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Hello, all.

I've decided to post some lists of royalty-free music from Kevin MacLeod's well-known site Incompetech.com, lists that include tracks and themes chosen as potentially useful for The Dark Mod mission creators. Mr. MacLeod's made plenty of really good royalty-free music over the years, including various ambient themes and other music that could work pretty well in The Dark Mod. From what I know and remember, there's already been a fair few released FMs that used a few tracks from MacLeod's archive, so he is not unknown to the TDM community.

The older (and fully usable) version of MacLeod's site is here and another archive of his royalty-free music can be found here (on Wikimedia Commons).

For the sake of easier reading and finding a song in the lists below, I've arranged them all in alphabetical order.

 

Religious / churchly ambients

Types of settings: Builder churches, chapels, cathedrals, monasteries, abbeys, etc. Various solemn and calm religious ambients.

- Agnus Dei X (somber but livelier in places, male and female choir vocals in muffled Latin)

- Gregorian Chant

- Lasting Hope

- Midnight Meeting

- Organic Meditations 1 and Organic Meditations 2

- Rites

- Private reflection

- Supernatural (good for an abandoned church, spooky candle-lit catacombs, etc.)

- Virtutes Vocis

Potentially:

- Tiny Fugue

- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (famous organ composition by Bach, IMHO might sound too Barocque for a late-medieval style setting, but good for a hint of eerieness)

 

Spooky / horror / ominous ambients

Types of settings: Crypts, catacombs, haunted caves, eerie ruins, lairs and places where undead and other monsters roam, etc. Some of the more industrial-sounding ones could also be useful for missions set at factories or warehouses occupied by criminal gangs, and so on (i.e. also for non-supernatural threats and non-supernatural creepiness).

- Aftermath

- Ancient Rite

- Anxiety

- Apprehension

- Blue Sizzle

- Bump in the Night

- Chase Pulse and Chase Pulse Faster (could work in some ghost-haunted location, with ghosts pursuing the player)

- Classic Horror 3 (good for a haunted house, manor house or other private household interior)

- Crypto

- Dark Pad

- Dark Standoff

- Darkness Speaks (shorter sting, good for a scripted creepy event)

- Decay

- Deep Noise

- Digital Bark

- Distant Tension

- Dopplerette

- Echoes of Time 1

- Echoes of Time 2

- Fire Prelude

- Gathering Darkness

- Ghostpocalypse 1 - The Departure

- Ghost Processional

- Ghost Story

- Grave Matters

- Heart of the Beast

- Himalayan Atmosphere (eerie theme, could work in some ancient ruins)

- Ice Demon

- Irregular

- Land of Phantoms

- Lithium

- Long Note 1, Long Note 2 and Long Note 3

- Medusa

- Mind Scrape

- Mirage

- Nervous

- Night Break

- Ominous (shorter ambient, but pretty spooky)

- One of Them

- Ossuary 1

- Ossuary 5

- Ossuary 6

- Penumbra

- Political Action Ad (yes, a song for this concept has such an ominous atmosphere :D)

- Redletter

- Right Behind You

- Satiate - strings version

- Spacial Harvest

- Spacial Winds (might be good for Middle Eastern themed scares)

- Spider Eyes (this could work well inside a household, or inside some public building)

- Supernatural (calmer melody, good for a haunted religious buldings and its grounds)

- Sunset at Glengorm

- Steel and Seething

- Tenebrous Brothers Carnival - Mermaid (sounds serene, but is rather creepy and tense, maybe underground/underwater ruins)

- The Dread

- The Hive

- The Voices (very otherworldly, good for some haunted area or other dimension)

- Unnatural Situation

- Unease (would sound best in a manor house, museum, or other fancy interiors)

- Unseen Horrors

- Very Low Note

 

Tension-building / mysterious / general ambients

Type of setting/situation: General ambients, especially in parts of FMs where the plot thickens and some coded development is triggered that makes for a new "act" in the overall story of the mission. (Imagine the likes of moonbo's missions and how they're structured and you get a bit of an idea.)

- Air Prelude

- Awkward Meeting (our thief hero or heroine meets an ally or informant for a bit of chit-chat)

- Blue Sizzle (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Crypto (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Dama-May (a bit of a peculiar tense theme, but some might find some uses for it)

- Dark Times

- Disappointment

- Disconcerned

- Dopplerette (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Dragon and Toast

- Enter the Maze

- Fantastic Dim Bar

- Fire Prelude (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Frozen Star (exploring some long-lost ruins, mysterious compound or complex, it's soothing but creepy)

- Ghost Processional (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Gloom Horizon

- Grave Matters (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Greta Sting (a short sting, under twenty seconds, useful for revelatory scripted scenes and building suspense)

- Grim League

- Heavy Heart

- Industrial Music Box (somber and personal, reminds me of the music box theme we already have in the game)

- Interloper

- Invariance

- Irregular (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness/mysteriousness)

- It Is Lost (maybe a theme for exploring some mysterious underground ruins ?)

