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Project Eternity Composer: In-house or External

Music for Project Eternity   

638 members have voted

  1. 1. Who should compose the music for Project Eternity?

    • Justin Bell (In-house kickstarter video composer)
    • Mark Morgan
    • Jeremy Soule
    • Other external Composer
    • Whomever Obsidian chooses is fine


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I like that Justin is getting some love in this poll. I've worked with him for a while now, and not only is he very talented, but he is also very easy to work with. The audio on this project is in very good hands.

Give him the chance, no one deserve it more than he do.

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The soundtrack is one of the most important parts of the game for me - and it's something you can enjoy even when you are done with the game itself. I still listen to the soundtracks of the old Might & Magic games, for example. That said, I'm sure whoever Obsidian chooses will be up to the task - I'll be happy as long as it's not Jeremy Soule. Don't get me wrong, I think Jeremy Soule is awesome, but I've heard just too much of his stuff lately. :p

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Orchestral music is today overused and boring. (...)

Maybe overused but why boring? Well composed music is enjoyable regardless of genre.

 

I really like these Diablo 3 ambient tracks.

http://youtu.be/lyDnMn0yKTo?hd=1 http://youtu.be/zHZubouzCgs?hd=1 http://youtu.be/dnMu1959Xvo?hd=1


Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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I've been a fan of Mark Morgan since PS:T. Annah/Deinoara's theme still sends tingles down the spine whenever I hear it and he really captured the otherworldliness of the setting with pieces like the smouldering bar theme and the general ambiance and instrument choice. Justin's music for the pitch was also top notch, if a more traditional style.

 

Smoldering Bar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4QINNwR6Nw

 

Smoldering Bar (alternate)

 

Can't we have both? :(

Edited by PMB
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Whomever they choose, I hope the soundtrack is longer than just 45 minutes of music or so.

The Elder Scrolls titles, for example, had Jeremy Soule. The soundtracks were too short and repetitive for a game that could be played for over 40 hours. Too often you heard the same musical theme, and not even as a leit-motif with different orchestrations, but the same exact music, over and over and over again.

 

On the other hand, there's Kirill Pokrovsky (whom I've mentioned in another music thread already) who composed over 2 hours of music for Divine Divinity, and it's never one bit repetitive, and each track suits a given game environment. Not only that, but it's so smooth that you don't even notice when it repeats. I actually played Morrowind with a mod that stacked Pokrovsky's music over the original soundtrack, and it fit the game perfectly. I was really growing sick and tired of the Morrowind theme on repeat.

 

Granted, in a fantasy setting there should be a few places/situations/battles deserving of EPIC musical compositions, but they don't have to play in every rat-infested alley or woodland copse. Keep the soundtrack responsive to situation.

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Yes, a live orchestra would be FANTASTIC, but if you guys saw what kind of budget it took to hire one, you'd probably rather that money be spent elsewhere (after you picked up your jaw off the floor). As Justin said, doing orchestral mockups as the final product is very popular these days and very doable. A lot of the times solo players or small choirs are brought in to supplement to the virtual ones as well and this is very effective!

 

The last budget I saw for a AAA game score was $100k-150k just for the live sessions (So-Cal union fees I think). $40k-50k for orchestrators, $20k-25k for score prep, and $10k-15k for assistants. Notice that the composers fee IS NOT included in this. Also, at the moment I can't remember if the conductor fee was included in the live sessions fee or not, but I think it includes conductor, live players, and the engineer (I think). Regardless, it's ridiculously expensive, and the better the hall you want, the higher the prices get! Have faith in the professionals to make the right call on this, I'm sure you won't be disappointed in any amount. :aiee:

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Too many good ones, but I went with Justin Bell. He has potential, and though I love Morgan and Soule, the costs might be too high for a KS project.

 

Yes, a live orchestra would be FANTASTIC, but if you guys saw what kind of budget it took to hire one, you'd probably rather that money be spent elsewhere (after you picked up your jaw off the floor). As Justin said, doing orchestral mockups as the final product is very popular these days and very doable. A lot of the times solo players or small choirs are brought in to supplement to the virtual ones as well and this is very effective!

 

The last budget I saw for a AAA game score was $100k-150k just for the live sessions (So-Cal union fees I think). $40k-50k for orchestrators, $20k-25k for score prep, and $10k-15k for assistants. Notice that the composers fee IS NOT included in this. Also, at the moment I can't remember if the conductor fee was included in the live sessions fee or not, but I think it includes conductor, live players, and the engineer (I think). Regardless, it's ridiculously expensive, and the better the hall you want, the higher the prices get! Have faith in the professionals to make the right call on this, I'm sure you won't be disappointed in any amount. :aiee:

 

Oh I know what you mean. Planetary Annihilation only managed to hire one at the 2m mark, and that's for an RTS (generally less tracks than a fantasy cRPG).

