Meet The Makersː Audio

You may not even realize, but the music and the sounds of a game, and the emotions they evoke, are bound to be what you’ll remember the most. It gets you pumped for the arena, makes your gunshots echo off the walls of Monaco – and the inner walls of your chest, and fully immerses you into the world of THE FINALS.

Andreas and Carl are responsible for the soundscape of THE FINALS, from the direction, music, and voice-over, to the sounds of the trailers.

Originally aired on June 21st, 2023. Meet The Makers: Audio


[Intro Music Plays]

Dusty (00:00)

You may not even realize, but the music and the sounds of a game, and the emotions they evoke, are bound to be what you’ll remember the most. It gets you pumped for the arena, makes your gunshots echo off the walls of Monaco – and the inner walls of your chest, and fully immerses you into the world of THE FINALS.

Andreas and Carl are responsible for the soundscape of THE FINALS, from the direction, music, and voice-over, to the sounds of the trailers.

And watch our trailers. They tell the sonic stories of Embark's worlds. Okay, let's get into it. Today I am here with Andreas and Carl. Welcome, guys.

Andreas (01:29)


Carl (01:29)


Dusty (01:30)

Andreas and Carl are responsible for the soundscape of THE FINALS, from direction music, voiceover to the sound of the trailers. To get us started, can each of you please take a moment and introduce yourselves and tell us what you do here at Embark? Who wants to start?

Andreas (01:45)

Sure, I can start. First off, I want to start off by saying it's not just me and Carl that makes the sounds for THE FINALS. We have Ludwig that works with voice, Marcus, Simon, and Olaf that works with our tech workflows and implementation, and Benso, of course, that works mostly on ARC Raiders. But I'm Andreas. I work here as an audio designer or director or something. We don't really stick to titles too much here, as we want to keep it flat and collaborative. But my responsibilities involve working on most things core, such as movement, weapons, gadgets, basically all the stuff that you as a player does. I try to work a lot outside my craft as well, with writers, designers, animators, and VFX, as sound is part of the puzzle, not just a layer of paint on top of it.

Carl (02:41)

And I'm Carl. I'm also an audio designer, but I work a lot with the music, the narrative, UI, UX, game modes, levels, and such. And as Andreas, I try to be in close collaboration with the entire team. So me and Andreas, we have worked a long time together, and we collaborate in a really good way. He was actually my mentor when I first started as an intern at DICE, and he has taught me incredibly much. So when I first started here, Andreas joined a little bit later. It was important for us both that we try to sort of share the burden of the direction part of the game, to try and create something that was our united vision. And I think the best thing in the whole world is when someone gets an idea and then the other person gets inspired by that idea and then it goes back and this ladder of inspiration and creativity just keeps on going.

Dusty (03:41)

Thank you both. Okay, now that's over, let's get right into the questions that we got from our community of players. Taylor asks, "THE FINALS kill sound effect is reminiscent of the one from Battlefield One. What is it that makes these sounds so satisfying?"

Carl (04:00)

So, first of all, that's a really good observation. So Benso, who did the battlefield one kill sound. He works here at Embark, but mainly on ARC Raiders. He's a great guy, by the way.

Andreas (04:13)

And yeah, the Battlefield One kill sound was very much the template that we used for THE FINALS because people loved the sound and we wanted to sort of recreate it in a different context. And it consists of three parts. Basically, it's timing, frequencies and association. And the timing part is important since especially kills, they usually happen when you are shooting. So separating the kill sound, the answer in time will give it more room to grow and peak when hopefully there is nothing colliding with that sound like hard transient grenades or gunshots and stuff like that.

Carl (04:58)

And you also want to get into a satisfying rhythm like, budum bum bum or something like that, because if everything sort of happens randomly, you can't really attach your attention to the sound in the same way.

Andreas (05:13)

Yeah, and the second part is frequencies. So the kill sound is played in both the bass and treble registry, so you can actually peek through the soundscape. So whereas the main combat and voices, they're sort of in the mid range and this sound plays both above and below in terms of frequencies.

Carl (05:35)

And then lastly, association. So we used everything that is sort of associated with money and excitement, like slot machines, pinball machines, cash registers, et cetera. The main part of the resolver sound is actually one of the bells that we have down in the reception that we recorded, which is super satisfying to hear. So I think there's something Pavlovian with humans and their love for bell sounds.

Andreas (06:04)

At least mammals, right? Yeah. But the function of the sound, obviously, is to reward a play with something exciting, like an addictive birthday cake with everything you love, like sugar, cream, jam, chocolate. Yeah. What's your favorite cake, Dusty?

