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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dynamic Music for Game Audio Example

Happy holidays folks. Want to see how long you can survive in a procedurally generated zombie survival game?

I've been exploring the dynamic music possibilities afforded by the new Unity 5 engine, while getting reacquainted with the C language family. So I hacked one of the tutorial projects. This uses Audio Mixer Snapshots and the .TransitionTo method to do most of the work with crossfading.
I composed the music back in Spring 2015 for teaching the concept of dynamic audio in my Game Music course, but it otherwise hasn't seen the light of day. It uses a totally conventional way to harmonically re-contextualize a little pulse wave duet with the bass, in order to switch between relaxed and tense game states. The pulse wave duet works in both major, or its relative minor, and you can simply toggle back and forth. I also use a little timbral contrast as well... my new favorite thing is running a NES emulator into various guitar amp/cabinet emulators.
The entire piece is meant to be modular, with each member of the duet optional, and an additional two layers that follow the same kind of harmonic neutrality to allow their re-contextualization.  In later versions, these layers could be toggled in relation to game states, but the current game simply doesn't have enough persistent states to warrant their use.  So they are successively presented here.
The initial idea was to create a dynamic music example that undergrads with only basic music theory and DAW skills can get a handle on immediately... and it now lives on in this little web app.

Check out a more detailed description with musical excerpts on my website.

Or, play the game.

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