David Battino On Scoring For Video Games & ‘Mushroom Mayhem’

Author and synthesist David Battino (Keyboard magazine, The Art Of Digital Music) let us know about a new project he’s been working on, an iOS video game that’s inspired by arcade classics like Space Invaders and Galaga.

In Mushroom Mayhem, you play as Professor Frank Funguy, piloting a rocket-powered microbus through space, defending Earth against swarms of giant mushrooms.

Battino shared some background on how he created the soundtrack:

Because Mushroom Mayhem is an iOS game, I set out to make the music on iOS chiptune apps. I programmed one-bar loops in Nanoloop, then strung them together in Ableton Live and added reverb and delay.

For the retro sound effects, I used a fantastic web app called ChipTone and a Windows program called LabChirp.

Then we decided to add an intro animation. I created a reference track in Live using drum loops and more powerful synths, and people liked the energy so much that I went back and redid the main soundtrack loop.

Another personality upgrade came when I opened a pack of kung fu sound effects I’d found on Synthtopia. I mixed the grunts and punches with the music and 8-bit sound effects to add excitement.

My favorite sound effect is when the Space Pig appears onscreen and starts gobbling mushrooms. To make it, I sampled the Mac speech synth chanting “Galaga, Galaga, Galaga,” and then applied extreme pitch modulation with SFX Machine to create a grunting sound.

Mushroom Mayhem is a free download in the App Store. Additional features are available via In-App purchases.