View Full Version : Muuuuuuuusic?

Roc Ness
2016-04-12, 08:49 AM
Heya playground, long time no see.

So, the context for this thread is that recently I got a game running (FATE system, good stuff, might never look back) on Roll20. And I noticed they have a music feature going through soundcloud, and so I thought... this is neato, let's give it a spin. And so I did.

I played recap music (https://soundcloud.com/ignacio-martinez-47911963/yesterday-beatles-cover-instrumental-piano) while recapping at the beginning of sessions.
I played suspenseful music (https://soundcloud.com/crane43/thrill-theme-suspense-aj-ace-attorney) while making things go bump in the night as my players slept.
I played some beaty music (https://soundcloud.com/danang-m-pratomo/19-kodou-ost-mushishi-2) to set the pace when an encounter happened.
And I played some silly music (https://soundcloud.com/lukefearsome/dogsong) for when my players went hilariously off-track with some silly idea (as players do).

It was well received! I was happy and impressed! But then I ran into a problem...

I don't really know very much music! I've been drawing from two anime (Mushishi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkpT3eS001M) & Mononoke (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EtNCG-gBWM&list=PL5yjoleUuslaOs-4xd4UpVUn1_tyr21_D)) my game was partially inspired by, Ace Attorney (because it seemed the most obvious place to find 'courtroom' music), and goofy jazz covers of random songs I knew my players would recognise. However, only so many tracks from any source are useful to me, and I didn't have a wide pool of sources, so I ran out of applicable music in three sessions! Also, I'm not really sure how/when I should apply music, asides from the most obvious (encounters, suspense & comic relief).

Now, I'm not asking the playground to help me with music for my game specifically, in part because I don't have very much planned ahead, and what little I have planned ahead I have music specifically set aside for already. However, I would love to know... fellow DMs and players alike in the playground, what experiences have you had exactly in implementing audio into your games? From where did you find your music? What where some moments that stood out to you? Did you have a pattern or guideline for when you would use music and when you would let silence be? Or did you have background music the whole time? Do you have any experiences to share about Roll20, soundcloud, or some other way of disseminating sound to your players from across the interwebs? What advice might you have for me, who is looking to continue supplementing his games with music, but didn't really think very far ahead?

2016-04-12, 09:35 AM
Movie soundtracks are a great source of music.

Conan Soundtrack: Anvil of Crom: Best battle music ever made

Rob Roy Soundtrack: Great incidental music for cross-country travel

Dragon Age: Inquisition: Tonss of great tavern music

The Thing: Great creepy music.

Kol Korran
2016-04-12, 01:36 PM
I've been using music for quite some time. A few things I've learned:
1. Mostly I use music without words. If there are words, the players get easily distracted.

2. I also try to veer away from music that is too well known. (Like from a well known movie/ TV show), cause it throws the player away into that memory/ concept. Unless... that exact reference is the thing I want to invoke. (I usually do it for comedic effects mostly).

3. Long ago, I used You tube to compile lists of music. But then You tube put the adds in... :smallannoyed: But a fellow forumist once showed me The Infinite looper/ (http://www.infinitelooper.com/), which basically enables you to loop the same track over and over again. It's quite useful.

4. At times I also like to look for full albums/ long treks, especially for atmospheric music for a long time. Look for companies that do such things- Two Steps from Hell, Audio Machine and the like. They are mostly known for Epic kind of music, but they do quite a lot of other stuff surprisingly.

5. I find that if I use You Tube or other music collections, and define "Creepy music", "Travel music", "Dark Ambience" or more, You can find good results, though sometimes you need to search for a bit, or define things better.

6. Don't overdo music, and be quite ready to let it go if it doesn't work. I found that sometimes what I conceive as great music may not sit that well with the players, and not every scene needs music... Keep it for when you want to create ambience, covey a theme, or for a certain pace. Keep it for things that matter, not every little thing...

7. In the recent campaign I also tried to use sound effects for stuff (A huge swarm, buidl up for a great beast, using roars, and so on). Worked great!

8. Important: You need to not be set on an exact theme/ music you want. Have a general idea, perhaps a core element that is important for you, but otherwise let things surprise you. I found that when you let it, many tracks can surprise you, even inspire for for ideas, twists, changes and more.

9. The main problem with finding the right music is that it can be quite time consuming, at least in the beginning. But as you gradually look for more and more, and if you keep a list of links that interest you/ you find have a good potential, the process becomes quicker as time goes by.

10. In my last campaign (Wrath of the Righteous, in my sig), I kept a sort of "Campaign Soundtrack", for my future use (And for readers, if they wish for it). You can check my sig, and just scroll down to the second post. Under each "Chapter", there is the accompanying soundtrack for that chapter. Maybe you could find use for it.

Good luck to you!

2016-04-13, 10:40 AM
How has this thread not gotten more attention? It would be super cool if it became a repository for D&D session music.

How do I handle music? Well, battle music is a must. While I occasionally pick specific tracks for specific encounters (or just run the wild Pokémon themes during random encounters :smallcool:), I often wind up shuffling a midsize bundle of "generic battle music" whenever a combat crops up. Like Kol Korran said, digging through YouTube for playlists of "epic battle music" or "video game combat music" has been a great option, too.

For some other specific music choices: I often play background music according to the terrain or location. I've got forest music, desert music, a "royalty" theme for throne rooms, coronations, etc. I also have a handful of tracks for when the PCs get surprised with a combat.

Here's (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B3StYlsEub5eY1hPWEEwMk9mdzA&usp=sharing) a Google Drive folder with all of the music I currently have on my laptop. I'm sincerely looking forward to expanding it with the help of this thread (especially Kol Korran's playlists!).

2016-04-13, 11:04 AM
I had syrinscape recommended to me. Anyone here used it before?