Aug 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:50 PM, Aug 23, 2017

Raid the Arcade - Music to Massacre to

Published in Editorial
Read 2447 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

(Please note: a great set of headphones or a nice sound system is essential for reading this article.)

To me, music is... I can’t even explain it. I tried to come up with a great analogy for the first sentence, and there are literally no words. If you have some time, look up amazing, supernatural, and effin’ sweet in the thesaurus, and you’ll get an idea. True, the vast majority of the time that I’m driving, I listen to NPR. It really helps to keep a sharp mind when you work in the business world. You learn stuff, you find great conversation topics, and you don’t speed to NPR. See, when I put music on in the car, unless its smooth jazz, I get a lead foot. Music has the power to make you go faster… and faster is better, right? And who doesn’t want to be better?

There’s a fantastic book called Armada, by the writer of the exquisite gaming novel Ready Player One, Ernest Cline. (PS: If you haven’t read RPO, we can’t be friends. I recommend the audiobook.) In Armada, another great gaming novel, the theory is that we’re all secretly being trained by video games to eventually pilot starships and mechs, in order to save the world from an alien invasion. The main character, Zach Lightman, who’s your cliché PC gamer, finds a mix tape in his father’s belongings called Raid the Arcade. This was a playlist of songs that his dad used to play while he was gaming. The idea was, the beats and melodies helped him get into the groove and dominate, because the soundtrack was awesome. Rightfully so, mind you. What would movies be like without the soundtracks?

I find that having a fantastic playlist or mix ready to roll when I’m gaming is essential to me. Sure at first when I’m trying out a new game, I listen to just the audio provided with it. But once I find something I would like to be competitive at, or even if I want to concentrate to beat a certain mission or level, I almost always substitute my own music. The problem is, there’s SO much music out there. What’s a girl to do?

To create the perfect gaming mix, it’s almost like you want a chart-topping techno producer, mixed with a touring classically trained musician, someone who runs a radio station, and a seasoned nightclub DJ as a friend. But where the hell are you going to find someone like that? Well, you’re in luck! Your good buddy Dizzyjuice is all those things, and I’m here to hopefully open your eyes to a few tunes that will help you spread pwnsauce all over that asskick sandwich you’re about to force-feed your enemies.

Open your eyes….. err…. ears. That’s the most important thing to remember. There is a TON of music out there, some of which you may not know exists. Just don’t be closed minded, and you can experience some beautiful things. Experimenting: it’s not just for college. Sure, not all music is for every person, or every situation. If you dominate League of Legends while blasting country music, then hey… go for it. Whatever works for you. My suggestions, however, will be a little skewed towards the electronic genres, simply because that’s what I produce and play.

The Music

There are tons of options when it comes to laying down a great mix for gaming. Prefer classic rock? Why not just listen to the original Raid the Arcade playlist right from Armada? It’s actually pretty damn good.

For me, speed and fantastic bass are my bread and butter when it comes to a great K/D ratio. Let’s start with some fast tunes to get the blood going.

  • Dusht Yodha
    https://play.spotify.com/track/5BU6xhr9Ft0dzV2iiOtOAH
    Shameless… SHAMELESS self-promotion, but I don’t care. I love this track, and can’t listen to it enough. My ‘Up All Night’ remix of Dusht Yodha is a tribal techno track designed to play on a big stage at a festival, but it will melt the coil on your subwoofer if you turn it up too loud. Do it.
  • For the Time Being
    https://play.spotify.com/track/6fQQtp9SEk5bnjFtbYqLUv
    This track by Phonique Erlend Oye is not as loud and obnoxious as the first one, but rather focuses on the deep beat and a light vocal to help you zone out of the real world, and zone in on the crits. Definitely the most chill track on the list.
  • Muscle Rollers
    https://play.spotify.com/track/47p9WLjuQTWw1xysBMREu2
    Much more energetic than the above, this electro-house track has a little dubstep stank on it in the middle, that, if perfectly timed with a multi-kill in PVP, will send shivers down your spine.
  • Unison – Knife Party Remix
    https://play.spotify.com/track/4PrlerWtZenpm7t575mOIF
    Want to melt faces in the arena? Destroy carriers and dreadnaughts in space? Play this track. The intro is a bit tame… but let me tell you, about 1:20 in, and holy shit. This beast turns into a break-beat beast that will potentially cause you neck pain from all the head banging you’ll be doing.
  • No Problem
    https://play.spotify.com/track/30FMfRJsg2sUTboQbzikdL
    If you don’t know what ‘drum and bass’ is, you obviously have never driven 150mph. Topping the beats-per-minute chart, drum and bass is crazy-fast and energetic. It’s like giving cocaine to a cat and letting it DJ. Fantastic. (please don’t try that at home)
  • Power Glove
    https://play.spotify.com/track/6qpaTfe6rCl55xEPT4F7Hp
    Other than the cool reference to my fav Nintendo controller in the title, this track always makes me drive fast, and pwn hard. Its fast, its angry, and both your opponents and your mother will wish you weren’t listening to it.

