Game Music Composition: Make Music For Games From Scratch
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Game Music Composition: Make Music For Games From Scratch

Learn to compose music for any and every type of video game, from complete beginner to competent game music composer
Best Seller
4.6 (359 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
3,520 students enrolled
Created by Karleen Heong
Last updated 8/2017
English
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
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Includes:
  • 20 hours on-demand video
  • 10 Articles
  • 30 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Compose high quality, original video game music for any type of game and genre, for your own game or for someone else's game.
  • Start or further your career as a game music composer.
  • Understand some music theory, music composition, music production and general game music knowledge.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Mac or PC capable of running FL Studio 12 or any other Digital Audio Workstation
  • MIDI keyboard is OPTIONAL
Description

The world's first comprehensive online course on Video Game Music Composing that doesn't cost thousands of dollars. Be one of the first to study the complex and often forgotten art of game music composition. This is the course I wish I had when I started out, and currently, there is still no complete course in game composing for this price. This course is the first and aims to be the absolute BEST.

Immerse yourself in the world of game music composing. Emerge a competent video game composer and be confident in your ability to make music for any and every type of game. 

Every Game Type: Role-playing game battle themes, boss battle themes, casual mobile/smartphone game music, 8-bit chiptunes, indie and triple A adaptive and dynamic music, game character themes - this course covers it all. All with no prior music knowledge required.

Learn all the skills you need to successfully and confidently compose and produce music for any game. From music theory, composition techniques, digital audio workstation software, music production and even audio middleware for game engines, you will gather the entire skillset necessary to produce high quality video game music for any game project.

In this project-based course, you will learn interactively by following the instructor or going on your own to create any game music piece you desire. Almost every lecture has a challenge task, designed to test your abilities and hammer home those techniques you just learned.

Start simple. You won't be overwhelmed. Musical concepts and theory and production are gradually introduced to ensure you build confidence in your music-making abilities. 

Go in depth, learn the tricks of the trade. This is not just an introductory course, but delves deep into advanced topics only professional game composers know. Audio channels, computer chips and more, explore the technical aspects of game music.

It's not just a composing course, it's an entire music production course. Learn the entire pipeline of music production, from idea development and composing, to mixing and mastering. 

We will use and cover many types of software:

FL Studio: Complete beginners will learn how to use one of the most popular digital audio workstation programs. Advanced students can use their preferred DAWs.

FMOD: Learn to use this audio middleware effectively with game engines, and learn the two must-know FMOD techniques.

Unity 5: Learn to use the Unity Game Engine with audio middleware and set up a fully-functional game scene, complete with adaptive/dynamic music, made from scratch.

Audacity: Learn how to use this free, open-source audio editor to add additional polish to your music.

So let's dive right in, you will be surprised at how quick it is become a competent game music composer.

Who is the target audience?
  • Indie and Solo game developers wanting to make professional music for their own games
  • Composers and music professionals looking to enter the video game music industry
  • Aspiring game music composers and amateur composers
  • Game enthusiasts who are curious to know how game music is made and learn how to do so
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to make music for video games
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Curriculum For This Course
160 Lectures
20:06:31
+
Introduction to the Course
5 Lectures 14:58

Course promo video.

Preview 02:17

A quick gloss over the entire course and what you will learn in each section.

Preview 04:02

Learn what you need for this course, or rather what you don't need.

Preview 03:54

How to get help if you have questions or are stuck while taking this course.

How to Get Help For This Course
01:45

Learn the simplest way of sharing your original game music and why you should do so.

How to Share Your Original Game Music
03:00
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Video Game Music and Composing Basics
5 Lectures 15:41

An introduction to section 2.

Preview 01:08

Learn what makes video game music different from any other type of music.

Video Game Music Basics
04:36

What does a composer think about before even touching their computer?

The Composer's Thought Process
05:54

Learn some simple but effective ways of putting a game music track together

Easy Composing Methods
04:01

Revise what you have learned about video game music, composer thought preparation processes and methods of composing.

Section 2 Quiz
5 questions

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Section 2 Review Material
00:02
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Introduction to FL Studio
9 Lectures 46:50

An introduction to section 3.

Preview 00:54

Windows users will install FL Studio in this lecture.

Installing FL Studio for Windows
04:49

Mac users will install FL Studio in this lecture.

Installing FL Studio for Mac
04:37

FL Studio Alternatives for Mac users.

Mac Alternatives
04:21

Learn the basics of getting around FL Studio

Quick Tour of FL Studio Interface
06:33

Learn how to input notes with just your computer keyboard or mouse.

