BattleBards is working for a high-profile, undisclosed client set to release a new product aimed at the tabletop gaming market. As Audio Producer for this product, BattleBards will create and manage the audio needs required for this product with all final decisions regarding track selection handed off to the client. Selected artists will be credited with the creation of the tracks purchased. All Gigs are full Buyout only.
Runtime: Combat (Not less than 3:00 (3 minutes) in length, longer tracks are not required but welcome)
Looping: Tracks must be able to loop cleanly and provide a rich, high definition canvas for the creatures being featured.
So what’s a Zombie Hoard Monsterscape?
A Monsterscape focuses on the creatures and only the creatures so we don’t want to hear any overt environment influences, other creatures, spells blasting, or even the listener. To be clear, the only sounds heard are those of the zombies and the noises they make by simply existing and attacking.
So what exactly are fantasy zombies?
Thanks to main stream TV Shows and movies, the slow, ponderous commonly perceived zombie is exactly what we’re looking for. Portrayals in shows such as The Walking Dead and movies such as Day of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead are perfect. Incapable of speech or complex action, zombies often shamble aimlessly, only becoming animated with an unholy need to kill at the sight of living prey.
Movement - Shambling, slow, tough and tenacious, the zombie is a lumbering brute, mindlessly seeking to overpower victims through immunity to pain, being incredible resilient to injury, and sheer numbers.
Speech - Although they cannot speak, this isn’t to say that zombies do not vocalize. They moan, groan, hiss, and gnash their teeth, done either as a natural reaction to air escaping their rotting lungs or as some faded attempt at speech stemming from a decayed mind or unholy animating force. Either way, nothing they utter is intelligible, please refrain from including “brrraaainnnnnnnssss”. We want the zombies and the soundscape to be genuinely gritty and scary.
Weaponry - Utterly mindless, zombies are typically not armed with any weapons, with their attacks consisting of swinging lifeless limbs to pummel prey, wrestling with them, and most importantly, biting. Stay away from any voices or effects that come off as campy, silly, or half-hearted. These creatures want nothing more than to tear you apart so let’s give gamers that zombie.
Unlike most other monsterscapes, we are looking for a single track only, combat.
- As mentioned before, do not in any way include the sounds of the people the zombies are attacking (ie the listener). This means we must not hear any vocalizations, injury taking, footsteps, that is, any sounds originating by those the zombies are attacking.
- Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original compositions and that you have 100% rights to use and sell everything that you submit for consideration.
The listeners have encountered a large group of zombies bearing down on them, some zombies are currently engaged with the listener in combat and others are shambling towards them from far away. The track is to be constructed from two separate standalone soundscape layers, each featuring a group of zombies at a different distance from the listener.
Layering – We ask that two distinct tracks layered onto each other be created. Each layer must be able to stand alone as its own monsterscape as well as be layered together. For audition purposes, we will ask you upload the complete track with all zombies involved in the combat (both layers) but the deliverables will consist of the combined track (audition track) and each individual layer as their own tracks (Distant Zombies and Attacking Zombies). Ideally, each layer will be like a Lego piece, allowing to stand on its own as a compelling monsterscape as well as seamlessly being able to be added to the other layer.
Layer 1: Distant Zombies – A large group 20-30 zombies are roughly 50 to 100 meters away from the listeners. Their actions are simple, they are shambling towards the listener, vocalizing their zombie ‘words’ and stumbling in their zombie way. A compelling track will have a rich composition of zombies, some male, some female, some young, some old, some big, some small, in order to create a vivid and horrifying cross-section of zombiekind.
Layer 2: Attacking Zombies – Roughly 5 to 6 zombies are actively attacking the listener in the ways mentioned earlier, slamming, grabbing, and biting. A compelling track will include some form of ebb and flow to the attacks as one can imagine the listener struggling to put some distance between themselves and the zombies, only to be caught by the group again. We recommend a simple scenic outline to this layer, outlining clear waves of varying intensity of attack. Having a track with continual attack sounds can become extremely grating to the ears if looped too often.
What to Avoid – If a couple of zombies sound like they get destroyed throughout your piece, that’s great, but since this track needs to loop, we cannot have any ‘end’ to the fight. Most important of all, do not, in anyway, include the people the zombies are attacking (the listener). The only indication we should hear regarding those the zombies are attacking should be the sounds the zombie’s attacks make when hitting their targets, that’s it. No screaming, no yelling, no spells, no other footsteps, absolutely no evidence of the zombie’s opponents, period. The reason is that the players fighting these zombies can be ANYONE and by you including the characters fighting the zombies, you are essentially limiting the track to only those players.
So What Surfaces Are the Zombies Hitting?
- It’s OK to have a good number of zombie’s swing missing (simply hitting air – in fact, hearing a close up of a frenzied series of bites near the listener can be a wonderfully chilling SFX) but it would be boring if all of them keep missing.
- Keep the surfaces varied. Sometimes zombies hit platemail, sometimes, chainmail, sometimes a shield, and sometimes just someone wearing leather or clothes.
How Can My Audition Stand Out?
By far the most important aspect is detail. The more detail you pour into your zombies and the ebb and flow of your scene, the better the track. You may also consider adding a specific twist to a zombie or two to help stand out. Perhaps one of your zombies screeches a bit due to a gruesome injury to its vocal cords, perhaps a zombie groan-yells in frustration when missing with an attack. Providing your own creative flair to a zombie or two can help make your track stand out while making the creation experience especially fun.
For those of you that thrive on visuals to create your zombies, here are some pictures to consider:
There is really no better track on earth from which to direct you for this Gig than a track previously sourced by BattleBards, created by none other than Olivier Girardot, featuring a pack of goblins on the attack.
This track covers all the bases: create a distinct pack of creatures, varies the sounds of weapons hitting different surfaces without over emphasis, showcases the deaths of some creatures without killing the whole crew, loops well, etc. If you want a solid idea of what to shoot for, it’s this but with the zombies described. Again, if you watched movies and shows with slow, rotting zombies, you’re in good shape. If you watch The Walking Dead, that’s all you really need.
Most important of all, have fun making these! Own the Gig, own your zombie hoard! Talent that enjoys immersing gamers in facing these creatures tend to be the most successful since it often shows in the track. If you have any questions, please shoot us over a message through Audio Catch, we’ll try to answer all of it, don’t be shy. Good luck!!!