Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Game Music Online: GameTrailers Composing BioShock and Mass Effect videos

My partner, Vince, sent me a link this morning to a GameTrailer.com video about the music in BioShock.  It's super cool to see this interview about the music in the game where we hear from the composer, Garry Schyman and Emily Ridgway about their concepts for the audio, his compositions for the game, as well as choice of instrumentation.  The development of the audio concept is an interesting idea here-- how certain segments that were going to be silent were eventually underscored and how some bits of music that were just "extra ideas" that were recorded by the live orchestra were used.  The source music was carefully chosen to give a feel of both era, mood, and style.  Although I've only played the demo of BioShock, I've been debating buying the game both for its game play and the amazing soundtrack.

It's awesome to hear that Schyman enjoyed listening to people play his piano composition from the middle of the game where you blow up the pianist on YouTube.  Nice to know to know that composers enjoy hearing their music replayed online!

I also watched GameTrailer's three part video about Jack Wall and Sam Hulick composing for Mass Effect.  One of my favorite parts of this series is where Hulick explains how he uses orchestra for more organic settings and more synthesized sounds for extra terrestrial places.  I love getting insight into how these composers decide to score music!

I didn't know these videos existed on GameTrailers before Vince pointed them out to me.   My main wish is that there were more of them!  As it is, a new video seems to come out only every few months or so-- granted, I understand how involving it is to make a video like this, but still I'd love it if there were more of them!  Secondly, I'd like to see more of the "composing" videos, those that have the level and depth of the BioShock and Mass Effect.  The composer interviews explaining their design process and thoughts about the compositions are much more interesting than the mash-up videos that just highlight audio from recent games.  Game audio is pretty easily available online, but the composer interviews and insight into the audio design represent something unique that I hope GameTrailers will continue to develop.

If you haven't seen the BackTrack Composing BioShock video yet, I highly suggest you check it out as it's the best one in the GameTrailer series.  Even though it's a relatively new video, it's already gotten over 20,000 views as of this post and it's not even a day old!