Jason Graves was already a regular customer and user of my commercial soundsets, when he sent me an email hilariously entitled ‘Make me sound good’. Now, for those of you who are of his music for Tomb Raider, Dead Space and the like, will know that Jason needs little help to “sound good”. He’s one of the finest composers out there right now. Add that to the fact that he’s also one of the nicest people in the industry, I was very pleased to be receiving a new email from him.
We moved on to Skype and discussed his ideas for sounds he wanted for a new project. He showed me a table full of rocks and bones and other things that appeared to have been scavenged from a nearby quarry… this was for percussion duties. And he introduced me to one of his many feathered studio assistants (a number of his birds also make an appearance in the score!). Then we discussed what he wanted from me. Which was essentially:
“What it would sound like if cavemen had synths?”
Jason also sent me a couple of early cues from the score to provide some extra ‘feel’ and motivation which, I note from my email in reply to him, I ironically described as sounding very ‘primal’!
We agreed that u-he Zebra would be the ideal synth for this project and Jason sent me a list of patches of mine he was already using that he felt fit the brief. I then took all that onboard and prepared an initial collection of sounds to see if I had got the right end of the stick (quite literally!).
Anything that sounded too synthetic or had a metal quality to it was out – although some of them have found their way back into Gravastar for the commercial release.
We repeated this process a couple more times, on each occasion refining exactly what was working best or what was missing. On one occasion Jason fed back with: “You’ve summed up the whole game in a single patch ”. Which was very pleasing!
As well as the sounds Jason used in his masterful Far Cry: Primal score, my commercial soundset Zebra Gravastar contains some of the sounds that didn’t make the final cut, plus a whole load more that I designed using the principles we established during the project.It was very kind of both Jason and Ubisoft to allow me share these sounds with other composers and artists.