It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Meet the Titan, and we have so many new staff to choose from! This week we got our new soundtrack composer, Tal, to answer some questions about his work.
So, what do you do for City of Titans?
I write/compose/produce/mix/master/organize original music for the soundtrack! Hopefully with the end result of aiding in immersion and atmosphere.
Is composing very time-consuming? What’s the biggest bottleneck in the process?
I work very quickly once I actually start working. I can probably finish a song in a day, sometimes I’ll do two or more in a day depending on how complex they are. The real bottleneck is the actual conceptualizing, like getting hung up on where to even begin with a certain track, but once I get started it just flows like a dam exploded in my head.
How do you know when a track is awesome and finally doesn’t need any more fine-tuning?
I unfortunately most often don’t. I’m a perfectionist and it’s of course my work so I can end up picking at it forever. Fortunately, one of the things I learned in the past few years releasing my own albums was how to identify when I’ve reached that point of “okay I’m just picking at it now, not really adding anything” and at that point I force myself to just let people listen to it and get some feedback, and then if they’re like “yes this is perfect” I’ve trained myself as well to BELIEVE THEM and stop picking at it so I can move on.
That’s a good way to go about it. So, what artists or genres do you take the most inspiration from, and what music do you listen to normally?
I’m one of those people who says “I listen to everything” but then is really picky about what within each genre they actually enjoy. For the most part though, I really like industrial rock and industrial metal and various forms of electronic music from techno to dark electro to chillwave, depends on my mood and what I’m doing at the time like most people I guess.
For my industrial rock favorites: Gravity Kills, Stabbing Westward, Rabbit Junk, Big Time Kill, Celldweller, Blue Stahli
Industrial metal: Fear Factory, Static-X, SybreeD, Blood Stain Child, Cyanotic (of course).
Electronic (broad genre, these are going to really vary): The Prodigy, The Crystal Method, Noisecream, Funker Vogt, Mindless Faith.
What were you working on before you joined Missing Worlds Media and City of Titans?
I do a lot of little things. I help run the alternative-industrial record label Glitch Mode Recordings along with its founder Sean Payne, who is also the driving force behind the band Cyanotic who I was invited last November to play guitar and keyboards for. I toured with Cyanotic quite a bit this last year, which involves flying across the country to Chicago (I’m based in California) and then practicing with the guys and traveling around.
I also have my own two projects: my main industrial rock output Nuclear*Sun and an instrumental cyberpunk-themed EDM side-project called Affect Effect.
What inspired you to be a part of City of Titans?
Superhero stuff is one of my top three favorite genres of fiction, along with cyberpunk sci-fi and super spy action movies. I also played City of Heroes and Champions Online for a ridiculously long time and never really found my place in any other MMO so supporting and being part of City of Titans was kind of a no-brainer for me.
Glad to have you! What advice would you give someone interested in composing or producing?
As Mr. Labeouf would say: “JUST DO IT!!!” The one mistake I regret most in my life is that I took so long to pursue music, just out of fear of failure and rejection. It was so easy to put off and not be afraid that people wouldn’t like what I had to make if I kept making excuses like “Oh once I finish this contract job I’ll try it out” or “Oh I don’t have the money for the software” or whatever the excuse happened to be at the time. Just start making music. Take a class at a community college or look up lynda tutorials or youtube or whatever. Just start doing it. The more you do it the more you learn and the better you get, and there’s always going to be people out there somewhere who like what you’re making. The internet makes reaching those people so much easier, too.
Good Advice. Okay, I can’t resist asking; is there boss music? Boss music is so fun!
It is planned! I haven’t started working on any yet. Dynamic music is currently a low priority behind just getting the base world and mission themes done, but believe me it’s been discussed. It’s something we want to do and we’ll make it happen soon.
Okay fun question, if you could have any superpower, which would you have?
I’d have to go with super reflexes and agility. I grew up on The Matrix and my mind has just been trained to think dodging bullets is like the epitome of cool.
When you get in-game, what Classpec do you want to try first?
Pffft, I don’t know... can’t I just try them all at once? I may just run multiple instances on multiple machines to try them all at once.
Okay, how about this: hero or villain first?
Ah I'm old school. I like stories where the good guys win in the end. I don't even play GTA because I don't like shooting cops.
That much of a good guy? Hero indeed! Alright, I’ll let you get back to work. Thank you so much for sitting down with us.
As you know, we’re upgrading the store to keep delivering our promises to you. The first Add-On we’re going to deliver is the first volume of the City of Titans soundtrack,”Music to Save/Harm Citizens by” featuring Tal and Hellwreckage’s work for us. Hell retired from composing, sadly, but we’re proud to feature his work in the soundtrack, we hope you enjoy the tunes, and that you enjoy the full release to come.
If you’re interested in some of Tal’s other work (and you should be after those samples), his label can be found here:
His band, Nuclear*Sun can be found here:
I’d like to thank Tal for taking some time to talk with us and for the great work he’s been doing! Fly Free!
And a major shout out to team graphic designer Wolfgang85 for the excellent artwork used for the update and on the videos. You'll be seeing more of his work in the future.
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