Halo Infinite developers 343 Industries are going to some extreme lengths when it comes to making the sounds for the game, including smashing up a piano.
343 Industries has a regular blog update (opens in new tab) every month where developers come in to talk about the techniques they use and challenges they face during the development of Halo Infinite, and this month it was the sound team that got to share their insight. On top of the in-depth conversations about audio design and editing techniques, we also got a video of the audio team smashing a piano to pieces with hammers.
“We took objects like bats, golf clubs, hammers, and rocks to its armor revealing its inner workings. The violent act on the piano gave us some really nice beefy impacts, with some satisfying debris.” said Kyle Fraser, Lead Sound Designer on Halo Infinite. “Violent acts” is right, because there isn’t much left of this piano after the Halo hit squad is done with it.
Before obliterating this poor piece of musical equipment, the team does a load of interesting stuff including placing a subwoofer at various points on the piano to create different resonant frequencies and sounds, which are all picked up by microphones placed around the piano. It results in some serious sci-fi sounds.
The Inside Infinite blog post is packed with tons of super interesting information about how 343 Industries has approached sound design for Halo Infinite, taking on board criticisms from Halo 5 Guardians. Many players felt that while the sound design was rich, it was also difficult to differentiate important sounds like weapons fire amongst the chaos. Fixing this issue was a core part of the design philosophy on Halo Infinite.
It’s no secret that the Halo games have used some strange sources for their sound effects in the past though. We all remember Gyoza and Buddy, the two pugs who provide the sound effects for some of the alien creatures that make up the Covenant.
Halo Infinite was originally due to launch alongside the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, but was delayed until late 2021 due to the disruption caused by the ongoing pandemic. While no official date has been confirmed, a Halo Infinite actor let slip that it is aiming to launch in November.
If you’re waiting for Halo Infinite to launch and don’t have a spare piano to smash up, check out our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games to keep you entertained.