Survarium

I recently read that game developer Vostok Games announced a music contest for the soundtrack of their upcoming online massive multiplayer shooter “Survarium”. Since many of the developers are ex-GSC Game World employees, the game (currently in beta stage) is reminiscent of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. which I loved. I was always amazed by the atmosphere this game was able to create. According to this website, the music contest is held from August 28 until November 28: http://survarium.com/en/news/survarium-music-contest

People can submit their tracks in two categories – 1) a cover of the main theme and 2) any own work that feels suitable for the game soundtrack. Since I do not enjoy covering songs, I decided to go for the second nomination and already had a track ready for submission.

Jupiter:

So what we have here is basically a dark ambient track already written with a post-apocalyptic setting in mind, but primarily influenced by the Chernobyl disaster and certain related locations like the Jupiter factory (that’s where the song got its name from). However, since Survarium tells kind of the same story (headline on the website: What would happen if mankind lost control over what it created?), I felt like it would fit this contest as well.

By the way, if you don’t have access to the closed beta of Survarium, yet, you can participate in a lottery generating an invite to random users every minute: https://forum.survarium.com/en/lottery.php?list=1

Relief

No shock, no surprises, no distortion. Think of today’s song as a moment of peace. A clean guitar and the world is okay for 2:19min.

Relief:

This track was written during night time. Shortly before going to sleep I grabbed my guitar and played this motif that was in my head. I put the recording aside for a while, but as soon as Crave was released, I picked it up again and developed the idea. Since this track was meant to be an interlude in the first place, I did not intend to add any other instruments at all. Simple, stripped down and short, that was the plan.

For those who want to play this: Tune your guitar to Drop D and put a capo on the 1st fret. This gives you the low droning D# throughout the whole song.

Crave

Today’s track is a good example for old material brought back to life. While I’ve already written the same about Decivilize, it is true for this one as well. The foundation for Crave, my newest single, is almost two years old. This means it even dates back before the creation of Decivilize. Yet I managed to revisit some of the old ideas and build upon the stems to finally give this tack a fresh appearance. And there you have it.

Crave:

A Post-Rock track starting with a calm and clean guitar melody in 3/4 backed up by synth pads, bass and processed guitar chords over an electronic beat. I modulated the guitar chords with a combination of three automated filters and panned them to leave room for the main melody. The drums were initially meant to be acoustic throughout the whole song, but in the late production stage I decided to switch between electronic drums and an acoustic kit. I felt like eDrums made for an easier introduction to the song.

As soon as the first chorus section kicks in, you can forget about everything I said about clean guitars. The metre changes to 4/4 and while the guitars got a proper load of distortion, I moved the drums from an electronic to an acoustic set to create a kind of traditional rock band sound.

The second verse returns to the idea of laid-back tones only to be smashed again in the second chorus. What I used in the little bridge section afterwards is actually the guitar melody of the first verse played in reverse.

The middle section of the song is probably the reason why I struggled with this project for so long. Only a few weeks ago I came up with what became the breakdown and the guitar solo. Part of the ingredients I used for the solo guitar tone is a VST plugin called 7 Inch Nails. I don’t know if it is related to a plugin with the same name by G-Sonique in any way, but it comes in handy here and there. For the background layer I created a very basic two oscillator synth patch playing triplet notes and sent it on a long highway to “FX city”. The result was then blurred and pitched down.

Ultimately, a bridge leads into the final section of this song. The technique of doubling, which I used in Decivilize for the first time, was also applied to all distorted guitar riffs in Crave – but this time I recorded two different takes for each section instead of time-shifting a copy of only one take.

This concludes the story behind Crave. Enjoy your stay!