Many people have heard about the Grand Theft Auto video game, which had its fifth sequel in 2013, but not so many know that music producer Ivan Pavlovich is behind the complex soundtracks, a sound reality to be more accurate.
Pavlovich has a rich experience in game score production, supervising the soundtracks and scores of over 15 video games, starting from the early 2000’s. Most of the titles are produced by Rockstar NYC including The Warriors, L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne, Manhunt and many more in all of its sequels. The latest sequel of Grand Theft Auto had the most complex approach towards both the soundtrack and the musical score, which was done for the first time, and Pavlovich called it daunting in an interview, but in the end the game earned him the Guild of Music Supervisors Award for the music supervision on the game in 2014, after two previous nominations.
The management of the Rockstar NYC had the idea to create a complete virtual reality of the downtown Los Angeles area, so Pavlovich had the extensive plans and collaborations with four different composers just for the musical score and other DJs and producers for the track lists of an impressive number of 18 in-game radio stations with star DJs such as Gilles Peterson hosting them, in their own style of music and even commercials and radio shows. The programming is so sophisticated that the host would even greet the listener in correspondence with the time of the day.
Pavlovich’s biggest achievement was the accurate balance between the score and the radio stations. The score itself can cover several movies as he states, and it is interactive: as the player gets into more dangerous situations the score is becoming more dramatic, but not overwhelming for the player and well intertwined with the possible music on the radio. On the other hand the option of all the radio stations including hip hop or pop and soft rock themed frequencies create a reality of LA in combination with the visuals, a musical reality as Pavlovich said, where you hear pop music on the first station as soon as you land in LA.
Achieving this level of reality in a video game took extensive production and collaborations, months of work resulting in 240 songs licensed for the game, some of which were done exclusively and appeared on a separate album. Pavlovich’s work has definitely set a new standard in game developing and considering that it is only about the musical background makes his work even more important.
The game was released in September 2013 and broke all sales records, with over 80 million sold copies, and still remains one of the best seller games of all time. Pavlovich has announced more soundtrack additions in future versions of GTA, to achieve even higher level of LA reality.