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though sometimes, a bang isn't required). This is way more effective than a normal jump-scare because the tension is established and sustained for a period of time. Remember that roller coaster example I gave? This is the soundtrack to that moment. The music acts as an aural conduit for everything you (the audience) are feeling. It plays on your nervousness, your dread, and it gets you ready...

Timing is crucial, because if it goes by too quick, it losses its effectiveness and becomes just a plain jump-scare. If it's drawn out overlong, we'll get sick of hearing that goddamn racket! Maintaining those notes and frequencies for a very specific amount of time before the jump/reveal is key to getting the adrenal rush going.

It's an art form, really. It takes skill to pull off effectively and efficiently. It has to be deliberate and methodical. Has to be... Well, it kinda has to be like sex. GOOD sex. The kind that starts out slow; teasing and prodding you. Building up the already ripe tension. Making you either giddily await or utterly lament what's coming next. Getting you hotter whether you want it to or not. Progressively rising louder... faster... and when it finally...



Right... Well... Yes.

Anyway.

So we've talked about music and sound that creates a physiological response on a reactive, instinctual level. How about some on a more proactive, emotional one? I briefly mentioned in an earlier blog post of mine, that my first encounter with game music that got me pumped up was with Bucky O'Hare on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Let's take a look back, shall we?

*REWIND*

....nrut dluow I .ti ot gninetsil ,VT eht ta erats dna yad eht fo elddim eht ni ereht tis tsuj dluow I .emag siht deyalp I nehw saw ,efil eritne ym ni ylbissop ,cisum yb devom reve saw I emit tsrif ehT-

*PLAY*

The first time I was ever moved by music, possibly in my entire life, was when I played this game. I would just sit there in the middle of the day and stare at the TV, listening to it. I would turn it back on after lights-out and fall asleep to it.

It gave you a reason to care about Bucky's mission and his friends.

It made it very clear, that if you didn't kill the Toad Marshal, everything Good in the universe will be lost.

It made you want to save the fucking world.

*PAUSE*

Fascinating stuff, right? Game composers and sound engineers have taken that same concept, and made its execution evolve with the capabilities of the industry and the visions of talented creative directors. Taking music & sound, and making it evoke an emotional, as well as physiological response; usually to an extremely tense situation. One game I've played in semi-recent years that implements this masterfully comes to mind...



Half the time you spend in "Shadow of the Colossus" is spent traveling in near silence. The other half is spent doing variations of the above; taking down living skyscrapers.

A nice and interesting touch to the encounters is the soft music that begins to play when you enter a colossus's domain; the low rumble as it lumbers around; illustrating a beautiful calm-before-the-storm feeling. When it comes time to get up in its grill, however, the music switches to fit the current situation. You need to dodge an attack the size of half a city block, somehow climb up this thing, and then stab it in the face without getting thrown off. All the while with crazy adventure music blaring in the background, and perhaps in its own unsubtly subtle way, cheering you on?

It's an experience best described in one word and two syllables: FRIGGIN EPIC

[embed]183395:32855[/embed]

Epic horns, epic strings, epic choir. I love it. The music starts out big and energetic, and stays that way until what needs doin' gets done. It could also be akin to the sustained middle-part of the CRESCENDO effect, only the way it fulfills its purpose differs. It's working on a separate set of nerves, building a different kind of tension for a different kind of stressful situation - The kind you run into on purpose. Remember that John McClane example I gave? This is what he kicks ass to (when it's not Rock & Roll). Action-packed trailers and scenes are a great example of how music can build up mental and physical hype; get you psyched, get you pumped up. Give You Adrenaline.

[embed]183395:32856" data-vidtitle="

More Than Just Noise: Epinephrine [For his Monthly Musing, Nihil walks us through the process of how exactly game music can get us so hyped up. Want to write your own Musing? Click here and start writing! -- JRo] I wanted to come up with something creative to...  
Full story

" data-purl="more-than-just-noise-epinephrine-183395.phtml" data-vidsummary="" data-remodal-target="watch"> photo
From our community  
though sometimes, a bang isn't required). This is way more effective than a normal jump-scare because the tension is established and sustained for a period of time. Remember that roller coaster example I gave? This is the soundtrack to that moment. The music acts as an aural conduit for everything you (the audience) are feeling. It plays on your nervousness, your dread, and it gets you ready...

