I often like to take walks to clear my head and stay healthy. I could not do this without some great tunes playing and I normally use Spotify to stream my favourites. For whatever reason I was struggling signing into my app so I thought I’d listen via YouTube instead.
When I opened it up I had the Sonic 2 full soundtrack open which I was listening to for reference for some of my work. I decided to choose this as my walk soundtrack instead and was amazed at what a brilliant experience it was.
During the walk I was able to breakdown in my head the instrumentation, the mixing levels, tempo, composition and generally think about how things are put together. On top of this, normally I’ll listen to one or two tracks to reference what myself or my clients are looking for, but what I often overlook is that the composer has made design choices for the game as a whole and it’s useful to see how these decisions affect the soundtrack. It instantly gave me a ton of ideas that I want to implement into my own work.
This got me thinking: why don’t I listen to more game soundtracks in their entirety? I am a game music composer; this is exactly the kind of thing I should be doing! Whatever your creative medium is, you ignore proper research at your peril. When you truly understand the work of others it can influence and improve your future output. I also want to garner a reputation as a game music expert and being able to draw points of reference from my head on the fly will only improve this.
To this end I have decided to build a game soundtrack playlist as a resource, not just for me, but for clients and indeed anyone who has an interest in game music and audio design. I have challenged myself to listen to 100 game soundtracks in full before the year is out. At time of writing there are about 34 weeks left of the year so I will need to listen to 3-4 a week. All tracks I listen to will be added to this YouTube playlist so you can all listen as well.
This exercise should also give me more to write about in my ongoing 'Best Game Music of All Time' series. It would be nice to get this up to 100 entries as well!
At present, I have listened to the following soundtracks in their entirety:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Illusion of Gaia
I’m a bit more active on my Twitter account as well now, so I’ll keep you all posted on there too. This should also encourage me to write for best game music of all time posts which I do enjoy doing. Just got to make the time!
What do you think I should be listening to? Do let me know!
I grabbed the Mario image at the top from this useful article about changing your in game soundtrack.
Do I need to credit you? Let me know!