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Tip of the hat to Justin Bell.

Soundtrack Justin Bell Pillars of Eternity

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#1
Ganrich

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Ok, I have a few questions, but I want to say a few things about how I feel about the Soundtrack and my 2 cents all around.  I have been letting the desire to post about the soundtrack simmer partly because I was hoping someone else would come out and do it (I am lazy), and also because wanted to really give it a listen prior to posting.  I think if Pillars of Eternity had a single thing that I could say was 100% home run territory it is the Soundtrack. Kudos to Justin.  

 

So, first off... Big shoes to fill.  I know a lot of people here, myself included, really love the music of the IE games.  Everyone has their preferences, but I think many people here can agree these games had top notch soundtracks.  From booming tracks like Baldur's Gate's main theme, to the melancholy tracks from IWD (Skeleton of a Town comes to mind), to the ambient music of PST.  I feel Justin swings through all 3 of these territories while making it his own.  Paying homage without pure emulation.  

 

The combat tracks are very Baldur's Gate (particularly a, b, and c), and have big drums, big horns, and frantic strings.  Something that gives great tension.  Combat d... my god.  Combat d is easily my favorite.  I almost picked up a sledge hammer and went bear hunting, chanting Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr all the while,  the first time I heard it.  It really is epic. It pulled me from the game in a good way.  I just left the game paused for a minute or 2 and enjoyed.  Every time that track comes on I feel like that is the most epic battle I have ever encountered in the game.  That section at the 41 second mark... gets the blood going.  

 

The area tracks for the towns, cities, and wilderness are very much like PST's soundtrack while sometimes like IWDs.  Some are very much ambiance only.  They set mood, and I love it.  Honestly, most tracks set mood, but the ones I am referring to are very minimalist.  The tracks for Temple of Skaen, Woedica, and Heritage Hill are what I am referring to.  They give the sense of dread, and some sorrow.  The Temple of Woedica theme particularly reminds me of Baldur's Gate again.  

 

Just to clarify:  when I say I am reminded of PST... obviously that isn't the music itself, but the purpose of the music.  PST is mostly ambiance, and themes for characters, areas, etc that are there to draw a certain mood or feeling.  

 

Highlights for me are:

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuwXHOiSow4

 

Honorable mentions are Defiance Bay, Elmshore, and Ondra's Gift.  

 

Questions for Justin, if he reads this...

 

I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack).  Why was this?

 

Will new music be made for the Expansion?  Please?  I am sure more will be done for a sequel... if that occurs.  I am betting it will.  :p

 

Other than the IE games, what other things were you listening to?

 

Anyway, I hope this wins some awards.  You earned it.  You nailed the IE sound, while not sounding like you were trying to rehash it, and you made it your own.  That is a tall order, and especially to get general positive responses from us curmudgeon of the RPG community.  You also seemed to take a little from each BG, IWD, and PST.  At least that is what I am hearing.  Also, and this is a compliment... I don't know why, but Defiance Bay made me listen to The Orgy from the Conan The Barbarian Soundtrack.  I can't put my finger on it.  

 

Hopefully others will sound off on their favorite tracks, and what they think in retrospect to the IE games.  Kudos again.  

 

 


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#2
PrimeJunta

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Yes. Very much this. I loved the theme from the Kickstarter already, and you Justin just built up from there. The music -- and the sound design in general -- contributes enormously to the game. You do deserve an award -- and the tracks that you didn't have time/budget to record live deserve that treatment. You beat the pants off, say, the music from Peter Jackson's movies -- and they weren't half bad.
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#3
Ganrich

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Crap, I don't want to edit this in, but I just want to also say... Letting the tracks breath helps too.  Letting the wilderness, city noises, etc come out while the music dies for a bit, I mean. This makes the music pop more when present, at least subconsciously, giving it more umph when it does come back.  It also gives the general audio time to shine.  Which as PJ said, is also wonderful.  



