A few weeks ago, some DOOM Eternal fans noticed that the game's official soundtrack didn't sound quite right, with one Twitter user noting that it lacked dynamic range due to heavy compression. In response, beloved DOOM composer Mick Gordon explained that he didn't mix the tracks in question and "wouldn't have done that," and allegedly even told a fan that he doubted he'd work with developer id Software again.
Following heavy discussion on the topic in recent weeks, DOOM Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton took to Reddit earlier today to explain the situation in detail. It is a very long explanation, so we highly encourage you to check out the whole thing when you get a spare minute!
In a nutshell, Stratton explained that the company and Mick Gordon have suffered a "complicated relationship," indicating that their challenges have never been an issue of creative differences:
"Talent aside, we have struggled to connect on some of the more production-related realities of development, while communication around those issues have eroded trust. For id, this has created an unsustainable pattern of project uncertainty and risk."
Stratton went on to explain the process of putting together the official DOOM Eternal OST, highlighting that due to delays on Mick's end, id Software's Lead Audio Designer Chad was asked to work on back-up versions of the tracks just in case. The final result was a mix of the two, with Gordon editing and mixing 12 out of 59 tracks on the soundtrack.
In response to fans pointing out the sound and waveform differences between Mick's and Chad's mixes, Stratton noted that the Lead Audio Designer only had access to pre-mixed and pre-compressed tracks:
"When a track looks “bricked” or like a bar, where the extreme highs and lows of the dynamic range are clipped, this is how we receive the music from Mick for inclusion in the game - in fragments pre-mixed and pre-compressed by him. Those music fragments he delivers then go into our audio system and are combined in real-time as you play through the game.
Alternatively, when mixing and mastering for an OST, Mick starts with his source material (which we don’t typically have access to) and re-mixes for the OST to ensure the highs and lows are not clipped – as seen in his 12 OST tracks. This is all important to note because Chad only had these pre-mixed and pre-compressed game fragments from Mick to work with in editing the id versions of the tracks."
The executive producer suggested he was disappointed with Gordon's comment that he "didn't mix those and wouldn't have done that", as it "led some to vilify and attack an id employee who had simply stepped up to the request of delivering a more comprehensive OST."
Stratton noted that Mick was unhappy with some of the edits in the id tracks, amongst other things, but stated that the company "didn’t want to be involved in the content of the OST and did absolutely nothing to prevent him from delivering on his commitments within the timeframe he asked for, and we extended multiple times."
Finally, while highlighting Gordon's "incredible" music and calling him a "rare talent," Stratton admitted that the company is moving on and won't be working with Mick on DLC for DOOM Eternal.
"I’m as disappointed as anyone that we’re at this point, but as we have many times before, we will adapt to changing circumstances and pursue the most unique and talented artists in the industry with whom to collaborate. Our team has enjoyed this creative collaboration a great deal and we know Mick will continue to delight fans for many years ahead."
What do you make of all this?! Share your thoughts in the comments.