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A Ridiculous (and slightly illegal) Technical Discovery

December 17, 2008

More on Legacy of Kain, but this time less question more answer. I managed to rip the music from Defiance to listen to it in iTunes, but in doing so, made a very intriguing design discovery. Certain songs refused to import into iTunes, and I couldn’t turn them into mp3’s in conversion programs because there were “too many tracks.”

“Hmmm,” I wondered. “Could this possibly means what I think it means?

So into Audition I ventured, importing the troublesome WAV file, only to discover that embedded within said WAV were 8 different tracks, featuring the strings, percussion, and ambiance. This led to the awesome discovery that the individual tracks for certain songs were actually controlled in-game and were never saved as fully mixed songs. Thus, Crystal Dynamics were able to control precisely when the percussion came in when fights started, and just as quickly take it away, all by controlling the volumes of the individual tracks in-game. Pretty slick, especially for a game made in 2003.

Needless to say I mixed down the song into an MP3 that separates out the walking around (percussionless) parts from the overall battle theme, so the song jumps in and out of both to nice effect. I’ve done this with the “skinners” song, from when Raziel first arrives in the material realm outside the Light and Dark Forges. There are a couple other songs that have the same multitrack thing going on so I will mix those tomorrow.

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2 Comments
  1. Black Tears permalink

    Oh please!!! could you share those files with me?? I love Legacy of Kain series and i have been looking for Defiance music everywhere!!!
    I have found SR and SR2 Soundtrack, i got the album “Dont be afraid”… but Defiance soundtrack is impossible to find!!!
    please??? please??? Could you??? pleeeeease???

  2. I am unsure as to what the legality is of sharing music from a game in this manner. This is mainly a project I am using to learn how to use Adobe Audition for mixing tracks – a technique I plan on using in my upcoming sidescroller, which if you are a Legacy of Kain fan you will enjoy – and not for publicly sharing. Should the interest arise once the tracks are mixed I will get in touch with The Lost Worlds website (www.thelostworlds.net) and see if they can distribute them.

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