Composing Music for Unreal

Alexander Brandon
Straylight Productions


Many apologies for the lack of updates to this page. They've been long overdue, and there is much to report regarding Unreal's music. Expect to see regular updates from now on. Also stop by the Straylight site for updates concerning interactive music using the Unreal Engine as well!

Last Updated: 07/09/1999

Programs to use

There are many choices now for composing music using the Unreal Engine. Unreal, Unreal Tournament, and the Unreal Mission Pack all used MOD files, which were chosen because of small file size and excellent quality compared to MIDI based files. New developments, however, have led to new ways of music reproduction in the engine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I play Unreal music outside of Unreal?

Try going into UnrealED, go to the texture browser, select "Music", and load the song you want (.UMX file).. then press the Export button. You will be able to export the file selected as an Impulse Tracker (.IT) file. The .IT file can be then played in WinAMP or other Windows MOD players (available at Maz' Sound Tools).

I'm trying to use Impulse Tracker files with Unreal, but they won't play. Why?

The Galaxy audio engine within Unreal does not support certain extended features of Impulse Tracker, such as New Note Actions (when you use 'instruments' instead of 'samples' in IT, for instance). However, it DOES support ping pong looping, 16 bit files, up to 32 channels (64, if you don't want sound fx playing ), and panning envelopes. No volume envelopes, though.

Can I play multiple WAV files for interactive music?

Yes. Galaxy can play up to 64 WAV files at once. Be warned however, that using more than 2 or three WAV files over 2 megs in size will slow down the system.

Did more people work on Unreal than you and Michiel Van Den Bos?

Yep! Andrew Sega contributed a song to Unreal. His nick is "necros" and he is currently working at Digital Anvil. Another contributor was Dan Gardopee, my partner and the co-founder of Straylight Productions.