Every Frame a Painting: The Marvel Symphonic Universe — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Every Frame a Painting: The Marvel Symphonic Universe

digitalruse.9085digitalruse.9085 Member ✭✭
edited November 30, 2018 in Nov/Dec: Audio

Have you seen this?

If so, what are your thoughts and do you feel some of these concepts emerge or that you have to fight (whether positive or negative) as you are composing?




  • Speaking for myself (and all my own opinions), this is a hot topic with pros and cons on both sides, non of which are black and white in their outcomes. I think this video makes a lot of good points but fails to recognize that some of its positive examples like, Star Wars, were just a heavily temp scored as Marvel films. The difference is that newer films are selecting other modern films as their temp music. This sort of resulting in a passing around of the latest trend in film music. Something like Star Wars was temped with much more "art music" such as Gustav Holst's, The Planets, or Igor Stravinsky's, The Rite of Spring.

    So, is the issue with using temp music or with the catalog of music people are choosing to spot their scenes with?

    As far as the problem of actually using temp music, I believe that once temp music is put to picture, the composer is now fighting the expectations of others, that their music will sound exactly like the temp, and that's never going to happen for legal reasons. So you're already fighting impossible expectations which usually just makes everyone feel worse about the process.

    But this is also complicated because developers who are reviewing video content, such as cinematics, are showing their scenes to stake holders for months before they ship. They usually want some piece of music representative of what their scene will be in its final form, so that non-musicians in the room don't have to use their imaginations of how the scene will feel once final music is delivered. Audio can be a hard thing for people to stretch their imaginations on and temp music can fill that silence.

    I would also say there is a third component, that being the relationship between the content creators and the composer. We are very fortunate to have Maclaine writing all our music and we know that he will nail the Guild Wars sound. Meaning, there is trust between the composer and the dev team.

    When you are working with a composer you have never worked with, there may be a strong inclination to use temp or reference music as a conversation starter because you may not have a rapport or shared vocabulary with this new person and this is an augmentation to help communicate to the composer what it is you want from the music for your product.

    For our case I believe, when we avoid using temp music, we give more creative freedom to the composer and we are managing developer's expectations so that when Maclaine's music does arrive, it is a pleasant surprise to see what he has created for the game and how the product is infinitely better for it.

    This is just my verbos opinion. Maclaine will definitely have more insight, being the person doing the actual work.


    Chris Burgess
    Sound Designer