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Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 3, Episode 32 · 8 months ago

Bonus Action - McRoMusic

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Carlos and Braeden sit down with Sean McRoberts, the creator and composer behind McRoMusic, a TTRPG-focused music project, to discuss his influences, creative process and upcoming projects.

Bloman PERSO society and welcome backto triple advantage bonus action episode. It's been some time today we have one of the first of manyhopeful interviewes coming from the DNDTTRPG space. It's wonderful wed.Have the creator composer behind mccro, music, SEAN MC Roberts, Sean Hello,welcome to the show. How are you ou so much for having me I'm very tired, but I'm happy to talk about dunges anddragons and music and just dive into this love it and, of course, today joiningus. We have a braiden from the regular circle, atmantage podcast say HelteBraden. If you want hello, I'm also very tired, thank you for thank you foragreeing to wake up early with a shot. All Right, yes, get your coffees in youguys and O. Let's get into this, so Shan acouple ice, breaker questions that we have in general, we're always curious as to how peoplegot into t thrpgs and just generally your background in the genre, so direct question here: How did you findDungeons and dragons or f? You know whatever ttrpd that you like to play.Normally I mean like off and on through likehigh school and stuff like I would try to like. I didn't have like money to buy books,so I would look up like the three point: Five E, like players, handbook and DMGand stuff like online, and try to find that and try to fig frend try to findfriends to play with, but we didn't really know what we weredoing and then that happened like a couple of timesand like it was always like this thing like in the back of my mind like man,it would be really cool to like play. Some table. Tope games with somefriends hang out the whole. You know thing and then in two thousand and eighteen,my best friend had a another friend that was startinga new campaign and needed a couple, more players and invited me and my wifeto join them and, like we were just hooked fromsession zero like it. Just like all gas, no breaks from that pointforward. You remember what you played what'sthat d? What did you play on the ties? It was FIB, okay, cool, and I guess I was meaningmore like what kind of what class race lhok on character. Did you have? Ohsorry, yeah I was a ranger pretty classic starrin one. I thinkyeah I mean I'm a big fan like I played world o warcraft back in the day andloved my hunter. When did you start playing well likewhat did it? What a Perdon? Oh G, Oh wow, okay, yeah, so vanilla,Vanilla, yeah yeah! I got I got into world of workaft in wrath, and that waspretty much when I started it high...

...school, I got. I bought a video cardthat came with like a third day wild trial, and I remember going to like thetable of friends and I was like who else plays here. It sucked my life for about a year. Ipretty sure I always got into like the auctionhouse and like reselling, the alchemy stuff for like right days and Oneon myservey. It got like very money ball, oh yeah. It got it got while the woweconomy was insane te crazy game like and like it's so oddbecause like for me, I started with like role playing games and then it isvery similar to how you kind of started. I had a friend I had that. I think wegot to the three point: Fivee starter edition, but we kind of didn't evenread the rules we just sort of like laid out the maps and minis and we werelike okay, we're GOINGNA, run mock dungeons and it was like a one on onetype thing which I don't even know. If, like I could even say like there was adugeon master. Hi was like a turnbase thing that we were just doing againstmonsters and then just rolling against ourselves when they attack US yeah. Do you have like a fond dndmemory that you can recall, or I could probably talk about that allday? If I'm being honest, fondnd memory, I'm trying to think of areally good one, so one of my characters was an evil aligned. A HIGHEL farlock and the rest of the party was not awarethat he was evil and kind of doing some things behind their back, so like framing NPCs and stuff forthings that I had done and then like seeing those events playout and then like basically seeing the rest of the partyTurne into like murder, hobos against those npcs that were completelyinnocent and like we're just trying to live their lives and better themselvesand stuff was really like satisfying for thatcharacter arc. It did eventually come to light that,like yeah, I mean he's doing bad stuff, but like now he's trying to do badstuff for good people IC, it's a little change apart. Bradenlikes to play a lot of warlogs ibecause ie, never see mabe the same person Seanbecause I've done the exact same thing with an Alvin warlock in a party. It's so much fun! It's great! What was't yeah! I mean you got to have the right group of people for that are oreverybody's just mad, but yeah. Fortunately enough like that. That was like at the very beginning oflike playing with a new group and then we all became like friends. So I waslike divulging things like out of character like actually this thing thathappened that was Aravan. I did that I burned down our boats, so we couldn'tget back home, so we had to treck...

