Nick Kalata

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Nicholas Alexander Kalata
Nick Kalata - 3.jpg
Local Νικόλαος Καλατα
Born 1994-06-08
Birth Place Seattle, Washington, USA
Nationality American   USA.svg
Aliases Doommaster1994
Website nickkalata.webs.com

Nick Kalata is an American composer and sound designer who was born June 8, 1994 in Seattle, Washington. At a young age, around 10, Nick's parents bought him an Epiphone Jr. with a Marshall amplifier, and he learned to play the electric guitar. He started to play the Casio LK-40 keyboard at his grandmother's house. Listening to Barenaked Ladies got him into music and Kevin Hearn got him into playing keyboards. After that, he started to learn songs by ear. Nick's musical influences include other video game musicians and 90's bands such as Alan Parsons Project, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Sting, and many others. Nick took band class from 7th grade to 11th grade and quit during his senior year. Nick plays keyboards (inspired by Kevin Hearn), Nick also plays guitar (Jerry Cantrell/Noodles), drums, and bass (Sting). Nick's favorite video game of all time and the first game he ever played is Pool of Radiance (NES). He also enjoys Famicom games such as Hector 87 and Die Hard. Besides music, Nick knows a little C++ programming. Nick also logs VGM files. Nick is also a music transcriber for both conventional music and video game music. He has also ported several Non-NES soundtracks to the NES, including Predator 2 (GEN) and WaxWorks (DOS). His favorite PSG sound chip is the RP2A03 and his favorite FM sound chip is the YM3812.

Nick's musical influences are ones he listens to the most, Sting and Chicago being his most influential. He also likes Steely Dan, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Smithereens, and Seattle grunge bands including Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Presidents of the United States of America, Squeeze, and Nirvana. Currently, Nick listens to Queen.

In 2015, Nick was in the band Waking Maya as a bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist. However, on September 6, 2016, he departed and then decided pursue music on his own.

History

I really can't remember how my passion for video game music started. I believe it started around when I was 15 years old. I composed my first "song" when I was talking to a friend, and seeing the ending to an old computer game, and for some reason, it made me have to write something. I wrote that "song" on an old program called Adlib Visual Composer, a program Frank Klepacki told me about. I eventually moved on to MIDI sequencers. Ever since I got it from Rob Wallace, I compose MIDI files with Digital Orchestrator. Since then, I've somehow been obsessed with video game music. I've been in band since 7th grade and left in 12th grade for personal reasons. I've pretty much figured music out by myself though, band hasn't really done anything, although before I had band in 11th grade I didn't know how to read sheet music. Other than that, music comes naturally to me. The way I compose... I come up with an idea in my head, and if I think it sounds good, I write it down, but if I think it sounds bad, I forget about it. Then after that, I "compose as I go", where something tells me where to put a note, the length of it, and what note it is. I am hoping that I will be able to compose more retro video game music and later have my own band and produce my own CDs.

Music Development

Nick on how he makes music and sound effects.

For music, I will come up with an idea in my head. If I don't like the idea, I ignore it, but if I like it (and sometimes even when I don't), I'll put it into music. Then I just compose as I go, as there's some mechanism in my head telling me where to put each note, how long the notes are, and what the pitch of the note is. I notice I use blues scales in most of my songs. I'm not sure why I do that, but I guess I just like the way the scale sounds.

Creating sound effects is tougher for me, since I haven't really dabbled in sound effects design. When I write 8-bit sound effects, I try to make them sound as real as the console will let me.

NES

I used Digital Orchestrator Pro (the same exact copy Rob Wallace used, in fact!) and composed MIDI files and converted them to NES music.

WEB

I used FamiTracker using my own instruments. I am most proud of the electric guitar patch I made, as I think it sounds close enough to a real electric guitar.

W32/W64

Drift(Over)Drive

At first, I used Famitracker. Then, the programmer of the game asked for a more 'universal' format, so I wrote MIDI files with Digital Orchestrator Pro. Some of my songs from Shoot 'Em Down were used in the game because the programmer thought they fit with the game. The programmer then converted the music to FM in FL Studio. As far as composition, I took inspiration mainly from Final Lap (FC). The title screen music definitely shows that. For other songs in the game, I took inspiration from Chicago. I also would write whatever the programmer asked me to, and I also wrote what I saw fit.

Gameography

Released Title Sample
2011-??-?? Adventure Cavern (WEB) (Level 1 Music)
2016 (TBA) Drift (Over) Drive (W64)
Unreleased Back to the Future Part III (NES)
Unreleased Crazy Taxi 2 (NES)
Unreleased Dungeon Hack (NES)
Unreleased Faces ...tris III (NES)
Unreleased Gateway to the Savage Frontier (NES)
Unreleased Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker (NES)
Unreleased Maze Madness (NES)
Unreleased Predator 2 (NES)
Unreleased Secret of the Silver Blades (NES)
Unreleased Super Tetris (NES)
Unreleased Treasures of the Savage Frontier (NES)
Unreleased Vegas Stakes (NES)
Unreleased WaxWorks (NES)
Unreleased Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? (NES)
Unreleased Wordtris (NES)

Picture Gallery

Links