Takahiro Izutani

GDC 2019 その2


The Musical Brush: The Interactive Music of 'Concrete Genie'
Samuel Marshall (Composer and Audio Director, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Pixel Opus)

このセッションではSony Interactive Entertainmentからこの春にリリースされる予定のConcrete Genieというタイトルのサウンド制作についてのプレゼンが行われました。Concrete Genieは魔法の筆で不思議な絵を描く力を得た主人公の少年が周りからのいじめや冒険を通して大人になっていき寂れた街を救うというストーリーでビジュアルが素晴らしく美しいという、とてもSonyらしいゲームです。

In this session, there was a presentation about sound production of Concrete Genie, which will be released from Sony Interactive Entertainment this spring. Concrete Genie is a very Sony-like game in which the visuals are wonderfully beautiful, with a story that the protagonist boy who gains the power to draw a mysterious picture with a magic brush becomes an adult through bullying from other boys and adventure, then saves the ruined city finally.

コンポーザーのSamuel Marshall氏はPixelOpusというベイエリアのSonyスタジオでコンポーザー兼オーディオディレクターをされている方だそうで、単に楽曲を提供するのではなく如何にゲームプレイにインタラクティブにサウンドと楽曲を組み込むかに注力したとのことです。とは言え最初にデモをプレゼンした際にはまとめて提出した一時間近くもの量の音楽を一気に全部ダメだしされたとのことで、どう対応したら良いかわからず困惑して途方に暮れていたそうです。

The speaker Samuel Marshall is a composer and audio director at the Sony studio in San Francisco Bay Area called PixelOpus, and focused on how to incorporate sounds and music interactively into gameplay, rather than just providing music. However, he said when he submitted the first demo, all of the music that amount to about one hour was totally rejected, he was so embarrassingly confused that it was not clear how to deal with it.

そこでまずゲームのストーリーから表現するべき要素を列挙していき、それらの要素を端的に表すサウンドや断片的なメロディ、小曲などを作りだめていき、それらがステムとしてインタラクティブに再生されることで重層的に変化する音楽の構築を目指したそうです。例えば絵を描くことの楽しさと少年の人間的成長を表現する音が同時に再生されるなど、その組み合わせによって複雑な感情表現が可能になります。描かれる絵と同様に音楽もインタラクティブに変化する仕組みをThe musical brush chime systemと名付けたとのことです。

Therefore, first he listed the elements to be expressed from the game's story, then created sounds, fragmentary melodies, and small songs that clearly express those elements, and tried to make them to be played interactively as individual stem audio tracks, aiming to build a multi-layered music that changes depending on the situation. For example, the combination of the fun of drawing and the sound of the boy's human growth can be played simultaneously, which makes possible complex expressions of emotion. He named it as "the musical brush chime system" the mechanism that changes the music interactively as well as the picture drawn.


また彼はゲーム音楽の常道であるプレイ中のループ再生に苦言を呈していました。「常に音楽が鳴っている状況、しかもToo muchな音が流れていることによって音楽自体の力、インパクトが失われてしまう。音を止めることを恐れてはいけない。きっちりと楽曲のエンディングを作れ」と。この意見とチャレンジには自分も大賛成で、不必要に、また望まれない状況で音楽が流れていれば人々の音楽に対する感情は嫌悪感に向かっていくだけです。個人的に音楽の価値を高める、もしくは人々がより音楽に興味を持つようになるには街のいたるところで流れている無意味で不必要なBGMを減らしていくことが必要だと思っています。話を戻すと「静寂から音楽が入る導入部分こそが最もプレイヤーにインパクトを与えられる重要な部分」との認識で制作したとのことです。

He also complained about playing music loops during gameplay, which is the common way of game music. "The situation where the music is always sounding will definetely weaken the power and impact of the music itself. Don't be afraid to stop the sound. Make the ending of the music exactly " I totally agree with his opinion and the challenge, and if music flows in an unnecessary and undesirable situation, people's feelings for music will only go towards disgust. I think it is necessary to reduce the meaningless and unnecessary background music flowing all over the city in order to enhance the value of music or to make people more interested in music. To put it back, he created it with the recognition that "the introductory part where music enters from silence is the most important part that can impact the game player most".