Edited by LokiHades

Knight Drei of the Obsidian Order

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There is a lot of good music in this thread but I think Astral Calm may be my favorite. Thanks obyknven.


JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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The trailer was one hell of a bid for the job. I'd go no further.

 

The clever option though, might be to get one of the big names to do the 5 min opening theme and give the rest to Justin.

"Soundtrack by Jeremy Soule & Justin Bell" might grab a few more pledges.

 

I agree with this post, 100%.

 

I'm a fan of Jeremy Soule's work but I also liked the music in the KS video a lot.

Edited by Fishmoose

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The trailer was one hell of a bid for the job. I'd go no further.

 

The clever option though, might be to get one of the big names to do the 5 min opening theme and give the rest to Justin.

"Soundtrack by Jeremy Soule & Justin Bell" might grab a few more pledges.

 

I agree with this post, 100%.

 

I'm a fan of Jeremy Soule's work but I also liked the music in the KS video a lot.

 

This is really unnecessary, imo. This is exactly what big publishers do, soundtrack by Hans Zimmer (main theme) + somebody (other 1 hour of music) while the second guy is capable of writing main theme himself.


Pillars of Eternity Twin Elms and Celestial Sapling and Torment: Tides of Numenera Crystalline DimensionBefore the fall and Bloom original fan art music.

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They went all for the epic, grandiose fantasy stuff in BG2 and forgot all about the atmospheric music... though that might be because there wasn't much wilderness in the game anyways (or tiny/peasant towns anyways), everything had to be big.

 

Good observation here! I'm a big believer of having music ebb and flow, and more importantly, that it be interesting and emotionally engaging to listen to.

 

When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that.

Justin, I like to read this and I would like to know how much you apply this to battle music. Because in 99% of the games, it's this dissonant, screaming, ear tearing pile of bombastic crashy sound, I can't stand that for more than 30s and I often have to turn off the sound or simply delete the battle tracks if I'm able to.

Surely battle music doesn't have to be that way, no? It's probably important to have more rhythm than in the rest of the soundtrack and certainly to be in a minor scale to have the feeling of tension, but a screaming mess of sound on and on?

Edited by Ovocean
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Justin, I like to read this and I would like to know how much you apply this to battle music. Because in 99% of the games, it's this dissonant, screaming, ear tearing pile of bombastic crashy sound, I can't stand that for more than 30s and I often have to turn off the sound or simply delete the battle tracks if I'm able to.

 

Surely battle music doesn't have to be that way, no? It's probably important to have more rhythm than in the rest of the soundtrack and certainly to be in a minor scale to have the feeling of tension, but a screaming mess of sound on and on?

 

Good question. The best analogy I can think of would be to liken music to painting. Painters use colors (or lack of color) to evoke specific feelings or emotions. To give a very basic example, red might be an intense sort of emotion, whereas blue might be a deeper, more introverted one. Each of these colors is part of the painter's expressive toolset. Now lets say, for example, that you go to an art gallery showing where all the paintings are red. After a while it might be difficult to tell one painting apart from another. The risk is that the viewer might become disinterested. Whereas if a painter contrasts two or more colors in the same gallery or painting, the viewer will more likely be engaged by what they are seeing because there's more to think about. The same concepts apply to music. CRPGS tend to be long, and as with any longform of art, variety and contrast are essential to hold the gamer's interest and keep them engaged.

 

Here's another analogy, one from a slightly different angle. Tom Waits gave an interview on NPR a few years back where he talked about his film scoring career. The interviewer asked about how he approaches choosing the right music for any given scene. His response was pretty interesting, and has been pretty influential to my creative process. He gave the example of a scene where children are playing happily in a playground. So, the obvious choice would be to choose music that is happy and child-like, right? Well, instead of going the obvious route, he chose to score the scene with music that was melancholy and nostalgic. When asked why, Tom Waits likened a scene and its music to a conversation between two people. When two people are in complete agreement during a conversation, its almost as if one of them isn't necessary. But when there are two perspectives that differ in some significant way, then you have something interesting and engaging. So by introducing music into the scene that's as seemingly unexpected as sad music over children happily playing, you inject a bit of thought provoking emotional complexity that compels the viewer to be intellectually engaged with what they are witnessing.

 

Here is a great example of this. Remember that first Dead Island trailer that came out a while back that everyone was talking about? Just to recap, the teaser showed a family (mom, dad, and young daughter) struggling against a horde of vicious zombies. The teaser ends in tragedy with the daughter becoming infected and ultimately dying at her fathers hands. The visuals present the viewer with two distinct stories: a predominant one that is action packed, horrifying, and intense, and one that is of tragedy, loss, and is more of a subtext. The the most obvious choice for music would be to compliment the action packed visuals and score it with driving and bombastic action music heard in just about every AAA game an blockbuster summer movie.