Speed has its place in gaming, for sure. I encourage you to search for Drum and Bass tracks on your own, some dirty Electro House, or if you like that little extra bit of wobble on the low end, Drumstep is a fantastic genre that combines the speed of drum and bass, with the speaker-melting bass of dubstep. Want a taste? Check out this fantastic and amazingly well produced track by Pendulum, remixed by Rob Swire. Frankly, if I could only game to ONE track on repeat for the rest of time, it would be this. https://soundcloud.com/pendulum/witchcraft-rob-swires-drumstep

Now, for those who prefer something a little slower and dirtier, you will want to consider the downtempo Electro-House and Dubstep tracks that are just plain evil, and are almost designed with damaging something (ears, speakers, personal property) in mind. Shit’s about to get heavy.

    • Big Boss
      https://play.spotify.com/track/34o2xJAVNTzoYN0o2Sd6sW
      Slow and dirty, this track with its syncopated sounds is perfect for just mowing down enemies with a mini-gun. I dare you to listen to it, and not imagine spraying thousands of rounds down-range. I dare you.
    • Me and You
      https://play.spotify.com/track/6DEeUrq2VhjAj6KOhZcsu3
      This piece by Nero is uplifting and always gets me pumped up before a big match or a boss fight. A great all-around classic to throw in almost any playlist, whether you like dubstep or not. Are you ready?
    • Cracks (Flux Pavilion Remix)
      https://play.spotify.com/track/5OJ8hNTKYU2dCvdgnOarLU
      Great vocals in this track give it a slightly smoother edge that some other dubstep tracks, but then it gets quiet, and the beat drops, reminding you that it’s time to crush your enemies.
    • Spitfire
      https://play.spotify.com/track/3BOxTOcXtgx1URkMJZK1YS
      This near-cinematic production by Porter Robinson gives me shivers down my spine. Launch this gem in the lobby about 1:40 prior to a match, and holy shit…. you will be PRIMED for battle when the light turns green.
    • Love (The Gagging Version)
      https://play.spotify.com/track/5JvX2t3GazcptynL9vYCyy
      Easily the most NSFW song on this list, by FAR. This song is just plain dirty. Once you get past the lyrical intro, it drops very angry basslines and beats. Not only will you get a chuckle out of it, but it should provide sufficient motivation to get that K/D “up” too.

Now, let’s take it down a notch (read again in cliché radio DJ voice.) Not every game or battle requires the filth of the last playlist, or the speed of the first. Sometimes you just want to chill and farm some asteroids. Sometimes you want to level your fishing skills in WoW without a bot. Neither of those need nor warrant a high heart rate. So here are a few chill tracks when you want to kick back and watch TinyMiner shoot some floating rocks. I mean.... wait….. nvm.

