Built off of the tremendously successful Realmsound Project, BattleBards is the premier provider of the best tabletop gaming specific audio ever created. Through the careful selection of audio project, talent, and tracks, the BattleBards Listing is quickly becoming the gold standard for gaming music, sound effects, soundscapes, and voicoevers; bringing this space a new level of immersive experience. BattleBards will provide gamers not only world class audio content but the tools needed to implement said audio in their games. Created by a team of dedicated gamers and engineers, these tools will bring audio to Game Masters in a practical, innovative way, opening up a new market for audio talent.
BattleBards is creating the gold standard for fantasy tabletop gaming audio and we’re not stopping for breath! We want to stretch our legs a bit and dive into the realm of Science Fiction, once again, setting a new standard for a beloved genre. Now, onto the Gig itself. This track is to be a musical score, epic in style providing the contextual backdrop for a titanic battle in space between colossal capital ships and swarms of Starfighters. A light soundscape or ambient and accenting sound effects are likely to play an important role here, providing a bit of texture to the piece and grounding the listener to the specifics of the scene. The short version of the brief can be summed in several words: Sci-Fi, Epic, Action, Drama. For a bit of a longer version of the specifics, see below:
The most successful auditions in our experience are those who compose not just a score, but a scene told through the composition. In this case, we would like to imagine a massive fleet orbiting some alien world, awaiting the approach of a hostile armada. Enemy ships begin to fill the void and as both fleets near, a tension grips the protagonists as the future of their race hinges on the outcome of the battle. The ensuring scene is epic, full of action, and dramatic as massive capital ships leverage tremendous power to tear each other apart. Ships too damaged to continue fighting plunge themselves into enemy vessels in a desperate attempt to give the survivors an edge. The track ends but not the fight, leaving the listener wondering to the fate of the fleet. This scene or another you create of similar intensity told through your score is what we’re after. Similar to movies and TV producers, our aim here is to provide so profound a score as to immerse players in the action of their Sci-Fi tabletop game, helping them to emotionally invest in the ships and people cast adrift into the cold vacuum of space. The tone of the piece is solidly Epic with potential periods of tension and a good deal of action. More important is the dramatic element of the unfolding scene, as if the fate of an entire species hangs in the balance.
Telling of such a scene via score is not easy but there are a aspects of the scene we can leverage to help tell this tale; we need to look at the ‘actors’. A ponderous, heavy, powerful, chord, beat, or melody can help to portray the capital ships engaged in combat. Imagine ships like a Star Wars Star Destroyer, Battlestar Galatica’s Battlestar, or Star Trek’s Galaxy Class Enterprise, the capital ships in our scene span miles and carry an assortment of weapons capable of reducing entire planets to ash. These command ships maybe slow, but they are awe-inspiring, representing the pinnacle of engineering and raw power. Witnessing these giants bringing to bear unimaginable weapons upon one another would be a tale for the ages. Just as real life aircraft carriers and battleships are escorted by cruisers and destroyers on the seas, these capital ships would have dozens of smaller but lethal escort vessels providing the fire support and at times, the armor to protect the main command ships. Peppered within the slugfest of lumbering giants, we have the Starfighters, quick and agile, these small one or two man fighters are the tactical arm of a fleet, conducting precise bombing runs on the larger capital ships while other fighters provide the space superiority required to get the bombers within range. A dash of light, quick, higher pitched accenting melodies or chords injected within the track can help to portray these critical and iconic members of the battles as they dart in formation from one side of the fray to another, launching torpedoes and blasting enemy fighters into dust.
In terms of soundscapes and sound effects, yes, in vacuum you can’t hear anything but that’s conveniently forgotten in most space operas so we will as well. We don’t want a soundscape, we want a score so don’t get carried away with the effects. However, hearing the occasional sound of laser cannons and warheads impacting, collapsing bulkheads, massive distant explosions of capital ships and small spiraling fighters blowing up, can not only help frame your scene but provide powerful accents to your score to heighten the drama. It’s likely that great tracks will stand out from good ones on those who masterfully weave well-chosen ambient and accenting SFX with their beautiful scores.
The following tracks have been identified as providing a good basis for inspiration into the feel, energy, and direction this track requires. 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 any samples or loops you embed.
Battle over Coruscant (Ignore the added chatter from 0:00 to 0:15)
John Williams adaptation of one of the most popular motifs of the entire franchise provides an unbeatable canvas to the dramatic battle over Coruscant. The ponderous heavy drums contextualize the massive capital ship seen in the beginning as well as continue to provide a background for the continuing engagement between the giant ships. The trumpets and woodwinds wonderfully portray the swarms of small fighters zipping among the chaotic battle superbly. In addition, the SFX are world class, each specific to certain weapon systems, engines (both of the capital ships and fighters), explosions and more. If there’s a fault, and there isn’t one so I’m making one up, is that the track by itself doesn’t come off as overly Sci-Fi, made more apparent if you strip off the soundscape which you can hear if you have the OST. Everything used seems to come from a classic orchestra which is not a bad thing.
"My name is Lincoln" by Steve Jablonsky
The majesty of space, the drama of a final conflict, and the heroism of its combatants simply flows from this track. There are particular sections to focus on here. From 0:00 to 1:15, we have a hauntingly beautiful score which gives us the vastness, stillness, and beauty of space. At 3:04 we have the act of heroism. The use of vocals combined with the driving instrumentals comes off as inspiring, uplifting, and noble which characterizes a major element sought here.
Adagio in D Minor (Surface of the Sun) from the Sunshine OST by John Murphy
The act of sacrifice, the inspiration to do the impossible; renditions of this track have appeared in a couple of notable movies for its power and ability to move audiences in a profound way. Although lacking a strong Sci-Fi element in its instrumentation, the progressing rising melodies creates that sense of anticipation while the falling action creates a scene of sorrow and serenity.
Babylon 5 - Severed Dreams Firefight
Love the series but was a bit hesitate to bring the score and sound effects here for inspiration. In fact, a majority of the weapon and ship sound effects I find a bit too campy. The only SFX I truly like is that of the large rumbling capital ship engines. The score, although quite Sci-Fi is also a bit too campy and superficial. Some of the electric guitar is used very well and the scene of sacrifice from 2:10 to 2:32 is well done.
If you know of a piece that you think carries with it what we’re trying to convey and you’re wondering if it’s a good source of inspiration, let me know and I’ll take a listen and provide some feedback.
The track must be no less than 3:00 in length, longer tracks are welcome. Progressing and stagnation approaches are both fine.
The most successful composers in our experience are those that craft a vivid scene for the listener, paying attention to every detail which often becomes an important element when choosing pieces for gaming. Even more important, have fun creating your own scene as often, the passion you put into your pieces comes off 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. We can’t wait to hear how you bring this scene to life! Good luck!!!