Real World

The Sprint: Composer

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

The Sprint: Composer is the first episode of the third season of The Sprint. It focuses on the musical score for Halo 5: Guardians.


  • Announcer Sprint : Making a game on the scale of Halo takes hundreds of people with different skills, a singular vision and time. Lots of time. But before a game reaches store shelves, the team must create thousands of assets that are tracked in two-week deadline, we call Sprints. 343 Industries invites you to join us on our journey, creating Halo 5 Guardians from the ground up, one painting, sound and line of code at a time. This is The Sprint.

March 24, 2014
Kirkland, Washington
343 Industries Choir

  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : Great, sounds awesome!
  • Gabe Deyerle : We're the actual actors in the game singing it and then Prague is the score.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : I wanted to have all skill level singers within the studio.
  • Gabe Deyerle : Because it sounds sort of like we're just like the average dudes at the church just try to sing as best we can.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : The lyrics is about basically about Covenant doesn't want the Guardian to be woken up. They want to have the Guardian rest in peace. Okay, here goes, this is the last line.


One Year Later
Prague, Czech Republic
Rudolfinum Concert Hall

  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : We’re doing a second round of the choir session today. We have 30 singers I believe so we'll be doing six tracks and we'll be doing a lot of the themes including the Halo choir. I use the piano motif that's using Halo 3 and I rearranged based on that. Can we change the crescendo, not here but in this full bars.
  • ? : How long should it be for, two bars ?
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : Mmh… Yeah, two bars. It's eleven-thirty right now and we have flight at seven o'clock tomorrow morning and arriving in London and then we have sessions starting at ten thirty tomorrow, so hopefully I get there in time.

London, England

  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : It's really interesting to see how game music has evolved. When I first started out a friend of mine was doing working for games, and it's literally he had like a hundred and twenty-eight K worth of memory he was allowed to use because there was just no memory. And now look at us, we’re in Abbey Road studio one with the full symphony orchestra.

Abbey Road Studios

  • Matt Dunkley : I've worked on, I think I'm up to about 137 films as we speak just about today 138 so yeah, I've worked on a lot of movies. I think the difference really in the video game score is, first up there's an awful lot more music. You tend to have like very big long, dramatic themes, whereas in a film maybe you have one or two of those, you have your end titles and your opening titles and maybe one big action scene but we've done five of them, so it's everything is kind of bigger and longer and so much of gameplay is action, so you might have like 20 action scenes or 30 action scenes and then you have all the play out movies which have like these big dramatic things, gorgeous cello solos and fantastic dynamic stuff and tonight we put the brass on as well. It's just a great sounding room you know it's, listen! It's just amazing and this was the template for pretty much all recording studios, a lot of the scoring stages in Los Angeles were based on Abbey Road Studio 1 which is where we're sitting now. Studio 2 just over there’s where the Beatles did all their stuff, so it's a real historic building but you know what I love about it is it's not a time capsule, it's working every day plus it's got world-class facilities and world-class engineers and assistants. Yeah, it's a nice office you know. Kazuma did a lovely arrangement of the original Halo theme but he's changed the cords and it's very clever. I think it's nice that every composer who comes to it pays homage to it in some way and quotes the theme. It's kind of like the James Bond theme if you like it in movies, if you score a James Bond movie at one time or other you always put the theme in and it's funny enough after this I'm what going to work on Mission Impossible 5 and again you know you quote the Lalo Schifrin theme because you pay homage then continue the legacy.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : So this is our fourth trip to record at Abbey Road Studios. Over three days we'll record percussion, piano, strings and brass. This is Nobuko, our orchestrator, score producer and this is Thanh, our music copyist. We actually went to the same college, we all graduated from Berkeley College of Music. We three started working together during Halo 4, “117” cue at 20th Century Fox, my first orchestra recording experience. This is what I look at when I compose : so what I do is a Orchestra Mock-up using synthesizers and pianos, like focus for samples here on the score, this is what she did, she basically transcribed what I did by listening to it and then she added dynamics and then phrase marking.
  • Nobuko Toda : Or instruments.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : Yeah she does that for all the instruments. She's in Tokyo so we are a very remote team. In the end we do have an almost 90 piece orchestra.
  • Thanh Tran : And then once we have a final score already then the other part is to do a part extraction. There's a lot of detail involved.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : But even the taping for the score, right*? : If you see the back side you can see that the old pages are found here, which makes the page turn really easy. So organized.
  • Kazuma Jinnouchi : We have Master Chief back in Halo 5, so I was reading this story leading up to Halo 5 about Master Chief and Blue Team and I thought that was a perfect place to bring 117 motif in a different arrangement. Working title is Blue Team. Overall it's getting really nicely. Just a few changes again on the violins. Try doing the slur over this eighth note so that it has a smoother connection. And also the top C from the main strings gets really quiet against those F sharp.
  • Matt Dunkley : Okay just a couple of things we need to do another one anyway. Just a little more legato at the end 77 to 78 parts, apart from that it was really good.
  • ? : Thank you and good night.
  • ? : How many microphones did we actually have live during this recording ?
  • ? : 16, yeah. It's overkill but…