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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/

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/

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/

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/

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/

IT’S A TWO FOR ONE UPDATE!

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

GO PLAY THESE GAMES FOR YOURSELF

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

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

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 14 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SciPlay for 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

Some New Music!

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

The Gospel of Atlas

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

Find Out More

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

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

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 14 year industry vet who’s worked in games, films, taught college courses and has performed and recorded in various settings on both piano and saxophone. He’s been with SciPlay for 3 years and has been running Madsen Studios LLC since 2005. On the weekends he likes to be very still and watch the grass grow. He’s considering taking up the bagpipes and really enjoys craft beer. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green. You can get in touch with him here: https://madsenstudios.com/contact/

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