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Sound-track III: The Search for Knee-Socks

26 Mar 2013

Hello again! It’s lunchtime on Wednesday, so while most of the team is munching away, it’s Knee-Soken’s time to play…if by “play” you mean “skip lunch to do more work.”

But who needs food? It’s spring, and spring’s my favorite time of the year!

As the days grow warm and the wind picks up, the socks grow longer and the skirts shorter.
I’m sure there’s some measurable correlation between the phenomena, but I’ve never been a man of science.
All I know is that outside, there is some serious magic going on…but I’m stuck in here, buried under reams of sheet music and midi cables…

Though I won’t let that stop me from leaking another music sample from ARR!
The last two blog-jacks have featured tracks from Limsa Lominsa and Gridania, so it only seemed fitting that I complete the trinity with the smooth sounds of the sultanate—Ul’dah!

(The astute listener will, once again, notice that some of these tracks sound familiar. Well, you’re right! They were first revealed during the last Producer Letter Live. But, as many of you will remember, we had a bit of equipment trouble that night, and the sound quality was far below par. I apologize for that, and hope these new versions do the tracks justice!)

Now that the fun is out of the way, allow me to wax solemn for a moment, if you will.

For ARR, we’ve put a great deal of time and effort into developing realistic ambient sounds, as well as content-specific effects (so much so that we’re beginning to run out of memory to fit them all in!). Rather than have the music be the focal point of each and everything you do in Eorzea, we’d rather it be an accent. Put the BG back in BGM, so to speak. Making sure that every crunch, every chirp, every knock, and every note fits the world perfectly is the most important part of my job as sound director.

That’s not to detract from the importance of an epic soundtrack. No, sir! But I believe that music has its biggest impact when it enhances those climactic peaks in a story. If it’s always in your face, it just lessens that impact. So, when the action or the story is put on hold, or you are simply out walking about, we’re trying to make it so the BGM melts into the background so you can better immerse yourself in the world. Of course, when you step into those important quests, battles, and cutscenes, we’ve seen to it that the music plays a more central role in your experience.

Hm? Who am I and what have I done with the crazy Soken you all know and love?
Hey! I can be serious every now and then, if I try.
Blame it on the weather! Or maybe the lack of food…

Talk to you all again soon!