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February 25th: Audio Team Q&A


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It’s the Audio team’s turn for a Q&A today, with responses from team leader Mod Ian and some of his team.


Questions covered in this Q&A relate to anything and everything to do with RuneScape’s music, sound effects and audio-related projects. We’ve posted the questions and answers on this forum thread, so you can discuss the answers.


Mod Ian and company will be fielding the live Q&A session on the forums today, starting at the earlier than previously stated time of 4.30pm (GMT). Players will be able to post questions in this thread; answers will be posted in this thread.


Mod Kelvin

Head of Community Management


Previous answers



As you probably know by now, we ask for some questions before we run live Q&A's to pitch to the relevant departments. This week, it is the turn of the RuneScape Audio team to answer your questions and here are the answers to some questions you have already asked.


Tonight's Live Q&A session will start from 16:30 (4:30PM) GMT/Official forum time with the RuneScape Audio team. If you'd like to ask a question tonight.


If you are considering asking a question at the Live Q&A session tonight - it would be a good idea to check first that it has not already been answered within this thread.


1) Would it be possible to add playlists of modern day songs?

Not really, as there are copyright and licensing issues we would have to deal with, which would be expensive and complicated!

2) There needs to be more Fremennik related songs – could this happen?

There were some released with the fairly recent Blood Runs Deep quest – it’s quite a toughie! But, yes, definitely if more Fremennik content is released.



Will there be a possibility to add some of our own audio? I would find that awesome, as I usually listen to music from a different window, which is very disturbing when I am doing tasks that require lots of attention

That would be nice, but for the same reason as above I don't think it would be possible.



1) Will you release some more knight-like songs? (To use in some more awesome quests of the Knights of the Round Table – Camelot.) I liked the ones you already made.

I'm glad you like them! Knight-like songs are definitely right for RuneScape and if there are more castles or similar areas built, we will certainly do more much to fit them.



I love RuneScape’s music tracks and sound effects. Is there any way to listen to the music tracks outside the game? Something like a page on the website. You’d need to log in to see all tracks of RuneScape. Those which you already unlocked are green, the others red (or something). If you click the green ones, some options appear. Like: listening to them now, downloading them as mp3, etc. Is there going to be something like this in the future?

I personally really like this idea and it could be possible in the future. We would probably like to make some higher quality versions of the songs like we did with "Temple Desecrated" used for the splash screen video.



1) Have you ever considered implementing voice acting or real sounds into RuneScape?

We have considered it, but there is so much content in RuneScape it would mean an extremely huge amount of audio files, which could have the effect of slowing things down (plus probably months of work!)

2) Are Ping and Pong (the musical penguins) modelled on anyone in particular from the audio department? :P

There have been rumours about this, but I can't give away too much information in case the people (I mean penguins) get offended.

3) Did you guys back Rage Against the Machine for the Christmas number one? :o

I was hoping for a new one by Cliff Richard, but sadly it never came about.

Auroran Rage


How long does it take to create a track for RuneScape?

It varies a lot with the length and complexity of the track. We aim to finish a "normal" length song in one day, but more complicated ones can take more than twice as long to finish.



How do you guys compose your music? I'm a great fan of many tracks on RS. Do you have more than one person working on the tracks? Do you compose ten pieces and choose the best piece to fit the scene? I'm very curious about this.

All the music is composed by keyboard using MIDI sequencers. There are currently five people in the Audio team including myself. When it comes to choosing a track it depends on what it’s for – if it’s a quest that's part of a continuing storyline, we will take elements of the music used in previous parts, or mix parts of different pieces of content together. Often, we have to come up with our own ideas – we listen to them together, and with the developer of the piece of content, and give each other feedback; we listen to them in the game, and tweak them and see if they fit the mood of the area or situation. We don't always use every piece we write and have to be prepared to make changes when they are needed.



Will it be possible to add your own music (such as real-life bands) into the music player, as currently you can only use the in-game tracks or use a different player, which lags the game. Will it also be made available to create your own tracks in-game?

We won't be able to let you add your own music, but I like the idea of being able to play an instrument in RuneScape!



I think you should be putting songs onto the music track playlist of normal songs from today – e.g. (Lady Gaga’s Poker Face). I hate her, yes, but I just used it for an example.

There are plenty of media players out there to let you listen to Lady Gaga, Strauss, The Crazy Frog or whatever else takes your fancy.

l awakened l


Will you be releasing a purchasable soundtrack of RuneScape songs? I personally would love to be able to listen to some of the songs whenever I like.

Maybe one day. It depends on how much interest there is, plus having enough time and resources available to make it happen!



1) A lot of the RuneScape music sounds like some old NES MIDI file, as do a lot of the effects. Do you think we'll ever see an upgrade in terms of the quality?

We have talked about this a number of times here. It is something that could be done, but there are a lot of things to consider, such as the sizes of files and the time it would take to recreate over 600 songs.

2) A big problem with the audio is it changes depending on when you move areas, and RuneScape has a very, very small map, and it's constantly swapping tracks. Are you working/planning on fixing this issue?

It's quite a challenge to map the music in the most effective way. We've now added a playlist feature so you can listen to the songs that you want to.

Crash Jordan


1) Are there any plans to change audio at all in RuneScape or will the Audio team just be making new songs for RuneScape, FunOrb and Stellar Dawn this year?

In fact, we are almost continually doing lots of smaller adjustments to the sound in RuneScape - some which are more obvious than others. As there is always a lot of content to be getting on with, it’s hard to spend long periods of time on remaking or improving audio.

2) I feel that audio is good in RuneScape, but I find myself turning off the music when I’m not doing a quest because I have grown to know the music off by heart. When I’m training, I usually switch it to my own music. Do you think you could make the audio more applcable to players while they are training? If so, how?

I think the new playlist feature should really help this – players can have their favourite "fishing tracks", "combat tracks", or whatever.



First off, I am a HUGE fan of RuneScape music, and I don't think people give the team enough credit (I still say there are some songs that are good enough to be in a modern console RPG)! I find it an integral part of my gameplay, and of the whole RuneScape experience.

1) Sometime last year there were talks going around about making high-quality audio tracks that you would release for download, but nothing was set in stone. Have you put any more thought into it or scrapped the idea completely?

It's definitely been considered, certainly not scrapped. Andrew has indicated to us he'd like to make some improvements to the audio system in RS, but we have to wait until various other projects have been completed first, as there is only a certain amount of staff resource we have available even with all the people who work at Jagex.

2) Last year, there was a leak in the Knowledge Base/Game Guide of a song called “Angels and Demons”, yet the track is unreleased in-game. Was this an intentional (or unintentional) teaser, or is it not even a real track? I'm hoping it's real as the title sounds like it'd be a great piece!

That was an older name for a song that does exist in-game, which became "Final Destination".

3) Last year, upon the release of the RuneTek 5 engine, several audio tracks were updated because it seemed the instruments themselves that are used in some tracks were updated (a hidden update, if I recall). Are you planning to update more of the back-end technologies of the audio, such as the actual instruments, rather than re-working tracks themselves?

We would certainly like to do this, but the scope of that kind of project is very large and needs resources available. I can't say too much more until I know more details myself!

4) Just out of curiosity, what are the favourite in-game songs of the Audio team? Do you get feedback from developers before putting it in-game?

Some of our favourites are "A Familiar Feeling", "Bane of Summer", "Melodrama", "The Sound of Guthix"...but these change from time to time dependant on our moods. Yes, the developers are always involved with the music we produce for their projects

5) I know this is a long shot, but...how epic will the music for the next Grandmaster quest be? While Guthix Sleeps had GREAT music, and I expect nothing short of greatness in the next one. Heh, and, of course, I am mostly interested in the song for the final battle of that quest... Will we be absolutely blown away by it? (Many players were blown away by WGS's final battle music, “Temple Desecrated”; I DEFINITELY was, and still am!)

We will try our best to make it "Super-Epic"! The trouble is different people have different opinions of exactly what "epic" means to them.



1) Could you consider releasing sheet music for RuneScape songs? I play piano and I've always thought that RuneScape has really cool music. Even if you guys only released all the new “Honky Tonk” songs on sheet music, it would be awesome.

That's a nice idea, but I don't know if Andrew has any plans for this at the moment.

2) At some point, could you release every RuneScape song to be downloaded as MP3s?

Personally, I'd like to see this too. Perhaps one day...



1) I personally love what you've done with Bill Blakey. Can we expect to see new, unique musicians in the future? Will some of the current musicians become unique similar to how Bill Blakey has? Is there anything interesting you would like to reveal in this matter (clues/hints)?

Bill was a really interesting character to work with. We may make more musicians unique in the future, but that is, of course, up to the RS Content team.