...forward yeah. That's that's fantastic! I justremember the storry Briting O Yeu, like casting some of lesser demons orgreater demons. andsed some oe ooi shop, keep made me mad. So I cast a summonlesser demons in the shop and everybody didn't like that. Nobody, nobody likedthat, but I was also the only one within knowledge of the arcade, so Iwas just like yeah it. It happens. You know demon stemens, just pop up likewhat do you mean some of the some of them get off my back and everybody justkind of bought that so that was fun. Oh warlocks, O we do with that. Youhave a decent get a lot more done, yeah, probably actually yeah so shan. I then from starting to playthe ind to what you're doing creatively now when and how did you decide to startmaking ombience? Is that something that you've always enjoyed at the table? It kind of was a thing that just kindof came about as like a byproduct of the Pandimic like I was just at home for pretty much like two three monthsstraight and had a friend that was creating likebattle maps and stuff and releasing them on Patreon and like he started, tosee like a little bit of like growth and success, and I was like Hm. I coulddo that, but with music, and I mean I've like been playing music for nearly twentyyears in some capacity, whether that is like middle school band, playing tenor,saxphone or like playing shout out tenor. Sacks. I played that to in inhigh school or like mediocre, like rock bands likelocal to my area, and then I got into like recording after my wife and I lik had our second child no first child andthen that kind of fell off and than I tried to get into like composing forlike Independent Video Games, but that's just a really hard market tobreak into so for a really long time, from liketwo thousand and fourteen to like two thousand and twenty, I wasn't reallylike putting any music out into the world and then covid happened. I was bored at home andwas like Ilet's see what happens pretty much so the same thing aboutthis entire podcast. At that point really yeah, I think probably a lot ofcreative endeavors have have been born from this. What Kaoli, Sour bordne live in rightnow? Do you so you've mentioned youmentioned quite a few influences there? Do you really draw from anything thatyou listen to normally when you're,...

...creating stuff for Mikrov, or is itfairly off the dome based on ttrpg alone? It kind of depends on the project. So if it's like a commissioned piece orsomething like that, and they have like a reference track, you know I'll definitely like dissectthe theory behind that kind of get into like the cord progressions like themelodies, the instrumentation, and try to like more or less rip that off, becausethat's like the vibe that they want. You know, but make it different enough that it'slike this is not this piece of music. This is an original piece of music. That's all music is right exactly, but for like normal patreon releases. Honestly, what I do is I'll get on liketicktock and like just search music theory or cord progressions and thenfind a cool chord progression that I like and then just build something aroundthat a lot of the Times like I've done that, like three or four times so with that is there? Is there like atick talk, Pasta, version of music that you found? How does it like? How does it work? I,like I'm, not actually even part of tick talk to ye o as like. I haven'treally like dove into that space, but there's so many avenues. I've heard forlike cooking music creators- I guess in this case like do you bind certainartists on Tick Tock that you like to follow, or is it just like? The elarlynow like, like, I said I'll, just likesearch that like terminology and then click on some videos and then, if Ithink like what they're playing like it's usually like a guy at a piano.That's like do here's this cord progression play something over. Itkind of thing like do et this or whatever Okol and yeah I'll, just like write down a wholebunch of different cord progressions and then kind of like works throughthem, like myself and kind of figure out different things because, againlike I would love to be doing this full time, but like little, things like that, makethe creative process a lot easier, because it's already like built a basefor me to kind of you know build around and like make myown thing out of, but general inspiration like favorite,composers and things like that final fantasy series. Nobuo Yumasu is abig one for me, as well as like the western composer Inia morcone back in, like the s I think was when,like all those like Spaghetti, Westerns were like a really big thing. Yes, thos is what kind of music do youlisten to normally? Do you find yourself spending time listening tolike ambience, music or...