- Lamentation (maybe a castle or manor house household where bad events transpired)

- Lasting Hope

- Lithium (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Long Note 1, Long Note 2 and Long Note 3 (these are IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Lord of the Land (maybe usable as a quiet background theme while sneaking through a busier castle or manor house)

- Lost Frontier (exploring some city or castle ruins in The Empire that seem majestic at first glance but could hide a darker secret)

- Mourning Song

- New Direction (very interesting ambient, could work well for a slow-burning urban noir atmosphere and doesn't sound modern)

- Night of Chaos

- Night on the Docks - piano version (part of a trio of slow noir themes, the others use a sax and trumpet, this is the only one that sounds pre-1900)

- On The Passing of Time

- Oppressive Gloom

- Overheat

- Quiet Panic (short and quiet, good for tension-building, including for scripted events)

- Relent (the clarinet in this one might be slightly anachronistic, but it's an interesting contemplative melody)

- Road to Hell

- Satiate - strings version (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild horror)

- Satiate - percussion version (this one's IMHO better purely as a tension-building theme)

- Scissors (this would be an excellent theme for a mission set at a factory, inventor's workshop or a warehouse)

- Shores of Avalon (quiter tension-builder)

- Simplex (a pretty good one, though some of the quieter beats are a bit more electronic)

- Spacial Harvest (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild horror)

- Spring Thaw

- Stay the Course

- Sunset at Glengorm (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Temple of the Manes (I'd imagine this could work in an atmospheric mission set inside a castle or fortified manor house)

- Tempting Secrets

- Tenebrous Brothers Carnival - Intermission (tense but melodic theme, with some heavy background percussions)

- The North

- Thunder Dreams

- Unanswered Questions

- Unnatural Situation (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness)

- Unpromised (can work both in an urban and a rural/wilderness environment)

- Very Low Note (this one's IMHO versatile enough both for tension-building and mild creepiness, would be ideal for a cave or basement)

- Winter Reflections (good for a mission set during a snowed-in winter night)

 

Period instrument background music (stylistically European)

Types of settings: Taverns, village scenes, town life, feasts, scenes among commoners or nobles. Mostly stuff with a calm and cosy atmosphere.

- Achaidh Cheide

- Angevin B (this one sounds a bit more aristocratic or courtly, good for a feast or public event)

- Danse Macabre - harp version

- Errigal (this one sounds a bit more aristocratic or courtly, but it's a good secular piece of music)

- Evening Fall - harp

- Folk Round

- Heavy Interlude (short but really cool, IMHO could also work for a background scene of two AI characters sparring for fun)

- Master of the Feast (good for a scene with at least two or three musicians and multiple noble/patrician characters attending a feast)

- Minstrel Guild

- Midnight Tale

- Old Road

- Pale Rider

- Pippin the Hunchback

- Suonatore di Liuto

- Teller of the Tales

 

North African, Middle Eastern and other "exotic" background music

Types of settings: The TDM universe's analogues of the Mediterranean, North African, Middle Eastern regions, and other "exotic" locations.

- Asian Drums (could work for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, good slow, tension-building ambient theme)

- Desert City (could work for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, good all-around urban ambient theme)

- Drums of the Deep (could work for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, good tension-building ambient theme)

- East of Tunesia (could work in a mission with either a Mediterranean or North African style environment, e.g. a port city)

- Ibn Al-Noor (good for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, especially for a palace or public event environment)

- Lotus (good as a general ambient theme for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, or some other exotic locale)

- Mystery Bazaar (another good one for a Middle Eastern or North African style mission, ideally some marketplace or square)

- Perigrine Grandeur (Middle Eastern style percussions interspersed with a grunge-like tune reminescent of those from Thief)

- Tabuk (slow, but slightly more dramatic theme for a Middle Eastern or North African style environment)

- Tenebrous Brothers Carnival - Snake Lady (has a Middle Eastern feel to it, very good for building suspense and tension)

 

Wilderness / nature ambients

Types of settings: Outdoor areas with groves, forests, rivers, small lakes, mountain valleys, caves. Potentially also some Pagan villages and camps.

- Black Bird (tribal type stuff)

- Dewdrop Fantasy

- Kalimba Relaxation Music (maybe could work in a cave or similar environment ?)