2) There are many songs in RuneScape that I like, so I was wondering: do you plan on making downloadable version of the songs for iPods/mp3 players? Do you plan on making sheets of music for all/some of them?

I've pretty much covered these topics now in earlier posts, but if there is enough interest in them they are more likely to happen.



For the biggest boss fight (Lucien?), would you consider making a rendition of the RuneScape intro song (Scape Main)?

I like that idea – maybe a "Scape Lucien" or similar, a bit like the holiday versions of the Theme Tune. So, maybe...

Sub The Epic


May you J-Mods bring back the old audio? I really miss the old days. Please, I’m begging, if you guys can’t bring back 2007 RuneScape, why not at least bring back the audio from 2007? I did always use to listen to audio, but when you updated it I stopped, so please change it back to the old audio.

I can understand why some players are nostalgic for the old tunes, but the changes to the audio system were to allow a larger number of players who were not able to hear ANY audio to be able to have music too.



I've noticed that all the music in RuneScape is created using synthetic sounds and, while that does seem very appropriate for a computer game, as a musician, I do wonder if there are plans to include real, recorded music in the game.

"Real" recorded instruments take such big files and with over 600 songs it would be a huge amount of data to download. If the Game Engine team can find a way to compress all this information into a much smaller space it might just be possible.



Are you planning to release voiceovers for characters in the game? If so, can you use my voice for the Wise Old Man? (Although, technically, I might be best suited to one of the ogres. :D)

I think we'd have some perfect imps and goblins here in the Audio team; I’m sure we would find that fun to get involved with, but the amount of character chat in the game might mean it could take a year just to get it all recorded!



1) I play the violin. I was wondering if the Audio team would ever have some RS sheet music in the future.

I've covered this in a previous reply but it looks like a pretty popular topic!

2) Can you make a playlist so we can play our favourite RS music (since there are over 600 tracks, at the moment)?

Hopefully, now, you will have seen that we've made the playlist feature available to you.



1) Will you be updating old songs so that they aren't polyphony?

Polyphony actually refers to the number of sounds that can be played at once, but we often do updates to songs – normally smaller changes, though, due to the vast number of songs in the game.

2) Do you have instruments in the sound room and, if you do, what are they?

We mainly have keyboards/synthesizers and computers here, but we do bring in the occasional guitar or other instrument.

3) What is your favourite soundtrack?

There are so many to choose from! I personally love the soundtracks to a lot of films and think Hans Zimmer is an awesome Musician.



1) Will there be an update that allows the music player to randomly play different songs? I am crafting in Neitiznot and I would like to hear more than “Norse Code” and “Volcanic Vikings”.

The songs are grouped together by geographical area. Perhaps a fully random mode might be nice, though... We'll look at more updates like this over the coming months.

2) “Scape Santa” should remain the theme song because it is so catchy.

Haha, I’m glad you like it, but what would we then use at Christmas time?



As far as game music is concerned, will there be any future way for players to create their own music? Perhaps using some sort of system created by Jagex, players could create their own tracks, share them with friends or, if the track is good enough, possibly even have their works featured by Jagex? It's a strange idea, yes, but something like this may well set RuneScape apart from the competition.

This is a nice idea and, you never know, one day it might make it into the game. It will be quite a lot of work, though, so it probably won't happen for a while...



Will there be any updates on combat, like lifelike sword clangs on amour and stuff like that?

If we are allowed to have the file space we'd be willing to make it happen, but that kind of decision is ultimately up to Andrew.

C r g i


What updates can we see as far as music goes? Streaming through clan threads, I have run into a few threads that claim to be talk shows. Could this ever really happen? Is there any way we could stream our music from a program like iTunes into a Clan Chat?

This feature could also work for voices to eliminate the stress of a program like Ventrilo or Teamspeak. All these updates would obviously have a toggle option. This post has been mostly a suggestion, but I guess my question is: would these updates be possible? If they were possible, would you consider them? And if you were to consider them, how big of a project would that be – would it take months, a year?

This could be a nice feature for RS, but would need investigating properly to see what solutions are on offer. If there were a way for Andrew to make this happen himself, he may be more likely to do that. Either way, it would still take a while to get sorted out, but hopefully not years.



1) Will you be adding new types of songs and, if so, what ones?(Rap, hip-hop, rock 'n' roll, classic, etc.)

If a piece of content calls for a new style of music we will certainly do it. There are already quite a few different styles, even though RS is primarily set in a medieval-like universe.

2) Will you be updating the weapon attack sounds? Can you give us a hint when?

We often do small improvements to combat, but, at the moment, there is no specific schedule for changing them.



1) Let me begin by saying this: AWESOME music for While Guthix Sleeps and Blood Runs Deep – totally AWESOME! Anyways, can we expect more epic boss battle music like “Temple Desecrated” in the future for other Grandmaster quests?


2) What song do you guys like best (RuneScape songs, of course)?

It varies. I've listed a few in an earlier post, but one day it might be epic battles, another day relaxing atmospheric music, the next some crazy Easter Bunny tracks!

3) What’s the favourite part of your job?

Doing what we love the most: producing music and sounds in a really wide variety of styles, and working with games is, of course, about as good as it gets.



I was wondering if we would soon be able to upload our own songs onto RS (maybe with an exception of no swearing/violence, or just the beat and the rhythm)? I know many people including me like hip-hop/rap and a few other genres of music where there is a term known as ‘Gangster rap’, and we don't like the types of songs on the RS song list (I usually mute my RS music). Since there is an emote you can get for unlocking 500 songs, the uploaded songs don't have to count.

Is it not possible for you to use your own media players for that? As much as it would be amusing to see the Wise Old Man accompanied by ‘Gangster rap’, I’m not sure it fits in with the whole theme of RuneScape.

King98 Krazy


Are you planning on updating RS music? You have been making better soundtracks every update, but are you going to update music that is commonly heard, like the Lumbridge or Varrock soundtracks?

Some of those songs have already received updates. The only trouble is that a lot of players are nostalgic for the music, so if we change them it’s easy to get people annoyed!



What goes into the planning process for certain songs, particularly boss battles? It may only be my opinion, but I feel that a number of battle themes in RuneScape feel hollow, paling in comparison to those of other RPG (even those released in the 1990s). Sorry for sounding negative, I'm just curious about the planning and how the songs might appear that way.

There are a lot of factors like listening to lots of other music by other composers, getting a feel for the content, different people's opinions and, of course, we are limited in the amount of expression we can coax out of our instruments due to the small amount of data allowed to create them.



1) Do you plan to allow access to your older versions of RuneScape music? Some players (including me) enjoy the new music, but really prefer the older music.

I'm not sure it would be possible for us to have two sets of songs, as that could add a lot of complexity.

2) Is there any intention of changing the way music tracks are selected? I remember before, there would be one specific tack for every area in RuneScape. I know a lot of players who preferred it that way. Will there ever be a setting to have this be an option?

We think the way the music is mapped is a better use of the songs we have, but I’m all for giving players the option. I can't say for sure, but this is a possibility.

3) I really don't want to be rude, but some of your tracks are absolutely ruined because certain parts are EXTREMELY loud compared to the rest of the song.

Sometimes, certain musical phrases are deliberately louder than others for a dramatic effect (a bit like on films), but it is quite a challenge maintaining a good mix when there are so many songs of different styles in the game.

4) I noticed that Santa occasionally ‘laughed’ again, during the Christmas event last year. Will there be any more intention of having voices in-game?

Real life voices are *incredibly* difficult for us to produce with our current technology. If we had the option to include real voices in the game, we would certainly use it.

5) Is there any plan to release a skillcape emote sound update? Currently, I can pick pieces out of the sound a skillcape emote makes and figure out where it was originally from.

There is a limitation on how we can produce the sounds in RS, so there will inevitably be some sounds similar to others, and due to the huge amount of sounds in the game, some of them will need to be reused now and then.

6) Some sound effects are repeated many times, such as weapon attacks, the sounds of dying monsters and monsters taking damage. Is there any plan to release more sound effects that are unique to certain monsters?

We try to create specific sets of sounds for each NPC in the game, but, as mentioned about the limitations of our synthesizer, it’s extremely difficult to get as much variation as we would really like.



Is it possible we will see a looping feature that doesn't change the music, no matter where you go, and could it be possible to have a list of songs that would play in sequence and loop? (For example, play “Sea Shanty 2”, “Temple Desecrated” and “All's Fairy in Love and War”, then play them again in an end loop.)

Yes, that's now possible to do using the new playlist feature!

Bones Dezarr


Are there any plans to significantly overhaul the quality of sound effects in RuneScape? It seems as music has already had a nice bump in quality (“Temple Desecrated”, the new main theme, “Sound of Guthix” and others), however, sound effect quality still requires a lot of improvement.

