Sega have uploaded video of the making of the Team Sonic Racing OST, and its great.
There are many things that Sega are known for, quirky things such as suicidal business decisions, rolling the company dice on ideas, spending money creating legendary franchises then shelving them etcetera (putting Sonic on the bench during their war with Sony, where is Burning Rangers?). But putting all of that aside, it would be hard to argue that two things have lasted the test of time and they define Sega; Sonic the Hedgehog and rocking soundtracks. Just listen to Judge Eyes, Yakuza; they are still holding onto the rock .
Yes, if you are anything like me, you always wondered how those rocking soundtracks come to be. The advent of CD-based games allowed Sega to ditch the chiptune and send the crew into the studio. I imagine a bunch of guys in Japan, in the studio just absolutely rocking out. I wonder what the brief was, or if there even was one, other than just “make it rock”. Sure, other developers go with the orchestra or the synths and many great OST’s have been created that way, don’t get me wrong. But Team Sonic Racing isn’t heading in that direction. Yes crew them guitars are still plugged in and they play LOUD.
Music is fuel for Sonic and even in the most average of Sonic games that pumping OST is there and it’s all been Jun Senoue. Since taking over the musical reigns for Sonic 3 & Sonic and Knuckles (lets put aside Michael Jackson for a moment), Jun Senoue from Sega has been the alchemist going on 25 years. Not just Sonic either, his catalogue of writing and production reads everything from International Victory Goal (with its bizarre yet awesome 80’s metal set to football) to Daytona USA and Space Channel 5.
Nintendo fanatics have heard his music in multiple Smash Bros. games. The internal go-to person for that classic Sega sound (blue skies, summer, guitars)… I wonder what he does outside of game soundtracks? Games take years. Is his phone like the batphone? Does he have a Sonic song book that he calls on when the batphone rings? Does he see the game, then write? Or is he one with Sonic?
Either way, this rare look into the studio indicates that although Jun Senoue is known by Sonic fans (we are a fanatical bunch), Sega is now keen to emphasise that the Sonic Team Racing Soundtrack is gonna be a good one. On the official @sonic_hedgehog Twitter there have been sporadic tweets of the soundtrack rather than gameplay. For reasons only known to themselves, they have suddenly decided to recognise the music. Maybe they are going to make a classic Sega call and roll the company dice on a music label. Or MAYBE recognise the person behind the music for a quarter of a decade.
Jun Senoue has been writing and playing music for Sega and Sonic since his mid 20’s and now he’s nearing 50. Either way, though its hard to believe a company that runs on chaos and bad decisions can have a peaceful studio session. An uncut version would have been great. But hey they are still rocking out in the name of Sonic. The man playing the guitar is none other than Jun himself. This is Sega in the studio:
Team Sonic Racing is due out on May 5th. The game will be fine I’m sure – faster, more colourful than Mario Kart as always. But if the Twitter posts and behind the scenes video are anything to go by, the music will be amazing as well which of all things is expected and the least part to be worried about when it comes to Sonic. I wonder what Nintendo look like in the studio?
With a potentially disastrous movie on the way (don’t ask) its great to know that regardless of what happens with Sonic, Jun Senoue is there to back him up.