How The Witcher 3's Amazing Music and Sound Effects Were Made

"It must be brutal and dirty and send shivers all over your body when you hear it."


CD Projekt Red has released a behind-the-scenes video that shows how the Polish studio created the music and sounds behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The video features commentary and insight from a number of people on CD Projekt Red's music team, including music director/composer Marcin Przybylowicz. The studio brought on the Polish folk music group Percival to record some of the game's soundtrack. Przybylowicz said he had plans for a very thorough, detail-oriented recording process with the group, but he had to throw those plans out the window. That's because when he met the members of Percival, he learned many band members are self-taught. Only one member of the group finished music school.

CD Projekt Red recruited Percival because the group uses the kind of older-style instruments that the team wanted to have featured in the game. You can see performers in the video playing instruments like a lute, renaissance fiddle, bowed gusle, and a hurdy-gurdy.

The Witcher 3's score, meanwhile, was performed by the Brandenburg State Orchestra in Frankfurt, Germany. It was directed by Bernd Ruf.

For battle sounds, CD Projekt Red brought microphones to a reenactment of the Battle of Grunwald. It was here that the team also captured the sounds of people marching, blacksmiths working, and arrows firing. All of this effort was done to make The Witcher 3's world feel like a living and breathing place.

"The sound needs to be so good that gamers are able to tell what's happening on screen with their eyes closed," junior sound designer Hanna Kubiak said in the video "That's how authentic we wanted it to be. All the hits, the cuts--it needed to be shown through sound. It must be brutal and dirty and send shivers all over your body when you hear it."

You can listen to The Witcher 3's soundtrack through the Spotify embed below.

The Witcher 3 launched in May 2015 and has reportedly shipped 10 million copies. A Game of the Year version launched today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, featuring the base game and all DLC for $50.

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