 

The Dead Island team did something rather brilliant instead. They deliberately chose music that supports the less dominant narrative thread of tragedy and loss, making what would normally seem frightening into something that was deeply poignant. It was a risky move by more commercial standards, but was responded to by nearly universal acclaim. Like the trailer or not, it resonated with people, got them talking and kept them engaged. That same technique of supporting the less obvious narrative subtext with complimetnary music is how you get around using bombastic music for every scene in a game.

 

For reference here is that video:

 

 

Imagine how generic and bland that trailer would be with your typical action packed horror score? But don't just take my word for it, go ahead and see for yourself! Find any driving action score, mute the sound on the Dead Island trailer, and see how it feels to you. My bet is that it won't be as good. So, to sum up, the reason why it isn't generic and bland is because the visuals and the music tell two sides of the same story. A cognitive dissonance occurs there, and it forces the viewer to think more deeply and actively to decode the emotional messages they are receiving. That's how you engage an audience...

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One thing I like about the way battle music was implemented by Bethesda is that it is not just the one tune each time a fight is about to occur...battle music should vary. Perhaps by enemy type, location and challenge rating

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Not everything has to be an orchestral score. After listening to an orchestra for a while my ears scream for a snappy little tune without all of the pomp and flair. Done right, like the title theme of Chrono Trigger, can hit a person just as hard with a simple music box tune as anything else. Use what fits the scene and not any particular style...

 

EDIT: ED-E's battle music was freaking brilliant. I usually turn off music during games because the music just does not fit the scenes (Final Fantasy titles are usually an exception), but I always looked forward to hearing ED-E's scratchy, tinny victory tune.

Edited by Gurkog
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Grandiose statements, cryptic warnings, blind fanboyisim and an opinion that leaves no room for argument and will never be dissuaded. Welcome to the forums, you'll go far in this place my boy, you'll go far!

 

The people who are a part of the "Fallout Community" have been refined and distilled over time into glittering gems of hatred.

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Man it's so hard to pick, damn. I really like Jeremy Soule/Mark Morgan/Inon Zur.

 

Mark Morgan's music just feels so unique, otherwordly - it was so very fitting in PS:T. Jeremy Soule really gets into the setting, the characters and the feel of the game before commiting to any composition.

 

Inon Zur's way of making epic music is quite unique as well, he usually does it after the product is already done. For all it's many flaws DA:O's music was really well done. The use of orchestra and choir was astonishing!

 

There's also Michael Hoenig of course, who in my opinion made the best game OST, BG2's main theme.

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EDIT: ED-E's battle music was freaking brilliant. I usually turn off music during games because the music just does not fit the scenes (Final Fantasy titles are usually an exception), but I always looked forward to hearing ED-E's scratchy, tinny victory tune.

 

That was Avellone's idea. He came to Andrew Dearing (lead sound designer on FNV) and asked if we could write music simliar to the movie 'the good the bad and the ugly'. Andrew asked me if I would be interested in doing that and the rest, as they say, is history...

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EDIT: ED-E's battle music was freaking brilliant. I usually turn off music during games because the music just does not fit the scenes (Final Fantasy titles are usually an exception), but I always looked forward to hearing ED-E's scratchy, tinny victory tune.

 

That was Avellone's idea. He came to Andrew Dearing (lead sound designer on FNV) and asked if we could write music simliar to the movie 'the good the bad and the ugly'. Andrew asked me if I would be interested in doing that and the rest, as they say, is history...

 

Can you list everyhing (or at least some things) you composed so far in Obsidian's games?

 

Could get a better picture.

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Thought the original Witcher soundtrack was very nice, if only because it used a lot of themes and instruments I hadn't heard before, going so far as to add in a little rock on occasion. The entire theme had a very wistful air, somewhat like Dungeon Siege 3's main track.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Still one of the best scores ever created for a video game (combined with one of the most satisying and emotional endings in a RPG ever created):

 

 

So my vote for Michael Hoenig. :)

 

Wasn't this one actually by Inon Zur?

 

And on the topic, I chose the last poll option. I'm sure Obidian now how important music is for this project and they will choose wisely. If they go for an external composer instead of Justin, Michael Hoenig would be a great choice, I think.

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Obsidian has ALWAYS done a very good job in music for their games. I trust whoever the decide upon. I really liked the music in the KS video. In fact I wish they would share that piece, so we could hear the whole thing by itself.

Agreed.

How about sharing the the full music (or an adapted version) as a KS update?

 

 

 

Well, I just wanted to say, in fact copy paste, what I had already said in the stretch goals thread (when someone commented on bringing Justin Sweet, or Jeremy Soule):

Those two men are great artists' date=' but IMO Obsidian should invest on their own talent.

We only got nice things such as Fallout and PST because Tim Cain and Chris Avellone were left alone and given the chance to create something.

 

Give Obsidian artists a chance to shine... but if they fail... off with their heads :devil:

Just kidding guys, no pressure huh :grin: [/quote']

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