Dylan Heisler

Video Game Composition

Dylan Heisler on SoundBetter

Music is emotion you can hear. Give me a vision and I'll give it a soundtrack.

I’ve been playing music for 20 years including getting my BFA in Audio Production with a minor in Music Performance with a focus on Guitar, though I studied Bass and Percussion as well. I have played with a number of musical productions both live and studio ranging from session playing for albums to being the live band for theater productions. I have worked in several recording studios in a recording, producing and arranging capacity around the East Coast USA and have finally branched off to provide my services alone.

The minimum I need from you is vision. Paint the musical picture you want to express and anything beyond that is a bonus. I value clear communication and timely production.

Primarily for music production and composition, I operate mostly in Studio One. My toolset ranges vastly from A full Native Instruments Suite, Vienna Symphonic Library, to live instruments recorded in several available spaces using industry standard microphones such as AKG C414, Royer R-10, Rode K2, etc. My instrumental proficiency focuses on Electric and Acoustic guitar, Electric Bass, and Drumset or Hand Percussion with Instruments from PRS, Gibson, Matchless, Fender, Ibanez, Takamine, Taylor, Pearl, Yamaha and more. Recording and mixing is done through Allen and Heath and Motu preamps over KRK, QSC and Genelec monitors.

Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Interview with Dylan Heisler

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: One of my first real music projects (10+ years ago) is still one of my favorites. Working with a fantastic Singer-songwriter and friend from Korea, he had to leave the USA and go back to Korea at the end of the year. He was going to sell his Taylor Acoustic guitar to pay for transportation but I convinced him we'd find a different way to pay for it. Within 3 months he and I had recorded a full album, marketed and produced a live concert with over 500 people, recorded the concert and put out a live DVD for the whole show. Between the concert tickets and CD/DVD sales, we raised several thousand dollars to send him home comfortably where he now has a growing music career.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I'm working on an indie mobile game called Word Hero RPG with a small but powerful dev team. I am writing the full soundtrack for the game, some of which can be heard on my SoundCloud page.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: Ugh.... yes. Both. They each have their sound and now that they are both options, they each have their place in the production process based on the project. If you can get digital to sound warm, that's my favorite. Allen and Heath pre-amps over QSC speakers is my favorite combination of amplification for blasting music.

  7. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  8. A: I intend to care about your project at least as much as you do.

  9. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  10. A: It's cheap and it's easy. Write for free until you have a portfolio built and then realize what your time is worth.

  11. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  12. A: What is the goal or overall emotion your final product is trying to accomplish?

  13. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  14. A: Trust your ear and trust your heart (cheesy, I know) but if something moves you, it's good. I've seen too many producers and engineers over-engineer something because "that's the industry standard" but if something is well written, the mix should emphasize that, not squash it in compression.

  15. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  16. A: My diverse musical tastes. While I primarily compose orchestral pieces due to the nature of most modern video games, I listen to SO much music including classical, jazz, gospel, prog-metal, bluegrass, K-pop, dubstep, rap, and more. Coming from a composition background, as I listen to music, I deconstruct every part of it as if I have to write a piece in that style.

  17. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  18. A: Emotion and memory. I want to produce the music I have carried with me since childhood. The music that took me to other worlds in video games and when I hear a melody, chord progression or sometimes even the certain tone of an instrument, I can picture exactly where in that world I last heard that song. I want to make that experience for others.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. A: The foundation of my music approach is emotion. That typically comes from chords and can usually be started with a minimum of two chords. Once I have a starting point, I hear the melody that sings over those chords. I follow it as it evolves and demands more chords until it's done telling its story. Then I pick its voice and decorate it with the necessary instrumental components.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. A: After losing my off-site recording and production studio to a natural disaster, I have rebuilt at least the production studio at home. With a combination of Finale, Studio One, and Ableton for writing, recording, producing and mixing, I use Allen and Heath and Motu pre-amps to send mixes to Genelec, QSC and KRK studio monitors to get diverse feedback on a mix. My VST library is expansive including full suites from Native Instruments, Vienna Symphonic Library, Omnisphere, Ghosthack, and more. Mixing plugins from Waves, Slate, Izotope and other industry standards.

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. A: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Koji Kondo (Legend of Zelda) Joe Hisaishi (Studio Ghibli), Chris Thile (Nickle Creek, Punch Brothers), Paul Gilbert, Cobus Potgeiter, and I'm sure there's more but that covers my biggest influences.

  25. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  26. A: Most of my work is instrumental loops for video games. A game, character, or location needs a memorable theme that properly conveys the emotional tone that icon contributes to the overall work. A character could be the Hero, Villain, or someone you've yet to see the true side of. A city may have welcomed you in the beginning until you return and it's suddenly burned to the ground. A theme is an identifying piece of a game, the song carries it through the story.

Cloud Tops

I was the Composer, Arranger, Mix Engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

Standard Turnaround 7 days with 3 revisions, rush orders available depending on service, prices negotiable, bulk rates available.

GenresSounds Like
  • Nobuo Uematsu
  • Koji Kondo
  • Joe Hisaishi
Gear Highlights
  • Native Instruments Ultimate Collection
  • Omnisphere Synth
  • AKG C414
  • Matchless guitar Amplifiers
  • PRS
  • Gibson
  • Fender
  • Ibanez
More Photos
More Samples