Music for Video Games
Welcome to my musical world!
Looking for original music for your game? You are in the right place!
My name is Patrick de Arteaga and I am a music composer. I have orchestral themes for you, exotic music of any age and culture, 8-bit chiptune music, horror, sci-fi, even soundscapes to add life to any type of ambiance.
You can listen to my music and download any of my FREE tracks. You can also visit my store to purchase customizable music in MIDI format or can even contact me for commissions.
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What will you find on this WEB?
My name is Patrick de Arteaga, music composer. I want to help you to create soundtracks for your video games, providing my own compositions which you can download for free, purchase for a low price; or making commissions so your game boasts of exclusive and original songs.
On this site, you can find royalty free music for video games, non-copyrighted music, and issues related to the musical composition for games.
What is the difference between popular music and video game music?
The difference lies in the first step when composing, that is, in the idea, since to create a piece of music you always work starting from an idea. And in the case of video games, this is essential for a song to make sense within the context of the game and be consistent with its aesthetics. For this, musicians usually meet with video game designers or main developers, to be guided about their ideas or expectations regarding the stages they intend to set.
In popular music, a composition is also linked to an idea, to an objective, but usually, a song is the result of a fleeting inspiration, or sometimes of a marketing plan to be distributed to large audiences. In contrast, music for video games is an element that is part of a larger work, and that plays a key role of making this work (the video game) more relevant and memorable. Therefore, it requires a greater analysis.
Another significant characteristic has to do with the leitmotiv of the soundtracks for video games, necessary for the songs to keep a certain connection with each other, to tell a story, and together, to show themselves as part of the context without resulting in abrupt changes.
Why is music necessary in video games?
As happens in movies, music acquires an irreplaceable role in certain cases. For example, what would Star Wars be without its main melody? Music has power to generate emotions, to make the situations we visualize go deeper into us.
The case of music for video games is quite similar, with the difference that in games there may be tracks that are completely repeated according to the actions taken by the player. That is, songs are programmed to sound when an event originates.
The well-known game Super Mario Bros. is a typical but great example of how music is used in video games. When Mario passes through a pipe to appear underground, the music becomes intriguing, because you do not know what you can find on the other side; and when he goes up, a more cheerful music sounds again.
As you can see, many games acquire relevance due to music. When you remember the game Super Mario Bros., what do you think about first? Yes, about a mustachioed Italian plumber. But apart from that, it’s clear, you remember the music.
How to make music for video games?
The process to create music for video games is similar to which would be done with any other musical composition, real instruments can be used or directly composing with synthesizers. The second case is usually used more, applying digital sounds created by MIDI synthesizers to compose melodies that end up creating a song.
It is clear that it depends on the game type, even many people probably remember legendary 8-bit songs from old gaming consoles, they seemed simple themes but they were worked very harshly. In those days, they used trackers, which were a type of sequencer software whose sound cannot be compared with the current quality, but it was precisely their music which gave them their particular seal, and that today has become enormously popular.
Type of music will depend on the game that has to be developed, hence, methods, instruments, and tools may vary. But the essence of musical creation is the same. The theory, in musical composition, is similar.
If you are going to make your own music, don’t forget to register it to guarantee your authorship, you can put copyright or licenses for free use.
Copyright in songs
Music composers for video games always keep the moral rights of their works, which are non-transferable, that is, their names should appear in the credits of the game. Although it is clear that in a signed contract, many things can change. Economic rights are transferable through a contract signed by the composer with the video game developers. We are talking about copyright. Everything is part of an economic agreement.
The other side of the coin is royalty free music for video games without copyright, which is music without economic rights and which can be used on games for free. However, no having a copyright does not mean that it cannot be registered under a free license such as Creative Commons, where authorship must be attributed, but where it is not necessary to pay royalties for using this music.
Is studying necessary to make music for video games?
While there is no a specific career, you can take specializations in this field, short courses, where students can learn the guidelines to create music for video games.
For this, it is necessary to have knowledge about musical composition, because in the end, it is about that, about musicality, about knowing how to create musical pieces. Then, it is also about responding to the needs of companies or independent video game developers. That’s where the knowledge offered by these courses comes in.
This implies that in order to compose video game music you must have studied music first. The most common path is the traditional one, where a career is carried out in a conservatory related to musical composition. Although (and here is the notation that most controversy usually generates) you can also learn on your own, especially accustoming your ear to the understanding of music. It is said that at the moment of ‘seeking a job’, it is easier if you have an academic degree that endorses what you know, as in any profession, but times change and merit is now measured more by results.