You asked, I tied, he responded.
A while ago, I asked you for questions for anosou, the composer of Cobalt’s soundtrack, and you didn’t let me down: Though persistent in his efforts to safeguard the secrets of his digital magic, your excellent questions and my trusty rope got a few words out of him. As promised in the latest Intel Report, here are the answers!
So, How Do You Music?
To begin, could you briefly introduce yourself to the uninitiated?
My name is Mattias, composer and appreciator of video game music born in ‘89. By day I work at Propellerhead Software, creators of much cool music software. By night I write video game music, play Magic: The Gathering and eat various things.
Ah, actually I have two of your company’s products, haha. First up then, the obvious question that has been asked by many: How do you make your music? (Tools, workflow etc.)
It’s a hard question to answer thoroughly. I create all my music in Reason, incidentally made by the company where I work. I actually got the job there because I used Reason so much! The creative process starts and ends there with just some headphones, a laptop and a MIDI keyboard.
I’ve played piano for numerous years so I compose mainly by hammering keys in different ways. Everything from actual piano to drums is me hammering away! I love exploring sounds too and have tons of different patch libraries and Rack Extensions (plug-ins for Reason). I often start with a preset sound and then tweak it a little bit to become what I want.
What made you choose the style for Cobalt’s music, and what do you think defines it?
I think it started out as Oxeye sending me a Com Truise song and saying “This is awesome”. After that a lot of the sounds I used are reminiscent of what he’s doing. He’s got that 80s retro feel, using a lot of sounds from old synths and samplers. Specifically I’ve found Fairlight samples to work great! But I mix all this up pretty heavily with ambiences and even ethno/folk vibes and pure techno. I always try to be versatile as it keeps things interesting.
What artist or source do you find most inspiration from for Cobalt’s soundtrack?
Well, like I said, Com Truise defined a lot of the sounds. Otherwise I’m mostly inspired by whatever I’m listening to currently. Since I have quite an eclectic taste in music this varies greatly.
Do you have a favorite Cobalt track?
I’m partial to the menu track, as are we all.
Where can you buy the soundtrack?
Aww. Are there plans to create more songs for the game? Will there be new music for the Adventure mode?
I can’t really answer that to be honest. I’ve been enormously busy at Propellerhead and the Oxeye guys have been super busy too. We’ll see!
Well, at least it’s not a ‘no’. Now, for some reason we’ve received a few food related questions too! What’s your top “I’m going to make awesome music today!” breakfast?
I almost never eat breakfast. A habit I wouldn’t recommend to anyone.
Ah. Another one! On average, how much “work related caffeine” do you ingest per hour?
It’s not so much a “per hour” thing but much caffeine is ingested. I go through cycles of different caffeine habits too, one month it’s all about energy drinks while another I brew my own Yerba Mate in a traditional gourd. As long as it keeps me awake, I like it.
The community has quite a few creative musicians. Any tips for the more or less experienced magicians-in-training out there?
Create more music! Never stop! The only way to get better is to keep creating music. Also, try to get involved with other musicians. One of the reasons I do what I do is because of my involvement in ocremix.org, remixing video game music. It’s a thriving community of musicians from the lowest to highest level. I got a lot of feedback and training doing that and I believe it made me a much better composer.
Finally, the most important question: If I don’t have enough Thingybob, how do I add more Fairlight?
Flick the switch!
Fine, You’ve Passed
While a digital pet bard does sound appealing, I was nice enough to let him go in the end. Quite a cooperative subject!
Remember to check out the Mapmania Livestream this Saturday, starting at 12:00 UTC+2! With the Duke and myself as your hosts, nothing can go wrong! …Or maybe everything, but hey, we’ll have fun! We’ll be reviewing more maps than you knew existed including all of the MapJam submissions, and perhaps we’ll do a little contest or two—with prizes, naturally! We’ll be streaming all day, so feel free to check in when you can. The map list will be ordered randomly and put in the stream description so you can get an estimate of when your favorite community maps are played. Follow the stream to get an email when it starts!
Disclaimer: The Mapmania Livestream is a fan event, not an official Oxeye event. Horrendous accents will be broadcast, terrible jokes will be made, and faces will be imploded.