When it comes to scoring visual content, it would be fair to say that doing so effectively with video games is the most formidable challenge there is. If you are producing a soundtrack, score, and sound effects for a feature film, TV show, or video, then you at least have something of a reference point as you are dealing with reality.

With video gaming, you are working within a fantastical world that is being built from scratch, and therefore finding suitable musical options can prove very tricky indeed.

If you are looking to produce the best gaming music for your project, you’ll have to consider the requisite musical aspects you’ll need to cover.

Gaming Soundtrack

Gaming Soundtrack

Putting together the soundtrack for your game may involve using existing mainstream gaming music, such as championed by the FIFA series and Grand Theft Auto, both of which expertly used tracks that really pushed their games’ overall look and feel.

In the example of GTA, they invested a great deal of money paying for the rights to use many 80s classics, and it really helped to give the game an added dimension. Similarly, every iteration of the FIFA franchise uses music from top artists and bands and even helps launch and push musical acts due to their usage.

However, if you plan to replicate this approach, you better be ready to open your wallets. The cost of clearing even just one song could use up your entire budget, and there’s every chance that even if you have the funds to do so, an artist or rights holder might block the use because you may not be well-known enough, or they may not feel their music is the right fit for the game you want to use if for.

Using Royalty-Free Music Instead

If you elect to use royalty-free music as the source of the songs you want to use, then you will find it may be far more appropriate and also an inexpensive option to consider. Royalty-free music is offered by providers who give subscribers access to vast vaults of music, and this will make it easier for you to find precisely the music that works for your gaming needs.

The music offered by the top operators in this field is very good quality and covers many niches and styles, and therefore, whether you are putting together a fantasy game or an old-fashioned beat-em-up, you’ll no doubt find tracks that work well with your overall gaming soundscape ideas.

Gaming Score And Sound Effects

Now, as well as a soundtrack, you’ll also need incidental music, a score, and sound effects to complete the overall scope of your musical gaming needs.

A score might comprise a theme that feeds throughout your game, this is different from individual tracks, and if done well, this will give your game a larger sense of scale and will offer your game (and its characters) a more expansive feel.

Then we come to sound effects (SFX), and these come in all sorts of varieties. Perhaps you need the sound of an incredible explosion to go with your World War II epic or the smack of a punch hitting an opponent in a fighting sim.

With royalty-free providers, you can usually access content that fits these needs as well, making that road to scoring your entire video game a much more manageable prospect.

Great Iconic Examples Of Game Themes And Sound Effects

Great Iconic Examples Of Game Themes And Sound Effects

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)

The use of a classic 80s track in a video game is quite a brave and expensive undertaking and the GTA series has done so frequently, but when it comes to tracks that just ‘work,’ In the Air Tonight is just damn perfect. Phil Collins even made an appearance as a character in the series; it doesn’t get much more iconic than that.

Coin Collect Sound Effect – Super Mario Bros

Gamers of a certain age are instantly transported to a different era if and when they hear that iconic sound effect that occurs when Mario collects a coin in any of the Super Mario Bros outings. It’s that iconic level of special effect that will live forever, and that doesn’t happen by coincidence.

Doom – Soundtrack

Doom - Soundtrack

The visceral soundtrack put together by Robert Prince was something of a gamechanger and was perfect for the hit video game. A mixture of punk, rock and roll, and heavy metal in nature, it really helped to give Doom more of a dimension and got the heart pumping ahead of a game where you had to be ready at every corner to see off a series of demons and zombies.

Street Fighter – Pretty Much Every Character’s Signature Move

As far as video games that spawned iconic use of sound effects, there aren’t many as accomplished as Street Fighter. The hit game includes a myriad of characters, and each has a distinctive, unique signature move that is accompanied by the perfect sound effect, so much so that now, more than 30 years since the release of the first in the game’s series, anyone who’s played the game remembers them. There’s nothing quite like hearing Ryu’s ‘Hadouken’ chant to get you back into the spirit of the best-selling video game series.

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