How to Input Notes Using Only Your Computer
10:53

Students with a MIDI keyboard will learn how to connect it to FL Studio and use it.

How to Input Notes Using a MIDI Keyboard (Optional)
03:31

Learn how to get external sounds/instruments and plug it into FL Studio on Windows.

How to Install VST Plugins on Windows
03:36

Learn how to get external sounds/instruments and plug it into FL Studio on Mac.

How to Install VST Plugins on Mac
07:36

How much do you remember from this section?

Section 3 Quiz
4 questions
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Project 1: Town Theme
8 Lectures 53:42

An introduction to section 4.

Preview 00:50

Learn the process of planning a game music piece.

Plan Our Town Theme
05:46

Learn the core basics of music theory.

Music Theory 1: Notes, Chords and Scales
04:13

Learn how to write music for the first instrument with chords.

Write Our Harp Part
10:56

Learn how to write a nice melody to complement the harp part.

Write our Flute Part
15:48

Learn how to mix and export your town music theme - learn about panning and stereo field.

Mix and Export
14:14

Sharing our original town theme to get feedback.

Share Our Town Music
01:34

Put your knowledge to the test in this end of section quiz!

Section 4 Quiz
3 questions

Download the PDF slides and FL source project for this section.

Section 4 Review Material
00:21
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Project 2: Game Character Music
21 Lectures 03:16:26

An introduction to section 5.

Preview 01:36

Learn the way to plan a game track based on a game character.

Plan Our Game Character Theme
05:01

Learn some great inspirational hacks to get your creative juices flowing.

How to Get Unstuck When You're Stuck for Ideas
12:31

Learn how to select instruments that sound good together in your composition.

How to Choose Instruments that Sound Good Together
05:34

Learn how to use any musical key you want and enhance your composing abilities tenfold.

Music Theory 2: Keys, Major and Minor
18:31

Finalise plugins for our project and decide which instrument to play the melody and which plays the bassline or chords.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 1
06:06

Learn how to write a good melody using melody shaping and more techniques.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 2
08:27

Learn my improvisation process to come up with a melody that sounds nice and then record it.

Write the Melody For Your Chosen Key Part 3
10:26

Learn how to edit your melody so it’s completely in time. Learn how to quantize using snapping. Learn what beats, bars and steps are.

Editing Our Melody For Timing: Quantizing, Snapping, Beats, Bars and Steps
13:14

Learn how to make your melody sound natural as if played by a human rather than dull and mechanical as a computer plays it.

Editing Our Melody For Feeling: Note Velocity
06:00

Test your knowledge of this section so far.

Section 5 Mid Section Quiz
4 questions

Learn the steps to add an intriguing bassline and/or chords to your existing melody.

How to Add Bassline and Chords to a Melody
05:04

Learn a neat, simple hack in FL Studio if you have trouble remembering what notes are in the scale you’re using!

Simple Trick in FL Studio to Help You
04:12

Watch my entire improvisation and composition process for composing a good sounding bassline to the melody we created earlier.

How to Write a Good Bassline for Your Melody
21:20

Learn exactly how to use your existing bassline to create a chords part from that. Learn about strummed chords and broken chords.

How to Build Chords from Our New Bassline
14:20

Finish the last layers of our Character Theme and learn how to add drums and percussion.

Finish the Composition and Add Drums
11:26

Learn how to duplicate your tracks with this new mixing technique.

Mixing 1: Duplicating Tracks Technique
10:36

Learn how to adjust the knobs in all your plugin instruments to get the sound you desire. Learn about dynamic effects and the use of Reverb, Chorus and Delay.

Mixing 2: How to Tweak Plugin Parameters
08:18

Learn how to Equalise your instruments and how to make your composition gel together into a nice mix.

Mixing 3: How to use Equalisation to EQ your instruments
13:20

Introduce yourself to mastering using EQ, compression and limiting. Learn the process of making a track ready to release to the public.

Mastering Basics: Learn the final phase of Music Production
09:05

Learn which audio file formats are the most suitable for Game Engines and which are best for Video Game Original Soundtracks. Export your game music track for all these purposes.

Best Audio File Formats for Game Engines and Game Soundtracks
10:53

Put your knowledge to the test in this end of section quiz.

Section 5 End of Section Quiz
4 questions

Download the PDF slides and FL source project for this section.

Section 5 Review Material
00:26
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Project 3: 8-Bit Chiptune Music
13 Lectures 01:40:08

An introduction to section 6.

Preview 01:17

Learn exactly what 8-bit music is, how 8-bit music came about and which of your favourite consoles are 8-Bit.

