The other day we got given the briefs for our Final Major Project unit. Since then I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts and work out how I can develop the skills that I learnt last term and use them to create functioning, immersive environment that focuses on Binaural audio and visual stimuli.
Although I enjoyed the visual aspects of my Specialist Project I feel as a creative person to be much more driven by creating audio pieces. This is what I want to do in the future and I’m trying to think of areas of employment that would suit my skill set.
I definitely want to continue working with immersive 360 degree sound. I feel like I achieved a good outcome making my music binaural last term so I hope to keep learning techniques in Adobe Audition to make an experience even more immersive and professional sounding. I’ve also recently purchased Native Instrument’s ‘Maschine’ software and hardware bundle which is a music production suit and MIDI controller. I’ve been using this recently to produce sounds and beats on, I’ve still got a huge amount to learn but can see that it is really powerful and has great potential.
I’ve been thinking about the styles of music I want to make as part of my immersive experience and have been looking into video game OST’s for some inspiration. I used to be a dedicated gamer through and through but had to give that life up because it was turning me into a wasteman. However I realized how much the OST’s to these games effected me as a player and my experience as well as emotions that I felt whilst at the controller. Towards the end of my gaming days I’d start buying video games based strongly on their soundtracks and tended to enjoy the games with electronically produces OST’s rather than epic orchestral scores in franchises like ‘Call of Duty’. Instead I preferred mellow atmospheric and sub ambient music to play to. One of the most important game OST’s to me is from ‘Deus Ex Human Revolution’ as It was varied in its styles and influences and worked incredibly well with the games art style and colour pallet (Obviously my opinion.) The soundtrack ranged from purely etheral ambient melodies to techno style tracks and tracks with eastern influences in.
Below is the full soundtrack for you to skim through and enjoy.
I’ve also posted some screenshots of the game below.
Another massive reason I love this game is due to the art style.
The music worked well with the setting of a dystopian city.
The OST is dark in sound to reflect a worrying view of future technology.
Although dark in tone, many tracks on the OST contain ethereal synthesizer notes which works well with the way the game is lit, giving a sense of uneasy euphoria.
The only thing I didn’t like about the game so much was the voice acting. This is something that I feel many games suffer from and again it’s just a personal opinion but I felt some of the speech was lazy and didn’t match up to the music in the sense of atmosphere and emotion.
This is probably sounding like more a review, but hopefully I’m explaining how I feel the bond between visuals and audio make this game what it is.
I would class this video game as a work of art whereas games like ‘Call of Duty’ I would not.
I feel like the way this game’s OST managed to compliment the art style, level design and environments has had an effect on the way I produce music, and changed how I think of immersive experiences.
Listening to the soundtrack sparked a real interest in ambient music within me and I began to discover musicians who produce similar music to Michael Mccann (Producer of the Deus ex OST). Id say my musical style is nestled somewhere between the dubstep and ambient genres. For example the drum patterns and basslines I produce are definitely inspired from my love of dubstep and grime music and the textures I use are often inspired by ambient music. (Texture is a weird word to use but I found a good definition of it below)
“Texture describes the complexity of a musical composition. The word texture is used because adding different layers or elements to music creates a musical “tapestry.” Texture can be simple or elaborate”
Another influence in my production of music is reggae and dub music. I have a lot of love for these styles of music as the sense of space and atmosphere that’s created through effects like reverbs and delays adds a great deal of depth to a tracks mix down. These effects are used commonly in many different genres and can add a really spaced out, relaxing feel to music, especially when applied to synth notes and certain percussion instruments. A great example of the use of these effects that ties in with game OST’s is the soundtrack to ‘Mirrors Edge’
Now this OST borrows a lot more conventions from more club based music as the game is incredibly fast paced and is all about movement. Most of the action revolves around the parkour and hand to hand combat so the beats are skippy and fast however dream like synth notes contrast this and really complement the visuals and environment your character is sprinting through.
The game is also viewed through a 1st person perspective adding to the immersive feel.
The majority of the music in the OST has quite a fast tempo to reflect the gameplay.
As you can see from the screen shots above ‘Mirrors Edge’ uses a very basic colour pallet and is very bright. The soundtrack reflects this and I feel it has a clinical feel to it throughout. This had made me think about how the producer’s are influenced to make what they make. I’m sure they get given loads of concept art to work off of, because of this I’ve decided to make some mood boards before I get my head down and start producing.