWO NEW SHORT FILMS

I also had the pleasure of mixing two short films that were really well done and, honestly, had me laughing while working on the audio. I can’t say too much about them just yet but they should be made public fairly soon. I’m really excited to see how folks react to them! One of the coolest things about these two films is that an old client and friend referred me to this new director! I worked with Wade Wofford on The Answer back in 2014. You can see read more about the film and the crew behind it here: http://www.happywasteland.com/the-answer. Getting referred is one of the highest compliments I can ever receive as an audio professional!

OTHER HAPPENINGS

I started on a new track for SkateBird and am still working on another very large project that’s also under NDA still. I also got the Final Fantasy 7 Remake and OMG it’s amazing! I’m loving it! There’s a new story that I’ll be creating music for soon. This is also another repeat client that I worked with back in 2014 as well! It seems that 2014 is reaching back and reconnecting with me these days! 😛 I also have another arrangement coming out soon-ish. The final publishing date is still somewhat fluid – but I’ll update you as soon as I’m able! I’m also staying quite busy at SciPlay, working on Monopoly Slots, Goldfish Casino and Bingo Showdown as well as helping out with our original IP slot development. We’re very lucky to be able to work remotely during Covid-19, but MAN do I miss my coworkers!

Aside from that, I’ve started learning how to play the mandolin. To date, I know exactly three chords (G, C and D) and it’s quite fun! It’s a very different sound and feel than the ukulele but it’s growing on me. I got this mandolin in 2015 and am finally getting around to learning it.

I’m also getting really into smoking ribs and brisket. My wife and I signed up for Masterclass and I’m watching Aaron Franklin’s masterclass while also reading his book. It’s fascinating to me and I cannot wait to start applying some of what I’ve learned. Do you have a favorite BBQ dish or place? Tell me!

I also posted a new vlog where I talked about how the sum out-weights the parts. And I use cookies and spaghetti as examples. Those who know even a little bit about me are not surprised at all. You can watch that video below:

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

What are you doing to keep yourself (somewhat) sane during these times? Learning any new trades or skills? Picking up any new hobbies? What shows or games are you binging? I’d love to hear! I hope that you’re staying safe and happy during these confusing days. It will get better. I have full faith in that. I’ll do my best to post an update more often. Hang in there and keep in touch!

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. Some of his freelance projects include SkateBird as well as providing sound design, mixing and mastering audio FUNimation anime trailers. 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. There’s also the chocolate addiction. 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/

Gliding Into The Switch!

This week’s update includes some pretty exciting stuff so let’s dig in: Skatebird is coming to the Switch! Very excited to be able to share this news. So far Skatebird will be on Xbox, Steam and Nintendo Switch. I’ve been busy writing more music for the game and am continually blown away by how large this whole thing has become. Definitely excited to see where it all ends up going next! Check out the Switch Skatebird trailer below to see one of the new levels you can skate around in as well as hear some of the Atlas’ Gospel music track.

Travel to Fable Falls!

I was very pleased to be able to provide some music for Monopoly Slots Fable Falls world. As the name suggests, this world takes a creative spin on various fables and nursery rhymes in hilarious and creative fashion! For those that haven’t played Monopoly Slots yet – the main lobby consists of a series of blocks which you can upgrade and grow as you complete tasks and quests. The characters you meet along the way are super creative and engaging. It’s really fun and helps make the players dig deeper into the zany and animated world of Monopoly Slots! Check out my music, along with a collage of the various blocks (all in their base state) below!

Golden Mushroom – He’s a FUNGI….

Golden Mushroom was recently the featured slot on Jackpot Party Casino. This slot started out as a “normal” slot for me but during production it really grew into something special. The artwork is simply fantastic and I was quite pleased with how the music turned out. The section that I particularly like is at 1:03. The way the orchestration grows during the second statement of that melody and the pulse of it remind me of some of my favorite video game soundtracks in the past – like Octopath Traveler. Not saying I’m as good as those OSTs… but it’s nice to have role models and aspire to meet that high bar! Please let me know what you think and what section(s) grab your ear and why!

The Return of the Vlog!

I’ve also been busy creating a few more episodes of my Madsen’s Musings vlogs. Episode 34 is all about why I don’t *usually* offer bulk discounts when doing creative work. Episode 35 shows how Clash Royale, the hit mobile game, can actually teach some great lessons for how to best freelance. I have several more topics I wanna tackle soon, so stay tuned! Have an idea, topic or question you’d like to me cover? Get in touch!

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. Some of his freelance projects include SkateBird as well as providing sound design, mixing and mastering audio FUNimation anime trailers. 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. There’s also the chocolate addiction. 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/

One of SciPlay’s Casinos, Goldfish, has a new feature called Ruby Reef. I had the pleasure of providing the music and sound design for this feature. Lobby themes tend to be on the shorter side of things and this track is about 52 seconds long. One aspect I’m pretty happy with is how I fused two different styles together and you can hear that change over at 35 seconds. Another element I’m happy with is layering in various recordings of my voice singing the melody with the horns during the A section. I intentionally tucked these vocal parts in a bit so it’s not super noticeable but adds a certain warmth and texture to the melody. I wanted the theme for Ruby Reef to be cool, energetic and sleek. I think the theme hits those marks pretty well and hopefully you’ll agree!

