> I'm talking about a finished audio product. The technical aspects, sound quality, and samples or live instrument recordings are very often degraded when the composer is making no income from their work. Compositional ability is only (a large) part of the puzzle. If you want great, atmospheric orchestral music, but your composer can't give you a finished product that sounds even somewhat convincing, then it is irrelevant how intricate his/her scoring is. Tons of composers write primarily by hand on paper and create some fantastic pieces. But that is useless for a game unless someone shells out for a nice recording or uses sample libraries to produce the results. And of course there are exceptions, but good luck trying to get someone to make 20 minutes of music for your game for free with no per-minute dollar amount or revenue split options and still have them give the project the attention it needs. Mods can get away with it--they are largely for portfolio building, but if you intend to make any income from your game, but you want someone to custom-build your resources for free for you, then I would question that person's integrity as well.I see what you mean (and did so before, as you can read from my first answer), but I still don't agree.
If someone is looking for an orchestral score, he has to search for someone being able to produce it. If that person does it for free or charges is not a factor then - it is the result from the search.
Also, you're not going to Hyundai if you want a Ferrari.
Not paying for the game's audio when making income from it surely is some mean behavior, shows bad moral and character of the game's creators. But it doesn't qualify the audio product.
There are so many talented composers who just start. Of course they offer a lot for free, since they have to establish their reputation.
And on the indie market additionally there's a weird sick group of people, called idealists.
Finally, do you realize that you just depreciated all the great musicians from the past of computer gaming? Their music was never produced but instead played 'live' by the computer/console while the game ran.
What makes their music (done for and used in games) of any lesser quality?
I keep the point that money doesn't make good music.
They all created a finished, usable product. Whether it is MIDI or not is irrelevant. The current standard is often either finished audio or highly customized MIDI renditions. I simply stated that a composer who can't give you a finished usable product is probably not the composer you want for your game.
And maybe I misjudged the OP's intentions, but it sounds like he wants audio files to place in and use in his game. He also seemed to be asking for custom music. The technical aspects of the music would be crucial at that point, then. I would hope any composer someone got on board would be at least competent at writing, but many (and many free acts, especially) don't have both sides of the production cycle down.
I never said money makes good music, but it sure as heck helps.