Project Blob – All 4 Season BGM’s (Mixing)

Project Blob was a game that I developed audio assets for – including sound effects and 4 music loops to be used within the games 4 levels.

The music I composed was inspired the Banjo-Kazooie level called “Click Clock Wood” where players can visit the level in 4 different seasons depending on which door they walk through in the level’s hub. I wanted to capture the feeling of each season in each of the seasonal variants of the song, which at its core, is basically the same song for each version, like the reference material.

The mixing for these tracks were pretty simple, as they were just meant to be simple and background. Unlike the other two mixes I’ve had to do for this trimester, this one was entirely done in FL Studio, and dealt a lot more with MIDI than actual audio files.

Here’s a look at the “Spring” track in particular:

  • Project was created with a template that loads every time I open FL Studio 11. This template has a drum submix already set up, with the kick and snare channel being sent to it, and another reverb submix.
  • Hihats and shakers are in the same track together, also sends to reverb submix.
  • Electronic kicks and snares were sent to a drum submix, which had a limiter on it with the input gain set to +12dB.
  • EQ – +5dB Low mid boosts on kick and snare with +3dB high shelf boost on the snare. Low pass filter on ‘dark piano’ at 3.8kHz with a Q of 0.27 to dampen the piano a bit. High pass on ‘ePiano ‘at around 450Hz, with slight boosts to the highs (wanted it to be noticeable but not overpower the lead synth). Bass synth had a +6dB boost to the low shelf to bring those subs up, with a lowpass filter at 16kHz to cut out the sibilence but still retain the crunchiness of the bass. Lead and pad synths has a low pass at 16kHz on them also.
  • With my usual productions in FL Studio, a lot of the synths I typically use have auto-panning capabilities, and most samples I use are in stereo, so it makes for a wide mix – this production was no exception. The lead synth, pad synth & bass synth slightly wide in terms of stereo field, which is somewhat better than just flat mono because it makes for a dynamic listening experience. The ‘ePiano’ channel however is just straight mono, which is fine because it’s more of a background sound. The hi-hats and shakers are a bit more on the left for the fact the samples are stereo and probably were originally like that, because I did not pan them to the left.
  • I used gross beat on the bass to side-chain the bass to every quarter beat.
  • A peak controller plugin on the kick controls the volume level on the reverb channel – in an attempt to emulate side-chain compression.
  • Other effects used included a bit-crusher plugin on the lead synth and pad synth, delay on the ePiano, and a bit of reverb on the pad synth as well. I put the reverb before the bitcrusher on the pad synth channel because I also wanted to bit-crush the reverb. I dunno, I just like bit-crushers.

Of course, the master channel had my template’s maximus preset on it, and I was happy with the levels of the low mid and high bands, and it’s post-gain setting on the master at +3dB.

The tracks I made for the other seasons were all pretty similar, considering I made all of the others using this one as a base, so they’re all similar as far as mixing goes. The winter one was kinda trap inspired so I had to make sure the 808s didn’t clash with the other kick  samples.

Looking back on it, the bass seems a little too overpowering, I probably would have knocked it down -1.2dB. I received some feedback from classmates and they were saying the same thing about the Spring one in particular, but overall overwhelmingly positive feedback to whoever I showed this to. The Blob Squad ended up using the Spring, Autumn and Winter ones I made, but they ended up not using my Summer one and just used the original piano composition I gave to them when they needed something as a placeholder for their playtesting day. But overall I’m pleased at how it all turned out in the final game. I think more communication with the games team probably would have fixed this issue and a couple others that I had with it.

Click here to check out the game and hear the audio in action for yourselves.

Project Blob – All 4 Season BGM’s (Mixing)

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