DUBAI: Japanese video game composer Yoshitaka Hirota has worked on the Shadow Hearts series.
While playing bass guitar and transcribing music for recording, Hirota also studied harmony and music composition. He then went on to work on creating sound effects using the built-in sound sources for Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Chrono Trigger, Seiken Densetsu 3, Parasite Eve, etc.
He founded his own sound production company in 2008 after working on music for the Shadow Hearts series and The Glory of Hercules: Proof of the Soul.
Hirota also worked as a bassist for composer Nobuo Uematsu’s band, EARTHBOUND PAPAS, producing albums and touring in Japan and abroad. And he has been collaborating with artists from various genres.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News Japan, the composer shared his inspiration for video games, he said: “When I started that job, there was very little space available for sound. For example, all the sound effects for the summoner were also created in MML (Music Macro Language), and I reduced unnecessary commands and numbers as much as possible in order to reduce the space by a few bytes. However, the process was very interesting and fun for me. I even made the sound of breaking glass using just a simple sine wave and noise. I think that’s what got me hooked on the work.”
He said his goal was “to create a work in which the music, sound effects, and voices all work together to create a world view and intertwine effectively without interfering with each other. The most important thing is to decide on the specifications and implementation work to make them work.”
Hirota told Arab News Japan that his first project as a sound designer was for Final Fantasy VI.
His work for the Shadow Hearts video game started with Square Co., Ltd. where he was creating built-in sound effects.
“I was invited by one of my colleagues to work on the Koudelka sound effects for Sacnoth Inc. At the same company, I was in charge of the music and sound effects for Dive Alert and Faselei for the NEOGEO POCKET, and then I got involved in the composition of Shadow Hearts. I was also very happy to be able to work with such wonderful composers as Mr. Yasunori Mitsuda and Mr. Kenji Ito,” Hirota said.
The composer is currently working on developing sounds for a game project at his company, which is more for children.