Wotjek Wasiak's Custom World of Warcraft Mix

1st April 2015

Hey guys,

My name is Wojtek (also known as Douglas Howarth) and I would like to share with you a special mix of World of Warcraft music I've been working on for the last couple of months.

The Idea

It's been with me for some time now, to gather all the best musical ambiences from the game and compile them into a consistent mix that would be able to carry me through calm evenings, where the only thing I want to do is sit with a drink and relax after a long day. As you know, World of Warcraft has presented us with tremendous amounts of music throughout the years, much more than any other video game but unfortunately, most of it isn't directly accesible to the public. This is mainly due to CD soundtrack limitations, annoying extraction processes and 'game-playback-ready' file formats. I've decided to overcome those obstacles, pull all of those tracks from the game world I love, and make something that would be one-click summary of the best of the game's musical ambience.

The Inspiration

My inspiration for the mix comes from the idea used in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim soundtrack; to prepare an autonomous combination of all game ambiences for the players to enjoy on OST. Skyrim: Atmospheres beautifully captures the game world and the feeling of traversing it. It felt weird that Blizzard had not produced one for the Warcraft universe at all, given that the game - for me at least - has a much more vast, diverse and beautiful world.

The Challenges

The main difference between Skyrim and WoW is the overall approach to the music composition. While the former aims to build constant feeling of ambience, the latter gives periodic injections of atmosphere and tone setting throughout the gameplay. That difference makes WoW music composition more prominent, catchy, and the themes more prominent. This unfortunately often means different compositions have no 'classic' beginnings nor ends of the themes..

My goal was to recreate - as much as possible - the feeling of 'zone wandering' in the Warcraft world in Skyrim style by connecting each audio piece in a very specific order, and building all necessary transitions. Having all of the files from the game and every version of each musical track, I decided to combine them into smooth, translucent and synergetic entity, slowly evolving and carrying the listener through the world.

The Pick and the Mix

My main requirements for the music to be chosen were;

From two hours of initial music, I've selected 40 minutes of themes that in my opinion work best. The mix itself is constructed to imitate one big musical track and it's main sections. For the most part, it captures different aspects of the game zones, starting smoothly and mysteriously with Draenei and Crystalsong themes, gradually evolving into heavier and deeper tones of Terrokar Forest and Netherstorm. Most of the used music has a sound ambience backup from designated zones mixed into them, for the best possible grasp of the in-game experience.

I really hope you like it as much as I do. The mix stays in my room very often, accompanying me through a week and it would definitely mean a lot to me if it manages to carry you through yours too.

Let me know what do you think of it, and - for the prospect of future - what would you do differently if there was to be a continuation?