Miracle of Sound - Encore

Miracle of Sound - Encore
“Redemption Blues,” “Zombie Holiday” + Gavin's Favorite Games of 2011

MiracleOfSound | 21 Dec 2011 16:00
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Hurtling through canyons in at least 3 gorgeous shades of sandy brown, feeling the smooth vehicle steering controls react to the world class physics system in your excited hands! Sending Pig Cops (get it? Pig - Cop! Hahahah!) flying over cliffs (who are so tough and badass they don't even ragdoll when you kill them!). Watching the sublime, next-generation graphical textures whiz past your mesmerized eyes all while keeping a wonderfully smooth frame-rate ... man, what an experience! What a game! All of this and it had boobs too. Boobs on walls! That you could slap! And everyone now knows that slapping her boobs is the way to a lady's heart. Duke was not only a rollercoaster thrill ride, but educational for men, too. A subtle, thoughtful, masterpiece.

Seriously, though, you all know it's really ...

1. Skyrim


Why? You've heard all the praise a million times so I'm just going to say ... because it ate my life, that's why.

Also ...

Special mention to F.E.A.R. 3 for being by far the most disappointing game of the year. The reason? Well, all I'll say is, "fuck multiplayer."
Onto the songs!

"Zombie Holiday"

I was quite surprised how many of you asked to hear about this song. I expected it wouldn't be as popular as the songs about, well, better games if I'm honest.

While Dead Island certainly had its share of fun and great ideas, it felt completely disjointed, confused in its tone and at times utterly stupid in its broken, self-contradictory narrative. This is why the song is so insane and extreme in its duality. There's the jolly tropical marimba verses celebrating the great stuff in the game (the violence, basically) and then the noisy, intense chorus, which was meant to imply the awkward, out of place moments of horror and emotional intensity that were promised so much in that amazing trailer but ended up being laughably bad.

I remember watching Sam B's completely moronic "ghetto" gesture animations during a serious scene and laughing my ass off at what was supposed to be an emotional climax to the story. That's what I was trying to capture with the song - that feeling of wacky tropical fun and chaos mixed with the completely out-of-place "serious" moments .

I made almost the entire song in Ableton, which is a synth manipulation program. The squidgy, "wub wub" synth sounds that dominate 50% of the track were meant to imply the squishy, squelchy splatting of zombies. Pretty simple. The "ummbawappa waaay" chant is there because it just felt completely silly and again out of place with the song and somehow implied a tropical feeling to me. For the chorus I wanted something that was a cross between NIN and The Prodigy, brutal and violent but also kind of funky.

It got called dubstep a lot, but what people don't realize is that bands like the two I mentioned have been using these kind of manipulated synth sounds for a decade and a half, before dubstep was even a word. However, if it sounds like dubstep to you, that's fine with me, just making it clear that the motivation for the style was not to fit in with what is current but paying tribute to some of my old favorites.

The lyrics speak for themselves in this one. The narrative didn't merit a song in my opinion so it was always going to be about the violence.

Criticisms

Interesting; really liked the two sides of this (i.e the cheerful melody vs dirty synth), but felt the juxtaposition here was just a little too much.

The juxtaposition was too much. This was the point. It was a little too musically out there for some people's tastes but I was ok with that. It exactly was what I was going for.

I think the song describes the dualism of the games atmosphere quite well. It still isn't something I'd listen to though.

Completely fair. My goal here was to describe the game, not make a classic song that was everyone's favorite. So this was pretty much the reception I expected and I was ok with it.

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