Posts

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/

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/

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/

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/

Here’s the next episode of Madsen’s Musings which talks about a negotiation technique I recently used that worked out quite nicely. In this situation, I was able to get a client to increase their price point significantly by describing how I can add in more solutions and options and save them time and effort. Check out the video and hit me up with any questions or ideas you may have. Also please consider liking, subscribing and commenting on my vlogs. I hope you enjoy the episode:

WANNA GET IN TOUCH?

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 also never met BBQ that he didn’t consider a close friend. He’s currently living in Austin, TX and his is favorite color is green.

The fourth episode of Madsen’s Musings is now out! In this episode, I discuss the concept of reframing your mental picture or idea of yourself, your work and your place in the industry. It’s an important concept that I feel can really help keep one focused on the right goals, and not get too distracted by comparing one’s stature to someone else’s.

The cool thing about reframing is that it can apply to anything! Struggling to lose weight? Try reframing your mindset to focus on the victories you ARE having in that journey. Wanting to build up your brand and getting frustrated? Change your focus on to what you’ve done well so far while pushing to learn and do more for your brand over time.

So much of the journey in professional audio is many tiny steps done over a period of time. Invest in yourself and keep your mental image of yourself in check with reframing.

If you like what I’m doing with this vlog, please consider subscribing! If you have questions or topics you want me to cover – get in touch! I’d love to help out. And if you want to learn more about me and my work – just reach out!

Thanks!

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.

The third episode of Madsen’s Musing vlog is now out!

Watch it here!

This episode discusses the importance of having a system to help you have the best odds when freelancing, networking and practicing. Madsen’s Musings is a new vlog series that I’m putting out on a (hopefully) weekly basis. This series will cover various topics including how to break into the industry, working with clients and how to balance work/life balance among many other subjects.

If you like what I’m doing with this vlog, please consider subscribing! If you have questions or topics you want me to cover – shoot me a message! I’d love to help out. And if you want to learn more about me and my work – just reach out!

Thanks!

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.

It’s been a while since my last update! I’m very excited to share with you the first episode of my new vlog, Madsen’s Musings. In this series, I’ll discuss all things audio – from music composition to production, to sound design and focus quite a bit on the human elements of being a working composer/sound designer. Wanna know how to get into the industry? Want to know how to improve your online presence? I’m also setting up interviews with other industry pros for future episodes! This is the vlog for you!

Check out episode 1 here: Madsen’s Musings – Episode 1 : Are You Hyper Critical?

I’ll be learning as I go as well! This is my first vlog series to produce and publish, so I’m sure I’ll be changing my approaches, gear and techniques as I get deeper in the process. If you have some questions or topics you’d like to have discussed, please reach out on the YT channel! Comments, feedback and thumbs up are also more than welcomed! This vlog series also showcases my newly animated Madsen Studios logo with original sound design that I put to it! I’m looking forward to making Madsen’s Musings a content rich resource that encourages and teaches others as well as myself. Come take part and let’s learn together!

This first episode deals with a topic that impacts so many of us creative types: being hyper critical of our own work! This can quickly lead down a path where our inspiration, morale and energy level suffer, which makes being creative that much harder. Check out the episode to hear more about what I have to say about this topic. And please subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. I’ve got about 21 more videos planned out and several others already in the production or post production phases.

Want to get in touch with me directly? Want to work together? Curious what my favorite candy bar is? Get in touch!

Thanks so much!

Nate

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.