Composition Series - #3 Aranid and Katraxi Tracks
Over the coming weeks I am going to focus on each of the species in Lord of Rigel, and explain the thought process for each. I talked a bit about the Aranid last week so I’ll expand a little on them and also talk about the Katraxi this week.
The Aranid are a highly sociable and aggressive bug species based on a windy, desert planet with an appearance similar to ants. So firstly, I wanted to recreate the hive mentality and the clicking of jaws which is present in both the neutral and hostile tracks. Moving in the background there is the sound of wind to hint towards their home world with a deep bell-like sound at the beginning of each bar to anchor the busy nature of the swarm noise.
On the Aranid hostile track I used pretty much the same sound palette with the addition of rhythmic sticks to add a bit more to the feeling of aggression. A lot of saturation was used over parts of the track to increase the intensity of the swarm. Overall, the Aranid is very heavy on sound design with very little melody, which I felt wasn’t really as suitable for a species of their type.
The Katraxi are the warrior cat species in Lord of Rigel, similar to that of the Klingons from Star Trek. To emulate the sound of a warrior race, taiko drums are used throughout to provide an almost tribal-like rhythm. Interspersed with low brass runs and at the back of the mix an arpeggiated deep mallet with the high end taken off, which gives the track a feeling of movement and tension.
For the hostile track I have increased the tempo and the drum pattern has more urgency to make it feel as if you are about to go to war with this species. I’ve also used more ambient sounds as a backdrop to give the track a more foreboding atmosphere and to keep it consistent with the overall aesthetic of the soundtrack, which has been the challenge with all the species.
The Katraxi are one of the more straight forward races to write for because of the numerous examples of their type appearing in sci-fi. I haven’t had to reinvent the wheel so to speak, and have stuck to a formula that works.