I do sometimes, but it's also hard to create music whenyou're listening to music a'm, not a music crater would havethought the opposite. Usually that, because, usually I don't know likeBrirten, how does that Ci hear to you, I'm with drown on this one? Do you everdo you ever listen to your own sho like if you're trying to get into a creativeheadspace, like you, listen back on stuff that you've created in the past honestly, all the time yeah, I I'm right there with you. I think, like some of the stuff that Ihave like worked on. Like I mean I'm not trying to tout my own horn, but,like I think it's pretty good ar I wouldn'trelease, is very good and then sometimes like my wife and Iwe share like an office space and her desk is like, on the other side of theroom from mine and sometimes she'll, be like hey play, that one thing that youdid for this, because she is also like a creativeperson. Nd will like work on art just sitting in here so's, like areally positive little creative office that you guys have them. Beugus aresort of peeting back and forth, jealous it's pretty nice yeah yeah and I got to say, like th t,that's one of the things that like really Wen listening to your tracks,it's one of the things that really impressed me about it is that there'ssuch a first of all, like between the albums right, like there's such abreath of just like styles, between the songs that you have and then withinthose songs. There's so many like musical instruments, and you can tellthat it's truly a composition and you're bringing I a lot of elementstogether and you're orchestrating this into a song,and it's it's really impressive to me like doyou? Do you play a lot of those instrumentsor do just necessarily pull from theory and just adapted to to the sounds that you want to add o toyour sougs? So it's pretty much like what I'mplaying is all like a like a keyboard that is connected to my computer, and Ihave like a massive library of like different instruments as part of like a subscription servicething kind of like how adobe has like their creative, sueit and stuff likethat stuff, like that exists for like musicand cl like audio plug and stuff, like that as well. So and then, if I'm like, because piano isnot my main instrument. So if I like am unable to play what I want it to beI'll like just like plug it in on, like the piano roll in my work station, but that's super tedious to me. I can imagine yeah, like I, zeroknowledge of what like music production is is like to be honest. It's like t lots of fun,...

Jack Arless I I'm looking at so is hotter than hell.I'm not I'm not a patrion subscriber. Unfortunately, I'm sad to say that youneed money for that. We got to change that yeah. We do Ocarlos, give me money.I need to subscribe to Shan, but I'm looking at your band camp relesesHarter Than Hell, is that Mani. Is that your most recent one on Band Camp Yeah? I do need to do some updating to that, because you have a lot of stuff on yourinstagram, that's not on bad camp yeah, yes, and like the promotional stuff, Ilike twitter, like I'm, pretty much releasing at least a new piece of musicevery week, okay, and also collaborating with othercreators Loik in the community, like people that do like maps or adventuresand providing like track specific for those and kind of bundling them andreleasing them together. I think in February I did like a total of like twelve orthirteen tracks wow, and it was honestly overwhelmingso I've scaled that back a bit for March. That's that's great to me. I do I domaybe six every month and a half, and that I couldn't do what you do, my goodness, but looking at hotter than Hellh,specifically so you've crafted a six track soundtrack to go along withdescend into Avernis. The DND adventure have you so I'm guessing Earlieah, youprobably played through Avernus at one point or another, to a certain extent, R DM kind of combined that module with acquisitions incorporated if you'refamiliar with that one interesting okay, I don't know if it played out exactlyhow he wanted in like his mind and the avernas modulewas maybe like not as cool as everybody thought. Itwas going to be from like a story standpoint advertising made it made, it seem likeit was going to be incredible. It's definitely it was fun, but there's so many other like big,powerful entities that exist like because you're in hell. I don't. I don't know that you feellike the heroes at the end. Like it's mor like we helped, I be the patties Eno. We have zereal doher thing. Maybe if we rolled a high enough persuasion check, but we are, what did we do? I don'tknow we were just in hall for a long...

...time mean tosty. So when you, when you, then, when youwent to work on hotter than help, was that, were there specific moments that youwere trying to bring to life? Was it a general ambient soundtrack or were youlooking at maybe a specific encounter, a specificlocation in averness and going that's what I'm trying to bring to life in mysounds so for hotter than hell. There are definitely like some that aredefinitely intended to be kind of sound tracks for certain parts of the module like infernal war.Machines is just something that I came up with havehave you played the module? Are you familiar with it? I've read through itus a couple of times, but I never played it myself. Carlos okay. I'venever had pleasure playing upernext in Gotcha, so the infernal war machinesare basically like motorcycles that run on demon, icere ICRE. I think it's iker well ask fother, and so that is like very much just likea straightforward kind of metal kind of song to kind of go withthat, like you're riding through hell on motorcycles, like of course going tobe like this driving baseline and like guitar driven thing and the wandering emporium also is kindof in the description for that area. It talks about, like a lot of like youbeing able to hear percussive instruments. So that's it's just like acollection of different percussive like sections that I put together, I reallylike that. Butotheway, like I'm, a suker forpercussion like just deep bass and it's like any song, so I was bibing with that. A lot and likesomethong that I really enjoyed was like, like again just like the scoperight, like you're, going from like metal tracks to like very heavy forcuts of tracks like what's your experience. Composingin that end, like that's, that's a like. I don't know, fror my unexperienced iy.That's a that, like a that's, already kind of like a broad range and then,like all your other songs, are like very different sort of genres withinyour album as well. I would say that, like being a part oflike high school band kind of helps shaped that so, like I know like what a composition likethat should sound like. I was fortunate enough to have like avery well funded, very large, like music program at my high school. So I felt you know very fortunate, assomebody that loved music, that I got to experience like cool kind ofproduction stuff like we did a lot of...

