How to Compose Video Game Music with Sam Kargus

This video podcast episode features a comprehensive interview with Sam Kargus, who share his tips and tricks on how to compose video game music. Starting from his early days experimenting with kitchenware to becoming a skilled drummer, Sam’s initial foray into music was heavily influenced by 70s progressive rock. Pursuing his passion, Sam attended Wilford Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he majored in music theory and composition, eventually working with live musicians and orchestrating for full orchestras with the support of grants. His career has spanned numerous live performances, including traditional West African music and collaborations in musical theater, which blend visual art with live music. Recently, Sam has ventured into composing for video games, working on a rhythm music game with a local developer.

Throughout the interview, Sam discusses his composing style, heavily influenced by film scores, especially John Williams’ work on Star Wars, and his unique approach to creating music that combines his drumming background with classical orchestration. He provides insights into his workflow, including his process for composing music in a digital audio workstation (DAW), specifically Reaper, and his strategies for crafting melodies and harmonies. Sam emphasizes the importance of aligning music with visual elements, such as camera angles, to enhance storytelling, especially in film and video game scoring.


00:00 From Pots and Pans to Orchestras: Sam’s Musical Evolution
03:13 Diving into the World of Video Game Music
03:41 Influences and Collaborations: Shaping Sam’s Musical Style
06:57 Behind the Scenes: Composing with a DAW
19:17 Crafting the Perfect Score: Techniques and Advice

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