The Sounds of Spellborn


There are quite a few ways to listen to ambient / environmental sounds. Apart from buying CD’s and finding new musical releases, you can listen to the sound of your own environment. Take a walk and open your ears to the sounds you don’t normally hear.
Or: play a computer game.

A few years ago, the creators of Myst were praised for the use of sound in their game. They hád to pay attention to detail, because the game was a sequence of beautiful but non-moving images (can you imagine that nowadays?).
Currently, games tend to be almost lifelike experiences. Not only in graphic detail, but also in sound.

There may be quite a lot more people listening to ‘ambient music’ on daily bases, maybe even without realising it.

The MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) The Chronicles of Spellborn comes with almost 20 hours of sound.
About one hour of that is ‘composed’ soundtrack music (written by Jesper Kyd), the rest is environmental sound enhanced with ambient musical effects (created by Matthew Florianz).

Composing for a game is quite different compared to composing for movies, because most games are non-lineair. A the player moves in the 360 degrees landscape, he creates his own mix of the sound details (even more when he listens to the sound in full surround).

A lot of care has been given to this sound design (and not only that of course, but we’re focussing on the sound here).
Due to the nature of the game, there’s a distinct ‘fantasy-feeling’ in some parts of the soundtrack, but most of it will also appeal to listeners interested in ambient music and environmental recordings. 

For NPS-Folio (dutch Radio 6), I recently created two mixes of this material. 

One was broadcast in the radio program itself (but can still be heard on-demand). The ‘alternate mix’ can be listened to as extra on-demand webstream.

For this mix, I concentrated on the sounds alone, not caring about the storyline and the different worlds from the original game.

<<this mix will be published as a podcast/download in december 2009>>

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