Audio Spotlight – Epidemic Sound on making great soundtracks

Audio Spotlight – Epidemic Sound on making great soundtracks

Epidemic Sound provides nearly 300 audio assets on CRYENGINE Marketplace cater for a huge range of games. Whatever the genre, they’ve got you covered. Today, we’re talking to Edward Höglund, Head of Growth at Epidemic Sound, about how to think about using music in your development and the history of the company.

Hi Edward!  How important is a good soundtrack to a video game? What difference can the right music make?

Have you ever turned off the sound in a video game? If you have then you might have an idea of why the sound of a game is needed. Music and sound effects are an integral part of the overall gaming experience and has great impact on players’ immersion during gameplay. The right music can have positive effects on players and make them absorbed into the gameplay. The wrong music however, can be the biggest immersion killer. 

Can you tell us a bit about Epidemic Sound and how long you’ve been providing game soundtracks?

The founding premise of our business is to reduce the licensing complexity of music rights management for music used in online visual content projects, such as advertising campaigns, TV shows, vlogs, and video games, by offering a library of tracks we produce ourselves and wholly own. Epidemic Sound is a "one stop shop" for licensing music, meaning that we provide an easy way to use music for broad distribution worldwide. 

The traditional way of licensing music is complicated - involving several different parties, different rights holders and collective management organizations, and requires multiple licenses. A fast growing content and distribution market requires an alternative to the traditional system which can easily and effectively issue licenses for relevant rights from one party. We’ve been doing this since 2009 and today we have half a million users - ranging from broadcasters, podcasters, and online creators on YouTube to video game production professionals. We’ve got over 30 000 tracks in our music library and 30 000 sound effects. 

Listen to this awesome EpidemicSoundtrack on YouTube to feel the vibes!

Are there any restrictions around the usage of the soundtracks you have available?

No, that’s the great thing about us. You can simply visit the CRYENGINE Marketplace, download our tracks and the use them however you want in perpetuity. All music usage includes clearance on all platforms, worldwide, for all time. Users are never required to pay additional royalty fees. And the music comes in broadcast quality. 

Do you have any favorite games that feature Epidemic Sound tracks?

I have always been a huge DoDonPachi fan, I love the manic arcade shooters! So when I played Air Attack 1 and 2 it felt really fun to play with our tracks in the background!

How do you recommend developers think about what music to pick for their project?

Music, and sound effects, is tightly linked with the content and action of the game which is why music needs to be consistent with game content. Music improves the narrative of the game and works as an emotion signifier. It’s brings the drama. For instance, in Assassin's Creed, there’s certain music that only plays when you're being chased. When a context is triggered by the player, it can be a good idea to match it with certain type of music. And that is valid from everything from huge AAA games to the most basic puzzle game, and everything in between. A hack can actually be to listen to our tracks and see if you get any new ideas or get inspired to develop new segments of your game that you might not have thought about otherwise.

Do you have any tips on the integration of music into projects? 

As more platforms emerge and content travels in new ways, make sure to have your back covered when choosing music. As copyright rules and regulations might sound intimidating, it is worthwhile to use cleared audio when producing a video game production. No one wants to pull newly made trailer videos for your game. Or even worse, the entire game!

You have a wide variety of music available – how do you choose which composers to work with?

We work with hand-picked composers. Every composer is assigned a professional reviewer at Epidemic Sound for personal guidance, coaching, feedback and creative development. The A&R team consist of creative professional reviewers with years of expertise in song writing, music production, and mixing. So if we need European trip pop for your game or horror yoga tunes for the game trailer, we’ve got the sound for you. 

Thanks Edward!

You can check out Epidemic Sound’s samples on CRYENGINE Marketplace here. And as always, if you like what you see or hear in this case, don't forget to leave a nice review.


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