Miracle of Sound: The Savage Side Of Me (Tomb Raider)

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I like the fact that Miracle of Sound's music design has evolved. You have drum beat, guitar riffs, and a male singer, but resisted the urge to make this a rock song by making the guitar riffs the center stage like you did for Sovngarde Song, instead relegating the guitar to the sidelines (and giving it some but not overwhelming attention during interludes) and harmonizing it better with the sounds of rest of the instruments/sounds used. This fits the theme of the game and the song better than anything else I've heard from you.

If only you could go back to Sovngarde Song and fix the part where you go from a wonderful nordic-themed orchestral score into generic rock and roll... but maybe you disagree with the premise that it needs fixing. Still, this song shows that there's still hope; I was completely expecting some heavy metal from you as the video was loading given the title of the song and the lyrics.

I was so excited when you hinted you were doing a song for Tomb Raider, and I am not disappointed. I think this is one of the few songs you've done that I really appreciated the lyrics, I feel as though you're improving a lot in that area.

It suggests to me that the core idea is that Lara is being forced to develop in a savage way for the sake of survival and her unwavering will to set things right again. I really hated Yahtzee's review of the game because he didn't seem to think that this a proper character arc and that she had no development, but I think the key idea is that she is being forced into extremes, and there is no real place for decisions, other than to keep going forward.

Anyway, I especially enjoyed the Japanese percussions at the beginning. Did you take any inspiration from the "Instrument" they created for the soundtrack?

DjinnFor:
I like the fact that Miracle of Sound's music design has evolved. You have drum beat, guitar riffs, and a male singer, but resisted the urge to make this a rock song by making the guitar riffs the center stage like you did for Sovngarde Song, instead relegating the guitar to the sidelines (and giving it some but not overwhelming attention during interludes) and harmonizing it better with the sounds of rest of the instruments/sounds used. This fits the theme of the game and the song better than anything else I've heard from you.

If only you could go back to Sovngarde Song and fix the part where you go from a wonderful nordic-themed orchestral score into generic rock and roll... but maybe you disagree with the premise that it needs fixing. Still, this song shows that there's still hope; I was completely expecting some heavy metal from you as the video was loading given the title of the song and the lyrics.

Interesting. This is mostly an issue with two things :

1. Production experience
2. Gear.

While I like the metal feel of Sovngarde Song's second half, if I had had my current studio & knowledge I'd have been able to make that song a hundred times better & had the strings dominate in that segment. I sometimes can't even listen to it nowadays as I hear so many flaws in the mixing etc, particularly the vocal sections. That said, it's still my most popular song ever, so I guess I did something right.

I spent thousands of dollars (and by thousands I'm talking 5-6 grand) on new music gear this year, in particular much better orchestral plugins, which allow me to make those sounds the focus of the songs now without the guitars having to come in and cover up the cheaper stuff's flaws.

Voulan:
I was so excited when you hinted you were doing a song for Tomb Raider, and I am not disappointed. I think this is one of the few songs you've done that I really appreciated the lyrics, I feel as though you're improving a lot in that area.

It's so much easier to write lyrics when the story has inspiring moments & characters. I loved Lara's arc, even if it did feel a bit too fast at points

Voulan:
Anyway, I especially enjoyed the Japanese percussions at the beginning. Did you take any inspiration from the "Instrument" they created for the soundtrack?

I took inspiration from the sounds I heard during the game, yeah. Was unaware they made a new instrument, I just presumed it was some Gamelan instruments or something similar!

August 2011: Yay, I won a $15 iTunes gift card from a contest. Gonna save this for something good.

May 2012: Ooo, Journey OST. Gotta support this. *spends $5*

November 2012: Hmm, been at The Escapist for a while and never really listened to Miracle of Sound. Video game music? Sure, sounds neat.
*later* Omg I can't get Sovngarde Song out of my head! I gotta buy it and spread the word to all my friends to appease the ear-worm *buys*

December 2012: Aw geeze, New Black Gold...Shadows in the Moonlight...Calamity...Legends of the Frost...soooo good x___x. *spends another $4*

January 2013: Been in an Assassin's Creed 3 sort of mood. Oh lordy, Gav made some good AC3 songs. Gotta buy! *spends $2*

February 2013: Ooo, City of Night sounds great. And ya, I really liked Keep Drifting too...*buys both*

Later February 2012: NO! NO! I'm down to $1 and I WILL resist getting that Walking Dead song for the sake of my poor eyes.

Yesterday: *listens to this awesome new song*...fine Gav, you win *buys*

And that is the story of how Gavin (and Austin Wintory) took my money : (. RIP iTunes card. Your sacrifice for good music was not in vain.

MiracleOfSound:

Voulan:
Anyway, I especially enjoyed the Japanese percussions at the beginning. Did you take any inspiration from the "Instrument" they created for the soundtrack?

I took inspiration from the sounds I heard during the game, yeah. Was unaware they made a new instrument, I just presumed it was some Gamelan instruments or something similar!

Yeah, they built a sculpture that would make all sorts of percussion sounds. I know that some of the music in the game was made entirely with the Instrument alone. It is supposed to encompass the sound of the Island as a living entity, and your overall antagonist.

Here it is:

image

It features on one of the Final Hours of Tomb Raider episodes.

The bit of the video where Lara jumps into the chopper is so funny. I'd expect her to either;
Get munched by the blades
Get her arm pulled out of the socket
Pull the old dude out, and they both tumble to their deaths
The helicopter tilt, and then go out of control

But no, she appears to the The Shooter Guy, laws of physics and logic need not apply.

I am REALLY liking the songs we have been getting lately! It's clear why one song a month has it's benefits! I wonder what you will do for the next one...

doggie015:
I am REALLY liking the songs we have been getting lately! It's clear why one song a month has it's benefits! I wonder what you will do for the next one...

