Forbes recently got the chance to meet up with the composer for Black Ops 3’s soundtrack, Jack Wall, and talk about the changes in the audio that the team is bringing to Black Ops 3, over what they did in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. According to Forbes, Treyarch has built a new audio engine for Black Ops 3 that now relies less on scripted events, but now are trigged based upon contextual clues.

Developer Treyarch has built an entirely new audio engine that’s designed to be less reliant on big, scripted events and allow the soundtrack and cinematic elements to trigger based on contextual clues. The team has been working to incorporate more tactical choice into the gameplay, but they’ve still got to find a way to make the bombast Call of Duty is known for fit into that more fluid setting.

“We can script in music in a number of different ways to make it more interactive depending on what the player is doing. All the cinematics in the game are driven by the engine, so it looks seamless. Sometimes we just keep music going through those moments, other times we’ll go into a new cue, but the way that we transition to the way to what was happening before into that is totally seamless, and it all happens on the fly,” he says. “Let’s say you’re in a battle situation, and when you fire the last shot — on the next bar there would be a cross fade into an outro, which takes you down to no music, and that would crossfade seamlessly so that it feels like the same piece of music. Other times we might go into a cinematic right from battle, so we put a hit right on the thing to denote that something is dramatic is happening, and then fade out into the cinematic music. It works really well — their engine is way better than it was in Black Ops 2.”

In addition, Forbes has shared a sneak peek of the new soundtrack.

SOURCE: Forbes

  • ToonToons22


    • you’re a retard


    • Juses

      Dank yew. Sum ppl finully nut talkun liek fagit

  • Digital_Veil_


  • Edro

    That’s cool, the music sounds good too!

  • Has an Arabic theme to it. Which would make sense since the antagonist is named Salim. Also, the game has mission’s in Cairo, Egypt so the music could also be used for those levels. I really like it.

    • RdJokr

      The theme is called “Blackstation 54i”, so I assume this would have something to do with the organization 54 Immortals, of which the Specialist Seraph is a part of. Probably more Chinese than Arabic, but who knows, might just be full of Asians.

      • One Russian’s Revenge

        “Looks like you’ve read that blog too.”
        +1, logic.

        • I never read all the background stories for the Specialist characters. Think I’ll go do that now 🙂

          • One Russian’s Revenge

            “Knowledge is power, empower yourself my friend.”

          • I usually read every article on this site. Not sure why that one slipped my grasp.

          • RdJokr

            Because Keshav never posted them up, for whatever reasons LOL.

          • Really? I thought it was on this site? How odd.

      • You’re most likely right. I never read the background stories for the Specialist characters so I was just throwing out an assumption.

      • Blackstation 54i? That’s the full name of Seraphs revolver, she always refers to it as the B54i so its probably just her theme song.

  • ToonToons22

    I’m looking forward to hearing it in-game!

  • Dangelo95

    All this campaign talk makes you feel like the game has just been revealed kinda crazy how campaign is the last to be revealed

  • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

    YES! This is what CoD needed! Less scripted events!

  • MurkN101

    One step at a time. Now maybe they can focus on a new multiplayer engine with the next 3 year cycle.

  • SoulTaker

    To be honest we hear this every year Ghosts said this Advanced Warfare said this now Black Ops 3 is said to be the same.

    • RdJokr

      To be fair, the key word this year is “audio plays based on contextual clues”. Every year, they only talk about how realistic and high quality the audio is.

      This is pretty good though, it’s showing that the campaign for BO3 could very well be taking a non-linear route, with different soundtrack based on the situation in the story.

      • DEMOLITION12

        and how many times have they said they made the campaign less linear? lol

        • RdJokr

          Only Treyarch has ever attempted to do that. They were on the right track with BO2, so now BO3 is where they will be able to show that off.

          • I remember when Infinity Ward stated Ghosts would have multiple options throughout campaign missions, but that never happened.

          • RdJokr

            Ahh, IW and their empty promises… I remember when Rubin hyped up the PC version so much.

            Which is exactly why I am not gonna preorder Ghosts 2 or whatever the hell they got, unless they can regain my trust through a beta.

          • I remember when an employee from Raven said there was no Quick Scoping in Ghosts. It was harder to do but, he misinformed the community.

