A delightful game, how Eternal Return sound was created

  • subject: OST planning that matches the realism of gamers and the world of gamers
  • Lecturer: Yang Seung-hyuk – Music Director / Studio Doma
  • Presentation area: music, sound, planning
  • Lecture time: 2021.11.19 (Fri) 11:00 ~ 11:50
  • Lecture Summary: OST planning that fits the gamer world
  • Those who come in contact with the content remember the sound source, music, sound effects, etc. without even knowing it. The sounds that revolve around in your head can also make people happy. It is even repeated in the minds of the students that a list of songs banned for the CSAT comes out.

    However, these sounds are also intentionally created. Music director Yang Seung-hyuk of Studio Doma has produced several games and animation sound sources, including Eternal Return. During the production process, I tried to find a way to entertain users, and explained the subtle differences in sound.

    At the lecture site, I could feel the difference between the sounds through sound comparison. Furthermore, I was able to experience the process through which sound sources for various games, including Eternal Return, are completed.

    ■ Why we talk about audio– sound image

    There are two representative images that come to mind when using content and brands. What comes to mind when you start enjoying Netflix content or using your iPhone? It is the brand’s representative logo and sound. The sound that comes out when the logo appears also takes place in our memories of the brand. The sound can also be said to be a component of the brand and content.

    ■ The role of hearing in content– sound and music

    ▲ A ‘marker’ that gives a sound inflection point

    In content, hearing plays a role in synthesizing complex sounds. Sound is a synthesis of sound, music, and dialogue. Depending on the story or situation of the content, the sound can change depending on how the content is mixed or given an inflection point.

    The inflection point is specified through free thinking beyond simple techniques. This is because the inflection point can change depending on the situation, place, and atmosphere in the story. Mixing is the activity of mixing the tones of certain sounds in a sound to make them more audible. Music director Yang Seung-hyuk cites the initial sound source used in Naruto Mobile and the sound source that received feedback as an example. In order to change the sound source to a clearer sound in response to the game company’s request to ‘make it shiny’, the strength was adjusted for each sound. This is in consideration of the main color of the content and the main user base, and Music Director Yang Seung-hyuk also agreed on the direction of the mix.

    ▲ East and West have different tolerant ranges

    Music director Yang Seung-hyuk introduced a method to give auditory pleasure. First, to explain the difference in the vocal range, we compared how the music of the East and the West differed. It is said that the people of the two regions are fundamentally different from the vocal range. The Asian region is said to be tolerant of high frequencies, and Europe is said to be tolerant of low frequencies. This was explained by contrasting the background music of Clash of Clans in Europe and Cheonae Myungwoldo, a game with an Asian background. Through this example, it was emphasized that each region of the world has a range that gives auditory pleasure and stability.

    Then, the melody-lyrics-voice was said to satisfy the auditory pleasure. He said that when the OST with a song was put in, it was necessary to set the right settings for the character. Taking the character of Eternal Return as an example, he was a murderer, but he had to interpret it as a character with a reason to be like that and leave it as music. Here, we compared the voice of the music director’s demo version with the song of a real female singer, saying that the voice that fits the game character plays a big role.

    In the scene where the child actually appears, the process of picking the child’s voice was introduced. He emphasized once again how important the role of the voice is in sound, so that when adults perform in front of a child, a child can record a child’s voice imitating it.

    The process of making that sound is inevitably abstract. Music director Yang Seung-hyuk distinguished the process of generating ideas and the steps of materializing them. He explained that the process of coming up with an idea should be put down, saying, ‘Your finger writes a song’.

    The way to materialize this is the process of producing an actual sound source as an example. Let’s say you’re making a campaign song that tells you that COVID-19 is just a cold. He said that he needed a bright and cute voice, and the lyrics like Koko Kobi, and the image of a child sniffling casually, were formed and materialized. Through this, the music can give the feeling of a cold that does not interfere with COVID-19.

    ■ Audio that makes IP worthwhile– fandom, user

    ▲ Original song – EDM remix version made by fans

    The IP value of sound is created by the fandom and users. After participating in Eternal Return, music director Yang Seung-hyuk expressed his gratitude to the fans, saying that the value of the sound has risen through the reactions of fans.

    Eternal Return’s in-play sound is important because you never know when or where the battle will take place. So, instead of making a sound for each map, only the beginning of the game has sound. Even though it was a short sound effect for each map, fans gathered it and uploaded it, and some users even uploaded an EDM remix version.

    Then, music director Yang Seung-hyuk said that instrumental sound should be provided. This is because audio or music that is centered on the user comes out.

    Excessive repetition of music from the perspective of users who play the game can cause negative effects. Music director Yang Seung-hyuk tried to keep the rule of 3 times when a certain section of the game was repeated. This can lead to negative emotions when the same music is repeated four times. That’s why we add ‘interactive sound’. This is the work of adding the intro part before starting in earnest in the section where the strong sound is repeated. This reduces the repetition of the sound and effectively conveys the emphasis section.

    Music director Yang Seung-hyuk repeatedly mentioned that game OSTs and sounds should give users pleasure. The value of game music can go up even more through the basic sound inclination and the work of matching what users want.