Comments: 1380 • Responses: 91 • Date: 2016-03-29 00:35:47 UTCsource
hal0grunty33353 karma2016-03-29 00:58:50 UTC
Will you ever release the audio recordings for the original Halo 2 ending? Many people including myself would love to hear it.
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MartyTheElder451 karma2016-03-29 01:25:20 UTC
I think I'll look for those files.
MalevolentFerret258 karma2016-03-29 00:41:27 UTC
Hello Marty, are you aware of your status as lord and saviour of /r/halocirclejerk?
Would you like to be a mod?
MartyTheElder283 karma2016-03-29 00:52:48 UTC
Hmm...seems a bit sacrilegious. So, no.
Sexyphobe100 karma2016-03-29 00:54:32 UTC
GUYS, DON'T SPOOK MARTY! He's a sensitive and shy creature. We may never have this opportunity to capture him again!
Edit: Great job /u/MalevolentFerret. Jerk. You soiled it.
MartyTheElder80 karma2016-03-29 01:23:11 UTC
Actually, not that sensitive.
SHABAM_inc70 karma2016-03-29 00:50:06 UTC
We have cupcakes, just saying.
MartyTheElder128 karma2016-03-29 01:23:30 UTC
MalevolentFerret87 karma2016-03-29 00:51:37 UTC
And photoshops of Frank O'Connor as Satan, Hitler and I think we have a Stalin one tucked away somewhere.
MartyTheElder151 karma2016-03-29 01:23:37 UTC
S3xyTrap229 karma2016-03-29 00:46:32 UTC
Have you ever considered going back to Halo?
MartyTheElder412 karma2016-03-29 00:51:35 UTC
oops, I better get started...
No one has asked me, yet.
FireteamOsiris103 karma2016-03-29 00:55:08 UTC
Follow up question, would you be interested in working with Kazuma Jinnouchi?
MartyTheElder153 karma2016-03-29 01:21:33 UTC
MVPizzle74 karma2016-03-29 01:16:19 UTC
/u/bravo343 FAM, I WILL BUY A THOUSAND DOLLAR REQ PACK FOR THIS
MartyTheElder86 karma2016-03-29 01:22:40 UTC
Don't forget https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/135470902/echoes-of-the-first-dreamer
Buhnanuers65 karma2016-03-29 01:23:38 UTC
MARTY THAT ISN'T THE RIGHT LINK. THIS IS THE ONE YOU WANT:
proud of you marty
MartyTheElder46 karma2016-03-29 03:12:54 UTC
_Comic_74 karma2016-03-29 01:04:05 UTC
So you're saying that if you were asked... you would?
MartyTheElder126 karma2016-03-29 01:21:56 UTC
I honestly don't know.
TheWarlockk45 karma2016-03-29 01:05:38 UTC
Even if you don't end up working on a main halo project again, i'd still be thrilled to hear your (yet again) take on the classic halo theme.
MartyTheElder77 karma2016-03-29 01:22:23 UTC
I've sure done that enough times by now don't ya think"
FlandersNed226 karma2016-03-29 00:46:36 UTC
Why did you do that little jig in front of the camera which ended up in Halo 3: ODST?
EDIT: Here's the dance.
MartyTheElder258 karma2016-03-29 01:12:26 UTC
I was walking outside to the parking lot and crossed in front of an animator who was videoing some moves. I did a little fist pump and kept walking. Folks at Bungie later decided to make that a "surprise Marty" easter egg.
MattyMcD179 karma2016-03-29 01:01:43 UTC
We at /r/Halo are huge fans. ODST had my favourite soundtrack with Halo 3 at a close second.
In more recent Halo games, specifically Halo 4, there was a departure of the iconic Halo theme. Now with Halo 5: Guardians we have more notable tracks (like Trials) that blend the classic Halo theme while also combining the flair of newer composers to the mix.
My question is what do you think of the Halo 5: Guardians soundtrack? Have you listened to it? Did you enjoy it? What would you have done differently.
MartyTheElder178 karma2016-03-29 01:20:54 UTC
Hmm, all the questions got re-ordered when I refreshed.
