We're excited to host this fantastic list of panels and panelists! Be sure to check out our schedule for panel dates and times, as well as our Music and Community Events!
Zeynep Dilli (she/her), Jamin Morden (he/him)
Unlike regular symphonic repertoire, we can’t just buy or rent symphonic arrangements of video game music from publishers. (And often, the original source material is not symphonic to start with.) Rather than how to write an orchestral arrangement, this panel will describe the support and pipeline structure around the path between “I have an idea for an arrangement of the Difficult Level Theme from That 8- Bit Game” to “Our next piece in this concert is the Difficult Level Theme from That 8-Bit Game, arranged by…” We’ll talk about the resources and mentoring available to our arrangers with a variety of backgrounds, and about the review, revision and engraving processes. What devils are in what details, and which ones do we have to root out to produce sheet music that makes for the fewest speed-bumps in the rehearsal season?
Steven Higbee and Members of Ocabanda
This panel will be focused on the history behind the ocarina; where it originates from, how it developed to the ocarina we know today, different types of ocarinas and variations of the instrument, and also how the instrument is played. There will also be information discussed on how the ocarina gained popularity around the world, such as the explosion of the instruments popularity in the west with the game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Towards the end of the panel, there will be a segment of teaching how to play 2 songs on the ocarina for the audience at home with an ocarina laying around themselves.
Steven Higbee (he/him)
David Erick Ramos (he/him)
Tad Howley (he/him)
Andy Cormier (he/him)
Jordan Moore (he/him)
Across two years and three events, vgmtogether has created the opportunity to design everything from logos to animations and even virtual spaces. Join vgmtogether Design Lead Greg Lord as he talks about his experience bringing video game music to life through art and design. We’ll walk through some of the assets, creative processes, and the tools and workflows that go into making the look, feel, and interactive experiences of a virtual convention!
Join vgmtogether VR leads Texelsaur and gplord as they discuss their experience creating a VR home for video game music fans. We’ll give you a tour of vgmtogether’s new virtual headquarters/hangout, and the exciting and fun features it offers! vgmtogether’s virtual space is offered in VRChat, a free virtual platform (that doesn’t require VR equipment!), available for free on Steam on any gaming-ready Windows PC. We hope that seeing some of our work — and the fun opportunities it opens up to our participants — will inspire even more of you to come and hang out with us this weekend, and in future vgm events to come!
Nujj, Doug Perry
Ever have an empty spot on your panels schedule? We sure did! Join co-directors Nujj and Doug as they fill the time with valuable information that no one should miss. Other members of the staff may drop in, too! Or not! We have no idea!
Monika, Maeve, BoZ
So you wanna be a fundraising master? In this panel, BoZ, Maeve, and Monika will go over the ins and outs of different ways you can use VGM while digital fundraising for nonprofits. From how to choose a charity and get started fundraising for them, to knowing exactly what type of incentives are a good fit for you, we aim to cover everything you need to know to help you have a successful charity stream. We welcome any and all questions! Let’s put the fun in fundraising!
Neha Patel, AlphaSomething
This panel will showcase how and why certain sounds and musical cues were used in order to recreate a bustling, evolving Tamil immigrant home in Canada through 3 decades. The goal was to reflect an immigrant family’s roots and the nostalgia that they hold so dear while they navigate the immigrant experience. The process of creating certain sound effects and the conceptual basis for Venba’s soundtrack will be explored in depth.
A demo and discussion on the process and procedures around DJing in VR. We’ll cover general information and basic perspectives, such as streaming services, in-game stream capabilities, license considerations from an average end user perspective, basic gear and software, as well as a brief discussion on VR needs. From there we will discuss more advanced implementations around DJing while inside of VR, what gear you’ll need, what additional software and hardware, and any further considerations that may arise from the added complexity.
Virtual performances are still a viable way to engage your audience and grow your fan base! In this panel, we’ll go over fundamental and advanced techniques used in REAPER and Open Broadcaster Software to create an immersive experience on a virtual stage. We’ll review create ways to do things like control instrument effects, switch scenes, and control lights. By the end of this session, you’ll be a one-person production crew!
Interested in learning how to get better at a skill, but feeling stuck in your progress? This panel will present strategies for practicing, with a focus on musical instruments, but can apply to almost any skill you’re trying to learn! We’ll talk about the way our brains like to process and retain information and give you a framework for your practice sessions. At the end, there will be time for more specific questions!
Think you know all about video game music? Think you know your Megalovanias from your Bloody Tears?? PROVE IT!! Join MooMan, the host of There Is No Easy Mode online trivia for 3 rounds of increasingly difficult VGM questions, all graded and updated with a real-time leaderboard. Play solo or form a team with friends, and see where you rank amongst everyone at VGM Together!
Original Characters of any form, like mascots, fursonas, DnD Characters, FFXIV characters, and more are large parts of people’s identities and self discovery. Sometimes these created characters are only used for something like FFXIV Roleplay servers, and other times they are ways to express facets of themselves. Many people create backstories, lore, and even worlds for their original characters. Another way to create more depth for a character is by composing original music for that character. I take on this task through music commissions. By given character art refs, information, lore, and more; I create a music track to fit this character’s themes and aesthetic to bring them to life. In this panel I will describe the process of doing so and how it has impacted my commissioners.
