Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering AME Audio for Visual Media Guest Lecturer Series

WHAT IS MUSIC DESIGN? And How Can It Be Part of a Music Production Business?

Guy Whitmore

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Noon–1 p.m.

1400 Wegmans Hall

Abstract: Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, and video games, are becoming more and more prominent in our culture. And as these mediums mature artistically, the creative demands on the elements that go into these experiences will excel as well. Music composition is no exception; and there’s already been a massive increase the production values of music in non-linear media. Yet the majority of VR/MR and game experiences employ extremely simplistic music integration, with little thought put into how music should flow from cue to cue. This is where music design comes in. And this is where there is opportunity to advance music composition in VR and games. It is also where I see business potential for composers and music production companies. 

So, what is music design anyway? Simply put, music design is the process of deciding when where and how music will be played in a dynamic entertainment experience; and then executing on that plan.  It can be as simple as ‘location based’ cues that crossfade or more involved seamless transitions based on game design variables, and anything between.  Every game has a music design, good or bad, whether the developers are aware of it or not.  My argument is to formalize the role of Music Designer and put it in the hands of professional musicians and composers. 

 Bio: In 1994, Guy was hired by Sierra On-line as a staff composer/sound designer.  His first game-score was nominated for Best Soundtrack by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS).  At Monolith Productions (1997-1999) his reputation for creating highly innovative interactive music scores, on games such as Shogo, No One Lives Forever, and Tron 2.0, was established. In 1999 he was hired by Bootleg TV, founded by Robert Fripp, where he explored the possibilities of non-linear music as a standalone format.  Guy joined Microsoft Game Studios in 2004 where he became Director of Audio, participating in the audio production of major franchises including Fable, Gears of War, Project Gotham Racing, Crackdown, and Halo.  Guy moved to PopCap Games/EA in 2010, overseeing classic franchises such as Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies, earning 4 G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild) awards, positive press, and much fan appreciation and joy!  This year Guy launched Foxface Rabbitfish, LLC; a music production company focusing on adaptive soundtracks for games, VR, and new media. 



Pizza and soda provided