Liked the soundtrack to Halo 5. Of course I would have done something differently because I'm a different composer. But why would I do that?
delmarcrew174 karma2016-03-29 00:48:29 UTC
What was it like working with Paul McCartney for the Destiny OST?
MartyTheElder368 karma2016-03-29 01:16:49 UTC
The highlight of my career so far. He was an absolute joy to work with. A gentleman, and incredibly energetic. He'll never stop creating.
Someday you'll all get to hear Music of the Spheres the way it was intended. #NeverForgetMots
nladyman139 karma2016-03-29 00:42:06 UTC
Hi Marty, your work on the Halo soundtracks is amazing!
Do you have something you do that usually gets you in the mood for writing music?
MartyTheElder510 karma2016-03-29 01:00:31 UTC
pilot_junkie138 karma2016-03-29 00:39:42 UTC
Hey Marty, just wanted to say thank you for your incredible contributions to the music of gaming.
I was watching a ViDOc from Halo 3 last night about your "smushy" pieces that fit into different situations, and thought that was absolutely brilliant. Can you elaborate on where this idea came from and how it affected your part of the industry? (also can't wait for my T-Shirt from Echoes!"
EDIT if you see this, if you have a favorite classical track of all time, what would it be?
MartyTheElder148 karma2016-03-29 00:54:16 UTC
Well "smushy" pieces are also ambient, non-metric pieces. In games we sometimes need to just coast for a while until the player does something important. That kind of music works great.
Brahms Intermezzo in A, and Barber's Adagio for Strings
Hipstertle99 karma2016-03-29 00:38:31 UTC
Hey Marty, thanks for doing this AMA!
Do you have a favorite track out of all of your soundtracks?
MartyTheElder302 karma2016-03-29 00:56:42 UTC
The original Halo theme is dear to my heart, but I also like Deference to Darkness from ODST.
Zockman17592 karma2016-03-29 00:47:11 UTC
Hello sir! Thank you for doing this AMA. Have you ever thought of writing a book about your music?
MartyTheElder242 karma2016-03-29 01:14:57 UTC
Yes I have. Would you read it?
CoreBounty76 karma2016-03-29 00:41:56 UTC
Hey Marty, thanks for making such a great contribution to both Halo and my personal life with your music.
Any cool/interesting unheard stories from the early Bungie days?
MartyTheElder151 karma2016-03-29 01:00:20 UTC
Ok, Alex Seropian once said to me that the game industry was about creating content and exploiting that content. I told him I didn't want to be exploited. We got along great!
Sexyphobe68 karma2016-03-29 00:42:38 UTC
Besides working on the OST, have you ever played any of the Halo games? Would you ever consider working with 343 on a Halo OST?
MartyTheElder137 karma2016-03-29 01:02:54 UTC
I'm a gamer. I've played a zillion games. OF COURSE I've played every Halo game. As audio director it's required - but also a lot of fun!
JDQuackers65 karma2016-03-29 00:49:40 UTC
Marty! Man, do I enjoy your work immensely. My biggest disappointment was not getting to listen to the Music of the Spheres album. What are the chances of it ever seeing the lights of day, and how did you feel about that album compared to your previous works?
MartyTheElder141 karma2016-03-29 01:26:50 UTC
Music of the Spheres is our best work.
You can't stop the signal.
TheEld59 karma2016-03-29 00:41:07 UTC
Thanks for taking the time! This is such a splendid surprise. I'll take this chance to ask a question you probably get asked almost every day, but would you ever consider returning to Halo if given the opportunity?
MartyTheElder105 karma2016-03-29 00:58:27 UTC
Need to be asked.
FireteamOsiris59 karma2016-03-29 00:46:24 UTC
Hey Marty, massive fan of your work on Halo!
Have you heard Kazuma Jinnouchi's score for Halo 5, and if so what do you think? Is the direction he has taken the soundtrack in similar to what you would've made had you kept making Halo music?
MartyTheElder99 karma2016-03-29 01:08:51 UTC
Yes and I think it's wonderful.
All composers are different and unique. I met him last week at GDC. Super nice guy.
Rolyap53 karma2016-03-29 01:30:59 UTC
In your eyes, which Bungie game experienced more difficulties during development, Halo 2 or Destiny?