Timing is crucial, because if it goes by too quick, it losses its effectiveness and becomes just a plain jump-scare. If it's drawn out overlong, we'll get sick of hearing that goddamn racket! Maintaining those notes and frequencies for a very specific amount of time before the jump/reveal is key to getting the adrenal rush going.

It's an art form, really. It takes skill to pull off effectively and efficiently. It has to be deliberate and methodical. Has to be... Well, it kinda has to be like sex. GOOD sex. The kind that starts out slow; teasing and prodding you. Building up the already ripe tension. Making you either giddily await or utterly lament what's coming next. Getting you hotter whether you want it to or not. Progressively rising louder... faster... and when it finally...



Right... Well... Yes.

Anyway.

So we've talked about music and sound that creates a physiological response on a reactive, instinctual level. How about some on a more proactive, emotional one? I briefly mentioned in an earlier blog post of mine, that my first encounter with game music that got me pumped up was with Bucky O'Hare on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Let's take a look back, shall we?

*REWIND*

....nrut dluow I .ti ot gninetsil ,VT eht ta erats dna yad eht fo elddim eht ni ereht tis tsuj dluow I .emag siht deyalp I nehw saw ,efil eritne ym ni ylbissop ,cisum yb devom reve saw I emit tsrif ehT-

*PLAY*

The first time I was ever moved by music, possibly in my entire life, was when I played this game. I would just sit there in the middle of the day and stare at the TV, listening to it. I would turn it back on after lights-out and fall asleep to it.

It gave you a reason to care about Bucky's mission and his friends.

It made it very clear, that if you didn't kill the Toad Marshal, everything Good in the universe will be lost.

It made you want to save the fucking world.

*PAUSE*

Fascinating stuff, right? Game composers and sound engineers have taken that same concept, and made its execution evolve with the capabilities of the industry and the visions of talented creative directors. Taking music & sound, and making it evoke an emotional, as well as physiological response; usually to an extremely tense situation. One game I've played in semi-recent years that implements this masterfully comes to mind...



Half the time you spend in "Shadow of the Colossus" is spent traveling in near silence. The other half is spent doing variations of the above; taking down living skyscrapers.

A nice and interesting touch to the encounters is the soft music that begins to play when you enter a colossus's domain; the low rumble as it lumbers around; illustrating a beautiful calm-before-the-storm feeling. When it comes time to get up in its grill, however, the music switches to fit the current situation. You need to dodge an attack the size of half a city block, somehow climb up this thing, and then stab it in the face without getting thrown off. All the while with crazy adventure music blaring in the background, and perhaps in its own unsubtly subtle way, cheering you on?

It's an experience best described in one word and two syllables: FRIGGIN EPIC

[embed]183395:32855[/embed]

Epic horns, epic strings, epic choir. I love it. The music starts out big and energetic, and stays that way until what needs doin' gets done. It could also be akin to the sustained middle-part of the CRESCENDO effect, only the way it fulfills its purpose differs. It's working on a separate set of nerves, building a different kind of tension for a different kind of stressful situation - The kind you run into on purpose. Remember that John McClane example I gave? This is what he kicks ass to (when it's not Rock & Roll). Action-packed trailers and scenes are a great example of how music can build up mental and physical hype; get you psyched, get you pumped up. Give You Adrenaline.

[embed]183395:32856" data-vidtitle="

More Than Just Noise: Epinephrine [For his Monthly Musing, Nihil walks us through the process of how exactly game music can get us so hyped up. Want to write your own Musing? Click here and start writing! -- JRo] I wanted to come up with something creative to...   full story

" data-purl="more-than-just-noise-epinephrine-183395.phtml" data-vidsummary="" data-remodal-target="watch">  Video

More Than Just Noise: Epinephrine

[For his Monthly Musing, Nihil walks us through the process of how exactly game music can get us so hyped up. Want to write your own Musing? Click here and start writing! -- JRo] I wanted to come up with something creative to talk about on ...   read

 
 



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