Game Composer Duane Decker Relies on Blue Sky Monitoring

Dec 12, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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This past August, Duane Decker left his position as audio lead for Microsoft Gaming Studio and began his own production company, DDMusic (Seattle), which will allow Decker to focus on his career in game and multimedia audio development and music scoring. As part of the transition, Decker installed a Blue Sky 5.1 Sky System One as his sole monitoring system.

“As soon as I got them into the studio and hooked [them] up, I was simply floored at the sound quality, the transparency and the frequency response,” said Decker, who composed the score to Big Huge Game’s Rise of Nations. The Rise of Nations' soundtrack was released this past June on producer/artist Nile Rodgers’ Sumthing Else Musicworks record label, becoming the first game soundtrack to be released in 5.1 on DVD. Decker also composed, produced, mixed and mastered the musical elements for the game’s newest iteration, which will be in stores in March 2004. “The game development industry is now becoming more aware of how much 5.1 sound adds to a game’s value and enjoyment. Surround audio for games is now limited to dedicated platforms, such as the Xbox and Playstation 2. But in the future, as PCs get surround capability, we’ll see more and more games having multichannel audio as part of the package.”

Decker also said that the Blue Sky monitors solved several issues in his transition to freelance. “I knew that I would need more sophisticated monitoring in my own studio, and that the success of my business would be contingent upon proper, accurate monitoring. A startup like mine can’t afford to spend $20,000 on monitors, yet I would still need speakers capable of full-range reproduction. The Blue Sky 5.1 system was exactly what I needed: full-frequency playback at a cost-effective price. They sound great, and there’s no ear fatigue at all. The Blue Sky speakers were a great way to start the next phase of my professional life.”

For more information on the monitors, visit Blue Sky online at For more information on the composer, visit his Website at

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