  • Baby Got Back
    https://play.spotify.com/track/3paGQ0hZUAuQh8dOf29EoF
    Yeah, that song, but…. different. Imagine it sung by a guy in a tiger-print tuxedo and a three piece jazz band. That’s right, Richard Cheese makes his… cheddar… by singing lounge-style versions of popular tracks. He basically has my dream job. Check out his entire discography. You are welcome.
  • Nightlife and Journeyman
    https://play.spotify.com/track/6NZ0oohtLgfB0bHzgP5js5
    https://play.spotify.com/track/687qZGqKcVN9g3obktSKHk
    Amon Tobin makes music worthy of any videogame or cinema soundtrack. This guy is beyond talented, and if you jump on YouTube, you should SEE the projection-mapping visuals that accompany his performances. Browse this guy’s entire track list and fall in love with the complex audio orgy that is his sound design.
  • Spider-Man Theme and Decepticons
    https://play.spotify.com/track/2TYpUo7kRQcJe9U6j7C9Qs
    https://play.spotify.com/track/4hGOkhzxp0kyt9qfodNDfU
    Ugress is one of those producers that I can listen to almost any time. These tunes are a little funkier and feature more traditional instruments, but the production quality of Ugress tracks are second to none. Check out those two tracks above, and you’ll want to explore what else is out there. Besides, who doesn’t like jazz flute and sound bites from the original 80’s Transformers?
  • 6-Hours Starlight
    https://play.spotify.com/track/3KjEJm1VRBKwOXT09HzWPn
    This is way more jazzy and coffee shop than anything else on the list, but man if you don’t at least give listening to stuff like this from Xploding Plastix a chance, you won’t know what you’re missing out.
  • Sofa Rockers (Richard Dorfmeister Remix)
    https://play.spotify.com/track/3ryvsXSF6KpqNI90jtTh5s
    You’re going to laugh at me, but I really don’t care. I found this track by Sofa Surfers when I Shazamed some hold music at a fancy hotel. Again, you’re laughing, but I don’t care. This stuff is fantastic. You will be so chill after listening to this. So chill. Let me stress again, there are millions of songs out there that you can discover and fall in love with. All I ask is that you step outside of the mainstream, and at least explore a bit. Who knows, some of this last playlist might come in handy if you ever left the basement and met someone of the opposite sex? Ya never know ;-)

The Gear

Unapologetically obsessed with music and sound quality, I do not expect you to purchase a rig the likes of which grace my desk. However, I do want to stress that the caliber of equipment that you use to listen to music is actually important. You’ll never hear the gorgeous basslines of some of these tracks with a $5 pair of ear buds from the check-out isle at Walmart. Just don’t do it, man.

First, let me tell you what I, the maniac, use for my gaming/producing sound rig:

Two Behringer Truth B2031A active studio reference monitors – Main speakers
A single KRK 10s powered subwoofer – The bass
The gorgeous Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 external soundcard – The brains
V-Moda Crossfade LP Headphones – When I don’t want to rattle plates in the house.

The setup above ensures that my neighbors can enjoy anything I’m listening to comfortably, and I don’t live in an apartment. There’s a quarter-acre between me and the house next door. There is a very important point to bring up, though. How loud your sound system can get almost doesn’t matter, unless you’re using it to throw a rave. Sound quality by far surpasses loudness when it comes to music. Don’t buy junk.

You don’t have to sink a grand into a sound system for your desk. That doesn’t make sense. You also don’t need to spend hundreds on headphones for a great experience. As a great example of this, Monoprice has their own line of speakers and headphones that are actually really good, and for a fraction of the price. Frankly, their Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style headphones for $15.99 are nearly as good as my VModas for a fraction of the price. Yeah, they’re all plastic and the ear cushions aren’t as nice, but damn…. For $15.99, you’d be hard pressed to find a better set of cans. These out-perform any pair of Beats by Dre any day. ANY day. Break them in for 20-30 hours (leave them plugged in playing some music with bass) and you will be amazed. Combine them with a nice mic for your desk, and you need not worry about some fancy Steel-Series gaming headset.

In closing, I just want to reiterate that browsing new unfamiliar tracks is great stuff. You never know what you’re going to find. Experimentation is literally the foundation of jazz, and once you’ll start looking around and finding and sharing new tracks, you’ll not only open yourself up for new audio experiences, but you will see that your performance at key moments in-game will be awesome. Lost the match? Meh, at least the next track is going to be sick…
-Dizzy

Want the above songs and tons more in a simple playlist? Follow my playlist on Spotify and just hit shuffle. You won’t be disappointed.

Dizzyjuice Pwns: https://play.spotify.com/user/1218690534/playlist/2zciGASVxwvIVyU1BUdidw

Prefer a live one-hour mix of fast-paced tunes? Stream this mix I made when I couldn’t sleep one night.
http://download.burstradio.net/download.pike?file=35

Audio gear purchasing questions? I’m super happy to help: Dizzyjuice on Discord or Steam.

