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Tip of the hat to Justin Bell.

Soundtrack Justin Bell Pillars of Eternity

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40 replies to this topic

#21
Starwars

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I love the use of chimes here and there. Listening to the Burial Isle theme now and it's just... epic and haunting. And those chimes in the background, it's just wonderful! I wish there was a final boss battle theme though.

Also *love* the Twin Elms music. The opening with the harp and that soft, soft synth (I think) in the background. The use of piano is also great.

 

 

Hope there will be more music for the expansion!


Edited by Starwars, 04 April 2015 - 02:10 AM.

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#22
GrandWazoo

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Yeah, the soundtrack and sound design in general are one of my favorite aspects of the game. Soundtrack has this really 'airy' feel to it, and while you can hear the obvious BG influence/homage, it's very original. Keep up the good work, Justin.
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#23
Gallenger

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You know, for the writing of the game, with a few exceptions obviously, the soundtrack was one of the few things that actually kept me up-beat!  Most of the tracks aregreat to listen to. The moment I fired up the game for the first time, saw the title cards pass away, and then hit the main menu screen and that *damn* fine main theme started playing - it was a great moment - one I won't soon forget. 


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#24
Awathorn

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The track playing during the narations in the beggining of the chapters. Minimalistic, mysterious and fantastic. Beats any IE game in this segment.


Once again, well done mr.Bell. I always wait for the main theme to end before I load my game. 'Nuff said.
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#25
OchreJelly

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Agreed, it is very nice with a non-typical fantasy feel. Kinda short on variety though; a lot of tracks are reused. I was really hoping for a unique endboss battle track.


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#26
Justin Bell

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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?)

 

Well, thank you! I tried very hard to write a score that could either be listened to actively or that could be experienced passively.  I wanted it to seep into the subconscious as people played the game.   Glad to hear its working out that way for some!

 

Not sure about recording live for the rest of the score.  I'd be ecstatic if we did, but I suspect not.  Who knows what the future has in store though?   The Shire similarities were coincidental actually.  I write with piano in a very improvisatory and free flow manner, and those similarities just came out on their own.  I didn't really realize until I started orchestrating, but when I noticed it I thought it was charming, and it was different enough that I just let it stay.

 

I love the use of chimes here and there. Listening to the Burial Isle theme now and it's just... epic and haunting. And those chimes in the background, it's just wonderful! I wish there was a final boss battle theme though.

 

Also *love* the Twin Elms music. The opening with the harp and that soft, soft synth (I think) in the background. The use of piano is also great.

 

Hope there will be more music for the expansion!

 

You know the use of chimes throughout the soundscape (sfx and otherwise) is very deliberate.  Very early on Josh asked us to try and incorporate them thematically.   Maybe one day he'll elaborate on why that is!

 

You know, for the writing of the game, with a few exceptions obviously, the soundtrack was one of the few things that actually kept me up-beat!  Most of the tracks aregreat to listen to. The moment I fired up the game for the first time, saw the title cards pass away, and then hit the main menu screen and that *damn* fine main theme started playing - it was a great moment - one I won't soon forget. 

 

What you described here was the reaction I was hoping for!  Thank you!


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#27
sparklecat

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What I think you do better than Shore in LotR is that you don't shove the music in our face.

 

Yep.  I absolutely mean it as a compliment when I say that most of the time, I don't notice the music, just as I don't notice the art design as such unless I'm just encountering something for the first time; it all blends together to make a lovely, immersive experience.


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#28
Starwars

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You know the use of chimes throughout the soundscape (sfx and otherwise) is very deliberate.  Very early on Josh asked us to try and incorporate them thematically.   Maybe one day he'll elaborate on why that is

 

It's cool to read that! It does seem to be a bit of a recurring "theme" in the game with chimes and bells (most notably in the Grieving Mother story but in other places also). It was something I reacted to back in one of the earlier videos/trailers (might even have been the first kickstarter video?), toward the ending there was a soundscape featuring bells and such if memory serves. Always liked the image it seemed to conjure up.