Although it would be great to do this, it must be approached in small, manageable portions due to the huge amount of sounds in the game.



1) Is there eventually going to be a song featuring an entire orchestra or one with that good ol' rock 'n roll?

It's difficult to say. There are probably too many tracks to get them all orchestrated, but possibly some of the more popular ones might get recreated for a special occasion.

2) What are your favourite songs (both RS songs and non-RS songs)?

How can we choose? There are so many! Being musicians, we also like a huge variety of styles ourselves. I could never pick a favourite song or style of music and genuinely like most types, even tunes that aren't my favourites I try to appreciate.



Will you ever add a feature to play level-up music again? When you get 99 in a skill you can no longer hear it and I would like to be able to!

Hmm, an interesting idea. It’s certainly possible if there is enough demand for it!



I have noticed that when I explore new areas some of the new music is meant to be unlocked during a quest, according to the unlock hint. Is this a glitch?

I'm not completely sure what you mean; certainly each quest will have some new music to unlock. If you notice that something hasn’t unlocked there is a chance that there may be a bug, but I’m not aware of anything specific.



1) I am personally a big fan of music. The beats and melody are stuck in my head, giving life to me as well as giving depth and feel to this brilliant world. RuneScape music is very valiant and each song unique; I adore it. However, the music seems rather mellow at times. In short, my question is this: are you going to improve and rearrange the music any time soon?

Some players really like simplicity in the music, especially for skilling or adventuring. Over time we have made various improvements, but we must also ensure that we don't upset players who like the music the way it is!

2) Will we be getting more sound-based features, such as echoes in caves?

Such features require work to be done on the game engine; definitely something I'd like to see but we’ll have to wait for resources to become available first.

3) What are the requirements to work for the Audio team? I'm highly interested! :D

It's actually a very skilled job that requires a good all-round knowledge and production skills for the creation of music and sound effects. Other requirements include good IT skills and game knowledge. You should be able to find more information about becoming an audio developer on the internet.

Yiff Plz


I notice more audio is given during quests. Will there be more audio just randomly in game (e.g. strolling through the Wilderness volume 4)? I like listening to the frightful music when in dangerous areas such as the Wilderness!

Pretty much all of the existing areas have music coverage, but when we have time we do add extra tracks to areas of the game, such as "Honky-Tonk" versions of some tracks for the drinking establishments.

Sir Joeyy


1) Could you name and explain briefly the steps it takes to create a sound track?

It goes roughly like this:

1) Read through the documents and talk to the developer of a piece of content.

2) Come up with ideas and start writing music.

3) Develop the track and receive feedback as it is being produced.

4) Integrate everything and make sure it works as it should.

2) How long does it take to create a track and are you given a time limit to create it?

As mentioned before it varies, but we very often write a full song in a day.

3) How many people work in the Audio team?

There are five full-time employees in the Audio team.

4) On average, how many people work on one track at the same time?

We all have our own tracks and content to work on, but we do give each other feedback on a regular basis.

5) When new monsters come out, you obviously need to choose what sounds these monsters will make when they attack. How do you guys decide what it's going to sound like? Do you all have to agree or just most people working on the sound?

We look at the concept art, talk to the developers, try to imagine what it should sound like and do our best to give some individual qualities to the creature.



1) In my opinion, many music tracks could be improved (in the sense that they could better convey the attitude or ambience of the area with which that track is associated) by diversifying the instruments used. My example here will be the track "Temple Desecrated," unlocked during the fight with the Balance Elemental during While Guthix Sleeps. I feel that for this particular fight, the shrill and punctuated strings voice does not adequately capture the fateful ‘gravity’ that the entire quest exudes. Will Audio strive to introduce a greater diversity in instrumental voicing, including the addition of foreign instruments and musical styles whenever appropriate?

Traditionally, we were limited to a standard number of instruments (128 in total) and had to create all the music using just those. We do have the opportunity to use more now and you should start to hear certain songs with different sounds. I'd certainly like to work with other interesting instruments where they fit in with the content. RuneScape has a certain musical style that we tend to follow, but when new areas are developed we try to give them their own feel.

2) Does Audio intend to remake tracks that sound excessively synthesized in favour of richer, more natural sounds?

Over time we hope to see improvements in this area, but there are a lot of considerations such as time and data usage to take into account.



Will you make a soundtrack where you could hear a choir sing like they’re saying something?

That would require us to include our own recorded sounds; not something we can do at present, but perhaps for a future update.



1) Do you have any plans for expanding your music to a more versatile type? Also, is it completely out of the question for a 'Play your own music' feature via the audio player?

I suppose it depends on what you class as versatile; perhaps downloadable music will be available at a later date.


2) Will we ever be able to compile our own music, e.g. a simple 'melody creator' or something of the sort, to listen to while playing?

This is a nice idea that's come up before. I'll say perhaps, if there was a skill or a piece of content that would fit with it.



My favourite song is "Lasting." It reminds me of when I used to play RuneScape next door at my aunt's house during my freshman year in high school. Every day I would come home and run next door to play RuneScape after my homework was done.

Ahh, good times.

I just want to say thank you for making such a great song all those years ago.

My question: will RS music ever be for sale on iTunes or something?

Thank you very much. We've had a lot of pleasure ourselves creating the music for the game. I've covered the topic or downloadable songs before, but there is no reason why it might not happen at some point in the future.

sir kipkip


What's the process that happens when making a song for something? How do you get an original tune that's nice and that fits, and then how do you build around it?

We have to be very creative in the Audio team and use our imaginations as much as possible, developing and tweaking the results along the way. We get inspiration from many sources such as games, films, TV, books, etc. Normally, we keep adding more layers and variations until we have something we are happy with.



Okay, I HATE the RuneScape audio; the sound effects, the music, I personally think they suck. I'm sure there are some people out there who love it, but most people I think would agree that they...well just suck. The graphical update was a major one, and in my opinion the best update RuneScape has ever had. I was wondering, will there be a "Complete Audio Update” where everything just sounds a lot better, more realistic, and the sound effects are better? What do you think of the characters and NPCs actually talking? Do you think you could ever voice the characters? That would make things a lot more interesting, and would be another one of the GREAT updates by Jagex. Are there any plans to update the audio? Voice characters? Maybe add voice chat to the game, or play your own music through the browser?

Different players will, of course, have different opinions. That's fine by us, but we have limitations that we have to work with. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of our own orchestra or a DVD full of audio data to utilise.

A Shady Pyro


1) Do you, as a team, see a more realistic music/sound system in the future? It would be awesome if sounds from an attack to a certain side of the character sounded as though they were to that side of the player in their headphones or surround sound system.

I've suggested directional audio before as I think it’s a great feature. When staff resources are available this will be one of the features I will be asking about.

2) Could you nag the team/person that designs the user interface for the background music to make it more uniform with the rest of the interfaces (skills, quests, etc.)? :D

While that is really up to the Graphics team, remember that each interface needs its own functionality. Hopefully, you'll like the look of the new playlist now it’s had an overhaul.



As awesome as the funky music of RuneScape is, will there be an update planned to introduce an updated music list with (dare I say it) higher quality sound?

Well, I hope I've provided enough information on this topic now, so have a read through some of the earlier comments. There's always room for improvement, though. ;)



Will the original RuneScape songs (the ones from 2004 without all those extra unnecessary and changed sounds) ever be available for listening to on the site or downloaded? Since it’s not used any more it won’t spoil songs for players who haven’t been to all those places. It doesn’t matter how good it sounds, but the memories it brings me and many of the old skool players that have played since then or since RSC.

I have given some reasons in an earlier post why this might not be possible; however, as we always keep older versions of songs available (such as “Scape Original”) in the music player, there will always be nostalgia available for players who want it.



1) Are there any plans to add a filter for the music list so I can listen to songs that use a certain instrument?

Yes. The playlist will let you choose your favourite twelve tracks and is nice and easy to use.

2) How long does it take to create a music track?

I've expanded on this in an earlier post, but our goal is to complete each track in one day.

3) Does it deter you when players say they turn off music as soon as they know how?

We'd obviously like it if everyone appreciated the music we create, but realise it’s not to everyone's taste. Thankfully, we seem to have fans and we always feel encouraged by their positive comments.

4) Will you release some sheet music for people to play the music IRL?

As mentioned earlier, that might be a possibility.



One thing that really bothers me is that there are different music tracks playing when you are in a certain area. Some of those randomly selected music tracks may be the ones I just can't stand! Could we be able to adjust the music tracks so they're not randomly selected or change the chances of playing the music tracks?

This would certainly be possible. We will look into doing more audio updates over the coming months, dependant on the amount of content work there is that requires new audio to be produced.



