Articles Tagged with: Soundtrack

What Can We Do For You?

January 27th, 2015 | By Lance Hayes


Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to work on projects of all sizes for developers and publishers such as Microsoft, Activision and Nintendo. To assist me I’ve assembled a crack team of audio professionals and contractors. I’ve worked with the best on projects ranging from composing 8bit to orchestral soundtracks, creating original sound design and field recordings to implementation and more.

As an independent contractor I’ve spent years crafting audio that fits perfectly into titles so my team and I are focused on delivering great audio experiences. With award winning talent from projects that span next gen consoles, handheld and PC titles our skills range across the entire spectrum of audio disciplines, (a list of some of the titles we’ve worked can be found here). We specialize in bringing the sound of the games we work on to life.

We’re available for new projects, no game is too big or too small, Indie to Fortune 500. Please contact djdm at djdm.com for more information to make your project’s audio stand out!

For the latest updates about the studio please see our Twitter and Facebook pages.


Propellerhead Rack Extensions Video

June 11th, 2014 | By Lance Hayes


I’m pleased to be featured in the latest Propellerhead video talking about their brilliant Rack Extensions. It’s an honor to be included alongside industry luminaries, designers and friends in this piece discussing one of my favorite developments in the Reason rack.

Seattle Composers Alliance Talk

May 9th, 2014 | By Lance Hayes


*Note this free event is this coming Wednesday*

If you missed my session on Forza 5’s Soundtrack at this years GDC, I’ll be covering similar ground when I add my voice to the Seattle Composer’s Alliance lecture series. I’ll be speaking on May 21st for this special event hosted by SCA at the upstairs theater in the Seattle Film Institute, (3210 16th Ave West, Seattle WA 98119). The evening kicks off at 7pm, expect mingling, door prizes and a session peppered with game audio jargon. Hope to see you there!

A Year of Highlights and Updates

March 3rd, 2014 | By Lance Hayes

Lance Hayes One Sheet 2013


Doing a little website housecleaning and since I’ve been having a busy year, I wanted to consolidate some related posts into one place.

In related news my Game Developer’s Conference 2014 updates are here.

Other site updates include new content on the Media and Music Page (If you want to skip the videos scroll to the bottom for music links). Also check out the newly revised Articles/Awards page as well as an updated Bio/Credits.

And finally, you may also want to check out Twitter and Facebook for more info as I’ll post breaking news and asides there regularly.


Xbox Fitness

January 31st, 2014 | By Lance Hayes


Get out your sweatbands, and your leg warmers, “Xbox Fitness” for Xbox One is a hit. Using cutting edge technology to redefine work outs while the new Kinect sensor tracks your pulse ensuring you get a solid session in. With but rare exception, it seems to be a favorite title with early adopters.

I worked with Microsoft Studios on several tracks for the title, including the various themes that greets you when you start up the game. It was a fun project to work on as I got to flex my 7.1 surround music mixing muscles. I’ve uploaded one of the tracks from the project to my imaginatively titled “Game Music” playlist, along with other new tracks. Featuring the always brilliant Ian Dorsch on guitars and bass, have a listen to “Xbox Fitness Theme” at the link below. Cheers!

McDonald’s Forza Xbox One Ad Campaign Featuring Music by Lance Hayes

December 3rd, 2013 | By Lance Hayes

Whew, the title “McDonald’s Forza Xbox One Ad Campaign” is quite a mouth full. If you have a TV and live in the US then you may already seen the ads featuring a section of my track “Compression” from the Forza Motorsport 5 OST. It’s currently being used as the background in the McDonald’s Xbox One / Forza commercial titled “Legacy – Racing” as part of a prize give away including thousands of Xbox One consoles.


McDonalds Ad 01

The ads, in :15 and :30 versions, will undoubtedly be running nearly constantly between Dec. 3rd till the 23rd so give a shout if it comes across your screen.

As usual, there is more at Facebook and Twitter if you want the latest info.


Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack and Game Now Available

November 21st, 2013 | By Lance Hayes


“Xbox One Is a Slice of the Future” – Rolling Stone

It’s been a big month here at the studio! Three weeks ago, the long awaited Forza 4 soundtrack gets a release via Microsoft’s new publishing division, Microsoft Studios Music, and just today, depending on your proximity to the International Date Line, the launch title Forza Motorsport 5 has been unleashed on the new Xbox One.


