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The Mancer’s Swing

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. 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 a big band arrangement.

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/

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Mellow Birds & Update

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/

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Oh. My. Pig. I mean… bird.

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/

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Skatebird

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/

austin-texas-composer-sound-designer

Neptune’s Dynasty

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.

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Create Loud and other news!

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.

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Ouija: Board of Fortune

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.

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Spartan Fist is OUT!

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.

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Moving! And two new videos!

It’s been a good long while since I’ve updated this site! Sorry about that!

So some news – we’re moving BACK to Austin, TX. SGI is relocating me to the Austin branch to assist with audio needs down there and this will put us much closer to our families again. It’s a generous and amazing offer from SGI and we’re thrilled to accept it. Leaving Iowa will be bittersweet because it’s been a wonderful place for our family. Great people – beautiful nature and some really great places to eat! Moving, especially across multiple states, is never easy. So good thoughts, positive vibes and plenty of chocolate donations would be greatly appreciated! 😛

Also I’m still busy writing music and producing sound for SGI as well as freelancing on a film project as the sound designer and mixer, finishing up Spartan Fist’s music and audio as well as finishing up a few other unannounced projects on the side. Busy times! Below are two of my more recent releases – Treasure of Cortez and Monopoly Colossal Boardwalk. I hope you enjoy them!

Much more music and sound to come as things continue to be made public. Madsen Studios LLC will take a break in a few weeks with all of the moving craziness but we’ll be back in business once we’re settled in Austin! If you need audio – hit me up. I’d love to chat with you.

Bio:

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 almost 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. He’s currently in Cedar Falls, IA but, if you’re read this post above, you now know he’s moving back to Austin, TX. His favorite color is green.

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Spartan Fist

Megan and the crew over at Glassbottom Games have been busy making Spartan Fist, a first person brawler that is super fun! You punch dudes so hard, their heads explode. All in super cute pixel art style! For more info on the game, go check out http://spartanfist.com/.

Time to get punchin'

Here’s the awesome trailer with music by yours truly: