Pioneers Unite on The Banner Saga Soundtrack

"Prof" Keith O. Johnson & The Banner Saga Recording Team
Multi-faceted, multi-media composer Austin Wintory and Reference Recording’s Chief Engineer, audio wizard, inventor and entertainment technologist Keith O. Johnson have combined their talents in the production of the official soundtrack for The Banner Saga video game created by Stoic Studios.

Austin’s previous game score, Journey, is noteworthy as the first video game soundtrack nominated for a Grammy® (2013), charting in the Billboard Magazine Top 200 and iTunes.

Keith O. ‘Prof.’ Johnson is a Grammy® Award winning engineer, Audio Engineering Society Silver Medalist and sonic legend, having designed and patented many innovative products in the professional and consumer audio fields.

Composer Austin Wintory
When composer Austin Wintory conceived music for The Banner Saga, he wasn't thinking of synthetic strings in a plug-in studio or a faceless offshore orchestra. To musically portray the Nordic universe of the game, he looked to the robust horns and percussion of The Dallas Wind Symphony, America's premier concert band. He was familiar with their dynamic sound so realistically captured and presented on their releases on Reference Recordings. In a bold move, Austin called Kim Campbell, Executive Director, and asked about working with both with Dallas Wind Symphony and the recording team responsible for their sound. And so began the collaboration of Reference Recordings’ world renowned engineer Keith Johnson, award-wining composer Austin Wintory and The Banner Saga’s creator, Stoic Studios.

The stage is lined with plywood paneling
to direct the sounds into the microphones
Recording this soundtrack required a unique inter-weaving of the purest, audiophile mic placement and recording techniques of Keith Johnson with the multi-track needs of game production.

Audio tracks for games have unusual demands; their playback sounds and volume are inter-dependent with the players choices and include additional instruments, soloists and voices. Reference Recordings’ is famous for not using multi-track so a new engineering protocol was established to blend KOJ’s work and Austin’s team.

The engineering styles of both parties where shared in email discussions, back and forth. They created diagrams of the stage set-up for the Dallas Wind Symphony players, placement of KOJ's microphones and recording equipment (most of it hand built, modified or invented by him) and determined how those would be directed to ‘feed’ a Pro Tools based recording system. Later, vocal and instrumental soloists parts were added to complete the project.

The first 100 copies ordered direct from RR will be autographed by engineer "Prof" Keith O. Johnson and composer Austin Wintory!

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