Interview with Sebdoom

(ArdeaART) Somebody, like Malukah, add lyrics to their covers. Why do you use just sound?
(Sebdoom) Being only able to make growls, not clean vocals, I’m pretty sure not a lot of people would enjoy metal vocals on such covers. As I already write lyrics and sing in metal bands, it’s nice to just have instrumentals for cover projects. However, if death metal vocals were requested by several people on a cover, I would think about it.
What is the hardest way to interpret soundtracks of games like Mass Effect? Do you feel any pressure?
The first challenge was the fact that it was my first time trying to write soundtrack music style. I had to learn on the scratch the process allowing to mix together electronic music with neo classical elements. The second difficulty was probably to imagine what musical paths the developers would end up with. Apart from it, there is nothing but the freedom of inspiration to lead you in such situation where you create a fan soundtrack before the actual IP release. There is obviously no pressure, only exploration of your own inner musical world.
A lot of people would like to start their adventure with creating soundtracks, even hobbystically. Do you have any basic advice for laymen?
As Shia said, „just do it”. Just let the flow of any song brings you to a state where you ask yourself why you’re not the one composing it. In my case, it was after hearing a Hi-Finesse trailer track. Don’t let yourself overwhelmed by specific learning curves needed, it’s worth the effort to expand your knowledge. There are many programs and plugins to create music nowadays, and huge amounts of tutorials teaching how to use them. Also, several free or cheap programs can deliver the best results. A recurrent question is which DAW to use, well the answer is no matter, each of them allow you to create what you need with a different interface, they all have their pros and cons. It does take time to acquire an overall view, where you know what should be used, but to me, musical exploration is all about the travel more than the destination.
In your opinion games should have more often soundtracks in metal arrangements? Despite the „heavy” genre of music, guitar riffs do not remove the epicness of the song.
Big productions are indeed usually shy and prefer using the same musical standards, while independant games sometimes use extreme music. It would be great to see this genre used more often of course. With the rise of indie games era, this is probably going to evolve.
What is more difficult – match the music to the existing image or to compose the piece from scratch so that it can be used in the image?
In a production workflow, many video game composers seem to find it more difficult to not have enough advanced material, compared to movies, as inspiration background. Of course if one had to perfectly match a video with music, it would be harder than anything. Luckily this step is always inverted, the editing being done using either both sound and footage or matching the footage to the music. I think it’s often easier to find inspiration with visual assets as much complete as possible. In the case of Mass Effect metal covers, the abundance of amazing cinematics is perfect for fast-paced songs.
Would you like to create a soundtrack for the upcoming movie or game? Which of the titles you’ll chosen?
Becoming an official composer for IPs such as Mass Effect must be extremely gratifying, so definitely. Anyone would probably accept such opportunity. About fan-made soundtrack works, I don’t know yet if/when I’ll make something else. My actual projects are the release May 28th of my metal solo project Cold Insight, composing new album with my other bands, and working on more metal covers. Mass Effect Andromeda’s A Better Beginning metal cover is being polished as of now and will soon be shared, as well as some megadrive covers. Anyway a new fanmade soundtrack could come for any game any time, as it initially appeared out of nowhere.