Austin Wintory
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Q

The cello is amazing! Any plans to release the soundtrack on iTunes?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

Thank you! Tina Guo was the cello soloist, who I've had the joy of working with for many years and she's absolutely phenomenal. A genuine soul and genius musician. You can find out more about her at her site: http://tinaguo.com/ She's on tour right now with Cirque Du Soleil playing electric cello!!

And yes the soundtrack will be available. Details coming soon!!

Q

What's the equipment used in Journey's music recording?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

We monitored the orchestra (in Skopje, Macedonia) from San Diego at Sony's music facility, using a pair of Skype chats (for Sony's music editor to communicate with the engineer regarding the take log, and for me to communicate with the conductor).

We were monitoring the music through Source Connect, and then later they dropped all the audio onto an FTP so we could mix it ourselves.

As for the orchestra's recording setup, you can see it on their site: http://www.fames-project.com/

The other, non-orchestral recordings (like Tina Guo's cello solos) were done in my studio with a simple mic setup, going directly into my sequences.

Q

What is the story behind your last name?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

Ha! Not a question I ever expected! :)

My family (on my father's side) immigrated to the US in the 1938, fleeing Nazi Germany. They were from Berlin and had the rather typical German name of Weinberger. Upon arriving in the US, they decided to remake themselves into Americans, and made up the name Wintory (because apparently that sounded American to them).

In other words, the name is 100% made up. My father and his siblings were the first family members actually with the name. I am part of the second generation of Wintorys. The other funny side effect is that anyone named Wintory you ever meet will be a part of family.

Q

Journey soundtrack, when? TAKE MY MONEY!


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

Hahaha soon I promise!!

FWIW, you might enjoy 'Captain Abu Raed' on iTunes, which is in a somewhat similar vein (and also a really beautiful and special film, worth renting)

Q

What do you think of orchestral programs such as East West Symphony and any tips to making choirs / string sections sound more full?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

My setup uses a combination of most of the major libraries, though E/W I only have some of.

As to how to make them more full, the key is to listen to lots of real recordings and then follow your ear. Different libraries have different strengths and so you have to find out what those are. Also, in general, I think composers use too much reverb in their mockups. A lot of samples are recorded semi-wet and so smothering it with some enormous reverb just slaughters the clarity.

Q

Not a question, just a thankyou. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! :D


Austin Wintory responded on 03/03/2012
A

Well then this isn't answer: thank YOU thank YOU thank YOU!

(Seriously though ... music is about people for me, so messages like this serve as a reminder of why I do it. Don't thank me, because I need to thank YOU).

Q

How can you know the mood of the game and how music fits it before the developers complete the game?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/02/2012
A

The music and game evolved in parallel to each other the full 3 years. So it's safe to say that the game's mood came from the music as much as it was the other way around. Sometimes they would build an area of the game, I'd play it, then write some music based on how it made me feel.

But sometimes the opposite would happen. They'd ask me for a piece of music and I would write it, and then they'd design that area of the game around what I wrote.

Also I constantly revised and updated the music, so it really evolved considerably the entire process. It was a really wonderful way to work and quite unlike any other experience I've had composing before.

Q

How long have you been doing music and do you have any royality free music?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/02/2012
A

I started playing piano and composing primitively at about age 10. I started composing more seriously as a teenager and after high school had a full album of music recorded by the Utah Symphony. It's currently on iTunes, Amazon etc called "Spirit of the Cosmos."

I have a handful of other albums available on iTunes. Is that what you're looking for? If you have a specific need for music or are interested in licensing something please contact me directly and I'd be happy to discuss options.

Q

The Flower OST has some lengthy tracks (up to 12mins), will the Journey OST offer a similar experience?


Austin Wintory responded on 03/02/2012
A

The length of the tracks is pretty varied on the OST, including a few that are somewhat lengthy. None quite that long I think. They're very carefully built to mirror the various emotional arcs throughout the game.

Q

Sorry for the cryptic statement! Character limits. You never made a statement, but the kinds of things you tried to bring to it with your music (per Ben Kuchera) suggest you had certain hopes for it.


Austin Wintory responded on 03/02/2012
A

Oh, absolutely! It's not that I want it to be bland and generic. The music definitely supports TGC's vision for the narrative. So in that sense absolutely yes.

But what it will concretely "mean" is subject to individual interpretation ... I think I'll make a blog post about it on my site in the hopes people leave comments with their interpretations!