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GYPSY FIDDLE

The great folks over at Red Room Audio were kind enough to invite me to test out their new sample library: Gypsy Fiddle. This library is FANTASTIC! I’ve been thankful to be able to play-test and write demos for several of their other products as well include Saga – Acoustic Trailer Percussion, their Celtic Fiddle and their flagship orchestral sample library called Palette. As a user of many sample libraries, it’s always a special treat to get to take an active part in the design and development of a virtual instrument. Without such great tools, like these, I simply couldn’t do my job. Capturing all of the nuances and emotion of gypsy styled violin is a HUGE challenge! Red Room Audio pulled it off flawlessly! Check out my demo below for their Traveler Series Gypsy Fiddle:

PLAYBOY MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

On the SciPlay side of things, two slots are now live and out in the wild. The first is a Playboy themed slot that is set in a magical forest: Playboy Midsummer Night’s Dream. So often fantasy theme slots get paired with light, mysterious orchestral music and while that certainly works… I felt this theme could use more edge. So I opted to create something that fused elements of pop, gothic/Baroque styled harpsichord, a bit of EDM flavor along with pads, distorted guitars and driving drums. Playboy Midsummer Night’s Dream is the featured jackpot slot currently (at the time of writing) on Jackpot Party Casino! I’m very happy with the results and hope you like it as well!

MIXING MOJO

I’m a sucker for all things magical and fantasy. You could say I love a certain wizard with a peculiar scar on his forehead, so when I saw the artwork for Mixing Mojo I knew I was in for a treat! Here’s the bonus track I did for this slot theme. I wanted it to be something that had energy while combining hints of mystery and magic. You’ll find this slot in the Ancient Egypt (world 6) realm on the game. To play Monopoly Casino Slots, and I highly recommend you do, go check out this page: https://apps.facebook.com/monopoly-sl…

Monopoly Slots is just one of several in the line up at SciPlay and you can learn more about who we are and what we do here: https://www.sciplay.com/

SAX CAMP… VIRTUALLY

Like so many things impacted by Covid-19, the Inside:Outside Saxophone Retreat had to be cancelled this year. Lots of people were SUPER bummed and we missed the creativity, community and magical spark we get from being around and learning from each other. So the awesome leaders behind the camp threw together an amazing virtual hang out with some MAJOR players in the musical realm. The list included Chris Potter, Kirk Whalum, Joshua Redman, Victor Wooten, Bob Reynolds, Bob Franceschini, Bob Hemenger, Chris Cheek, Jeff Coffin and many more. Plus tons of students that hail from literally all over the world. What an event! Here are some pics from the event.

What an amazing and giving community we have in the Inside:Outside Saxophone Retreat world. Click this link: Victor Wooten Center for Music and Nature to learn more about the various camps and programs happening year around! You better believe I have plans to attend more as time and money (and pandemics) allow!! Please check them out!

WHO AM I?

Nate Madsen is a 15 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 and the Dad jokes collection. 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/

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/

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/

In the beginning…

Back in December 2015, I started writing music for a unique, clever and funny web-series called You Again. The musical style is a fusion of different genres and approaches including some jazz mixed with light, comical orchestral, retro video game music and even some Celtic-like elements. Over the months I’ve been writing music and revising cues for each episode. For the most part, things were good with the usual bumps and back-and-forth that any show experiences during production. Then, due to circumstances outside of our control, we found ourselves without the intro music we were planning on licensing for the show’s intro/teaser.

We needed a theme song… and FAST.

The intro is a montage of quirky, fun actions by the two leads of the show and the vibe of the music needed to be fun, energetic, humorous and engaging. The track that we were going to license was a Celtic song filled with fast violin runs, accordion, hand percussion and claps, guitars and singing… in French. It sounded awesome and fit the visuals perfectly. The director, Andrea Kile Peterson, reached out to me and let me know about the situation right away. It was the evening of July 3rd and the show was going live July 6th. We talked about possible options and then I got to work writing a theme song. Writing super fast requires knowing each “trick” or technique used will have a good pay off. There’s no time to rethink, create doubt or even experiment. You just have to get it down and make it good the first time!

