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Custom Baldur's gate music

smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 192
edited March 16 in Fan Creations
I thought I'd try something slightly new.

In my free time I've been making some custom musical themes for areas in Baldur's gate 2 that didn't have their own unique theme, especially when they are areas that are important to the main plot. Just thought I would share my interpretations for any audiophiles who enjoy video game soundtracks like I do!

This is a list that I hope to update every so often whenever a new idea crops up (for example I hope to make a Suldanessellar theme at some point), we'll see whether my schedule allows it.

Government district (AR1000):

Ust Natha (AR2200):

The Abyssal realm (AR2900):

Post edited by smyth25 on
OlvynChuruSkitiaAcifer

Comments

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 358
    edited March 13
    I like the second two. The composition was able to get around the sound library's limitation. The last one really evoked the area and the choral sounds were used quite effectively, while feeling like background music. My composition training never really focused on having the music work that way, I've always struggled doing that sort of thing.

    What sort of tools do you use to make this, and how long did it take you to make them? Do you start on piano, write it down, or do everything on the computer?

    Sorry if its too many questions! There are so few other composers, it's great to see someone else into this sort of thing like I am. I could share a piece or two in this thread even if you'd like to hear it.

  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 192
    I'm glad you enjoyed them! And yeah there really aren't many other composers, it would be great to hear some of your stuff as well! (perhaps this should be the general music composition thread instead!).

    It would be interesting to see how your music sounds based on your experience and training, like my composition training is limited to GCSE music, but I've also been singing in choirs for over a decade and play in Orchestra (perhaps why choral sounds played an important part in the 3rd song).

    In terms of tools I use Logic pro x, out of all the softwares that use *shudders*... MIDI instruments... I think Logic handles them the best. I've found that using automation to alter the dynamic, tempo, and reverb throughout the music helps to somewhat mitigate their lack of realism.

    Usually in terms of time, it's a bit hard to define as often I decide I want to write something, but after sitting in front of a blank logic file for about an hour I find that I have to leave it for a few weeks whilst generating ideas in the back of my mind (which I then take note of in Logic before I forget). Then there's kind of a 'Eureka!' moment and I end up writing loads of stuff in a couple of hours. If I decide I'm finished then I spend the next couple of days refining and cleaning it up, otherwise I repeat the brainstorming.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,472
    All three sound great! However, the Ust Natha theme sounds a bit too happy, I think. Maybe something more like your Abyssal Realm theme might be more fitting.

    smyth25
  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 192
    I see what you mean in a way, the intended vibe was meant to be mysterious, but also kind of melancholic cause of all the double-crossing that occurs within the city’s walls. Also needed it to have a bit of a martial vibe, with the drow army focus and all. I think though the percussion and flute stabs may make it a bit too bouncy.

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 358
    edited March 15

    The first piece is my attempt at trying to create Area Music I did about a year ago. I used a virtual wind machine, low woodwinds + low strings, and some gongs, and a waterphone. Very weird scoring, but I like the sound.

    A Dark Haunted Forest (The End of SoD)

    The second piece is my first attempts at creating another character theme for BG2. Vienxay's starts with low, dark strings. I went with something dark and grim and a more tragic sort of romance style, since all of the NPCs have their own struggles and CHARNAME has pretty big issues.

    Vienxay's Possible Romance Theme for BG2



    smyth25AciferOlvynChuru
  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 192
    I thought those examples were really well done! What I immediately noticed about the Forest theme is the extensive use of SFX, like the wind and the waterphone, it gave it a suitably creepy atmosphere. Use of SFX is something which is kind of lacking in any of my compositions, so it's something I'd like to get better at. What kind of software were you using to get access to those kind of sounds (sadly Logic lacks a waterphone patch as far as I can tell).

    The romance theme also does a good job in expressing the brooding nature of the character (especially the beginning string part). I wonder though if it could benefit from more close harmonies? To both better express the tragic and the romantic components of the theme. Major 7th and added 9th chords have basically become my bread and butter in creating expressive music. However, I am also a bit of a glutton for crunchy chords (as you probably heard in the Abyssal realm :D).

  • SkitiaSkitia Member Posts: 358
    I use Sibelius for the Notation Software, but EastWest for the sound library because I can't stand it's base sounds, even its non midi ones.

    I've yet to find a close harmony to compose that I haven't deleted after writing a few lines of it! But I'll try your suggestion.

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