“We have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the music in Dawn Of War II, from people sending fan email to our composer, to others asking if there will be release of the soundtrack. Hopefully fans want a soundtrack so it can be played at excessive volumes during tabletop games; frightening the neighbors and scaring pets. All the positive comments brought on talk of getting the music out to the fans, but before we could get our ducks lined up, a clever community member made the in-game songs available to the forum community.
However, as sound lead for DOW II, I had issues with this. First up, the tracks in-game are meant for the adaptive music engine, so they’re split into multichannel files which music playing software doesn’t always know how to handle. Therefore people were likely only hearing half of the music. Secondly the tracks in-game are edited and mixed for longer gameplay matches, so they’re not actually what Doyle W. Donehoo intended to be the final stand alone track. Lastly, there were some mixing issues when all channels were collapsed to Stereo which are not a problem in game, but can sound odd when played as a regular music track.
At Relic we like to deliver the best possible quality on whatever we touch, so the versions floating around the net didn’t make me happy. I knew how good this music could sound, and people weren’t hearing that. Therefore, I spent a couple of weeks going back to the original uncompressed “stem mixes” delivered by Doyle, restored the original edits, balanced the mixes, then mastered & sequenced the whole thing together into a proper album. Someone even snuck in a little something extra for the fans before we encoded it all at 320kbps, a higher bitrate than the in-game content, and attached some killer cover art.
While we let “the suits” figure out how/when/where to get this out to the fans, I sent the development team a link to the soundtrack. These were folks who had been hearing much of this music for the last couple of years while playing the game, and yet they STILL got juiced hearing the themes, playing the album at their desks and outside of work. I heard reports of people listening to the DOW II music while playing _other_ games (instead of that games’ soundtrack), loving how huge and epic Doyle’s music made everything feel. As for me, I like hearing the music while careening through downtown traffic on my bicycle at high speeds, the huge horns of the Emperor putting to shame any kind of car horn taking issue with my relaxed interpretation of traffic laws. (note: Relic accepts no liability for damage caused by individual stupidity at the hands of Musically Huge Pure Epicness)
So I hope you enjoy the official Dawn Of War II soundtrack, I think Doyle did a great job crafting the musical sound to our game, and now you can enjoy it as it was meant to be heard, and that makes this audio lead happy.
Thanks for listening.”