Ever want to really turn up the immersive experience with your tabletop gaming? How about having custom soundtracks to provide background sounds to your RPGs? That’s the focus of Syrinscape – a sound design app that adds a variety of background sound to your tabletop gaming.
Syrinscape uses a powerful audio engine and complex algorithms to produce ever-changing soundscapes and rich encounter specific music. SoundSets are made up of numerous independently controllable ‘elements’, each representing a component of the audio environment. Each ‘element’ distributes randomly chosen samples into the 3D environment surrounding the listener. All this works together to create immersive sound with no annoying repetitions or patterns.
As the product’s website and the introductory Youtube video highlight, you can use samples from a variety of landscapes and settings including fantasy, gothic, cyberpunk and more. The Syrinscape player itself if free to download, and you purchase individual soundsets in their store or purchase a monthly subscription to access all soundsets in their library as well as any future releases as they come out. Some soundsets are for specific tabletop games, as their most recent release, A Song of Silver SoundPack, is the “complete audio solution for the fourth chapter of the Pathfinder RPG Adventure Path: Hell’s Rebels.”
The app can be run on PC, Mac, tablet or even smartphone and custom tailored for specific sound experiences within individuals tabletop games. You can check out more on their website or Facebook page.
To celebrate the release of Henry Jackman’s stunning score to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on CD, La La Land Record is having a HUGE sale on their remaining video game soundtracks on CD. The sale ends May 30, 2016 so act fast if you want to snag yourself some of these amazing deals.
Personally I already own the scores to John Debney’s Lair and Vicent Diamante’s Flower, and I just ordered a few more. There are also additional sales on a couple other Henry Jackman titles, and a few titles that are going out of print. You can find all of the deals on La La Land Records website. Will you be adding any of these CDs to your game soundtrack collection?
S-S-S-Silence Breaaaaker! With seemingly no advanced notice, famed Rare composer Graeme Norgate (GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters) has pushed three Killer Instinct albums out to Bandcamp. The most exciting of which is the return of Remastered, Rare and Remixed, containing the first-ever stereo versions of the original Killer Instinct arcade music. It also includes five of Norgate’s original source tracks before Air Studios mixed them down for the 1995 fan favorite Killer Cuts CD. The album was originally released on Bandcamp in 2012 but was pulled offline late in 2014 until now.
Remastered, Rare and Remixed is priced at £3 ($4.35 US) but the other two albums are pay-what-you-want releases. One contains the 16 main themes from the Super NES version of the game and the other offers 14 tracks from the Game Boy rendition of Killer Instinct. From souped up arcade tracks to the sample heavy SNES version to the rarely mentioned chiptune stylings of the Game Boy, it’s quite a Killer Instinct collection for as little as $7.
Lakeshore Records has finally confirmed the official release date of the soundtrack to the phenomenal USA Network TV series Mr. Robot. The shows music was composed by Mac Quayle and features a unique use of electronic sounds to bring the score to life. For me personally I consider it to be the best electronic score produced for television since Joseph Trapanese’s work on Tron: Uprising. Lakeshore Records revealed the CD album designs this morning which is a clear nod to classic Atari game boxes.
Lakeshore Records will release a two-volume soundtrack for the Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning USA Network series Mr. Robot, digitally on June 3, and on CD June 24. A special LP package will be released later this year. The albums feature original music by series EMMY®-nominated composer Mac Quayle (“The People v. O.J. Simpson”, “American Horror Story”, “Scream Queens”). The second season of MR. ROBOT premieres on USA Network Wednesday, July 13 at 10/9c.
You can preview the first track from the soundtrack in the Youtube video below:
You can pre-order the albums on Amazon. Did you watch Mr. Robot? What did you think of the music in the series?
If you’re not a guru of the Japanese game music scene, then you might not yet heard of the group Basiscape. The group is comprised of nine composers and sound designers and headed by Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy XII, Valkyria Chronicles). Sakimoto created the group, along with Masaharu Iwata (Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics) and Manabu Namiki (Bloody Roar, Contra ReBirth)
Basiscape provides complete sound and music production services for all digital mediums including video games, television series, film and television commercials.
With our artists and staff carrying out projects of any scope and size, Basiscape delivers the utmost excellence in quality and creativity, while keeping with the usual tight deadlines of the industry.
The group has been responsible for a huge amount of video game soundtracks over the course of the past decade, including Odin Sphere, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Dragon’s Crown and more. The mobile game Metal Saga: The Ark of Wastes, the fifth game in the Metal Max series, was composed by Basiscape and Yoshimi Kudo (Tekken 6). Grand Kingdom will also see its soundtrack released on June 23rd by Basiscape and composer Mitsuhiro Kaneda. Valkyria Chronicles OriginalSoundtrack was recently released in its full orchestral glory as well.
