SAE Institute Alumnus Jaroslav Beck makes award winning sound waves

31 Mar 2016

In the space of just 18 months, Jaroslav Beck has been making a name for himself in cinematic sound. Working around the globe, he takes ten minutes out of his schedule to share his story and future hopes after being part of the winning Blizzard team and accepting the G.A.N.G award for Best Cinematic/Cut Scene Audio for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void.


How did you get the opportunity?

I worked previously on some trailers for the game Battlefield by EA Games. This was the starting point, and after that I was introduced to Blizzard.


Was the brief very specific or did they let you have more freedom to produce your work?

I had pretty much ‘free hands.’ My only brief I had was to make it cool and epic... so I did my best.

In most of the projects I work on, the client already knows the direction of my sound. My portfolio is distinct; I am trying to make fresh sounding electronic music combined with orchestral music and brought together in the Epic Music genre. People from Blizzard's audio team expected this from me and hopefully received what they wanted.


Which part did you work on?

My role was to make a remix of an original, they already had music theme they wanted to use but they wanted to make it more intense and modern in an electronic way.


How did you tackle it?

So I used some of the elements from an original tune, mostly orchestra, and the results you can hear in the final cinematic. I worked hard on making new drums, hits, synths and horns.


Have you collaborated with the team before?

I have been working on Blizzard's projects for more than year now and I have to say that I totally love it. I worked on Blizzard's music for Heroes of the Storm cinematic before the StarCraft:

Legacy of the Void intro cinematic which was the second project I worked on for them. I am really happy it turned out so well.


What challenged you with the project?

I am actually trying to think about one thing that didn’t test or challenge me on this project!

When I travelled to the Blizzard HQ in LA for the first time to view the video edit, I remember that I was thinking something like “Oh my god, there is no way that I can make this good enough to compare with the picture.” Emotion like that is good because it focuses you, and challenges you to push your skills to the limits and definitely even beyond.

After a few personal tests I got the necessary confidence and my ideas started to shape out pretty quickly after that.


What software and equipment did you use?

As a DAW I am using Ableton Live which is great for MIDI controlling and overall audio processing. Because I was working in LA I pretty much used only my laptop and headphones, and when I was in the hotel room, I used Apogee duet sound card.

Being portable is really important for me, because you can travel and work at the same time, which is great for creativity. Every place brings me new ideas and inspires me to try out new techniques in my music.


What’s next for you?

Right now I am launching my company called ‘Epic Music Productions’ which will solely focus on composing cinematic music and collaborating with instrumentalists and musicians around the world.

I also want to get into scoring my first game soundtrack in its entirety, and also get involved in making sound hardware, and exploring what can make our daily lives ‘sound’ better…