I was sitting in Skid Maher’s old apartment in Long Island City, guesting in a long running Rise of the Runelords campaign, the first time Syrinscape nearly killed me. I’m sitting there, minding my own business, playing the obligatory “guest healer”, when the screech of a naga seemed to tear into my chest cavity and stop my heart cold. It didn’t actually, of course. What it did do was startle the shit out of me and make me spill a few precious ounces of Modelo Especial onto my character sheet. For those that don’t know Skid, he primarily spends his money on three things: Narragansett Lager, obscure knickknacks of decades-old nerd-culture properties, and sick-ass home entertainment equipment. His big screen TV showed images of the map or the creatures we fought, and his surround sound boomed and shook the room, battling with the elevated 7 train directly outside the living room window for auditory dominance. Syrinscape – at least that night – was the winner.
When I asked what Syrinscape was, Skid spoke excitedly and at length not only about the awesomeness of the Runelords SoundSet, but also that of the platform’s creator and chief composer Ben Loomes. Recognizing Skid’s passion for the sound system and also the undeniable way in which it improved the whole gaming experience, his players pooled their money and, for on Skid’s birthday, surprised him with a monthly subscription. He’s seemed honestly moved. It was awesome.
Of course, neither Skid, nor I (nor Grant for that matter who was in the room, but whom I didn’t know at all), could have the slightest idea that some four years later we would be sitting on a carpeted floor in the Indiana Convention Center during Gen Con with Ben Loomes himself, sketching out the details for a brand-new Glass Cannon SoundSet on Syrinscape. Ben’s infectious energy and Grant’s love of the arcane language of digital audio were a match made in heaven. Now, we just needed to know what would be heard on the actual SoundSet. The real question was: how do we offer a gaming group from the Naish the chance to have their game sound and feel just like an ep of The Glass Cannon Podcast? If we could answer that, we could have something for Ben to work with.
After several months of planning and recording, the SoundSets are finally done. It’s such a pleasure to be able to say that. As the engineer that curated or recorded every piece of audio you’ll hear, I had a front row seat to the whole thing, and let me just say, I laughed my ass off more times than I can count. Some sessions were just routine, recording off scripts and such. Other sessions were fast and loose and suddenly the improv train got to running and man did we capture some gold before it went screaming off the tracks into things that are just too horrible to repeat here. For me, it was more than just the jokes too. It was a trip down memory lane in the life of the podcast. We are focused on producing new content all the time, and as a result there isn’t a lot of time to look backwards (nor should there be); but there’s something to be said for stopping once in a while, with good reason, and looking back at the things you created with your buddies, and just enjoying it for a little while. That’s what Ben Loomes and Syrinscape gave us the opportunity to do. We’re excited to be working with them and we’re even more excited for you guys to be able to bring some of these drops, sounds, characters, and songs into your home game as well. Enjoy the ride.
Can I hold the baby!?