#4
Mazisky

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Combat D is my favourite too! And he also has a loop style so that the end reconnects nicely to the beginning...

 

and i wanna say to Justin one thing....

 

Man, GIVE YOUR COMBAT TRACKS A PROPER  NAME!!! THEY DESERVE IT!! It's sad to read "combat 1, combat 2"!!!!

 

we can create a poll for naming combat tracks : - ))))


Edited by Mazisky, 03 April 2015 - 02:48 PM.

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#5
Caerdon

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Yeah, I love the soundtrack as well! (I'm sure Justin has been cheating a bit here - Combat C is obviously a track from BG2 that was just mistakenly left out of the final game.)

 

My only wish is that there were a few of those more melodic BG series used to have, like this one:

 

https://youtu.be/1ZX...O5w7aWAOXdinDk2


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#6
gogocactus

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I can't find the right words to express how much I like the music,so I'll keep it simple: there isn't a day where I start the game and don't actively notice how good the music is. I love it, the music from Pillars of Eternity takes its own place as a new found 'classic', right alongside the music from BG2.

#7
Longknife

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BTW anyone know the name of the slower version of the theme from Anslögs compass?



#8
aluminiumtrioxid

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I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack).  Why was this?

 

 

...Isn't it Elmshore theme?



#9
Longknife

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I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack).  Why was this?

 

 

...Isn't it Elmshore theme?

 

 

 

 

 

I'm referring to this one:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's a slower, more dramatic version that's mostly a violin that you'll hear towards the end of the game, but I dunno it's name.



#10
aluminiumtrioxid

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I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack).  Why was this?

 

 

...Isn't it Elmshore theme?

 

 

I'm referring to this one:

 

[snip]

 

There's a slower, more dramatic version that's mostly a violin that you'll hear towards the end of the game, but I dunno it's name.

 

 

...But... what does that have to do with the question I was answering?  :grin:



#11
ManifestedISO

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I agree, amazing. Incredible how some people can inspire a certain continuity while remaining unique, like Williams with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman. 


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#12
Longknife

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I am somewhat disappointed the track from the trailer isn't included in the game (not to mention the Soundtrack).  Why was this?

 

 

...Isn't it Elmshore theme?

 

 

I'm referring to this one:

 

[snip]

 

There's a slower, more dramatic version that's mostly a violin that you'll hear towards the end of the game, but I dunno it's name.

 

 

...But... what does that have to do with the question I was answering?  :grin:

 

 

 

It has to do with the fact that apparently either my scroll wheel did a dramatic jump or my eyes went nuts or something made me read that as though you'd responded to me initially.



#13
Osvir

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The music is fantastic. I hum along at times, was a long time since I did that :)



#14
RedSocialKnight

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When the violin kicks in in Oldsong.

 

Pretty stuff.



#15
Ganrich

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So, I just noticed that today's update also added the real names to the songs, and more songs in the soundtrack file.  It includes the track from the trailer as well.  :D

 

It also added Brackenbury and Burial Isle.  I believe Burial Isle is the one you seek, Longknife.  

 

EDIT:  Combat Songs are named after Chants... I approve.   :dancing:


Edited by Ganrich, 03 April 2015 - 06:58 PM.


#16
zered

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I like the soundtrack. It lacks a few parts we hear in game, especially the themes that kick in when having visions of the big bad.



#17
Justin Bell

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Will new music be made for the Expansion?  Please?  I am sure more will be done for a sequel... if that occurs.  I am betting it will.   :p

 

Other than the IE games, what other things were you listening to?

 

Thank you very much for everything you said.  It's more gratifying than I can express to hear that people enjoy the soundtrack.  To answer your questions...  

 

Will there be music made for the Expansion?

We're not really ready to talk specifics about the expansion, but I can say we've talked about audio for the expansion.  Sorry I can't be more specific yet!   In due time, in due time.

 

Other than the IE games, what other things were you listening to?