Introduction to 8-Bit Music
06:52

Decide on a computer chip or console or game to emulate for your original 8-bit game composition.

What 8-Bit Sound Do You Want?
07:03

Pick your favourite 8-Bit game music track and study how it’s put together.

Analyse Your 8-Bit Game Track
13:53

Use what you learned in your analysis and plan your 8-bit theme’s structure, instrumentation and most importantly, which instruments fit on which audio channels for your chosen 8-Bit chip or game console.

Quickly Plan Your Original 8-Bit Tune
05:29

Learn how to set up FL Studio’s Channel Rack to emulate the exact audio channels as those on your chosen 8-bit computer chip.

Set up FL Project for 8-Bit Composing
06:56

Build the first section of your 8-bit song. Reinforce your composing skills, knowledge of keys and learn the layering technique by structure.

Build the Intro
08:04

Build the main section of your song – the “memorable” part. Learn the method of composing bass and melody simultaneously, and watch the instructor’s exact composition process of putting a song together piece by piece, layer by layer in a repeated cycle of improvise, practice, record and edit.

Build the Main Section
10:11

Learn how to use DPCM samples in your VST plugin if available. Learn how to use Noise Channels and white noise SFX in 8-Bit composition.

DPCM Samples in VST Plugins
11:05

Learn how to build a good transition section between the end of the previous section to loop back into the start of the song and make your song truly seamless.

Build the Cooldown
09:35

Learn how to dehumanise your song and make it sound completely computer-made as if made by the 8-Bit chip itself.

Making a True 8-Bit Sound
10:56

Learn how to mix your stereo track down to mono with Audacity for the true 8-Bit sound. Learn how to emulate the splitting of 8-Bit chip’s audio channels into stereo via hard panning.

Pure 8-Bit Authenticity: Mixing to Mono
08:24

Test your knowledge on 8 bit chiptune music

Section 6 Quiz
4 questions

Download the PDF slides and FL project source file for this section.

Section 6 Review Material
00:23
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Project 4: Adaptive Music with FMOD and Unity (Indie & AAA Games)
30 Lectures 04:11:13

An introduction to section 7.

Preview 02:23

Learn what 'adaptive', 'interactive' and 'dynamic' music mean, what ‘linear music’ and 'non-linear music’ is and be introduced to the techniques of non-linear music.

Adaptive Music and Non-Linearity
04:35

Be introduced to the techniques of horizontal re-sequencing and vertical orchestration and see both in action.

How to Make Adaptive and Non-Linear Music
06:52

Set up the two programs we will need to make non-linear music.

Setup FMOD and Unity
06:10

An intro to the first FMOD technique we will cover.

Introduction to Vertical Orchestration Project
00:58

Learn two important music terms and how to use them.

Music Theory 3: Tonal and Atonal Music
04:18

Write our first VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 1: Peace
04:37

Write our second VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 2: Restricted Area
04:14

Write our third VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 3: Detected By Enemy
08:00

Write our fourth VO track in preparation for FMOD.

Write Vertical Orchestration Track 4: Conflict with Enemy
14:11

Learn what reverb is then mix and export our entire VO music piece.

Reverb, Mix and Export
13:55

Get introduced to FMOD, an audio middleware used with game engines.

Introduction to FMOD Interface
12:27

Use FMOD to put your VO tracks together and finish with a non-linear music piece.

Use FMOD to make our track Non-Linear
19:19

Use the Unity game engine to create a game scene from scratch, in preparation for our game music.

Create our Unity Scene
11:42

Complete our game scene with our FMOD non-linear music.

Integrate FMOD music into our Unity scene
10:55

Challenge your knowledge so far in this section!

Section 7 Mid Section Quiz
4 questions

An introduction to the second half of this section and FMOD technique number 2.

Preview 07:52

Write the first track of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 1: Exploring the Field
09:24

Learn how to use FL Studio's markers and be prepared for track 2 of our HRS project.

Intro to Chaos Region and FL Studio Markers
03:39

Write the second track of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 2: Chaos Region
03:09

Learn a very important concept in composing non-linear music.

How to Compose Transition Bars
11:10

Write the third track of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 3: Battle Scene
06:39

Write the fourth track of our HRS project.

Write Horizontal Re-Sequencing Track 4: Invincible State
11:04

Convert our HRS project to non-linear music in FMOD.

Move our Horizontal Adaptive Music to FMOD
14:31

Learn how to make your sequences smooth.

How to Make Perfect Transitions Between our Tracks
11:17

Implement your transition sequences in this lecture.

Design and Implement Your Transition Sequences
10:25

Learn the very basics of sound envelopes.

