As it was important for Transistor's composer Darren Korb to define the overall sonic palate of the action role-playing game, he created a genre for himself to work within called 'Old-world Electronic Post-rock,' Supergiant Games' director wrote on the PlayStation blog.
"The main thing that I try to focus on when composing is vibe. What should the piece feel like? If I start with a particular feel in mind, this dictates a lot of things about the piece right away, such as tempo, production aesthetic, tonal palate (happy, sad, major, minor, and so on), and gives me some useful constraints for how to proceed," Korb wrote. "For Transistor, it was also important to me to define the sonic palate of the game overall.
"By selecting a handful of instruments and using them to varying degrees throughout all the pieces in the game," he added, "I could connect the pieces to one another sonically, even though the content of each piece was very different. To help out with this process, I tried to create a genre for myself to work within, which I ended up calling 'Old-world Electronic Post-rock.' After a lot of experimentation, I zeroed in on electric guitars, harps, accordions, mandolins, electric piano, and synth pads as some of the primary textures in the game. Each of these instruments tries to express some component of that genre mash-up."
Korb created the soundtrack from his home studio using a combination of recorded instrument parts that he played himself, software instruments, sound library samples and Ashley Barrett's vocals, the voice of the main character. Korb points out vocals were an important part of the game as players are placed in the role of Red, a popular singer in the cyberpunk city of Cloudbank.
"I was lucky enough to work with my friend Ashley Barrett who provided all of the vocal tracks you hear throughout the game," he wrote. "We worked together over a two-year period and more than a dozen sessions to put together all the vocals for the soundtrack, which we recorded... in my closet:"
Transistor's soundtrack is available to listen to on YouTube for free and BandCamp for $10. Both the digital and physical versions can be purchased through the developer's website. To learn more about Transistor, be sure to read Polygon's review.
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