MartyTheElder190 karma2016-03-29 02:23:28 UTC
Turned out to be Destiny.
marblefoot45 karma2016-03-29 00:42:06 UTC
First off, thank you Marty for being a very cool guy. I'm sure you hear this kind of thing all the time, but the music in Halo was the music that made me realize video game music could be truly unique. I could gush on and on for a while, so I'll just say thank you so much for being awesome!
First question: When someone first says, I need something happy or exciting, where do you begin? The key? The time-signature? A particular instrument? A melodic line? WHAT?
Last question: I've been playing music for years (percussion), and I have played some pretty....lacking pieces. Usually just giving us quarter notes or down beats or some nigh-impossible thing to play due to the tempo or something else...So would you feel like percussion is an after thought most of the time? (Be honest, I'm a big boy).
Anyway, thank you so much!
MartyTheElder69 karma2016-03-29 01:02:06 UTC
Put my hands on the keyboard and see what happens. While trying to be in the right mood.
Percussion is at the top of mind for me.
StopandSquander41 karma2016-03-29 00:49:19 UTC
Hi Marty, first off thankyou for all your help in bringing the halo universe to all of us. Your music in the original franchise continues to be held as some of the greatest tracks in gaming history.
My question is for those who dont know whats the new game your working on all about?
MartyTheElder62 karma2016-03-29 01:17:58 UTC
It's going to be really cool. A PSVR game called Golem.
Go to HighwireGames.com to learn all about it, and then don't forget to back my kickstarter (we need you) Don't forget https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/135470902/echoes-of-the-first-dreamer
qazwsx12740 karma2016-03-29 01:15:04 UTC
First off, I want to let you know how appreciative I am of all the music you've created over the years. It probably drives my family crazy with how much I whistle the Halo theme all the time. I listen to your work regularly and will always have room for it in my music collection.
Now for my question even though you might not be able to answer it. Did something happen behind the scenes at Bungie that caused Destiny to have a major change in design/scale? When looking back at older trailers and interviews, it seems a lot smaller and less ambitious than it was originally planned to be. Even a yes or no answer would be appreciated.
MartyTheElder66 karma2016-03-29 02:14:16 UTC
The_Normal_One38 karma2016-03-29 01:06:01 UTC
Did you ever see the halo theme becoming so iconic?
MartyTheElder86 karma2016-03-29 02:00:04 UTC
Well, I used to write jingles so it was plan A.
Didn't think it would work so well however.
Toshiro4636 karma2016-03-29 00:54:13 UTC
Would you reveal what happened between you and Bungie? From the sound of it, you got screwed over. You've done a fantastic job, and you don't deserve that.
MartyTheElder85 karma2016-03-29 01:39:55 UTC
Thanks, but I only know one side of the story.
The--Marf35 karma2016-03-29 00:45:48 UTC
Hi Marty, favorite food and drink combo? Bonus question, if you could have any car what would it be? Love your work.
MartyTheElder67 karma2016-03-29 01:08:02 UTC
Lasagna and a nice Syrah.
Green '67 Jaguar XKE E type.
Tuckerscreator235 karma2016-03-29 01:04:28 UTC
Hi there Marty! Won a Halo: Reach CD signed by you a long while back. It's still music I love listening to and for years stuck in my car. Literally. I can't get it out. It's forever jammed...
If you could re-score any of your favorite films or video games, which would you choose?
MartyTheElder42 karma2016-03-29 01:59:04 UTC
Sorry about your CD player.
I wouldn't want to re-score anything I already did. I'd rather move on to new things. Like Golem!
GreenReticule35 karma2016-03-29 00:43:55 UTC
Hi Marty! For Halo 2, you also did some voice directing. Is that something you would want to do more of, and are there other areas of game/story development that you'd like to branch out into?
Thanks for doing an AMA!
MartyTheElder86 karma2016-03-29 01:04:24 UTC
I've done voice directing for all the games I've worked on including 5 Halo games, and Destiny 1.
Working on story is essential for my role.
dialog201135 karma2016-03-29 00:36:57 UTC
How long does it take to compose the score for a game?
MartyTheElder83 karma2016-03-29 00:55:06 UTC
As much time as they give me. Usually between 6 months and a couple years.
eminemcrony33 karma2016-03-29 01:08:08 UTC
How's the ivory tower in the new office?
