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Starhawk: How to Create an Epic Soundtrack

Matt Levine's Avatar + Posted by Matt Levine on Apr 27, 2012 // Score Producer, Starhawk

When Lightbox Interactive’s President Dylan Jobe came to us to discuss the musical score for Starhawk, he had one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard from a game director: “The music should not simulate combat; it should remind you what you’re fighting for.”

It is rare for so many things to come together on a project, but Starhawk has proven to be a perfect storm for creating a truly inspirational score. With a great story, a visionary developer, a brilliant composer, The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra, and a fantastic collection of soloists, we knew that this score would be something really special.

Chris Lennertz’s score is bursting with character and memorable themes. Lyrical melodies soar through the orchestra, juxtaposed against feral percussion, gritty guitars, ethnic vocals and an eclectic mix of exotic wind instruments, each contributing to a score that is as memorable as it is unique.

At its core, the story is a classic western tale of two brothers torn apart by a tragic event. Chris composed a theme for the brothers, which you can listen to right here.


Chris Lennertz – A Tale of Two Brothers

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//Add Your Own

36 Comments

1

+ MushThePainter on April 27th, 2012 at 11:14 am said:

the video is broken.. the requested video is not allowed to be played in embedded players


2

+ nYcFrEeWiLL82 on April 27th, 2012 at 11:21 am said:

with all due respect..and i do mean all do respect..i dont think anyone care about the sound track..but that’s just MY OPINION.I THINK people would’ve rather have PS HOME STARHAWK content or different skins for our online characters like NATHAN or COLE…now thats worth LIMITED EDITION content ;)


3

+ MushThePainter on April 27th, 2012 at 11:24 am said:

its working now :) sounds great, cant wait for STARHAWK!!!!!!!!!!!!


4

+ longevity on April 27th, 2012 at 11:38 am said:

I just hope they have the option to use a custom soundtrack with the multiplayer portion.

a good custom soundtrack can make a game WAY more fun. it is a nice option to have and I hope they include it.


5

+ Android66 on April 27th, 2012 at 12:10 pm said:

@2: You mean you think no one cares about purchasing/owning the soundtrack? Or do you mean you think no one cares about soundtracks in games? I think you are sadly mistaken either way. I’d much rather purchase a soundtrack than virtual items for a Home avatar. And game soundtracks, like movie soundtracks, are quite important.

Ask someone to hum the theme from Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, or Raiders of the Lost Ark. People know this music. It is memorable. It adds to a film, evokes emotions, and defines characters from those films.

If you’ve played the original Warhawk, you’ll know that Chris Lennertz wrote a kick-ass score for it. I’d put it up there with the music from the original Medal of Honor games and the Uncharted soundtrack. I, for one, am glad he’s writing the music for Starhawk, and I am looking forward to playing a game with an epic score…instead of some forgettable techno music, heavy metal or “rap” which not all of us enjoy.


6

+ DuoMaxwell007 on April 27th, 2012 at 12:21 pm said:

@2 lol CoD fanboy spotted “I dont care about music I jsut wanna shoot stuff”

but lets say youre right and no one cares about music (i only expect good music in JRPGs during “touching” moments.. you know.. those kinda moments that dont exist in shooters? But yeah even if youre right and no one cares about music, I can assure you they care about PS Home MUCH less. lol


7

+ soldiercell on April 27th, 2012 at 12:46 pm said:

I hope the Limited Edition from Gamestop has the soundtrack on a dvd and not on the game disc! I hate That!


8

+ KidCommando on April 27th, 2012 at 1:00 pm said:

Great video! Hyped me up even more for the release.

Thanks for making such amazing soundtracks, the Warhawk title screen music alone was just plain awesome.

Your work is appreciated!


9

+ HAYAbUsAmaN on April 27th, 2012 at 1:00 pm said:

Sounds great and I am glad DJ found someone to do the music that cares as much about the integrity of the game as his team does


10

+ Heavenly_king on April 27th, 2012 at 1:12 pm said:

Sony you MUST advertise this game!!!. If you dont want it to bomb!!!!! Come on Sony!!!!


