The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is on Fire

December 1, 2017



Andrew Dyche is a computer design student who has been dipping his toe into the world of level design using the Unreal Engine. As he’s also my cousin, I agreed to do some music to accompany one of his demonstration videos.


The scene is a destroyed building top, littered with chaos and carnage. We agreed that musically it should be dramatic and apocalyptic. We listened to lots of different action movie soundtracks to get a decent starting point.


Initially it’s always good to map out a logical tempo that matches the pace of the moving images. However due to the random camera movements, nothing seemed to flow! As a fix, we manually marked a point where we felt the music should move at every key part, for example when the camera cuts to a new room, or travels through a doorway.


With these markers in place we then found some satisfyingly dramatic chords that provide the core structure of the song. We were quite pleased with melody in these chords, so we didn’t worry about finding a new melody to sit over the top of these. Instead we spent a lot of time adding many layers of compressed synths and percussive noises in order to cram as much atmosphere into the scene.


It’s worth noting that we wrote the music to this video when there were no textures on the visuals, so we flying blind! Future iterations may incorporate things like the sound of fire crackling, neon lights throbbing, and other relevant sound effects as the scene develops, but for now the music serves its purpose.


We were pretty happy with what we knocked up in a few hours. Andrew got top marks for this assignment, so all in all we can chalk this up as a successful project!


The link for the video is . While you're there, subscribe like and share!


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