MartyTheElder41 karma2016-03-29 02:02:32 UTC
It's now in my house.
I'm just out with everyone else at the new office.
Navy67030 karma2016-03-29 00:45:09 UTC
Marty! I've been a fan of your work since I was was 6. I also started the cello because I was inspired by your music. My question is simple,
How did you find inspiration to use such a vast diversity of instruments throughout the Halo series? Many composers stick to strong orchestral music, but you've taken alternative styles and somehow made them work.
MartyTheElder52 karma2016-03-29 01:05:33 UTC
There are so many different genres and styles of music. Why would I confine myself to just one?
3v4i27 karma2016-03-29 00:45:13 UTC
Hey Marty, looking good (⌐■_■).
Let's say you have a rough day, and you need to crank some tunes to get your mood straight. What would be your go-to band and song?
MartyTheElder32 karma2016-03-29 01:06:14 UTC
Probably Gentle Giant. Knots.
ArchDucky27 karma2016-03-29 01:46:42 UTC
Halo isn't the same without you! This isn't a question?
MartyTheElder35 karma2016-03-29 02:43:04 UTC
lightandtheglass25 karma2016-03-29 01:27:41 UTC
I just wanted to pop in and say thank you. Your music has helped me find new friends, bond with old ones, and study while in graduate school. Thank you for your score on ODST. It's my favorite video game score ever. I can't wait to see what else you bless our ears with in the future and I hope you get to return to halo one day.
Since I have to ask a question, how do you feel about Holst's The Planets Symphony?
MartyTheElder34 karma2016-03-29 02:21:27 UTC
Love it. Studied it. Was inspired by it.
Thus - Music of the Spheres.
Lasyen_23 karma2016-03-29 00:50:46 UTC
Hi Marty! Thanks for doing this!
What tracks or lines were your favourites to compose?
Any particular anecdotes you have regarding your work?
MartyTheElder49 karma2016-03-29 01:32:40 UTC
Already talked about some tracks, but working with David Scully (Sgt. Johnson) Pete Stacker (Capt. Keyes and Sgt. Stacker) and Nathan Fillion were great to work with and had some amazing lines.
Also of course David Cross.
Lyricalthunder22 karma2016-03-29 01:09:15 UTC
What's your favorite type of sandwich?
MartyTheElder30 karma2016-03-29 02:07:11 UTC
idkjulio22 karma2016-03-29 00:49:50 UTC
Was there a certain "feeling" you wanted to capture when writing for Halo 1-3?
What was the feeling and do you think you successfully captured it?
MartyTheElder44 karma2016-03-29 01:29:34 UTC
That depended on the scene or encounter. Heroic, ancient, mysterious, poignant, spooky, sad - all those emotions and more.
Zeddikins22 karma2016-03-29 01:37:37 UTC
Did you keep any Halo builds as souvenirs and would you be willing to share them?
MartyTheElder37 karma2016-03-29 02:22:45 UTC
Yes, and no.
mcx1522 karma2016-03-29 02:55:02 UTC
I love you. Will you love me?
MartyTheElder37 karma2016-03-29 03:22:43 UTC
MisterWoodhouse21 karma2016-03-29 00:40:18 UTC
Hey Marty, thanks for doing this!
What is your favorite soundtrack for a game you didn't work on? How about your favorite film soundtrack?
MartyTheElder47 karma2016-03-29 00:57:31 UTC
Currently I'm loving Jessica Curry's Everybody's Gone to the Rapture.
Ben Hur's score is amazing.
ljosquaredl21 karma2016-03-29 01:08:52 UTC
Are there any bonus/unusued Halo songs hiding in a hard drive somewhere that you can release? I love your old Halo music so much and still listen frequently, just wondered if there was any hidden gems laying around:)
MartyTheElder45 karma2016-03-29 02:06:32 UTC
You know, I think there are a couple little gems hanging around someplace. I'll have to have a look.
Rolyap20 karma2016-03-29 01:48:34 UTC
Where was Jason Jones during all these issues with Activision/Bungie management?
MartyTheElder47 karma2016-03-29 02:43:57 UTC
You'll have to ask Jason.