...fun stuff, I'm not going to get superdeep into that and then also I was inquoir as well, and we did some stuff with like localorchestras on occasion, ind working with like other choirs andlike working with the band department. So since, like high school, like I've,just had an idea of like what a full composition you know in various genres would soundlike, and our school also offered a couple ofmusic theory courses like as electives, and I thought that I would be going to schoolto college for, like music composition, music education like I wanted to be inthat space, and then I got lazy as an eighteen year old, but I definitely took advantage ofthose courses at that time and a lot of that has like stuck with me and then, as I said, like I played in abunch of crappy rock bands, so I was around like other bands and, like thethis whole like rock and metal scene. So you know, I definitely feel like thoseexperiences combined have given me like a very wide range of knowledge of different kinds of music.I guess yeah. I think it's hard for me to relate to somethinglike this, but I know Braden is also part of a of a couple local Bahands aswell, so I do maybe etin maybe he's connecting with you a little bit more. Yes, I only play in crappy rock bans.That's my requirements. If they're, if they're good, it don't need me, but I I do one thing that I do want to pickyour brain about a little bit as a creator is Patrion, because I know weat the Rose Society we use DM's Gild for our physical releases. Physical quote,unquote, digital, but, like written releases, I suppose, has the word. We use sounder for a podcasting platform andthen I as a musician use band camp as a releasetool, but we've always we've kind of batted around Patreon as something wemay pursue. Do you ee? What do you feel like are the pros and cons if that is acreative like do you feel it gives you more freedom to do what you want? Doyou feel like you're, almost BEHOLDENTO, your patrons at that point like where?Is it wher? What a you? What are your thoughts on that? I honestly think that anybody that iswilling to sign up to be like a patron of somebody's patreon doesn'tnecessarily care so much about like the rewards that they get or whatever. Ithink that a lot of times, it's more like I support your body of work andlike I've, got a couple extra bucks and I want to support it like financiallylike. I have no idea like what the like analytics would say about like howmany of my patrons are downloading or...

...like viewing each specific track oranything like that. But yeah, I don't know, I paypatreon is kind of a weird beast. I just feel like the the name.Recognition of it is kind of what drew me to it initially, especially like in the TT RPG space,but I'm sure that there are plenty of likealternatives that you could get. The same thing from Hugegan is just the one that I landedon. You would say, though, that you've had pretty much positive experiencesfor the most part, Whith yous for the most part yeah. The way that, like numbers and stuff,sometimes work like are weird like if people leave like it, doesn't notify you O or reflect that in, like your activepatrons until the end of the month, which is kind of a weird thing. I thinkthat is strange. Sur Suddenly get paid and you rea less. You have half thepaycheck. You did last month, tit's kind of weird. I yeah something likethat me personally. That has not happened, but I know like a ton ofcreators that you know have more successful.patreons like they do have significant amount of like positive and negativeflux in their numbers over the course of the month. That patreon just doesnot reflect immediately, and I think that that isstrange to follow that to follow that questionup a little bit, so you did mention previously that you had linked up with several other content creators in orderto do collaborations in orderturt you soundtracks for mops order to all these different packagesthat you do. Are these people that you found through Patreon, because I know alot of them looking into it, do have their own platform on here, or did youfind them just through general marketing and communication? More so, the second one. So there is a very large I'm going tolie and say that it's prestigious as well discord group of creators. I see. Will it tell me how many peopleare in it like yea, like a hundred and fifty people,maybe okay, that are like writers, composers, illustrators map makers, stuff, like that, so a lot of like collaborative stuffcomes from there like I'll, just shoot out a message like hey I'm settingstuff up for April? Is Anybody want to...

