Event Music – Skirmish / Epic
WHO IS BATTLEBARDS?
Built off of the tremendously successful Realmsound Project, BattleBards (www.battlebards.com) is the premier provider of the best tabletop gaming audio. Through the careful selection of audio projects, talent, and tracks, the BattleBards catalog has become the gold standard for a growing market in tabletop gaming music, soundscapes, sound effects, and voiceovers.
In this Gig, we will Buyout one track in full and offer licensing to promising auditions for listing on the BattleBards platform. Licensed tracks will be offered for non-commercial sale as well as included within the popular streaming subscription service, earning the artist royalties in both revenue models. We count over 200 professional composers, sound designers, and voice talent as contributors and it’s our mission to open up the tabletop gaming world as a fun and lucrative pursuit for artists the world over.
This Gig is for a new category of music album seeking to provide tabletop gamers with a backdrop for a specific occurrence within the action of a tabletop game. These “Event” albums are meant to provide an immersive feel to the roleplaying experience, providing an emotional context to the event.
Each Event track is to be defined by two aspects, the Event and the Tone. The Event should act as the guiding principle for the piece, providing a general idea of the overall orchestration and pacing. The Tone is the flavor the event is to be delivered, providing the details for the piece such as instrumentation and direction. Using a sentence as an analogy, the Event is the ‘verb’ and the Tone is the ‘adverb’ (i.e. The Orc ran [EVENT] quickly [TONE]).
There is to be no soundscape or supporting sound effects unless part of the instrumentation. If you are a BattleBards contributor, note that this is a stark departure from the People/Places albums BattleBards has done thus far. The track must loop seamlessly.
The track must be no less than 2:30 in length, longer tracks are encouraged.
Event: Skirmish (Combat)
The aim of the piece is to provide a backdrop to combat, specifically, a skirmish. A skirmish is distinct from a battle in that it takes place among relatively few opponents and is meant to be resolved quickly. Because we are not dealing with armies or large groups, a fast and agile feeling must make up the backbone of the piece, exuding a feeling of action and even one of suspense.
Gaming Context: Think of an event where a group of heroes are ambushed by 10 orcs who run at them with swords raised high, howling for blood. The heroes fight with incredible skill and fierce weapons, dispatching each orc without mercy.
Tone: Dramatic or Epic
The tone must be either dramatic or epic, conveying a sense of weight, importance, or urgency to the track. Here is where the artist has a great deal of creative license, not only in deciding to go epic or dramatic but determining the track’s undertone and nuance to the unfolding action.
Gaming Context: The reasons for the drama or epic nature of the skirmish can vary but all convey a sense of importance. Perhaps the skirmish occurs during a period of time when the heroes are out for revenge. Perhaps the circumstances surrounding the fight is desperate, occurring during a critical moment of the story or during a time of particular vulnerability for the heroes or a loved one. We highly recommend you envision the scene you seek to contextualize with your piece.
Consistency – Avoid sharp peaks and valleys in energy as well as significant evolution or turns in the track. It’s critical that the track remain with a consistent energy from end to end. Although some portions of the track can rise and fall as part of the orchestration, dramatic turns of energy make the piece too difficult to use as emotional backdrop in a tabletop gaming setting that often runs for hours. Do not have an extended fall of action at the end, remember, the piece is meant to be played for hours and we don’t want the loop to send the listener to an extended lull only to pick up again when it begins.
Fantasy – Avoid instrumentation that comes off as overly modern or sci-fi (specifically synths) as this piece is meant to be used in a fantasy setting.
Seamless Looping – In real life, a skirmish may only take a few minutes, in tabletop gaming, looking up rules and rolling dice through a skirmish can take an hour or more. The track must be able to loop cleanly and avoid composition that causes ear fatigue.
The following tracks have been identified as providing a good basis for inspiration into the feel, energy, and direction this track requires. Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original compositions and that you have 100% rights to use and sell any samples or loops you embed.
Strength of a Thousand Men by Two Steps from Hell
Pacing, epic, and what’s more, a feeling of heroism and momentous significance. The track evolves beautifully all while maintaining the perfect energy. This is something to aspire to.
Soccent Attack by Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
The vocals bring out a wonderful sense of epic and drama! The pacing is spot on as is the supporting instrumentation. This is something to aim for.
Elk Hunt by Trevor Jones (Last of the Mohicans)
One can picture a quick, action packed and desperate combat playing out. The pacing is masterfully conducted through the rapid strings while the brass and percussion brings in a wonderful sense of drama. The only hesitation here when the piece hits 0:57 which sends the track into an overly dramatic energy which for the purposes of this track, goes a bit too far.
Scorponok by Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
Another solid track but this one brings a deeper sense of tension within the action which is an interesting direction for this album. Even the turns in energy the track takes doesn’t distract too much from the overall tone and consistency, flowing well from step to step. At 2:32, the track injects an incredible sense of heroism which adds yet another intriguing differentiator. At 3:44, the track for use in our case kind of falls apart.
Molossus by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard (Batman Begins)
This track would be considered ‘safe’ for this album. The pacing is on point and the orchestration supports a feeling of intense action but we don’t seem to really get into the dramatic aspects until the middle of the piece.
Starlight Hunt and Twilight of the Gods by Jeehun Hwang (Mechwarrior 2 Mercenaries)
In Starlight Hunt, we have a slightly simpler in composition the track brings a strong sense of action with a slightly subdued sense of grandness. The faults here is that the track starts and ends too distinctively making looping this likely to difficult and is far too short. Twilight of the Gods is longer and has a more refined since of drama but carries with it an extended low energy intro which interferes with the track’s need of consistency.
If you have any questions, please shoot us over a message through Audio Catch, we’ll try to answer all of it, don’t be shy. We can’t wait to hear how you bring this scene to life! Good luck!!!