Clarkey716319 karma2016-03-29 00:46:53 UTC
As a person with an interest in game development, I am curious as to what process the composer fits in? Do you receive a finished product, and begin writing to match the tone? Do you have creative input into how the score and the gameplay is presented? Or is it something else entirely :D
Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA!
MartyTheElder38 karma2016-03-29 01:14:35 UTC
Composers rarely have much influence during game development. However, Audio Directors who are in-house can have a lot of influence. I consider myself a game designer who specializes in sound and music. Also, the overall presentation or user experience is extremely important to me.
Buhnanuers19 karma2016-03-29 01:08:30 UTC
DId you have a say in the creation of the "Be Like Marty" ODST achievement? Are it's implications fact, or fiction?
MartyTheElder32 karma2016-03-29 02:02:57 UTC
Fiction. Complete utter fiction.
I was against it.
Rolyap17 karma2016-03-29 01:19:22 UTC
Any headaches yet?
MartyTheElder23 karma2016-03-29 02:15:39 UTC
tvotheyeti16 karma2016-03-29 01:02:21 UTC
What was your favorite halo soundtrack to work on?
MartyTheElder44 karma2016-03-29 01:53:01 UTC
pianobarry8716 karma2016-03-29 00:41:04 UTC
Do you orchestrate your own work or do you have a partner?
MartyTheElder35 karma2016-03-29 00:58:07 UTC
I mostly orchestrate, but so has Mike Salvatori, Stan LePard, and Mark McKenzie.
BryanTran15 karma2016-03-29 00:53:08 UTC
Do you have a favourite piece, going back through every soundtrack you've ever penned?
MartyTheElder30 karma2016-03-29 01:37:47 UTC
Already answered but I'll add The Ecstasy from Music of the Spheres.
You should hear the full version.
L3gionHD15 karma2016-03-29 01:34:50 UTC
Do you feel that score is an often undervalued aspect of what makes a videogame work?
MartyTheElder29 karma2016-03-29 02:25:43 UTC
Many times. But there sure are a lot of really great fans who value the score. Thanks everybody!
pawpcap15 karma2016-03-29 00:49:53 UTC
Hey Marty! Thanks for doing the AMA.
Never Forget is one of my favorite tracks from Halo, and every time I listen to it, I get some very distinct Chopin vibes from it. Do you take any stylistic cues from other composers, and if so, which ones?
MartyTheElder18 karma2016-03-29 01:30:12 UTC
Mike is the main composer for that one. Yes, I play a lot of Chopin and Mike has heard a lot of Chopin.
Nighthawk307115 karma2016-03-29 00:51:13 UTC
I'm a HUGE Drum Corps fan and 6-year vet to the activity. I was pretty excited to see one of my favorite composers take a leap into DCI! How has working with the Boston Crusaders been so far? Are you excited for this upcoming season? I'd love to hear about your experience with a top DCI group!
MartyTheElder22 karma2016-03-29 01:34:01 UTC
DCI is an unbelievable world. I'm just getting going but loving it so far. Stay tuned!
Retic15 karma2016-03-29 00:46:25 UTC
Hey Marty! Firstly I'd like to say thanks for all the tracks you have done. Your music for the Halo titles sends chills down my spine and I have to say everytime I hear one of your tracks it gets me hyped and gives me great memories. Destiny also has that same vibe for me, the game had a special spark for me with the music you made in it. I must ask though, what are your thoughts on how the Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians soundtracks were done?
MartyTheElder17 karma2016-03-29 01:10:41 UTC
Thanks for the compliments.
Not comfortable judging other people's work. I think Halo 4 & 5 are well done.
Don't forget https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/135470902/echoes-of-the-first-dreamer
Vurtax15 karma2016-03-29 01:41:22 UTC
Hey Marty, I used to follow you pretty avidly on Twitter when I still had one. You and Michael's work has left an impact on my life that won't be forgotten, I broke into tears at the end of Halo 4 at the credit sequence when hearing Kazuma's rendition of Never Forget and knowing how of a profound love I have for both the music of this series and everything else Halo has encompassed for me as a gamer.
Two things I wanted to ask you.
Have you heard this beautiful take on the Halo theme? I just wanted to make sure that of all people, you heard it.
