A hero’s destiny is never easy, especially when he dreams of nothing but the worst ahead. Darkness surrounds him, and the shrieks and howls of demons taunt him. Lets hope it’s only a nightmare. Todays theme is “The Hero’s Nightmare.”
A fun theme, for sure! And perfect for halloween! Though, I’m told it was just a coincidence that this theme got picked today, hahaha.
And as a special bonus this week, here’s a download link to a video that I captured that shows almost the full hour of me making the song!:
So, usually as I go into these one hour compos I have some predetermined feelings about what kind of song I want to do. Since I did something relatively “safe” and standard last time, I wanted to try and really do something weird and out there this week. I can’t really do ambient music as well as some of the other people (like mv), but I always tend to have fun when I go for darker and more brooding sounds.
To be honest, I was actually slightly disappointed when I first saw the theme. All this talk about a “hero” immediately prompted me to make something really chiptune-y…something that sounds like it could have come out of an NES. But then I soon realized that I could go in a very twisted direction by using the “nightmare” theme.
So, I decided to start out really happy and triumphant with a very “NES hero!” theme, using the tb_peach VST for some NES-sounds. But at the end of the fanfare, I mangle the sound and then all of a sudden things go crazy as I bring out really weird moving sound textures (the ugo Motion and ugo Texture synth are =great= for these sorts of sounds). After that brief foray (think of it as teleporting into the dream world), I use a low pad sequence that uses tritones.
And then comes probably the “catchiest” section of the song–when the bitcrushed drum beat comes in. The decision to bitcrush the drums was very deliberate–I’ve been using bitcrushed drums in quite a few of my songs recently actually–and it really adds to the dark and brooding atmosphere, while still keeping the drumloop “tight”.
After this section I get some use out of one of the funniest VSTs ever, Delay Lama, which simulates a monk going “aaaaaaaaiiiiieeeeoooooooooooouuuooooeeiiiiaawwwaaa”. Again I mangle it to pieces, and then all of a sudden I transition into another section where for the first time we get some tasty bass. Then comes some simple UNTS UNTS 4-on-the-floor beats along with a theremin-style spooky synth.
The last section is perhaps the darkest. There’s a nice pad/arp texture provided by the Alchemy VST, and then this really neat bell sound, also from alchemy. I worked in just the right amount of dissonance into the bell parts, and it actually seems a little bit detuned, so the octaves aren’t quite in tune either. So it’s very creepy.
And then the part that was probably most genius is the very end–there’s a big sound effect for transition, and then while a low growling texture goes on (again courtesy of ugo Motion), I throw in some big orchestral hit sounds with a lot of reverb. And then, the kicker–the last one is reversed, with no reverb, so it’s like an abrupt end to the nightmare. Genius, if I do say so myself. =)
So overall, a very fun entry to make! I feel like there’s still more I can do in terms of pushing my boundaries though–the next time I go for something like this I should go for slicing up sounds like crazy and applying all sorts of stuttering/granular effects to them. Or perhaps sampling random things and stretching them, etc etc.
A lot of the other entries were fun to listen to as well, so as always, you should check them out if you get a chance. There’s a lot of talent that culminates here every week. =)