Reply To: The Music and Audio

Home Forums Previous Months 66 – March 2022: Quake The Music and Audio Reply To: The Music and Audio


I’ve never really listened to NIN’s music, and I couldn’t even tell you if Quake’s soundtrack is typical of their musical style or not.

But I’ve never felt that the Quake soundtrack fits the game very well. It doesn’t really feel like game music at all to me. The distorted industrial instrumentation doesn’t complement the gothic/medieval tone of the game. The slow droning and rhymic ambiance don’t really complement the high-adrenaline nature of a shooter.

It feels like when you commission a piece of high art. You spend time giving the artist guidance, showing them where the work will be put on display and what surroundings it has to fit in with, and giving them themes to inspire them, and you still end up with something unexpected, because they’ve taken the brief in a strange direction.

Game music production is no doubt a more joined up process nowadays, with closer interaction with the client, as well as game music being a speciality one trains in, rather than being a one-off side project that one “has a go at”.

I expect id software felt honored to have NIN work with them, and probably didn’t give the music tracks they received the same critical judgement that the rest of Quake’s content received.

That’s not to say that I *dislike* the music, taken on it’s own. It’s ok, good here and there, but mostly rather flat and repetitive. I think the first 2-3 of minutes of the main theme are enjoyable, and probably the best bit. 🙂