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Dan Forden Composer Spotlight on PlayStation Blog

04/14/2011 :: Posted at 10:38 PM by Mick-Lucifer
TOASTY! MK Komposer Talks Cinematic Soundtracks and Uppercut Taunts!

A toast to Dan Forden!From the pop penetrating dance anthems of Techno Syndrome (The Immortals) and the all-star line-up of the feature film soundtracks, to the most recent concept inspirations of Songs Inspired by the Warriors -- music has had a surprisingly enduring role to play in the Mortal Kombat legacy.

Few men can claim as much importance to the sounds of Mortal Kombat as Dan Forden. The Chicago native has been a stalwart of the series, commanding a fusion of styles with a distinct authentic Eastern influence that has defined the tone of Mortal Kombat from its first game in 1992, right up to 2004's Mortal Kombat: Deception.

Forden has been absent for the last two releases, but returns with a toasty vengeance in 2011 for the new game that goes back to the franchise beginning. As he told PlayStation Blog, this means revisiting classic tracks from MK's past, but this is far from a Greatest Hits! The aptly titled Mortal Kombat promises to bring a "cinematic sound" to the HD pictures, as audibly reinvigorated as the gameplay and character visuals!

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Reworking of the MKII Arcade Theme, The Tower.

Forden is not alone in creating the soundscapes of this new game.
In the blog, the composer heaps praise on Audio Director, Rich Carle, who headed up a team that included Senior Sound Designers; Matt Grimm, Michael Caisley, Brian Chard and Chase Ashbaker. As a unit, they were responsible for the integration and composition of sound effects and score throughout the games various modes and dramatic sequences.

This time around, we’ve made an effort, spearheaded by Rich, to create a cinematic game audio experience. While we definitely wanted to keep and enhance the bone-crunching audio design of the past, we also wanted to create a dynamic experience, so that big events really stand out but we can also hear things like the rustling of the fighter’s clothes and details in the fighting arenas like branches creaking in the Living Forest, insects buzzing in the Courtyard, and people screaming in the distance in the Dead Pool. With nearly two hours of cinematic cut-scenes, we really wanted the player to have a cinema-quality audio experience throughout the story mode, yet still get the in-your-face game experience during the fights.

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Reworking of the MK3 Arcade Theme, The Rooftop.

The audio track will be available in full surround, with classic themes remixed and referenced in dramatic, brand new recordings that elaborate on arcade riffs.

Regarding the music, our initial approach was to re-work the original music with better instruments and audio tools. This is apparent on backgrounds like Living Forest, Courtyard and the Subway. As we went along, it felt appropriate to allude to some of the melodies in the older tunes, but create a completely new arrangement, as in the Pit, the Temple and the Armory. In a few cases, Rich and I wrote completely new material as in the Street and the Desert, so there’s a broad spectrum of music from the familiar to the brand new in this game. We also went in an orchestral direction with some of the music which was a lot of fun.

TOASTY!

The blog also probes Dan "Toasty" Forden for answers about his infamous catchcry, which returns from the early games in HD, falsetto surround sound glory. The uppercut easter egg was included in the recent PlayStation 3 demo [full story]. For the answers and complete story, check out PlayStation Blog, which includes two complete tracks as preview [embedded in article]! Thanks to -[?]- for posting notice!

It's not long now! Mortal Kombat officially hits US shelves April 19, April 21 in international centres. Check local listings for availability of versions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

     
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