FMOD's AHDSR Sound Envelope
11:14

Finish up our project in FMOD in preparation for Unity.

Prepare our Horizontal FMOD music for Unity Integration
08:03

Integrate our HRS non-linear music into our Unity game scene.

Integrate Horizontal FMOD Music into Unity scene
15:39

How to share your non-linear music track with and without game scene.

How to Share Your Game Scene with Non-Linear Music
02:29

Put your skills to the test with the final quiz of this section.

Section 7 End of Section Quiz
3 questions

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Section 7 Review Material
00:02
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Project 5: Casual, Social and Mobile Game Music
25 Lectures 03:28:20

Introduction to Section 8

Section 8 Introduction
02:32

Listen to some prominent mobile music tracks and find out exactly what mobile game music is.

Introduction to Mobile Game Music
12:01

Learn an easy trick to get ideas and mood flowing for your composition.

Plan our Mobile game track and Idea Jump-starting
03:56

Revise everything about music theory we have learned so far in case you have forgotten.

Music Theory Revision in 5 minutes
05:02

Learn about note values and duration and 4/4 time.

Music Theory 4: Note Values and 4/4 Time
08:05

Learn about dotted notes and how to calculate them.

Music Theory 5: Dotted Notes
06:28

Learn about time signatures in music

Music Theory 6: Time Signatures
12:02

Further develop our plan our mobile game music.

Flesh out our Mobile Game Track Plan
04:57

Test your knowledge of the first half of this section.

Section 8 Mid Section Quiz
4 questions

Learn how to write the most basic cell of music.

Compose a Motif: the Building Block of Music
08:53

Learn how to develop your motif into a phrase.

Develop your Motif into a Phrase
08:50

Learn how to develop the second phrase from your first phrase.

Develop your Phrase into a Theme: 2-Phrase Checkpoint
09:36

Learn to compose the second half of your theme, giving you a complete 4-phrase theme.

Develop your Phrase into a Theme: 4-Phrase Checkpoint
05:55

Learn exactly how chord progressions work and why they are so important in music.

Chord Progressions Part 1
09:04

Learn exactly how chord progressions work and why they are so important in music.

Chord Progressions Part 2
09:15

Find all the notes of all basic chords of your key

Work out All Possible Chords for your Key
08:41

Learn the signals in a melody that tell you when you should change chords.

How to know WHEN to change chords
07:00

Learn exactly how to fit a chord progression to your melody using a systematic and practical approach.

Write a Chord Progression to your Melody/Phrase
16:18

By the end of this lecture, you will have a complete sketch of your composition's theme comprising melody + entire chord progression.

Finish your Mobile Game Compositional Sketch
09:16

Fully develop the mobile game music plan and learn how to allocate the parts of your compositional sketch into defined instruments.

Mobile Game Track Plan Development and Instrumentation
06:19

Compose your entire mobile game track by using some arranging techniques.

Compose your Mobile Game Track: Arranging
05:00

Learn the exact steps to developing your composition from sketch to full instrumentation and arrangement.

Compose and Arrange the Mobile track from Sketch: Phrase 1-2
14:32

Learn the exact steps to developing your composition from sketch to full instrumentation and arrangement.

Compose and Arrange the Mobile track from Sketch: Phrase 3-4
13:38

Learn how to use a spectrum analyzer during mixing and learn all the things you should do when you mix.

Mixing Checklist and Spectrum Analyzer
12:35

Get industry-standard loudness with this simple production trick.

Simple Hack to Boost Final Track Volume
08:23

Test your knowledge of this section.

Section 8 End of Section Quiz
6 questions

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Section 8 Review Material
00:02
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Project 6: RPG Battle and Boss Battle Music
32 Lectures 04:50:15

What we will learn in section 9 of the course.

Section 9 Introduction
00:45

Learn the differences and similarities between RPG battle music and RPG boss battle music.

Characteristics of RPG Battle Vs. Boss Battle Music
08:40

Learn the core differences and history of Western vs. Japanese RPG battle music.

Western RPG Vs. Japanese RPG Battle Music
06:17

A practical example of the difference between Battle and Boss themes.

Analysis: Final Fantasy X Battle Theme and Boss Theme
10:56

Practice your analysis and determine for yourself the difference between boss themes and battle themes.

Analyse your Battle Theme vs. Boss Theme
02:38

Learn how modes work, how they are formed, what mode matches what mood and how to use and form any mode in your head.

Music Theory 7: Modes - Beyond Major and Minor
17:25

Learn what MIDI and audio are, the pros and cons of each and when and how to use them.