Oh, the next one is very special ;)

Raggedstar:

And that is the story of how Gavin (and Austin Wintory) took my money : (. RIP iTunes card. Your sacrifice for good music was not in vain.

That is a lot of support :) Thank you!

My God, you're a busy man. I'm still trying to get my head around Motor Girls pulling off the Jet Black Dresses they were wearing to mourn the Death of Rock and Roll...

So, riddle me this Gavster, have you completely given up sleep? Is your head now filled with nothing but catchy baselines and lyrics? Do you hold conversations entirely in rhyme? (As in Rock and Roll rhymes, not like "Wheelie say, find friends today" type rhymes)

Anyway, GREAT song! Feel compelled to buy the game now. I've hated every Tomb Raider game up to now. Who knows? Maybe this'll be the good one. Before that of course, off to buy the song.

maxmanrules:
The bit of the video where Lara jumps into the chopper is so funny. I'd expect her to either;
Get munched by the blades
Get her arm pulled out of the socket
Pull the old dude out, and they both tumble to their deaths
The helicopter tilt, and then go out of control

But no, she appears to the The Shooter Guy, laws of physics and logic need not apply.

All the trailer's I've seen, the game's "shooter guy-esque" laws of physics and logic remind me of Assassin's Croft.
I mean, Lara Creed.

MiracleOfSound:

doggie015:
I am REALLY liking the songs we have been getting lately! It's clear why one song a month has it's benefits! I wonder what you will do for the next one...

Oh, the next one is very special ;)

So the next one is where you tell us of your secret love of farmville eh?

You Can't Take the Sky From Me:
As someone who was an archer for years all I can really say is, that is not how one uses a bow. She'd be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn like that. Good song though, as usual.

As someone who has also done a lot of archery, this bugs me as well. Maybe I'm being pedantic, but really?! If you're going to make the use of a bow and arrow such a prominent feature in a game's marketing, I don't think it's too much to expect you to animate the proper use of one.

Damn it. I think this just hurdled "Normandy" and "City of Night" for my all time favourite (so far). The harmonies are great - and for some odd reason, this one, like "Normandy," gives me a lump in my throat.

Yet, unlike "Normandy," I've not played the game this was based on.

MiracleOfSound:
While I like the metal feel of Sovngarde Song's second half, if I had had my current studio & knowledge I'd have been able to make that song a hundred times better & had the strings dominate in that segment. I sometimes can't even listen to it nowadays as I hear so many flaws in the mixing etc, particularly the vocal sections. That said, it's still my most popular song ever, so I guess I did something right.

I spent thousands of dollars (and by thousands I'm talking 5-6 grand) on new music gear this year, in particular much better orchestral plugins, which allow me to make those sounds the focus of the songs now without the guitars having to come in and cover up the cheaper stuff's flaws.

This is one thing I'm curious about when it comes to creativity - the temptation to apply new skills and experience to your old material. How do you ensure you don't do a Lucas and disappear up your own back catalogue, Gav, especially when you listen to your old stuff and wince?

I still have the feeling that all the games you use for your inspiration and footage should pay you huge amounts of money.

I have checked and at least 5 games in my did-play-folder the last year were there only because I listened to your songs about them and had the urge to buy and catch the atmosphere for myself. It's awesome, like a good game critic, but also sad because at least half of the money I spend on them should've gone to you for the wonderful ads.

IMAGinES:

This is one thing I'm curious about when it comes to creativity - the temptation to apply new skills and experience to your old material. How do you ensure you don't do a Lucas and disappear up your own back catalogue, Gav, especially when you listen to your old stuff and wince?

I have changed things a couple of times, for example the Take it back extended mix & re-recording the vocal on Shadows In The Moonlight but yeah, there is a fine line between improving and Lucas-ing :D

Honestly I can't answer your question as for me, it's a grey area. Sometimes it is very tempting to do it!

EdwardGein:
I still have the feeling that all the games you use for your inspiration and footage should pay you huge amounts of money.

I have checked and at least 5 games in my did-play-folder the last year were there only because I listened to your songs about them and had the urge to buy and catch the atmosphere for myself. It's awesome, like a good game critic, but also sad because at least half of the money I spend on them should've gone to you for the wonderful ads.

It's all good - the game being associated with the song has also opened me up to a new audience due to associating it with the game, so I guess it's a mutually beneficial thing :)

I don't usually listen to MoS, so maybe I'm missing the point, but this sounded like it was ripped from a better song almost completely. Maybe it's supposed to be "parody" or something and I don't get it (again, I usually don't listen), I don't know.

All I can think is I really want to remember the song this sounds like and track it down so I can listen to IT instead.

It's like that WCW theme song you hear that's a couple notes away from a major smash hit, or when some action movie tries to get around licensing rights to "Danger Zone" or "Eye of the Tiger."

Zachary Amaranth:
I don't usually listen to MoS, so maybe I'm missing the point, but this sounded like it was ripped from a better song almost completely. Maybe it's supposed to be "parody" or something and I don't get it (again, I usually don't listen), I don't know.

All I can think is I really want to remember the song this sounds like and track it down so I can listen to IT instead.

It's like that WCW theme song you hear that's a couple notes away from a major smash hit, or when some action movie tries to get around licensing rights to "Danger Zone" or "Eye of the Tiger."

Ouch. That's a new one. Not really much I can take from that other than... ouch.

If you do find the song you feel it's close to, do let me know what it is.

great work! i had only listened to miracle of sound once before a long time ago, glad i gave it another try. i already own the game, this song made me free some time up to actually play it. good melody, love the strings in the break.

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