          • RdJokr

            Well, it was partially true on PC though. Because every time you zoom in a scope, frame rates drop horribly. Quickscope turns to slideshowscope.

          • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

            On console, the aim assist was decreased drastically. I’d say they took off the aim assist for snipers, and they also removed crosshairs. What really made his statement redundant was the fact that Quickdraw was still a perk, and not an attachment.

          • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

            I know. That statement alone was got me anticipating Ghosts. Don’t know what reasons he stated as to how Quickscoping was removed. He just stated it without elaboration.

          • Adcts

            I believe IW intended for there not to be Quickscoping in Ghosts then the Sniping Community raged and were “forced” to revert it.

          • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

            Infinity Ward should have regained your trust after MW2. They haven’t with me. MW3 and Ghosts were travesties, and MW2, although could still be playable, has many issues.

          • picke

            why do you think hes not working for them anymore lol

          • RdJokr

            Probably got tired of their shit, LOL.

          • Argy

            You, my good sir, and I have a difference of opinion on what “right track” means… because I felt BO2 was taking a left turn rather than staying on track…

            I felt BO2’s ideas were interesting, but not fluid to the gameplay. Its like eating dinner and then having someone say “wait, I know you just had the salad, but we need to play hungry hungry hippos before we can eat the steaks.” Yeah, they both involve eating but I didn’t really want to stop the main meal.

        • Well this is a 4 play co-op campaign so I’m sure it’ll be much less linear than any COD we’ve ever seen. Baby steps.

          • MichiganerE

            If BO3’s campaign manages to be as non-linear as CoD 1 – MW2’s campaigns, then Treyarch did something right.

          • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

            Those games didn’t have nonlinear Campaigns. There are still scripted events.

          • MichiganerE

            That doesn’t mean that they aren’t non-linear.

          • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

            Linearity is a straight path followed by scripted events. They’re linear.

          • MW2 was a very Linear campaign. Fantastic campaign but wasn’t nonlinear. As for COD 1, that’s kind of tough to describe. It was still very linear. Go here, go there, do this, do that. The only difference was the scaling. You had more wide open battles which allowed you to move around more, but you still had to play the game a certain way and had to follow the yellow bricklayer of checkpoints and scripted events.

          • MichiganerE

            You’re right.

      • BradyAlucard[sillibk]

        This is why I think it’ll be the best CoD since *at least* Black Ops. If I wanted to really enter uncharted territory, I’d say it’s the best since World at War. The non-linear route is what this franchise needed. We need less scripted events, and more freedom-based gameplay. That’s why I’m anticipating this game so much. But I’m not sure if it’ll be non-linear; I think the game will still still be somewhat linear, but the levels are just more open (wider in scope). I hope it’s nonlinear, though.

        • MichiganerE


  • Treyarch is love, Treyarch is life <3

  • We’ve been getting the same news about the sound engine every year since Ghosts. Its beginning to turn into the whole “brand new game engine” pitch.

  • Drasadex

    I’m liking the music sample!

    • Frag Wall

      Nice profile pic.

  • Mick

    It’s the little things that Treyarch incorporates into their game that make it appealing 🙂

  • grimm joww

    does any know if there going to have more spawn team themes for multiplayer, like they did in BO2 ? i didn’t like that ghost and AW only had two spawns teams and themes

  • Oh wow, this is pretty good… Now give me more!

  • RdJokr

    Awwwwwww yeah, Jack Wall is back baby <3 I love his work on the Black Ops II soundtrack. If we can have Trent Reznor as well, it would be sweet. But I'll settle for Jack Wall.

    • Frag Wall

      Jack Wall is back?? Wasn’t Trent Reznor made Bo2?

      • RdJokr

        Trent Reznor only did the main theme for BO2. The majority of its soundtrack is done by Jack Wall.

  • Clash

    I just want to say that picture looks like someone wearing blue shorts. When it’s his arm.

  • Aidan


  • Yawn

  • matt murdock

    the soundtrack sounds like legend of korra, vonderhaar and bryke are up to something. jeremy zuckerman too

  • Ghost

    BO3 is looking better and better!

  • KruptPanda

    This game is going to be amazing in every aspect possible. Story, MP, and zombies are looking so good my brothas!!!!

    • Greasy Neckbeard

      Getting hyped for nothing

  • T.E.D.

