Madden NFL 13 - Audio Blog
Hi Madden NFL fans, I’m Matt Bialosuknia, Audio Producer for Madden NFL 13. I’m proud to have been a part of EA SPORTS for almost 7 years and counting, working in several cool roles from Development Director, to Producer of videos, art and presentation content for our football products. Madden NFL 13 is my first year as audio producer and I am incredibly fortunate for the opportunity, as I have a passion for audio both personally and professionally. I am so excited to share with you our new audio presentation features. It was our team’s goal to pursue best in class broadcast audio presentation for Madden NFL 13.
In our Presentation Playbook released a few weeks ago, we revealed our new broadcast commentary team of Jim Nantz, providing play by play commentary, and Phil Simms providing color commentary. Jim has worked with EA SPORTS on the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise, and is the voice of the Masters, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, and most importantly to us, the NFL on CBS. Phil Simms is, of course, the Super Bowl XXI MVP QB of the New York Giants (as a lifelong G-Men fan, this was a dream come true!) and Jim’s broadcast partner on the NFL on CBS. Jim and Phil have been working together as an elite, award-winning NFL commentary team since 2004, and have incredible chemistry both on and off camera.
That team chemistry is what inspired us to pursue them to provide fresh, new commentary for Madden NFL 13. To capture the chemistry, we recorded them together, at the same time, in the same studio for many of our sessions. Our process was to write scripts with situations and sample lines, but 99% of what you’ll hear in Madden NFL 13 is unscripted. We wanted Jim and Phil’s true style and character, and that came out in their improvisation. We would set up with scripts that provided the in-game situation, pump crowd noise into their headset microphones, and they created absolute MAGIC. In directing them, the mantra was always, “Say it just like you would on Sunday.” They put a ton of passion into their commentary and had a blast working and recording together.
We recorded the majority of our sessions at CityVox, a great recording studio in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. I personally made it a point to travel from Orlando to New York for every session.We would connect our new audio script writer Chase Becotte (formerly of Operation Sports) and new audio artist Jacques Rossouw (formerly ofFIFA) into the session via Skype to listen in and help direct line suggestions remotely. Madden NFL 13 also includes the talents of Jeff MacPherson as speech director. Jeff is the speech director for our entire EA SPORTS label and is also the primary speech director for FIFA. We’ve recorded approximately 82 hours of fresh commentary for Madden NFL 13, yielding us well over 9,000 unique new lines.
Madden NFL 13 utilizes new audio tech developed at our partner studio in Vancouver that is also used on the NHL and FIFA franchises. We integrated that tech last cycle and we were able to use it to its full potential on Madden NFL 13. This software allows for a cleaner, more streamlined workflow, which in turn lets the audio artists easily add more features and polish to the game. In short, it boasts some of the most cutting-edge commentary technology tools in the industry, allowing the audio artist to spend more time adding content to the game and less time concerning themselves with the tech.
The next new audio improvement is Madden NFL 13’s new sound design and mix. Led by Aaron Janzen, the new Madden NFL audio director (via Fight Night from our Vancouver Studio), and Dale Stump, our senior audio artist, Madden NFL 13’s audio presentation takes a great leap forward. We’ve added a brand new 24 track recorded crowd for an even more emotional, exciting NFL broadcast experience. The story of the game is now more vividly told in the highs and lows of the crowd; from a home team touchdown where the place is rocking, to away team interceptions which drain the life out of the stadium.
Madden NFL 13 utilizes our exclusive partnership with NFL Films to the fullest by adding authentic, exciting new elements to our mix –including authentic QB cadences, on-field player chatter, and NFL Films’ sound effects library. NFL Films is regarded as the best in the business for sports capture, presentation and storytelling. Due to our exclusive license with the NFL only the Madden NFL franchise, and no other sports media group, has access to these elements.
During the NFL season certain players wear wires (wireless microphones on/under their uniforms), and through these the on-field action comes to life. The audio content and quality captured by these microphones provide an up close and in your face perspective of the action and interactions between the lines. Madden NFL 13 brings authentic QB cadences for some of the most prominent current QBs in the league – guys like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and Ben Roethlisberger. When playing as these teams, you’ll hear these field generals shouting direction to their offenses when the ball is snapped, audibles are called, huddles, and other game situations in their own, genuine voices.
Furthermore, we’ve added brand new sound effects – authentic wire-recorded hits, tackles, sacks, catches, and grunts. These are sound effects you can feel – from the QB getting leveled behind the line, to a running back pushing through the D-Line to the endzone; not to mention the crush of the offensive and defensive lines making contact.
The final new audio feature in Madden NFL 13 I’d like to share is our new Madden NFL theme music and soundtrack. We were inspired by the most recognizable themes of sports and felt that this franchise deserved to have oneas well. We worked with composer and arranger Colin O’Malley to create an iconic, memorable Madden NFL theme that’s exciting and gets the blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. Colin has worked with EA SPORTS previously, contributing excellent work in his collegiate score for NCAA Football 12. In addition to his work with EA SPORTS, Colin composes and scores for documentary and feature films.
The score will anchor our new presentation, starting with pregame and carrying through the entire experience, with variations at quarter breaks, halftime, and postgame. The full experience provides a cohesive, high end, composed network broadcast presentation.
Also new for Madden NFL 13 is a scored soundtrack. EA Trax have been replaced with a new playlist of composed pieces for each of our new game modes. From the Main Menu to deep into the selection of game modes, these high energy tracks will underscore the excitement of the new Madden NFL 13 experience.
To sum it up, Madden NFL 13 has truly taken audio presentationto the next level. Audio is such a huge part of the gaming experience and we’ve blown it out. From the new commentary team of Nantz and Simms, to new authentic NFL Films sound design elements with fresh 5.1 and stereo mixes, to an iconic new theme and soundtrack, fans will have a lot to be excited about in Madden NFL 13’s audio presentation.