Dusty (06:23)

Hey, I'm asking the questions here, but if I have to choose carrot cake all the way give me that spice.

Andreas (06:30)

I'll add the root vegetables back to the list.

Dusty (06:35)

Thank you. Rat Mouse asks, "Who did the voiceovers?" and adds, "They sound really authentic."

Andreas (06:43)

So here's the kicker. What did the voiceovers? So the thing is, we use AI with a few exceptions. So all the contestant voices, like the barks, and both our commentators are AI text to speech for things we call vocalizations, like player breathing, vaulting jumping. That's something we use us in the studio to record. Like just grunting. We can't really get the AI to perform those kind of tasks yet. And since it's only assertive sounds, they will mix pretty well with all the AI text to speech voices. And the reason that we go this route is that AI text to speech is finally extremely powerful. It gets us far enough in terms of quality and allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas and keeping things really fresh. So, for instance, if a game designer comes up with a new idea for a game mode, we can have voiceover representing that in just a matter of hours instead of months. We don't have to do temp recordings that needs replacing. And I think we're really coming into like a new dawn when it comes to video game voices. And if it sounds a bit off, it still blends kind of well with the fantasy of the virtual game show esthetically.

Carl (08:12)

Yeah, definitely. And what you might notice is how we sort of stepped up the voiceover between CB1 and CB2. Ludwig did a fantastic job with that and that's a lot since we have switched and experimented with different suppliers. And what is so incredibly cool with the time that we live in is that the quality improvements are exponential. Things happen so fast. Just a few months back, we couldn't get our TTS to produce projected shouting. And now it is possible. It's incredible. What a time to be alive.

Andreas (08:47)

Yeah. Shout out to Eleven Labs. You're awesome.

Dusty (08:51)

Who knows? Maybe I'm AI. I'm not.

Andreas (08:55)

Okay, that's what I told you to say with my keyboard.

Dusty (09:00)

Junior the Clown asks, "Where did the idea for players turning into coins come from? And how did you make the audio for?"

Andreas (09:10)

Oh. So the idea of the coins that's Gustav, that you probably heard yesterday, if you listened in, and I think I've heard him describe it as violent, but not gory and celebrative, like hitting a strike while bowling. It's like a physical cause and effect, but with a sort of glamorous twist.

Carl (09:33)

And creating a sound for it is actually kind of funny because we wanted to make it our own. And to do that, we needed to record a lot of money getting thrown at the ground. So we went out and acquired around 300 Swedish crowns of coins, which actually was pretty hard. We needed to find a place that actually carried that much coins. But in the end, we managed to do that.

Andreas (10:01)

We went to one of those money exchange offices. The lady at the exchange office was kind enough to just let us play around and throw them around and find what currency sounded the best. She was really awesome. She understood what we were trying to do, just the sounds of coins. She did some selects and then she handed them over and we got them.

Carl (10:25)

She even said, I think that will sound better. Yeah.

Andreas (10:29)

Do you want brass coins? Gold coins? Doubloons?

Carl (10:34)

But then we couldn't really go out and record us throwing money on the ground because that would just be a mess.

Andreas (10:43)

We're in the middle of a city and noise is the first part because these sounds are quite delicate. We need to have a good controlled environment to record them.

Carl (10:53)

We went outside to a construction site and asked the construction worker if we could borrow one of the big concrete tiles that he was working with. He looked at us and he just said, Take it. I don't care. We carried this massive tile up to our studio and just threw all of the cash at it. That's what you hear in the game. It was fun. Then for other sounds, like other event sounds, we wanted them to feel archaic, big game-showy, and unapologetic sometimes. Like, for instance, when the team wipe, that sound, you made that, Andreas. It's just like this punishing, hard, loud, buster, ding, ding, ding, bang, boom, something like that. It's turned out really cool.

Andreas (11:56)

It's very definite. That's the thing. When you team wipe, you want something that feels definite.

Carl (12:02)

In your face and unapologetic. Then one of my favorite sounds are actually when you finish a cash-out station, then you get this uplifting, very casino-ish build-up sound that ends in this super satisfying, again, bell sound, Pavlovian. Yeah. It feels really a game show and addicting. It's nice.

Dusty (12:25)

Is that a concrete slab? Is it still here?

Andreas (12:30)

Yeah, it's right behind us, actually.

Dusty (12:33)

Oh, my gosh, I see it.

Carl (12:34)

We borrowed it for a while now.

Dusty (12:37)

It looks heavy.

Andreas (12:38)

It's our mascot. What should we call it?

Carl (12:40)


Andreas (12:42)

Oh. Yeah, yeah.

