This past August, Duane Decker left his position as audio lead forMicrosoft Gaming Studio and began his own production company, DDMusic(Seattle), which will allow Decker to focus on his career in game andmultimedia audio development and music scoring. As part of thetransition, Decker installed a Blue Sky 5.1 Sky System One as his solemonitoring system.
“As soon as I got them into the studio and hooked [them] up, Iwas simply floored at the sound quality, the transparency and thefrequency response,” said Decker, who composed the score to BigHuge Game’s Rise of Nations. The Rise of Nations'soundtrack was released this past June on producer/artist NileRodgers’ Sumthing Else Musicworks record label, becoming thefirst game soundtrack to be released in 5.1 on DVD. Decker alsocomposed, produced, mixed and mastered the musical elements for thegame’s newest iteration, which will be in stores in March 2004.“The game development industry is now becoming more aware of howmuch 5.1 sound adds to a game’s value and enjoyment. Surroundaudio for games is now limited to dedicated platforms, such as the Xboxand Playstation 2. But in the future, as PCs get surround capability,we’ll see more and more games having multichannel audio as partof the package.”
Decker also said that the Blue Sky monitors solved several issues inhis transition to freelance. “I knew that I would need moresophisticated monitoring in my own studio, and that the success of mybusiness would be contingent upon proper, accurate monitoring. Astartup like mine can’t afford to spend $20,000 on monitors, yetI would still need speakers capable of full-range reproduction. TheBlue Sky 5.1 system was exactly what I needed: full-frequency playbackat a cost-effective price. They sound great, and there’s no earfatigue at all. The Blue Sky speakers were a great way to start thenext phase of my professional life.”