To go along with this newest addition to the Forza legacy is the soundtrack, available on day one! That’s correct, the soundtrack for Forza 5 is officially available today, no kidding. The double album OST that John Broomhall and I composed for this much lauded iteration of the franchise is seeing a full release available at all of the familiar locations, iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Music and is streaming everywhere you listen to music.

This soundtrack, as noted, is a new direction for the game’s music and I’m honored to have worked with Turn 10 and the amazing audio team behind Forza on this landmark installation in the Forza franchise.

Critical Response

The critics are weighing in and response to the game and the soundtrack has been very good. Polygon refers to FM5 as “Xbox One’s first must-own game” and gives it “9 out of 10”, while some particularly choice words about our soundtrack came in this week from the Shaun McInnis Gamespot’s review: “the excellent orchestral soundtrack that makes each race feel like the climax of a James Bond movie–Forza 5 is an absolutely beautiful game full of immersive detail.”

The audio overall has been called out as excellent with IGN having this to say: “The audio, however, is uniformly excellent, whether it’s the chirping of tyres under brakes or the throbbing of a helicopter overhead. And the engine notes? Well, they’re better than ever. Turn it up loud; that’s an order.”

I’m honored to work with the best of the best at Turn 10 on this franchise and to be able to pour my sweat into something that people enjoy is truly a bonus. Thanks to all the fans that enjoy Forza’s music and drop by my Facebook and Twitter pages to tell me so.

Speaking of which, I’ve been posting additional highlights and updates on my various social network pages, so stop by for new developments.

The Bits, Pieces and Special Thanks

A special thank you to Jon Rook, our mix engineer, for his work on  this remarkable project! Countless hours went into consolidating the various elements and sessions for the OST and he really did a fantastic job pulling it all together.
Additional thanks to Mike Caviezel and Paul Lipson, who among their other tasks, delivered brilliant guitar work in game and on the OST. Great work guys! For more about the rest of the crew have a look at the article about the recording sessions and production.


The Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack: An Insider’s View

September 25th, 2013 | By Lance Hayes

Front row Chase Combs, John Broomhall, Paul Lipson, Janet Ketchum, Lennie Moore, Leslie Ann Jones, Lance Hayes

On the sound stage at Skywalker Ranch tracking strings for the Forza Motorsport 5 soundtrack. Front row: Chase Combs, John Broomhall, Paul Lipson, Janet Ketchum, Lennie Moore, Leslie Ann Jones, Lance Hayes. Subsequent rows: Marco D’Ambrosio and the Skywalker Symphony strings

Article Update (Day One, 11/22/13)

The Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack is now available. For more info and where to buy follow this link. Cheers!


FM5 signed string score at Skywalker

The Forza Motorsport 5 Soundtrack: An Insider’s View

Forza Motorsport 5’s release date is closing fast, and the excitement about this landmark installment of the franchise is building. Much has been made in the press about the soundtrack and how it’s a significant departure from previous iterations of the game. As the lead composer on FM5, I wanted to share some details and stories about its conception as well as how it’s been brought to life as the flagship title for the Xbox One.

FM5’s Departure

When Forza Motorsport 5 is released on the same day as the Xbox One on November 22, it will be a bold redirection for one of the most anticipated racing titles in the world. The game is a massive push forward as Forza has historically been known for testing the limits of the technology in every generation of Xbox. Sporting a fresh new approach to the music and the music implementation, the soundtrack is no exception. Fans will be excited in new ways as they race their dream cars all around the world.

This music, as noted by the press, is indeed a departure from the previous Forza scores. Forza 5 is enhanced by a full string orchestra, choir and percussion along with many of the elements from its traditional electronic scores.   

Sonic Fuel Sessions to record the incomparable MB Gordy

Percussion set up for the incomparable MB Gordy, Sonic Fuel

When Turn 10’s Audio Director, Nick Wiswell, disclosed his vision for FM5 to me, he wanted me to be a part of the musical reboot for the series which included live orchestra. I was humbled to be involved and very excited. Starting months before the formal composition phase, I worked closely with Nick and Chase Combs, Audio Content Lead for Turn 10 Studios, crafting the new sound for FM5. Many ideas were developed and many of the concepts created during that period helped guide and inform the sessions that followed as we advanced into composing the soundtrack.