- Evening Fall - harp

- Firesong (tribal type stuff)

- Intuit (tribal type stuff)

- Healing (I think this one could also work in an urban environment)

- Heavy Heart (also works as a general ambient theme)

- Magic Forest

- River Flute

- Moorland (could work for an isolated Pagan tribe village)

- Shamanistic

- Spirit of the Girl

- Thunderbird

- The North (very short but looping theme, IMHO also works as a general ambient theme)

- The Pyre

- The Sky of Our Ancestors

- Unpromised

- Very Low Note (IMHO very good for a cave or cave system)

- Virtutes Instrumenti

- Willow and the Light

- Winter Reflections (good for a mission set in winter or in some cavern strewn with magic crystals)

 

Non-serious bonus suggestion

- Crunk Knight (when the Bridgeport City Watch throw an annual office party :-))) )

 

Giving MacLeod proper attribution if you chose to use this music in your mission

Each song comes with an attribution quote that you need to include if you're going to use any of this music in your fan mission. If there is a final credits sequence in your mission, or you can include this quote at least as part of the mission's release notes, please do so. Though you can buy a license from Kevin and don't need to use attribution, all of this music is for free, as long as you give him credit. The credit-giving (attribution) is as follows:

Name of Song Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Replace "Name of Song" with the actual name of the song, keep the rest of the quote in this format and include it in your "free music used" credits for your mission, and you're golden.

 

Final note from me

If you've found some other good tracks in Kevin's musical archives that could fit the tone of The Dark Mod and its setting and would like to include them in this list, please let me know and I'll update this post. :) Don't send me a personal message, just post your suggestion in this thread. Thank you !

I sincerely hope these lists will be of at least some use to mission builders. Good luck !

 

If you want to seek out non-MacLeod royalty-free music and public domain music, I've started a thread for that as well. Not too many download links yet, but it's meant to give you inspiration what sort of ambients or period music you could search for.

Edited by Petike the Taffer
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Very nice collection. Thank you for posting this. Everytime I play a new FM that looks fresh and stunning I hear the same vibes I heard years and years ago which kind of diminishes the "new adventure" feelings for me. I hope mappers will recognize your list, since I guess most of them just pick music from the standard list that opens in Dark Radiant.

Hopefully, hopefully these tracks will be put to use! Again, thank you!

  • Thanks 1

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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I listened to a few and while they are very well produced and good quality, I feel that they are not really "ambient" enough for TDM background music. There's too much going on; too much melodic and harmonic development, dynamic contrasts and the like. Thieflike ambients are much more homogeneous — short loops of 30-60s which form a continous background which doesn't really change much (until you move into a new area and get a different ambient).

Maybe some mappers will find a use for these (perhaps as viktrola recordings or the music behind a briefing video), but of the few I tried, I couldn't really hear them as ongoing area-based background loops.

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On 8/19/2020 at 10:00 PM, SeriousToni said:

Very nice collection. Thank you for posting this. Everytime I play a new FM that looks fresh and stunning I hear the same vibes I heard years and years ago which kind of diminishes the "new adventure" feelings for me. I hope mappers will recognize your list, since I guess most of them just pick music from the standard list that opens in Dark Radiant.

Hopefully, hopefully these tracks will be put to use! Again, thank you!

My pleasure ! I wanted to do something like this for a long time.

 

On 8/19/2020 at 10:26 PM, OrbWeaver said:

I listened to a few and while they are very well produced and good quality, I feel that they are not really "ambient" enough for TDM background music. There's too much going on; too much melodic and harmonic development, dynamic contrasts and the like. Thieflike ambients are much more homogeneous — short loops of 30-60s which form a continous background which doesn't really change much (until you move into a new area and get a different ambient).

Maybe some mappers will find a use for these (perhaps as viktrola recordings or the music behind a briefing video), but of the few I tried, I couldn't really hear them as ongoing area-based background loops.

You make a lot of good points. That said, no one's required to use these, they can use or avoid them at their own leisure.

Additionally, some of our members - e.g. Airship Ballet - also made and contributed several home-brewn ambients of their's to the community already a few years ago. One TDM contributor even made a fairly detailed tutorial at how you can mix your own convincing ambient with the use of readily available open-source software. So, if MacLeod's ambients don't suffice for a mission builder, they can always use other ambients we've made ourselves, or the advice in that tutorial.

I try to keep the wiki updated and to always update useful info or list threads that can be useful to mission makers beyond the mere physical creation of the mission maps. I think I've covered the tutorial on the wiki as well. And if not, I can add it in the near future.

Edited by Petike the Taffer
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