“Main Theme” – Valkyria Chronicles
However, they’ve been making the rounds on the indie game music scene recently. The recently launched Kickstarter for the indie rogue-like adventure game Death Story by Team Neko features a stretch goal which would bring Sakimoto and Iwata on to compose the main theme for the game, so fans can contribute to see to it the game receives a fantastic contributing score.
Don’t be surprised if you see Basiscape’s name continue to pop up in the near future, so keep an eye out for Sakimoto and his team on upcoming titles!
Last month, the fifth annual Ludomusicology conference was held at the University of Southampton in Southampton, England. If you’re not familiar with Ludomusicology, well that wouldn’t be a big surprise. Ludomusicology is a pretty new and pretty small field, and it is the academic study of video game music. Given the nature of video game music, this can include mixes of disciplines from musicology to ethnomusicology, music theory, and even audio engineering and programming. A conference is held each year where ludomusicologists share presentations on their work and offer feedback.
I attended Ludo 2016 primarily from my love of video game music and music theory. I had no paper to present, but I went and listened to learn about what people were working on and to meet them and talk with them, and came away excited for what the future of the field will bring.
A few weeks ago, Shaun posed the question of what the very first game soundtrack album you ever heard was. This got me thinking of my own past dealing with video game music and getting into “the scene”, as it were. I started thinking about the first time I started looking up game music on the internet (circa 1999-ish?), which lead to my eventual discovery of video game music *remixes*. While arranging game music had been something people had been doing for a a while prior to the internet really gaining traction, sites like Overclocked Remix & VGMix became the centralized places for potential arrangers to congregate and show off their works by the early 2000’s. The scene grew to the point musicians were challenging one anothers abilities in arrangement competitions, and thus places like Dwelling of Duels were created.
So this got my brain juices flowing in my quest to remember what my very video game music remix was. (No small task, as my memory is shite.) Having scrolled through the plethora the old arrangements I’d saved over the course of almost a decade an a half of saved remixes, I settled on two that clicked the lightbulb in my brain. I’m not sure which one came first as I’d discovered them pretty much at the same time in 2000. Back then I’d stuck to the game music I’d been limited to as a kid, which was 90% Sega Genesis titles, which some Amiga, NES and Gameboy thrown in here and there for variety.
Castlevania being one of my most beloved game series back then (despite only owning 2 titles, and playing others elsewhere), I remember somehow traipsing across an arrangement from Castlevania The Adventure by Mike “McVaffe” Vafeas called “Tempest Mix“. Trance and techno music appealed to me heavily back in those days, and this arrangement of “Revenge” from Castlevania Adventure hit the spot for me. It had just enough of the source to grab me and keep my head bobbing for days. This is the same reason I’d come across the other arrangement I remember as being one of the two “firsts” I’d found. Golden Axe was another penultimate title for me as a kid, so “Death Adder Trance” by OCR founder David “djpretzel” Lloyd also hit the spot in terms of appealing to my love of Golden Axe’s music, in this case level 1’s “Wilderness”, and satisfying my fixation on dance-able music. For years I’d pop both of these tracks on from my burned CDs of remix music I’d accumulated and blast them in my beat-up Buick Century.
So what was your first video game music remix? It doesn’t have to be your favorite, but the first you remember listening to ever. Were you specifically looking for arrangements from a certain game? Where’d you find it? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re in the USA and also a fan of Film and Television soundtracks Barnes and Noble is blowing out over 50 titles at 75% Off for $4.49 each with some titles as low at $1.74. All of these release are from Varese Sarabande Records who is one of the best Record Labels in the soundtrack business today.
The titles available include: Pain & Gain, Monte Carlo, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Sanctum, The First Grader, The Smurfs 2, White House Down, Microcosmos, Green Zone, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, The A-Team, Another Year, The Last Legion, Winged Migration, The Cabin In The Woods, Himalaya: Rearing Of A Chief, True Blood Season 2, I Am Legend, Beatles To Bond And Bach, The Princess Of Montpensier, The Family Way, 24: Seasons 4 & 5, The Idolmaker, One Track Heart, Ender’s Game, Lost Season 1, Nanny McPhee, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Ghost Rider, Hancock, Prime, The Pacific Flow To Abbey Road, Super 8, The Borgias, The Thing (2011), Changeling, A Very Harold And Kumar 3D Christmas, Jig, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Rise Of The Guardians, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Brake, The Apparition, Duplicity, Skyline and Scream 4.
