The Sound of Carnage–Ambient Music for Role-Playing Games

A couple of companies at Gencon had sound effect software/music on offer specifically for role-playing games. Sound effects are something I never tried on my RPG table, so I thought I should check out two Gencon offerings and one source that I found independently. These offerings range from mixing board applications, standard MP3 sound effects and themed music.


Eclipse Game Lab

EGL wins the “most realistic” prize with their “Caverns and Dungeon” MP3 set.  This group of sound engineers took a pile of expensive sound equipment into some active caves and spent hours recording the ambient noise.

This set of six 10 minute MP3s is certainly the most realistic (to my ear) and definitely among the cheapest of all the sound options I saw.    $5.94 for the set or it is up on,  Spotify  and several other subscription services.  Limited offerings right now, but I expect the inventory will expand with time.



Syrinscape uses a custom application (available for many platforms, including IOS, Windows and OSX) as a mixing board for background sound effects.


Users adjust the frequency and volume of each sound element or they can use the defaults. The box on the bottom right has a series of  spell-sounds like lightning bolt. A very slick interface and cool effects.  They also  have a licensing agreement with Paizo, so some of the soundscapes are specific too “Rise of the Runelords.” A vast array of soundscapes and options come with Syrinscape.

I am embedding their pitch video, but be warned it is a little annoying.

Syrinscape is definitely the slickest interface and offers the most options, but it does come with a heavy price; a $6.50 per month subscription. A lot of fun, but the price tag turned me off of this tool. You really have to use it regularly to make it financially worthwhile.


Two Steps from Hell

“Two Steps from Hell” is not a sound effect creator. Rather they specialize in music for movie trailers and tv shows.   TSFH sports an impressive resume, two_steps_from_hell_logo including work on “Game of Thrones” and “The Avengers” among  many others. That said, they produced five albums chock full of music worthy of great deeds and fell demons.   Pounding, epic and dangerous it lives up to their slogan “Music Makes You Braver.” Available at the usual outlets, but I use Spotify.


Let me know if any of this audio material makes it on to your game table. I would like to know how it goes.


Trask, The Last Tyromancer






















Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

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