Recording a Game Suite - Violin

February 14, 2021, 8:59 AM · If you've read through this blog in the past, you may know I'm a big fan of video game concerts! I've loved the Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses and Final Fantasy Distant Worlds concerts alongside The Lord of the Rings Symphony, seeing orchestras play my favorite fantasy scores. (I've completely been in a fantasy mood recently, by the way! I'll probably chat about that later.) This post shares my experience recording my first concert suite, even if it has all been done in a studio style rather than live, due to the times we're living in!

Last night, I finally finished work on editing my performance of "The Prophetic Chronicles - Suite" for next weekend's Facebook recital, the second in our New Music Collage series as a way to have performances in non-COVID times! I am planning to release the piece on my YouTube channel and website following the recital; but for now, while the experience is still pretty fresh in my head, I wanted to write a little bit about it.

On my violinist.com blog, I'll be focusing on the performance side of things; I'll be focusing on the composition and production side on my site blog. The piece was meant to be a live performance on campus, but because that isn't possible, I decided I'd arrange the piece for myself. I essentially re-arranged the strings to four violin parts, which took a little time but combined with the electronics and piano, came out much better than I was initially thinking back in December, when I was starting to plan for this. I printed out all four violin parts and focused on practicing them over the holiday break around the other projects I was doing. Nothing was too complicated, apart from lots of chromatic writing for the battle music. I did play them feeling like they would have to do all the heavy-lifting for the piece as a whole, trying to play a bit more aggressively to give them meat - of course, only so much can be translated across from my Blue Snowball USB microphone. I recorded everything throughout the middle of January, and have spent the next month editing and finalizing everything.

There was one section in the middle, where the texture thins to just solo violin and piano. This would've been a fairly scary moment if the piece was done live, but being able to record everything separately made it less bad. I was able to record the solo separate from the rest of the parts, too. Another problem I had to overcome was lining everything up perfectly. Some of that I was able to cheat on and fix in the editing stage, but otherwise, I had to really focus and match the metronome clicking away. This really resembled actual studio recording for a film or game, which is a world I will potentially go into. In a way, having to work on this project by myself remotely helped me glimpse a side of that.

There isn't that much more to say. I filmed myself over a green screen, and in the final video, like what StringPlayerGamer does, I put all my videos side-by-side over a background so it looks a bit like we're an actual ensemble. It was a lot of work lining up the sound and the picture - luckily, the violin is a very easy instrument to do that with, because you can watch the bow to see what part of the video you're at.

I'll probably post the final video in a week from now, so next Sunday morning, to my official website, which you can find here! Just in case I don't post anything to my violinist.com blog - check there first in a week or so! Otherwise, see you next time for another violin topic!

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