Dusty (12:43)


Carl (03:19)

I want suggestions.

[All Laugh]

Dusty (12:47)

Right in with your suggestions for Slabby's name. Here is one from Javier. He says he loves the chaotic soundscape of THE FINALS and the atmosphere of a game show. He wonders if there are any plans to expand audio to highlight gameplay mechanics like with Hunt Showdown's Grenade fuses, Need for Speed's police chatter, or adding to Scottie and June's announcements to give more gameplay-related callouts.

Andreas (13:17)

Yeah. The chaotic soundscape is actually in the audio direction of the project. And since we wanted to make something that really allows itself to get crazy, our take on that statement was 'dynamic bursts of absolute chaos.' We actually got hoodies printed with that text on the back. Rob was kind enough to give us 'dynamic bursts of absolute chaos' shirts. But that helped us guide on how much we push for the environment and the destruction, like what frequencies they have and how long they are allowed to live in order for there to be a buildup of something that feels really chaotic when it is really chaotic. And for gameplay, we do have unique sounds for things like grenades. So they all have something in their treatment that makes them sound unique, so you as a player can separate them. Maybe it takes a bit of time to learn and really remember what each gadget sounds like, but there is definitely intent to make them as clear as possible. An example could be the Frag Grenade that has a distinctive pop when they are thrown and going into details. That's when the fuse is lit by a small hammer in the grenade when the spoon flies off.

Andreas (14:41)

But also they usually have distinct bouncing sounds, depending on what grenade it is, for instance. Frag Grenades, they sound a bit more aggressive. Flashbangs have more of a metallic, hollow sound, and smoke bullets have a different type of more can-like bouncing sound. There are cues in the game to help you sort. Sometimes the game is a bit fast, so there aren't really time every time to listen for them. But the goal is always to make things that can damage you have the most aggressive sound and everything that can alter or change your game should have some distinct treatment so you can learn from them and react to it.

Carl (15:31)

And then for the crowds, I think this is actually really cool. We created a system that is really tied to the gameplay and it looks at different interactions that your team does and it stacks up a hype amount and then the crowd responds to that. Everything from if your team starts a cash out to if your team destroys something, eliminating all of that. So if you're doing really good, the crowd will be super hyped and chair. But if you get eliminated and such, the crowd will become disappointed.

Andreas (16:10)

It's a massive back seat driving situation. Thousands or millions, I don't know. How many are in the crowds? Somebody count the people in the crowd.

Dusty (16:35)

I hope it's not millions then. All right, here is a question from Dash Games. Hey, Dashy. In our YouTube series, Making THE FINALS: Capturing Authentic Sound, we saw you gathering sounds of real gunfire out in the field. What's the strangest method or object that you've used to sound for THE FINALS?

Andreas (16:54)

I'm not really sure about the strangest object we recorded, but maybe it's Slabby or whatever the Slabby's maiden name is. Slabby. But I mean, we record stuff of different materials and different shapes. But at the end, it's all about context and how it's used. But when we did vocalizations, we were shirtless in the office for when players are vaulting. We used Slabby to lift to get some exertion, but we don't really tell people about that. Right, Carl?

Carl (17:28)

No, we don't.

Dusty (17:30)

You didn't. Cat's out of the bag now, guys.

Andreas (17:34)

Keep it a secret!

Dusty (17:38)

You guys have been in the field for a really long time. What's the strangest or coolest thing that you've ever done to capture sound? Ever?

Andreas (17:47)

Ever. You have to think back really far. But both me and Carl worked at DYCE before, and we did a lot of things. But for this project, we've done a couple of weapon shoots, and I think two outdoor and one indoor. One of the outdoors is on the video. And the thing is, it's always really fun to be outside and you always learn something new. Be it like how temperature or humidity or how a certain muzzle break radically alters the sound of a shot. And for this project, the urban shoot was certainly unique. But I mean, we've done so many recordings at our old place, like World War I biplanes and triplanes, they were super cool. Really primitive in terms of construction and raw power. They were slow moving, but so incredibly cool to see how they just managed to circumvent gravity with the tools they had back at that time. And as a continuation, we did World War II planes, the Corsair and the Zero. And being a history nerd and aviation nerd, it's really cool to be able to do that as a job. We did the V-1 rocket for BF5, and I was actually a V-1 rocket powered snowmobile that we're recording.

