SOCOM 4 is the most exotic score I’ve composed, one that represents a striking step away from the usual tone of the shooter videogame genre. Though I was attracted to the idea of scoring a big military game with a unique sound, I wanted to ensure that fans of the classic SOCOM series would recognize the musical identity of the franchise. But, I also wanted them to experience new music for this new adventure. SOCOM 4 has a distinct tone that sets it apart from the other games, so its score had to stand apart as well.
As with all the other projects I’ve ever tackled, my first task was to figure out the style, instrumentation and language I would be writing in. There are three primary factions in SOCOM 4 so I decided to represent each with a different type of music: Traditional Eastern instruments represent the local insurgents, Western Symphonic writing represents the heroic main character while Electronic Music signified the private military company Clawhammer. (more…)
After several years working on SOCOM 4, I recently had the chance to play through the game and hear my score in action. The developers and I had lofty goals when we started this process, so I was curious to see how it all came together. Would the music integrate into the gameplay as seamlessly as we’d hoped?
As I played through SOCOM 4, I realized the functionality of videogame music is something I’ve thought about for nearly my entire life. I first started playing games when I was a kid. At that time, in the mid-1980’s, videogame music had basically just been born. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, game sound effects and music were a virtually indistinguishable glob of beeps and chirps. Music had no emotional impact on the gaming experience.
However, in the early 80’s, the ever-forward march of technology gave birth to the Nintendo Entertainment System. This glorious piece of hardware allowed for five discreet sound channels, played off an on-board synthesizer. The combination of triangle waves, sine waves and white noise allowed for disparate timbres and tones. The differentiation of tone colors is one of the key aspects of orchestration, so the NES actually paved the way for the first “orchestrated” videogame music.
Game consoles now had the ingredients necessary to create real music. The capacity for polyphony, dynamics and timbre led to the inclusion of counterpoint, harmony, accompaniment and melody. Videogame composers in the 1980’s took these limited tools, and sculpted truly memorable music. (more…)
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SOCOM 4 has been a long musical journey for me. I first began writing music for this game in 2008 and now, almost three years later to the day, the game is finally released on SONY Playstation 3. My soundtrack is simultaneously available for download from iTunes and Playstation Network. Next month, La La Land Records will release an exciting expanded edition two-disc set, which will include nearly an hour of additional music, as well as a hidden surprise for fans! (more…)
The highly-anticipated SONY Playstation 3 release SOCOM 4 comes out next week. I’m thrilled to announce that my soundtrack album for this groundbreaking videogame is coming out as well, in multiple formats. Today, the score album is available on iTunes and Playstation Network. And on May 10th, La La Land Records will issue an expanded two-disc edition. The physical CD release will include every track from its digital counterpart, as well as nearly an hour of additional music, a full-color booklet with liner notes from myself and the developers… and, perhaps, a hidden surprise for all you good boys and girls! 🙂
… and one of you will get to attend the next orchestral session!
IO9.com recently announced a contest for an all-expenses-paid trip to hang out with me during our final SOCOM 4 recording session, at an “ultra-awesome, secret location in Northern California.” (I wonder where it could be? **cough!**cough!**)
The game is my second (or technically third) entry into the video game world, after my scores for Dark Void and Dark Void Zero. The most technically ambitious entry in Sony’s groundbreaking hit series, SOCOM 4 will feature a score unlike any other. (more…)