Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Creating a “destructive” Battlefield 2042 soundtrack

Beyond epic battles and fierce shootouts, the Battlefield series has built an incredible reputation for providing a premium audio experience. From accurate reproductions of weapon fires to crunches of gravel under boots, this is one of the most intense hearing gaming experiences you can play today. If you haven’t played it yet, it’s a good idea to get a good headphone set when you play. So.

Its soundtrack has also become familiar to players, and its “Battlefield Theme” seems to find a way to always live without rent for each new iteration. Battlefield 2042But the soundtrack feels like a level of work you’ve never heard of. Frankly, I think it’s great. Each track has this physical and harsh texture that complements the unprecedented on-screen combat mess.

To learn more about the composition and its unique arrangements, we talked with Hildur Gudnadottir, Sam Slater and the composer. Battlefield 2042 To learn more about the soundtrack, a job that was one of the best video game scores of the year.


One of the things I am grateful for Battlefield 2042 The soundtrack is that you can actually feel the music. It’s very metallic, organic, and even harsh. My mind is reminiscent of the textured images of rusty metal drums, coarse sand, and bass guitar strings on some tracks. How did you reach this “texture” when you sat down to start creating the game soundtrack?

When discussing the sound palette of Battlefield 2042 I asked myself, “What kind of world is being created?” The world of games is futuristic, but the future is close enough to our present world, so we must feel that sound is rooted in our present reality. This meant that there were no laser guns or shiny synthesizers, and no nostalgic orchestra to make players romantic and distanced from such a brutal world.

Hilder and I wanted to feel that the music was completely rooted in the physical environment of the game itself, so we could bring the physical environment itself to life and bring the turmoil of the physical environment to the player’s ears. I quickly realized the idea that I could do it.

How did you enjoy the process of creating a game soundtrack rather than making a movie? Were there any aspects that turned out to be more or less challenging than expected?

Working on the game was a very enjoyable experience. Often, the movie’s visuals are locked and the music is added at the end. This reduces the space where the visual and auditory landscapes are intertwined. Hoping that our recent project “Chernobyl” was, they can coexist, but in many cases our eyes and ears exist in parallel. The game doesn’t show the final graphics until it’s complete, so we’re always working on the ideas, concepts, and impressions of the world we’re working on. This creates a tremendous amount of dialogue and collaboration between audio and graphics, allowing us to actually explore the potential for the boundaries between music, sound effects and the visual world to collapse into a single living environment. .. That said, it’s hard to create that cohesion! It took me 18 months to get this score.

Your work on the “Chernobyl” soundtrack is fascinating in that it composes the sound from a real nuclear power plant.That is Battlefield 2042 There is no “physical” space in that sense, but please tell us how you worked to discover the soundscape of the game. What was the creative process?

We looked at the material of the map itself and used the main material of each location to inform us of the sounds we made. If the environment is primarily sand and glass, we have created equipment and processes that use these materials. In this case, it could have been the highest frequency of a feedback speaker cone covered with sand, or shattered glass used to create rhythmic noise.

One of my favorite examples is the opening sound of the “wet bulb”. This is a music-based track on the map called Renewal. This map has an interesting dialogue between lush areas and very dry and dry areas where molten salt generators are located. I was wondering how I could dry the sound acoustically, so I played a recording of sand moving through a plate reverb to create a “wet sand” and reverb from the sound using algorithmic reverb removal. Has been deleted. The result is a very weird dry sound that is quite different from the original file, but it creates a very interesting sonic bass of dry, dry and dry maps like this.

What was your collaboration with the DICE and EA development teams throughout this process? Did they have an idea of ​​how they wanted the game to sound, or did you have the complete creative freedom to explore the space and come back to them with your ideas?

Our collaboration has been very exploratory for 18 months and DICE and EA have been very supportive and encouraging. When we all first talked about doing scores together, the big word was “destructive.” Steve Schnur, EA’s head of music, said he needed a unique score, which was reflected in the DICE team. They felt that playing safely would really miss a chance given the strength of the game and really encouraged us to get the most out of our ideas.

Battlefield 2042-Hazard Zone

Hilder and I join the project with great respect for Battlefield’s previous scores and knowing that players are expected to pull the world of sound in a different direction while staying true to the work of the previous game. Did. In a few weeks of conceptual discussions about what can be done to bring the environment to life, using EA and DICE at all meetings, the phrase “I can’t do that” was never spoken. .. I started collecting sounds with a great deal of support and knowledge from everyone involved. We hope the results will be satisfying for avid Battlefield fans and challenging and exciting for everyone.

Symbolic battlefield theme Battlefield 2042 It feels like it’s been pulled apart and reassembled with the world’s toughest set of tools — I think the results are great. Every time I hear it, I find myself listening to some of the specific musical clues I’ve come to know and love. ..When creating that theme Battlefield 2042How did you know when you reached the ideal balance of sound you wanted to achieve while respecting the legacy of that music track?

This was one of the real challenges of the scoring process, as the original song was known and loved by millions of people. We respected that theme and nevertheless didn’t want it to stick out of the world we were creating. Finding that balance required a lot of play and experimentation to find out why it made punching the original song so difficult. Our theme is the thunder-like bass of a DIY instrument proudly named “Power Plank”. Battlefield 2042 A sound world reaching out to create the main melodic theme. We understood that this theme should not be apologized like in the game world, so we pushed it as much as possible.

When someone hears the soundtrack Battlefield 2042, What do they want to take away from their experience? What do you want them to feel?

for us, Battlefield 2042 A strange blend of chaos and hope. Maps are always a balance of collapsing man-made structures, chaotic meteorological systems, and humans fighting in the middle of environmental responsibility. We hope that not only will players feel excited and empowered, but they will also feel that the world they are playing in is out of control.


Thanks to Hildur Guðnadóttir and Sam Slater for sharing the creative process behind this year’s favorite video game scores. Battlefield 2042 Currently available on the Xbox Store for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. For all the latest news and features about your favorite Xbox games, take a look at Xbox Wire here.

(Photo courtesy of Camille Blake)