1) I think it's amazing how a lot of the music fits perfectly with the 'mood' of the surrounding area. My first question is this: how do you make a piece of music fit into its surroundings?

The most important detail is to get a feel for the content and the surroundings; we try to associate instruments that fit with the kind of scenario, such as flutes for elves, brass and fanfares for castles, beating drums for ogres, etc.

2) How do you go about the composing process? For example, do you suddenly get a flash of inspiration, or is it something else?

It depends. Sometimes, yes – exactly that – an idea will pop into our minds and we will try it out. Other times we will begin with a melody, or a drum pattern – basically find a musical hook that will lead us in the right direction. Then, we can build on this and let the other parts grow around the base parts we use as a starting point.

3) All of the in-game music is synthesised. Are there any plans to record some tracks using real instruments?

As mentioned, only if we are allowed to have much larger files available to players. We are more likely to improve the instruments we have rather than record individual musicians, but we still hope to make a huge improvement doing this.

4) My final question: who's your favourite composer/band? (Mine's Nikolai Kapustin, by the way. :P)

My personal favourite probably has to be Frank Zappa.

Paradox QXZ


1) What are we looking at for new audio in the future?

Although any decision on this is really up to Andrew, there are certainly plans. I can't give away too much at this stage, though.

2) Is there going to be any change to the music format in the future, like less pixely music and pieces with actual instruments?

I think the topic has been covered well enough now, but improvements are highly likely in the future!

Onyx Firefly


1) What program does the Audio team use for their music?

We use popular sequencing programs (or DAWs) such as Cakewalk or ProTools, along with custom in-house software to deal with creating our instruments.

2) If there was a music contest and somebody created either a remix or a completely new track for an unmade area, would you leave it alone or try to put it into the game somehow?

That's an interesting question... If it were my decision I would certainly be interested to use it, but it would be up to the management team to make the final call on that.

3) Will there ever be actual voices (not voice chat, I mean like characters actually talking) in RuneScape?

I've given reasons why this might not be possible (such as the gigantic amount of chat that would need to be included), but it’s certainly possible.



1) Last year we got to listen to some Mechscape in-game music, which had its instrument library's quality dramatically increased compared to RuneScape's. Will we get to see a similar increase to RuneScape's library any time soon, perhaps with a similar quality to RuneScape's 2008 trailer?

The electronic instruments used for the Mechscape theme work particularly well with our in-house software, whereas orchestral instruments usually need a very high bit-rate to sound authentic. I would like players to have an option for a high-quality sound bank download, but this may be reserved for a future project rather than RS. Nothing is confirmed yet.

2) I have been a fan of remixing old RuneScape soundtracks from when RuneScape used the standard MIDI engine. Will it ever be possible to download RuneScape soundtracks that have been made after the first engine update in MIDI format?

It has been considered and is a possibility. That kind of decision is usually up to the Business Development team here at Jagex.



1) When new music comes out, what should we expect to hear (soft music, heavy/dangerous music, fighting music)?

Hopefully, you should expect to hear something fitting to the scenario and area that it’s been made for. If it’s a boss fight, it’s likely to be more up tempo or epic-sounding. If it’s an elf garden it’s likely to be quite relaxed or otherworldly.

2) Will some of the songs musicians play ever be unlockable to listen to (if they’re currently not available)? I do not know since I have not unlocked all the music.

We chose not to have these songs unlockable, as we didn't think many players would want them available to listen to as songs in their own right. Due to their popularity, though, we might well change our minds on that.

3) What system do you guys use to record your music? Do you use synthesisers or a mixture of real and synthesised instruments?

The samples themselves are recordings of real instruments, but, of course, at a much reduced quality compared to the originals. We do hope to be able to offer better quality instrument sounds in the future.

4) Have you guys thought about people using their own music instead of the ones in-game? I think you guys solved that with the ability to turn the in-game music off so people could just play their own.

Not really, due to the reasons mentioned above, but, indeed, music can be turned off and just sound effects left if that's what you want.

5) Will there ever be a RuneScape radio that people could listen to while training skills and such? If so, how soon will we see this implemented? If not, what are the reasons you guys have not to add a RuneScape radio?

Well, it’s not a radio, but we do now have the playlist feature, which is probably the next best thing!



1) Does the Audio team do anything else other than create the music and sound effects in the game? I feel like you'd run out of work! :D I mean, not every update is a new area or quest...

Bear in mind we work on content well in advance of it being released. Pretty much all content needs some audio, whether it’s ten songs or two simple sound effects. Then there is FunOrb, video promos and our other games to consider, which all need audio.

2) Are we allowed to remix RuneScape songs? I know quite a lot of people do that already, but what do you think about it? Is it good? Would you rather people didn’t?

I don't have a problem if someone wants to do that so long as they credit Jagex for the original work and aren't using it for commercial means. It’s fun, and I consider it quite an honour when people spend time and effort to recreate something they like from our games.



1) Do you think you will ever put songs on RuneScape with actual singing?

I think that would only happen if voices were added to the game, but who would write all the words?

2) Do you think it would be possible to add a feature (to player-owned houses) that lets you choose what song is being played in your house? That would be so cool! :D

Actually, I did have a couple of ideas along those lines before POHs came out, but the idea never developed any further. Perhaps in future we might think about this as an update.

L0rd Gecko


Are there any plans to expand the audio in-game such as sound effects, music and ambient sounds? Currently, when you cast a spell, craft runes, attack, or even construct a chair, you make the same sound every time. So my real question is this: are you planning on making more FX for existing actions?

Yes, certainly, although it takes a long time and certain parts of the game systems will need tweaks to help the sounds work properly. You might have noticed recently we randomised the sound played when you get injured in combat.

Furox Fury


1) Would you guys ever consider giving our favourite RuneScape NPCs voices?

It would be fun, for sure, but only adding voices for some NPCs might seem a bit odd.

2) Even if only for bosses such as the Bandos/Zamorak/Saradoming/Armadyl bosses in the God Wars Dungeon, etc?

It depends on what plans Andrew and the RS Content team have in the future. It could sound great, but, as mentioned above, it might be odd if only some voices were heard and not others. Something for us to consider, I think.



1) Why does the scrollbar of the music player reset to top when teleporting?

That’s most likely a quirk of the game engine; certainly not something that was deliberately programmed in. I'll see if we can take a look at that...

2) Are you going to make a search function for the music player?

That's quite a nice idea and might be useful now we have a playlist feature. We'll look into this in a future update.



Make a music with these notes: tutututu tu tu tu tuuuuuuuuuuuu tu tu tu tu (and you make the rest). :P.

Doo dee dum doo dee dum dee dee dee dooooooooo... (How's that?).



1) How do you come up with such great music? I love “Might of the Vampyre”, “Penguin Possible”, “God Slayer”, “All's Fairy in Love and War”...

I like to think that we’re pretty imaginative people who love games, stories, art, music, etc. We have loads of influences and always try to come up with interesting musical themes to match our ideas.

2) Do you plan to experiment with different instruments at any point in the future (e.g. banjo, flute)?

If it fits with the areas, then yes indeed. Flutes are used a lot in the fairy/elf areas. Not so much the banjo, but you never know... Someone in a rocking chair on the front porch, sipping home-made lemonade...I can hear it now.



Will you make a music cape of accomplishment?

It’s a difficult one because the number of music tracks grows with each update (a bit like the quest cape, I suppose). We do have the Air Guitar emote for those who really want to prove they have been everywhere and heard everything.

Barr owns u


Can you give us many (read: 80% of next 100) more songs with 'epic' scores (EPIC MIDIS!), such as “Icy Trouble Ahead” and your new addition, “The Duke” (which is a great song by the way)?

Unless the next quest really needs a lullaby or a sad violin, I think epic is something we will definitely include!

Event Nexus


I enjoy listening to soundtracks as they can be relaxing and fun to listen to. I think there need to be more popular audio tracks, though. Maybe Pachelbel’s Canon, Frère Jacques and more modern music, but edited RuneScape versions. What do you think?

Well, we have to be very careful not to copy other people's music and we want RS to have its own songs and sounds, but there are a lot of influences in RuneScape music. Some might be obvious, but some perhaps not.

iYousuf [/hide]


I'll be posting the live Q&A as it comes up, this looks a bit confusing because only 1 of the 3 mods that are doing the Q&A are actually posting the questions that they are answering.


Live Q&A



Tonight at 16:30PM GMT (4:30PM) the RuneScape Audio team will be answering your questions live on the forums!


In this thread you'll find answers from the RS Audio team, in response to questions posted on the Live Q&A RS Audio - Questions thread.