11

+ Heavenly_king on April 27th, 2012 at 1:15 pm said:

What is the point of making a game if few people buy it?! YOU MUST ADVERTISE THIS GAME!!!


12

+ tyreytrdh on April 27th, 2012 at 1:24 pm said:

Should I keep my pre order for Starhawk or buy LBP 2 special edition?


13

+ BoNeSaW23 on April 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm said:

Great job Chris! You just sold me a Limited Edition so I can get the soundtrack :)

I was truly awed by the music when I first fired up the Beta a couple months ago. I just sat there listening while Emmet tossed that Rift bar in his hand.
They REALLY have captured a unique sound for STARHAWK and can’t wait for May 8th!


14

+ SalMoriarty on April 27th, 2012 at 1:45 pm said:

Nitpick about the blog for a moment:

To Jeff, Sid, and crew:

When a video is the top story, can you make the headline clickable? The “read more” link gets lost because the color of the link doesn’t stand out enough.

Thanks.


15

+ lisatsunami on April 27th, 2012 at 3:09 pm said:

Since I recently bought the Journey soundtrack on iTunes, I have to side with the “cares about soundtracks” group on this post.

Music hath charms that soothe the savage breast. It is the one non-derivative art form, if you don’t count bird calls. Music is & always has been among the greatest of human expressions & the most universal. I, for one among legions, truly appreciate the care that some developers put into scoring their games.


16

+ oo7PorscheMGS on April 27th, 2012 at 3:45 pm said:

Of course the music counts… anyone who says “music doesn’t matter” …has no heart ;) And obviously has never played or had a big enough brain to notice to the beautiful MOVING music in the best games like MGS, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, JOURNEY, ICO, MARIO…I COULD go on…….. MOST if not ALL GREAT games have GREAT music as well… so umm… pay attention noobs ;) Anyway… Starhawk looks…AND sounds GREAT. Reminds me of Warhawk… which also gave you a thrill because of the great soundtrack as you flew through the air shootin $hit like a bada$$ ;) I didn’t get TOO into the beta but I’m definitely watching / waiting for its release. Especially with the one player mode as well this time. Not to mention that Lightbox seems to know how to do shooters the RIGHT way… with lobbies, custom ranked rooms, NO lag even with 32 players… etc ;)


17

+ sekaniy on April 27th, 2012 at 4:38 pm said:

Great music. Like the video. Glad they are adding the music in limited edition. I’m purchasing Journey music before the game! So music is important to me also.
Looks like a lot of thought is going into story which is another good thing! They need to add him in the Fighting All-Stars game! Rift energy finishes!!!


18

+ monkeys_10 on April 27th, 2012 at 5:03 pm said:

I use to think that music never mattered in games But then at school i joined band thinking it would be terrible but it turns out everything has a musical theme and I love that lightbox has showed this to really give the people of soundtracks the credit they deserve.


19

+ NOBODIE on April 27th, 2012 at 6:00 pm said:

i just can not wait for THIS game… wooooh its gonna be AWESOME!!!


20

+ boyntonalex71608 on April 27th, 2012 at 6:33 pm said:

When will there be add-ons for Skyrim?


21

+ VinsanityV21 on April 27th, 2012 at 7:00 pm said:

I know this is about the music, but I’m focusing on something else for a minute here. Are the 2D cutscenes in the game done by the same studio that did the promotional Heavenly Sword 2D shorts? These guys:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMI8nbxukK4
They look EXTREMELY similar. Which is fine, because they’re awesome. I just want to know ;)


22

+ Zidaneski on April 27th, 2012 at 8:41 pm said:

Nice I haven’t payed too much to the music in thus game but that brothers piece is awesome!


