Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries smashed a piano into pieces to record sound effects, the studio revealed in a new blog detailing many aspects of the game’s audio production. I really recommend watching the video of the piano-smashing at the top of this post. It’s quite satisfying.
But 343’s audio team didn’t just use the piano as a target for various blunt instruments. Before they smashed it, they placed a subwoofer on the piano to use it as a resonator. And after they had destroyed it, they put dry ice on numerous pieces of the piano’s remains, “which yielded a large offering of singing, bellowing, screeching and everything in between,” the developers said. Some of the resulting sounds are spine-chilling. (Interestingly, the audio team for Death Stranding also messed with a piano to record a variety of sounds for the game.)
In addition to detailing the destruction of the piano, the blog goes in-depth on things like how some gunshot effects differ between Halo 5 and Halo Infinite, the acoustic system that simulates how sound travels through the game’s environments, and how sound design differs between single-player and multiplayer. 343 also revealed that Halo Infinite will support the Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic, and DTS Headphone:X virtual surround sound technologies, which will allow you to hear spatial audio even when you’re wearing stereo headphones.
If you love learning about sound and music in games, you should definitely put aside some time to read the whole blog and listen to what 343 is working on. It’s fascinating stuff.
Halo Infinite is currently scheduled to release this fall.