Case Study: Call of Duty Black Ops 4

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Zombies! They are the undead gift that keeps on giving.

The latest installment in the Call of Duty game series is Black Ops IIII. Like some previous incarnations in the Black Ops offshoot, there’s lots of gameplay where you take on an army of zombies.

And it was for this section of the game soundtrack that composer, Jack Wall, got in touch with me. Obviously with it being music for terrifying attacks from the living dead, the focus would be on fairly unplesant sounds. Noise, distortion, atonality; a real mix of sound design and analogue-style synthesis.

ZebraHZ was the synth of choice, as it’s great for getting that dark, analogue vibe, as well as producing quite organic sounds. The wide possibilities available via the matrix, and live controls via the X/Y pads, meant it was perfect for creating a hallucinatory and uneasy palette of patches that could constantly be evolved.

Working with Jack was a great experience; some of the most useful feedback on patches I’ve ever had. I’m looking forward to hearing more of the score he’s produced for the game over the next few weeks.


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