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SKATEBIRD FEATURED IN ID@XBOX SUMMER SPOTLIGHT SERIES!

Our friendly, feathered skateboarding hero is one of the games featured in the ID@Xbox Summer Spotlight Series. Megan Fox, the founder, main programmer and designer behind all things done by Glass Bottom Games, discusses the origins of Skatebird and how it came into being. Plus you can see some more of the game as well as hear some of my music. Production is still happening on the game and I’m really excited with how things are moving forward. Later in the near I’m hoping to create a subscription for folks to be able to interact with me more directly, see some of the behind-the-scenes to the creation of the music for Skatebird and even possibly hear some tracks early. There will be more details about this in the future. Follow Megan, Glass Bottom Games and me for more news on Skatebird!

OTHER HAPPENINGS…

I released another “jam” session of me playing the jazz standard “My Foolish Heart” and you can hear that here. These jam videos are super informal – I mean – just look at what I’m wearing. But they’re fun and it’s a great way to stay active on my horn. I hope to do more soon.

THROW BACK THURSDAY…. TO 2004!

While working on some other things, I found an old track I did with a collaborator online. At the time I was very active on Sony’s Acid Planet. This was an online community of musicians/producers who would share, rate and give feedback on each other’s works. Acid Planet, which was taken down a little over two years ago now, was a HUGE milestone for me. It was the first time that I was getting feedback on my work from people who had no direct ties to me. It wasn’t a girlfriend, a buddy or a family member saying “sounds good” and it wasn’t me doubting if they were just being nice or not. In short, it was the first time I considered maybe I could actually create content people wanted to hear. Maybe I could do this for a job?

I eventually met (virtually) another artist I admired named “Esoteric Poet” (I think his real name was Joel????) and he had a guitar track that I really enjoyed but it was unfinished. He wasn’t sure where to take it next so I asked if I could add some things to it. He kindly agreed so I took to adding vocals, piano and some alto saxophone. Since this piece was near the very beginning of exploration into production, there’s A LOT here that I’d do differently now. I was also a poor graduate student so the gear I had was MINIMAL. On all fronts. Sadly, I don’t have the master session anymore as that PC died ages ago. So all I have is the master audio file. The guitar track wasn’t exactly in tune so I had to work around that. It was also a sort of noisy track, which was cleaned up some.

Regardless, I think some of the blemishes on it actually serve the song well. I think it adds to some of the vibe. Maybe you agree? Maybe not! 🙂 I’m sharing because I like the piece and the arrangement. I also appreciate that the piece signifies to me: a very early collaboration with a stranger and putting myself out there for real. I had no idea those first small footsteps would lead to where I am now but I’m so very thankful! To learn more about what Acid Planet was (and see some of the reactions to the shut down announcement) go here: https://www.magix.info/us/forum/shutting-down-acidplanet-com–1206014/

You can check out that video below:

SOME NEW SLOT MUSIC

On the casino/virtual slots side – I released the Bonus Intro, Loop and Outro themes I did for Game of Life – Spinner Frenzy. I really dug working on this slot and felt that the music did a good job of capturing the fun and energetic feel of the slot and the IP. Take it out for a spin…. eh… see what I did there?

A NEW VLOG – EPISODE 40!!

And FINALLY, I did another vlog about nailing your pitch to prospective clients/employers. I think these tips are helpful and hopefully you’ll agree. Take a peek below:

MORE TO COME

There’s more to come but for now I’m still under NDA and cannot speak about them right now. But trust me, I cannot wait to share this stuff with all of you when I’m able! Covid-19 is STILL around and it’s really starting to wear me down. Doing my best to keep energy up, positive attitude and productivity happening. But being hunkered down for so long, with two small kids, can get tiring. Hope you all are staying healthy and safe. Take care of 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. 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/