Andreas (19:20)

And it's still one of those recordings that I just can't forget about because it's a super simple design, but at the same time, it just created this insane powerful sound and your entire chest just vibrated. Maybe I vomited. Maybe I didn't. But yeah, I mean, we've done explosion recordings in Latvia a couple of years back with the Gang from Boom. That was an old town that served one of the largest radar installations in the world. But at the time we recorded, there were only concrete husks left because they were picked apart when the Soviet Union fell. And we recorded different types of plastic death cord and black powder explosives in different environments and that's stuff that still holds up today.

Carl (20:14)

I think weapons generally are always super interesting to record everything from their mechanics to the impact they have on the surroundings since they are so incredibly loud. And also, like, the history of the weapons that we are recording. That's so cool. All super fascinating. Also, all the things surrounding the recording sessions are cool. Like going to interesting places and meeting fascinating people. One time we went to Pennsylvania to record American and Japanese guns, and there we met a lot of Amish people who they were really fascinated with our recording equipment, but they couldn't care less about the huge selection of automatic weapons that we had laid out on the tables right in front of them. Super friendly people and really interesting cultural difference.

Andreas (21:14)

Didn't they point at our mics and, like, is that the device you can hear on distance with? Same with the cameras. Is that the thing you can see on distance with? Yeah, I agree with Carl. It's really amazing. Like, traveling the world and seeing other cultures and meeting people. It's always a huge part of going out to record.

Dusty (21:48)

Shout out to all the Amish people listening.

Carl (21:50)


Andreas (21:54)

More stories from Battlefield. We did an entire shoot trying to learn as much as possible about supersonic projectiles like bullets. So we basically devised a method of shooting over one point and then recording supersonic cracks up to about 200 meters. And it was very valuable getting a good understanding of how bullet crack sounds like and why and what microphones to use. Because supersonic cracks are incredibly loud. It's like a super sharp transient. It's very different from a weapon that's kind of a slower transient. And one time in Bakersfield, we recorded subsonic bullets. Different beast, but still really cool to do. We had them shoot over our heads as we were hunkered down in a crevice. We were completely safe, of course, but it's just super cool being able to experience things that no man should experience, or woman for that sake. And one time in Poland, when recording guns, I think also for Battlefield Five, I got to shoot a golden AK 47. It sounded exactly as any other AK 47, but it made me smile like the Canadians in South Park.

Carl (23:14)

One of my all time favorite recordings has actually got to be when we recorded an orchestra for THE FINALS. It was just a really cool moment, hearing the music that we've worked on, being played live by people and orchestrated in such a beautiful way. And I didn't have to do anything. I just stood there and listened. We might have a video.

Dusty (23:43)

Yeah, maybe a sneak peek to a future episode of Making THE FINALS. Speaking of, we did get another question, and that was from an anonymous caller, "Who was the dancing guy from Making THE FINALS capturing Authentic Sound video?"

Carl (24:02)

That was me. I like dancing. I'm not good at dancing. I like to ugly dance, and I will never apologize for it.

Dusty (24:11)

You better not, because that is my favorite part. All right, the next one is from Kunai, one of the nicest people in our community and an epic musician and soundmaker herself. She asks, "How do you keep yourselves creatively motivated?"

Andreas (24:27)

Hi, Kunai. So, when working on a game, there is usually always something new to look at, be it a gadget to play around with or basically anything. But it's always motivating to see new stuff in the game and gets at least my mind to wander off and think about how the actual thing functions and why it functions the way it does. But also, how can we make this into an experience that the player can understand, that brings valuable information? Maybe a bit of a loop back to one of the earlier questions, but that's constantly going on in our heads. How can we make this valuable for the player? And how can you make it expressive in such a way that it becomes valuable for the player? So I guess at the end of the day, it's all about being curious, allowing yourself to deep dive in the why and the how and always trying new things, new processes, like AI, text to speech. It's insane what's happening today, and just getting into that and trying the tools and trying to be creative in new ways, that's always, at least for me, the things that keep me motivated.

Carl (25:47)

And I do think there's a level that you want to sort of work yourself up to where you can create sounds or things that, you know, sound good out of experience, even though you aren't feeling especially creative about them. With that being said, how I try to stay creative is, as Andrea said, experiment or deep dive into a subject. I think it's really inspiring that with the game that we are creating, we can step outside of the box a little bit and try and find interesting sounds that you wouldn't really expect or take inspiration from arcades game shows, digital glitches and distortion, I think try doing weird stuff and sometimes you find something cool. So as they say, fortune favors the bold.

Dusty (26:40)

I feel like we should put that on the wall here.

Andreas (26:42)


Dusty (26:43)

All right. May asks do you plan on putting your songs on a streaming platform? And she adds, Because those are bangers.

Carl (26:53)

Short answer yes. Long answer YES.

Andreas (26:57)

But soon.