Mod Hohbein




I think that’s a fair point, however RS music does have a certain style and charm about it that a lot of other players really like. It’s a bit of a double edged sword really, as if we started to include a lot of say, hip hop, then there’d be a lot of players who would stop listening to the music due to their dislike of hip hop. We think that the classic orchestral sound, used in cinema for years to good effect, has the diversity needed for the range of styles and emotions we need to portray: be it epic battle music, or a simple violin solo. That’s the creative perspective. From a technological point of view, we have to use midi files to keep sizes down, so sadly we couldn’t include that awesome guitar riff, even if we wanted to.


Good question!


Good afternoon everyone and thanks for participating




We have done quite a few variations to attack / combat sounds already but there is always room for more improvements, I particularly like your idea about different variations in volumes, that's something we certainly could do. We tend to do the most popular weapon types first as of course there are a vast number of weapons now in the game.


@ TecMaster532;


1) Are you planning to increase the limit on the number of songs that you can add to the playlist and what plans you you have for future expansion of the music interface?


This is something which we would very much like to do. Watch this space!


2) Are there any plans to return the loop track button that was removed in the playlist update, and why was it removed in the first place?


We felt that since you can replicate the loop function by adding just one song to your playlist, this feature might be a little redundant. If enough support is shown, we may consider replacing this in the future.


3) In the last Q&A you talked a little bit about having a real band record some of the music for rs, are there still any plans for this?


Due to the restrictions over file sizes, this probably won't happen for a while...!


4) At one point there was discussion about a skillcape for unlocking all music tracks to go along with the Quest Point Cape. Can you comment on that at all or was it just an idea that never really went anywhere?


There are no plans for this at this time.


Thanks very much for your comments, creating music for RS is both a challenge and a pleasure!


1) Cutscenes were originally always done as jingles rather than full songs,

but the content team realized it took different people different lengths of times to read through all the dialogue, so it was decided we'd add more musical than could loop round - whilst this is nicer is does mean some songs aren't unlockable.

perhaps in the future we might decide to make a number of them unlocked, as I realize some of them are really quite cool songs in their own right.


2) Bear in mind songs are written for content that is created well in advance of being released live in the game, I can't say at this stage what the songs are for - you'll have to find out when you hear them!


@ Master BBQ;


Q) I often play without the great music in RuneScape for two reasons. First of all because I listen to my own music, but more importantly, the songs are always the same! Would it be a great deal for you to just add a "play random track" option?


A) We are currently looking at the possibility of adding more music to the more populated areas of the game - watch this space! Random music already exists in-game - we may consider improving on this in the future however


Q) Oh, and please stop the Grand Exchange update sound from interrupting the music, it is very annoying!


A) We are considering a solution for this at the present time.


@Andrew Co7


This is something we've thought about before and i've gone into more details in the previous questions, the big challenge with that is there are sooo many voices in the game, we might be recording them all for days...weeks..even longer!

It's not impossible though - maybe something for us to think about for the future


@ Skate Ilkley


Good evening to you also!!


Regarding your first question, repetition is something we’re always trying to avoid – these days we make several variations of any sound, and then trigger them randomly in game. We currently have tens of thousands of sounds in game, so while we are trying to rework them slowly, there are only 5 of us and it takes some time!


Good spot, indeed there are more songs in the screenshot than in game. Why? Well, that’d be telling. ;) We’re always working many months ahead of the live game, so those represent the number of songs awaiting release sometime in the future. Shh though, it’s a secret. :P


And, I LOVE Jaffa cakes (in fact, we have ‘cake Fridays’ where we take in turn to bring cake into work, its great! Maybe tomorrow they’ll be of the Jaffa variety.... :D )


@ Fiks1;


1: Would it be possible to have buttons in the music tab with pause and stop/start music functions?


If enough people support this idea, this might be a possibility.


2: Apparantly there was a leak in the Game Guide showing over 700 songs, there's currently 632 songs, what's this? ;)


LOL :D we are constantly developing new content - we don't stand still! :D the answer is simply that there are lots more songs still to come...! :)


3: How about adding categorizing like in the quest tab? I'm thinking organize by areas, quests, etc :)


If enough support is shown, perhaps this might be a possibility.


4: Is it ok to record runescape audio and use it for runescape videos?


Copyright of all songs is owned by Jagex Ltd. We would probably need to check the position with Management.


5: Out of curiosity, why isn't the 'this song was unlocked in...' function in the playlist?


LOL :D if enough people request, maybe we can add it :)




It's a pleasure!


1) As many as we can reasonably fit into the game!

I think we hold the record for the most amount of songs in any game at the moment, but as long as content is produced and it needs new music, I don't see why we can't add more songs.


2) Songs get unlocked in new areas, during battles and boss fights, and sometimes in special circumstances like experiments, situations, cutscenes or whenver a full piece of music is needed for the action.


3) Ooh so many to choose from - my current RS ones are Melodrama, Animal Apogee and Tale of Keldagrim (an odd mix but hey) :)




1) Whilst we don't know for sure I would say its highly likely - but perhaps sounds only played to the person doing the emote (so people don't use them as an excuse to annoy other players with sounds!)


2) I have no idea at the moment - in general skill capes normally have some sounds so its quite likely.


3) I'm not sure players music would be available in game for a variety of reasons such as copyright.


4) That is quite likely - obviously we don't want to add things to the game players don't really want, but it can be satisfying to hear a jingle or fanfare when you've earned it :)

@ Timmeh;


Q) I was wondering how you create your midi sounds. I have been using sibelius and reason sound banks during my A levels and quite frankly some of the sounds are definately no where near to what I want them to sound like!


A) The RuneScape songs are written as MIDI files, and played back through a custom soundbank which was created in-house. The soundbank is a bit like a VST instrument/sampler. Reasons that the sound quality might seem a bit low:

1. The whole soundbank has to fit into approximately 3Mb of space when compressed, so the space we have for the 300 or so instruments sounds is limited.

2. The sampling frequency is 22050Hz - about half that of CD quality.


@ Càs Šhérñ;


1. I was wondering if you could make more popular music as I turn off the music because I find it boring. I was wondering if maybe you could use a well known song but change it a bit.


What do you define as more popular music please?


2. Also, this is just a bonus question but any chance there would be music with someone singing on it?


LOL that would be nice. Anything in particular? No promises though...! :D




1) A good suggestion - it might depend on how many tracks we eventually have in the game, maybe one day there will be collect 1000 songs with a really epic emote!


2) I genuinely like so much music I don't have any real faves, I always get stumped at this question :S :)


3) Hmmm perhaps an idea for the future - we'll look at possible updates to the playlist after its been in the game for a while and collecting feedback from you players.


Chompy Hunt - its not what I call epic, but I had a good laugh writing it - probably one of the crazyiest things i've ever written :)


@Stoner 1000


Hello Audio team (A-team :P)


Will we ever see the abilty to use microphones for voice chats in runescape, mabye in clan chats or with people on friends list?




That's a definite possibility and a good idea, the final decision would be up to Andrew of course.


@ Frankie ownz;


Q) hi guys i was wondering being a new skill in all could you tell us a name of he song to the skill? or something


A) Sorry! You'll have to wait...! :D


Q) loads of players have been saying you can add your own music on your account is this true or false thank you


A) You can add up to 12 RuneScape songs to the Playlist in the Music Player in-game. Not mp3's though! :)


@ Dr Lucien of coolness ;)


1. I’d love us to have a music making competition, I think it’d be great. Sadly I don’t get to decide such things though, so I’ll suggest it & see what people think (don’t worry, I’ll credit you for the idea :D)


2. I think everyone who works with anything is, to an extent, influenced by billions of things (whether they realise it or not). I think the music someone writes says a lot about them as a person - it’s an accumulation of everything they’ve ever heard, their life experiences, morals, and thoughts. Aside from that, we all like to play around with a lot of other types of music in our spare time. We’re music geeks. :D Think of a musical genre...

there’s a good chance one of us will have given it a go. :)


3. I personally love all music. I particularly listen to groups such as Elbow, Sigur Ros, Seth Lakeman, Pendulum etc. However, I also love film music, classical music, folk music and well, anything that makes noise really.


4. I love that idea. I certainly hope so.

5. Mod Bond is next to me & I’ve just told him. He’s now smiling and will probably soon do a little dance of delight. :P


6. Sadly no, the instruments are based on real recorded sounds, however the sound effects can’t be. They need to be easily generated by a computer so we effectively sculpt them from computer generated tones (think the noises that your telephone makes when you punch in a number, that’s effectively how each of our sound effect start their lives.) I’m sure you can imagine it’s quite an effort to sculpt that into say, a goblin, but we do our best. :)


7.Glad you like it, we like writing EPIC – ily. :D


@ Tall Terror;


Q) Hello, I was wondering how you create your music? Do you use real instruments or do it electronically?


