This article addresses technological and aesthetic intersections between DJing and modern video game audio modding, with the aim of elucidating a technological context that allows game scorers without programming backgrounds to practice audio design and programming for video games. Game audio modding is a form of music remix that depends on access to game audio programming and design technologies that are embedded in game code. Though modern audio modders still require access to this code to create advanced audio mods, game audio programming and design technologies have grown in accessibility, such as the audio middleware program FMOD Studio, the design and functionality of which resembles technologies used by DJs. In fact, DJs are uniquely suited to modern game audio modding, and hence game audio design and programming, as these activities necessitate looping and transitioning between musical themes, as well as designing and programming such techniques in relation to gameplay, resulting in a kind of gameplay-automated DJ for modded scores. To elucidate this point, this article will use video game music composed by Lena Raine, and its accompanying audio programming project file designed and programmed by Kevin Regamey and Power-Up Audio, for the 2018 multiplatform two-dimensional platformer game Celeste, as an instructive example.
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Research Article| April 01 2023
Becoming Official: DJing, Celeste, and Advanced Audio Modding for Non-Programmers
Dr. Mack Enns is a research assistant professor in the Academy of Music at Hong Kong Baptist University. He primarily researches game scoring and teaches history and studio courses in this area. Mack enjoys using vintage game consoles and other hardware to “VJ,” or perform visual media in response to live music, and uses these performances to communicate his research on interactive music. He is the author of Understanding Game Scoring: The Evolution of Compositional Practice for and through Gaming (Routledge, 2022).
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Journal of Sound and Music in Games (2023) 4 (2): 46–69.
Mack Enns; Becoming Official: DJing, Celeste, and Advanced Audio Modding for Non-Programmers. Journal of Sound and Music in Games 1 April 2023; 4 (2): 46–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsmg.2023.4.2.46
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