Creating the Sounds of Star Wars: Battlefront

Creating the Sounds of Star Wars Battlefront

DICE’s audio team has been very lucky with the large amount of knowledge sharing and support that they have been given from Skywalker Sound. The team has had many visits to the Skywalker Ranch and they have been discussing the sound of Star Wars with the Star Wars sound design legends Ben Burtt and Matt Wood. The team has also been given the original sounds and stems from the Star Wars films.

Along with talking about how the original sounds were made and the stories that went with them, the audio team has also brought Frostbite with them to show some of the challenges that are in creating the audio of Star Wars: Battlefront. They have also elaborated on how they will be building on the legacy sounds to fill all of the wondrous worlds and experiences that are in the future. The main goal was to use the original sounds and stay as close as possible to the original feel of them.

While the team was at Skywalker Ranch they recorded Foley sessions with Dennie Thorpe and Jana Vance in order to capture audio sources for the movement and interactions in the game. They also recorded capes, blaster Foley, and other recordings that will make up the unique and original Star Wars sounds. Since they were already close to the original filming location for Endor, it made sense to go into the local woods and record more new material. DICE’s Audio Director Ben Minto states:

BEN MINTO: What we were really after were recordings of the “air” or the “feel” of the pacific coastal redwoods, which is the location where the forest moon of Endor was filmed. If you can get away from today’s noise pollution, you can experience this very delicate and quiet sound that is something that we strive to add in as a layer when designing ambiences. It really helps to put the player in that specific environment and sell the sensation of being surrounding by those giant trees.

We spent two days recording in different reserves, capturing the “air” and other obvious Endor sounds, but also looking at how sounds travel through a forest. Clean, real recordings like these are very useful for us when making quadraphonic ambiences and for adding the right sense of space and life; being there in person and experiencing those surroundings makes it easier when trying to recreate that feel in the studio.