Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Nicklas Nygren. Under the name Nifflas I create and release videogames. I've just wrapped up a new game called Uurnog, for which I developed integrated algorithmic music software. Now that it's released, I plan to take a deep dive into algorithmic music.
What hardware do you use?
I have a sound experimentation setup which I use for creating instruments for my music software. This setup consists of a Yamaha PC-100 PortaSound, a Yamaha KX-400 tape cassette deck, a Waldorf Streichfett, a Behringer V-Amp 2, an Electrix Warp Factory, an Alesis airFX, a Korg volca fm, a Nintendo 3DS, and finally two Teenage Engineering pocket operators (PO-12 and PO-32).
An interesting thing is back when I was a beginner at this, I'd use far more complicated synthesizers with way more parameters, as if it was the parameter count or price tag that made things good. My music also usually had way more tracks than anything I do now. These days I get excited when I find an early 80's toy keyboard at a second hand store.
And what software?
I develop games in Unity. Though I used to compose music in Renoise, I'm moving toward primarily composing in Ondskan, which is an algorithmic composition tool which can be integrated with games and allows for very unusual game-music interactions. Though I use too many VST plugins to list them all here, my favorites are generally the ones that can manage to sound unique and interesting without the use of too many parameters. Some of those include Chromaphone, Drumaxx, JuceOPLVSTi (a fantastic OPL emulator) and Microtonic. I particularly like wavetable synthesizers and plan to make one of my own in the future.
What would be your dream setup?
I don't have one in the traditional sense. There's some specific music software I really need, but they don't exist yet so I have to make them. I need to experiment more with procedural music, audio DSP, and learn C++ and a bit of neural networks to get there. Thing is, a year ago when I started to plan my music software, getting to where I am now was my goal. It, however, appears the goal already moved before I could reach it. For this reason, even though I'll be releasing software, I'll probably never actually reach it and be like "OK, now I'm done with my setup and happy". It's lucky I enjoy the process so much!