Far Cry: Primal

Synth Programming


This was one of the most intriguing projects I had worked on in quite a while. The nature of game soundtracks is that there’s a lot of secrecy involved and I didn’t know what game I’d been working on until only very recently.

Jason Graves is one of the finest games composers out there, so it was a privilege to be asked to help him out on the score for Far Cry: Primal.

The brief was an unusual one: he wanted me to create sounds on a synth, that didn’t sound like a synth. As if the synthesizer was being played by a caveman. I knew Jason was already putting together lots of his own sound design using rocks and bits of wood. So ‘organic’ was the key word here. The sounds needed to be subtle, atmospheric and, above all, naturalistic. So tone was key.

u-he’s Zebra was again the place to go to create these sounds. With it’s noise oscillators and comb filters you can build unusual sounds that have a ‘real world’ feel, particularly of a percussive type. A lot of the sounds I came up with had the feel of banging on wood or skin, which resonated with the original cavemen idea. Then there were the soundscapes… Zebra is perfect for this. Such a re the modulation possibilities in Zebra that you can take those raw synthesized waveshapes and twist and turn them until they have an otherworldly quality that leaves you guessing as to what their origin was. Many’s the time I’ve created noises with it that you would be sure must have been made with external samples or soundsources.

As well as being a great talent, Jason is also one of the loveliest guys in the business and I look forward to working with him again… soon I hope.

Image copyright: Ubisoft

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