Monday 2012.09.24

Music Monday: Inertia - Jega

I grew up in a house that was constantly listening to hundreds (maybe thousands?) of my dad’s classical LP’s which heavily contributed to my musical upbringing. Later on, when I started down the rabbit hole of electronic music (excluding my dad’s awesome Switched on Bach and Vangelis collections), I discovered Dylan J. Nathan aka Jega (an architecture classmate of none other than µ-ziq and Aphex Twin).

It was today’s track, Inertia, which blew me away when I first heard it around 2002 and it remains a powerful source of inspiration. I always felt that this piece has a choral, almost chamber music-like quality to it, with it’s layered timbres and massive crescendo. In fact, I’d often play this track for my dad or stoner-rock buddies that claimed that electronic music had no soul. There is a pride in this track that is almost tangible, and while it is very strictly structured, it is highly emotive within the framework of its highly precise tools.

Another cool connection is that the album, Geometry, was heavily influenced by geometric algorithms, architecture, space and even Wendy Carlos’ original TRON soundtrack. Geometry is actually my second favourite TRON-inspired album (I’ll share my top choice with you at a later date).

You can listen to the track here (sorry, myspace doesn’t do embedding).

What about you guys – what tracks evoke similar emotional reactions for you?

- Richard

Official Jega site
Buy this track

Sunday 2012.09.23

Sound Design Sunday - September 23, 2012 - Modulation

Some of you may have spotted me gloating about the new synths that we integrated into the game, and last weekend I posted a little snippet of one of them in action. I had a bit more time this week to really soak myself in the new instrument, and recorded a chunk of those tweaks. Here’s a clip of a great oscilloscope app I have on my iFruit devices that I was running while working on the sound. Don’t worry, there are no lo-res oscilloscopes in the game (yet… :) )



What you’re hearing above is me, adjusting in-game, some minimum and maximum modulation parameters (ie, cool sound changes) for one of the puzzles. I may have gotten a little lost in the sound, as I clocked in nearly 40 minutes of recording without realizing.

For those intrepid enough, here’s 14 MINUTES OF IT:

Check out the oscilloscope app on the iFruit Interactive Sofware Bazar


- Richard

Friday 2012.09.21

Synthspiration - Roland SH 101

Synthspiration

In line with our first Music Monday post comes our first look at a classic synth that not only had an effect on the music that inspired FRACT, but on the current development of the game itself. This synth was of course the Roland SH 101, and has been (and still is) in studios all around the world due to it’s unique flavour, ease of use, and it’s lovely sound.

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All told, it’s a pretty simple synth, but thanks to it’s waveform mixing, sub oscillator (to give it that big low end) seperate LFO & vibrato rates and a killer filter, it produces a really malleable sound for a monosynth. It’s been used by countless electronic musicians (Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, Daft Punk, the list goes on) and is an influence in our synth design in the game.

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Our lead and bass synths are modeled loosely of the SH 101, minus the shoulder strap and performance control of course! I’ll get Henk on here to talk about that in a bit more detail at some point, promise. Also, what are some of your favourite/lusted/inspiring synths?

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Check out the Roland SH 101 on VintageSynth

Also, if anyone can find a good demo of the 101 to post here let me know. I can only find well-recorded, but tragicly awful ones, or badass demos that are poorly recorded (ø__ø)

- Richard

Monday 2012.09.17

Music Monday: ROYGBIV - Boards of Canada

In the first of many Music Monday posts to feature Boards of Canada is ROYGBIV, one of my favorite tracks from the 1998 release Music has the Right to Children. The track is short, simple and lush with thick analog synths and that characteristic BOC slow detune that really fires up the old nostalgic neurons. It’s playful too, with filtered samples of children’s voices (and not creepily, a feat indeed!). This little ditty would have been right at home on a 1970’s NFB short. Enjoy! Video is a fan-made clip by Chromaphase.

This is one of the tracks currently inspiring us and what we’re doing in FRACT – what about you guys? What tracks/artists inspire your work?