You can check out the sale at this link here. Are you going to pick up any of these deals?
The upcoming game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be adding some more manpower to its original soundtrack. Beyond Michael McCann (Deus Ex: Human Revolution) returning to compose for the game, award-winning artist Sascha Dikiciyan (aka Sonic Mayhem) will also be brought in to compose select tracks for the game’s score.
Dikiciyan has a sizable repertoire under his belt, having contributed to the soundtracks of games like Quake II, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 3 and several others. He collaborates with other composers (such as Cris Velasco of Bloodborne and Battleborne) under the name Sonic Mayhem to create much of his works.
It was important for us to build upon the strong foundation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but also to let it stand on its own. Along the way, we realized this game was much vaster than anticipated and we made the choice to add another composer to the team. Sascha Dikiciyan’s music stood out. After talking with Sascha, it became clear that we shared the same vision and passion for what musically drives Deus Ex. ” – Steve Szczepkowski, Executive Audio Director
You can hear Dikiciyan’s work within the recent trailers for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which comes out in August with the soundrack to follow shortly thereafter on Sumthing Else Music Works.
Last March the French team at Midgar Studio broke their $130,000 Kickstarter goal and officially brought legendary composer Yasunori Mitsuda onto their project, Edge of Eternity. You might be able to guess by the studio’s name alone that Edge of Eternity is an indie love letter to classic Japanese RPGs.
That makes Mitsuda an especially important contributor as he’s provided the music for classics in the genre like Chrono Trigger and Xenogears as well as more modern offerings like Shadow Hearts and Soul Sacrifice.
Over a year later, Midgar Studio is ready to reveal some of the work that Mitsuda and sound designer Cedric Menendez have created with the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in Slovakia. Above you can check out a painfully brief clip from the recording session and hear a few of Mitsuda’s 12 themes and compositions for the game.
Midgar Studio also released a longer video from the game itself. Set against Active Time Battles and glowing special effects, the music is perfectly fitting for a Square inspired RPG and does a lot to amp up the work-in-progress footage.
The soundtrack for the new indie RPG strategy sandbox game Kenshi has now dropped for your listening pleasure!
Available on Steam in early access, Kenshi is a free-roaming RPG with squad-based combat and several class types for you to group up and roam the open-world environment with your team. The soundtrack of the game is equally diverse, being composed by Kole Hicks (Pixel Privateers) and featuring some unique style in its composition.
The music system in Kenshi has been designed in such a way, that as you play through the game the engine randomly selects from a handful of different musical elements to create new compositional excerpts. It is this ambient approach and “non-player interactivity” of the music that reinforces Kenshi’s indifferent tone. – Kenshi Bandcamp Page
The music does indeed seem random in its style, but it’s not jarring or off-putting as one might think. Although the title might make one think the music would be Asian-inspired, rest assured that the soundtrack has a good blend of several styles, including a title that actually makes me think a little bit of Diablo‘s “Tristram”, which is never a bad thing.
The Kenshi soundtrack is available for purchase on Bandcamp and Loudr.fm for $5.00.
Previously in the saga of Tim Wright’s Wipeout remix album, the original release date had slipped from late March into late April thanks to an intercontinental relocation for the composer and his family. Now that it’s mid-May and we still haven’t seen a release he’s issued another update detailing the woes of creating a physical product largely on his own.
“Doing these physical projects is a bit like giving birth I think. The reason mothers even consider having more than one child, given that it’s painful beyond belief, is because the human brain doesn’t actually remember pain that well, or so I read somewhere. In effect, the fun of having children outweighs the trauma and 9 months of feeling like you swallowed a beach ball.”
Yikes. The labor pains for Ch’illout” have been brought on by complications with the fulfillment company that’s pressing the 2-disc album and its accompanying mini-poster. A staff change has caused further delays on top of a renegotiated quote, increasing the cost as Wright puts it, “close to profitless”. He’s not increasing the price for those who pre-ordered the album but the situation has forced him to change his plans.
On the bright side, he’s taking the extra time to create even more tracks on top of the original fourteen and the whole album will be released digitally on Bandcamp ahead of schedule. Anyone who pre-ordered the physical album will also get a code to grab the digital version and there’ll be a period of exclusivity before it’s released to the general public.
Wright is clearly holding back some disdain for the fulfillment company in his email update which I won’t quote in full here. Suffice to say, he’s talking to other companies to see if they may be able to press and ship the album ahead of its new ETA in July. As a parting consolation he’s shared another sample from the album bringing us all 30 seconds closer to the eventual release.