The Sounds of the Wildlands
01/13/2017 09:00 AM
The beautiful landscapes of Bolivia are a definite feast for the eyes but the sounds of Bolivia are just as rich and captivating. Our audio director, Ghislain Soufflet, traveled with a recording team to Bolivia, in order to capture the symphonic beauty of the natural landscape. We also enlisted the talents of Alain Johannes to help capture the essence of the Wildlands through music. Together, Ghislain Soufflet, Manu Bachet, the Ghost Recon audio team and Alain Johannes have truly created a stunning audio experience.
Ambient Sounds of Bolivia
Ghislain and his team began by traveling to every ecosystem Bolivia had to offer to record the ambient sounds around them. They visited the jungle, the salt flats, the mountains, and the yungas. The group even split up at certain points, in order to record as much of the environment as possible.
However, recording the sounds and adding them into the game does not make the sounds of Ghost Recon Wildlands an authentic reflection of the beautiful setting. All of the different environmental elements were taken into account. No single sound is static, but all the sounds are as dynamically breathing as the world around you.
Along with the environmental sounds, the team made sure the civilian music heard in game is as authentic as possible. The people of Bolivia are an incredibly musical people and, in their travels, the team found the whole cities filled with a rich culture of music. For example, the team stumbled across and was able to record Bolivia’s music as played by native musicians. The music heard in-game traditionally comes from Peru and Bolivia, using the same types of instruments that have played for generations.
Authentic Gun Sounds
We worked closely with Red Storm Entertainment and firearm manufacturers to ensure the authenticity of all weapon sounds in the game. Our sounds were taken from both close and distant ranges, in order to make certain each gun sound is authentic, no matter how far away your character is from the action.
The team also created a new dynamic echo technology—in order to provide the feeling of really being in Bolivia. Objects in the world are configured as sound reflectors in order to make the environment react as realistically as possible, even from an auditory experience. The final result is different sounds of gunfire depending on whether you’re in a canyon, on the salt flats, or deep within the jungle. Each of these areas has its own unique echo.
Soundtrack of the Wildlands
The score for a video game is generally written before it is recorded. However, Ghislain, Manu and Alain had their own vision for Ghost Recon Wildlands. They wanted the recording experience to be as unpredictable and wild as the world itself—and it paid off in spades. Ghislain brought a recording team to composer Alain Johannes’ home in L.A., along with some video footage of the game. For an entire week, Alain and his fellow recording musicians (Joey Castillo, Nick Oliveri and Norm Block) watched the footage and improvised the soundtrack, according to how the footage made them feel.
The emotional experience of that week may have been intense and challenging, but they put their trust in each other. As they went about recording, it was obvious that Alain was indeed the right person for the job. Each of the artists expressed how lucky they felt to be involved in such a truly pioneering experience.
In order to keep the music as authentic to the area as possible, many instruments local to the area were used. One example of a native instrument Alain used is the charango. Alain owns his own charango made from a cigar box and steel strings—just one item in a plethora of instruments he has to choose from, and he can play them all. He wanted the life and texture of the audio to match the beautiful environments he saw in the game.
In the end, the soundtrack they were able to record truly captures the emotional experience of the Wildlands.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands will be available on March 7, 2017, for PlayStation®4 system, Xbox One, and PC.
The Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands original soundtrack is now available for pre-order on the iTunes store.
For more intel on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, please keep an eye on GhostRecon.com and be sure to visit our official forums and subreddit.