Great question, I listened to quite a lot actually while working on Eternity.  Of course the IE game soundtracks.  Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim.  Conan the Barbarian, Star Trek II Wrath of Kahn, The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica soundtracks.  Oh, The Cosmos from the new TV show.  Lots and lots of stuff!

 

Yes. Very much this. I loved the theme from the Kickstarter already, and you Justin just built up from there. The music -- and the sound design in general -- contributes enormously to the game. You do deserve an award -- and the tracks that you didn't have time/budget to record live deserve that treatment. You beat the pants off, say, the music from Peter Jackson's movies -- and they weren't half bad.

 

Well, that's quite a flattering comparison!  If Howard Shore and I had a composer duel, Howard would destroy me just by thinking about writing music.   :)

 

Crap, I don't want to edit this in, but I just want to also say... Letting the tracks breath helps too.  Letting the wilderness, city noises, etc come out while the music dies for a bit, I mean. This makes the music pop more when present, at least subconsciously, giving it more umph when it does come back.  It also gives the general audio time to shine.  Which as PJ said, is also wonderful.  

 

Yes that's very much on purpose.  Its a long game, and repetitive things tend to become even more annoying and repetitive after 50-60 hours!  I felt it would be nice to give folks a break from the music once in a while, so there's a 4 minute cooldown after the area music plays. I admit not everyone likes the silence...

 

 

and i wanna say to Justin one thing....

 

Man, GIVE YOUR COMBAT TRACKS A PROPER  NAME!!! THEY DESERVE IT!! It's sad to read "combat 1, combat 2"!!!!

 

 

Apologies for that.  I was really pressed for time, and (regretfully) put the soundtrack together without giving it the attention it deserved.  That's all fixed now though, if you get the latest patch on Steam, or if you redownload the soundtrack from the backer portal, you will find proper track names.

 

Yeah, I love the soundtrack as well! (I'm sure Justin has been cheating a bit here - Combat C is obviously a track from BG2 that was just mistakenly left out of the final game.)

 

My only wish is that there were a few of those more melodic BG series used to have, like this one:

 

https://youtu.be/1ZX...O5w7aWAOXdinDk2

 

Hehehe.  We wanted to pay specific homage to IE combat music, so at least four of them used those games as a starting point.  It was Bobby Null's idea, I think it worked out alright!

 

BTW anyone know the name of the slower version of the theme from Anslögs compass?

 

That's Burial Isle, you can hear it in the updated soundtrack released with the latest patch.

 

I agree, amazing. Incredible how some people can inspire a certain continuity while remaining unique, like Williams with Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman. 

 

EEKS!  Very flattering to be mentioned in the same sentence as John Williams.   Not sure I deserve such high praise, John Williams is a genius.  I'm just a sentimental gamer who tries really hard to write music :)

 

The music is fantastic. I hum along at times, was a long time since I did that :)

 

Quite a compliment, thank you!  Success!  Uh...  Unless the humming is a bad thing?


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#18
ShadySands

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Yeah, great job sir

 

You really knocked it out of the park


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#19
PrimeJunta

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Don't be overly modest, Justin. I know good music when I hear it; I've been listening to classical since I was a kid, and my gold standard for epic sword-fighting dragon-killing music is Wagner's Ring. (To get to that level you, uh, still need a bit of practice.)

What I think you do better than Shore in LotR is that you don't shove the music in our face. You're more sensitive to what it's for and what's going on. It's beautiful, present, and evocative without sounding like it wants to elbow out what else is going on. That's a crucial quality for film or game music which Shore didn't IMO entirely achieve in some fairly important points. Obsidian is very fortunate to have someone of your caliber on board!

And yeah, I really really hope you'll be able to record the rest of the tracks live. They so deserve it.

(I pick up a vibe of Shire theme from Od Nua by the way. Intentional or incidental?)
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#20
Oerwinde

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I could particularly hear the Baldurs Gate and Lord of the Rings influences, yet it remained its own thing, that was definitely a feat.
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