A) We make the music using a sequencer to create MIDI files which trigger sounds through a custom soundbank. Some of the instrument sounds in the soundbank are samples of real insruments, yes. But they are played back via the MIDI files. :)


@Shadow N S


Hi and thanks!!


1) Hmmm i'm not sure at the moment - we do have sounds for skillcapes and jingles for levelling up, but that might be a possibility for a future update.


2) We might do if there is some spare time at some point inbetween the new songs and sounds needed for other content.


@ MaskedTitan;


1.Is the runescape in-game music ever going to be like remixed to be techo, pop or something?


LOL unlikely! :D unless it's for fun! :D


2.Are you going to update existing music anytime soon?


We frequently update the existing in-game music. If there is something in particular you would like improved, let us know.


3. Are you going to edit the weapon sounds?


Again, if there is something in particular you want improved, please let us know.


4. How do you make runescape music?


We create MIDI files using a sequencer which are played back through a custom bank of instrument sounds.






1. Hehehe, that’s a secret. :P

2. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to answer this, so... ma




1) You might have seen Mod Chihiro's post about this and memory restrictions - certainly we'd like to add more songs if we find a way to use memory efficiently.


2) Quite possibly - if we feel an area needs a spruce up, is quite important or popular, or lacks a song or two especially.


3) Yes of course many many of them - as musicians we are never satisfied ;)


4) I think the songs you players comment on and like the most make us feel particularly proud, we get pleasure from a lot of our own songs of course for lots of different reasons.


5) Probably a mix - sometimes there is a "theme" to a quest and we'll reuse elements of previous music, sometimes we find things that fit, other times we try things out!


@ 77 Spirit;


Q) do you think u will ever branch beyond the music there is now.


A) Not quite sure what you mean... but there is plenty of new music still to come...! :)


Q) for playlists in the future would you like it to be you can put any mp3 you want as i would quite like this.


A) This is unlikely to happen, but you could use a Media player to do this.


Q) do you think you will ever release downloadable versions of the song's


A) This is something we would very much like to do :)




Reading it and thanks for posting!


1) Usually between 1 and 1 1/2 days, it depends on how complex and long it is.


2) Oh is there going to be a new skill? Now that would be telling ;)


@ Yuhdon ;


Q) Can you give us any information as to the music that the new skill will bring?


A) Wait and see...! :D


Q) First of all, will it even have its own music? If so, how many tracks?


A) Sorry - watch this space...! :D


@ AClicheName


While I’d love nothing more than super high quality audio, I’m not sure that a higher quality soundtrack would actually influence more people to listen to the songs. I think it’s more a question of taste, and the truth is that some people would simply rather listen to Metallica, or Jay-Z whilst destroying their foe-of-choice in the wilderness. This is understandable, and it’s fine too. The main thing is that people enjoy the game. Our goal is to give you the best possible game within all the limitations we face. At the moment those limitations won’t allow us high quality audio, so we’re squeezing the best from what we have. I hope that helps. :D




Combat sounds represent some of the greatest challenge to us in audio due to the limitations of the tools we have to make the sounds, this would be one of the things i'd most like to make a big improvement of in the future.

If the memory was available we could use some realistic versions of swords, knives, bows and arrows etc but they would take up a lot of space!


@ O o Sarah ;


1. Could audio be used in some way to fight macroing, for example a random event that requires you to listen to something?


That's a lovely idea :) However, what if the player didn't have any speakers on their computer?! :/ :D


2. Would it be possible to make the sounds of combat louder or softer according to the damage that was done?


Again, a lovely idea! :) Perhaps we can consider this in future :)


3. What is your favorite song?


Harmony is a favourite of mine :) I like Temple Desecrated too, but having written it, I've probably heard it too many times now! :D


@ Jocob30 ;


Q) Will RS tracks be for the IPod or MP3?

A) We would love to do this, but watch this space! :)


Q) Will there be a new emote when someone unlocks like 1000 tracks or something?

A) LOL what a good idea! :) perhaps, but no promises..! :D


Q) And what is it like making music and sound effects for RuneScape?

A) Exciting - every day brings a new challenge! :)


@Makoto D


1) It does depends on the kind of soundcard players have - some of the older songs sounded better on my old system, but some are definitely better now than before - its very subjective, players like improvements but also nostalgia, so we try to get a good balance between keeping things "authentic" sounding and improving them.


2) I suppose the most common themes would be Orchestral and Ethnic (in many varieties of course) but you are right there are many categories such as reggae, jazz, rock and even dance types as you mention.


3) Actually we have done audio dev diaries before, perhaps not on a particular quest but perhaps in the near future we'll do another one for you guys.


@ Feedtheduck


1. I wrote Smorgasbord! :D It was for the Xmas09 event, and was in fitting with that part of the quest. You’d just saved Santa, and there was a feast of food from various countries on the tables in the land of snow. To fit that, mod ian suggested the song be called Smorgasbord, and so it was! ...after I googled it to find out what he was on about. We like to have a little fun with the song names. :D


2. Ok!


3. Feed the birds, tuppence a bag....? :P


@ CrypticSpark ;


Q) Hello Audio team, my favorite song has to be The Phoenix, but anyway


A) Yes, good song! :)


1. How much new music (if any) will the new skill introduce?


Can't say... you'll have to wait and see...! :)


2. Can you explain the music tab leak with over 700 music tracks?


Yes, we have written more songs than have been released...! :D


3. Can you confirm anything about using vocal?


Sorry, not at this time...


@ Sxc Pickaxe


But what happens when you eat a banana?! They don’t crunch... but they are EPIC! :D


@ SH Markvdk1 ;


1) Will there ever be a music track with singing in it?


That would be lovely! :D Can't say, but it would be nice! :)


2) What is your favourite music track?


Too many to choose from! :D Another one I like is Sound of Guthix. Of course, Mod Ian's tunes are *always* good! :D




Oh yes they've been considered, basically to keep the client size of the game down to a minimum we use very compressed instrument files in the game, but perhaps in the future we might be able to make higher quality sounds available.

Lastly if more people ask for it the more likely it is to happen!


@ Da Bazz ;


1. I think there should be more rewards for unlocking music tracks. For example: There's currently no reward for unlocking music as a F2Per. Perhaps there should be one?


Nice idea! :) Maybe if the idea gets enough support...


2. Ability to buy special songs or music related items? Or maybe a jukebox that can be placed in your house to make other people listen to your music?


Again, nice idea! :)


3. Don't forget to add sound effects to the new skill :P


Sound effects... really? do you think we should....?! :P :D ;)


@ Primadude12


We’re trying! These days we do exactly that, make variation of the sounds and trigger them randomly. We’re slowly trying to roll this out across the world, but with the speed of development it’s really hard to find time! We have to prioritise the exciting new projects. :D


@ Frede173;


1) Are you ever going to remake *all* of the current runescape songs?


LOL that might take a while....! :D however, we are likely to make tweaks and improvements to existing songs


2) Have you ever wanted to make lyrics to one (or more) of your tracks?


Yes! :) The closest we came was with Mod_Adam_R came close with the Bill Blakey Run Energy Musician




We've looked into this possibility already and don't have any final work on it, as mentioned before we need to save as much memory as possible so if we can do this efficiently we will have a go!


And thanks so much for your kind comments




Yes definitely being thought about - its so great to see such interest in the music, there are some problems to deal with such as memory, but perhaps in the near future...


@ Muse PIB




Oooh, interesting question. Well, we all have similar degrees (in sound recording, or audio design, or acoustics, or music, or something similar) so where you are is a good start! :D Other than that, we’ve all had slightly different paths to the job now. I personally ended up here after a stint in a recording studio, recording film scores for things such as Casino Royale and The Bourne Ultimatum (to name a couple). Other members of the team took routes straight into the games industry, or through working as musicians or composers for some time first.


I guess there’s no set way, but I’d definitely say get a good portfolio together of your work ‘cause job applications will often ask for one, and keep an eye out for opportunities. :D Hope that helps. ;)


@mac c0d3r


1) We've probably answered this question quite well enough now, but I will say that a lot of you seem to want the music which will make it more likely to happen.


2) That's a tough one - one person wants it updated, the next wants it kept the same - its a difficult choice!


3) Perhaps the bext thing to say is we *might* do one day


@ 00-Evan;


Hey audio team, awesome work you guys have been doing.

(Thank you very much!)


Q) Firstly, as has been asked a million times, could you please consider giving us downloadable/higher quality music? Perhaps having downloadable versions of songs we can put in our Jagex cache folder, the game could then reference the file locally instead of polling the server, that way you can save resources and bandwidth.


A) This is something which we would love to do. I truly cannot promise, but if enough support is given, perhaps it might be considered.


