Audio in video games is not a frequently debated topic, although sound effects and music are essential components of a gaming experience. Just like in the movies, you do not actually realise how important sounds and soundtracks are, as long as they feel good and natural while you are enjoying the overall viewing or playing experience. When you do notice sound effects and/or background music in a movie or a game, that is usually because they are exceptionally good and take the experience to a whole new level… or they are unbearably bad, and detract from the fun! Either way, the significance of audio in any multimedia production is beyond dispute.
COMPOSING MUSIC FOR GAMES
Juan Manuel Fernández, SBK Official Mobile Game’s Soundtrack Producer, will explain what composing music for games is about: “I translate the emotion the game wants to transmit to the user into sound and music in order to enhance its effectiveness”.
As far as the tools of the trade are concerned, “The most vital element is my computer, my digital audio software of choice is Logic for this particular set of songs. As far as instruments go, the songs are mainly made with: guitars, bass, programmed drums, synthesizers, and a few vocal samples”.
If you are wondering where you find inspiration for the music of a motorbike racing game, here is Juan’s take on that: “It might sound weird but for a while now I don’t rely that much on inspiration… I practice my music writing and audio production every day. I aspire to reach a point in which I think about what I want my listener to feel and then I start executing without necessarily knowing how I’m going to finish. My inspiration comes from understanding what the production team wants to communicate to the world through the game, so I do my best to realize their vision”.
FAST MUSIC FOR A FAST GAME
When asked what issues, if any, he is facing while composing music for SBK Official Mobile Game, Juan pointed out: “To be able to communicate an idea through music that’s worth listening to (repeatedly) in under a minute. I wouldn’t call it an issue… Instead it’s been an interesting challenge”.
As an example of another challenge he tackled during SBK’s development, he added: “At first we were having trouble getting the songs to properly loop in the game. It was due to the mp3 codec, we found out that WAV was a better suited format and the problem was solved”.
One track he composed for SBK which he is particularly proud of is Track Song 2: “I love these songs, I’ve never tried fusing Rock guitars with Drum and Bass. If I had to pick one, I’d say this”.
All of our team members were asked to describe the game in one word and Juan went for “Fast”, which clearly conveys the essence of racing itself, as fast as the music plays in SBK Official Mobile Game.
If you are curious to learn more about game development, check out other Dev Stories on our blog and stay tuned for more!