I'm a little confused as to how the job of a composer works. I know a lot of games contract composers for the soundtrack or a few pieces in it (like Hans Zimmer did the main theme and some derivatives for Crysis 2 which were fantastic) But then I wonder why you haven't been or done scores for movies or other video games. I know you also worked in the sound department for Halo but I just find it somewhat strange you aren't in the same spot that Zimmer or guys like him are in right now when your reputation goes well before you.
So to get to the point Is this by personal choice or can you shed some light into how this all works?
P.S. This is similarily upsetting due to how I loved the work of Matthew Harwood (who worked under KAOS for Frontlines: Fuel of War and Homefront, who both have fantastic scores that go beyond the game itself) and yet the only other thing he's done work for seemingly is Infinite Crisis.
MartyTheElder11 karma2016-03-29 02:35:15 UTC
I haven't heard this before but I've bookmarked it and will finish listening later.
Getting on the movie composer list is hard. I really haven't spent much time trying.
This_Gooch13 karma2016-03-29 00:49:50 UTC
Is there any distinct ways that you see music composition evolving with the arrival of VR in the near future, or just in general? Over the years I've seen music in games evolve dramatically in complexity and depth, usually within technical limitations. But now that there isn't much holding audio back these days, I can imagine the possibility space can only expand moving forward.
Edit: Sorry, double question, but do you see 3D audio playing a larger part in the future? Thanks!
MartyTheElder24 karma2016-03-29 01:28:44 UTC
3D audio is the big revolution for VR. Music won't be affected all that much. Although, music games/apps in VR could be mind-blowing.
pianobarry8713 karma2016-03-29 00:57:31 UTC
What is your favorite rare/oddball instrument you wrote for?
MartyTheElder17 karma2016-03-29 01:46:48 UTC
sonicfood13 karma2016-03-29 00:47:46 UTC
Hey Marty, do you play any of the games that work on? If so, which was your favorite?
MartyTheElder32 karma2016-03-29 01:15:07 UTC
Highball281412 karma2016-03-29 01:41:51 UTC
I really enjoy your work. I beta tested Halo:CE on PC back when Microsoft had a volunteer beta testing program, and the music was unlike anything I had heard in a video game before. I rarely skipped the intro of Myth, and then my wife attended a conference in San Diego a decade or so back where I believe you sister was speaking, and she relayed some of your story/background, and I have been a fan ever since.
My question: When you need to get into your head space to create, do you have a certain ritual or routine that helps you get the creative juices flowing?
MartyTheElder16 karma2016-03-29 02:35:50 UTC
First the deadline, then improvise at the piano and hope.
malan4reddit10 karma2016-03-29 01:34:55 UTC
How can I increase the horsepower of my 2014 Dodge Challenger 5.7 V8....?
MartyTheElder15 karma2016-03-29 02:26:02 UTC
OverKillClips10 karma2016-03-29 00:51:01 UTC
Firstly I adore your work and was listening to the Halo 3 soundtrack just today! So whats the chance of you coming back to the Halo franchise?
MartyTheElder32 karma2016-03-29 01:33:08 UTC
Always a chance...
Suddenly_Oranges9 karma2016-03-29 00:53:43 UTC
Thank you for doing this AMA!
First, I bet you've gotten this question a billion times, but would you ever consider composing music for halo again? Or would you much rather not look back on the past as much?
Second, how would you make sure that a song you've composed isn't similar to music already written? I'm trying to make music myself, but I'm always worried that I'm accidentally copying someone else.
Thank you for doing this AMA! I'll be donating to your kickstarter when my paycheck comes in!
MartyTheElder16 karma2016-03-29 01:38:56 UTC
You are a good person!
Don't worry about copying. You can't help being inspired by music you love. Just try and stay true to yourself. Most likely it will be unique.
ONI_Agent_Locke8 karma2016-03-29 01:40:49 UTC
Been a huge fan of yours ever since I became enthralled with Halo in 2002, due in no small part to your work. I'm eagerly looking forward to all that's in store from Highwire Games.
With you being the founder and all, I'd have to think you're doing more than just directing the audio for the studio's projects. What's the full extent of your involvement?