We knew that as it was going to be the Day One launch title, FM5’s score required that we work with top talent and the world’s finest musicians. Paul Lipson, Microsoft Studios Music Director, was involved early on organizing the orchestrations, the recording facilities and managing the player talent.

Avatar's SSL 9000J

Avatar’s SSL 9000J

The core concept behind FM5’s soundtrack is that it underscores the player’s journey from their garage to the race and back to the finish line. As you play the game, the music engine is adaptively scoring your progress from the ambient beginnings, through to the epic and tumultuous racing on to your, hopefully, triumphant finish.

In past iterations, the game had a collection of music in the race sections that was primarily licensed and the last two editions featured my electronic music in the UI. All of that has changed in 5. The UI is still a chill experience but as you move forward towards the race you get a new level of exhilaration from the music as it develops into full blown cinematic excitement and uses electronics mixed with live performances by some of the world’s top musical talent.

John Broomhall and Lance in the control room at Skywalker

John Broomhall and Lance in the control room at Skywalker. In the background Chase Combs works away

To facilitate this we wrote an original score for female choir, strings, percussion, piano, and electronics and it was an absolute privilege to be joined in writing the soundtrack by game industry veteran John Broomhall. Ours was a trans-Atlantic collaboration as John is based in the UK and he also served as one of the music supervisors on FM5. He made several trips out to the US for various legs of the project and joined us for many of the recording sessions.

Once John and I had finished the core composition with Nick and Chase’s approval, the scores were sent to Lennie Moore for transcription and arrangements. Lennie worked quickly and very effectively with his team to put together the finished arrangements that met us at the various studios around the US for the recording sessions. During the composition and recording phases my assistant, Mathew Steele, was invaluable in the studio outputting over a thousand audio stems and the hundreds of MIDI files to send to Lennie for arranging.

This was truly team effort focused on achieving the highest quality and the recording sessions, spread out across the US in some of the finest facilities in the world, maintained that high bar established during the early stages of the project.

Lance, Paul Lipson and Roy Hendrickson recording the New York Film Chorale singers at Avatar

Lance, Paul Lipson and Roy Hendrickson recording the New York Film Chorale singers at Avatar

Tales from the Road

Sonic Fuel, Los Angeles CA

As the project was going to have many layers of sound we started out at Christopher Lennertz’s fantastic facility, Sonic Fuel. Paul Lipson was in charge of many of the details leading up to and during the executions of the live sessions. Paul contracted an astonishing list of players starting with M.B. Gordy on percussion.


Paul Lipson, Jeff Vaughn, Keith Ukrisna checking the mix at Sonic Fuel

Paul Lipson, Engineer Jeff Vaughn and Keith Ukrisna checking the mix at Sonic Fuel

M.B. was hand-picked by Paul for his incredible chops and he didn’t disappoint. Layers of percussion were tracked with everything from subtle djembe to powerful passes with the massive Taiko drums and toms that he’s used on such notable soundtracks as Battlestar Galactica and the Transformer films. M.B. was equally adept with the subtle quiet passages as he was with the thunderous accents and massive sections of our scores.

M.B. Gordy and Lance at Sonic Fuel

M.B. Gordy and Lance at Sonic Fuel

It was a treat to work with M.B. and a great time was had hanging out at Sonic Fuel. We left Los Angeles with unbelievable drum work. Our next destination was just north of the San Francisco Bay.

Skywalker Ranch, The Bay Area CA


Marco D'Ambrosio conducts at Skywalker

Marco D’Ambrosio conducts at Skywalker

There are few experiences that can match driving through the lush hills that surround the gates at Skywalker Ranch. There are fewer still that can prepare you for your visit as a guest at Skywalker Ranch. There are even less that can match the excitement you have when your visit is for your project, and that alongside the remarkable location, world class facility etc., you get to work with Leslie Ann Jones and her crack team on your sessions. “Over the moon” almost sums up my giddy feelings as Matthew and I were waved through the gate the day before we started recording our strings for FM5 at this venerable facility in the hills above the bay.