Dusty (26:58)

Soon TM.

Andreas (27:00)


Dusty (27:01)

Could you guys tell us a little bit more about how you made these bangers for THE FINALS?

Carl (27:06)

So we have a few ways of thinking about the music in the game. The music is a collaboration with a composer called Alexander Houdin. "Sailor and I" is his artist's name. And the music of the game should generally be uplifting, exciting, not hard or sad. And I think that's a really important that's important because the music should to some degree represent the game show while, for instance, the trailer music, it's really edgy and hard and loud and really distorted. And that should represent the game, the all out action and the destruction and the chaoticness of it. And on the trailers, while Alex did a lot of the hard work on it we did some heavy remixing of it like running the whole songs through different distortion pedals.

Andreas (28:09)

Yeah, like the venerable Boss-HM2 famous from bands like Entombed and Blood Boss. It's a pedal that made the Swedish death metal chainsaw sound for guitars. It's an insane pedal and it just makes these really weird distorted tones. But also talking about the mean we are a small team and for sound and trailers that's all done by me and Carl here in house and they're so much fun to work on. Mainly because it's such a close. Collaboration between Marcus and Andrea on the video team, but of course also Rob, Gustav and Esbjorn. And the goal is always with the trailers is to challenge sort of the expectations of what a trailer sounds like both in terms of form but also in terms of expression. Doing something that really feels like us and it allows itself to sort of stand out in the medium because trailers, they sound like trailers probably for a reason, but we want to sort of make something unique and something that feels like us.

Carl (29:23)

And then regarding the music, we definitely want to expand the soundtrack throughout the live service of the game and we are actively thinking of how music could be a bigger part of self expression since it's a huge part of our game. But to what extent that will be, we'll have to see.

Dusty (29:40)

I can't wait to find out. All right, here's a cheeky one. You guys spend all day together in a soundproof room. How do you keep from killing each other?

Andreas (29:54)

Okay, the end of the answer here is we don't kill each other because we just try not to kill each other.

Carl (30:00)

We try not to kill each other, but we do actually sometimes compete in who can create the most crazy, weird and loud sound. And those sounds are then oftentimes foundations for the sounds we use in the trailers, which is fun. But then to be honest, we talk and we communicate and we are brutally honest with each other. And I think it's important to talk about your feelings.

Andreas (30:30)

We're professional friends and we're damn good at it.

Dusty (30:36)

I'll say. All right. Okay, so that's in this room. How about in the arena? What's your bodybuild of choice and who wins in a 1v1 showdown?

Andreas (30:47)

I usually play medium as some sort of support and since I'm a game maker, I make my enemies play Peekaboo Tower defense and minefield at the same time.

Carl (31:00)

I often play as Light, which is funny because I'm kind of a big guy in real life, but I play with grappling hook explosives and really rapid fire SMG because I like to be really sporadic and be in your face and running on.

Andreas (31:20)

So I think it's kind of an even match.

Carl (31:24)

Yeah, but you're so collected and calm and you're strategic and I am the most what's it called? I'm compulsive. I'm compulsive. And what's the word?

Dusty (31:40)


Carl (31:40)

Impatient. I'm really impatient. So I just want to jump in and just shoot everything, everyone. And so then you often win, but then when we collaborate...

Andreas (31:54)

…Oh, then I hold the fort and you fly around like a f--ing mad ferret.

[All Laugh]

Dusty (32:03)

Well, thank you, guys. And for this next part, I'm going to try not to get egg-motional about the fact that these are our last egg puns of CB1, but if I do crack, it's okay because I brought my hen-kerchief. But in honor of our beloved spokes egg the Nama Tama and to continue the embarked tradition of telling terrible, terrible puns, I must now call on each of you to tell us an egg joke. And don't worry, you can just wing it.

Andreas (32:45)

I shall not tell any ova-based pun. Sorry.

Carl (32:48)

And I'm not really a pun guy. I don't like to yoke around. However, I might have hard exterior, but I'm kind of gooey on the inside.

Dusty (33:01)

Terrible. As promised. But you guys asked for it. Just kidding. You really did ask us to stop.

Carl (33:10)

No, you said they loved it. That was the only reason I wrote it!

Dusty (33:15)

All right, that is all for today's episode of Meet the Makers. And this was, in fact, the final episode of the series for CB2. To our listeners, I say thank you for tuning in and going on this journey with us. Thank you for playing the closed beta and helping us with the continued development of THE FINALS. Until next time GG, my friends.

Carl (33:39)


Andreas (33:39)

Goodbye. And sorry for the f-- word.

[Outro Music Plays]

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