Posts

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/

INTERESTING NEW ROUTINE

So unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard about this whole Covid-19 situation Earth finds itself in now-a-days. What a strange situation. You may not know that I’m quite a scary/horror/suspense movie viewer. Love that stuff! And I’ve seen my fair share of apocalyptic media. Never thought I’d see all of us have to go into a shelter-in-place situation. Lucky employees are working from home. Unlucky ones are losing their jobs. Kids are out of school. Many parks, movie theaters and other public areas are either completely closed or limited to only drive through. Still, at least for most people I know this is very much a first world problems type of deal. There’s a ton to be thankful for: we have food, we have necessities. We have non-essentials too! It’s just trying to stay at home, hunker down and hope that this season passes quickly for everyone. This is actually the whole point of my latest vlog entry:

WORKING FROM HOME ISN’T EASY

Not everyone excels at working from home. It takes a lot of focus and discipline. It can be VERY easy to get distracted with non-work items and find your days just gone. I was lucky enough to work from home for five years and learned quite a bit during that time. In this vlog, I detail what worked for me and why. So during this Covid-19 madness, it’s my hope that this video will get you thinking and considering what routines, structures and techniques might serve you well while so many of us work from our homes. If you watched this video and come away with some of your own ideas, tips and tricks – please share them! It’s the aim of this channel to equip others with anything that can help all of us be more productive, useful members of society and create more great art.

EXTRA GRACE NEEDED

It’s a time for extra grace. Grace for our families who are cooped up with us in close quarters. Grace for our co-workers who are trying to maintain productivity in some very new (and sometimes difficult settings) and grace for ourselves. Anxiety is high with Covid-19, the economy, companies struggling, stocks – the whole gamut! Tempers can be short. So why make other areas our of lives more difficult or stressful as well? I heard Dave Ramsey say something akin to “Hope is more contagious than fear.” That’s a good thought. Let’s shoot for that. And just like John Krasinski’s new initiative – Some Good News – let’s share some more positivity in this world! Lord knows we all need it!

We’ll get through all of this – just one day at a time. Hang in there.

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/

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have three more anime trailers to share with you all! But first off, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope everyone was able to enjoy time with their friends, family and loved ones. Personally, I know I ate plenty of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce (from the can of course) and had several servings of pie. I’m SOOOO full. This holiday is one of my favorites because its central focus is just getting together with those we love, appreciating what we have and what we mean to each other. And Christmas is RIGHT around the corner! (Inner little Nathan does a celebration dance!)

A few blog entries back I mentioned that I was working with FUNimation again as a contractor. I’m mixing dialog, sound design (if provided) and music from the anime shows then providing some of my own sound design as well then mastering that audio for their trailers. Three of my trailers have now gone live so I’m gonna share each of them here with you all! By the way, FUNimation has a TON of various anime properties to enjoy so go check out their Youtube channel. And without further adieu, here are the trailers:

One Piece – Episode of Skypiea

One Piece….. of PIE? (See what I did there???)

Meiji Tokyo Renka

Time Travel – It can be dramatic.

Star Blazers 2202 Part Two

I love space epics. How about you?

Working in anime again has been such a joy and a great way to exercise some audio/production skills I don’t often have to flex when working in slots or even in other forms of game development. Well, I’m got a feeling there’s another piece of pie in my future, so I’m going to go take care of that. Again, I wish all of you a wonderful holiday and hope it’s a great season of joy, charity and mutual respect for all of us. Take care! Be safe!

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/

In the beginning…

Life can be quite interesting at times and that’s certainly the case with today’s update: Fruits Basket! For those of you who don’t know, I got my start working in-house at FUNimation Entertainment. It was a wonderful way to begin my career and while at FUNi (that’s what the employees call FUNimation) I learned a tremendous amount about sound design, working with brand managers, how a production pipeline flows and how to produce audio in a fast paced, evolving environment. I also made some great friends who I still chat with to this day. After about two years, I moved on to work for LEGO Universe but I truly loved my time at FUNi and am very thankful for it.

Anime – Take Two!

Which brings me back to Fruits Basket. A while back I connected with some of my friends who are still at FUNimation and discovered that they had a need for audio work in their trailers. Specifically sound design, dialog editing and mixing/mastering audio for their trailers. I jumped at the opportunity! Working in anime again, even via a freelancing role, has been SO MUCH FUN. I love the quirkiness, humor and vibe as well as the art styles often found in anime. Plus it just reminds me of starting out in my career. I told my wife that I literally felt like I was going back in time when I was working on this trailer. In short, it’s been an absolute blast and I’m so thankful for it!

Stay Tuned!

There will be more trailers released and when they do, I’ll share them with you all. But for now, enjoy the first one out of the gate:

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/

Read up on the three lectures I gave to my alma mater, OBU, this past Friday!

I’m happy to share with you the main theme I composed and produced for Monopoly Go Scottie, developed and published by SciPlay. Writing music for light hearted projects is always a challenge for me. I want to support the casual, cute vibe without becoming too predictable or cheesy. I also don’t want the music to get in the way of the setting of the game – only to enhance it. I was particularly happy with how this theme and the arrangement turned out. I hope you like it as well!

If you haven’t played Monopoly Slots yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It’s WAY more than just a normal virtual casino game. Tons of quirky characters, hilarious dialog blended with fantastic artwork really help push this game to the next level. Add in all of the various side quests which you take to help make all of the various Monopoly properties evolve and grow and you have a winning formula! Monopoly Go Scottie is just one of the many slots you’ll discover as you dig deeper into the game. Go check out the game and please enjoy the music!

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/