MIDI vs. Audio In Depth Comparison
09:37

Learn how to record audio with a microphone into FL Studio.

Recording Audio in FL Studio
08:05

Learn how to use Edison, FL's own audio editor.

Editing Audio in FL Studio's Edison Audio Editor
16:50

Test your knowledge of this section so far!

Section 9 Mid Section Quiz
6 questions

Plan our 2 types of battle themes in detail.

Plan our RPG Battle and Boss Themes
11:54

Learn this new improvisation technique to come up with compositional ideas for our RPG Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Composing Melody and Bass Simultaneously
10:29

Refine our brainstorm from the previous lecture and finish our Battle theme's harmonic framework.

Battle Theme: Refine Melody and Bass Harmonic Framework
09:39

Break down the harmony in your composition and discover which notes are important to your harmony and which notes are simply decorative.

Battle Theme: Inner Voicings and Chords Part 1
08:26

Break down the harmony in your composition and discover which notes are important to your harmony and which notes are simply decorative.

Battle Theme: Inner Voicings and Chords Part 2
10:49

Learn how to go through your harmony and complete the 'incomplete' harmonic framework.

Battle Theme: Complete the Inner Harmony
08:25

How different people compose differently and how music students vs non music students compose.

Different People Compose Differently: How Notation fits into the Process
03:59

Finalise your main instrumentation in preparation for allocating roles for each instrument in each section of our Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Sort your Instruments
04:14

Create a structural breakdown of your composition by completing the time stamps first.

Battle Theme: Structural Breakdown - Sections and Time Stamps
07:33

Learn how to allocate roles to your instruments and how to switch roles in different sections of your composition.

Battle Theme: Structural Breakdown - Instruments and Roles
12:18

Intro to arranging our project and where we are going from here.

Battle Theme: Arranging and Additional Parts
04:08

Arranging our sketch into multiple instruments for our intro.

Battle Theme: Arrange the Intro
05:57

Arrange the next section: Main theme Part A. 

Battle Theme: Arrange Main Theme Pt. 1
11:00

Arrange the next section: Main theme Part B.

Battle Theme: Arrange Main Theme Pt. 2
09:13

Arrange the next part: Mini Break.

Battle Theme: Arrange Mini Break
09:10

Learn how to harmonise a melody in the variation 1 part 1 section of our Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Arrange Variation 1 Pt. 1 - Harmonise a Melody
13:07

Learn about how to change keys, the different parts of a drum kit and how to use them as we arrange part 2 of our Variation 1.

Battle Theme: Arrange Variation 1 Pt. 2 - Modulation and Drum Kit
10:11

Arranging Variation 2 of our Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Arrange Variation 2
09:01

Finish the final leg of the Battle theme - the break transitioning back into the Main theme.

Battle Theme: Arrange Break (Transition)
13:48

Mix your Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Mixing Session 1
13:36

Mix your Battle theme.

Battle Theme: Mixing Session 2
14:44

Prepare our track for Game Soundtrack release.

Preparing for Game OST
07:19

Test your knowledge of this section.

Section 9 End of Section Quiz
3 questions

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Section 9 Review Material
00:02
+
Final Project: Course Challenge
9 Lectures 24:15

What you will learn in section 10 of the course.

Section 10 Introduction
00:50

Learn what the final course challenge is and recap the processes of music creation we have learned in the entire course.

Final Course Project
03:21

What your final project theme should fulfil in terms of mood and game requirements.

Your Music Must Fulfil These Criteria
01:29

Learn how to use modes in your composition.

How to Compose with Modes
13:56

Publish your course challenge!

Publish your Final Project
02:13

Learn the criteria for the first Extra Challenge.

Extra Challenge 1
00:40

Learn the criteria for the second Extra Challenge.

Extra Challenge 2
00:37

Learn the criteria for the third Extra Challenge.

Extra Challenge 3
01:07

Download the PDF slides used in this section.

Section 10 Review Material
00:02
1 More Section
About the Instructor
Karleen Heong
4.6 Average rating
356 Reviews
3,520 Students
1 Course
Composer, Music Teacher, Programmer

I'm Karleen, a composer, musician, teacher, programmer and more. I started playing piano when I was 4 and wrote my first composition when I was 15. I taught myself how to play the electric guitar at 14 and spent all my spare time playing hard rock and heavy metal music. I reverted to classical music in university and studied the classical guitar and Japanese flute.

I've been teaching since 2007, from maths to piano to teaching English in a foreign country.

Composing music is my one true passion and I love teaching people so Udemy is a natural progression for me. I hope to make a change in your life, and bring out the musical side in you.