Grab your backpack…

I’ve recently completed version 1 of my game audio demo level ‘DATAlabs’ and got some fantastic feedback from the folks who’ve been playing it (let me know if you’d like to give it a try!) so I’m taking a break from it for a couple of weeks to refresh my ears before I move onto fixing some stuff and tweaking other bits and bobs.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at my other environment ‘Lake Lodge’ as it’s been somewhat neglected over the past few months. I’d already worked on a bunch of stuff including time-of-day dependent ambience, character sounds and environmental triggers but I really wanted to get my item pickup system working (which I left in a terrible state back in December).


As you can see, this backpack has a mind of it’s own when I pick it up with my magic invisible hands! I’d followed a tutorial online somewhere and missed a step which was clearly related to bag-stability.


This time the backpack remains steady in my transparent grip, and this was pretty much how I left it in December, with no sounds added for grabbing or dropping actions. (I still think I’ll need to fine-tune the position of the held objects and maybe even, ADD A HAND!.

Anyway – I spent yesterday working on the blueprint and FMOD event for the actual pickup and drop sounds and this took some time, as apparently, I’d forgotten everything I’d ever learned. A short while later I regained consciousness and fixed a few things that had stopped working in the last few months and got the pickup script functioning again, it was then a relatively easy job to incorporate the extra nodes for triggering the right FMOD event.

UE physics materials switcher to select the correct sound for whichever item has been picked up or dropped.

The blueprint above attached nicely onto the pickup/drop script I’d already created, and I used Unreal’s physics materials system to select which sound I wanted for the backpack (I’ve also created plastic and metal but there will probably be lots more in the end).

And here’s the pickup script with the new audio bit plopped onto it –


Most of the work has already been sorted before as you can see above, all I needed to do was get the surface type from the line-trace and trigger the FMOD event to play whenever the item was picked up or dropped. It’s all tucked inside the first-person character blueprint as can be seen below…


That mess of nodes on the top-right is my system for adjusting head-bob movements depending on whether the player is crouching, walking or running, and this also links to FMOD to control the audio mix of foley assets during movements. I’ll tidy it later.

ANYWAY, here is the finished backpack pickup with sound for your viewing and listening pleasure. The sound is just a placeholder at the mo, and I’ll probably have something a little different for the drop.

More soon fellow low-poly lovers!


Half Way! (kinda)

This week I worked on the 7th multitimbral Mondays live-stream and composition – and to mark the half way mark in this epic journey of self-discovery I opted for a sax-fuelled power ballad using all that the Roland JV80 has to offer! Check out ‘Morning Eyes’ (yeahhh I know terrible name) below…


I’ve really been enjoying these sessions so far, and it’s been so nice to have a few friendly folks joining me for the live-stream whilst I work on them. I’ll be making a free compilation available for download via the DATAStream Bandcamp page once I’ve completed the 12th song, and maybe even a nice cassette to purchase too!

Thanks for listening / reading folks 🙂

Massive Galaxy Update

It feels like a while since I wrote anything about Massive Galaxy, and a lot has certainly happened in the meantime! I started work on this project over two years ago, and in that time it’s been a pleasure to work with the developer, Gonçalo and indirectly with the artist Kirokaze and fellow noisemaker Mushroomizer.

Whats been exciting about this project for me is that I’ve been part of it whilst a lot of development has taken place, and this has provided me with plenty of time to work on crafting a unique sonic character for the music and sound design, something that I feel is so important in games. As new world locations and gameplay features are introduced, it inspires me to work on new pieces and adapt old ones accordingly, focussing on an overall feel and atmosphere for the games many scenes and levels.

You can hear a few works in progress above – although most of these have changed or been updated recently, they give you an idea of the style and atmosphere I’m trying to create for the game. One of my favourite additions, ‘Neon Blues’ isn’t on this playlist but you can check out a small snippet below.

I’ll try and post updates a little more regularly but in the meantime please check out the Massive Galaxy Steam page and add it to your wishlist if it’s your kinda thing!

More Monday, More MIDI.

Here’s week two of my #multitimbralMondays compositions – ‘Love Story’, a boogie-ballad from the Roland D-20.

This week I had a few issues with the D-20, namely that local MIDI would not turn off whilst in multitimbral-mode! In the end, I opted to control the D-20 remotely from the D5 and this worked fine, albeit a little clumsy. Something else worth mentioning is that the Roland D-20 has EFFECTS such as glorious reverb and a slightly underwhelming chorus – needless to say the drums benefited from some verb the most, although I added a splash to most of the parts in the song.

As usual, I’ll be live-streaming my session next week over on the DATAStream Facebook.

Thanks for reading/listening! Check out last weeks song HERE.

Multitimbral Mondays

Hi all!

If you’ve seen any of my recent posts over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then you’ll have probably noticed me babbling on about #multitimbralMondays – it’s a super-geeky challenge I’ve started this month which will hopefully expand my knowledge and diversify the way I compose music, or end up just being FUN which is more than a valid reason on its own.

I’ll be composing one multitimbral piece of music every Monday, and live-streaming the majority of its creation via my DATAStream Facebook page. It will then be uploaded on the following Wednesday and eventually (hopefully!) form a free compilation of my efforts.

I have experimented with this form of composition a couple of times before (you may remember such inspiring classics as ‘MU5’ and ‘JV80’ but hopefully writing one piece per week will allow me to flex my compositional muscles (not a thing) using slightly different thought processes and production methods. Mostly this means being limited in terms of polyphony and the use of audio processing, but I also find that challenging yourself and working in less familiar ways can help to broaden your skills and knowledge.

That brings us to (tada!!) this weeks song – which I’m glad to say that a few kind folks witnessed me composing via the live-stream on Monday evening. Luckily, one helpful viewer was on hand to give the song a name so it didn’t wind up just being called ‘D5’.

As well as this entirely coming from the D5 (minus MIDI sequencing done in Logic) I recorded the final stereo mix from the synths outputs to my Tascam 244 (mostly because I can and its fun) and then re-recorded this back into Logic for the final master. I’ll be working on another next week and if you feel like joining me drop by the DATAStream Facebook page at 7pm GMT.

Thanks for reading!

Making Noise

Hi all,

A quick post, but a rather overdue one! I’ve finally got settled in my new noise-making room so will hopefully have chance to update my blog a little more regularly (maybe). I’ve been working on projects with Massive Galaxy and Tri-Heart Interactive recently but have also started writing some music for a few other clients, not to mention some more experiments for DATAStream, which should see the light of day in the next decade or so.

Don’t forget to say hi over on Twitter or Facebook OR Instagram if that’s your thing,

I hope everyone’s 2018 has been great so far!

November Update

Hi folks!

As you may (or may have not) noticed I’ve been a little less active here on my site for a month or so. Whilst I’ve been working on a number of projects I’m also in the process of moving, and anyone who has had the pleasure of buying/selling a house will know how much work is involved! Suffice to say – I’ve not had much time for blog writing so I’m postponing any future waffling until the house move is complete and I’m all set up again.

Whilst it is super-stressful I’m very excited about the move, which will allow me to empty my storage space and move all my studio gear into one room. I’ll finally have the DX7 on hand for those moments when you just HAVE to frequency modulate.

Thanks for bearing with me and I’ll see you in 2018!*


* (interestingly ‘Rollerball’ is set in 2018 and any cult 70s / 80s cinema fans should definitely check it out to see whats in store for us next year…)