MartyTheElder18 karma2016-03-29 02:31:00 UTC
I've even cleaned the dirty dishes in the sink at Highwire!
BryanTran8 karma2016-03-29 00:56:39 UTC
Hey Marty, through all the soundtracks you've been a part of so far, has there been any pieces you wish you could go back and change?
MartyTheElder14 karma2016-03-29 01:44:40 UTC
Probably but I don't want to dwell on those.
wtucker7 karma2016-03-29 01:08:31 UTC
Re: the current state of soundtracks/scoring. There seem to be two major camps in scoring: those who use melody/counterpoint as the foundation of the score, and those who use harmony/dissonance as the foundation of the score.
I've always admired composers who favor strong melodies (John Williams [though his atonal moments can be brilliant], you, recently Ramin Djawadi), and have been somewhat disappointed by the sort of drone-y texture/drum-heavy pieces that feature in many modern big budget blockbusters (I immediately think of Hans Zimmer, though I acknowledge he's a master of synthesis and a brilliant musician).
I find myself more emotionally connected to themes with a clear melody, and I find melody is tremendously important to story/character development.
While I acknowledge that this is a subjective matter, I'd like to hear what you think of the role melody plays in scoring vs. harmony/clustered texture?
MartyTheElder13 karma2016-03-29 02:05:02 UTC
You can't beat a good melody.
There is room for all kinds of approaches to music for a project, but show me one score that people remember that doesn't at some point have a strong melody or hook.
Morgen-stern7 karma2016-03-29 01:43:51 UTC
Hi Marty, I know that your new game is exclusive to the PlayStation, but are us folks on the Xbox going to see you again in the future?
Aside from that, the music you've created has always been beautifully inspirational, thanks so much for your work over the years!
MartyTheElder15 karma2016-03-29 02:37:08 UTC
We're self-published so who knows what the future will bring?
SupropRenkcip7 karma2016-03-29 00:49:38 UTC
Hi Marty! I've been a big fan for years and was a flintstone kid in my youth!
My question is: Can you describe what Golem is all about and what type of game it is?
MartyTheElder15 karma2016-03-29 01:18:11 UTC
A fun VR game.
Rolyap7 karma2016-03-29 02:19:39 UTC
If you could write a letter to your 20 year-old self, what would it say?
MartyTheElder25 karma2016-03-29 03:19:31 UTC
Prostitute your art for a higher fee.
itsBibz6 karma2016-03-29 00:59:46 UTC
Hey Marty, have you played ever played through any of the Halo campaigns? Got a favourite?
Also, thanks for your contributions to the industry. I still listen to your work for hours, pretty much everyday.
MartyTheElder10 karma2016-03-29 01:50:17 UTC
For the record, I've played every Halo game I shipped on every difficulty level.
Thanks for listening.
MC_Strelok5 karma2016-03-29 00:52:42 UTC
Thanks for doing this ama!
What is the first step that you take in order to compose a soundtrack?
MartyTheElder8 karma2016-03-29 01:35:40 UTC
Get the gig!
Then work closely with the vision holder and really try and understand what they're trying to accomplish emotionally with the game.
_Comic_4 karma2016-03-29 01:23:31 UTC
Hey Marty, awesome surprise!
What do you think of Halo 5's story? I heard it was the original plot for Combat Evolved.
MartyTheElder6 karma2016-03-29 02:16:34 UTC
Mutt12234 karma2016-03-29 01:06:46 UTC
Who is your favorite character on Game of Thrones?
MartyTheElder10 karma2016-03-29 02:02:07 UTC
Tyrion of course.
DisturbedShifty3 karma2016-03-29 00:53:05 UTC
Have you ever been offered to compose a movie soundtrack? If not would you consider composing one?
MartyTheElder6 karma2016-03-29 01:36:57 UTC
Did plenty of industrial movie soundtracks.
Never been offered a major Hollywood movie score and would probably jump at the chance.
notewise2 karma2016-03-29 02:03:29 UTC
Hi, Marty. Destiny was the first game I played where your music was in it. I've mostly been a Playstation Guy and never got to play Halo. I was wondering if you think or even hoping that you and Bungie/Activision will ever make up and bury the hatchet? I hate seeing such a great relationship become destroyed.