So many rubies…

This track has, at least to me, a unique vibe. It feels retro and modern at the same time. The Goldfish Casino has several new features, some new artwork as well as new sounds. Go check out the game and see for yourself!

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/

IT’S A TWO FOR ONE UPDATE!

This week’s update includes two new slot themes from Monopoly Slots and they couldn’t be more different from each other. One is for Monopoly Marvin Gardens, an upbeat, energetic, light and carefree tune. My favorite moment in this piece is the turnaround at 0:50. Writing music in this style is always tricky because it’s a delicate balance between “too cheesy” or “too silly” or “too cartoony” but you still want to capture that whimsical, carefree and light hearted vibe. The other is for Clue Orchid’s Mystery which is also upbeat but has a more sinister, mysterious vibe to it. I love the ascending arpeggio figure and how it changes with the harmony at 0:19 in. One of my favorite things about working at SciPlay is the fact that I get to represent major brands. Often times these are brands that I remember playing with or experiencing in my childhood, so to get to be able to take part in them now as an adult, is truly a neat experience! Another great perk to SciPlay is all of the free snacks… but I digress.

GO PLAY THESE GAMES FOR YOURSELF

Clue Orchid’s Mystery is currently up on Monopoly Slots via the Jackpots Just Visiting feature. Our slots rotate and change over time so it’s location may change in the future. Monopoly Marvin Gardens is located in the third world of Monopoly Slots. If you haven’t played Monopoly Slots, you’re missing out on a truly fun and hilarious adventure filled with side quests, quirky characters and some really great artwork! Go check it out.

Take a stroll in the lovely Marvin Gardens.
Can you solve the mystery?

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/

Some New Music!

Here’s a new track for SkateBird, a game being developed and published by Glass Bottom Games. The whole OST is a fusion of so many different styles and influences, so it can be hard (at least for me) to classify each song accurately. All I’m trying to do is make it all sound as groovy as possible. For this track I recorded my own saxophones, created some original samples, edited plenty of other royalty free samples and played in various synths. This track is featured in the new SkateBIRD x JAZZ MICKLE’s Pro Cap Wearer feature: https://queenjazz.itch.io/skatebird-c… and will be featured in the SkateBird game as well.

The Gospel of Atlas

For those of you wondering about the name – I originally named this track “Bird Gospel” because of the organ patch I chose to use in the song. When it comes to naming my tracks, especially in the beginning it’s more so I can keep straight what each song is – not because of some deep meaning. Megan Fox, my client and the designer-creator and main coder for SkateBird, let me know that several people wanted their actual pet birds sampled in the game’s soundtrack. I thought this was a GREAT idea! So for Bird Gospel, I used a bird named Atlas. To help showcase each pet bird, we’re working the pet’s name into the title of the track they’re featured on. So… alas… the name changed to “Atlas’ Gospel. I hope you enjoy it!

Find Out More

Learn more about the game and the team behind it here: https://skate.birb.rocks/

Writing music for SkateBird has been one of the high points of my career. It’s involving so many (new to me) processes and approaches and the reaction I’m getting from fans is very encouraging. I cannot wait to share the full OST with you all once it’s made public and the game is released. Make sure you follow SkateBird news on Twitter and Facebook! I’ll also do my best to keep you all in the loop from here as well.

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/

I’m proud to share my music for The Spirit Tree! When composing music for Sciplay, many times I write large scale, epic music that involves a lot of activity. That’s what supports the theme and game style. So it’s really nice and refreshing when I get to take another route – which is exactly what I got to do with The Spirit Tree! The incredible artwork (made by Jen Yung) and more peaceful vibe opened up the door for me to create something I’m truly proud of and I hope you enjoy it! Go check it out below and please let me know what you think! The slot has been featured in several our SciPlay’s casinos including Monopoly Slots and Quick Hit Casino. Keep an eye out for where it might pop up next!

I love all of the colors used in this theme’s artwork!

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/

Hey everyone! I’m super proud to announce that Epoch: A Tribute Chrono Trigger has now been released! You can stream and purchase the album here: https://materiacollective.bandcamp.com/album/epoch-a-tribute-to-chrono-trigger

Below is the track that Ryan Reilly and I arranged and produced. For those that don’t know how Materia albums work, each participate submits a track arrangement proposal and then the producer(s) behind that particular album select the proposals they feel would be the best fit and direction for the album as a whole. Our first proposal didn’t get selected so in that case we got to pick from any remaining tracks not selected yet. Burn! Bobonga wasn’t picked so Ryan and I took it on. To be completely honest, the original is a rather unique and difficult track to arrange, however I feel that Ryan and I did a good job of keeping the original vibe while expanding on some of its ideas and rhythms.

I also did some of the sound design featured in the opening track of the album:

I must confess…. I’ve never finished Chrono Trigger. I know, I know! (Dodges rotten fruit) I did play all of the way through Chrono Cross at least! But I do need to go back and give ol’ Chrono Trigger a full play through… at the very least to enjoy the excellent music it offers. And I’ve heard such good things about the story.

Finally I’m heading up to my alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University, to give three lectures on networking, working and living as a composer/sound designer in the video game industry. Aside from those things, still working on more tunes for Skatebird and doing other various freelancing for other projects that I can’t talk about publicly yet. And, of course, still at SciPlay. I hope all of you are doing well and not suffering as much from allergies as I am right now! 😛

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/