Derek Duke


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Derek Duke as seen on the Diablo III: Collector's Edition, Behind the Scenes DVD.

Derek Duke is a Senior Composer and Sound Designer for Blizzard Entertainment. He was a composer and performer involved in creating the music and sound effects for Diablo III.

Prior to Diablo III, Derek contributed to the music and sound of Warcraft III, StarCraft 1 & 2, and World of Warcraft.

Diablo III Contributions[edit]

Derek spoke to Destructoid about his work on Diablo III.[1]

Well, there aren’t any small roles at Blizzard. I’d say the length and depth of my involvement on Diablo III goes farther than my work on any previous Blizzard title. And pressure? There's a lot of pressure already built in to Blizzard’s culture. I push myself in every way, and am my own worst critic. Pressure is just one part of what I do.

Like most people of a certain age, my familiarity with the Diablo universe started with the original game... The cinematics for the Lord of Destruction expansion were the first thing I worked on when coming onboard full-time with Blizzard.

When I was able to turn my attention to Diablo III, it was all about playing the game, getting immersed in all the new environments, events, character classes, etc... but really, playing the game, a lot.

Derek creates music and sounds with a variety of instruments and objects:[2]

I really used every tool at my disposal. Whether an infinitely sustaining electric guitar, or sound processing environments and devices inside and outside the computer. Working with Joseph, to bow waterphones, electrify kalimbas, and wail into trombones. Pedro Eustache, and Laurence. Orchestra, and a lot of the Haken Audio continuum fingerboard. There's a lot of diversity there...

The majority of the music I created for Diablo III I performed. Whether on the continuum, guitar, or 'playing' eight or more controls crossfading and modulating layers of music-design, it was all performed or played live, to capture a truer, organic, and natural feel in this music that walks a line between real and imaginary.

I think what will be most surprising to players, at least those familiar with the previous Diablo titles, is that it's not Diablo II's soundtrack, or Diablo's, it's Diablo III. There are some similarities in approach, and some familiar melodies, but it's Diablo III.