MartyTheElder3 karma2016-03-29 02:56:46 UTC
I'm willing to bury hatchets.
Arbys-sword2 karma2016-03-29 00:43:57 UTC
What/who inspired you to create music?
MartyTheElder8 karma2016-03-29 01:04:35 UTC
My mother and father.
FourthEchelon191 karma2016-03-29 01:03:32 UTC
Have you listened to the music in the Halo series done after Bungie's departure? If so, what did you think of it?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:57:29 UTC
isaiahpmarshall1 karma2016-03-29 01:04:28 UTC
Is there anyway I could get sheet music of some of your work?
I'm taking an intermediate piano class at my university and we need to select and play a piece for our final and it'd make my life to play one of yours :)
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:57:48 UTC
I'm not sure any longer. You need to ask Microsoft.
BigJimMack1 karma2016-03-29 01:01:47 UTC
Chicken wings or chicken tenders?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:51:24 UTC
With parmesan cheese.
TheWhiteFalcon1 karma2016-03-29 00:56:59 UTC
What's the soundtrack you're least happy with in retrospect?
MartyTheElder4 karma2016-03-29 01:45:36 UTC
The one that never got released - but should have.
mrreal711 karma2016-03-29 01:06:38 UTC
What is your favorite Halo soundtrack and why is it ODST?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 02:01:24 UTC
nickfinnftw1 karma2016-03-29 01:02:54 UTC
How much money does a composer for video games typically make?
MartyTheElder5 karma2016-03-29 01:53:13 UTC
A bazillion dollars.
MetalGilSolid1 karma2016-03-29 01:02:07 UTC
Howdy, Marty! Do you play any instruments, or just compose? If yes, what's your favorite? :)
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:52:48 UTC
I can't imagine composing without being able to play the piano.
npapi12261 karma2016-03-29 00:59:44 UTC
Marty, thank you for being a legend!
My two questions are,
1) Where did you think Halo was going, or could possibly go, as you were working in the beginning stages of the project, aka Combat Evolved?
2) Which Halo track, from any game, do you believe captures the essence or spirit of the Master Chief?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:49:29 UTC
1) We all knew that Halo was going to be big. Just not as big as it got.
2) Can't remember the name but it played over the memorial cutscene at the end of Halo 3.
Gierling1 karma2016-03-29 00:57:52 UTC
How does scoring work in conjunction with sound effects/ambient effects? Have you (or the foley artists) ever needed to make significant changes because the SFX and the music clashed, sounded weird or discordant?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:47:08 UTC
Yes, all the time. That's what the final mix is all about.
Slamwow1 karma2016-03-29 00:56:34 UTC
Hey Marty, love your work and enjoyed hearing your speech at Ohio State last year.
What's the biggest difference/challenge in your "production process" now that you aren't collaborating with Michael Salvatori? Or maybe you still are...?
MartyTheElder2 karma2016-03-29 01:43:45 UTC
Loved being at OSU last year, thanks.
It's different. I'm still getting used to it.
DoIt4TheMetricSystem1 karma2016-03-29 00:56:13 UTC
Hey Marty, incredible work! Your music is iconic to many and I hope you continue your great success.
I would like to ask, do you regret any changes in the team or overall atmosphere at either 343i or Bungie? How much do the believe the chemistry and passion within the team helps to nurture a better end product, full of more love and soul? It seems like with a smaller team of Halo CE to Halo 3 there was better commitment and direction.
MartyTheElder3 karma2016-03-29 01:43:10 UTC
I've certainly found that at least for me - smaller teams are better. If the team is larger than the number of people I can remember first names of - it could be a problem. There are projects that really can't be done with under hundreds of people, but that isn't attractive to me. However, I still believe that you can be nice to the goose no matter how big the team is.
Fizzarina1 karma2016-03-29 00:54:20 UTC
My first question is, what's your opinion of Kazuma Jinnouchi's take on the Halo theme in Halo 5? If you've heard it.
My second question is, will you and Michael Salvatori ever co-compose again on any projects?
Can't wait for Golem!
MartyTheElder3 karma2016-03-29 01:40:39 UTC
Already answered. Kazuma is a great composer.
Some day, somehow Mike and I will work together again.
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