Buy this track
Official Website

-Richard

Monday 2012.09.17

Promises, promises

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Monday morning – another week begins. The past couple of months have just flown by, long days of hard work punctuated by late-night bouts of inspiration-driven insomnia, diaper changes, and endless pacing around the house (to get the little one to nap). But it’s paying off (we hope!) and it’s starting to feel like we’re beginning to finish the game, rather than toiling around endlessly in the depths of iteration. While it’s definitely been a challenge to get back to work post-Zoe, we’ve managed to make a lot of progress. There’s still a lot yet to do, but we’re feeling pretty good about it these days.

Still though, I wish there were more hours in the day – as much as we’re checking things off the to-do list, there’s still so much more that we want to do. One thing that we keep wanting to do, but never seem to manage to pull off, is spend more time writing on the blog about development. I know, it’s something we’ve promised before, but never really delivered in a consistent way. It’s hard to balance though, because we also don’t want to spend too much time away from actually making the game. But I definitely want to make it more of a priority, so here’s hoping that it will work more this time around. I was pretty inspired by the Castle Story guys (who very kindly gave us a shoutout in one of their recent Dev Diaries) – they do a great job at communicating with fans through their blog, and I’d like to try and do the same.

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So to help encourage us to be more regular at writing about FRACT, we’re thinking of doing more themed posts. I’ll be posting more about production updates, dev-diary stylez – so what we’re up to during the week, along with any other FRACT related news. Richard will continue with Screenshot Saturdays and the now newly-launched Sound Design Sundays, and will also post about some of the juicy synths he’s been researching (what I like to call “synth porn”) and some musical inspiration for the week. I’m hoping Henk will join in as well and write about the technical side of FRACT, which, let me tell you, is actually pretty fascinating (even for a non-programmer such as myself). The stuff he’s been in Pure Data to allow FRACT OSC to synthesize in real-time is pretty awesome, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s excited to learn more about it.

That’s all that I can think of for the moment – what about you? Is there anything else that you would want to hear about through the FRACT blog? Let us know in the comments!

-Quynh

Monday 2012.09.17

Sound Design Sunday

Just managed squeeze this one in on East coast time. Testing some of super fun new modulation parameters in conjunction with the puzzles. Please excuse the resonance (I had it a bit high in this take) and some dropouts (it will be fixed!) but I think you’ll get the idea.

Wednesday 2012.09.05

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the "Gift a Rift" contest!

A big thank-you to everyone who took the time to vote for us in the Oculus “Gift a Rift” contest. Your efforts have been rewarded: we were chosen as one of the two top studios to get an Oculus Rift dev kit!

We’re excited to get our hands on it, and in the meantime will be working hard to get the game finished so that we don’t get too distracted when it arrives :)

Big ups to the other winner, Lee Saltzman of CUBE Engine.

Thanks again!

PS: Check us out on Steam Greenlight if you haven’t already – and if you love FRACT, we need your help to get the word out, so please share the link!

PPS: Sorry for the intenso-gif. Eek!

Saturday 2012.09.01

Screenshot Saturday: September 1, 2012

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We’ve been a bit delinquent on Screenshot Saturdays (I blame it on cumulative sleep deficit) and seem to remember it one or two days after the fact. So hoorah, we’ve actually managed to do it, on SATURDAY. Miracle of miracles. Here are some recent shots, we’ve been working hard and it’s starting to show. Enjoy!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out our FRACT OSC Steam Greenlight page. Please uprate us and help us spread the word by sharing it with your friends :)

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Friday 2012.08.31

FRACT OSC is on Steam Greenlight!

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Hey everyone, yesterday’s launch of Steam Greenlight kind of crept up on us (I blame it on the baby :P). But as of today, we are on Greenlight (though I think you can’t quite find us yet). If you want to see FRACT OSC on Steam (like we do!) please vote for us (by giving us a thumbs up rating) and even more importantly, spread the word to your fellow Steam users!

There are also some juicy new screenshots up on our Steam Greenlight page, so check them out!

Also check out some of our friends on Greenlight:
Waiting for Horus
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Incredipede
Kairo