The hype was huge: on Sept. 9, 2009 (9/9/09) die-hard Beatles fans around the world snatched up copies of a new CD with 45 digitally remastered songs ― including some previously unreleased voice recordings ― and an unprecedented opportunity to experience the artistry of The Beatles through The Beatles: Rockband, a music-based game for Xbox 360, Microsoft, Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
The Beatles: Rockband allows fans to pick up the guitar, bass, microphone or drums and experience The Beatles’ extraordinary catalogue of music for themselves.
But fans weren’t the only ones celebrating: Sound Recording Technology (SRT) alum Greg Capolino put his degree and significant industry experience to use as sound designer for Harmonix Music Systems, developers of the Rockband music video game.
“I did a lot of the tempo-mapping for the music, which serves as the foundation for the transcribing and note charting of the instruments,” says Capolino. “Basically, my job was to take the mix stems ― or the individual parts of the music separated by instrument ― that were coming in from Abbey Road Studios, create tempo tracks throughout and allow for authoring ― or creating ― the ‘MIDI’ notes that become the gems players must hit in the game,” says Capolino.
“I also worked on sweetening ― or improving the sound quality through a process like remastering ― several never-before-seen videos that players can unlock to view as they play,” he says.
Capolino also created voiceover editing in five different languages, so people who’ve never played Rockband can access a tutorial and hear instructions in their own language. The instruction is combined with visuals that create the setting of being in Abbey Road Studios with a recording engineer who speaks to them through a “talkback” in the control room.
“The SRT program gave me the foundation of musical and technical knowledge to really help get my career up and running,” Capolino says. “An education that incorporates music theory, performance, history, critical listening and hands-on studio time comes in handy.”