    Anyone with the slightest game development skills would know this is marketing bullshit, an audio engine deals with the way audio is played and all the effects that go into it, making a different way to switch music is not a change in the engine, and the real enhancements to the audio engine were made by infinity ward (real-time audio reverb system) and by sledgehammer (realtime generated bullet sounds)

  • GTA V

    Sold. This fixes the game issues I had. YES! Can’t wait. To hear myself rage quit in high quality sound.


    Once again; the fanboy Cod community falls into the same PR nonsense and gets overhyped over nothing. Everyone bummed the hell out of Ghosts and AW audio pre-launch and yet again Activision’s marketing has people by the balls. GGWP Activision once again. People will never learn. Funny how one of the biggest complaints of the beta was the terrible audio too…

    • Truth is spoken.

    • Yep. The music matters, not how good “systems” they got for it. I still remember the AW audio guy explaining how amazing their technology is, yet most guns in that game sound like nerf guns

      • jordanxbrookes

        Don Veca was his name. I find it funny how Sledgehammer’s version of the SPAS-12 sounded better than any of the guns in the final game.

    • Never had any audio issues. The game sounded really bass filled and solid for me.

    • jordanxbrookes

      What’s wrong with the audio? Sounded amazing to me. Especially the improved battle chatter.

  • a_required_field

    Wouldn’t it be cool if this was the multiplayer menu music?

  • ScOott

    SOUNDS good badamoo-chh

  • LovekillerX

    That sounds awesome. AW had great audio and so does Black Ops 3. What a time to be alive…

    • PCMR

      Inb4 guywithbrains upvotes….

      AW’s audio was a mess and most of it was recycled between guns. Also the exo and jump sounds were horrible. Funny how most people were saying the sounds sucked in the BO3 beta…..

      • LovekillerX

        That is your opinion and I respect that. I actually thought AW and Black Ops 3 beta had a great audio.

        What comes on upvoting, he can upvote me all he wants. How it could disturb anyone? If it bothers ignore our comments, that is what I’m doing for some people here (ignoring their comments) and life got much easier. Try that by yourself and you’ll see. Thank you very much. 🙂

        • Guywithbrains

          And there is always an option to stay out of the internet if my upvoting and comments make someone to lose their sleep.

          I am using my rights now by upvoting you only because of this principle.

          • LovekillerX

            Exactly. People don’t lose anything although I’m getting upvoted by you. If people “lose their minds” because you’re upvoting me, then they’re pretty sensitive… I see people upvoting AW haters and that is okay because everyone can upvote anyone they want.

            Inb4 someone will find something to complain about this comment/these comments.

          • Guywithbrains

            Inb4 we are making things up out of our heads and don’t know what we are talking about.

            But let’s get back into the subject. I think Black Ops 3 has great sounds and music but Frostbite 3 keeps the lead in terms of graphics and sound. Maybe some day we get same level graphics and sound as in Star Wars: Battlefront. At least I hope so.

          • LovekillerX

            I have to admit Star Wars Battlefront showed us what is TRUE next gen IMO.

      • Gotta admit the game oddly sounds a lot better in the preview missions before the game came out than in the actual game.

  • Meh, sounds were pretty much on par or worse then AW imo in the beta.

    Music made the game seem dramatic, massive and super special too, especially that menu song man. Not a fan of it.

    Really liked BO1 and BO2’s though, specially BO2’s theme song, it’s downright amazing.

  • spartanelite

    In the begging reminds me of legend of Korra,then to something in Asia like mountains or a desert

  • Pahom

    That image constantly reminds me of that mission set in Kowloon from the original Black Ops…Just needs the rain.

    • YES! I was thinking that too. First thing I thought of was that guy getting shot in the head after the roof to roof leap. Best COD to date campaign story wise.

  • Get Hans Zimmer back, or don’t have a soundtrack at all

  • SuperImpact

    They say this every year

  • This system worked incredible in Destiny. So excited for it with BO3.

  • Jay Evan

    Feels like a combination of MW3 and Bo2’s sountracks. Makes me think of Soap’s death scene a bit.

  • Ryumoau

    I hope the soundtrack is included with the hardened edition.

  • pickle

    i just hope theres a boat map like hijacked

  • jooker-jr

    And the game engine ?