Q) Music is my favourite part of a games atmosphere and I think the team has on the whole outdone themselves with slow atmospheric pieces (the music from Tale of The Muspah is my favourite). However, I feel that some of the fast and boss music is a bit lacking (specifically for bosses like Nomad, the Tz-TokJad, etc.) My biggest problem with it is that often the audio is not totally in sync with the fight. Take the game left4dead for example, the system tweaks music to better suit the current situation, long pauses in combat (especially if the player is weak) have deep ominous music, while a particular zombie horde encounter that the players are panicking on and handling poorly has much more frantic music, etc. Do you think it would be possible to have music in sync more with boss fights? Obviously not for every attack a boss does, but perhaps modulate music to become more panicked if a player is dying. A great example is the Nomad fight, music crescendos could accompany his more powerful attacks, music could change depending on his combat phase (becoming frantic when he enters his rage finale) and the music could sadly trail off and end if you die.


A) We would love to be able to achieve this type of interactivity with the music, and it is something which we are looking into further. (PS: If there are any specific tracks which you feel need improvement, please let us know.)


Q) do you think RS boss music could (like other videogames) modulate with what is happening in the fight? Such as panicked music if the player is dying, crescendos and heavy boss attacks, etc.


A) A lovely idea. If it is possible, it would get my support!


@Ze Crash


1) I think its a great idea - I can't give too much away right now but keep an eye on the forums over the coming months


2) Haha well I can't say too much apart from some very cool things are coming your way...


@ Thief cape t


Sadly we can’t currently add human voices into the game, as much as I’d like to. We might be able to try a hum, but our sampling techniques aren’t very convincing for things so natural as the human voice, so I think it might just sound a little... err... rubbish? Good idea though. Tell you what, I’ll try it, & if it’s good, it’s in!




1) It is quite possible, how likely exactly I can't really say as that is up to Andrew, but it's something we would like to do.


2) That varies a lot, i've written 2 in a day before, and some take up to 2 to 3 days!


3) That's tough - hopefully it will be not too far away from 1000


@ Bonziinob;


1) Where do you guys get your inspiration?


A very wide range of music indeed. We have to be able to compose in almost any style after all!


2) For anyone wishing to create good quality sound such as in RuneScape, what do you recommend?


Sound or music? There are lots of free applications on the web for anyone interested in making sound/music (Audacity for one example). Some of our sound effects tools are in-house programs though, so I am afraid they are not commercially available.


3) A while ago the music was stored in Cache files? Are users allowed to use these files in Machinima contests or other RuneScape related video where Jagex owns the copyright anyways?


Jagex Ltd owns the Copyright - I would need to refer that question to Management.


4) Are fansites allowed to post this files on their fansites (with proper citation) or only what's legally allowed.


I would refer you to my answer to question 3).


@ Eelkedegier;


1) Have you ever considered releasing runescape tracks. (on runescape.***, Itunes or maybe on CD in the Jagex shop?)


We would love to do this... maybe in the future...!


2) What kind of instruments do you use the create the tracks?


We create MIDI files using sequencers playing back sounds from our custom soundbank.


3) Could you describe the proces of making a track?


Reading the project brief, getting a feel for the area/quest, concepting some musical ideas, building up a track, balancing and fine-tuning, finishing!


@Jesse Attack


A Voice based quest - sounds cool! The trouble is if we did that then ALL the quests might need voices too!


As far as a button to go back to the area music goes - that does exist, its the same button that toggles between the playlist and the game music.


Glad you like Undercurrent - its one of my own - maybe I should have called it oversultana (geddit??)


@ Den Usynlige


1. I’m really sorry to disappoint, but unfortunately we can’t put the updated Temple Desecrated in the game. It’s essentially the same version that is in the game, but with higher quality samples , mixing and mastering (audio polish). Unfortunately using these sampes in game would take our sample bank from around 2MB in size to about 60GB in size... which I don’t think they’ll let us do. :(


2. I’d love this idea too! Sadly it’s not up to me though. I’ll mention it & see what people think.


3. Sadly that isn’t possible. It would effectively require us to create an in-game playlist of 600+ songs, which it just too expensive (in terms of variables). Sorry.



@ Arcblade Kb;


1) Do you guys any in game music instruments you loved making the tracks for?


I quite enjoyed making "Black of Knight"


2) Had you considered letting players play an instrument like the musicians in game, and the player plays a song track they unlocked in game so everyone around can hear? (Stand somewhere and let everyone hear a song from the Godwars dungeun while your avatar plays away on an Ocarnia or something)


A lovely idea! Although we have to be careful of allowing players to "spam" other players with sounds/music.






Thanks very much its hard to get lots of atmosphere with our fairly simple audio tools but we try to make the areas nice and interesting wherever we can.


We always try to make improvements when possible, some magical attacks have been tweaked already, and of course some improvements to sounds we've finished some time ago but might not have been released in the game yet.

We normally group them together as there are so many things we'd like to do if we had the time available.


@ Darkmagic76 ;


1) Do you plan on making a music cape or item that can only be equipped when you have all the songs unlocked, much like the questcape?


Not at the current time.


2) What is your favourite song?


Too many to mention! I did like the music from Tale of the Muspah though, and also from the latest Mahjarrat quest


3) Could the audio team do a Youtube video showing us how music is made for Jagex games?


LOL - might be quite a long video...!


4) How long does a typical Runescape song take to develop?

Depends on how long/complex they are, but on average, about 8 hours.


@ Fattybazooka ;


Q) Im confoozed why u keep adding answers on this thread why can't you keep to the allotted thread. It make my tiny mind spin with confoozion

A) Sorry - my bad!


@ Doctor Kite ;


First off I'd like to say brilliant job on the playlist update.

(thank you very much!)


I was wondering, with the resource skills, would it be possible to add a little more depth to the sound of the items being collected? For instance, for fishing, maybe add a splash sound when a fish is caught, and a shark would make a bigger one than say, a tuna. With mining, different ores could make different sounds of rocks dropping into your inventory, the heavier ones making a louder noise. I think it'd add some flavor to the resource skills, maybe you could implement this in the future?


What a great idea - thank you! Watch this space!


@ duksandfish3


1. I believe that before the update, the game would download the midi files to your computer and play them with your soundcard. This meant that the midi files were there to be ‘yoinked’, which some people did. They weren’t really supposed to be downloaded as such, but that’s just how the system worked. Mod Ian wrote the first 300(?) or so songs, so that’s why they’d say that.


2. I’d love us to release a CD, or downloads or somewhat. It’s not my decision though, so I’ll ask, & watch this space.


3. Yup, indeed they were.


@ Emmentail ;


Q) Would it be possible to create a list of the songs that are played in each area? Like pre-set playlists for Tirannwn, Misthalin, Mortyania etc. For example I love the Elven music, however I don't feel the urge to go through all 631 songs i've unlocked (the tournament is impossible to get since nobody plays that minigame it seems!) and see which ones come from the Elven lands.


A) Nice idea. It might be possible, maybe if we get enough support for the idea


p.s The Sound of Guthix is awesome. Kudos to whoever designed it!


(Thank you - that was me! )




Hey there!


Well like any team we laugh, we argue, we have fun, and we work hard! As musicians are well knows for their quirkyness I would say we are definitely an interesting bunch of people


People obviously have their strengths and weaknesses, we do try and tackle whatever the demands of the content need, but I heard Mod Adam R loves Ballet Music


Mod Grace is very efficient and also the least male of the team.


I have the least hair...


And almost certainly the most instruments as I have a habit of collecting synthesizers


Thanks a lot!


@ Thai Tong;


Q) Currently when players ride a magic carpet the carpet sound effects stop the songs playing, the same way a grand exchange update does.

I understand that it is important to know when your grand exchange updates but it's not very important that you know you're riding a carpet. Will you allow the music to continue playing when riding a carpet?


A) Good point - we will probably look into this in the future.


P.S. I love scape main, reminds me off the good old days when I was a noob


(Mod_Ian to thank for that one! ;) )


@ Jesus


Hey, Jesus...


1. There’s 5 of us currently.


2. Mod Ian has been here the longest by far. I think he was the 4th employee of the company!


3. We usually write songs solo, but then give each other a lot of feedback through the process to make them as good as we can.


4. Typically we spend about a day on each song. Sometimes a little longer. Once it’s then written and mixed we script it into our ‘work in progress’ version of the game, which doesn’t take long (an hour?). It then sits there for as long as needed until the update.


5. 10! :D



The live Q&A transcript is up to page 7 of the live Q&A on the RSOF, I have to run now and I'll finish posting it later this evening.