 

I hope you will still get the time to write up that article on the music in the game at some point. Would be very interested in reading it. :)


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#29
RedSocialKnight

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You know the use of chimes throughout the soundscape (sfx and otherwise) is very deliberate.  Very early on Josh asked us to try and incorporate them thematically.   Maybe one day he'll elaborate on why that is!

 

Interesting. Chimes play a significant role in defining one character -- the Grieving Mother -- but Sawyer didn't write her, Avellone did.


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#30
Caerdon

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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!


I'm not surprised in the slightest that you've been listening to Poledouris. I absolutely got some Conan vibes here and there as soon as I got my hands on Eternity's soundtrack, most notably from Combat D - whether that was intentional or not, I've no idea, but I consider that a Good Thing™. Conan's soundtrack is fantastic, the sound is really unique and obviously it was also a big influence for BG's music, especially for the main theme.
 

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!

 

It sure did. :)


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#31
Justin Bell

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Agreed, it is very nice with a non-typical fantasy feel. Kinda short on variety though; a lot of tracks are reused. I was really hoping for a unique endboss battle track.

 

I had planned to write one that expanded on the kickstater campaign music, but we ran out of time.  Maybe in the future....... 


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#32
WDeranged

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Hey Justin, I remember a review (Matt Barton) of Skyrim that complained the music was too traditional, do you ever wish you could use more analog synth sounds in fantasy games?  

 

I didn't agree at the time but I later played the game and thought some sombre pad sounds and eerie leads would have been quite glorious as you delve a Dwemer dungeon or watch mountains emerge through the mist.

 

 

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.

 

I forget where I was but it was early game and the music felt strongly influenced by explore/town music from Oblivion or Morrowind, made me feel right at home yes.gif


Edited by WDeranged, 04 April 2015 - 10:45 AM.


#33
OchreJelly

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I had planned to write one that expanded on the kickstater campaign music, but we ran out of time.  Maybe in the future....... 

 

 

That makes sense. Kind of out of your direct control anyway.

 

Really, the only reason I wanted more tracks is because they're awesome.  :dancing:



#34
vattghern

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I like the soundtrack. It's nothing spectacular but fits the atmosphere quite well. My only gripe is the volume of, ironically, the bells in one of the tracks (plays in Crucible Keep f.ex.) - they are obnoxiously loud. :p



#35
Monte Carlo

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Yes, well played Justin. The music is a spot-on mix of IE tribute and original stuff that fits the setting.

 

Bravo, sir.

 

pbs-photoshop-thumbs.jpg


Edited by Monte Carlo, 04 April 2015 - 11:18 AM.


#36
Anoregon

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Great thread. The music in this game really is fantastic, it totally gives me those Baldur's gate feels without being just a carbon copy of that music.



#37
Terminull

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I have to agree with what has already been said. Honestly, I usually don't notice music in games I play. Even the IE games. I can hear something from one of those games now and it brings me back but that's just because I was conditioned to it from playing for extended periods of time. It was never something I actively participated in. For PoE the music was one of the first things I noticed, and in such a great way. Instead of it being just background noise that I tune out I immediately thought "Wow, this sounds fantastic!" Instead of jarring me from the game it actually brought me further into it.

 

I really hope you get the credit you deserve for this soundtrack. You did an amazing job! 



#38
gmot9

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What I find so nice (lame word, I know) about the music is how well it fits with the tone of the writing and feel of the story. A hard thing to balance properly, and its been done very well here. Kudos.



#39
TobyM

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I really really like it as well - well produced with an atmosphere that really fit the visual side, but also has great quality in its own. Sound/music is, apart from core gameplay, the most important thing in games, in my opinion. 

 

One little thing though, don't know if it would be better to report it as a bug (not sure it is) - when you 'read' different peoples souls, there seem to be some digital distortion (or maybe clipping) in the soundscape. I checked my outputs and they're not hot, but it may still be just me who experience this. 

 

Anyway - great job on the music and sound in general.



#40
Delicieuxz

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PoE has really great music. I particularly love Oldsong, it sounds serene and mystical.







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