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I'm trying to conceptualize how I want the music for my game to sound, and as I have no musical experience, there are some ideas I have trouble describing, but the musical aesthetic I want for my game is a dark synthwave / vaporwave feel.

I've noticed a trend of 80s songs on YouTube being filtered to sound like they're being played in a mall. Could anyone tell me how to achieve this sound? An example would be: Africa by Toto (playing in an empty shopping centre)

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    Suggest you break this down into separate questions. – Mark May 13 at 14:51
  • Edited to remove unrelated question – Rory Alsop May 24 at 17:08
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Generally, you want to conceptualize this based on the reality of the situation you are trying to re-create.

Firstly, shopping malls usually have crappy speakers, so imagine your sound being played through crappy speakers in a very large space, possibly with a fairly lengthy reverb time.

Also, the speakers are often quite distant, so the ratio of direct sound to reverberated sound will be very low.

You can simulate crappy speakers by applying a high compression ratio with a bandpass filter possibly in the mid-to-high spectral range. You can even attempt to add some distortion and clipping in moderation to really sell the image.

  • Bandpass Filter >> Distortion >> Compression >> Reverb

You would also want to mix in a layer of crowd chatter and footsteps, also applied with the reverb to fill out the image.

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