またSamuelさんは実際にステムを並べたProtoolsのセッションファイル画面を見せながら音を再生してくれました。セッション自体に細かくたくさんの再生ポイントのマーカーがつけられていたのも興味深かったのですが、さらに驚いたのはそのサウンドのクォリティの高さです。その前日に同会場で参加者のデモ音源レビューするセッションがあったのですが、そこでの色々な参加者のデモ曲とSamuelさんの音楽の音質があまりにも違っていたんです。デモセッション参加者の音源は音数が多かったり、過度にコンプレッションされたミックスが多かったからだと思うのですが、Samuelさんの場合はまさにToo muchにしないことによって音の鮮度を保つことに成功している音楽だと思いました。

Also, Samuel played the sound while showing the Protools session file screen where the stems were actually arranged. It was also interesting that the session itself was marked with a lot of markers for playback points, but what was even more surprising was the high quality of the sound. The day before that, there was another session to review the demo song of the participants at the same venue, but the sound quality of the demo of the various participants and Samuel's music was too different. I think that participant's work consisted of a lot of sound, some was also over-compressed in terms of mixing, but in the case of Samuel, it succeeded in keeping the freshness of the sound by not going "too much".

ここでもプレゼン終了後にSamuelさんと少しお話ができたので、彼にゲーム音楽以外でアーティストとしてのリリース音源はないのか聞いてみたのですが、現状仕事の締切が厳しくて個人的な制作の時間がなかなか作れないとのことでした。ただ「もし作る機会があったとしたら僕がギターを弾いたロックの作品になるだろうけどね」と本気か冗談かわからない微妙な回答もいただきました (笑)

I was able to talk with Samuel a little after the end of the presentation, so I asked him if he had ever released any other work as an artist other than game music, but he said the deadline for the current work is tight and It is not easy to for him to make the time for personal music production. However, "If I had a chance to make it, it would be a rock and roll piece where I strum guitars,"  I didn't know whether it was serious or a joke. lol

The Music of 'BATTLETECH': Big Sound on a Budget
Jon Everist (Composer, Everist Sound, LLC)

コンポーザー関連のセッションの中でこれを一番楽しみにしていたのですが開始時間を勘違いして最初の三分の一ほどを経過してから会場に入るという失態を犯してしまいました。このセッションではシアトルで活動するJon Everist氏による「厳しい予算の中でサンプル音源によるモックアップと生オーケストラのハイブリッドをどうバランスをとって最大限の効果を作るか」を彼が音楽を担当したBATTLETECHというタイトルを例にして説明するという意欲的かつ実に実践向けのプレゼンでした。

I was looking forward to this most among composer-related sessions, but I misunderstood the start time and had a misstep that I entered the hall after about the first third. In this session, a composer Jon Everist who is working in Seattle made a presentation of "How to balance between a mockup with sample sound and a live orchestra in a tight budget to create the maximum effect" That was totally challenging and practical presentation for composers, using his recent work "BATTLETECH" as a motif.


Since I started to listen to the story from the middle, I don't write in detail about this session, because there were a few places which didn't make sense to me, but one thing that was very impressive was that he built his specific sound by mixing the live orchestra recorded by the microphone which was placed on "Away" or "Far" setting with sample sound, and used the live recording part as if it was a reverb wet component. Once I've heard that nowadays, orchestra sections tend to be separately recorded in a large budget project, then each stems will be changed or balanced, but I think this is a big change from such a typical way of big budget project in the way of thinking. In addition, the presentation method was very good. While alternately switching the recorded Raw data and the finished mix fleshed out with the sample sound, he played it back along with the movie where the orchestra is actually playing to hear the difference.


I feel some sympathy with him particularly, as he is active as a freelancer like me,  but after he told me when we talk that he started his career as a rock and electronic musician, that makes me more sympathized with him. According to what I heard later from a Japanese composer who is also very successful in Seattle, It seems that Jon frequently organizes a party so that local composers can gather and exchange information. I realized that his great personality made the presentation so wonderful.

ところでGDCのセッションは後日GDC Vaultというアーカイブにアップされるそうなので、このセッションは後日またじっくり見てみたいと思っています。

By the way, the GDC's session will be uploaded to an archive site called GDC Vault at a later date, so I would like to thoroughly check this session again.