Level with Emily Reese

Level with Emily Reese header image 1
November 23, 2021  

The Audio of Half-Life: Alyx from Level with Emily

In June 2018, we began interviewing five of the people responsible for audio in Half-Life: Alyx from Valve Corporation. 

The Audio in Half-Life: Alyx introduces you to each person involved in the creation of sounds in the game, and highlights their individual roles for bringing the game to life.

Mike Morasky wrote the music for Half-Life: Alyx

Roland Shaw made audio for the creatures and monsters, and for all of the physics objects like matchboxes and lockers and footsteps. 

Dave Feise did the ambiences, UI sounds, and some of the tools like the Combine fabricator and the hacking puzzles. 

Emily Ridgway wrote and processed the dialog from the Combine soldiers, and designed the speakers that float alongside a player’s ears on Valve’s VR Index headset. 

Lakulish Antani co-invented Steam Audio, a tool for game developers to make environments and the objects in them react with realistic sound.

All of the source audio for this documentary is available to patrons of Level with Emily. The source audio includes seven interviews with Mike Morasky, four interviews with Roland Shaw, four interviews with Dave Feise, three interviews with Emily Ridgway and three interviews with Lakulish Antani.

Level with Emily Reese would like to thank Mike Morasky for this incredible opportunity and experience, and to Lakulish Antani, Dave Feise, Emily Ridgway, and Roland Shaw for the conversations, and to Valve for allowing it all to happen.

Thank you to Nick Marinelli for transcription, to Nick and Chase Bethea for their feedback, and to producer Sam Keenan.

composed by Mike Morasky for Half-Life: Alyx unless noted

Chapter 01

00:42 Exposing Hostile

07:58 Triple Laser Phaser from Portal 2

08:35 Cara Mia Addio from Portal 2

09:07 Scanning Hostile Biodats

Chapter 06

1:22:00 What Did It Taste Like

1:24:42 Vapor Trail by The Crystal Method from Vegas

1:25:20 Apprehension and Evasion by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life 2

1:26:25 Adrenaline Horror by Kelly Bailey from Half-Life

1:27:10 Echoes of a Resonance Cascade from Half-Life


1:29:12 Substation

1:30:21 Level-5 Anti-Civil Activities

1:32:24 Charger

1:35:44 Bozeman by Steel Pole Bath Tub from The Miracle of Sound in Motion

1:36:24 The Good Times by Steel Pole Bath Tub from Unlistenable

1:37:04 The Good Times by Steel Pole Bath Tub from Unlistenable

1:38:40 Quaranta Giorni

1:39:59 Quaranta Giorni

1:40:46 Quaranta Giorni

1:41:45 Terin #6

1:42:34 Terin #6

1:43:43 Quaranta Giori

1:44:32 Overload Protocol

1:45:43 Trans Human Crossfire

1:47:16 Extract. Resonate. Isolate.

1:48:11 A Gentle Docking

1:48:48 A Gentle Docking

1:49:59 Coetaneous (strings only)*

1:50:53 EMC2*

1:52:25 Music from the Vault*

1:53:07 Coetaneous (piano only)*

1:54:03 Coetaneous (for commentary)*

1:54:57 Lightning Dog

1:55:21 Lightning Dog

1:56:16 Lightning Dog

1:56:38 Lightning Dog

1:57:06 Rabid Lightning

1:57:24 Rabid Lightning

1:58:08 Rabid Lightning

1:58:50 Rabid Lightning

1:59:23 Sunset Vault

1:59:59 Sunset Vault

2:00:35 Sunset Vault

2:01:27 Sunset Vault

2:01:45 Xenfestation Control

2:01:51 Xenfestation Control

2:0219 Jeff

2:03:15 Elevatormuzik

2:03:35 Trash Compactor Waltz

2:04:25 Outbreak is Uncontained

2:05:40 Cauterizer

2:06:41 Scanning Hostile Biodats

2:08:40 Let Me Talk To Your Super-Advisor

2:10:51 Beasts of Prey

2:11:41 Beasts of Prey

Chapter 07

2:12:14 Valve Alyx

2:13:39 Hacking by David Feise

2:18:49 Icosahedron

2:19:58 Half-Life: Alyx Credits

*not part of the Official Sountrack

October 20, 2021  

Level 157: Peter McConnell (Psychonauts 2)

Peter McConnell is such a master of cinematic music. He recently scored Psychonauts 2, a game released by Double Fine Productions. At the time I interviewed Peter, I had only gotten a few hours into the game and the soundtrack wasn’t out yet, so I hadn’t even heard all of the music. I finished the game, and now that I’ve heard all of the music in Psychonauts 2, I can tell you that it’s so fantastic. I wish I could put it all in this episode. And the game is great too. The game is a breath of fresh air in its treatment of dark issues in a light way. Please consider supporting Level with Emily on Patreon!


