Rock Band™ VR – Audio Design Post Mortem

by Dawn Rivers on July 10, 2017

in Announcements,Event announcements,Post Mortem


Our presentation this month is by Steve Pardo, Audio Lead at Harmonix Music Systems and Christopher Wilson, Co-Founder + Sound Designer at SkewSound on Wednesday the 26th!

Rock Band™ VR – Audio Design Post Mortem

Rock Band VR (Harmonix Music Systems/Oculus, 2017) broke new ground for the franchise and music gaming in many ways. The game features a state-of-the-art guitar mechanic, built for VR, allowing for players to be fully immersed in performing on a virtual stage and empowered by their creative choices and paths to success. Steve Pardo (Audio Lead) will discuss how the new mechanic came to fruition, working with revolutionary audio technologies for VR, and what roles an audio designer can have in influencing a game’s core designs. He is joined by Chris Wilson (composer/sound designer at SkewSound), who will reveal the fascinating nuts and bolts of how the virtual guitar instrument was built and implemented.

Rock Band VR for the Oculus Rift will be available for audience members to play after the discussion!

About the Presenters:

steve_peaches_profile (1)

Steve Pardo is a professional game composer and audio designer currently residing in Boston, MA with his wife, Amy, and two kids. He is employed at the music video game studio Harmonix Music Systems as Lead Composer and Sound Designer, and is a Composer/Co-Founder of the bespoke game audio team SkewSound.

Steve has served as Audio Lead at Harmonix on titles including Rock Band VR for Oculus Rift, and Beat Sports for Apple TV, both titles where his music gameplay designs and prototypes heavily influenced the game’s core mechanics. His early audio design work is showcased in both the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises, and he has composed the original soundtrack for games such as Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment), Gigantic (Motiga), Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix/Disney), Chariot (Frima), The Magic Circle (Question), and Fated (Frima), among others.

He has given talks on game audio, composition, and music design at various educational institutions including the Berklee College of Music, NYU, and Northwestern University.

Steve is also an active and performing/recording saxophone player, and currently leads his own group, the Steve Pardo Trio. He also plays electric guitar with Opal Puckett, and was a member of Spirit Kid from 2010-2012.

Steve studied at the University of Miami, FL, where he received his Bachelor’s in Studio Music and Jazz (2006), and his Master’s in Studio Jazz Writing (2008).


Christopher Wilson is a Beverly, MA based composer, sound designer, and audio engineer dedicated to creating high quality and emotionally impactful content for the video game, television, and film industry. He is a cofounder of the audio outsource house SkewSound and his credits include the Rock Band franchise (Harmonix), Gigantic (Motiga), Grim Dawn (Crate Entertainment), and Chariot (Frima).  He has provided services for a diverse set of clients large and small, including Continuum Innovations and the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra.


Wednesday, July 26th
7:00pm @ Intrepid Pursuits
American Twine Building
222 Third Street, #4000
Cambridge, MA
There are two entrances to the American Twine Building- one is closer to second street around the side of the building, this is the entrance you want! Take elevators up to the 4th floor and that entire floor is Intrepid. After 6pm security will ask you to sign in but no ID is required.

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See you Wednesday the 26th!

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