Hi everyone, my name is Duncan Smith and I’m Senior Music Supervisor here at PlayStation. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some great soundtracks in my time here, and I wanted to discuss my experience working on one of them – Driveclub. I also wanted to exclusively announce that there will be a Collector’s Edition double red-vinyl soundtrack album available on 30 September!
I started working on the music for Driveclub way back in 2013 and it’s been a long and interesting journey: from focusing on the original game itself and music for the marketing campaign, through to Driveclub Bikes, and now to the launch of Driveclub VR and the vinyl soundtrack release.
As music supervisor I don’t create music myself but I’m responsible for finding the right artists/composers, signing them up to a deal, being the main point of contact and guiding them through the creative process: making sure we get what we want for the game whilst ensuring the artist is happy too. Not always as easy as it sounds!
With Driveclub I started by working very closely with Alan McDermott, Audio Director at Evolution, getting my head around the needs of the game and understanding what Evolution wanted to achieve with the music. We agreed that a fusion of contemporary electronics, some serious foundation-shaking bass and epic orchestral sounds would best capture the adrenaline and pace of the game experience, as well as allowing it to connect with the target audience.
Our first choice was Hybrid, the UK electronic band whose roots were in breakbeats and club culture. Hybrid had fused their club sound with a more cinematic, orchestral approach – successfully making the transition to scoring movie soundtracks including X-Men Origins and Fast & Furious Five, and games including Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
They loved the game and delivered a fantastic score that we were all really happy with. I then looked into getting the score remixed and was lucky enough to get high calibre artists such as DJ Shadow, Photek, Clark, Noisia and Black Sun Empire involved. They turned in some great re-interpretations of the score – across the spectrum of electronica, bass & breaks.
The success of Driveclub led to the development of Driveclub Bikes, so two years after starting on the original game I had the opportunity to reach out to new artists for a second wave of remixes.
On Driveclub Bikes I was collaborating with Audio Director Tim Shepherd, and we encouraged artists to take the original material and really run with it – in whatever crazy direction they wanted to go! We got some fantastic remixes in from emerging talent such as Machinedrum, Jakwob, Koven, Throwing Snow and Toydrum.
It’s been great working on this soundtrack and the artists involved, seeing it first fire up the original PS4 game before Driveclub Bikes pushed the envelope even further. Now we get to complete the circle with a classic analogue vinyl release, just before the state-of-the-art audio on Driveclub VR hits the shelves!
Hybrid had a few words about their experience working on the score:
“We were thrilled to be asked to work on Driveclub. It was the opportunity to score the music you hear whilst driving the most incredible cars in the world. It was great working so closely with Sony and Evolution as the particular care and attention to detail that was demonstrated in making the game itself had to be equalled in the music and we love detail. Plus we got to write some pretty filthy drum & bass to boot which was huge amounts of fun! It was a fantastic experience.”