The Maestro Behind the Music of “Stars in the Trash”

Valhalla Cats
June 19, 2024

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I am excited to introduce you to the incredible talent behind the music of our upcoming game, “Stars in the Trash” – Yev Kutsenko. Yev is a gifted composer whose passion and expertise bring the vibrant, emotional soundtrack of our game to life. In this post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of digital music composition, sharing insights into the tools and processes we use at Valhalla Cats.

1. Composing by Ear: A Unique Approach to Music Creation

Yev Kutsenko’s journey into music composition is as unique as the soundtracks he creates. As a self-trained artist, Yev relies heavily on his musical taste, emotions, and intuition rather than formal theory. This approach defines his distinctive style.
Yev begins his composition process by playing and recording a few sketched ideas. These initial melodies are then discussed with the team to determine which ones best align with the game’s characters, scenes, and overall atmosphere. This collaborative process ensures that the music perfectly complements the game, creating an immersive experience for players.

2. MIDI Controllers and Keyboards: The Heart of Digital Music Composition

At the core of Yev’s music-making arsenal are MIDI controllers and keyboards. These devices are essential for creating and manipulating digital music. A MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) controller doesn’t produce sound by itself but sends signals to a computer or other devices, telling them which notes to play, how loud, and for how long. This setup allows for an incredible level of precision and flexibility in composing music.
Keyboards, often integrated with MIDI controllers, provide a tactile way for composers to play and input their music into a digital audio workstation (DAW). They mimic the layout of traditional pianos, making them intuitive for those with a background in playing the piano. By pressing the keys, Yev can experiment with different melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, capturing his musical ideas instantly.

3. Music Libraries: Building Blocks of Cinematic Soundscapes

Music libraries are another vital component in the digital music composition process. These libraries contain pre-recorded sounds, samples, and loops that composers can use to create rich, layered compositions. They range from individual instrument sounds to full orchestral arrangements, recorded by professional musicians in various styles and genres.
Yev utilizes these libraries to craft the immersive, cinematic music that defines “Stars in the Trash.” By combining different samples, he can quickly build complex soundscapes that would be challenging and time-consuming to record from scratch. These libraries enable him to experiment with different sounds and textures, ensuring that the game’s music perfectly matches its atmosphere and emotional tone.

4. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs): The Command Center of Digital Music Production

The magic of digital music composition happens in the DAW, the software that integrates all the tools and elements we’ve discussed. A DAW is a powerful platform that allows composers to record, edit, and produce music. It brings together MIDI data from controllers, audio samples from music libraries, and other sound sources into a cohesive workflow.
In the DAW, Yev can layer different tracks, apply effects, and fine-tune every aspect of the music. It’s here that he transforms raw musical ideas into polished compositions ready for the game. The DAW also facilitates easy revisions and experimentation, making it an indispensable tool for any modern composer.

5. From Digital to Live: The Orchestral Recording Process

While Valhalla Cats is a small indie studio and we primarily rely on digital tools, it’s fascinating to know how digital compositions can be brought to life by live orchestras. In larger productions, composers often start with digital compositions created in their DAW. These compositions serve as a detailed blueprint for live musicians.
Once the digital version is perfected, the music can be transcribed into sheet music for each instrument in the orchestra. The orchestra then performs the piece, adding a level of depth and realism that is difficult to achieve with digital samples alone.

Watch the Process in Action

To give you a more in-depth look at our music composition process, check out the video below where I walk you through how we create the unique soundscapes for “Stars in the Trash.” You’ll see firsthand how Yev’s talent, combined with the power of modern music technology, brings our game’s world to life.

We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the music of “Stars in the Trash.” Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the game’s release. Thank you for supporting Valhalla Cats!

The latest from Valhalla Cats and things I found interesting this week:

  • Perhaps Japan’s cutest train? This is the Tama Densha in Wakayama prefecture. The train has a heartwarming backstory.
  • Must have Amazon find for indoor cats! This Cat inside stickers can save our cats!
  • Finally a little reminder that we have a contest for your pet to be featured in Stars in the Trash. You have until Sunday to enter!

Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Have a wonderful day,