The plan.

My goal was to get something to the director by the next morning to allow for any feedback and revision requests. Right off the bat, I knew creating convincing violin runs in a Celtic style would require a lot of time and effort. It’s not impossible but it would take time. I knew we had to have everything finalized by July 5th in time for the launch the following day. So the first thing I simplified was the violin part. Instead of cool, complex Celtic violin lines, which would require lots of articulations and production, I went with quick staccato violin accents. Creating a simpler violin track allowed me to split up my focus and energy across all areas of the track (the drums, the guitars, the accordion, the hand percussion, etc). I had a majority of the piece written out in about 3 hours.

The last thing you want to do is get neck deep in only one layer and ignore the rest of the song. I’ve seen this happen time and time again and it can kill your momentum as well as destroy your time management. Writing quickly is a constant balance between the macro and the micro.

Bringing in some outside help.

For the guitars, I used a mixture of live and looped guitars to help fill up the sound. My buddy, Ben Cockerham, recorded some guitar lines early July 4th morning and they sounded great. Aside from the live guitar parts, everything else was virtual. To help give the piece a sense of evolution and more energy, I had tempo ramp up slightly over the whole song. This also allowed more of the hits to match up with the visuals. Mixing in the guitars and doing a final mix pass took about an additional 2 hours.

The take away.

By creating a plan and having a defined target, I was able to deliver the finished track to the director the very next morning. She gave some good feedback, I tweaked the mix and production a bit more and then got approval. All in, the entire song took about 6-7 hours to create.

Working quickly is a rush! It’s fun and it’s a challenge. I always view it as “Am I up for this challenge?! Can I do it?!” By focusing on what I knew I could delivery quickly and avoiding what would cause major time sinks and difficulties, I was able to create a theme song literally in the last minute with little stress and have a blast while doing it. The next time you’re in a crunch mode, ask yourself how you can ensure the highest odds of success. What are your “go to” bag of tricks and methods to help get the job done super fast?

The finished product!

You can see the final result below! And go check out the series, Episode 1 is now live!

Interested in me and my work? Reach out! I’d love to work with you!

Here’s the main theme to Of Love and Sorrow, a new game being developed and published by Niels Bauer Games. Madsen Studios LLC – an Austin, TX based audio company, was hired to compose the music for the trailer and the game itself. It was really fun to write the music for a civil war, text game. For this theme I wanted to capture the grand, epic conflict while also showing some of the more tender moments of the game. In a way, this piece harkens back to Civil War epic soap operas that I saw on TV as a child in the 80’s. Check out the music and the game, once it’s made live!

Please reach out if you need original music or sound design for your next project. I’d love to help out!

Here’s a “new” track. Rather, here’s a new take on an old track from 2006! I hired Jean Bolger to play the violin tracks and we recorded them at Mark Derryberry’s new studio, Derryberrys Recording Studio. I’ll be honest, the track is still evolving somewhat but this is very close to a finalized version and… honestly, I just wanted to get it out there!

What I’ve tried to convey with this track is a blending of mystery, wonder along with some element of danger or foreboding. You’re in this Lost Forest but you’re not quite sure it’s a good or bad thing yet. Currently, I’ve got three or four more tracks coming down the pipeline once I get all of the parts recorded, produced and mixed. Stay tuned!

Thanks!

 
 
 
Madsen Studios LLC has continued to provide audio for Playdom’s Threads of Mystery and it’s been a real blast! Click here to play the game on Facebook: http://apps.facebook.com/threads-of-mystery/ and you can stream the main theme I composed below:
 
 

 

Music is copyright of Playdom, Inc and is shared for promotional reasons only.

Check out this new track I recently finished for an upcoming MMO project:

Also just finished up a large amount of freelance work and am looking for more fun things to take part in! Need audio? You know what to do.

Check out the new theme I’ve written for an upcoming MMO project.

About to finish up several more projects and am available for more work so hit me up!

The game Par Out Golf, which I did all audio for, has now been released on the iTunes App store! Check out the game here!. Listen to the music from the game: The game provides a unique, fun twist on playing a golf video game which uses memorization, drawing on top of the usual golf-related elements.