Theølogy, Mark McAvoy
Theølogy (The Music and Mental Health Podcast) and Mark McAvoy (Super Gamer Podcast) will present their understandings of what makes a good VGM podcast, covering everything from guests, topics and sound quality to preparation, marketing and beyond. After introducing themselves and their shows, the two will ask questions of one another to give the panel an interview-like feel. All questions are welcome! Hopefully after watching this panel, you will be energized to perhaps create your own podcast!
Creating a VGM arrangement can be a daunting task. What different roles do instruments fulfill in music? How do different instruments utilize melody, bass, chords, & rhythm to create a full arrangement? How does the absence of these elements affect the listener? Learn as Jer breaks these elements down to the basics so you can create your own arrangements!
Pokérus and Thennecan are an essential part of Latin VGM, with 15 years of career between them. they’ve been able to create a scene that delivers amazing VGM records and live shows like there aren’t elsewhere. What started as a small collective called “Pixel Quemado” is now a community of artists that produce albums, shows, festivals both in-person and online, and have become pioneers of the VGM scene around the world. They will be discussing why Chile has been an incredible place to kickstart the Latin VGM scene with “ÑoñoParty”, and how they’ve been able to keep consistent growth over the years.
Hyrule and its surrounding lands are home to many anthro animal races. In this music appreciation presentation, we’ll discuss how the Legend of Zelda composers use world music, tropes, and musical shorthand to depict the Zora, the Rito, and more! Learn the inspiration behind some of VGM’s most iconic tracks, and gain a new appreciation for the musical world building behind a great franchise.
Ryan Thompson, Dana Plank, Julianne Grasso, Karen Cook
Our panel will pivot around Karen Cook’s research surrounding “medievalisms,” or ways in which the medieval time period is represented. We’ll unpack the idea that those methods need not be historically accurate to the (very broad) medieval time period, or any time period in human history at all. The presentation will start in Renaissance Italy discussing the Assassin’s Creed games featuring Ezio Auditore, and expand outward geographically to discuss representations of Egypt and Greece as depicted in AC: Origins and AC: Odyssey specifically.
We’ll have a few minutes built in for audience questions, and we have general expertise with the entire AC franchise, so if someone asks a question about Syndicate or Valhalla, we won’t get stumped :p
Do you find yourself turning to YouTube uploads and vgm rips found online for your fix of classic game music? You may be missing out on the best these soundtracks have to offer. Jeff Roberts, audio engineer for official releases for game soundtracks like Phantasy Star, Breath of Fire, Bomberman, Mega Man Legends 2, and more, will explain the issues that can be found in the game music you’ll find distributed online (issues that sometimes creep their way on to official releases!), and demonstrate the work that goes into obtaining the proper, high quality audio used on modern album releases for classic game soundtracks.
Mikko Voima, Michelle Eng
The first game music concert was held in 1987 in Tokyo, Japan. Now there are dozens of game music orchestras around the world you’ve likely never even heard of. How do concert tours like Distant Worlds operate? How are new gamer symphony orchestras born? A talk on where to find the concerts, tours, and game music festivals on social media, YouTube, and Spotify.
akalink goes over some way he and others have used audio in VRChat, from building simple looping audio, to spatial ambiances, working synths, pianos, and audio-reactive shaders.
Ashanti Mills (DakotaCityRag)
This will be a slideshow presentation of four different common types of jam sessions: jazz jams, acoustic blues jams, hip-hop cyphers, and free-for-alls. While this is not an exclusive list of all the types of jams that exist, they are both common and distinct enough to effectively illustrate the diversity of jam sessions. Viewers will learn to compare and contrast: 1) the types of songs played at each jam, 2) how each jam makes space for improvisation, 3) how musicians relate to each other and the audience, 4) and how new attendees can prepare.
Though these jams do not often involve VGM, the presentation will also note examples of popular VGM tunes that would best fit in the idiom of each jam type.
Allen Brasch, Ro Panuganti, Lacey Johnson, Hashel, Robby Duguay, TeraCMusic
“How to Create a VGM Cover Album” will teach listeners what it takes to successfully record, license, and distribute a video game music cover album. Panel host, Allen Brasch, has organized and released over 2 dozen VGM cover albums in the past 7 years. Joining him are Ro Panuganti, Lacey Johnson, TeraCMusic, Hashel (manager of Pixel Mixers), and Robby Duguay (arranger for The Game Brass). Each artist comes from a unique background, and together, they bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. The world of licensing video game music can be tricky, but it need not be intimidating. After this panel, you will have all you need to know so that you can release your very own VGM album too!
AudioLink is a mechanism to connect the audio playing in a VRChat world to visual effects in-world and even through to people’s avatars. It drew immediate attention from hundreds of world and avatar creators. From there, many more engineers and developers hopped onto the project, adding much more advanced sound processing + effects and effectively stationing the project as a widely adopted standard for audio-visual reactivity. This is the story of how these protocols and interfaces for multiple VR social platforms were created and formed by those in their communities (instead of by the corporations behind them). This is the story of how people were able to make their avatars even more their own, connecting their creations through music to their friends from around the world.
Manny (OrchKeystraMusic) will be bringing some fresh live remixes of groovy and vibey VGMs as Lady holding it down with amazing video game arts. They will be covering range of things from their favorites, such as Final Fantasy, Kirby, Animal Crossing, Mega Man, and more!