Owner of the Quest Point Cape

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Arguably, an important reason why people do not listen to the in-game music is that it does not resemble the music they usually listen to. How can the Runescape music cater to the common music tastes (rock, pop, hiphop, etc.)? Are there limitations that make a hot guitar solo or fat beat un-implementable in Runescape?




I think thats a fair point, however RS music does have a certain style and charm about it that a lot of other players really like. Its a bit of a double edged sword really, as if we started to include a lot of say, hip hop, then thered be a lot of players who would stop listening to the music due to their dislike of hip hop. We think that the classic orchestral sound, used in cinema for years to good effect, has the diversity needed for the range of styles and emotions we need to portray: be it epic battle music, or a simple violin solo. Thats the creative perspective. From a technological point of view, we have to use midi files to keep sizes down, so sadly we couldnt include that awesome guitar riff, even if we wanted to.


Good question!


basically, I got the answer I wanted. 1. their sound system can't make high enough quality music that many will listen to it. 2. They won't use common styles becase "some people dislike those" therefore they choose to continue in a malfunctioning, bad type of film-music orchestration. 3. They won't implement more experimental beats, solos, or other musical features this generation really appreciates.


Basically, they admit there is no hope for runescape music in the near future.


Hopefully they'll be more successful with sound effects.

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I know Jagex wants to keep everything equal in terms of performance for all players, but seeing as how sound doesn't really affect the effectiveness of gameplay as much as graphics (For instance, increased draw distance for some players can be a big disadvantage for those who don't have the processing power to see farther, thereby affecting things like PVP), perhaps Jagex could release an extra downloadable sounds pack with music and sound effects of increased quality. That could be one way of offering better sound for players, at least until they can find a way of incorporating it without taking up as much space.

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Eh, i hope they realise that the longer they put off developing real MP3 tracks, the more time consuming it will get to do it in the future. I'm sure most people wouldn't mind saving tracks on their computers if it means that they can listen to really good full orchestra music that changes according to what they do in the game. Not only that, Cambridge is full to the brim of intelligent, creative musicians looking for ambitious projects. Why haven't they started doing this?

~ W ~



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I know Jagex wants to keep everything equal in terms of performance for all players, but seeing as how sound doesn't really affect the effectiveness of gameplay as much as graphics (For instance, increased draw distance for some players can be a big disadvantage for those who don't have the processing power to see farther, thereby affecting things like PVP), perhaps Jagex could release an extra downloadable sounds pack with music and sound effects of increased quality. That could be one way of offering better sound for players, at least until they can find a way of incorporating it without taking up as much space.

I agree, and on top of that, make it optional. Like having HD.

[insert birds flying in a circle here]

Yes, that sig was annoying.

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I know Jagex wants to keep everything equal in terms of performance for all players, but seeing as how sound doesn't really affect the effectiveness of gameplay as much as graphics (For instance, increased draw distance for some players can be a big disadvantage for those who don't have the processing power to see farther, thereby affecting things like PVP), perhaps Jagex could release an extra downloadable sounds pack with music and sound effects of increased quality. That could be one way of offering better sound for players, at least until they can find a way of incorporating it without taking up as much space.

I agree, and on top of that, make it optional. Like having HD.

But you don't have a choice really, like the graphics. Unless you WANT to be streaming megabytes of data for every song. Jagex wants as many people able to access their game as possible and I think that's commendable. Even if you made it optional, I'm sure it's just as complicated as making HD was - would you really want them to spend their time making slightly improved audio at the expense of other updates?


I edit for the [Tip.It Times]. I rarely write in [My Blog]. I am an [Ex-Moderator].

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Wow, what a lame and boring read. It's all basically, "You get what we give you. There are no plans for anything. We had plans but gave up. Takes too much time and effort for big updates - we are lazy."

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Ya, these audio team members seem unusually lazy. They say "it would take a lot of time" as if it counters anyones points... you are being paid to work. Do the work that everyone wants.


Also, does it annoy anyone else that they constantly want to see "support"? But then they dont release polls? Do they expect thousands of people to start threads of support for each topic?


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I know Jagex wants to keep everything equal in terms of performance for all players, but seeing as how sound doesn't really affect the effectiveness of gameplay as much as graphics (For instance, increased draw distance for some players can be a big disadvantage for those who don't have the processing power to see farther, thereby affecting things like PVP), perhaps Jagex could release an extra downloadable sounds pack with music and sound effects of increased quality. That could be one way of offering better sound for players, at least until they can find a way of incorporating it without taking up as much space.

I agree, and on top of that, make it optional. Like having HD.

But you don't have a choice really, like the graphics. Unless you WANT to be streaming megabytes of data for every song. Jagex wants as many people able to access their game as possible and I think that's commendable. Even if you made it optional, I'm sure it's just as complicated as making HD was - would you really want them to spend their time making slightly improved audio at the expense of other updates?


YES, YES, YES. Improved audio for RuneScape is something I've wanted for a LONG time. On the level of want for the return of Zaros, and Priffdinnas. Seriously the sound effects sound downright stupid and cheesy when put with the improved HD graphics.


I'd love such an update a ton more than HD, and that's saying something, because HD was a godsend for garnering a bit of respect for RuneScape.

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They say "it would take a lot of time" as if it counters anyones points


Personally I think they're talking about the opportunity cost of spending the time on updating things. If it's around one day per song as they say, and a quest is in the works with 3 new songs, that's half a week delay to the release of the quest that has to be occured to update the already ingame content.

However, if there is no new work to be done, then it's perfectly fine to redo old content (as they say they do currently)


(Both these problems are easily solved with more staff though :wink: )

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tl;dr, Pokerface is a great song, nub.

I have all the 99s, and have been playing since 2001. Comped 4/30/15 

My Araxxi Kills: 459::Araxxi Drops(KC):

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If you play Xbox One - Add me! GT: Urtehnoes - Currently on a Destiny binge 


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Yeah I have always liked the sound of Runescape, and especially the tunes. There is definetely room for improvement though. I would love to see a large amount of more advanced sound effects (Someone in the Q&A mentioned swords clanking on armor). Music-wise, I think the music being producing now doesn't have the potential to get much better, because all they said is basically they aren't going to change anything as not to offend the "nostalgia" for veteran players.


If you guys aren't going to change the music at all, at least add some decent sound effects!

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I really like some of the music, especially newer tracks like Zaros Stirs. I agree with some of the other posters that I'd love to see some sort of optional packet of ACTUAL orchestral music. Being a composer and someone who works with MIDI on a regular basis, I can sympathize with them to an extent. It's sad that the audio team is so... insignificant in comparison to everything else going on at Jagex HQ. They have very little support and that probably wont change.


I wouldn't mind going to work for the audio team. :wink:

To put it bluntly, [bleep] off.

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I really like some of the music, especially newer tracks like Zaros Stirs. I agree with some of the other posters that I'd love to see some sort of optional packet of ACTUAL orchestral music. Being a composer and someone who works with MIDI on a regular basis, I can sympathize with them to an extent. It's sad that the audio team is so... insignificant in comparison to everything else going on at Jagex HQ. They have very little support and that probably wont change.


I wouldn't mind going to work for the audio team. :wink:

Yep that seems to be the main thing I've learned from this Q&A.

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I know Jagex wants to keep everything equal in terms of performance for all players, but seeing as how sound doesn't really affect the effectiveness of gameplay as much as graphics (For instance, increased draw distance for some players can be a big disadvantage for those who don't have the processing power to see farther, thereby affecting things like PVP), perhaps Jagex could release an extra downloadable sounds pack with music and sound effects of increased quality. That could be one way of offering better sound for players, at least until they can find a way of incorporating it without taking up as much space.

I agree, and on top of that, make it optional. Like having HD.

But you don't have a choice really, like the graphics. Unless you WANT to be streaming megabytes of data for every song. Jagex wants as many people able to access their game as possible and I think that's commendable. Even if you made it optional, I'm sure it's just as complicated as making HD was - would you really want them to spend their time making slightly improved audio at the expense of other updates?


Everybody said "do you really want them to spend their time making slightly improved graphics at the expense of other updates" before HD came out. And it's extremely obvious now that HD was something the game required for further growth and sustainability.


I think you might be underestimating the effect that good sound can have on a game. It is just as important to have excellent sound as it is to have excellent graphics. Currently, RuneScape has some pretty good graphics for a browser game and they've been focusing on improving and maintaining a specific art style in the game ever since the upgrade of HD graphics. It's however being held back by the sound, which is still very primitive and it negatively affects the overall presentation and immersive factor of the game. So I think, presentation-wise, improved sound should be something that they should look at seriously and they must find a way of implementing it in their game.


In fact, I wouldn't be surprised that they are working diligently at improving the sound quality as we speak. Jagex is loaded with smart people who know that it is the next natural step in their presentation upgrades.

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