As promised, this week we will tell you about the work that’s involved in getting the music and sounds to Jelly Wars 2. We grabbed our gear and headed to “Studio Audio”, the mixing studio where the magic happens, to interview our sound guy and grab a few photos of how game music is made.
Torsti Spoof, the mastermind behind the soundscape of Jelly Wars 2, has an impressive track record on playing, producing, mastering, and overall creating all kinds of music, ranging from hard rock to commercial TV (check his bio at the bottom of this page). He has worked with Star Arcade before, as his compositions can be heard not just on the original Jelly Wars, but also on our other titles, like the Diamonds Paradise.
What makes Jelly Wars 2 different from the previous projects is the sheer scale. Torsti told us that he has been working on the game for a few months now. The project was upright ambitious from the get go, but it more than paid off. Jelly Wars 2 features full scale symphonic orchestra, which is heavy duty for mobile games to say at least. Torsti hates looping tracks, so a couple of minutes of generic audio just wouldn’t cut it: the main theme tracks alone took roughly 1,5 months to complete, with overall 4 different tracks in-game totaling ~20 minutes of original compositions.
The magic usually starts with doing the ground work for the project. Torsti was given pictures and video of the upcoming game, which he states as a critical tool in audio creation: “The visual world helps in the creation of the audio world, since they practically walk hand in hand. The pictures help concretize the desired audio atmosphere, for example in Jelly Wars 2 the goal (and challenge!) was to create a soundtrack that reflects heroism and bit of a war, but still at the same time remains casual enough for the mobile player.” Torsti’s work process is effective in its simpleness: he starts building the music by first composing the basic structures of the song for piano only. Once he has few piano tracks finished, he can more or less hear the final compositions in his head – he knows which parts of the orchestra will play on which parts of the composition.
Torsti showed us his work in process and the screen was full of different instrument tracks. When we asked how many different tracks the main theme song actually had in it, the artist just laughed and commented “a truckload”. But in all seriousness, a single song has more than 30 different instrument tracks in it. On the technical side, MIDI programming is done in Logic X with three computer setup, all linked with Vienna Ensemble Pro. All tracks were mixed with Pro Tools HDX software and the magnificent Neve Custom Series analog console.
“Music is an important element in movies – you never understand their value until you try watching a movie without them. I think that the same applies to games. The aim in game music is creating music that supports the game experience and the game world. If you have made a song successfully people can even recognize the game by hearing only a few notes of the song itself.” We couldn’t agree more with Torsti – imagine watching a horror movie without any sound. Yeah, not that effective. Effective just happens to be our topic on our next blog post when we continue our interview with Torsti, talking more about the effects-side of the game’s audio world.
- Played 28 years electric guitar, 8 years classical piano, 4 years classical guitar.
- Studied in Musicians Institute and Berklee College of Music.
- Studio musician in ¨100 albums, with over 2,500 live performances.
- Music producer and composer, 3 years as a contractor for Warner Chappel.