Q:Where can I go to download/buy some of your music that's not on your Soundcloud/Bandcamp? For instance, Three in the Morning (Slick) is one of the best songs I've ever heard, but I can't find it anywhere but on Tumblr
Over at my Patreon page I post a lot of songs I haven’t officially released yet, and my Patrons get to download them early! Three in the Morning (Slick) specifically is up there for download, along with a bunch of other goodies.
In due time, though, lots of unreleased songs will eventually get published on future albums, both for Homestuck records and personal Bandcamp releases.
Q:Hey Clark! I'm a big fan or your work, and you actually inspired me to get into making music myself. Since I am just starting out in producing my own music rather than just playing it, I don't have much access to instruments (even to record samples). What do you suggest I do when it comes to samples or music production software? Thanks for even reading this; you're awesome. ^^
Hi, and thanks!! Let me see here, maybe I can point you in the right direction.
If you’re on Mac, Garageband is a good place to start looking: it’s totally free, and it comes with some halfway decent samples and synths. And Logic Pro, which is Garageband’s big sister and my own software of choice, comes with a really solid library of sounds right out of the box.
For musicians starting out on Windows, FL Studio is the go-to software. From what I hear it’s not a bad tool, but its out-of-the-box sounds are notoriously janky (at least they were the last time I heard anything about it). But if you’re looking at higher level software where you can really get your hands dirty, Ableton Live is a great workspace for PC users. Live also has an intro version of the software that’s got a few less features and only priced at $99 instead of the full $449 tag.
Then there’s a program called Reason, which has versions for both Windows and Mac. I haven’t tried it personally, but I’ve heard some cool things about it. It’s comes with a good kit of sounds, although I can’t say how good they really are without firsthand experience. Reason has the same kind of starter version deal that Ableton has, too, so you don’t have to make such a huge investment right off the bat.
Read up on your options and run with the one that suits your platform, your budget, and your fancy! You might want to arm yourself with a decent microphone (if you’re looking to start recording), or a cheap and sturdy MIDI keyboard (if you’re looking to start composing). As with learning any new kind of software, it’s going to be really frustrating and confusing at first; don’t you dare quit on me!
Q:How much music in Crea are you designing?
All of it! And the sound design, also.
This terrifying winged lady is called Sano. Say hello!
She’s the first boss in the game Crea, and the song in this post is her boss fight music. Sano was once the goddess of healing, but after witnessing the bloodshed of the gods’ war took a toll on her sanity she could no longer bear to play that role.
I’ve been designing the boss audio in Crea to have a presence of terrible grandness, since they are all divine. For Sano specifically I composed it to be oppressive and hopeless with just a small spark of tragedy, considering her backstory. I kept the tempo of the music slow, but I used heavy synths and bitcrushing effects to for the kind of crushing intensity that’s appropriate for a boss fight.
The fight is really difficult, it turns out! I had to hear my own song on loop for a few hours while I was trying to beat her.
Visually speaking, what elements would you attribute to John Egbert or Jade Harley?
I’ve got a small list like:
- breath symbol
- pipes/pyxis (not smoking pipes)
- oil (from wind and shade)
and for Jade:
- red flowers from her planet
- space/space symbol
Are there any that you can think of that work better as their visual symbols?
This is very important so please reblog this with comments so I can poll as many people as possible about it.
For John it might not be a bad direction to go full-on with a colorful cartoon explosion of Green Slime Ghost, gushers, and ghost busters.
Q:this question is probably pretty dumb but how did you record symphony impossible to play? idk how most homestuck tracks are made but was that one a live orchestra/band with a conductor?
Nah, that’s not a stupid question! Making music can be pretty arcane sometimes.
Most of my music is made with digital sampler instruments. What this means is that on my computer, I have a huge audio library of different notes played by different instruments. I’ve got samples of violins, violas, cellos, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and almost any exotic instrument you can imagine. That’s what Symphony Impossible to Play is made of! It’s a work of music written for virtual, digital instruments that is literally impossible for an organic orchestra to perform.
Lots of music for media is written this way. Most TV shows don’t pay for live orchestras to perform their scores, which means their composers and producers use the exact same methods that I just described. Video games too!
So the shorter answer is that I did not record the symphony at all! Other people recorded it, one note on one instrument at a time. All I did was rearrange those samples in an immensely complicated manner to make a completely new, coherent product. I built Symphony Impossible to Play one note at a time.
I use a midi controller (an electronic piano keyboard) as my main tool for this job. Other than that, all I need is a computer with production software installed!