Help with what kind of instruments I should use

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Help with what kind of instruments I should use

#1 Post by Eli_teamruby » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:25 pm

Trying to make a horror VN with a calm, mostly upbeat sound to it. Anybody know what kinds of instruments I should use? I want to try to do a live soundtrack, because I have acoustic and electric guitars, a ukulele, and drums, but not sure what kind of sound to go for.

Any chord progressions I would be better off using? Worse?
How about scales?
I want to have a dark, but upbeat feel if possible.
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Re: Help with what kind of instruments I should use

#2 Post by Imperf3kt » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:20 pm

Maybe try getting in touch with Kevin MacLeod, he may know a bit about the subject.

He has tons of royalty free songs in a large range of styles. Some of his music has even been used in movies.
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Re: Help with what kind of instruments I should use

#3 Post by MarkusLappalainen » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Hi Eli!

Just to make sure I understood you correct, the VN you are working on has macabre visuals, but the music should be upbeat ie. positive/happy/light/casual? I assume this kind of bypasses the whole horror aesthetics. Great sound design and music is an essential component in making a story chilling, nerve-wracking and suspenseful. I am going a bit on a limb here to assume that the style of the VN is macabre (see Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Coralina, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd and so on...). Without more details on the universe, story and culture of the world you are trying to create, it is hard to say anything specific. In addition, anything anyone will ever say will be very subjective and guidelines and ideas at best. I will try to do my best regardless and you can do what you want with it! :)

Based on what you said, my thoughts go to Danny Elfman and his many film scores. I'd try finding interesting sounds from the world of harmonic minor/major, whole-tone scale and their modes. Sound wise, based on your collection, I'd stick to the acoustic guitar and abuse it to hell and back. Make snappy and gnarly sounds, snap pizzicatos, slap playing, nail picking, picking close to the bridge, bow it with a violin/cello bow (if you can get one), bang it with the bow. Have fun and so on. Make it into a sample instrument with Kontakt even for better playability. Or Engine, since it is free if you don't have Kontakt or can't afford it. You can even use the guitar as a percussion instrument, use it as a drum, hammer the strings with pens or drum sticks. The other instruments you can use as spice, but it is good to decide one instrument that makes the core of the sound.
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