Dizzyjuice

Most widely known for never suppressing his impulse control disorder, and his stubborn position on the jet fuel vs. steel beams argument, Dizzyjuice is your typical renaissance man. An avid photographer, chef, classically trained musician, meme addict, philanthropist, and IT geek, he spends most of his spare time watching hours upon hours of ‘related videos’ on YouTube, and then purchasing random things to try and recreate them. Most notably, however, is that he hates it when biographies don’t end the way you octopus.

Related items

  • Hecho en México

    Enzo Scavone, senior journalist at OPNoobs, traveled to Mexico and met some of the leading figures of the wider professional videogame community in Mexico. Although his wallet was picked, his interest in the state of game development was also piqued, and he shares his thoughts here.

  • The Town of Light: Sales to Benefit Mental Health Awareness

    To kick off the start of their year-long campaign to help raise awareness and bring attention to the importance of mental health, 25% of the net receipts from every copy of The Town of Light sold between August 16 and September 6 will help to fund vital services offered by Take This, Inc.  To help maximize the impact of the campaign, multiple digital retailers will offer a 20% discount on the game during the same period.

  • Devolver's CODumentary Releases September 9

    Devolver Digital Films announces CODumentary, a documentary following a story centered about Call of Duty, releasing worldwide on VOD on Tuesday, September 19th at 10 AM PST.

  • Who's the hero in an MMORPG?

    Who's the hero in an MMORPG? How do you know when you accomplish a great feat? Can “winning” ever feel singular? When I raided with at least one crazy Canadian (you know who you are), a Discipline Priest who kept me alive over all the other DPSers (because dwarves gotta stick together), and a guildmaster who trolled us all by crafting arrows in the middle of boss fights, with this motley crew — like so many others — I “enjoyed” [1] experiences at once common to the player base, and unique to my team.

  • Capcom Vancouver Gets New CEO and Studio Director

    Capcom announced that Tim Bennison has joined Capcom Game Studio Vancouver as Chief Operating Officer and Studio Director. Bennison will head up Vancouver operations, reporting to Kiichiro Urata, CEO of Capcom U.S.A., Inc. and Capcom Game Studio Vancouver.

  • The Mind Behind Play NYC: Dan Butchko

    Despite a flourishing indie game development scene, New York does not have host a games convention. Many claim that the need is covered by PAX East, in Boston, or GDC, far away on the West Coast. Furthermore, the supposedly little interest that is suspected to exist locally would be covered by branches of New York ComicCon or the Tribeca Film Festival. The success of the video game components of the two events, however, shows that the interest is growing and might not be satisfied as it is.

  • An Interludo on Game Development, with Ludovic Servat

    For a young man barely eighteen, it’s often considered foolhardy to quit traditional school in order to study by one’s self. Though it’s not unheard of today, dropping out seemed to carry a greater risk at the turn of the 21st century. However, in the summer of 2001, in Toulouse, France, a young Ludovic Servat decided to forge his own path outside of the school system. Rather than continuing his studies in university, Ludo instead began doing odd jobs, saving his earnings for his own computer.

  • BadLand Games Publishing Announced

    Spanish video game distributor and publisher BadLand Games, announces today the foundation of BadLand Games Publishing. With the opening of the new BadLand Games Research Poland office in Warsaw and a modern corporate identity, the company's publishing operations can officially expand on working in collaboration with more highly talented and innovative developer studios.

Latest Shows

Starpoint Gemini…

A unique blend of space sim, RPG and 4X games. Conduct research and construction in your own gigantic space station, command your war fleets and heroic companions to invade enemy t...

MyWorld Early Ac…

MyWorld – THE Action RPG Maker! Unleash your imagination with MyWorld and create, share and play amazing 3D adventures with our growing community. Claim glory and treasure as you c...

Startup Company …

Naturally, I named my brand in Startup Company “OPN.” Within four months, I took over the market with my flagship product, 'Rey Judges' (inspired by this gif featuring OPN's editor...

Strategy and Tac…

Strategy and Tactics: Dark Ages by Herosoft is the latest iteration of a risk-style board game that is enhanced by persistent upgrades to generals and leaders and a large variety o...

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...

Total War: WARHA…

Yet another in an already long line of excellent pieces of DLC for what has shaped up to be a living classic in the realm of PC games. If you like the game, you'll almost definitel...