I would like to write my own music for games, but a lot of my stuff tends to be somewhat derivative (i.e. using some other song as a base). Where do you usually draw inspiration or get ideas for your music? I know people often say that nothing is truly original (or something like that), but I would like to work on being having more originality without sounding generic or boring.
Tough question! Personally, I just get a melody in my head and then try to make it a reality, and kind of improvise from there. For some commissioned work I get info about the general theme, and try to get a general feel going of what I want first and then put a melody and bass line on top of that.
I think it's important, however, to learn music theory. I also recommend the channel Ongaku Concept (https://www.youtube.com/user/ongakuconcept), which teaches a lot of interesting concepts that can help you make more complex music.
Also, to provide a counter-example, in Punch Club's case I DID do a lot of directly derivative stuff like Tetris (https://soundcloud.com/davince-1/punch-club-russia-aka-notris?in=davince-1/sets/punch-club-soundtrack), Smooth Criminal (https://soundcloud.com/davince-1/punch-club-prison?in=davince-1/sets/punch-club-soundtrack) and Mortal Kombat (https://soundcloud.com/davince-1/punch-club-tropical-island?in=davince-1/sets/punch-club-soundtrack). Sticking to a specific set of samples and a general style still made them unique to their own thing though.
Those are pretty cool. I was kind of thinking of using some heavily remixed future funk songs for MonoBomber, but at the same time, I don't want to sound like I just ripped them off. I've you've never heard of future funk, this (https://soundcloud.com/squadgoalsmusic/future-funk-dj-mix) is a great mix.
I can see why that would be tough, considering the whole concept of Future Funk relies on sampling other peoples' work anyway.
I think this video on the well-known amen break (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SaFTm2bcac) will help you a little - it goes through a history of a very commonly used drum loop, as well as a progression on how it was used and mixed over time. In the later stages of the sample's usage it almost seems like an entirely different loop altogether. I'm not really into the remixing scene much but I think this is a pretty important part of remixing if you want to make the samples and references you use truly a new and unique thing.
You could also try to think of your own melody and cut samples in such a way that they follow the melody that you made up. Maybe use very obscure samples from obscure things, or less well-known variations of those things.
Again though, I don't really remix, just trying to think of what could help in this situation.