23

+ Hooligantuan on April 27th, 2012 at 11:30 pm said:

So the music reminds you that you’re fighting for barrels of alien energy? Alien energy that was put into barrels?


24

+ jason_ac on April 27th, 2012 at 11:37 pm said:

The ethnic fusion is a nice touch.

I liked the music for Warhawk so I’m interested to hear how SH’s music came out.


25

+ DarkOne_PR on April 27th, 2012 at 11:46 pm said:

i have this game fully paid since a month ago


26

+ DarkOne_PR on April 27th, 2012 at 11:51 pm said:

just a question… can we customize our character for online?


27

+ C_Y_P_H_E_R on April 28th, 2012 at 1:08 am said:

I love the music, it’s amazing but, if you all really love music…you’ll give us a custom soundtrack option. I used it with High Velocity Bowling (great game). If Starhawk had a limited edition with the soundtrack/score on vinyl…that would be awesome though I know that isn’t likely to ever happen. Now all I need to know is when will the free Starhawk avatars be out on PSN.


28

+ MilanSoul on April 28th, 2012 at 4:17 am said:

amazing !!


29

+ Elvick_ on April 28th, 2012 at 7:48 am said:

@26: Bowling, and a TPS are two very different things to use custom music on… I only use custom music on puzzle games, sports and racing games. Using it in anything else feels weird.

Shooting people down to Ingrid St-Pierre’s ~ Mercure Au Chrome Et P’tits Pansements… just doesn’t work.


30

+ Quiana-3000 on April 28th, 2012 at 9:41 am said:

i love it more it good


31

+ yami930 on April 28th, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

I definetly want the soundtrack it sounds like it can be amazing. One thing I feel games now a days are missing is music during the multiplayer, instead they try to focus on adding more sound effects for various other things, but while thats great, it does not replace having a full track to get you pumped while your playing the game. For example, my first time playing in the Starhawk beta, when I first got my hands on the enemy flag and started running to my base, I started to feel like iron man, and my heart was beating fast and i felt the adrenaline all because that music that started to rise in volume from the moment you grab the flag. It was a great track, and I agree on the different ethnic instruments being in one track sounds different because thats how i felt when I first heard it. Its going to be amazing :)


32

+ yami930 on April 28th, 2012 at 11:29 am said:

Also, One thing I really hate is no one in interviews or articles or any form of media i have seen or even searched for, for months has brought up or asked about the drastic changes to the knife system since the beta. It was announced that the knife was going to be changed, and I dont know if it was single player or multiplayer but around 1:58 – 2:00 i feel like i saw the warhawk style knife in the game, it was 2 consecutive swings while having the knife equipped as opposed to that horrible click R3 melee system. That has been the only thing I’ve seen or heard about the kinfe since the one announcment towards the betas end, I hope its how it looks.


33

+ DROPGRAVY on April 28th, 2012 at 11:58 am said:

Brilliant .


34

+ Crazyjunkman on April 28th, 2012 at 4:52 pm said:

I dont care about starhawk at the moment…Hey Sony!!!! How about about getting that crapass development team of yours to fix the network errors i cant even get in Home its making me mad.How about fixing stuff and quit adding new content for a while ya? And for god’s sake Konami penthouse needs more rewards


35

+ cfountain on April 29th, 2012 at 8:07 am said:

the game comes out in a little over a week and they still arent advertising it. you can see this flopping already.

I got my copy pre-ordered and I cant wait for it to show up from Amazon but this is pretty pathetic from Sony. i want to compare it to Twisted Metal but it actually got some advertisements before launch.

ontopic, great soundtrack. really liking the music.


36

+ Shalom90 on April 29th, 2012 at 7:23 pm said:

Glad there are still developers out there that actually put care and thought into the scores for their games. Sony exclusives are usually great in this regard.

Lennertz does is best work for games, and this video just got me a lot more excited for it. If I remember correctly, La-La Land Records is releasing the score soon, along with Mark Mancina’s Sorcery.


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