The Music and Sound Effects of Shogun: Total War (recreated)


The music in Shogun was composed by Jeff Van Dyck at his home studio at the Gold Coast, Australia. He started working on the music in the middle of 1998. His main inspiration for the music was the movie "RAN" in which the music was composed by Toru Takemitsu.

Jeff uses a Mac G3 running Logic Audio to orchestrate music on, and plays all of the parts (including the drums) on a MIDI keyboard. Jeff needed digital audio samples of authentic Japanese instruments, so he hired some local Japanese musicians (Kazue & Yukiko) to play their Koto (a 13 stringed harp-like instrument) into the computer, which then would put the sound of the Koto onto Jeff's keyboard, so that he could play the Koto parts himself.

He also needed the sound of the large Japanese Taiko drum, which he was able to find on some digital audio sample libraries. Other sounds he used are the Shamisen (Japanese Banjo), Shinobue (small flute) and Shakuhachi (large flute).

Jeff worked at Electronic Arts Canada for 5 years where he created music and sound effects for FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed and NHL 96-99. He now has his own audio company (DNA Multimedia Audio) that he runs with his wife Angela Somerville (who manages speech production on AFL 99, Cricket 2000 and Rugby 2001).


The sound effects in Shogun were created by Karl Learmont, Sam Spanswick and Jeff Van Dyck. Karl and Sam work at Garner Maclennan in Sydney, Australia. To record the sound of the horses, Sam was able to get the local mounted police to allow him to record them training. For the sound of the archers, Sam found an archery club that practiced just outside of Sydney. The sword sounds are from a medieval club that regularly recreated battles wearing armour and wielding swords. Karl and Sam risked their lives to record the sound effects for Shogun, and to this day, Sam has the end of an arrow sticking out of his head.

Karl meticulously edited and mixed the sounds in the studio and created a custom sound effects library for Shogun. Jeff took these sounds and organized them into the game (the Shogun programmers also had to create the code that triggers the sounds). Jeff also made the Main Menu, Strategy Map and Movie sounds.

External links