Yesterday, Reddit user MedicalMilk posted an image on the Doom subreddit. The image shows an alleged exchange between the poster and Doom Eternal composer Mick Gordon, who also composed the soundtrack for Doom 2016. It indicates Mick Gordon doubts that he’ll work with the creators of Doom Eternal again. Whether this relates to id Software or Bethesda isn’t known, but additional information suggests he was dissatisfied with his work experience on the most recent game.
The Doom Eternal composer himself shined a little light on what the issue might be in a YouTube comment from this past February. He left a comment on this video for someone’s 8-string guitar cover of “The Only Thing They Fear Is You,” saying: “Fun Fact: All those stupid ‘time signature changes’ are a result of someone from marketing piecing this track together without any musical knowledge. Rad cover though.” Here you can see Gordon’s frustrations at his work being manipulated without finesse.
In fact, Gordon chimed in again to explain that other people mixed almost the entirety of the game’s soundtrack.
I didn't mix those and wouldn't have done that. You'll be able to spot the small handful of tracks I mixed (Meathook, Command and Control, etc…)
— Mick Gordon (@Mick_Gordon) April 19, 2020
ThatACDCguy adds more context:
Here's a comparison between the original BFG Division from Doom 2016's official soundtrack (left) vs. the BFG 2020 remix on Eternal's soundtrack from today (right).
Notice how the wavelengths in BFG 2020 form a nearly perfectly straight bar vs. the original with more definition pic.twitter.com/TCJRdOe1Yf
— Doominal Crossing 8: Booster Course Pass (@DoominalCross) April 19, 2020
The image on the left shows instruments at different volumes being brought together to form a piece that allows for breathing room between beats, enabling greater dynamic range. The image on the right shows a mix that puts every instrument together at the same volume, compresses it, and then has the master sound lowered to an acceptable volume. Audiophiles will be able to take one look at the version on the right and agree that it is the far weaker of the two.
Nothing concrete has been confirmed by either Bethesda or id Software. With Doom Eternal only just out the door, they are probably working on the game’s DLC and post-launch content. We may never hear an official reason for Mick Gordon’s departure from the series, if that even turns out to be the case, but we’ll certainly be able to tell he’s missing. Gordon’s soundtrack is a big part of why Doom 2016 feels so good to play, and the same goes for Doom Eternal. A follow-up game without his musical talent will be felt.