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BTS: Anniversary Music

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

BTS: Anniversary Music is a 343 Industries Behind-the-Scenes documentary video that offers a look at the developmental process of the remastered music of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The video features exclusive interviews of Skywalker Sound and 343 Industries employees as they discuss the re-composition of the original Halo soundtrack. It was first released on YouTube and Halo Waypoint on October 24, 2011.[1][2]


  • Dan Ayoub: I think back to San Diego Comic-Con when we were doing a panel and we were just setting up, and you know that monk chanting started. The audience just went nuts. Sitting at the panel thinking like, "Yeah wow, we've got some really icon music on our hands." That music was very very key to a lot of the emotion of the game, and a lot of peoples' memories of the game.
  • Kristofor Mellroth: You see a still from it and you hear the music, or you hear the music and you see yourself playing the game back in that day. I didn't want to lose sight of that. I wanted the music to speak for itself and just give it the red carpet love letter and bring all the resources that we could bear to bringing it back.


  • Kristofor Mellroth: I really wanted to take what I had learned on Legends and to work with a partner that I had just had great success with in Pyramind and Paul Lipson. I started formulating my plan of how to approach it. Halo is really near and dear to my heart. Shipping the original audio as it was, when they were doing so much work on remastering the visuals, wasn't going to cut it.
  • Paul Lipson: And this was the challenge. We wanted to maintain our reverence and DNA of the original score, but we did need to extend.
  • Kristofor Mellroth: What we wanted to do was enhance what was there and bring it to life with modern production techniques and vast increased resources over the original.
  • Paul Lipson: A lot of choices out there but I was proponent of Skywalker. They have tailored everything to the pursuit of capturing an orchestra.
  • Leslie Ann Jones: Skywalker is a great place to record, first of all because we have a fantastic staff, but also the room is a wonderful-sounding room that can be tuned to accommodate any kind of music.
  • Paul Lipson: To me it just represents the absolute state of the art, and it's a perfect partnership for Halo Anniversary.
  • Kristofor Mellroth: If you like the way music is spotted in the original at a particular point, it's going to be the exact same piece, it's just going to be done with a 75-piece orchestra at Skywalker Sound.
  • Leslie Ann Jones: The guys did a great job on re-orchestrating the original work.
  • Paul Lipson: There was no pre-existing MIDI audio files to work with, and all we had was literally the original in-game file. We had to meticulously listen and transcribe every note.
  • Kristofor Mellroth: You're starting from something that's already finished. And something that's iconic. Something that's beloved.
  • Paul Lipson: There's a lot of things that are exact, and there's a lot of things that are adaptations in the spirit of the original.
  • Kristofor Mellroth: Sythesis was all done on gear that was available in 2000/2001. We actually have a couple of guys on the team who are encyclopaedic in their knowledge of old gear. They've been able to go back in, listen to what's there, find the exact synth, the exact patch, tune it to exactly how it sounds and then re-perform if for this.
  • Leslie Ann Jones: The power of an orchestra and the way scores are being composed now has really raised the level of expectation, because it's much more of a real tangible, visceral experience than it was in the past.
  • Frank O'Connor: At the heart of the music and at the heart of the story is Marty O'Donnell's original creation and it's very respectful of that but yet it still sounds new.
  • Dan Ayoub: You do have the option in the menu to just play the game to that original soundtrack, so if you do want to hear that music exactly the same as it was ten years ago you can still do that.
  • Paul Lipson: We've got fans making this music, which means that when we are adapting this music we're doing it from the standpoint of we play it and we've been playing if for years, and we're just going to apply our sensibility as both a fan and as artists.

Halo Theme begins to play. Original footage of John-117 entering the Control Room. Graphics switch to remastered version.