With over 10 years of game development experience in audio for award winning games, and over 17 years as a professional musician/composer, Steve Pardo creates, produces, and directs emotional and expansive music and audio for games and interactive media.
Steve is a recognized composer (ASCAP), woodwind and multi-instrumentalist, producer, orchestrator, and music engineer. From start to finish, he works independently and with his team at SkewSound to complete original scores for interactive and linear media.
Out of his home studio in Nashville, TN, Steve can write, orchestrate, perform/record on a wide range of instruments, collaborate with hired instrumentalists, mix, and master finished and prepared music for in-game use and linear work. Communicating with studios and teams, he can implement his work directly into audio middleware (Wwise/FMOD) and the game engine (Unity/Unreal) when called for.
His in-depth and innovative work with interactive/generative music systems on culturally-recognized music games absolutely inspires the way he writes. That being said, Steve believes in starting with strong melodic and sonic material, aiming for the best soundscape possible through whatever means necessary for each project’s design and themes.
Steve has composed the interactive soundtrack for a wide range of games, including as Gigantic, Grim Dawn, Chariot, Fated, Super Beat Sports, The Magic Circle, Fantasia: Music Evolved, and many others. He provides original scored music for providers such as Netflix and IFC.
Steve served as Lead Composer and Sound Designer at Harmonix Music Systems, known for award winning music games and franchises such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, The Beatles: Rock Band, and Dance Central.
With his audio direction work on games such as Dance Central (2019 - Harmonix/Oculus) and Rock Band VR (2017 - Harmonix/Oculus), he has become a leading audio designer for virtual reality and generative music systems (US patent for "Improvised Guitar Simulation"), while rethinking the possibilities for the music game genre. His work was documented in the Sound on Sound interview, Steve Pardo: Creating Rock Band VR (nominated for "Best Game Audio Article, Publication, or Broadcast" - GANG Awards 2017).
Steve has been recognized for his audio design and direction work with nominations for Rock Band VR ("Best VR Audio" - GANG Awards 2017) and for Super Beat Sports ("Best Sound Design for a Casual/Social Game" - GANG Awards 2017).
Steve is incredibly active in the game audio community at large. He taught classes on game audio and music design at MIT and the Berklee College of Music, and has given talks at NYU and Boston Post Mortem. He currently serves on the Industry Advisory Board for the Sound Arts MA program at Northwestern University, and is responsible for launching Belmont University’s first game audio class, which he started in 2019. Steve also provides audio support on collaborations with USCF/Neuroscape on various music-video game research projects.
Outside of game audio, Steve is also an active and performing/recording saxophone and woodwind player. He currently leads his own group, the Steve Pardo Trio. His playing can be heard on various recordings and in many different ways.
Steve makes music with his family in many forms and fashions. He produces mostly instrumental folk music with Amy Pardo, his wife and flute player/composer, under the name Tweet Tweet, releasing The Bearer, in 2017. Steve worked with his talented sister-in-law Lindley Cameron, releasing two albums, Fairytale Thankyou (2008) and Come Home (2012), as well as making appearances on game soundtracks such as Fantasia: Music Evolved. He plays electric guitar and woodwinds with family band folk group Opal Puckett, producing both of their two albums, Opal Puckett EP and Hymns. Music where he is the sole contributor is released under the name Amazing Talking Penguins.
Feel free to get in touch at any time. Steve is always looking to collaborate and work on new and exciting projects.