Leslie Ann, Paul Lipson and Andre Zweers tracking from the control room at Skywalker

Leslie Ann, Paul Lipson and Andre Zweers tracking from the control room at Skywalker

At the Ranch, we met up with Pyramind’s Michael Roache and Lennie Moore. Michael was in charge of all the Pro Tools sessions and Lennie’s company SkyPrep was there to assure that the entire Skywalker team had everything they needed from the scores on the project. This was the first time that I’d worked with Lennie and, as a longtime fan of his work, it was a special treat to spend time with him.


The beautiful Skywalker Neve 88R

The beautiful Skywalker Neve 88R

Working with Leslie Ann was nothing short of astounding. Her team was remarkable, warm and professional. They took the time to make sure we were comfortable and that all of the work coming out of the building was of the very highest quality. The Neve 88R certainly didn’t disappoint, and thanks to Leslie Ann, we were treated to some of the most marvelous strings I’ve ever heard in or out of the studio. I could not have been happier than I was in the control room at Skywalker.

Mathew confirms that we are on track

Mathew Steele confirms that we are on track

The Skywalker Symphony strings, under the baton of Marco D’Ambrosio, treated us to breathtaking performances of the score. Marco elicited fantastic interpretations, and these stellar players, who were a collection of the finest the Bay Area had to offer, delivered on every cue. Various members of the orchestra made special mention of how excited they were to be working on Forza and one of the first soundtracks for Xbox One. A big shout out to Janet Ketchum for assembling this top-notch string orchestra.


Lance, Paul Lipson, Chase Combs, Lennie Moore, John Broomhall and Gillian Broomhall out on the town

Lance, Paul Lipson, Chase Combs, Lennie Moore, John Broomhall and Gillian Broomhall out on the town

When our visit to Skywalker came to an end we headed off to a destination in New York City that I had been waiting to visit all of my life.

Avatar, New York

John, Lance and Paul get back to work at Avatar

John, Lance and Paul check the choir scores at Avatar Photo: Harry Amyotte

The thing that kept running through my mind, as my plane touched down at LaGuardia, is just how much classic pop and jazz was recorded at Avatar. This legendary facility, formerly as the “Power Station,” is where artists as diverse as Bjork, Esperanza Spalding, Roxy Music, Wynton Marsalis, David Bowie and many more have chosen to record. And for good reason, the facility and indeed the entire staff are amazing. We worked with veteran Avatar engineer Roy Hendrickson on their wonderful SSL 9000J board in Studio B to record the phenomenal singers of the New York Film Chorale.


John, Lance and Paul at Avatar checking the score

John, Lance and Paul at Avatar Photo: Harry Amyotte

Our score called for Alto and Soprano so Studio B was a fantastic fit for the assembled choir. The New York Film Chorale delivered vocal chills and power under the skillful direction of director, Dwayne Condon. Listening to these world class singers work their magic is near the top of the list among the great pleasures of my composing career. On take after take their superlative work could not have been more inspired, and they were as delighted as we were to be working on a Day One title. Many thanks to Kathryn Amyotte for bringing these great voices together for the session.

John and Paul at work, Avatar

John, Paul, Roy and Vince in the background at work at Avatar

This project has certainly allowed me to tick off a number of items from my bucket list, and there were many delightful “only in NYC” moments that caught me by surprise. One of those was on the second day of recording when I bumped into Yoko Ono in the Avatar lobby on my way through to collect my coffee. We exchanged greetings and when I returned a few minutes later she was gone. Just another day at Avatar.

New York Film Chorale at Avatar

Lance, Paul and John with the talented singers of the New York Film Chorale in the studio at Avatar

More to Tell

As you can guess, there are more tales and more to share, but Day One is coming and some things are better left to surprise. Suffice it to say that the coming months are going to be big ones for fans of Forza and the music of Forza so keep checking the official Forza Blogs at forzamotorsport.net and look for big updates coming on my Facebook and Twitter pages in the coming weeks.

Taking macchiato orders at Skywalker

Taking macchiato orders at Skywalker, because you know, espresso

Lance Hayes