Halo Infinite, music inspired by the first chapters; a taste of the sound

Halo Infinite, music inspired by the first chapters; a taste of the sound

Halo Infinite

After telling us about the sandbox and the Halo Infinite campaign, the guys from 343 Industries took advantage of the series' institutional blog again to update us on the progress made by the audio team working on the new Master Chief adventure.

The the team that is dealing with the sound has adopted the guidelines that are accompanying the entire project, destined to be configured as a spiritual reboot of the entire saga. Sotaro Tojima, Audio Director of Halo Infinite, through the sound accompaniment of the campaign intends to convey the theme of hope and at the same time capture the mystery and beauty of Zeta Halo. According to him, the music of Halo 4 and Halo 5, although valid, failed to convey hope in the hearts of gamers, as happened in the first chapters of the saga. "The early games also had dark themes in their stories, but the music focused mainly on the light side, a choice that worked very well. [...] So, as far as the music of Halo Infinite is concerned, we should focus on these brighter, more positive themes to support Chief's story and gamer experience ".

The new exclusive Acoustic Simulation system was also developed for Halo Infinite, one of the first to be created for the game and consequently one of those to have benefited from the most attention ever. The system simulates the way sound passes through rooms, reflects off walls and filters through doors and windows. "Our acoustic system uses concepts like obstruction, occlusion, propagation and reverberation to give the idea that sounds are really propagating in space," said Lead Audio Technical Designer Chase Thompson.

343 Industries reiterated that Halo Infinite is the most expensive chapter of the series, a detail that will also be noticed in the sound accompaniment. "One of the biggest challenges of this game was to create a dynamic soundscape in such a vast environment." Previous Haloes were small in size, so the developers placed every single sound source by hand. This time, the team developed "a system that procedurally places thousands of sound sources around the ring" (see below). 343 Industries also gave us a taste of the ambient sound of Halo Infinite, allowing us to hear the sounds that propagate within a Forerunner facility (find the video at the opening of the news).

Find these and many more details in the long post of Halo Waypoint. Halo Infinite is expected this fall on Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and PC.

'Halo Infinite' is the first game in the series to support spatial audio

After receiving flak for Halo Infinite's first gameplay footage, developer 343 Industries has been in damage control mode. Fans have been treated to screenshots of the shooter's evolving visuals and told of new features, including the ability to push enemies off the Halo ring. The studio's latest progress report shifts away from graphics and gameplay to offer a mother lode of audio updates. Top of the list is news that Halo Infinite will be the first title in the series to support spatial audio like Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X.  

Halo Infinite © 343 Industries Halo Infinite

While you'd expect that from a big first-party exclusive, the move is part of 343's broader push to bestow the game with improved sound clarity and depth. The virtual surround sound tech sits alongside improved weapon and shooting audio that analyzes gun sounds frame by frame. 343 claims the new system prioritizes sounds in a threat order to decide output volume for each gun based on its origin and relation to the player. For instance, if a gunshot is aimed at you, the sound will be louder compared to a teammate's gunfire.

In terms of the campaign mode's score, the studio recruited three composers with different specialities to record around three to four hours of written music. Gareth Coker was picked for his 'command of an orchestra,' Curtis Schweitzer for his choral and piano writing and Joel Corelitz for his knowledge of synths. The new score takes its inspiration from the original trilogy to offer up a 'strong dose of nostalgia.'

It also seems like the audio technicians had a blast recording real-world sounds for use in the game: From Tasmanian Devil vocals to explosions set off in a desert and recorded through 80 mics. The team also violently destroyed a piano using bats and golf clubs to create beefy impact and debris sounds. They then applied dry ice to its remains to make it sing, bellow and screech. You can check out the destruction in the video below.

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