What's new

Hired to write a style you dislike/don't care about?

EgM

Game music!
Hi Vi:C friends,

I'm sure many of you have been hired to compose a style you don't particularly like, of course that comes with the job, I know that. My usual styles are typical jRPG and melodic, think Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Xenogears, etc.

One of my past jobs was composing the score for a Gameboy color game back in 2000, I actually liked that one because I started composing music for games a while before that era and I figured it would be the last time ever I'd ever write for 3 channels of melody and 1 noise channel like the NES era.

But now, I'm on this new project which is all Retro8Bit / EDM / Undertale-clone or some hybrid of it. I have to say, it's pretty challenging when you've never-ever listened to EDM, techno, hip hop, and the others. I got lots of rejected drafts mainly because it was either too real or not EDM enough, haha.

I still managed to stay on deadline and finished half the work. But did you end up liking the process? Would you do it again?

I'm just curious to hear about similar views. :)
 
Last edited:

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
I’m not composing as my primary source of income, so I will sometimes turn down a job if...

1) I don’t have enough experience in delivering a style the client wants, and I know I’d possibly deliver an inferior score.

2) I downright dislike the genre.

I like to cover a dynamic variety of genres, but sometimes it’s best to move on to something you’re more comfortable with. If you end up missing the mark, your odds of getting a callback are next to nothing.
 
OP
EgM

EgM

Game music!
I’m not composing as my primary source of income, so I will sometimes turn down a job if...

1) I don’t have enough experience in delivering a style the client wants, and I know I’d possibly deliver an inferior score.

2) I downright dislike the genre.

I like to cover a dynamic variety of genres, but sometimes it’s best to move on to something you’re more comfortable with. If you end up missing the mark, your odds of getting a callback are next to nothing.
Thank you for your comment @Wolfie2112 :)

I don't compose as a primary income myself, I accepted the job because the client offered a more than acceptable deal. He was actually aware of my portfolio but for some reason really wanted me to score this game :)

I don't think odds of getting a callback would be affected here since I'm already hired though.
 

chillbot

Sock Muppet
I have to be able to write in any style that they ask for, but I hate it. There's no real way to collaborate or pass the buck to someone else. What I hate about it is how much I suck at it. Specifically genres like country and rap, for me personally. Actually no, the absolute worst is top-40 pop music that costs a million bucks to produce in real life and they want something that sounds just as produced.

It's kind of like, trying to learn to play every instrument and just getting frustrated with lack of time. You could spend a lifetime to really excel at any one genre, so trying to "fake" it is like learning to play twinkle twinkle reasonably well on guitar but it's the only song you know. Or something. Anyway I sure hope that anyone who is actually a legit rap or country musician/composer never hears any of the crap I attempt.
 
OP
EgM

EgM

Game music!
I have to be able to write in any style that they ask for, but I hate it. There's no real way to collaborate or pass the buck to someone else. What I hate about it is how much I suck at it. Specifically genres like country and rap, for me personally. Actually no, the absolute worst is top-40 pop music that costs a million bucks to produce in real life and they want something that sounds just as produced.

It's kind of like, trying to learn to play every instrument and just getting frustrated with lack of time. You could spend a lifetime to really excel at any one genre, so trying to "fake" it is like learning to play twinkle twinkle reasonably well on guitar but it's the only song you know. Or something. Anyway I sure hope that anyone who is actually a legit rap or country musician/composer never hears any of the crap I attempt.
Well... Rap or Western is kinda extreme @chillbot, I'm not sure anyone would want any sane person to write that :P
 

givemenoughrope

Senior Member
In my experience, with music that I don’t like it’s hard to hit the mark and harder to make changes that get closer to approval. I end up playing it safe and sort of tricking myself into liking some small element to get myself going. Don’t forget that most of the people who do a specific style often just do that style. If a client/library is asking you to be HZ or Dr. Dre one day and Burial and Ted Nugent the next they are just getting the library/tv version most likely. Just do your best I say.
 
OP
EgM

EgM

Game music!
In my experience, with music that I don’t like it’s hard to hit the mark and harder to make changes that get closer to approval. I end up playing it safe and sort of tricking myself into liking some small element to get myself going. Don’t forget that most of the people who do a specific style often just do that style. If a client/library is asking you to be HZ or Dr. Dre one day and Burial and Ted Nugent the next they are just getting the library/tv version most likely. Just do your best I say.
Thank you for your comment @givemenoughrope, Well that's exactly what I have been doing, trying my best. Thankfully it's working so far haha.

I have 3 weeks deadline for 4 other songs so I think I'll be fine but man do I wish for a standard gig next :D
 

Daryl

Senior Member
For me there is a line that cannot be crossed. If I don't understand a style of music, that means I can't tell what is good, and what is not. Therefore, whilst I may be able to write in that style, I don't know whether or not what I've written is any good.

Other than that, I tend not to hate any music. Rather than not liking it, I just tend to be bored by it, but that also often means that I can write it really quickly, usually whilst watching Netflix, or trolling on a forum...!
 

Beluga

Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean
I believe this is part of the job and every project that gets you out of your comfort zone makes you bigger as a composer. I'd say stick with it, bite yourself through it. It helps to learn to appreciate the music you are writing, listen to some stuff look until you find a group/artist you can relate to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EgM
OP
EgM

EgM

Game music!
I believe this is part of the job and every project that gets you out of your comfort zone makes you bigger as a composer. I'd say stick with it, bite yourself through it. It helps to learn to appreciate the music you are writing, listen to some stuff look until you find a group/artist you can relate to.
Bingo! That's exactly how I feel :)
 
Last edited:

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Sounds like being forced to have sex with a person you're really, really not into at all. I could never do it and would never want to.
 

Beluga

Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean
More seriously.. you can only pick 2:

1. good money
2. people you enjoy working with
3. music you enjoy writing

At least IME
 

jmauz

Active Member
Yep, EDM, Rap and modern Pop are the genres that drive me to drink. But it's my job, gotta be professional and all that crap. ;)
 
Top Bottom