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Playdead used a human skull to record Inside’s sounds

Inside skull

Ah, videogame music. Bleepy, bloopy synths, the rhythmic bang of a drum, the soothing melody of a piano, the way sounds resonate in a hollowed out human skull… Okay, maybe that last one doesn’t pop up too often, but a dead person was used to help create the sounds in Playdead’s Inside. 

I wonder if anything else in our list of best indie games was made with human body parts. 

In an interview with Gamasutra,Playdead’s Martin Stig Andersen explained why he opted to use actual human remains to make the game’s sounds, explaining that the idea stemmed from how people’s voices sound different inside their own heads.

So, obviously they did what anyone would do: they acquired a human skull.

“People are often shocked when they hear themselves recorded, because things sound totally different inside your head,” he explains. “Things sound much softer in there, more full, in a way. This is because a large part of what you hear is your voice resonating inside your body, in your jawbone for example. Try blocking your ears while you speak or sing; that’s the sound I’m talking about.

“So I had the basic idea of trying to recreate sounds as they would sound if they were happening inside your head. That was the curious thought that led me to acquire a human skull and experiment with it.”

Sounds like as good a reason as any to wrap a headband around a dead person’s head and screw their jawbone into a base, to me.

Andersen says he’s “very happy” with the end result, and that it was all with the aim of creating something distinct.”Every time I start on a new project I really want to find some kind of distinctive, original sound,” he says. “Not like a musical style, but more like a sound quality that you can associate with that project. I think it helps to create a sort of holistic, whole experience.”

No wonder they called their studio Playdead.

Cheers, RPS.