I'm currently trying to compose some dungeon synth song. I like them and most of the time they use (very) simple melodies, so I thought this would be a perfect way to practice and develop my skills.

I find the foreground instrument (flute), and I tried some simple melodies, but it seems I can't just find the perfect background sound.

Based on what I learned from music theory so far, what I hear in songs and "how I feel based on my instincts" I need some low pitched sound (precisely some octaves lower, but in the same scale), bass sound I think which follows in a way the tone of the foreground eather in real time or with a very little delay.

I chose a simple, reverbed, low pitched synth for the background but it's just doesn't fit.

Is there some advice based on music theory that tells what sound can be in balance with a foreground sound? And adding to question, is there a proper way to choose drums for the background?

  • 1
    I doubt there's a proper way to choose drums for a dungeon--I think congos can convincingly be used in a jungle dungeon theme, for example.
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 24, 2018 at 1:15

1 Answer 1


Was your "simple, reverbed, low pitched synth" staccato or legato? Was it a punchy bass or a long drawn out bowed bass?

I ask because this adds/subtracts a lot from the mood. Your instincts on using bass under the flute may have been good but you may have to tweak the details. A group of string basses may add to it.

There are some basic guidelines for choosing instruments and melodic themes for different types of compositions but these are loose at best. Although I am not a connoisseur I did google some and listen before answering. So, assuming that I am on the right track (pun) my advise would be to try and imitate the sounds you like. You could try to take some influence from renaissance period music (overlapping Middle ages). I might also suggest bells, pipe organ, harpsichord, or even human vocal choir sounds (not words, just vocalization of notes). Add a Gothic church sound to it.

  • Staccato, legato and similar words are very new to me :O but it helped me. I think legato the one I need.
    – atanii
    Nov 26, 2018 at 11:57
  • I see, staccato = short with a hard accent, legato = drawn out and smooth (more or less)
    – user50691
    Nov 26, 2018 at 11:59

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