I’M STILL ALIVE…

Hey all! I’m still alive! It’s been a good while since I’ve uploaded some new content. This is for a few reasons – waiting for things to go public so I can share them, being super busy washing my hair (now you know that one is a lie) and being slammed with freelancing. But I wanted to share with you Radiant Season 1 Part 1!
Check it out below:

It’s always so much fun to take the stems from the video editors of these trailers, add in my own sound design as well as sweeteners and then mix and master all of it into one cohesive experience. It can be quite the puzzle to solve but something I enjoy quite a bit! Plus it’s such a different workflow than most of my other work – so I’m very thankful for it! As more Anime trailers go live – I’ll be sure to share them with you all.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

I’ve also released two vlog episodes as well as a few jam session videos. With the freelance schedule I’ve had the last few months (more about that below), it’s been rather hard to get as many vlogs or videos out as I’d like. It’s my hope that once my plate clears a bit, I’ll be able to produce more. I’ll feature three of my recent videos below:

OTHER HAPPENINGS:

As previously mentioned, freelancing is SUPER busy right now, with just about every week night being taken up with tasks until about 11PM or even midnight. Then I get up with my kiddos starting about 6:15 or so. So while I’m thankful for the work, it’s been a grind. Skatebird is still happening and I’m also working on an arrangement of Materia Collective. There’s also a huge side project which I can’t talk about just yet. Then add in the usual batch of various Fiverr gigs and then my full time work at SciPlay. It’s been a lot. I’ve also been dieting and working out A TON more lately.

Starting to see some good results too! I’m down 16 lbs. We’re doing the Biggest Loser at SciPlay and the competition this year is FIERCE. I’m currently in 4th place of out 20 contestants. So please… refrain from shipping me donuts and pizzas until after the first week in April!

WHAT’S COMING OUT NEXT?

Unfortunately, I cannot be very specific right now due to NDAs. It’s looking like I’ll have quite a bit to share with you in the next few months or so (give or take). Trust me, I HATE waiting so it’s quite hard for me. I’ll share more as I can. I hope you’re all doing well and having a great 2020 so far. I’ll probably reach out again just to ensure you all that I am, indeed, still alive.

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/

Do you like big muscles, huge explosions and punching?

Then boy do I have a fun update for YOU! The Dragon Ball Super – Part 10 trailer went live yesterday and I’m quite proud of it! I did some sound design, dialog editing then mixed and mastered of the audio for this trailer. I remember when I first started working in-house at FUNimation, how pumped I got to work on established brands. The Dragon Ball brand is perhaps one of the best known IPs in all of Anime so any time you get to work on such a high profile property, it’s very exciting! Check out the trailer below:

A New Challenger Appears!

Another new thing, which I cannot speak about too much right now, is that I just signed a contract for another large game. I’ll be composing music, producing sound design and implementing the audio for this neat project. That’s about all I can say right now but I’m super jazzed about it and will share more once it’s made public. Stay tuned!

New Years Resolutions

Like many, I’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions for 2020. I’m aiming to eat A LOT more pie, cookies and brownies. Oh and ice cream. I think this is a resolution I can stick to! 😛 Kidding aside, I haven’t made formal resolutions yet but I have some basic goals. I’m striving to grow my brand, grow myself as a person, lose some weight and get a bit better balance in my life and soul. As far as how to do that… I think it’s a lot of tiny, smart decisions instead of a few, large, sweeping ones. We’ll see how I end up doing. What about you? What are your resolutions?

The Bird and the Slots

Other projects include my work with SkateBird which is going really well. I’m exploring some new approaches with the soundtrack and hope to be able to share some of this relatively soon. And I’m still working at SciPlay and loving it. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of my recent work with SciPlay soon. My kids continue to grow larger and get louder. And more destructive. Every time my wife and I watch HGTV we always joke about how our kiddos could destroy those renovated home makeovers in a matter of minutes.

That’s about it for this update. I’m ready to make 2020 one of our best years yet. And I hope it’s the same for you all!

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/

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/


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/