...collaborate and there's usually a fewresponses, and then, through doing that, I have a few people that you know it's gone well and we liked what each of us was working onthroughout the project. So I'll just message them directly on discord and belike hey. You want to do that again. Like sure yeah awesome, it's a really. I really likethis community for that. Actually, like I've, been noticing a lot of other groups, especially like people who aretrying to make like virtual table top services and whatnot like they're,starting to create like bundled packages of maps and music and presetsort of prestaged environment. So it's really interesting what this isallowed, especially like with the boom of like how many players are noactively like spending time on tabletop Cam Stou. It's really cool to see that actuallylike. I had no idea that south fromi Saturday was a thing until Braden foundout about it. Ind stert of just posting on it on started, spamming our link toeverybody that would possitae link you yeah, but like even just like I lovescrorling through and seeing what people are. Posting is actually super.Super Super Cool like we were talking about it on the podcast earlier, but there's some peoplecreating really interesting game settings and really interesting, podcast or mats,and it's it's inspiring to seal that and definitely percolate a little bitof that information. You try to adapt a little bit at least an our Endri,because, like we're running we're trying to run a show and trying to Li,do this lo sort of creative group type F thing: It's it's definitely in ourbest interest to keep track of what people are creating, and it's so muchand it's so exciting to see it can be a little overwhelming, oh yeah, for sureabsolutely there's so m, there's so many there's. So many dnd shows nowlike if you go on twitch like the categores just like so many tlikepeople are trying to like shoot their shot and create something, and it'sreally wonderful to see if I think right like it's, a lot of people thatnormally wouldn't get there like would normally like have the the Gusso to do like something unique,but because of the nature of Dnd right, like the nature of like the the gameitself, or you know, ttrpgs, like the Party style right, it gets everybodytogether, it's really cool firs, but yeah shot. What can we expect from you like? Whatare you? What are the next couple things t you're working on and that'sSooly at so job interviewe like what do you bring to the table Shan so Chon? Ifyou were to tell me what your biggest bigest weakness, Sho, no Ot's, ourbiggest PCI, think trying to ask is what? U? What do you have coming up?Next? What do you wicmeeks? That's you in the creative spa, better way, obask biggest weakness is definitely takingon too many projects at once, upcoming starting on April. First andthen monthly I'll be releasing to my...

...highest Eron Patreon playlist modules that you can loaddirectly into foundry virtual tabletop. That is like a curated kind of collection of tracks to set like acertain mood, so the one coming up in April is all actually like the first tracks that Idid for Patreon, which Ar Collection of twelve tracks based on the twelvelabors of Hercules, for like a tharogh setting or othersetting based in like mythology, that's really s thats the coolest thing.I've ever heard, that's really Awso and then I'm trying to keep a googlesheet of like them. What is coming up monthly after that? So I think, probably will do like a combat. Onewill probably release the hatter than hell as a foundry module and Yeah I've got. I've got a couplemore in the pipeline that I'm thinking about. Well, I think that this is a reallycool way for me to get like a back catalog of my music back out in frontof people, because when I started my patreon likeI was mostly just like posting to friends for several months in a row, and then you know like slowly likepeople that, like I didn't know, started trickle hen. I remember I wantto say it was like, maybe November of last year when I gotlike my first person that, like I did not know as apatron, and I was like freaking out about it- El this ranger likes my stuff, yeah, think yeah. I think we had a similar feelingwhen he, the first person that wasn't in Er friend group, followed this RoyalCity societyes instagram page or something it's like baby steps are over. It's such a good feeling, yeah like it's. You want to quit likeyour job and just like dive into it, but you know you can't, because that a bad idea, stupid job security, keeping me fromthe dreams. It's cool, though, because ike thiskind of builds out that sort of quoteunquote portfolio right. So I'm really hopeful for you Shauna,hopefully, that you know some game studio, finds you ten that befun it's, but it's been wonderful talking to! U We're just running onto the the end ofthe the show here. Is there anything you'd like to shout out to the...

Internet in general? Here I guess you know check out my PatreonPatreoncom mcro music. Follow me on twitter at Sean mcro. Imostly just do a lot of retweeting of other creators and and stuff like that. So, if you'relooking for other people to follow, you can probably find a pretty pretty good list on my twitter feed yeah. Aside from that, I think I thinkthat that that's that's all I got and you have bandcamp to so make sureright. Liten s go check, ou, bad cap, the forgotten child that took it. Wegot you yeah, I, let's log into band camp, because Idon't remember what the link for that is. Those have been pretty fun. I thinkyou're, actually the first person that we have thit's not within the likeagain like the little friend group that we have that's on this show and thish's been really fun for me. I thinknow just actually interacting with people in the community and we at the royalcity society or looking forward todo this more and more, and hopefully we can have you back on in the future. Yeah I mean I had a blast. I would loveto be back on whenever you guys want me Imas that band camp aeway is mic. Ro,music, dot, Ban Campcom for anybody just looking I thi I just got itfigured out. I will I will be definitely picking up hopger than hellon the next band camp Friday. For sure I suggest everybody listening go. Dothe same. It's a great album! WELSO! It's been wonderful, having IUhere and till next time.

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