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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/

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/

The theme for Neptune’s Dynasty was really fun for me to put together. The idea was to create an epic vibe that’s on par with things like God of War, Skyrim or all of those classic Roman adventure films from Hollywood but make it a little less angry. But it is all about the god Neptune, after all. So it needed to have some “tidal” movement in there. The fun challenge was then trying to make it something that will work for a slot game. Check it out!

Wanna get in touch?

Let’s chat! https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

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 currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green.

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.

Ouija: Board of Fortune is one of the recent slot games SGI released which features my music and sound design. So often I have to write in an upbeat, peppy, happy manner, so it’s refreshing when I get to take a stroll on the dark(er) side of things! The artwork has a very gothic feel with a supernatural undercurrent so I wanted my music to give a sense of foreboding, slight dread mixed with action. Check out the demo here: https://youtu.be/2vkiuic_U-8
My friend Logynn B. Hailey did the artwork and I thought she killed it! You can see more of her artwork here: https://www.behance.net/logynn-b-hailley. You can play the slot currently on the Goldfish App: https://www.facebook.com/GoldFishCasinoSlots/ and it will be out on other SGI casinos in the future.

Wanna get in touch? It’s easy!

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.

What is Spartan Fist?

As the game’s page says: “Fight your way to fame, fortune and glory in this first-person puncher as you work to retrieve the fabled Spartan Fist. Playing as Emma Jones, a down-and-out detective working to earn her keep, you’ll tap your inner badass as you punch dudes so hard they explode. Navigate through an arena that’s different each time you play and delve into a whimsically gritty and colorfully punk pixilated world while fighting your way to the top.”

Steam link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/632170/Spartan_Fist/

You can stream and purchase the soundtrack here:

Spartan Fist is probably one of the most aggressive games I’ve ever scored! It’s a first person puncher for crying out loud! 😛 When Megan Fox, the owner and creative force behind Glass Bottom Games, approached me about Emma Jones and her next adventure, I was definitely intrigued. Like with Hot Tin Roof, where we fused chiptune and noir style jazz together, we knew that we wanted to fuse chiptune music with something. But what? What style would best fit the gritty world of punching dudes so hard they explode?!

The answer, of course, was punk.

Admittedly, punk music wasn’t a style I was super versed in. I’d heard of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. I’d played Rockband during college. I’d even heard some more modern punk-ish style bands but punk music wasn’t easily in my wheel house. Enter an old friend of mine, Ben Cockerham! Besides being one of NYC’s most dapper dressers and a great guitarist well versed in funk, jazz and many other styles – Ben knew how to make punk sounds. This album wouldn’t have been possible without his help! Thank you Ben! Check out some of his great work here: http://bencockerham.com/music/

The voice of Emma Jones this time is played by Fryda Wolff. She’s been in a lot of cool things that you’ve probably heard of – Trolls The Beat Goes On, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Guardians of the Galaxy: The Tall Tales Series to name just a few. Go check out all of her work here: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1488849/

Finally Megan Fox has been a pure JOY to work with. It’s rare to find a client that will push you into areas you don’t initially feel comfortable. Or ready for. But she’s just that type of client. The way we work together is pure collaboration and it’s a ton of fun! Check out the game and more of Megan’s work here: http://spartanfist.com/

A quick note about this soundtrack

In the song listing you’ll see “No melody” versions along side “Arena versions” and “Boss fight” versions of songs. Most people know what Boss fight means but “No melody” and “Arena” are a bit more vague. The “No melody” versions appear in the game when you’re going in between arenas. So much of the soundtrack is completely in your face, front and center that we wanted to give the player a little bit of a reprieve (but not too much!) before they re-enter the fray. The “Arena versions” of the tracks are what you’d hear while fighting in the… well… arena. Simple right? For the “Boss fights” we wanted to increase the already high energy to a new level because you’re fighting a boss. This is a big deal. Those bosses are pretty tough… and big.

This soundtrack is completely different from almost anything else I’ve ever done. And I think it fits the world of Spartan Fist very well. I hope you enjoy it. And watch out for the left hook. It can sneak up on ya.

Want to work with me on a project? Reach out! I’d love to partner up with you!

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.