Audio Blog 03 – Dramatic Entry! Musical Themes and Motives!

Ahoy!

So if you recall my last blog I mentioned a little graph that shows the plan for the music system everything fits together.

Again, 2 seconds in Paint…

Today I’m gonna talk a bit more about the music itself! If you read the last design blog you’d have seen Grant dicuss the ideas for multiple monsters in the game: the Brute, the Hunter and the Fiend.  Given the different styles and actions of each monster, it was a pretty easy decision to give them all their own themes and motives. I’ve already shown the general wandering theme and commented on how pared back it is, almost as if it was designed to flow into different styles….

Walkies~

Anyway! I’ve put together a quick little summary of the music that’s been put together for the Brute. So without much further ado…

NO MORE WALKIES!

Here’s the chase theme. I’ve gone for the percussion heavy trope to try and match the brute’s primal, vicious nature, so a fair amount of toms to drive it forward. The pulsing triplets is actually from a running ship engine, which I warped in Ableton to roughly match the beat and ran through some distortion and amp sims to make it sound crunchier and a bit nastier. I wanted something noisy and sort of mechanical to try and match the environment’s visuals, and it also adds an extra percussive layer to the track. The cymbals have some mild tremolo on them, which I felt added a feeling of dizziness and unease to the proceedings.

The other things of note are the squeals, screams and extra noises. If anyone’s been in the office they will probably be familiar with a certain screeching that occurs, so naturally I recorded and performed some audio tomfoolery (ie. pitch shifting then running it though various things) to make it fit into the track. One of the clips had a fairly constant pitch, so I cut it up and made a sort of melody from it. The sort of static sound that pops up is actually the pressure being released from my travel mug… Make use of everything!

Walkies?

As the graph points out, after a cooldown the music goes into the stalking state. Here I’ve incorporated some of the elements from the chase theme, the cymbals, static and screeches, over an ambient pad like the general wandering theme. The purpose here was to build upon the uneasiness that the base wandering track develops. Obviously once you’re spotted the sense of dread and “OH NO SOMETHING WANTS TO KILL ME” should be a persistent and constant danger, so the pad is a bit heavier and noiser. The cymbals are used to bridge between the cooldown transition in addition to their original purpose, which the screeches and “static” come in and out to tie it even further to the chase theme and Brute motif. It also sounds pretty evil mixed in there.

And that’s that! Let me know any feedback you have, and hopefully I’ll get more done in between everything else…

Cheers!
Jaime