September 15, 2021  

Level 156: Joel Corelitz (Eastward)

Joel Corelitz composed more than 70 tracks for the game Eastward, scheduled for release later in 2021. The music, like the game, pays tribute to the 8-bit and 16-bit era of games, with Joel's musical voice and a modern twist at times. It's colorful, nostalgic, creative and enjoyable. Here's a link to the soundtrack! You can support Level with Emily on Patreon.

August 30, 2021  

Level 155: Sergio Ronchetti (Eldest Souls)

This is music by Sergio Ronchetti for Eldest Souls, a boss rush souls-like game with beautiful pixel art and a fun battle style. So you’ll die a lot!! But the music is great incentive to keep slashing away at oversized, overpowered bosses. Please consider supporting us on Patreon!

August 21, 2021  

Level 154: Jason Graves (The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope)

We love getting caught up with Jason Graves to hear what he's composed lately! He's been working on The Dark Pictures Anthology, composing for the first chapter, "Man of Medan" and now for "Little Hope." It was fun to speak with him about the stark differences in those 2 soundtracks, and how he created the spooky soundtrack for "Little Hope." Support Level with Emily and see a playlist on Patreon!

July 31, 2021  

Level 153: Kenny Young (Astro’s Playroom)

Composer Kenny Young talks about his music for Astro's Playroom, which comes on all PlayStation 5 consoles. It's a sequel to Astro Bot Rescue Mission, which was for PlayStation VR. Learn more and support Level with Emily on Patreon.

July 24, 2021  

Level 152: Oleksa Lozowchuk (Horizon Forbidden West)

Oleksa Lozowchuk composed music for Horizon Forbidden West. The game isn’t out yet, nor is the soundtrack, but Sony Classical - the label for the soundtrack - released a 4-track EP of music from Forbidden West, including one of Oleksa’s tracks, “Eyes Open.” So Oleksa and I had a chance to talk about that.

But also, Sony released a State of Play video with about 20 minutes of gameplay, including a battle with a machine animal called a tremortusk. Oleksa wrote the music for that battle, and we chat about that track too. Support Level with Emily on Patreon.

July 2, 2021  

Level 151: The Soundlings (Knockout City)

The Soundlings, a composition duo of Sonny Rey and Matt Naylor, just did the music for Knockout City, which is, at its essence, multiplayer dodgeball, just out at the end of May. The music is energetic and colorful, with a lot of great live musicians and the three of us had a great time talking about their music! You can support Level with Emily on Patreon.

June 28, 2021  

Level 147: League of Legends (Kole Hicks, Brendon Williams, Jason Walsh)

League of Legends is an institution! And there are so many avenues within the League universe for music and fun. I spoke with Kole Hicks, Brendon Williams and Jason Walsh, all of whom write music for League or one of its many offshoots. It was a pleasure to speak with them! Find a playlist and support Level with Emily on Patreon.

May 31, 2021  

Level 150: Kyle Athayde (the Kyle Athayde Dance Party)

I stumbled across Kyle Athayde and his band in a unique way. I first discovered Kyle as a jazz vibraphonist while listening to one of my current favorite jazz pianists, a guy named Sullivan Fortner. Sullivan’s newest album is a duo album with Kyle on vibes (called Tea For Two). I hadn’t heard of Kyle, so I went to YouTube and typed in Kyle Athayde. His band, the Kyle Athayde Dance Party,  came up with a bunch of video game covers, and there were also links to videos of his days as a professional Smash Bros player. So I immediately emailed him and scheduled an interview. It was great fun talking with Kyle about games and jazz! You can support Level with Emily on Patreon.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App