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May 2, 2023

Episode 471 – Game Composer Dren McDonald, 5 Things About The Musician’s Brain, And An AI Music Primer

Dren McDonald episode #471

My guest this week is composer and producer Dren McDonald who has done everything from experimental indie rock to video game music to string quartet chamber music to film and VR animation soundtracks.

He has worked with game studios and publishers such as Valve Corporation, Ubisoft, Glu Mobile, DeNA/Hasbro, Romero Games, Zynga, Tapulous, and others, and he’s been nominated for awards for his soundtrack, music and sound design work 16 times and has won 5 times.

Dren also created music and audio designs for AR and VR experiences at Facebook, and taught at University of California, Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

He has released several original game soundtrack releases on Nerdtracks Recordings, as well as instrumental recordings for Appearing Records.

During the interview we spoke about how he got into video games, directing voice overs for games, how sound design is different for games than film, working on AR audio for Facebook, his new album built around hundreds of guitar tracks, and much more.

Find out more about Dren and his new album at DrenMcDonald.com.

I spoke with Dren via Zoom from his studio in the Bay area.

On the intro I’ll take a look at the 5 things that musicians should know about the brain, and an AI for music primer.

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