About

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If you haven’t guessed it already, my name is Mattias Westlund. I’m a Swedish musician and composer specializing in soundtracks for computer games and other media. My main instrument is guitar — at least that’s what I started out on and I’m most proficient at on a technical level. But I also play keys, mandolin, bass, Irish flute and tin whistles. I sometimes do vocals when I can’t find anyone more skilled or fitting to do the job, but I would hesitate to call myself a singer.

Unlike most people who work in this genre I have no formal training and my roots are in rock rather than classical. I got turned on to working with synths and MIDI in the mid nineties and did my first virtual orchestrations on a Pentium 100 with an Ensoniq Soundscape Elite card and an ancient version of Cubase. Since the early 2000’s I have gradually moved from hardware to software-only, doing all my work “in the box” with samples, virtual instruments and plugin effects.

My influences are many and varied. My passion for game music was sparked by Lennie Moore’s incredible Outcast score back in 1999, and to this day it remains one of my favorite game soundtracks. Howard Drossin’s Baldur’s Gate II soundtrack also had a big impact on me, as well as Jeremy Soule’s work on Morrowind and Dungeon Siege. John Williams has always been my hero when it comes to movie scores and I also love James Horner, Alan Silvestri and some of Hans Zimmer’s stuff. I’m not a classical music buff, but some classical composers I enjoy listening to are Dvorak, Holst, Grieg and Wagner.

As mentioned my roots are in rock, more specifically progressive rock like Rush, Jethro Tull, Kansas, Genesis, Marillion and IQ, and also progressive metal like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Symphony X, Shadow Gallery and Queensrÿche.

I live in Gävle, a seaside town in eastern Sweden with my girlfriend, three kids, and three cats.

12 Responses to About

  1. mARCELO RISSO says:

    hello Mattias; I found your theme “Over The Northern Mountins” and I think is really very good. I play the saxophone in the big band in my city called “Pergamino” in Argentina. Is it possible for us, get the complete orchestration music sheet, to play your beatifull work? Best Regards from Argentina

  2. Mattias says:

    Hi Marcelo. Thank you, I’m very flattered by your request!

    I will look into it, but I can’t promise anything. OTNM was created in a decade-old DAW (Cubase SX2) that will not run on anything above Win XP. And my only Win XP machine is presently serving as a media center and doesn’t have any music software on it, or even a proper audio interface. But I’ll see what I can do.

    Moreover, I don’t read notation so I have no way of telling whether Cubase’s score function will output anything that is actually useable in a real world scenario. So you will have to be the judge of that.

    I’ll drop you an email!

  3. Ritchie Staringer says:

    Hey Matthias, thanks for your work on orchestral positioning. It´s very focussed written. Even if there were no such new information for me I´ll printed it out and enjoyed reading. Thanks again and all the best for you and your work.

    cheers
    Ritchie

  4. David Hay(Sambo Rouge) says:

    Hi Matt, just to say I like your website. Nicely designed and easy to navigate.

    Are you still using Reaper?

    Regards, David

    • Mattias says:

      Thanks David! Yeah, still using REAPER but I’m still on v 4.78.

      • Johannes says:

        Hi Mattias,
        I’m kinda peer of you, however different media genre. I also use Reaper, however upgraded to 5 after waiting for a longer time to do so. Now notation is no problem anymore. I can highly recommend an upgrade.
        I just don’t have such a wide collection of libraries like you, hehe. Since I wrote my degree dissertation about recording orchestral strings with the help of Herbert Tucmandl from “Vienna Symphonic Library”, I always dreamed of being owner of that library. When I finally bought it, starting with the special edition Vol1., I hardly needed anything else. But it is pretty addictive. It’s an ongoing process of adding this library modul and that venue acoustics and so on, and so on.

  5. Jeen Schmidt says:

    Mattias Westlund,

    I bought the VSCO Pro flash drive edition… not bad, often heavy on the CPU… your Sonatina Orchestra is outrageous, still THE very best for full orchestral string section sound… from one instance of Sonatina Orchestra… and, you can stack multiple instances… not heavy on the CPU! I own THE highest-end Pro VSTi programs for small ensembles, Orchestra and Choir, Synths… and your simple, highest-sample-quality Sonatina Orchestra is better, fully Professional, for the basic Articulations… stacked, too… like Pizzicato and Violas sustain! Edirol Orchestral is very good, yet the tone is dark… the sound quality of nearly 100% of the Instruments, very good, yet quite a dark tone… the very, very expensive, most Professional VSTi’s I own for the full ensembles, Orchestra and Choir, are very, VERY good, yet Sonatina Orchestra is better for the basic articulations… all of the articulations of Sonatina Orchestra!

    • Mattias says:

      I’ve had performance problems with VSCO2 Pro as well, though I would say the fault lies with Kontakt rather than the library itself. Thank you for your kind words, glad to hear you still like SSO!

  6. Dominik Budar says:

    Hello Mattias,
    I have a question about the soundtrack Over the Northern Mountain which i liked very much. I am a guitarist, I like to play some instrumental music and I am asking if there is a posibility to send me sheets for this song if there is any. I would like to do a cover for the song if it is possible. I am mixing sounds of every instrument and transfer it to guitar. It is only for me to play, I would not post the cover on YT, FB and other. I am just asking for the sheets.

    Best regards
    Dominik

    • Mattias says:

      Hi Dominik,

      Sadly there is no sheet music for OtNM. I compose directly in my DAW and in fact I don’t even read music. Moreover, the track was made in 2008 in a DAW I haven’t used in a decade (Cubase SX2), so even though it might technically be possible to export sheet music from Cubase, I have no idea if I could even get the program and project running on a modern system.

      However… I have stem tracks for some of my older tunes, including OtNM. Would that help? Drop me a line at mattias DOT westlund AT gmail DOT com and I’ll be happy to provide you with them.

  7. Kendall W. Cochran III says:

    Hello,
    I found your Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra by searching for a bassoon.sfz file. I use tons of different VST instruments, including UNIFY created by Pluginguru.com which uses an open source sampler they created called Guru Sampler. It plays a modified version of sfz files to import audio into UNIFY. Although your files don’t play inside Guru Sampler due to a different formatting of the sfz file. After editing your sfz files the sounds should be able played fine in Guru Sampler. I wanted to send you a message to ask if it’s ok to use this “Library” of sounds in this manner. They will not be sold to those using UNIFY. We will not seek to make profits from your work but would like to give you credit and point you out and your website since you had compiled this set of sounds. If you decline I will not share this with John or any other (UNIFY) users. You have my word on this.
    Thanks – awaiting your reply,
    Kendall W Cochran III

    • Mattias says:

      Hi and sorry for the long delay, I hadn’t received a notification and spotted your comment just now. It is perfectly fine to use SSO in the manner you describe, in fact, you don’t even need to ask my permission 🙂

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