Interview with Christian Salyer,
Music and Sound Designer
1. Can you tell me some general
information about your company?
Sure. Sound Element is an audio production
studio. We create audio for a variety of projects ranging from PC and Console
Games to Movies. This year alone we have music in 4 video games, 5 episodes
of nationally broadcasted TV shows and put out 4 different audio CDs.
We can provide our clients with music, sound
effects and even the dialog casting recording and editing for their projects.
2. What games have you worked
on recently, and what did you do in those games?
Our two most recent titles were Vigilante 8
2nd Offense for Activision/Luxoflux and Top Gear: Hyper Bike for Kemco/Snowblind
Studios. In V8SO we did Music for the PSX/and DC versions and we did the
Voice work and some sound effects for the PSX/DC/andN64. For T.G.H.B. we
did all the music and some sound design.
3. What non-game projects have
you worked on this year?
Oh my goodness
lets' see. Some of the
other stuff we did just in 1999 was a Children's Album for OneMusic. An
R&B/HipHop Album for Zomba/Bruton Music. A Techno-Alternative Rock Album
for Zomba/Bruton Music. A production CD for Sound-Ideas, and we had our music
in 1 episode of the FOX TV show "Americas Most Wanted" and 4 episodes of
a Warner Bros. TV talk show called "The Jenny Jones Show".
4. Do you do any of the coding,
or do you just create the sound and music for the development team?
no coding beyond the basic use of
the tools provided by the programmers in the world editors, but we do work
with programmers to design how the sound effects should work in the game
and create the raw audio that makes the sound possible.
5. What genres of music inspire
I would have to say cinematic music and things
that have a driving beat. I especially like music that puts those two things
together. I am just waiting to do a project were I can realize a design of
ABOUT VIGILANTE 8: SECOND OFFENSE
5. Did Activision approach
you about doing the sound for V8, or vice versa?
I approached the developer Luxoflux (don't
you love that name?) with an email. Peter Morawiec responded saying they
were looking for someone for their next game. He asked if I could send them
a demo and a list of credits. He knew exactly what he was looking for
and luckily we were able to provide him with it.
6. Did you find working with
Activision to be a pleasant experience?
I mostly worked with Peter Morawiec from Luxoflux
who turned out to be a great person
with a real drive to put out a product
he could be proud of (I like that). At the same time though he was laid back
and cool. I would love to work with him and his team again, I had a lot of
fun. The Activision producer was Murali Tegulapalle and the few times that
we meet he was very nice and seemed to love what he was doing.
7. Specifically, what did you
do in the game?
My company and I did the Menu and In-Game music
for the Playstation and Dreamcast versions of the game. We also casted, directed,
recorded and edited the Voice acting for all 3 versions (N64/PSX/DC). In
last few days of production we were also lucky enough to provide them with
some sound design work too.
8. Were there any restrictions
placed on you (due to the hardware and cart format) regarding the Nintendo
64 version of Vigilante 8: Second Offense, as opposed to the DC and PSX versions?
No because we did not do the music for the
N64 version. We only provided the edited voice files and some sound effects
for this version. All the music was done by another company in MIDI format
They even did a MIDI version of the theme song we wrote for the PSX and DC
9. How closely did you work
with the programmers in implementing the sound into the game?
On this title we did not have to do much other
then provide the edited files and play test the game for audio glitches and
anomalies in the sound. Luxoflux implemented all the audio in the code and
did the file conversions for the different formats.
9. Can you tell me about past
projects you have worked on?
I will name 5 games 5 Television shows and
5 audio CDs.
1. African Safari Trophy Hunter 3D Nfusion
/ WizardWorks PC
2. Postal RWS / Ripcord PC/Mac
3. Postal Special Delivery RWS / Ripcord PC/Mac
4. Top Gear: Hyper Bike Snowblind / Kemco N64
5. Vigilante 8 2nd Offense Luxoflux / Activision PSX/DC
1. 27th and prospect (Documentary) HBO
2. Americas Most Wanted (7 episodes) FOX
3. The Chris Rock Show (1 episode) HBO
4. The Fixer (Movie) ShowTime
5. The Jenny Jones Show (12 episodes) Warner Bros.
1. Contemporary R&B Zomba / Bruton Music
2. Ear Candy II Sound Ideas
3. Kids Songs One Music
4. Noise Terrorists Zomba / Bruton Music
5. RAPCD1 Zomba / Bruton Music
10. Which past projects were
your favorites, and why?
I would have to say Postal for Running with
Scissors. It was after doing that project that I realized what music career
path I wanted to take. I had so much fun working on the audio for that game
I knew I had to put my energy into becoming part of the game industry. It
is like the old saying "find something you would do for free and then get
paid to do it". Well I have found it and I am going to keep doing it. I feel
very fortunate to be blessed with the talent to work in a field that I love.
11. Have you found game companies
in the past to typically be easy to work with?
I have definitely found the people
to be allot nicer then some of the other audio fields I have done work in,
yet another reason why I love this industry. We are all a bunch of big kids
playing with our toys and making money doing it.
12. Tell me a bit about your
participation in the upcoming N64 game Top Gear: Hyperbike.
OK. We did all the music and some of the sound
effects. It was a fairly Basic Job.
Raoul Said, of Snowblind hired us to create
a piece of music for the menu and each of the 6 levels in the game; Congo
jungle, Egypt dessert, Redwood forest, Florence Italy, Swiss Alps and Celtic
coastline. He wanted music loops that were 16bit 22k mono wave files a minute
to one and a half minutes long. They also hired us to do some of the sound
effects they needed some outside help with.
13. What upcoming games are
you currently working on other then Top Gear: Hyperbike?
Shhhhhh It's a secret! Hehehe :) Nothing
I can talk about yet
but as soon as I get the OK I will be sure to
let you know. Sorry, I know that is a lame answer but the NDA monster might
get me if I tell.
14. What does your company
have planned for the future (increased game development, expanding into other
Games, games, and more games if I get my way.
I would be more then happy to work on nothing but game titles for 2000.
15. Finally, where do you see
your company in five years?
We will be on the forefront of the game Industry
when it comes to audio. I will work hard to make sure it happens. To infinity
and beyond baby :)
We'd like to thank Mr. Salyer for his time. For more
information on Sound Element and more sounds please visit their website at
here to read their complete credits.
African Safari Trophy Hunter
Top Gear: Hyperbike
Luge Racing (from
an upcoming Extreme Sports title)
(From Ear Candy
*(c)1999 KEMCO. TOP GEAR is a registered trademark